She held my chin, perhaps a little harder than intended, my jawbone between between her forefinger and thumb, and raised my face up to the thin winter light. Seen less vivid rainbows, she winced, inspecting the bruise. Her fingers were cold, unfamiliar, a line crossed. It had taken a kicking to get this far. I’d already seen it, of course, in the slide-back mirror behind the visor in her car when she brought me back to the apartment. The text she received said: car park higher Cambridge st. I don’t remember sending it. Predictive texting saved my life, I guess. Next thing my head was resting back against the leather, the derelict splendour of the Hotspur Press buzzing by before the usual city traffic chewed us up and we ground to a halt, her hands on the wheel and mine moving instinctively to touch every new place that hurt.
Despite the best efforts of councillors and some of the more risky indie traders, Ancoats remained a kind of sterile buffer zone from which to contemplate the recent turn of events, part of the paradox of living in a small city with just enough room to be anonymous when you needed it. I pressed a whisky glass to my forehead and rolled it across my brow, closing my eyes, ice clinking. Sacrilege, but I needed the spirit and the coldness. I needed a lot of things that had been pretty thin on the ground in Manchester lately. Suddenly the whole world seemed unrecognisable or was it just me? Maybe I didn’t fit into the city anymore.
This here, I pointed to the outer shade of purple, the lightest of them all. This was for having ideas of my own, way above my station, apparently: crime number one. I lowered the tumbler and looked at her, green eyes, complexion pale, unblemished. This one was for asking too many questions. The colour deepened increasingly around the raw black wound of my left eye. I could feel her gazing into it too, photons disappearing into its intractable inky orbit as she drew closer, time itself slowing down. This… this was for looking for answers.
Dir. Godard (1965)
Sunday 20th March 2016