Friday, July 14, 2006

Notes from Cowley Road

Swallowed my prozac wrong again this evening, leaving a small, acid lump at the back of my throat that makes it fuzzily difficult to swallow. Nonetheless, I am tentatively sipping sweet, black coffee, trying to stab my mind more awake, sting myself into writing the first scene of the new play.

Outside the window that won't open, deep shadows are gouging out the contours of the little terraces on the bullingdon road, the sun is burning down parakeet pink-and-blue over cowley, the sweet stink of takeaway and warm dustbins.

What a strange evening, strung out on nowhere like the lyrics of a song you half-remember. Listening to my favurite unsigned bands from when I was fifteen, turned up as loud as I like, as, in the house I am temporarily inhabiting, everyone else has gone home, and I am left to feed the rat and turn off the lights, my laptop glowing and humming soft and comforting in the deepening gloom.

I'm a fugitive in this house; somehow, strangely, I wish the window did open, because some primal part of the mind is half-expecting the regimental rap on the door, and I want there to be another escape route. It would take me thirty seconds to throw my whole life into the suitcase behind me.

Darkening rapidly now, outside, the shadows of the houses lengthening and gathering to consume the entire sky in a clutch of deep purple-laid-orange and a prickle of unseen stars.

Music from the house next door pulsing through the pebble-dash; I am alone tonight. Old disturbances beat upon the brain a heart's breath away, urgent and ever so close. Things with wings and many-eyed faces are chittering in the high corners of the brain, walls are thinning and draining into cracked layers through which the edging cold seeps; ever so close tonight. Ever so close.

Fugitive. Coward. Addict. Pervert. Lunatic. Writer. Liar. All of these things and, above all, half-naked nineteen-year-old girl with house to myself, I pad across the hall and switch on the kettle, the roar and little red glow like a home beacon flashing far away into the darkened kitchen.

Kettle. Mug. Teabag. Milk. Sugar. Teaspoon. Dishcloth. Kettle. Tea. Back at the desk now, my fingers aching with frustration, the steam clearing my head and cutting through the white noise.


Scene 1: A kitchen-come-living area in a rather grotty student house in London. The near future. The lights are down; A kettle is boiling. Upstage is a wide sofa with a dirty coffee-table on it, which has upon it several dirty cups and a laptop, closed. Enter CHRIS, a 20-year old student, tall and dressed unprovocatively, with a bandana around her head. Chris goes to the sofa, opens the laptop and, as if typing -

CHRIS: Swallowed my pills the wrong way this morning...


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