the m john harrison blog

Month: September, 2009

reaching the dream

Reversing her mother’s trajectory, Roxy Freeman exchanged the gypsy life for a flat in Brighton, where

I can’t see or feel the change from one season to the next, I crave greenery, and I constantly wrestle with the emotion of feeling trapped. I spend half my life opening doors and windows, trying to get rid of the airless, claustrophobic feeling that comes with being inside. I get woken up by bin lorries, the rush-hour traffic and my neighbours shouting, instead of birdsong and the wind in the trees. I can’t sense when it’s going to rain because I can no longer smell it in the air, and when it does rain I can’t hear it landing on the roof.

She lives near the sea, she says, because it gives her a sense of “openness & freedom”, then ends: “it’s easy to feel trapped. But to reach my dream, I have to put down roots.”

m john shoe

Someone arrived here yesterday typing that. Whoever it was, I say: genius! If I was younger & less trapped by everything I ever did, & could untie from all old versions of myself, I might reinvent as m john shoe. m john shoe would be braver but at the same time slippier than I ever was. You would never be able to tell if he was a shoe-in or a shoe-out, always on the edge of the frame. Would never have capitals. Would be more of a band than me, on tonite then in the morning you would see him no more. m john shoe would always leave you guessing. m john shoe never stares out the window like this wondering where August went & deciding to make another cup of tea. Not in South London. m john shoe is at the skyline & turning back briefly to wave his arms in a moment of charming but meaningless triumph; he’s never the same place twice.

Reading: Dead Iraqis, Ellis Sharp’s short stories. (“…why, then, did the British Government, in 1981, spend 1,200,00 roubles on a plot to obtain Lenin’s trousers ?” You might well ask.) Eating: chocolate cake. Listening to: someone’s toddler escaping the SUV only to be dragged back inside, strapped in tightly & driven off down Grove Road screaming in fear of the inevitable future.