stop the words now
My name is Rebecca E. Wilkinson.
I am as old as the mountains and I died and I was then born again many times and every time it felt important. Of course, I barely remember any detail. But it was always a rainy Wednesday, cold and damp. My favourite day.
Those kind of Wednesday when you are alone in the house, no one breathes but the wood embracing you, and you can distinctively hear the scratching of graphite on paper. And nothing else. It is those Wednesdays made out of warm soup with aniseed and cloves, large jumpers, only socks and melancholia.
But I am not at home now.
I am sitting in a large, silky leathery vermilion old chair, tacks an'all. The room is perfectly square and my shoulders sit uncomfortably within the dimension of the space and the direction the room is facing. I feel I should move this darn thing I am sitting on, but it is an old hall, panelled in weathered oak. It rains and it is Wednesday. It's late and this is my second whiskey. There are about 50 people (I like to call them my "sad deluded boyfriends") who are waiting for me to walk out there and entertain them. They are all either weirdly interested in stories they don't really understand and await for the celebrity writer, the fame and the pizzazz (followed by canapés and Sherry); or so old they are there just because someone dragged them while inveigled them by senseless flattering.
But the whiskey is good and I still have about 10 minutes alone before being thrown on the stage and I could do with some olives. Black. Pitted. The line between a published researcher and an entitled rock star is just so fine.
"Have you got your notes ready?"
"Yes, I have", I answer.
"I mean, you have given this talk so many time, you should know..."
"... it by heart", I finish the sentence. "I know. I know".
It has been the same talk for the past couple of years. The same panelled rooms, the same red chairs, the same whiskey. The same sleepy eyes of the men in the first two rows, in tweed jackets, gently nodding probably to some resurfaced 50 year-old memories. As usual I am wearing my "I know what I am on about" uniform of smooth jeans and light blue Converse that my knees will tremendously regret tomorrow; a white linen shirt and a blue jacket in such a soft cotton you wouldn't believe it is actually real. I wear a red lipstick because why not and I leave half of it on the glass. Because "why not?".
Ideas I am jotting down. Characters who have been playing in my head for the past month. I think I am ready for this next journey.
Onwards + upwards