Zoe Catherine's profile

Where Are You Romeo?

Written by Zoe Catherine Kendall on Friday the 25th of January 2013
Photograph By Ludovic Des Cognets
A series of evocative dairy entries which were originally read aloud, recorded and played back as part of a performance art piece shown at The Book Club in 2012.

Singles Ad  23/8/11
Glum. That's how I'd say I feel. And if the act of feeling can be referred to as having sound qualities then I'd say the word is onomatopoeic too. Emotionally troubled female in her twenties. Trust issues, expects disappointment, looking for a loving relationship. That's how I would be described in one of those singles ads in the local newspaper. It's not my fault I'd add, parents too stressed when we were kids, there were other things going on, we were just growing up. Desperate. Desperately lonely. Tragically self sufficient. Unconnected, unplugged, disused, soon to be derelict. In need of love, sex, flesh, embrace. Babies at some point. Skin contact. Contract preferred.

Can I, can we?  23/8/11
A new romance. Paranoia sets in. Take it easy, slow and steady, no jerky movements. There will always be that moment. I fear it. I'll either be worrying (with little cause to) or just thinking way too much about his intentions. Does he want an ongoing relationship? Not that I would dare ask such a question straight off or indeed expect a decent answer, but for him to tell me at least whether he is enjoying this. Does he heed its emotional value? Is it cool? Most importantly, can we keep doing it? Can we stay this close together? Can we get even closer and then stay in that position until we really know it and value it and realise that in some way we will always be in it, regardless of proximity, whilst as much as humanly possible, staying as close together as we can to each other? Can we love? Can we grow to use that word? Can we take risks with our emotions so that we can allow ourselves to be that close? Can we do it: trust each other, need each other without shame, want each other day and night? And can we tell each other these things with our words and deeds, as often as necessary to maintain the warm glow we will both bask in? Can we hold each others hand, will you hold me against your body in winter, when it's cold outside and I am shivering at the bus stop? Can I hold you to me, cradle your head against my chest, trace my fingers over your closed eyelids, whisper how much I love you whilst you pretend to sleep? Can I do this - can we? 

How are you?  25/8/11
Hi. How are you? You've been on my mind, I really miss you! I hope you have been having tremendous fun and relaxation and plenty of opportunity for catch up with family and friends. I have been, it's been great, doing things that I do all the time, enjoying snippets of sunshine between vast uninterrupted periods of cloud coverage. Every time the sun comes out I run outside to greet it in a sort of ceremony. The doctor said I have a Vitamin D deficiency, which is basically a sun deficiency, and ever since then my love for those UV rays has been multiplied by the amount of hours that they have been missing from my life.
I should like very much like to go to the coast. To go somewhere very warm and spend vast uninterrupted hours on the beach and in the sea, swimming, chasing little fish, sun bathing, clambering on rocks and watching the course of the sun from its rise in the east to its setting in the west, watching its steady navigation from right to left, from sea surface to sea surface. More than 180 degrees of coastal views, that's what I should like, very much...

Summer Ending  26/8/11
It's August 2011 now. In fact, August is nearly over. Same old story, what happened to the summer? I've definitely been living, I know it because I've found some things I've written, musings in which I have day dreamed whole romances. I have also found a collection of receipts for the purchase of food, food which I don't recalling wasting and can only conclude that I've eaten. The list goes on, more and more evidence to suggest that my existence stretched right over the vacation, from before it was due to begin until this very moment in time. In fact, the more I look around, the more I am convinced. Diary entries detailing doctor's appointments, dates, dinner plans and parties. I remember things too. Dancing from midnight to sunrise in the pink bell tent at Secret Garden Party, perched on top of a speaker, legs astride as if riding a horse, as if sat on a saddle with a clear destination in mind! I remember kissing too, yes many and varied recollections of meeting another's lips, tongue and eyes. I even remember poo-ing, many times in fact. It would seem, if I summed all these traces up, sewed them back together, loosely at first to paint the vaguest of pictures, and then again in more detail as if looking to define every breath I've taken, it would seem that I have been existing for quite some time, definitely long before the cycle of summer, spring, winter and autumn, yes! It would seem it has been longer still than a course of seasons, more than 52 Sundays perched precariously on speakers, saddles and under the sun.  26 summers in fact, if I were to count precisely, with an equal measure of mists, snow fall and daffodils. Where then has it led me? To scrawl a baker's dozen measures of a sun that has already set, and then a baker's dozen more for good measure? To be set, set within in a sun as it drives it's course of summers across the season's varied skies. And to be complicit, to know I am complicit in Nature's annual trip through all the months in a season and seasons in year. And to have known the taste of January through to December, yes that's where it's gotten me, and back again to repeat it all next year. 

Just a Picture 1/9/11
There is no 'hit' to be had, you are not here and my attempts at conjuring you up have not brought these photographs to life. Pictures of you, that's all I have to hold in my hand, not even that, eyes peeled against a screen! The more I look, the more uncertain I feel, but I know it's because these are just photographs and you are still missing. I don't know the man on the screen, he is distant, inanimate and his actions are silent. The picture won't carry me to bed if I lay my head on it and sleep. It doesn't call me baby or ask me to reply. 

Frustration 2/9/11
Waiting - vast, interminable periods of waiting. I'm waiting for the locksmith to come and fix the lock on my back door, I am waiting to be seized by inspiration, passion, readiness, but most of all, I am waiting for you to get in touch. Four weeks and not one single word. I miss you terribly. And every time I get to thinking oh god this unbearable, it's coupled with the sensation that I barely even know you, and I start thinking about whether my torment is legitimate. Desire doesn't ask for answers, surely.  All I know is that missing you is such a terrible distraction and stops me in my tracks.

Perhaps Too Much 9/9/11
'Perhaps too much!' I wailed, communicating with those other voices, that other lot with their plot inside me. Perhaps too many times we fucked and now I'm stuck. And where are you? How can I care for my baby when he's so far away, perhaps even fictitious, it would seem that way. Each passing day, each week gone by without a word - where's my baby? Nothings heard. The other boys encroach but I'm not having any of it. Just you, but who? No one knocks, no one's there, I'm waiting for Romeo to climb up my balcony in vain, perhaps. 

I Know You 10/9/11
Time couldn't measure the lengths we have travelled up one another, nor could it measure the breadth of our caress. Time is no measure of how I might say that I know you. I know you enough, I'd say, but not enough to stop learning, just enough to know I want more. 

Until Then 11/9/11
I should start believing in you again. You are so far removed from me, here, I've turned you into a fantasy with all my longing and imagining and my fear and fretfulness. But you are real, you are 4D, moving in time and space. You haven't stopped existing, you've moved to another place for a while. I hope that soon you will move back into the space near me, London approximately. I can't realise you whilst you are over there, you might as well be a fantasy. If you are real, you will show yourself sooner or later. I might stop imagining now. Until then. 

Out of Reach 12/9/11
I am in a dark corner, out of the reaches of knowledge and light. And I am a captive here, tormented by the shadows, the vagueness and the ennui. There isn't much to mention about this here place in the here now, except to say it's not over there where I want it to be and there is no light to lead the way, nor any wisdom present to inform. 

You Rang 14/9/11
 I dressed appropriately for our reunion; stockings, 3 inch heels and lace knickers. In the corridor hands were already enquiring. Safely inside the bedroom, you lifted my skirt and sat me down. Legs spread, you pulled my knickers aside from underneath a suspender belt, seeking me out with your lips, your tongue, your face at my crotch whilst simultaneously reaching for your cock. Once it was freed from your jeans and hard in your hand, you pulled me closer, spat on the other and guided it in. At first I kept my legs wide apart, exactly as you had placed them in your well executed routine. Gasping as you entered, I permitted your intrusion, moving ever closer to the edge of the seat, hands clasping each arm of the chair, legs extending to wrap around your lower back and moaning, I surrendered my wet pussy to your thrusts. This was the moment I had been waiting for and judging by your urgent advances, I'd say the same was true of you. With not so much as a hi or how are you, you had me up and dropped my skirt. Kneeling down behind as I peeked around from my heeled position, you helped me step free of it, kissing the back of my calves and ripping your own clothes off. My bottom centre square in front, slapping the left cheek as you bent me at the waist, you coveted my underside. Hands unfolding and progressing, you shunted my balance forward, my arms reaching out to the bed post for support. Teetering, I received each propulsion frontward with heaves and uttered breaths. And I stayed there, open and accessible, and you plunged and pulled and pushed and held, plundering, moving with me, affecting me. And we swayed like that, surprise in our eyes, for as long as we could last. 

Massive Fail 19/9/11
Yeah so normally when someone ignores me I totally freak out or something, but today I'm like fuck that, cigarette, book to write, port in hand, check check check. I'm done with the bullshit. It's your problem darling. Call me when you grow up. 

Let's Suffer 21/9/11
People are suffering everywhere. We can be happy, happy whilst we suffer. We don't need to be destructive, instead we can be happy sufferers. Suffering is just life, one long death sentence, it's just us living it out, and yeah it hurts, it fucking hurts, day by day, month by month, we fall apart. We are not alone in this. We don't need to hide our entropy. This is the natural order. Chaos is beautiful, normal, everyday progress. Falling apart is progress. Dying, dying is progress. We progress, we can't stop it, can't stop time, but we can enjoy it. We can laugh, ha ha ha, look at the lines on my hands, they are so much more wrinkled than any other girls' hands I know who are my age. Look at my mind, it's such a chaotic mess, what a joke. We can guffaw with laughter, in stitches on the floor, roll about all over the place, we do anyway, we always do. We make a mess. We worry, we freak out and run away, we implode. Let's be happy sufferers, do the things we enjoy, show ourselves, our imperfections, face our fears. Let us. Let us suffer. 

Lump It 3/10/11
The hardest moments occur when I arrive home to an empty flat. That's when I come face to face with a feeling of loss and emptiness which I have feared and fought in futility over the years. At work I mill around occupied by tasks which distract me. Today I was photographing the new library with its new arrivals spilling into the book aisles. I carried the tripod around with a sense of pride, the idea of the job satisfying my most immediate sensory faculties. There I was working away, living my life, being needed. No doubt you were in the background somewhere, hiding behind the shelves and pillars in my mind but I didn't notice, not in the slightest, my attention happily consumed. Now I am home, alone and wondering. Here I am not needed by anyone but myself. That should be enough. If I can be woman enough to fulfil my own needs, to come face to face with your absence and still to measure and maintain my moods, perhaps that will get me through. 
Who would have thought you'd come back a different person. You did return and you did seek me out but after that nothing, just vast disappointing spaces, anti-climaxes and questions. Got too stoned to come and see me you said, too stoned to even let me know, just slept. Well I slept too, right through the disappointment, just in time to wake up to a sense of loss. When I am alone I remember all the things that I miss, like being under you, next to you, feeling that you are on a journey, headed in my direction. I come home and cry, I don't mean to, it just happens. It's okay I tell myself, I am facing up to the task at hand, handling those needs of my own which only I can fulfil. It's reassuring that I realise that this is my most important job right now. To care for myself, a purpose so often overlooked. Especially when you are not here to help. If things had been different, we might have attended to one another's needs, me addressing yours and you addressing mine. I think that would have been far more preferable, to me at least. To care for someone, really care for them, to bestow them with efficient love and have them do the same for you, feels like a new realisation of love to me. Perhaps I have finally realised what love and relationship are about: reciprocal altruism. Being able to give, not being too lost in yourself, the the kind of qualities that are also needed to care for offspring. Perhaps this is the reason why so many of us abstain, because of the a feeling of not being ready to face up to the demands of giving or receiving. It involves accommodating someone else in your world view. If you know you cannot care for your own needs, I guess you know you have no hope of attending to another's.  Perhaps that's an act of kindness. It wish it felt that way.