something for the weekend
I was sitting on a wooden bench at a tiny table. TA was facing me and in our hands we held cups of exquisite coffee. He was sketching. I was reading the newspaper - the arts review section. And then the jolt hit me like electricity; caffeine, immense love of every molecule of experience in that perfect moment, the beauty of the book review I was reading, TA’s smile, the excitement of the day’s possibilities. So we talked for a while and it was a good talk about sparking each others’ creativity (we don’t), about art and letters, about the day. I felt alive, vibrant, full of light.
We wandered the streets around Covent Garden, Seven Dials and Piccadilly and reminded ourselves how much we love London and why. Italian shoes, Japanese food and Korean anime – a ‘his and hers’ kind of itinerary. We bumped into Housemate D coming out of rehearsals and, later, into TA’s friend from Henson’s and his girlfriend. We stood in the road in Chinatown and talked work and visas and how the ground under your feet can give way at any point. Some people are so unlucky that even the last-resort wedding ring isn’t a lifesaver; I had assumed that the girlfriend had dual nationality, but although she’d grown up here she is 100 per cent Aussie, they both are. I had woken up that morning dreaming that I was on the tube holding TA’s hand, a dream fragment really. I told him and he said, ‘But we always hold hands on the tube.’
We held hands on the tube on Sunday as we hurried to the market and back home – I had to be back early so that I could prepare picnic foods. I caught his eye, a hand squeeze, a smile – he sparkled with amusement, I don’t know why.
Leaving TA at home, I met my friends on the grass in front of the Tate. Mexican beans, rice, tzatziki, tabouleh, Italian bread, strawberries and champagne cream in meringue nests, wine and pimms; English, Finnish, Africaans – a real spread. The sun shone its blessing on us.
The Tate is spun out of sugar, built on slavery really. Can dirty money ever be laundered clean? I love the Tate Modern. It is a castle of dreams, a powerhouse of ideas, a regenerator of the mind and the Frida Kahlo exhibition is a magnificent tour de force – a whirlwind of passion at the service of intellect. I loved every moment of it. I tried to inhale the visions. The colours, the power of the thoughts. Sugar rush.