Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The date today has strange resonances. Like a funny phone number. Maybe something will happen today. I’m sitting by my desk, looking out of the window to the small yard, the brick wall, and up above, the moving discolouring in the framed rectangle of sky. Philip Glass is playing his Solo Piano album. Five pieces of metamorphosis. He makes me sad.

This morning by the kitchen table: green tea, oats porridge with skipped organic bananas (Ecuador) and the IKEA 2007 catalogue. It calls upon me to reclaim my own way of life. It suggests it’s time to focus on me. It says that home is the place of healing. I can’t resist flipping through it. The promise of clean, inexpensive and not-quite-bland life somehow always involves a dog; it seems that Dalmatians go best with IKEA kitchens. They love it. It must be the simple yet aesthetic colouring scheme.

And now in my room, my temporary room, as always. At least my books are here, to my left, a long shelf of them within reach: five volumes of a vexed Walter Benjamin; a Russian Made Simple book I’ve yet to try; Foucaults in different shapes and colours; the Sakakini Diaries; Kafka’s Letters to Felice, and Sebald, and Ida Fink.

In front of me, the melancholy of the yard: an angel hooked to the wall, leaning forward, one arm fluffy, the other amputated. The candle holder weighs her down. She is a gesture of consolation. She is light as a feather, yet anchored to the brick wall. She will never leave this place. And what about me?

It’s passed midday, and I have not managed to do much yet. The days are growing short and cold. Soon it will be the longest night of the year. I think this is my last winter in London.

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