Julie Runacres

Twyckenham Notes
Issue Fifteen
Spring 2022

2001: PANTONETM 17-2031 TPX Fuchsia Rose. A bright, feel-good feminine colour, Fuchsia Rose is passionate, intense and exciting.

Unreal. Shining city on a hill. Falling towers. Mental videotape on perpetual loop. Through military binoculars, journalist Conor O’Clery spies man, 30s, clinging to a window strut on  north tower, 90+ floors up,  waving white cloth — looks like his shirt —  soundless shapes descend in air — arms outstretched in crucifixion. It’s like 10 seconds down to Vesey, flesh atomised like pollen. John Malley, firefighter FDNY, steps through revolving doors of 7, thinks what the hell? this force that’s going on, must be concussion from some explosion, turns out it’s down pressure wind of 110 storeys beginning their imploding. When the building pops an orange flash a strap of fire and pops again like every floor goes chu-chu-chu and pancakes down. Can’t see up, can’t see back, can’t outrun it, it’s like it just keeps on coming piling up and up, loads of cementation, powdery insulation, a blizzard with metal whatever-you-call-it in it. He guesses this is what it's like to be dead and not sure he isn’t, all full of the cloud, they’re all eating the cloud, whatever it’s like, very thick not-smoke, it’s like everything, like a sandstorm and so silent now it’s down, before the Maydays start and the guys all screaming. Now he’s looking at the sound. Looks up, and it looks like a ticker tape parade with all this stuff starts coming down, a piece of keyboard not four-inch square.

Pantone™ 2002 19-1664 TPX True Red. A vivid red, associated with love, passion and power, and chosen for its deep and meaningful hue.

After Guantanamo, Abu Zubaydah draws and re-draws himself, primarily in beige & blue, redolent of cartoon. #1 Red towel round neck. Guard (face blurred) yanks towel to and fro, ballooning red spikes from cement wall hitting head bewildered comic sonic splash/crown of thorns/halo. #2 Fettered to  flagpole crucifix.  Israeli flag waves over giant hourglass - symbolising waiting – lower torso bared disintegrating sand below. #3 Immured in confinement box. One open side not-quite-yet locked. Interred (silence + darkness) = (no-touch) tortured. Blast heavy metal sound, hour upon hour, uncontainered. Resound. Redouble. Reduce target to baseline dependent state. Seek redress. Drafts statement to his lawyer, lists depredations endured, rendered as sketches and scribbles, scratched cross-hatch. Redrafts. At Al-Ghraib, a cis male prisoner in a pyramid of kindred, one guy’s member to another guy’s butt. Snap photos & videotapes (unaccredited) nothing’s sacred. A red lip-sticked guard blows smoke in his mouth asks him are you gay thrusts her hand down below says she’s on her period smears gloop down his face laughs for the next five days the water will be off. How America Tortures’ findings ratified by Committee of International Red Cross. 

2003 Pantone™ 14-4811 TPX Aqua Sky. Soft, calm and cool, the blue-green Aqua Sky lends a serene look.

Inside it sounds like a very loud hair dryer. The spacewalks are whisper-quiet, just radio comms and your own breath.  Equipment is worn outside the suit, unheard. One of Columbia's STS-107 crew members was not wearing a pressure suit helmet and three astronauts had not put on their spacesuit gloves. When the foam insulation fell from the bipod ramp, ground control agreed the crew would rather not know. Die unexpectedly during entry or stay in orbit, knowing there’s nothing to be done until the air runs out. The design of the seats decreases their chances of survival; restraints have not locked in place. The astronauts are subjected to extreme rotational forces. Their helmets are not head-conforming, causing blunt trauma. At no point did crew error contribute to the loss of Columbia. It was not a survivable event.

2012 Pantone™ 17-1463 Tangerine Tango. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, vivacious, magnetic. Connotes heat, energy.

Austrian skydiver in supersonic freefall. Adam Lanza, 20, walks into first-grade, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut with AR-15. Noah, 6, found face up in a Batman sweatshirt but aren’t frantic kids a difficult target to hit? A YouTube video has >10million views. Lenny lives alone, has mail delivered to a PO box the other side of state. A living room sparsely furnished. A painting of Noah and a cluttered coffee table, his daughters’ Barbie dolls. A book, The Meaning of Life.

2016 PantoneTM  13-1520 TCX Rose  Quartz & Serenity 15-3919  TCX [JOINT]  for  the first  time,  the  blending  of  two  shades: persuasive  yet  gentle/  weightless  and airy.  Connotes  compassion,  composure, respite,  relaxation.

Not baby-pink not baby-blue baby hues rosepastelilacperiwinkle. Rose quartz diasterism is visible in transmitted back light. Transparentranslucent. Gender identity is (a)  continuous gradations  (b) an either/or question. Choose all that apply. Prefer not to say. How  much we  can't  know  by  looking.  That  new-age  man thumping the drum  – that  guy  had  his  children  taken  when  he  became  a  man – that  blue collar  worker  works  two  jobs  to  afford  surgery — that formally dressed earthbound Peter Pan —  they snap selfies kissing in  classrooms — they chest-feed their baby in  boardroomsbathrooms. Rose pink purple iris bachelor button blue —  blossom in Salem’s hands. Increased visibility — increased vulnerability —  lavender scare. A Kansas bill pays $2500 bounty  to  hunt  them down in restrooms. 

Based in the UK, JULIE RUNACRES grew up in Leicester and currently teaches English language, literature and creative writing at St Paul’s Girls’ School in west London. She has taken courses in poetry and hybrid writing with the Arvon Foundation, Faber Academy and the National Writing Centre for Wales. She has previously been published in the 2021 edition of 14 Magazine and is a member of the Crocodile Collective. 

Cover image by Nelson Lowhim.
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