In honour of Imogen’s first post on the Mongolian Steppes, I unearthed one from the archives. A strange, not-particularly-autobiographical snapshot into two idiotically young lives at one frozen moment in time.
Children with Matches.
They liked to document their moments together in film. To look at these neatly arranged, fiercely coloured pictures was to see perfect, crystallised moments of shining hair and wide camera-smiles. If you looked closer you could see the shadows in their eyes, the brittle laughter behind that gleaming softness.
She had done it again; managed to portray that curious mixture of the virgin whore. A gratuitous act of heavy-eyed blushing and strategic phrasing that seemed so ghastly flamboyant, so grotesquely obvious to her she was astounded by their wilful blindness. The truth was that sometimes she revelled in it, this power, this spell; the dip in her voice that made listeners lean in, the twitch in her body that made their eyes linger, rake away her clothes: make her naked pulsing flesh.
But in the quiet moments it made her loathe herself. Damage control was her morphine, hiding was her survival instinct. Like a lizard without her tail. That dull burn would always come after, later: now.
She always got herself into these situations. In Her place She would fuck the boy. Make him want her with her oozing, boyish sexuality, her radiation of free and pliant flesh. Yet she needed too; that love of being loved, of being wanted, desired, of watching eyes that stripped to the bones and the bleeding ache. It made Her hate her for the ability to indulge in her wants, to sink into another’s being, to permeate them, to claim a piece of them for herself. But each pound of flesh comes with a price that She half gleefully watches her pay time and time again. In between the changing bodies She scornfully watches her wither her prejudiced, caged body.
She has flames for hair that makes Her blonde feel like winter.
What bound them was dependency. The need to understand, to acknowledge that hunger for satisfaction and denial. That need to comfort, to believe that there is something more, was something more and will be again.
That’s why they take their pictures. Their admirable, charming pictures of frozen, unmoving, beautific flesh. Then they can smile on them and mimic, share that camera-smile until they burn into one.