Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Summerhouse - An Annie Story


So, I said

Yes, said Annie

I was standing there looking at the shop windows, thinking how sorrowful they were. I remembered a conversation with Annie. With Annie, everything had a certain brisk likeliness. She didn’t care whatsoever what anyone else thought either, except so far as it entertained her.

I was thinking about this time we’d been in the woods at the back of her parents’ house. The woods were ash and beech. We used to go there to smoke cigarettes when we were 16.

I wonder if her parents knew about the smoking? They were liberals and reasonably wise, and I think they did know, but thought it a minor sin, not worth creating bad feeling over. That was a good thing about Annie’s house, you felt that you were in the world of adult choices.

There was a rotting summer house. You could sit there in when it rained, hidden from the house by laurel bushes. One evening I’d taken some whisky there and sat listening to the wind softly hushing in the trees and it grew darker I’d felt this romantic frisson, which I had chosen not to act on. I still wonder if Annie had felt a frisson too? I know I chose not to act on it because I was young and knew it and knew that I wasn’t ready for that sort of thing, but, idiotically I am unable not to regret it.

On reflection, I think Annie had probably known what I was feeling, being able to sense things like that, but she didn’t think of me in that way. She thought of me more like a brother.

I remembered being with Annie in the creaky summerhouse with the smell of damp timber and having conversations like that.

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