Selfie

Hannah Nicklin reading

Hannah Nicklin

I have just read a sentence in a book

which might have knocked the air out of my lungs

had I been breathing in

A historian who wasn’t there

reporting an ancient warrior

who probably never said it

but still the worlds stick

matted seed in the spaniel’s fur of history:

“They create a desert and call it peace”……………………………..

It’s a year ago

I am arguing with a boy about neoliberalism

When I say ‘boy’ – this man is a year or two older than me,

but I say ‘boy’ because I am sexually interested in him.

We are discussing neoliberalism

in a nice cafe in Hackney

after swimming around a reservoir at 8am on a Sunday morning

and I cannot answer his question.

I am trying to explain why

a desert is not ‘peace’,

why violence and destruction are not necessarily the opposite of it.

But I’m also not sure it shouldn’t be.

……………………………..

We are in a maze.

This is not a metaphor.

There is a maze in Crystal Palace Park

and it seemed amusing to go in it

but now we are stuck,

and it’s less amusing.

I am wondering if you can view a schematic of it online.

I wonder if this is ingenuity or cheating

We sit at the centre of the maze.

Rajni says to me that she is not certain,

But she says it certainly.

……………………………………

At 11:17pm on the 26th of September 2015 my friend Alice who recently moved to Edinburgh tweets.

I would like to be mist. I have a week off work soon, and would like to spend it as mist. Any sensible, practical tips for becoming mist?

This is funny, Alice is funny. It’s also sad. Alice has a long history of struggling with suicidal thoughts. Over winter the way she managed that was she would go swimming in the Ladies Pond on Hampstead Heath. Cold cold cold temperatures. More than I in a wetsuit could stand. She would swim heavy breastroke and try and sink into the water. For a while all she would post on facebook would be descriptions of wanting to become the water.

On the 30th December 2014 she wrote “First icy swim, a large disc with razor edges in the centre of the pond. I snapped off a shard and gazed through it at peach and purple sunset clouds, my chilled fingers barely melting the pane.

I send her a jokey reply about the mist thing, mostly as a means of going ‘we’re all still here, and are glad you are too”

……………………………..

……………………………..

Two years ago

My friend Kieran is saying to me over email

gently and lovingly with the knowledge

of how it might hurt me,

me, a policeman’s daughter

“all coppers are bastards”

And I want to find a place to agree with him

but the best I can do is

“I, too, am a bastard”

……………………………..

19 months ago

I am excruciatingly ill

I have been for 3 days and there are 3 more to follow

I have not slept and right now whatever I am watching on Netflix

has achieved an almost psychedelic level of boredom

……………………………..

I’m watching some theatre

Chris’ blue eyes meet mine

and I realise I have never seen him

in anything remotely like a suit.

My friend Chris might as well be wearing the skin

of another man.

His blue eyes rest on me, momentarily.

He tells me

(and all the people I am sitting with)

about a conversation he had with a national socialist.

He is angry. He is really angry.

He is talking about confirmation bias

but I am not quite listening because I think I already know what that is.

I worry that I have been wrong, for 10 years

to believe that people are basically,

are basically,

……………………………….

Last Saturday evening

I make chickpea spinach balti and stream the UCI World Championships elite women’s Road Race. It’s only viewable from the US, so I view it through a proxy connection, Youtube’s live stream is handed an American IP by Betternet for my access.

Lizzie Armistead is perfect, strong, careful, transcendent.

……………………………..

I don’t remember when  I wrote this on my phone

Oh, another bus stop.

It is late and hot dusty

London air shifts around us.

I bet myself that if I clear the next hand of Sage Solitaire

He will love me

……………………………..

At 11:58pm 26th September 2015 I tweet

“Quietly in favour of smashing up cereal cafes, but also suspect there’re bigger more complicated things that need smashing, not just emblems”

I receives 8 faves, and including my clarifications and responses, 58 replies.

I transfer from phone to keyboard so I can type more clearly.

……………………………..

the beach where Deirdre met John.

Two years ago my friend John died

John who I knew, firstly, mostly, online.

Twitter and Instagram and emails and visits and friendship

Things in common, the same cadence in our sense of humour

Interests, politics

Last summer

Dierdre and I travel to this beach

near Dunbar

we swim in the sea.

The sky is a ragged grey

high where it is evaporating to blue

but it’s grey where it meets the sea

and the quality of the sun is like

old metal

it stretches out along the water to meet me.

We do handstands underwater

and laugh and

when we get out we are

cold

and

salt-water sticky.

She takes a photo of me with my phone and I post it to Instagram

shivering

……………………………..

I wake up next to my ex boyfriend. We have not slept together, we’ve just slept, together. Something there is worse.

He makes me scrambled eggs

I don’t want to ask him what’s happening between us.

Thankfully when I plug my phone in,

news that David Cameron put his penis in the mouth of a dead pig

is there to share and distract.

………………………

I go through my instagram and write down a description of every selfie I see.

Selfie with a rug

Selfie with a new hair colour

Selfie in front of a Chinese buffet

Pretend selfie of a cat

Selfie of a woman filtered black and white, side profile, high bun

Selfie of possible new shoes in shop mirror

Selfie in clinic examination chair (taken by the doctor)

Selfie of a man’s eye marked with last night’s make up

Selfie in running stuff

Selfie on train

Selfie with boyfriend and plastic penguin

Selfie with cat

Selfie with recently born son

Selfie with wife and recently born son

Selfie with cat

Nail varnish selfie

Selfie smashing kinder egg slash patriarchy

Selfie struggling to open ben & jerry’s

Selfie in mirror, denim jacket, record-label beanie

Selfie processed in some kind of cartoon effect filter

Self with glitter post-gig makeup

Selfie with giant moustache on a stick

Selfie with a new hair colour

Selfie of superman tee worn under a button up white shirt

Selfie of new tattoo

It is black and red.

Depicts a young woman with regency hairstyle

thick eyeliner, visible eyelashes

wig piled high on her head.

And in the wig, there is church

red flames licking out of it.

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