Our little underground

I’m gonna run and find a place where I can hide
Somewhere that no one knows, someplace that no one goes
So don’t you look for me, I’ll be where you can’t see
Somewhere I can’t be found, my little underground

(The Jesus and Mary Chain)


Sunday 29 November, 2009:

All weekend, I think about it with great uncertainty. There are so many variables to consider – but maybe this is the only chance Tau has left here. Everything I said to Marjorie is true, in so far as it goes. If he loses this little bit of stability where a few people care for him, I don’t know what will happen.

Talk about subverting the purpose of school – how can it be at once so cruel and yet provide a safe haven? I don’t know, but somehow it can. Or at least, we’ve been able to create that space within it. In any temporary room of requirement – our little underground. A few people, a few spaces; sometimes it’s enough.

What I’m beginning to realize is that I’m not as helpless as I thought. I can rise to the occasion. Sometimes I’m sorely afraid, but the look in Tau’s eyes… I can’t forget, I can’t ignore.


And yet I still ask myself if I’ve done everything wrong, right from the start. Should I never have walked out and met with Argos, on the other side of that line which divides one way of seeing from another?

Because if I had remained where I was, then maybe I would never have known these things, and my heart wouldn’t ache this much. And Tau would have just stayed the mystery boy who I always cared about, and we would have just acknowledged one another like we always did.

And maybe I’ll never really know the answer to that one. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t – or perhaps it won’t be clear for a long time.


Mia and I stroll around the markets. We eat paella, and I buy some strawberries to take home. It’s nice, but at the same time I could care less. Surroundings, shops, and all the little things which used to at the very least provide diversion, simply fail to move me. People with their shopping bags, buying spring onions and pastries – it’s all just click-clack and clatter. Mia scours the stalls for Christmas presents, but I just want to go home. All the same, I make some kind of attempt to feign interest in what she’s saying. But the conversation doesn’t quite reach me; words and meanings get lost in the air between sending and receiving. I’m not good company, I know – and that thought scarcely affects me either. Everything feels blank: it’s like being in the library and not wanting to read books about made-up characters, or people I don’t know and can’t summon up any interest in.

Mia winds up with a dozen purchases. I can hardly even contemplate the strawberries – I buy them to be polite, I guess. Because it scares me, to seem ‘cold’.

But I’m not cold – it’s just that I’m not the same. I think about Thursday morning, in the Room of Requirement with Tau, Nio and Simeon. Right then we know we’re not alone, and it makes sense. The messages are transmitted: sent, received, and understood.


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