One Two Three
Friday, November 24, 2000
month has been about bikes, socks, and soho.
1) black shiny german bike
'i LIKE german things' said grandma, enthusiastically, poaching
the eggs with split-second precision, buttering the toast. the sound
of knife on hard wholemeal fills the small, hot kitchen.
grandma's got taste.
the black shiny german bike is made by a cooperative in berlin.
it's beautiful. i've only had it two days, though, so we're new
around each other, my fingers trembling as i attempt to unclasp
the d-lock, it wobbling over the cobblestones of cheshire street,
a pain not felt for a while in my sitting-bones. i think they call
2) over the knee
socks, woollen, black, from 'pink soda'. a pound a pair from the
woman with big brown bubble perm and round, green-rimmed glasses.
i placed an order for ten pairs. now my sock drawer is a jumble
of twisted tubes of wool. i'll never wear tights again.
i wear them inside out to hide a pattern of footballs. they slide
down, stopping on the knee, when i ride my new bike. lorry-drivers
on the whitechapel road toot their horns at the one tiny inch of
thigh they sometimes catch a gimpse of. sometimes i try to hoist
the socks back up.
part i: my life in my mouth
in soho i take my life in my hands. in my mouth. i eat liver and
onions and mash in the stockpot. it's perfect. i drink red wine
in the coach and horses at three in the afternoon, and everyone
else has got notebooks on the tables, too, so the boy writer and
i don't feel too ostentatious. in the evenings it changes. i drop
my earmuffs on brewer street and a taxi runs over them. i'm getting
more shortsighted and it makes the neon refract till it fills up
my vision. it hurts.
ii: non-stop erotic cabaret
sometimes after soho i listen to soft cell's 'non-stop
erotic cabaret'. the tinny drums,
keyboard loops, and the thin high voice of an eyelinered, curly-haired
effeminate perfectly encapsulate soho's sticky, vicious little heart,
like a half-chewed lozenge in a tin box.
part iii: 'say hello wave goodbye'
in band rehearsal i slip into the keyboard part from 'say hello
wave goodbye' and jason and i sing along. we ignore the others,
who tut and roll their eyes. terry fiddles with the feathery tips
of his unsnipped guitar strings and lights a cigarette; andrea stares
at the blue light of the e-bow. i
hunch over the keyboards, frowning with concentration. jason pulls
the microphone from its stand and shuffles from foot to foot next
to me. our voices slither around the notes in pale imitation of
a falsetto, and the sound of soho fills the room, only slightly
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