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Splodges of reds and deep blues, the ones that pack together, then in a wild motion, disperse again. Bold men on the brown-green canvas, flooding out in shapes like kaleidoscopes. Itís the rugby on the telly, itís the obituary-end of winter reincarnating - as those colossuses muddy up the Paris turf - into a milder animal that I know is a few flicks of the lamp away, despite the still-flour-white airpuffs clashing with crowd-colour-darks on screen. And the masses smile and stand and clap and shout and wave their flags at the warming earth ¨Ė itís a pizza of movement and clothes styles; Harris Tweeds in with Nike neons and emerald Ireland jerseys in with black-coffee suits. Me (the hero? Maybe) watching, a voyeur of the change. Thereís a fire starting in my heart, reaching a fever pitch and itís bringing me out the dark. Still feel the shocking coldness of the runway, easyJet engines tearing my ears; a powerful stereo. Wetwind flurried into my snowy cheeks, me descending onto the Parisian tarmac. That lovely Europe; stored-heat airtrails. The serenity of the city-clustered lamps, the Underground burning-rubber furnace feeling, age-old plastic, trampled by street-blacked suede Adidas. March-yellowed boulevards. Cold-mild nightfalls Ė I was seeing a fresher residue, a fresher sparkle on everything and Iíd flimsily decided this was my time to make a break, except I didnít visualise the exact pattern of what might follow. Emotions made extreme, with their echoing in all things palpable that magicked up the rawness in everything I was experiencing, the pick Ďní mix leftovers from that bewildering late-winter and doing it in the presence of what was looming.

I could feel the inclement joy of that rising within me. Even on rival soil I sensed the familiarity of what I was stepping in to, and imagined myself marooned during the night on some moonwhitened backClapham ave, close to bus lanes but far from immediate sanctuary. I could see the vistas back in my hometown, the essence of their smudged candlelights, their edgy bright humanness, the visage of toil and activity, of the movement of the city like photos on my eyes, when I woke up early every morning in the unexpected pushing-through spring. Their eternal electricity drove me back, and when I return to blackness from this jaunt I will look in the untrodden spaces for my loss; go nightbulbing, in the quest for an all-encompassing answer. Obsessed with unlit areas, addicted to after-dark scenarios. I imagine how it will all unfold. I embrace the imagined versions of it and wonder at my need to get amongst all those zones that are close and monotonous, but also category-resistant and alien. Now, when I face the huge continental breakfasts, mouth croissant-stuffed, that is the aim I promote to the number-one slot in my mind. They are a looming force that Iíll build into a life-mapper that acts as a framework for everything I think and feel. April is the sunray. It will fill up the shadow rooms with an explicit blondeness, like a revelation following the three-month crack-skin whitedrifts. Itís just an inkling at this moment with the coldness being chipped out, and my body still clothes-warmed, jumper-heavy. A tinkling when I sup this daybreak latte, with my love next to me but love a broken feeling. Really, Iím gutted. Her actions make my weaknesses profound; make me question even the things that didnít come up in recent dramas. What is the core of me? That question forms the essence of my feelings in the break-up; that insecurity, mashed up, with freshness somewhere. Finally, I see you crystal clear. I want to get better, knowing it is the only way to reverse these feelings. Shed the downbeat fear and get back to the everyday mould. But light can only be achieved by travelling through darkness Ė a particular type of blackness, a type of struggle. Waking up beside seaside-blue skies. Hope being impeded by the lack of immediate knowledge. So I reassure myself, in that way that I do when I want enlivened confidence to cover up the doubt, and have a grainy figment of the way the coming months might develop beyond these mixed-up hours, their form yet to sharpen into effigies any clearer than blizzardy static-movements. The spectrum of emotions is not restricted; in fact I canít control it and Iím dazzled by the new ones that bloom and blossom into bigger blobs while Iím still digesting and closing off the last set, giving my face a screwed-up look thatís probably quite accurate to how I feel inside. It goes on for ages so I donít notice the days passing or the shape of them. But outside of my despair they are building to something. Iíve stopped watching but they are turning into something. From these tall steps of the Sacrť-Cúur I donít notice it, only the whitish haze that pronounces landmarks on the panoramic horizon. Little flamed reds spark out the Aztec ripple-smogs: I do sort of see that through a teary lament for doomed lust. I smear my warm tears on to the view and from a depth that I was unsure existed within me I learn that the force of the soul is erratic, but steady. It is that that is making me weep. Plus a realisation - an apparent sign of failure? - that the weaknesses of others that hinder someone else, through carelessness, or negligence, or both, canít be cured by anyone but that individual. Incense in spring sunhaze. Warm Med air lathers my wind-burnt features, forces me to rise out of the malcontent slumber and to make myself a promise to descend those many stairs back to sea level and recollect the fullness of myself Ė I know it is there, I see it when I close my eyes just before sleep, in a March awakening thatís been extra-goldened by this new kind of light in which I am calmed and then replenished.

Didnít want to know. No. She didnít want to know. She never did. Never wanted to know. But it doesnít matter now. Newly arrived sun on face. The winter never happened. It was a book. A novel full of cliff-face glaciers and cars freezing over on desolate motorways, familiar squinting eye-whites against the shop-window glow beyond the blizzard. The pages of that book made me feel so icy. Like my body was about to die and blue over. That book took so long to finish Ė I was barely breathing by the final passages, with cold hands and unable to move. I could see the tangerine ball of streetlamp out of the strip back-window, my own breath mingling in with the frost on the sleet-marked glass, and the warmth in that colour seemed so far away. That robust orange was laughing at me because it was unobtainable, a colour in perverse contrast to the gangrene whites and greys everywhere else. It was painting a tiny glow radius. I was finishing the book in that Arctic wave, that incendiary fridge-freezer bone-cold minus-20 wintapocalypse. It was taking ages. And now seemingly there was a simultaneous mega-pronged snow assault saturating the pages, and the room itself. My body half in the drift and the other half poking out, almost the same colour as the snow, but - very slightly - having the general texture of flesh. A body-bag flesh. Prosthetic flesh. Not-really-there flesh. Me there, naively believing Iíd do the important bits right and that I was one step ahead, forgetting that I was already one step behind, and hoping that no one holds the right to enforce a sort of power, the sort created by knowing all the facts before those facts are actually required in confrontation. Thatís normal stupidity. But I believed I was better than it. I convinced myself I was able to control it; in truth, Iíd never been less in control, and it passed me by as I was wriggling with naivety. And it took me time - many, many days - to recognise the great illusion in that love, and understand how Iíd invested my faith in the truth of it, which again was foolish, and intensified the whole thing so much that, at the time, I thought it was the most important factor in my life ever, and so that, when it all diminished in quick time, both my hope for the close days, and my faith in the overall sense of that commitment I had displayed and trusted, was also punished. Young dreams. They are better than anything Ė I, as the hero of course, will say this even after everything, because they are not yet wholly tarnished by the creeping possibility that they might be shredded, despite desires and expectations. Young dreams donít see the lurking power and deceit. Of gamesmanship and disappointment. They see only make believe and devotion. An unblinking commitment, or at least serenity in the moment. I had those dreams then, and they wasted energy. The thing I was searching for was so sentimental Ė even if it existed it probably would have ran out of breath and expired in the opening stages of the event. And Iíd cling to it all the way through! But truthfully, despite the force of the negativity, I crave the imagined reality of those dreams. I hold a candle for that force of ensuring closeness even though all my experience tells me it is a fallible myth. And thatís why the hope is so confused, as it exists in the shadow of doubt. I strive to hit that limitless land. Because if I accepted that it wasnít at all real then a great light somewhere within me would go off forever. That delusion acts as a buffer. Makes the days worthwhile. There are still small moments when I see it, usually in the form of a flicker amid the cacophony of other things going on. That glimpse suggesting that it might not be an illusion, that there is an end point that will be a dream-realising outcome. I know itís my fault I crave an instant devotion, a craving that makes everything an uphill battle. But I want to feel secure and serene.

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