“Let’s put on a face mask and watch Gia when we get home,” Cyb says, not looking up from adding little frills to a slip she’s drawing on an open-faced notebook. “Home” as in the bed we slept in yesterday morning, and yesterday night. A girl we have never met and had a ten minute conversation with when we got in at 7 in the morning handed us a pair of keys to her apartment, an empty, fluffy white bed to sleep in while her roommate is away in Spain.
I chew the inside of my lip. “Okay, so that’s Gia, The Dreamers, and Girl Interrupted,” I say, a pause between each title, racking my brain of the conversations had while we walk the cobblestone sidewalks of London. The dreamers I had described earlier that day, remembering the frame of two boys and a girl seated in a claw-foot tub, a mirror revealing them to themselves, cigarettes and secrets passing between their lips. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve seen clips and stills for years now, but never got around to watching it, maybe because I already know how it ends, and the small visuals I have seen leave me to my imagination. Once I watch it, I can’t imagine what their relationship might be like, how they all ended up in that tub. They just are.
“Write it down so you don’t forget!” I say more urgently that I mean to. Cyb makes space next to the dress she is drawing to scribble in inky black pen “Gia. Girl Inter.” I find it fitting that she abbreviated the word interrupted. But I know she probably did it so they would all be the same line size in the list she wrote. Another piece of the visual on her page. She goes back to sketching a bra top that she would intend the wearer to wear to the supermarket, even though she chooses oversized tee shirts and baggy trousers herself.
I got up to go to the bathroom, three cups of coffee coursing through my veins that are just making me crash harder. Making my skin feel stiff, like I could peel it off like I do the layers of my croissant. My second one today. I had two yesterday, too. I want to not camp out at coffee shops anymore, to be in the streets, walking running, feeling the sun.
I think of all the lists I write in my phone. All the things I am trying not to forget, writing them down fast as the words fade from my mind like I scratched them in the sand with my pointer finger and the next wave of thought is coming quickly to wash them away. I need to etch them somewhere permanent.
This is how things like “monmouth” “DJ, cocktails?” “be nice to people!!!” and “music and photos are made of magic” get written in my phone. This is how I end up titling journals “thoughts.” “songs and other miscellaneous things,” “strickly drawings,” and “colors I’m liking.” Drawing the patterns of cobblestone. Trying not to forget the date, how I felt that day, what the weather was and if I liked it. Did the rain make me happy or sad on that day? I try and write it down so I don’t forget.
I feel like I might forget myself. A friend will ask me what I said the other day about some topic, mentioning something I had said, or done, asking me to remind them of it, and I can’t remind myself. It’s fading into my memory banks, I kick myself for not writing honestly most of the time. I find it foolish to scratch down how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, what I’m worrying about. I paint a picture for a future reader of the scene I’m in, how the world is to my eyes in this era. I imagine a distant audience, 20 years down the line. I want to write down something for them to remember.
I come out of the bathroom, circle back to the circle marble table, it’s only 1 of 3 marble tables in this cafe. The rest are black plastic topped. Same size, same feel, but these ones have an elegance to them. They look nice covered in croissant crumbles, blue coffee cups. The plain black plastic tables just look dirty.
“Okay, Gia, Girl Interrupted, and what was the other one?” Cybelle asked.