Sucking Nipples

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Sunsets and slippery streets. Walking in the echoes of the ancients, treading in the footsteps of the fishermen and the tourists. Ice cream faces, wolfed down chips, wind and novelty, screams and cries. As in York, I seek out the secret routes, far from the maddening crowd. I prop up bars with my books, I head-butt light fixtures in cafes to the amusement of middle aged women, I dance a merry jig and meet lovely strangers who try to guess my name from a distance. H, E and R. All tattoos and shyness, passion and peat. I’d be Mr November in a fictional annual called Non-Threatening Boys, and so I find these people… or perhaps they find me. Perhaps that is why I walked home in the rain, looked in the mirror and said to myself; ‘these are the moments you long for.’ So, I doffed my hat and walked back out into the rain to accept their offer of Just One More Drink. I have always cherished the kindness of strangers. I have always cherished those who buy me a Talisker and clink my glass with a ‘chin chin’.

Now, a new dance forms across my walls as I lay on my couch watching competing candles flicker for attention. One by one they go out with a violent sigh, my old wine bottles melting underneath. I’ve never truly felt accepted by any one location except York. Even my hometown left me with nothing but a thick skin. Living here I feel… not lonely but alien. Crash landed into a small town made up of tourists and locals – the tourists arrive and leave, the locals go to school together, work together, marry, have children, sleep around. Everyone knows everyone except the weird Southern boy. It’s hard to disguise the accent and to convince people that I was not born into avarice. Most of the time, I feel like a teenager again but with all the ragged edges cut away. That knowledge of being an oddity but without the chips on either shoulder. My only interactions are with my colleagues who tolerate me, and bless them for it. I live for someone who has heard of Rothko, or someone who doesn’t think that writing and photography are an ultimate folly. People who feel, and who are sincere about it.

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Perhaps that’s every writer’s dream. To destroy the minds of others.” – MyRedAbyss

I reblogged my good friend’s piece lately because that line really leapt out to me. When I tell people I write and I take photos they always ask what kind of photos, what kind of writing? They never ask why?

There’s a definite truth to that quote, but I think for me it runs further still. Whenever someone sees a photo I’ve taken, or reads something that I’ve written, I want to manipulate their minds. But this isn’t about me getting inside your head. If I’m honest, it never has been and it never will be.

What I’ve always wanted, and so against my natural instinct for privacy, is for you to spend a few moments inside mine.

One comment on “Sucking Nipples

  1. It’s a strange conflict for those of us who are naturally inclined to ‘keep to ourselves’ and yet also lay ourselves bare every once in a while. To be truly seen, under the skin.

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