I glued it.
I don’t know if it’s going to hold.
I think I’ll polyfila it.
But the scars will always remain visibile,
The damage will always have been done even if I glue/paint/bandage.
But that’s ok.
Phaedra: Have you ever thought, thought your heart would break?
Phaedra: Wished you could cut open your chest tear it out to stop the pain?
Strophe: That would kill you.
Phaedra: This is killing me.
From Phaedra’s Love by Sarah Kane
Balsa Cement – 24ml, £2.75
But it says for use on wood?? But it sounds perfect…. appart from the wood part…
Copydex – 125ml, £5.25
Copydex is a common latex-based rubber cement in the UK.
I kind of just want it to be cement, more cement, less rubber…
UHU – 35ml, £1.75
Guinness World Records
“The company has achieved one world record in Germany, in October 2007. A Ford pickup truck weighing about 4 tonnes was suspended from a crane with the help of UHU glue. Two steel parts 7 cm in diameter were glued together with an UHU derivative and were used to connect car and crane hook.“
Perhaps we’ve found a keeper kids……
I went away
I came back
And then there was this.
How do you mend a broken heart?
It looks ugly.
Should I mend it?
Or should I parade it?
Apparently he hit it when he was hovering, accidentally?
The crack creeps all the way round.
He left the shards on my shelf.
“Heartbreak is a very strange distress. It is exquisitely painful, and yet we cannot find an injury on our body.”
Epoxy plumbers putty?
I did not need this.
I did not need this right now.
Why can’t broken hearts be more convenient?
Miles and miles of bridge.
Miles and miles of river.
Then finally Westminster.
I look at my arm, it says Birdcage Walk, a little smudged though still readable, but… I’m not too sure where that is, where I am… I go straight and hope for the best.
Is this the right way? I don’t know but I keep on walking. What else is there to do?
Keep on walking.
Keep on walking.
This is tourist terrain. And I am a tourist – lost, unsure, never been here before. I come to a map of the park and I stare and try to figure out if I need to take the second right (so maybe people with hearts don’t always know which turn to make).
I plop the heart down onto the grass.
drift past in the breeze as I move through the green and past the ducks and geese. In the park tourists take sneaky photos of me and I wish I could understand the words they say.
Then Pall Mall where I’ve worked for years.
How can I help?
I’ve worked for thousands of different companies. I can pretend to be from any company you like. I can do the sexy telephone voice and everything. I can pretend to be stupid, I can be disposable and forgettable, just as you please.
Fastnotfastnot fast enoughfinally
Haymarket… too tired… Chinatown… I don’t remember Chinatown… tired and onto Wardour street. Near Hummous Brothers my phone rings – I remember this. I remember leaning my back against the wall, pulling one knee up, propping my heart against this knee then fetching the phone from my back pocket.
A man stops.
He says nothing.
He stands about 50cm away from my face.
I talk on my phone.
He takes a photo of me with his phone.
We nod to one another and then he’s gone.
Up Wardour Street to St. Anne’s Court and then –
-Wow, that’s big, do you need any help?
Are you sure? It’s quite heavy.
And I give a stranger my heart.
-Where are you going?
He takes the whole heart into his arms.
Soho Square… where are you going?
-Tottenham Court Road.
Are you sure? You’re not just saying that to be helpful?
-No, it’s on my way.
I love you.
-Did you make it yourself.
-Like as school, papier machee?
No like in a hospital.
-Oh right! What are you going to do with it?
I’m not sure yet.
-I must have been meant to walk past you.
Yes… yes… you’re like my angel.
-Well, good luck with it.
I love you.
At the gate of the square I say
Here is fine. Thank you so much. Seriously.
He is gone.
Another man walks past
-Hope you haven’t given your heart away…
No… he was just borrowing it…
-Good, should think about giving it to me.
I definitely will.
Bend my knees and –
I wish I’d asked his name. I’m a fool. He shall forever remain the nameless kind stranger who held my heart in his hands.
– place my heart on the grass, count the injuries sustained
and the obstacles overcome.
A woman asks me which way to Kennington Tube. There must be something about the heart that screams – ASK ME, ASK ME, ASK ME DIRECTIONS! Maybe it’s just that someone carrying their heavy heart surely must know where they’re going? Again – like the man from the first journey – she makes no mention of the heart. I tell her which way and off she wanders.
A bus stop.
Near Elephant and Castle roundabout.
Still not half way!
How has this happened! I am so so tired and I have so much further to walk.
I sit a long time here.
I watch bus after bus rumble past.
I see faces behind glass.
They don’t smile.
They only stare.
Their eyes are glazed over.
Are they coming from work? Are the going to work? I don’t know. But I know that we are nothing to one another. We move past one another in this town and we are nothing to one another. I don’t know the last time someone said hello to me in London for no reason (when I’m heart-less anyway). The people that say hello/that we say hello to, they’re only ever someone who’s serving you or who you are serving. But once we step out onto the streets it’s almost as though we completely forget that we’re all still the same people – that girl could be the waitress who laughed at my stupid joke last week, that man could be the accountant in the suit who thanked me for the tea, really thanked me and genuinely meant it.
We’re just on the street.
And on the street – why is this different? Cause we’re not buying anything from one another here? I don’t know. I need to think about that. But we all do it don’t we? Once we step onto a bus we all just tune out, go somewhere else. Maybe we’re just tired? Maybe communication has become too much of a job for everyone that we don’t want to do it outside our working hours – don’t want to do it unless we’re getting paid?
I am jolted out of my thoughts by a man who sticks his head out of a van and yells something at me and waves. I can’t make out his words but I know that I liked them.
Thank you van man.
I stand on the edge of the road and a man on a bike slows and waves me across the road.
Dogs wag their tales and I keep on walking.
I’m close to Lambeth North Station when –
-Do you need some help?
No I’m fine thanks.
Yeah, yeah, don’t worry, I’m fine. Thank you though.
WHAT DID I JUST DO??
WHAT DID I JUST DO??
WHAT DID I JUST DO??!!
Literally 10 seconds pass and then
-Do you want me to carry that for you?
No, no I’m ok, thank you…
I DID IT AGAIN!?!
TWICE IN A ROW?!
What the hell is wrong with me!?
I did this – I did all of this – all these months, all this money, all this paint and plaster and pain and then I say NO??
I try to rationalise…
They were both walking the wrong way – I didn’t want to put them out…
The first guy looked kind of dodgy.
(These are only excuses, I’m aware, the second guy completely completely did not look dodgy at all.)
I turn down Pearson Street because I need some down time.
I put my heart on the ground and see a huge gash in it’s surface. The button of my jeans is the culprit.
I call a friend who lives near by.
He meets me.
I tell him of my ridiculous behaviour and I promise I’ll do better next time.
I know he thinks I’m insane.
I know he thinks I’m ridiculous.
I know he doesn’t know why the hell I do the things I do.
I can understand that.
We sit for a moment more and then I send him away.
I sit alone.
I am insane.
I am ridiculous.
Why the hell do I do the things I do?
I don’t understand.
I continue on and he takes photos in my wake.
It has never seemed wider.
I have to allow my heart to be carried, don’t I?
That’s it, isn’t it. That’s all.
I need to allow this as much as you need to help.
Easier said that done…
I would never lie to you.
I told you I’d do this and I will.
I don’t know if I told you I’d do it because I didn’t want to make myself I liar or vice versa. I know that it’s hard to do something for yourself – solely for yourself. I know.
I make dinner for myself. Just for me. I hate it. It’s one of the most difficult tasks. I can cook. Hell yeah I can cook. And I can cook for you and your mate and your kid, easy. But just for me. That’s hard.
I want to be able to do things just for me – for no one other than me.
I stall in my living room as I look down on my heart.
I want to curl up under the stairs and just stay there. I don’t want to be looked at, seen. I pull two black bin bags from the roll and attempt to wrap the heart in their darkness but it’s not working. It just looks like a heart wrapped in bin bags – funny that.
I don’t want to prolong this ordeal – make the distance any further, make the pain any more intense than necessary. I could just go from my flat – my Camberwell…
I pull myself together.
I make some last minute precautions…
I leave my flat with Peckham in mind.
An elderly man presses the traffic light button for me and the 12 to Peckham arrives almost instantaneously. I hop on the bus. When I say hop clearly I do not hop – I stumble, I fumble, I struggle. It’s quite busy and I have to stand with my heart between my legs. It is red – no bin bags shroud it. A man, about 27, he smiles and watches me from the corner of his eye all the way to Peckham library.
Peckham – where I so so badly did not want to come.
No more than 30 second after I get off the bus a bloke with the whitest teeth and the biggest smile swoons –
I love your love!
And I love you!
And I feel like a dickhead.
Peckham is wonderful. Truly. I kick myself for not starting the walk from further within Peckham’s depths – perhaps another day, a day when I am less of a complete fool.
Forgive me Peckham for my judgements and ignorance?
Carrying the heart past South London Gallery but why can’t I find my groove – I can’t seem to carry the heart in the way I once could, hands reaching across and touching in front. I sit on a wall and try to manoeuvre… but no, it’s so so awkward. I continue on for a minute or so but then have to stop again. ARGH, don’t know why this is happening – has the heart changed shape? Have my arms shrunk? I don’t know but I walk on awkward looking and all.
In Camberwell –
-You’ve got a big heart!
-Whose heart is that?
-Is it made of stone?
A little boy flutters his fingers across the heart as I walk by.
I pass my house and I am glad I went the extra distance, I am glad Peckham met my heart but there’s something about Camberwell, maybe it’s simply the fact that this is my home… I’m worried, I’m slightly anxious, I don’t want anyone I know to see me I suppose… I keep my head down.
I’m ok as long as you don’t know me.
I’m ok as long as I don’t ever have to see you again.
Up Walworth Road and it’s not as busy as I hoped it’d be. I planned the walk to coincide with the evening rush hour. It’s really quite quiet here this evening. The road is long and I feel alone. East Street, East Street… still not there. Most people look at the ground or chat on their phone regardless of the huge heart on display. I feel better than walk number 1 though. I haven’t needed to sit down half as much. Maybe it’s to do with wearing a different bag – yes yes I did find one (go me!). But this time I feel a lot more nauseous than before. I find that the easiest way to carry the heart is to lean back a bit and press it right into my stomach. It smushes your lunch up but it makes the weight seem less…
Finally East Street! I look at my arm and read street names, I know it was near East Street. I know it.
Yes! Manor Place! I turn down the street and I need to sit down. I need to sit down now. I find steps. Here I rest. I think I pushed too hard. I think I should have stopped more often at the beginning.
I thought I was fine, I thought…
-It’s ok to go slow.
But I’m meeting someone later, I need to get to Soho by 7:30.
-Sometimes people are late.
-Some things take time.
I can make it in time!
-You need to give things the time they need.
There’s a clock opposite and I watch the big hand tick forward.
I need to go.
-5 more minutes…
I need –
-You need 5 more minutes.
A light rain falls.
I wait 4 minutes and then go.
I am only standing about 2 minutes before I need to stop again. Why are you being so awkward heart? I jump it up in my arms and try to find that comfortable hold, but I can’t. Jump up again – no… where is it?
I’m getting agitated.
I’m not even half way.
Why is this happening?
All of a sudden things seem too hard, the distance is too far and my body is saying enough. Jump the heart up and try to continue on.
On this side street off Walworth road at 17:07 I want to cry.
People in front of me and I can’t cry. I hold in these tears for these people that I don’t even know. I carry my heart and give them a half smile as I walk past.
Why didn’t you help me?
Couldn’t you see my shaking knees?
Half heartedly I keep on going, Kennington Road in the distance. Ok. Ok. Nearly half way. You can have a break at half way – a good long break, I promise you, I promise.
I promise we’ll continue onwards.