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A Letter to Sirius

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12:57 AM



It's hot here, abominably hot. Sweat everywhere, sticking my clothes to me, keeping my hair forever damp. Even now, the air presses down like something physical-- a sweaty monster with hot breath, pacing my room with me. There is a breeze tonight, a timid, teasing, tempting thing, rustling the branches of the tree but missing my window, the pane propped open with Hemingway and Doyle and Dracula.

I'm dreaming of September. Is it possible that there's a castle in the mountains? A lake and a forest covered in snow and ice, still and sleeping with the season? Nothing sleeps in summer. Not the plants, not the birds, the sky, the trees, the neighbor dogs: a symphony of howls. I can't blame them. I'm protesting, too, aren't I? They're just having more fun.

My mother has been painting: preparing canvases and painting them sky colours. Barely there blue, ashy white, diluted cornflower, evening violets and morning primrose and orange sherbet. They're stacked against the walls in her tiny studio, colourful but empty. Or just waiting. Not empty, but full of hope. Chance. Possibility. A million possibles for a pretty primrose canvas. Reveal one and kill out all the others. I'll save you one-- blue like afternoon, like joy. It makes me think of you. A million afternoons, all possibilities.

Jupiter rising outside my window. Bright and perfect as oh so far away. We could build a spaceship, you and I. The muggles made it to the moon. Who would come back? Why would they come back? Past the moon and the planets and keep going. Empty space. The space between things. How cold would it be, do you think? Cold like an empty galaxy, cold like turning from the sun. Freeze on one side, burn on the other; the sun has the last laugh.

The radio is playing me a concerto, I've no idea by whom. German, at a guess, or Russian. Blaring trumpets, stern drums, fluid piano, and a whole slew of violins and cellos and other polished, shining things holding it together. Quite ominous. Second movement: crazy hand piano-ing, restless woodwinds, dramatic strings. Tension, working up to something.

I want... Je voudrais. ... I want an autumn afternoon with a friend.

Mécontent de tous et mécontent de moi, je voudrais bien me racheter et m'enorgueillir un peu dans le silence et la solitude de la nuit.

I'm reading Rilke. You would like him. Eccentric and sad. And beautiful. Uncompromising, though, determined to show off the world's flaws. Beautiful, nevertheless. Or perhaps for it, I don't know. I'm tired. My eyes itch and sting like a colony of ants are marching up and down them. No room here, little ants. They'd scatter if I only slept, but no sleep for me. An nowhere for the ants to go.

I am deranged, obviously, but it's quite good fun. Harmless, mostly. Except for the ants. Hell.


1:51 AM


6:13 PM


I refuse to believe you can tell me the origin of a concerto just by the sternness of the drums. Not even you, Moony, are so talented. As for Rilke, if you like him I will try it. Tu est tres charmant, Moony, quoting in French at me. Am I supposed to know who that is? The ants in your eyes are obviously a punishment-- you should be sleeping, not sending me philosophical letters at odd hours of the morning.

I'd like to be somewhere dark and cold with you. No more moon, and all the stars in the universe for the viewing. It sounds perfect.

The sky is very blue, here, with the water reflecting it back. Joyful blue, I think you're right. It's difficult to look away. It doesn't seem quite real. I read somewhere that the fear of heights is the mistrust of one's self not to step off the edge. It surprises me how accurate that is. There are some heights I'd like to fall from ,even though they might break me when I fall back to Earth. You're right (of course) we should build a spaceship and not look back.

I've been watching the gulls. They depress me, I'm not sure why. Birds make me melancholy, they always seem sad. The sea gulls are beautiful, though, the way they look against the sky-- especially with a storm coming on. I saw a white pigeon last week, with spots like black ink staining its wings and breast. Birds are sad.

I've kept my window open all summer, and some very hopeful ivy has reached out its feelers through into my bedroom. I don't have the heart to push it back. And it's nice, having all that green, and the sun filtering through it in the afternoon.

There are mermaids living in the sea, here. When I wake up early I can watch them from the balcony. They're different from Hogwarts' mermaids: pale, blue haired, mostly, though I've seen silver (to match their scales), black, and even white; blue is most common, though, and they are almost uniformly silver scaled. It's family groups that have slight variations, as far as I can tell: a tinge of blue, green, pink, or violet, just barely there. They're back out into deeper waters before the sun is finished rising, so I can never get as a clear a look as I'd like to.

The ocean terrifies me, a little. Like heights, I can't trust myself not to swim too far out.



6:47 PM