You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming?
That’s where I will always love you, Peter Pan.
That’s where I will be waiting.
1 January, 2013, 5am: watching people stagger, swagger on the streets below and flicking through social media accounts, posting pictures of fireworks. Welcome to 2013. The century, someone writes, is a teenager. I’ve seen old years out the window in other places and nothing screams, ‘teenage century’ quite as effectively as a teenage city. Sydney is allowing you into her room, she wants to start kissing at 11.59pm and part at 12.01am. She’s awkward around you as you draw breath because she finds you attractive and she wants you to feel it. Sydney knows she’ll feature on New Year’s Eve celebration packages on a billion televisions, she knows the glint of her gap-toothed smile is captivating.
I’m captivated, content, and finally alone in the dark and my own head. I’ve caroused, parlaying a bottle of champagne on the roof into a party. The lift … of course, the lift is broken, but we make it down the fire stairs without skipping one or smashing anything. I never go to bed before I make an effort to sober up, so I sit by the window and watch, water bottle and lip balm on the sill. I watch and I write, sometimes I make short films about you in my head. Did you know that? Two young men turn the corner. Action. He’s awkward, the one with the folded arms, because he finds you attractive and hasn’t grasped your visual cues, your open stance, bottom lip fidgeting between your teeth. Someone walks past the corner and you both slouch along the wall. Cut! The story may need a rewrite. A drug deal? I preferred my tentative love story, the one where you kiss for two minutes before breaking away. These films rely on my actors’ movement and expression as much as my imagination. You’re giving me nothing to work with. I summon Peter Pan and send a still unanswered message.