Dear deceased swim caps
Font style: Vaguely Georgia, or anything Time New Roman-esque.
Heart: Broken, cast, healed, broken again.
Scars are beyond beautiful because it tells so much about one’s past, its wound, its healing, its renewal, its future. Here's our cliché - Isn’t our skin regenerate itself every seven years? Does it also mean that every seven years we are not the same person (physically), how about our souls?
Never been a huge fan of the bikini, perhaps because I never look good in bikini, or anxious about ‘phantom scars’? The scars were no longer visible but sometimes I feel that I could still see them, like flickering through black and white pictures that you feel uncomfortable seeing, it was too painful to look. Worrying my guts would spill out along the arms and legs. I am like a scar zebra. I don't want to relive this, whatever it was written on my discharge report from the hospital, like reading Susan Sontag’s Alice in bed, like looking out from the window of the hospital ward. Those were the tough times, but I am glad that I have grown out of it, in fact, everyone did grow out of it. They grew out of my stories. What an idiot I was, what’s good about self-destruction? Yet perhaps, like Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted once said by the window ‘The only way to stay sane is to go a little insane...’
Age is a bastard because history merely repeats itself until everyone becoming so indifferent to your same old tales.
Eugene, remember when we were twenty-three, outside of the art college, cigarettes in hands. Wisps of smoke rose into the air, your father died that year, we were briefly engaged. You once said to me, 'This is the longest fucking twenty-three-year-old ever."
That year, you also returned Harmony Korine's book to me as a farewell. You left me a bookmark of a picture of Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, the Wrath of God.
To the longest twenty-three-year-old.
If you see me out, If you see me in the street I may be having a lot of fun
I’ve been re-watching Penny Woolcock's From the Sea to the Land Beyond, particularly this scene with the re-interpretation of British Sea Power's music, repeatedly. Angels from the British coast. Angels, like the elegant guillemot birds, in their prime, proud of their athleticism, counting the steps, in line, one two three, seemingly synchronised – but not strictly synchronised but whenever a collective of people is arranging gesture in union always look synchronised. We are so adapted to patterns and our brain tricks ourselves to perceive normality, to make sense to our eyes. So it goes with BnW and coloured films. How many times do we think that Wings of Desire is predominantly a black and white film but the last it was filmed in coloured?
Look at all the vintage swim caps, deceased swim caps, From the Sea to the Land Beyond, all split up because of the harsh and unforgiving salt water. I need to tell you about my dear swim caps (now deceased):
My second swim cap didn’t have any name, I bought it from a vintage shop in Rochester, but I somehow associated her with Cambridge so I named her Cambridge. It was turquoise green. It looked like it was made in Cambridge, and someone would wear it when they swim in the freezing water the ponds of Cambridge. My brother went to Trinity College in Cambridge, also legendarily dropped out from it. I liked the scallop around the edge and the Chinoiserie pattern, until one day, the scallop edge split. That was the end of it.
‘Petal’, my favourite swim cap, was worn by a Playboy's cover girl in the ‘50s. A baby pink arrangement of petals with a neck strap. It was a very old and fragile bathing cap by Playtex. She was like a big sister looking after me when I was alone, midnight at Piscine Pontoise, even the thick material couldn’t last the erosion of the chlorinated water. I lost her forever, she is now resting at the bottom of my drawer.
My first swim cap was purchased on a winter Sunday from Black Truffle on Broadway Market. A little unassuming boutique’s clearance rack I found her the baby pink ruffle bathing cap, I called her Annie. Annie was my first ceramic teacher when I was five. Her skin was pale and flawless like a porcelain doll, only wear black and Doctor Martens 9 Eye boots. I did pottery in my early years from age five to fifteen, tutors have changed, but Annie was a young woman who I wanted to become. I am not too sure if I grew up to look like Annie. But I have come to feel more comfortable with my own skin. At least I try to be.
I have been swimming without any swim caps for a while. Maybe I should find another one to replace it. But it also must suit my Paco Rabanne navy swimsuit. (I was attracted by its orange/tomato red elastic neckline and most importantly the silver strap - colour is a resemblance of the Space Age in France in the ‘60s.) Or Ance Studios Halla swimsuit attracted its simplicity and the adjustable silver circle rings form variations of triangle space with the back straps, coming up from a pool of trigonometry lesson, flirtatiously showing off a bit of flesh of the back, glistening with droplets of water.
If I had a spare £560, would a luxurious MiuMiu swim cap do? Imaging bleaching cash in pool water.
(So it ends.)
When was the last time you fell in love?
When was the last time you looked intensely at your lover in the eyes, your head buried in his head, skin to skin, mind to mind, soul to soul, ceaselessly saying “Don’t fall now. Don’t leave me. I love you. I love you. I love you.”
When was the last time you sang this British Sea Power's song to your beloved one in embrace, ‘Je t'embrasse’ is probably one of the most syntactically romantic phrases one can possibly say to a person in that frozen moment. ‘I’ as a subject, with ‘You’ placed in front of me, ‘Embrasser’ to kiss.
I remember you used to say to me in French, it sounded indulgently sweet, but it was also so dangerous. It made me believe that you owned me. It made me believe that if I became better you would embrace me harder, trés fort, trés fort. Not pouncing the ‘s’ or the ‘t’. There is no such thing in the French language. It became totally redundant when you try to spell everything out.
When was the last time you gaze upon him, whispering the lyrics, doing the lips to him, apologise so many times until you meant it, until the song meant it I meant it, we meant it. I am so sorry angel, oh sorry I have to go, Oh sorry angel, it’s a cruel world.
Fall in love
Don’t fall in love