The  Painting of Owls.

The Painting of Owls.

A Story by Ken Simm.
"

A Confounded Letter about how I met my second wife before I met her again much later.

"
 

These are the days of cotton acoustics. Lying back imagine her and looking up. These are times for long hair, head bands, beads and multicolours. Reasoning with friends, what make the best roaches and what are the most worthy underground magazines? These are days of brief meetings and longings. Of the common art combined in gate fold sleeves and of dreams, wet or otherwise. These times belong in total to someone else. Lazy Dante on the bridge, features of current change and with hindsight it became a wonderful thing.

Buying fine squirrel brushes to copy Pre Raphaelites for her truest impressions of first and lost love. Impress, impressed and impressive. Hanging up and hanging on long stupid calls in red phone boxes and cider parties in the drugged dark.

Frightened to mention love, lust or infatuation and so lying to escape in those tame time ministrations. Meetings in city art galleries after long journeys for no reason but to see her and become stomach churning nervous. Discuss with friends in small modern bedrooms and ignore the explicit warnings given and taken. Don't know what you mean. You wont stop me. No matter what you say. All machine statements ignored.

Release and sepia reprise throughout that naive decade of change. Experiment and show off the wonders of flash backs both chemical and otherwise. Acid mentions of headless girlfriends and knotty problems.

Paintings were giants in those days, stalking the quiet student studio land in liquid light show humours. The joke was bad and the substitute lovers were at least as destructive, whatever the success rate. The music in the gatefold sleeves was overly complex and liked all the more so for that. The poor obscure was our creed.

To London to see Saint Rossetti on a train with corridors and a couple offering hot strong tea in flasks. Frightened of being alone in separate rooms, in the big capital without understanding the rules. Wandering whilst wondering about glimpses of matching underwear. Wanting to try but frightened of the inevitable rejections. Painting the nightime owls outside the park side windows. Drawing and swapping each other relaxing.

When we are alone will you try anything? Was asked and answered slowly and with thought. Just as slowly as what came later. Be like that then was said in answer to my reply. The reason for saying no I won't try anything. Meeting her boyfriend, rushing into his arms, at the home station. The poor embarassment of the couple with tea. The inevitable conclusion. Lost and failing the game because of trying simply too hard. Twenty eight years later we finally met.

© 2010 Ken Simm.


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Featured Review

Wow! Whoa! Oh my f*****g God! the younger days are professed to be so much easier than these grown up years. Reading this I say bullshit! Your writing has always served to humble me as a writer...and I do so enjoy reading such eloquent simplicity.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Beautiful, tragic, perfect!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

coming back to your words is like meeting an old friend unexpectedly, a happy surprise

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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...
!!! OH MY GOD !!!

. i have no words, monsieur ... i have a smile that is worth a million precious moments ... and i have hope now ... maybe i'll meet him again ... after 28 years ... thank you with a million sighs ... for this post ... you personify all that there is to personify ...

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wonderful write, can almost feel the longing.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This takes me back to the sixties and my first road trip to Europe to meet my girl friend in Paris. Thanks for jogging my memory, wonderful story.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Your words truly do conjur another world, where being young was a daring, scaring existence set in a movable world. You paint pictures with your words, Ken, you always have, always will, taking your readers into that world, just briefly, giving a taste of that 'poor obscure'

Pre-Raphaelite colours in your phrasing - all the way through.

I wish i knew why this resonated: 'Hanging up and hanging on long stupid calls in red phone boxes and cider parties in the drugged dark.

Frightened to mention love, lust or infatuation and so lying to escape in those tame time ministrations.'


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow, this was really a fabulous story...so endearing. Detailed as ever with great descriptions...a pleasure to read...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is an endearingly touching retrospective which is has a feel of freshly cut innocence about it. I esp like the line at the end '...failing the game because of trying simply too hard.' But for all that it sounds like a great time of growth and discovery. To think how things were, how they change, and how things thought cool become uncool, naff, and then cool again fascinates. I suppose we view people like that too as they change but don't change and our views of them... Ach, I'm trying too hard. I just enjoyed the read, in part because I was envious of you as you seem to have had far more interesting and eventful time of it than I ever had, bent over law books when I should have been on geography field trips... and train spotting when i should have been shagging, or at the very least drinking more.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

oh, Ken . . . your words are so uniquely yours that I would know them anywhere . . . I think we all have these stories only the meetings and the span of time are different from one to another . . .

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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2438 Views
12 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on August 14, 2010
Last Updated on August 17, 2010
Tags: Confounded, letter, story, love, memories, nostalgia, seventies, hippies, art, painting, drawing, infatuation.

Author

Ken Simm.
Ken Simm.

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
'I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience' Thoreau. For all those who .. more..

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