2. Frankie Drew // hurryuppleaseitstime
In my experience two things will tell you everything you need to know about a person; their room and their hair - I’ve always had the latter in abundance but the former gets away from me. My hair is fresh dyed red today, I’ve been thumping about the house in a dressing gown that belonged to my grandpa, smells of attics, is indecently flimsy. I’ve gained so much weight recently and it isn’t fitted, or flattering; I’m all rolls of flesh and hips and breasts and the hair; bright red, unwashed hair still curled from the night before, still reeking of fags and whatever it was I drank so much of - I feel like a filthy Botticelli. A good room or good hair can do that for you; turn a fat, stinking, grub girl who hasn’t dressed all day into a work of art for an afternoon. It’s about setting, it’s about decoration.
I’ve lived in the same house my whole life and we’ve always suffered from lack of rooms and room. Hide and seek was pitiful, sleepovers a nightmare, it’s only gotten worse over the years as my Mum collected other people’s children while I collected pets and siblings. My Dad is a problem solver, he built our house bigger, he made two new rooms and a garage, which became a bedroom, which became a bedroom and a half. These days I sleep in the half, which is fair. I left, after all, for university, for rooms that weren’t mine no matter how much money I shelled out and came back three years later with my tail between my legs and a car full of stolen kitchen utensils. A sister stole the perfect bedroom and writing sanctuary I’d carved out of concrete since I was twelve. You snooze you lose.
I might not have a place to write but I have a time, I have four thirty in the morning and at four thirty in the morning I have everything; or at least a house, and a whole one. I don’t settle straight away, like a dog turning in circles before it sits I scour the terrain, I write what I can where I can, on sofas and beds, on kitchen floors and dining room tables. I collect posters and bookends and candles and I imagine the room I’d make for myself, if I could. I’d fill it with books.
A room without books is a body without a soul, I’ve been told, but that seems so melodramatic and I do enjoy a good bathroom. I can’t sleep in a room without reading material but I like to think it’s for more pragmatic reasons, that I’m no romantic, that I don’t graciously bestow an unmerited mystique upon those bound up bits of paper I’ve collected over the years. I need to know, Sarah, Thomas, Virginia, that you’ll be there in the morning, in the middle of the night if I need you, to read you. I need to know, I need a promise, not a half hearted plan: “Perhaps I’ll get up in time to go to the library, perhaps they’ll have it” because they won’t, they never do and it’s bullshit - I want to remember Prufrock now. I want to learn it, I want to learn every book I own off by heart. If I can’t have a room I want to be a room, full of important things and beautifully decorated, an interior designer’s wet dream with really great hair.