• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 06


this is where i met you. this city. remember how the pink clouds fluffed out like cotton candy and along these empty streets do you remember listening – click click click – we could hear our breath settling in amongst the morning’s dawning. you could call it a chorus of cold water noises; the sound of other people’s voices rising as we padded past all the little shops and temples and houses with only our bare feet and open faces, past narrow narrow roads.

i’d suggested tokyo you’d said no – i want to go to shanghai. oh. oh, well then... in rome i’d liked the river most – there were far fewer tourists just the hot bodies of the homeless and large, unscalable walls. it doesn’t sound nice at all but it was quiet it was something it was just the city was too small too crowded but in china somehow i let myself go. i didn’t mind a crowd. china is allowed to be very very busy, all of my geography lessons since childhood will prove it

when you live amongst so so many people moments of silence are liquid gold you hear them in the morning, early, if you press yourself up against your bedposts with both of your ears against flat stones. i did that often, when you were sleeping, or pretending to sleep but texting other friends. i kept them under my bed, specially selected for the purpose – and a nice snug fit for each of my ears. my mother always used to tell me – richard, you are naturally profoundly sensitive. (if a word is in italics your tongue must bend it around your ears. but then again, i do not want to get side-tracked by ears)

the fact of it is this is where i fell in love with you – my mood for the whole time was paper thin, paper thin and open it’s disgusting really, it’s really something else. i remember so much stress amongst the mess of open cities – i grew up on a farm.



one of my ex-girlfriends shouted at me literally the whole way through peckham – i don’t like concrete, i don’t like litter i don’t like drunk people on friday nights doing to shy people (or at least people who seem externally weak) what they’re too cowardly to do to them in public. shanghai of all fucking places. i’d heard tokyo was sweet and clean but now i don’t care about it or any of the other things that made me nervous i care about you and the pink dawn and the smooth textures i’ve managed to develop on each of my ear stones – which you found one misty morning and kissed with your index finger and your freckles

tapping on them gently. and you smiled to curve your words, and you whispered into each of them – hello, my love. my ridiculous richard. you called?