Dull pink mush. A blender is going. A young girl prepares her breakfast. Strawberries pulverised. Blades slicing through frozen bananas. Razored fruit swirling together until reaching the point of no return. Solid objects become liquid again and again. The ritual is repeated every day. Handfuls of nuts are thrown on the surface, laughing together, cackling a sinister song. She raises a spoon to her mouth. Chomp. The day goes on.
Now elsewhere, a man begins his day. Today he takes thick bitter marmalade on salty slathered toast. Butter glistens raising its lipid face to greet an apricot sunrise. Luscious lips lick, suck and smother. Over and over. Plump red flesh makes contact with this sweet bitter mass.
FIVE MINUTES LATER
She puts down her spoon and sucks the particles of ice frozen blueberries from her teeth. She feels these voices calling to her, drawing her towards them through the long rose pink lines of her intestines. (Umbilical pull. Wuuuuh.) She sees a landscape when she closes her eyes, shuttering veined lids. She sees the young man and his marmalade toast. Crunch. Crunch crunch.
The spiral arrangements of nuts are dancing. She notices their shades of brown.
She stares out of the window, waiting for an imaginary lover. Her nose is arranged in profile. Her mind begins to drift. She thinks of those hundreds, those thousands of paintings of Medieval woman at windows. In pointy veils. She feels the wind rustle a white pointy veil on her head.
Ice white snow caught in light
Bluey silver tinge twinge.
(Yellow was there too.)
Ding dong hubby’s home! Slapping the bread on the table, bread winner, slapping the bread on the table, ding dong.
She notices the hair gathering in her arm pit has taken on a soft, downy, fluffy texture.
Lime green, waxed lemon yellow, jifffff yellow, hot pink, LILAAAAAC
NOTE TO SELF: buy a pair of neon orange tights!
She can’t sleep. She tosses and turns in her bed. But her mind whirrs on. She can’t relax, let go, enjoy the ride.
The evening is falling apart apart. Chunks. Like chunks torn off a French baguette. (She sees a French baguette free falling through the air, dancing, circling, twirling, cartwheeling through the air.) She projects straight into the future. She visualises that with the substitution of sleep the next day falls apart too. And the next and the next. Her circadian rhythm is completely OUT OF JOINT. She sees a shoulder pulled from its socket. A collarbone needing to be popped back into place. And her sleep patterns sit there. Smiling. Idling. Fucking up her day.
Hmmm. She lies, staring at the ceiling. She feels the contact of cotton on her skin. Brushed cotton that makes contact with the tip of her knee cap, the round of her shoulder. Each tiny fibre tickling. She slips her fingers under the waistband and begins rubbing in quick circular motions. Images start flashing in and out. A lilac slideshow. Up and up and up she goes until on climax she sees men dressed in cream cotton shirts, trousers and cowboy hats, on bay and chestnut horses.
She sinks softly deeply heavily into sleep.
Yellow, she dreams.
Slipping slowly through the consciousness of custard. This viscous liquid wraps around and around the body, caressing it from each and every side. Creamy creamy moondust the colour of her dreams. Eerie eerie fog mist fog, mist enveloping bodies. Butter yellow scraped on TOAST. Feed her feed her. Crunchy crumbs. Coffee with milk. Or without, black and bitter inhaling the fumes. Ecru turns to beige. To a page. Pauper page boy cream scullery maids’ linen aprons.
Cream is the colour of her dreams.
And soil. Lovely soil. Picking it up and scrunching it in her fingers. Thick black soil so warm under the joints squishing up through the gaps between her fingers. So warm so dark so lovely. Sticking sticking under the finger nails.
For a mid-morning snack, she finds a blood orange in the dark blue glazed ceramic fruit bowl. She peels the orange in one continuous motion, taking care not to break the spiral for this is a game she has played since she was a child. A silly joke, an old game that says if you peel an orange in one and throw the skin over your shoulder, the shape it makes is the first initial of the man you will marry, the person you will love.
Juice runs down her fingers. She sucks them one by one. Hints and glints of orange and dark iron rich blood.
But not sweet
(tiny gesture towards bitterness)
She stares at the peel and goes to the site of creation. Mediterranean winter. From a warm day to a cool night. The red crystals form. In the blackness she is riding the waves of a sunset horizon, searching for footholds in the dark. Peel becomes the collar bone of a person in her bed. Peel becomes bones becomes the indent in a spine becomes the round of a hip. Her fingertips run up and down tracing the curve of a body, their body, her body.
She is constantly throwing peel over her shoulder to make her love survive.
What survives of us is love?
She opens the cupboard and hears the squeak of hinges that have needed oiling for a long time. She reaches into its depths and plucks a silver wrapped chocolate bar from the back of the cupboards—one she had bought that morning in anticipation that she would need a sweet salty kick.
She sits down at the table and slides her finger under the tacky glue securing the paper wrapper. Next she flips the bar and peels back the foil. The bar is arranged in large thick squares. She breaks off a thick row. She slides her two front teeth straight into the dent between two squares. She chews and sucks. She runs her tongue over her molars absorbing the residues of salted caramel. She goes in for more until the thick row is gone. She stares at the bar contemplating another slab. She settles for half. Sucking the last of the chocolate from her fingers, she clumsily replaces the wrapping and puts the half bar back in the cupboard.
I love to slice my gnashers
Through thick chocolate
Her fingers feel their way across the cling film which catches the afternoon light, soft and shimmering. Slightly iridescent. Pearl-esque. The sandwich blurs underneath. She finds the seam of the film and slides apart the sides. The sandwich is warm and squidgy from her backpack. She raises the first large triangle to her mouth. Fingers caress the crusts of soft white bread. Big white front teeth make contact with the bread then the butter then the cheese then the butter then the bread, exiting on the other side. Chomp. Amylase fast at work.
She polishes off the second triangle and sits in the sunshine on a bench. She thinks of other people in the world, unwrapping cling-filmed sandwiches for their lunch. Probably on another plane, at the top of a hill, on a park bench. A man unwraps cling-filmed sandwiches he’s made for lunch. Perhaps he’s thinking of his mother.
A RUSTY PINEAPPLE ON A BICYCLE
Such a thought bursts into her consciousness. It is a strange and oddly satisfying image. A rusty pineapple on a bicycle, attempting to cycle up Primrose Hill. And at the top of Primrose Hill sits this man, unwrapping his cling-filmed sandwich. Nice
Golden hour. She sits in the kitchen, at the table, watching the sunlight fall in large slabs around the kitchen. It falls like butter on the hob, golden, running. Her mind goes far and wide. Through the landscape. She thinks of how the sunlight would fall on a barn encased in smooth shiny plastic, as part of a repair firm. She imagines Fiorruchi angels descending from the heavens, to get the perfect shot.
There is an orange and pink magical structure
disguised by a barn on a hill.
PLUCK PLUCK PLUCK PLUCK the harp.
The cherubs all appear at golden hour to take self-portraits. Put it onto self-timer. Count down! 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
Fix face. Don’t move. Poooooout.
Snap snap. Snap snap.
She takes her toothbrush and toothpaste out of the enamel cup in which they both sit. She squeezes the smooth white tube until a whirl of blue, red and white comes running out. She squeezes and a marble, a liquid marble comes spinning, round and round and round. She squeezes and the fluoride dances and splutters and laughs and forms a neat little line on the bristles of the worn-worn well-loved brush.
Clothes leap and dance around the room and free fall through the air, puffed sleeves catching on clouds of heavy air still saturated with sleep until she lands upon a navy shirt with a structured collar and ties a silken scarf around her forming a breastplate. Structured, sexy and ready to go.
Around 11am, she eats the ripest grapefruit.
Sweet juicy pale pink flesh glinting yellow flints of orange dappled in sunshine, as she raises it to her mouth it catches the light on the way up up up to her soft lips which envelop it and suck it in the sunshine.
Another day one from the same bunch the same supermarket trip would go down well with cold Greek yoghurt (very smooth), toasted coriander seeds (crunch) and a large swirl drizzle dazzle of thick bees’ honey (sweet sweet zing).
She bought a pair of orange tights earlier that day and now she slides their criss-cross lattice up her legs and slaps on some blush and peachy pink eyeshadow to match.
Does she dare to eat a…
Does she dare to eat a…
Does she dare to eat a…
RATHER CONFUSING NEITHER BITTER NOR SWEET BUT BOTH MARMALADE ON SALTY SLATHERED TOAST. Schlpppppp.
She lets out a large laugh, grabs her pink PVC handbag and dashes out the door, into the night.
Bea Grant is an artist and writer from West Sussex. She works between sculpture, filmmaking and text.