What's your favourite seaside town? asks Teh Graun.
I won't be entering but I do have one.
Mine is Hayle, my home town when I was a child. It is not the prettiest, not the most charming (there are many charming villages in Cornwall, with streets sloping to the sea and beautiful old houses fronting the sea, but Hayle is rather workaday, once a busy industrial port, now a tourist centre solely because of its beach), in no way outstanding or wonderful, except for one. I love it more than I think I will ever love another place.
Why do I love it? I love it because it had places to explore, because the beach was long and flat, because the people were friendly and kept an eye out for little boys up to no good. It was safe and warm.
I love it because it is the place where I was happiest, running with my sisters and my friends along the dune tops, rolling down the dunes to the beach, cycling the lanes, swimming in icy water, playing in the barge that was beached by Harvey's dock. Man, the games we played. I still have vivid dreams in which I am a secret agent, a soldier, a man of action, content to do and not to think too much.
I love it because I never felt I wanted there. I had everything. How could you want more when you had a loving family, a beach within walking distance, a field to play in over the back fence? I learned to smoke there, to talk tough, to kiss girls and to drink with abandon. I learned to love indie music and I learned how painful it is to lose something you love when we moved away.
I remember sitting with H. in a cafe off Causewayhead in Penzance. She is crying because I have told her I am leaving. I want to kiss her, but I don't. We are not boyfriend and girlfriend, although we're close. I wonder whether she remembers me. I don't suppose she does. She had been an outsider, and I had welcomed her and befriended her. I had lived in Hayle long enough to become a local, long enough for it to become my home. For her, it was a long way from home (she had been brought up in Kenya). I wish I had reached out and touched her face, and I wonder how much of my life has been about wishing I could be sitting there once more, able to find a way to defy my father and stay there (at 15, a big ask, but when you dream, you can dream as big as you like, the bigger the better).
Clocks run only forwards though. A ton of shit has been piled into that innocent heart, but it still beats, still resonates with the sound of the surf, still yearns for a not so charming, rough and ready, safe and warm seaside town -- still the place that "home" means for me.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
There is nothing worse in this life than for someone to stop giving you love. I could bear torture more easily.Dr Zen welcomes your correspondence at email@example.com
Coup de voting
Stress of ages
Pushing and pulling
What are you thinking?
Favourite postsAbout Zenella • Why this blog is Yeah Whatever • Why I think writing should have rules • Fu Manchu (fiction) • Canaries (fiction) • About being nice, and monkeys • I have twins • I love my son • I diss Zadie Smith • I am Dr Zen • About travelling • About the “right” words • I watch geckos • About Wikipedia • About Rick • Why be good? • I am afraid of everything • I am worthless • I create a Carnival to remember • I am a shell (poem) • I am rejected • Tired of the women in my “life” • I would die for Zenella • About S • Mrs Zen has a termination • About those who commit terror • I think when I’m walking • Why I don’t, can’t change • Women are beautiful • At Mapoto Gorge (fiction) • Butter (fiction) • Zenella starts school • Lamorna beach (poem) • Why I blog about this shit • About Irving and Holocaust denial • I love my dad • About choice • About a happy childhood • About goldenness • I am pointless • I imagine being with S • I find out S lied to me • I love Zenella • Do not ever think anyone is like me • I am not grown • About sharing • A trip to Woolworths • I am boring • About narratives • Code of conduct• About E, the love of my life • Why live? • My thesis