Oct 062016



When I went onto your laptop last night I discovered you’d installed this pic as the screensaver. One from your movie about me, STILL LIFE, made soon after we first met. I look then how I now feel. Was I having a premonition about you? Is there such a thing as a ‘suicidal nature’, and might I have sensed it?

Just checking your emails. S’okay, none are personal. Just spam and stuff.
    ‘Scuse me while I check my own emails. Oh! – your brother again:

…basic details are, one week after her daughter’s funeral Bella took Élise’s ashes onto the Ostend-to-Dover ferry to scatter them at sea. Remarkably Élise had managed to write a note asking for this, indicating a rare moment of rationality. The note compounded the tragedy for Bella by proving Élise’s suicide was pre-meditated.
… passengers saw Bella jump, but the rescue was not quick enough to save her life…
…have no idea about a chest x-ray. Are you sure? She never mentioned…

I think John thinks I’m just the person you were sharing a flat with.
    I suppose he’s not wrong.
    And here’s a long email from my ex, Ilka!… Well well… She’s going to marry a 72 year-old widower who likes art, because she’s lonely. I’ll just quickly acknowledge it:

Dear Ilka – CONGRATS! Wishing you peace & contentment & hope ul be happy. He sounds good person. No need get defensive about going straight. Have had marriage offer myself. New life in Australia. But need my independence. To be honest sth horrible hs happened here will write more v soon not now. Sx

We’re wondering, Bel… did you leave us a note? I’ve been searching this desk, but there’s nothing much… My last poetry collection; a couple more books: ‘Chinese Whispers’ by Ben Chu, ‘The Good Earth’ by Pearl Buck; all these print-outs of articles that I’ve kept for you in a neat stack… You’ve put a big red circle round a paragraph on this first one, the Paul Verhaeghen:

‘…the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age… We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.’

Exactly what Tim Lott said. The culture of our homeland sets us up for terminal frustration, disappointment and a sense of failure.

I, too, hate this world. But as you say – which corner of the planet to run to?



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