Typing with one hand:
Subject: Wednesday meeting cancelled and brunch.
Scribbling on a post-it with the other: Frozen Veg, milk, pears. Gift for Clara, important!
… So the meeting Wednesday is cancelled, but I hope to see you all at brunch.
Buy new socks before brunch and maybe a ring for Clara.
So far it’s going great.
By the way, suits are obligatory.
Cheese, tea. Make underpants for brunch.
Buy new cakes, white and grey.
Something with coffee and bananas.
I don’t know why anyone would say that I should stop multitasking.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on September 17, 2014
He sighed as he released his stream into the toilet bowl. The wooden seat of the toilet was so aesthetically pleasing. The next time he moved, it would have to be to somewhere with a toilet like that.
It was the first day of a whole week of relaxation with his closest family; his parents, his uncle, his sister and then of course his sister’s new boyfriend, but he seemed really nice and it would surely last much longer with him than it had with the others.
His girlfriend, Jessica, had gone on holiday with her own parents, so she could not come this time, but she had a chance again next year.
He looked at the blue bathtub and smiled as he remembered all the times he had let himself soak for half an hour in hot lavender scented water. Next year maybe he and Jessica could have a bath together.
A mark on the seat of the toilet caught his attention. A sentence was carved into the wood. It said: ‘Bob was here.’ It had to be one of the people who had rented the summer house during the year.
‘What lack of respect,’ he thought, a dull anger simmered in his gut, ‘towards both the owners of the house and towards all the people who rented after Bob.’ He shook himself off and put down the seat with a slam.
‘Are you done in there?’ asked his father through the door.
‘In a minute!’ he went to wash his hands. His father was so impatient and his uncle spoke so slowly, they would be bickering this evening. And every evening in the coming week. And his sister and her lover would probably only show up during meals, and his mother would come with lewd comments about that and guess about how long his sister’s relationship would last behind his sister’s back, and he could see his mother had a point, because honestly, he could not remember whether this boyfriend was called Dave or Dylan. And in between it all there would be all the questions about Jessica and about why she had not joined them.
He sighed and longed to go home.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on September 12, 2014
She was an animal person.
She hissed like a cat when she was angry and moved like a snake through crowds. She ate nuts like a squirrel, sometimes even hiding them around her flat. She could move her head independently of her shoulders like an owl, and often did so when listening to long stories. Her sneeze sounded like an elephant trumpeting.
She wolfed down meat in quantities that would fit a lion, and besides that and nuts she only ate a little bit of green salad and only if her stomach was upset. She buried past times in her memory, like a dog burying bones in the garden, retrieving them later to gnaw at them for hours on end. One should think that she would get through them at some point, that they would be gnawed to bits or digested, but instead the gnawing kept them fresh and she never buried them too deep.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on September 10, 2014
We were the elements.
Gwen was earth because she was so reliable. I was fire because of my red hair, although I had a long struggle with Eva to decide it; she didn’t agree to take water before we reminded her of ocean storms and assured her that more people drowned each year than were caught in forest fires. After we settled our argument, blue became her favourite colour.
And Troy was air. Because none of us really knew what to make of him.
He was there most of the time, but often disappeared before the game was done. We stopped waiting for him, because if he didn’t turn up we had wasted time, and if he suddenly did turn up during a game, he just blended in naturally. And I noticed that I breathed easier.
Gwen liked him. Eva often got angry with him, but mostly it wasn’t really him she was angry with; she just shouted out her frustrations to the sky.
And when one stormy autumn, he stopped turning up completely, I wondered whether he really had let the wind carry him away.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on September 5, 2014
The streamers are like sea weed washed up on the stairs, gathered in heaps. Small sticky sounds follow him, as he steps between the champagne bottles and sleeping bodies, making his way to the terrace. He has not vomited at this party, but the taste is there in his mouth along with the tart white wine which he drank, as he listened to the birds outside.
As he steps out into a light breeze however, the tart seems fresh and the vomit evaporates in the sun, and he thinks that having a half-way-to-New-Years-party was a great idea after all. Standing on the quiet terrace, he thinks that such an excellently held party should be celebrated. Preferably with champagne.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on August 29, 2014
Peter’s body rejects honey, chocolate and all other sweet substances. Thus, it was hardly a surprise that he should reject Maire.
Her hair was a light blond almost as white as processed sugar, and her voice was like candy floss sticking to anything which came too close. All men she had met until then had let themselves be caught and drawn into the pink depths, to drown in a scent of artificial strawberries, but it made Peter gag. After he had vomited up all her pleasantries and compliments at her feet, he pushed her away and let the repulsion fuel his speed as he fled.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on August 27, 2014
He watches her bring the cup to her peach lips and wonders whether she would fold him into a crane if he were made of paper.
‘It looks like it’s wearing the sun on its head,’ she says.
‘It’ll be loud and unruly and it might live 70 years, it’s out of the question.’
She pouts and he feels a hot bubbling under his skin.
‘Stop that,’ you look like a child is what he does not say, because the bubbling is not only anger and it gets stronger the more she looks at him like that.
‘All right, all right,’ he says, ‘I’ll buy you the damned bird, but don’t come running to me when it keeps you awake all night.’
‘Oh, I might,’ she says.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on August 22, 2014
I have a hoard of memory sticks in my room. Most of them I got for free at events, meetings and at work. It’s incredible how many they give away at work. First I filled up all my cupboards then my drawers; my clothes are now on the floor, and I have to dig through the heaps of memory sticks to get to them.
There was a period where I had difficulty reaching my bed, but now the layer of memory sticks is thick enough for me to walk on the surface all the way. Sometimes I curl around one of the larger heaps, inhale deeply and pretend to breathe fire.
And what’s on the memory sticks you ask? It’s the same on all of them.
Pictures of you.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on August 20, 2014
I was hypnotised by the fire in your eyes,
But I confused a candle flame for the moon,
And now I’ll never escape your hair.
No matter how much I eat through your clothes,
I’ll never reach your heart;
Your skin is marble.
In your closet, I can dream of our love,
Writhing around the poison you’ve left especially for me.
I know I should leave,
And I would,
If actions could travel directly from my brain to my limbs.
But old delusions keep pushing action aside,
And as I stand mesmerised,
Your hair only wraps me tighter.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on August 15, 2014