Journal Entry 1:
The Man Across the Way
this little stick of nicotine popped in his mouth. sagging between his lips. the newspaper is folded under his arm. at least he’s holding a newspaper. keeping up some appearances – at least. by the look of his clothes and his hair he doesn’t really seem to have much going for him. old round glasses and grey attire, hardly sexy. i can’t even bring myself to imagine that he actually looks at the paper. or even has it in him to turn the pages sometimes. it’s like the wind is just rolling him down the hill, ruffling his hair, bending the tips of the pages just to make them look worn. just to make it look like he’s trying.
why do i keep watching him…
Journal Entry 2:
The Blue Letter
the offce was quiet today. very quiet. too quiet. faces were wrinkled. jaws put on hold. and the eyes… the eyes were fascinating. fixed and still at the computer screen in front of the them. fixed and still and dilated and silent and serious. this e-mail, this little bloody electronic message had them hypnotized. the weight of a few words lay in their faces so unused to change. so unused to crinkling in any other manner than the day to day office routine. like they had a set of ready-made bake-and-shake faces… but they seemed to have run out of this flavour. they didn’t sell ‘redundant’ or ‘layed-off’. this brand didn’t manufacture ‘change’.
Pricilla…. my Pri. no, Pri wasn’t like the others. Her silence was different. she wasn’t shake-and-bake. she was homemade cooked from scratch, picked fresh from the garden. organic and original. i could tell that the e-mail didn?t mean much to her at all; it was almost a sense of relief.
i stared at her. blatantly this time. noticed her calming disposition. her relaxed Burgundy Lips. she slowly moved her eyes upwards, facing mine directly… there it was. that Pulp Fiction moment. that moment when Mia and Vince are sitting in the diner enjoying some fucking silence with one another. deeply understanding that talking isn?t all it?s cracked up to be. it?s in the silence that you and yourself in someone.
she spoke to me:
“the font’s in indigo blue.”
to which I responded, “it’s a nice colour. very nice. Arial too.”
Journal Entry 3:
i like the physical newspaper. here I can physically circle the possibilities of my life. some are safe, clerical jobs, those i’ve circled in blue, the even more mundane ones in black. today i bought a box of colourful pens to circle the ridiculous and absurd vacancies with some ‘vibrant red’ or ‘vivacious violet’ expecting to turn this mass of black and white into a rainbow of what if’s. things that i never thought i’d do not only making themselves visible and exciting, but their numbers may actually make it to my telephone this time. there is possibility here. possibility to hear a dial tone and physically press the buttons. to hear the other side ringing and the silence, then the cracking of ‘Hello’ on the other end and…
not hanging up. i always say this time i won’t hang up. and i hang up.
maybe i don’t want to be part of the rainbow. maybe i like black and white. films and photographs were always better in black and white. maybe i am black and white and all these circles are empty. i sit here day after day, consumed by this room. and all it is is a number of walls, white on off-white on cream.
i’ve been given a second chance to make something of myself, to start from scratch… but where do i begin? if i packed my bags, where would i go? leave this place just to search for the same things i’m looking for in this place, and even more. to make connections with people, to feel free and to get frustrated. just like the person who would move in my apartment after me. renting and working, going out and making their own way. making connections and losing them. maybe i should be a landlord and just watch the people come and go. fix things for them, and bang on their door when they don’t pay on time. help them along their journey like a friendly hand who has a door always open. i’ve paced up and down the corridor so many times i’m sure i know the numbers by heart. 203, 205 etc on the left, even numbers on the right….
Journal Entry 4:
i’m walking. in the street. i’m walking diligently. looking up. Look up. Look up. why is it that no one ever looks up? face gob-smacked to the ground, to a screen, to a mirror… mirror… a mirror… what did i see this morning? oh yes, a challenge. a challenge that i wasn’t particularly looking forward to yet had no doubts about. my hair said calm, collected, professional, and my eyes said not sure if i want to be doing this but – if you’ll have me, well… i guess i can’t say i didn’t try.
“please wait in our waiting area” she said nicely. that nice little receptionist. does she not know? or was she just taking the piss? you never say waiting area in a nice tone. as if it’s something nice and splendid. and even the word area is cheeky. it’s a room. not an area. it’s not spacious and vast and full of amazing things to watch. its a stuffy room. you’re boxed in. boxed in a plain room with you and your thoughts and three year old magazines wondering if the other person sitting across from you is going to get the job. or worse – you could be alone and they could be watching you with hidden cameras. see how long it takes you to crack, to – oh they’re calling me.
i usually hate it when people ask me ‘how did it go’? or ‘do you think you got the job’? how the fuck do i know? i don’t know these people, they don’t really know me… but this time was different.
by the end of the interview i was heart broken; shattered to pieces. the interviewer was Him. this wonderfully boring and simple character that i had watched, observed and simultaneously created became more complex. Him, the idea, the one i had so diligently built in my head, versus the real him. the talking him. the him talking-to-me-directly. making sounds and movements. asking questions and discussing things. he drank coffee and sipped it very quietly. he had lovely dull hazel eyes (that i never noticed before) that weren’t sparkling but were soft, and he had a very salient voice that contradicted his benign, non-con?dent demeanour. but, most importantly, what shattered me was his name. not only was he a real person now with a name, which meant that my fantasy had to suffer irreparable damage. but his name was ?Dave?. Dave. Plain Old Dave. i can imagine Harry?s conversation with Sally continue now: “And you think Sheldon is bad, what about Dave? Have you ever met a Dave that could rock your world?”
Journal Entry 5:
It?s Just a Twosome Posing as a Three-way
once again she sat across from me and the world was right again. even better than right. it was moving. moving outside of the repetitive circle. it evolved.
my Pricilla, my Pri. She found sanctuary with Dave. just like me. Me, Pri and Dave.
he made me smile today. he had an apple and went in the other room to eat it. he remembered that i don’t like the smell of apples. he remembered. and then he made me coffee. just how i like it. i asked him if he’d ever stop eating them and he said ‘not a chance’. i liked that answer. he stood his ground. he liked apples and would be damned if i tried to stop him. i really don’t like the smell but i felt like going to the supermarket and buying him a bag just for that. Pri had laughed. She knew me too well even if She didn’t know me that much. She laughed, laughed with those lips. those Burgundy Lips. they were her trade mark, the one right, prefect colour that she always wore.
She bought a book today. an old tattered book that smelled funny. it was in some weird language that was written in symbols. an asian language maybe. Pri didn’t know languages. she could barely stick to her last course on flower arranging. or the one before that on acting. or the one before that on… whatever it was. anyway, she wouldn’t know languages. so i asked her why she bought the book. She responded: “i just like looking at it, ripping through the pages… like I can read its history without actually reading it.” that’s what i like about her. she always surprises me. she sees things that i don’t.
Journal Entry 6:
There?s Something about Pri…
she wasted her second chance, just like me. as much as she is like me, she’s not supposed to be like me. she’s the hope, the one who lies with second chances… she’s my hope… and i don’t know how much longer i can keep on waiting for her… i just don’t know. i’m losing her by the day. Dave sees it. and i think she sees it too… and she’s afraid of it. she’s damn scared straight…. every time she leaves she tells me, “Lez… let me go this time.” but how can i let go of those Burgundy Lips. i’m addicted to them… they are my destruction.
Journal Entry 7:
i look out the window and all i hear is the song singing in my head:
“It’s only a paper moon, hangin’ in a paper sky”
I lift my hand to crumble them up in the bin by the bedside, to start a new day, but all I’ve done is smudged the glass and made a mess of a perfectly lovely evening. The dust that has settled along the window sill are stars I’ve shaved along the years. Quietly, they’re sitting in a lost, dead, state, in the very creases of the ledge I will never clean. So I press my lips into the night, and write my name in the clouds in the hopes that it will last forever in a watermark.
Dave is sleeping silently in bed. his legs are straight and he’s lying on his stomach. not like Pri. she curls up into almost a ball, and calls me to come beside her after a few minutes. Dave’s not like that. he sleeps and lets me be. he’s Dave though. just Dave. he’s only ever like something… an echo of home, of her, but just not quite there…. just not quite anything….
but i can’t keep waiting for Her, i can’t.
Journal Entry 8:
Back on the Bench
i’m sitting on this bench where I saw Dave for the 1rst time. he’s already home and i’m still here. he’s waiting, waiting for me, and i just sit here and keep waiting on nothing. on the trees that move in the wind with my newspaper by my side, and the E-mail. the Blue Letter i folded and kept for months. as if it’s my secret, safe, obsession. it just sits there in my wallet, carrying me around wherever it goes. it’s all tattered now from the folding. it’s tired of being folded and unfolded again. it’s tired of creasing and never changing. i’ll rip it. tonight. i’ll rip it by the window sill along with the newspaper and throw it into the night, listening to Fleetwood Mac singin? Blue Letter: “i ain’t waitin’ for you.”
Marcelle Fenech is a person who gets this random urge to write once in while during odd hours of the night. She enjoys observing people and situations, which has led to many awkward moments.
Javier Joseph Formosa is a 22-year-old artist currently following a degree in Fine arts at MCAST art and design Mosta, Malta.