Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Book Of Love

This song was written by Stephin Merritt, of The Magnetic Fields.

It was covered by Peter Gabriel and featured in the film: “Shall We Dance?”

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing

But I,
I love it when you read to me
And you,
You can read me

The book of love has music in it-
In fact, that’s where music comes from
Some of it’s just transcendental
Some of it’s just really dumb

But I,
I love it when you sing to me
And you,
You can sing me anything

The book of love is very boring
And written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we’re all too young to know

But I,
I love it when you give me things
And you,
You ought to give me wedding rings

You ought to give me wedding rings

posted by Kirk at 10:27 am  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Number One Under Heaven (65)

Less than two hours later they were speeding across the Gulf of Tonkin in a powerful motorboat, skippered by its reluctant owner. Blake had lied when agreeing to meet the man’s outrageous financial demands, but that was a problem he would have to deal with later. If the weather stayed favourable and the tidal movements behaved as the charts said they would, he would be reunited with his daughter within a matter of hours. Blake felt apprehensive and elated at once: aware on the one hand that reaching the yacht where Sophie was held captive meant danger lay ahead, but thrilled simultaneously at the prospect of recapturing his ringleted seven-year-old and holding her in his arms once more. Never again will I be as neglectful as I’ve been, he chastised himself, recalling his errant behaviour of late.

And there was another emotion flowering in Blake’s heart. For the woman beside him was no longer just an object of desire – something he wanted to invade, to possess. She was now, he realised, someone he could not do without. Through her proximity and persistence, as much as the generous support she provided, Elle had become an essential spice in the curry of Blake’s happiness. Her presence was reawakening in him a sensation he had not experienced in years. Was making him wonder, in fact, why it had taken him so long to rediscover what he knew to be at the heart of his persona. Passion. In recent days, his preoccupation with finding Sophie had dominated every waking thought, blotting out all other emotion. But now that they were closer to their objective, he found himself thinking more about Elle, and in a much more serious – and sensual – way. He was becoming aware, slowly, of something that to any observer would have been self-evident: Adam Blake was in love.

Blake knew that much of the progress he had made in the search for Sophie was due to Elle’s instinct. He also appreciated the sacrifice she had made in order to be with him in this, his darkest of hours. And so when he now turned to face her, reaching across to take her hand in his, the feeling was of such intensity that he thought he might burst. Pulling her towards him, he bellowed the words directly in her ear, in an attempt to make himself heard above the engine noise. “I LOVE YOU!” The harsh crackle made her reel away. It sounded like someone had stamped on a full packet of crisps. “What? Why d’you say… that?” she recovered, a hand cupped instinctively to one side of her mouth. “’Cause it’s true…! I–” “But why…? Why now? Why’re you saying it now?” Leaving the question unanswered, Blake simply cast a look in Elle’s direction: a wordless affirmation of his devotion to this rock of a woman stood at his side.

“When this is all over, Elle, I want to be with you,” he added less intrusively, after a pause. “I can’t go back to her. My wife, I mean.” “We’ll talk about that later!” she replied, a little too quickly. For Elle had anticipated this moment. But the conspiratorial wind grabbed her words, snatching them away before they could reach his ears in what was perhaps a final confirmation of their common destinies. For Blake, in any event, no further talk was necessary. He was feeling confident, stood next to this woman. It was as if she had taken ownership of his heart. And it felt good, if a little itchy, this obsession. Most importantly, it made him feel young.

Not unexpectedly, then, Blake found in the ensuing moments the need for quiet reflection. For like a new passport, he had long ago given up resisting the wear and tear that time brought with it. But inside, he also knew that he had been the same person all his life. That there was no difference between Adam Blake: shy schoolboy wishing he had sufficient courage to ask the girl for a kiss and Adam Blake: Country Manager, Hong Kong. It was as if a pivotal moment had come and gone, in which his future had, momentarily, been held in the balance – only now to be determined. Absently, he watched his lover’s lips moving, without hearing the sound. Because for him, it did not matter what she said. He had already crossed over into some new and essential domain. One that she inhabited, alone: with only him for company. A place where, together, they could never be disturbed.

Suddenly and without thought, Blake pulled the wedding ring off his finger and tossed it into the foaming sea, astern. It was an unseen gesture made no less poignant by the fact. Adam Blake had turned. Had become, strangely, the man he had always been.

posted by Kirk at 9:59 am  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love, By The Kaptain

So many things we waste:
A half-finished meal
A stale loaf of bread

But the real crime is when
We discard love:
Toss it in the trash
Like an empty carton

For even spent love
Is pregnant with life:
A memory,
The fluttering of a heart

Love is not deserving
Of the hate we turn it into

posted by Kirk at 12:43 pm  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Song To The Siren

“Song To The Siren”
(Larry Beckett)

Long afloat on shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
‘Til your singing eyes and fingers
Drew me loving to your isle
And you sang
Sail to me…
Sail to me
Let me enfold you
Here I am…
Here I am
Waiting to hold you

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks,
For you sing,
“Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow”…

O my heart,
O my heart shies from the sorrow

I am puzzled as the newborn child
I’m as riddled as the tide:
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or should I lie with Death my bride?
Hear me sing,
“Swim to me, Swim to me, Let me enfold you:
Here I am, Here I am,
Waiting to hold you…”

posted by Kirk at 3:25 pm  

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Number One Under Heaven (64)

“He’s unavailable.” Elle replaced the telephone receiver into its cradle. Fuck, thought Blake. Then: “What else did they say?” “They said Gai’ll be back at the station later this afternoon.” “Fuck.” “Adam…” “Sorry, babe. It’s just so… fucking… frustrating…!” Blake was tugging at his hair. “I know, lover.” Now Elle’s hand replaced his, stroking his head in the same spot. “I’ve been thinking. Ever since I knew they brought her here,” she suddenly said. “What?” “There can only be one reason. It’s not a port town for nothing.” Blake was silent, momentarily. He rubbed his chin. “Where did the newspaper say the Customs guy was found?” he asked his pretty companion. “Qinzhou Marina.” “Of course. Of course… Fuck! Why didn’t we just go straight there before? It’s so fucking obvious…” “Come on then, let’s go. There’s no time to waste beating yourself up. Let’s get down there and see what we can find.”

Had the situation been different, the taxi driver would have felt the rough edge of Blake’s tongue, haggling as he was over how much he wanted for taking them to what he complained was an out-of-the-way destination. But on this occasion, the frazzled gwailo was even prepared to throw in a little extra, so long as the grubby Volkswagen got them there without delay, and by the quickest of routes.

Marching briskly along the dock after clambering out of the car, the couple scoured their surroundings for clues. Talk to me sweetheart, Blake repeated in his mind, hoping there would be another message left somewhere by his missing daughter. Their eyes focused somewhere in the near-distance, the couple almost missed a lone fisherman who was trailing his line over the pier’s edge. Head down, the old man appeared to be mumbling something to himself. Elle crept up slowly behind him, before crouching by his side, curious to hear what he was saying. Unmoving, the craggy fisherman appeared not to have noticed her.

“Poor gwaimei… No good… Bad thing they did… Bad thing…” he repeated, over and again, at a level barely above a whisper. Finding it difficult to make out the words, Elle moved her head closer to his, when her motion came suddenly within his field of vision. “Wah!” he yelled, jumping up suddenly. The hand he then thrust out to grab his toppling rod served only to send it more quickly over the edge and into the sea below. “Oh, no! I’m so sorry!” exclaimed Elle, instinctively raising a hand to cover her mouth. “I’ll… I’ll get you a new one… D-don’t worry,” she stammered. But the old man seemed uninterested. Staring at his feet, he continued to mutter the repetitive mantra that was possessing him. “What’s that you’re saying?” asked Elle, struggling a little with the local Guangxi dialect. “Gwaimei… Bad thing… Bad thing…” he continued, trance-like. “Did you say gwaimei?” Elle suddenly repeated, a sense of urgency now evident in her voice. Shaking his shoulder a little too strongly, she managed at least to gain his proper attention. “Did you say gwaimei?” she asked again. After a short pause the old man nodded, while raising a hand to point out to sea. “Not good. Not good.” “Adam!” shrieked Elle in the direction of her lover’s back, now some hundred yards along the pier’s edge. “Come here! Quick!

In the fifteen or so seconds it took Blake to cover the ground, Elle had established through a combination of word and gesture that there could be no mistake. The fisherman knew what had happened to Sophie. “He knows, Adam. He knows!” Blake’s reaction was predictable. Grabbing the old man by the collar he began shaking him, and act that caused Elle to slap his arm. “Stop it! Stop it, Adam! He’s upset about it – I can tell!” “Upset? I’ll show him what fucking upset means!” He raised his fist and was about to bring it crashing into the fisherman’s face when he felt the blow of a much smaller hand landing on his. Although slight, the shock of Elle’s punch was sufficient to stop him in mid-swing; the old man’s flinch proving not, after all, to be necessary.

For a moment the three stood staring at each other, the only sound being that of the water lapping at the pier’s edge. Then a wry smile began to form on Blake’s face, while Elle looked down shyly, embarrassed at her own effrontery. “Come on,” Blake said finally, breaking the silence. He released his grip from the fisherman’s coat. “Ask him what he can do for us. Whether he can take us to Sophie.”

posted by Kirk at 5:31 am