Short Stories, Writing

Dating Average Men

If all the framed portraits and certificates that my mother put up really represented my achievements in life, then wouldn’t they mark the moment I learnt my afternoon naps were due to a vitamin B deficiency and I wasn’t actually depressed?

It’s everything in her house. Handprint drawings. School reports. Merit certificates. Sports day medals. Diplomas. Degrees. Marriages photos. Trampolining certificates. Nothing exceptional. My two sisters and I, we were fairly also ran but at the same time, content. None of us had ever conquered Everest or been the absolute best at anything.  Continue reading “Dating Average Men”

Short Stories, Writing

His Plans for the Single Life

I will become a far more boring person when I start to date again. I will be marked by the ultimate rejection and it will lead me to be an agreeable undynamic mess of a man. I will be drawn to women of a similar ilk; messy sooty-eyed desperate lumps that want someone to notice them. We will be inoffensive to each other in inoffensive restaurants, and there will be an explosive minefield of upsetting subjects neither of us will bring up, my divorce, her abusive ex-husband, whether we believe in God or not.

I want inoffensive conversations with inoffensive women over bland food.

Short Stories, Writing

To Do List To Do List

You knew you were meant to be marking out goalposts in the dirt for your grandchildren but when you found out the population was growing too fast for natural resources to cope you put “Procreate” on your list of socially irresponsible things to do. It was on the list of things you never wanted to do anyway but the noble excuse sounds so much better in group or dining situations.

On the “To Do” list you put “Think in More Coherent Sentences,” “Find a Sunset That Moves You,” “Apologise to your Ex for Microwaving all Meals” and “Listen More” but secretly you enjoy the shouting match of “Your Turn, My Turn” and you never did have the patience for cooking, just for the contemplative study of a vegetarian sausage smoking behind a fudged plastic door. Your private self and public self-embarrass each other horribly.

Short Stories, Writing

The Autobiography of a Noteable Female Poet

It is said that this notable female poet was born in the North of the country, but that is up for dispute. Her bones were found in the South of the country, but some suspect they were moved there by her last lover in order to displace suspicion they were responsible for her untimely death.

But whose death is timely or planned? I knew the poet moderately. We frequented the same dinners, the same cafes and the same reading circuits. Sometimes I got to perform my work before her, mostly prose about a childhood spent in warm foreign climates. I moved around a lot as a child. Continue reading “The Autobiography of a Noteable Female Poet”

Short Stories, Writing

Failed Greeting Cards

“When I’m old and not important to anyone anymore can I still be important to you”

All the failed greeting cards I have ever written sit on a shelf waiting for you and I have memorized your movements in the dark, you always pause before you shut the door as though seeking out my shape in the dark is enough to make you come home. Five years ago I wrote the first and last love letter I ever committed to an envelope, you squinted at it and your lips pursed in visible disgust and I never put such private thoughts in your hands again. You think sentimentality is a cheap and easily transferable commodity, you do not want my mysterious emotions explained in detail to you, and the ease in which I put them down means they will soon dry up. I pick out my prose from the vivid and most erotic thoughts and fill up the blank pages in the introductions of books because you have started to check my computer and the safest spaces in our house exist in the front of the sentimental novels you will never read. Their prefaces are filled with odes to your gentle hands, the bridge of your nose and that hideously awkward two-step we had to perform at your sisters shotgun wedding. You have always kept me in slippers and coffee and for that I am grateful, but since your promotion, I rattle and pad around this big house and these offensive stanzas have to be given away to those less articulate than myself.

My cards do not sell well, and you think I write poems for birthdays deaths and anniversaries never knowing that other people also disregard my pleas and from your pause in front of the door in the morning to my pen to my editor to their printers to the shelves they sit and wait framed by godawful pictures of forget me nots.

Short Stories, Writing

Socially Awkward Shadow Puppeteer

In social situations I develop a sense of shame, I go to speak but I hear my voice replayed at me from a distance and then again hours after, but closer, as if I have a dictaphone lodged in my head and everything I say sounds eager, amplified, meek. I am so desperate to be included, to be let into the social circle for twenty minutes and then to disapeer just as quickly. The dictaphone gets stuck, it echos, it echos as I sleep, the actions, the reactions, the comments and the inevitable silence, and then the worst of it hits me, the hammering on the things which make me special.me

Continue reading “Socially Awkward Shadow Puppeteer”

Short Stories, Writing

Everybody’s free to wear fishing gloves

Stop fishing for compliments, if your not getting them it’s because that person does not want you to have them. Rather compliment them until they become awkward and excuse themselves to talk to someone else. Enjoy fun, but hover your bedroom floor once in a while, it’s covered in your hair. Only your hair. Don’t use your emotional intellect for evil. You are smart enough to know the tricks you play to put off the inevitable.  That relationship will die, the credit card will not pay itself, you will not loose weight through sit ups and love can be a trick biology plays on you.

Not always. Learn to tell the difference.  Indecisiveness is a sign of weakness. There will always be a better coffee shop further along the street and their will always be sushi but sometimes you have to make do. Hide your light under a bushel, bring it out on special occasions and not to validate your childhood. Your tastes are maturing and changing but you are never gonna be one of those girls who can tell an anecdote with thoughtful timing and correct detail, so store them up to be written down in the guises of other characters who are more articulate. Maybe learn to be more articulate.  Start embracing awkwardness and embarassments. Dance with mistakes and failings and move on. Move to the isle of skye and have a torrid lover affair with a fisherman who is far too old for you but the stories he tells as he lays his cod soaked fingers on your stomach.

Short Stories, Writing

Bus

You’re on a bus; there is a couple in the seat in front punctuating rudimentary comments on the bland landscape with loud wet kisses.

He breaks away from her leviathan teeth to remark on the posterior of a middle aged runner, not kindly, and you entertain yourself with those pixelated childhood memories of a youth spent at that post office, that pub, that house with a name. You remember how nice it was to move to a place where numbering a house would do, each place as innocuous as the next as if nothing saccharine or warm could take place there but everyone was okay with that. The woman across from you speaks on her phone as though in a hallway, fingers coiled around the wire shifting her weight from foot to foot as she delights in the speakers personal viewpoint on the whole situation. Everyone on the bus hates her but you… you’re jealous of her obliviousness to the man in the suit next to her loudly clearing his throat. This naïve selfishness is a wonderful gift, a personality defect you could do with but you are selfish with conviction, with the full knowledge of your spite. You sit three rows from the back next to a girl who could be beautiful and from out of your peripheral vision her lips appear comfortingly linear instead of thin and cruel and her wrists are tiny. You try not to brush your legs up against hers, the bus is filled to the brim, but you can’t help but notice the inward spread of her thighs in a A line skirt. You could tell her you work in fashion, congratulate her on the way she has put her outfit together, you could, but she is making a point to keep her body as rigid as possible. She is making a point not to notice you, and you are making a point to communicate “hey, I’m not one of those guys”.

There is a man in aisle that reminds you of your cousin if he were ten years older and you want to take his photo to show him what he might become, sleep deprived with paranoid fantasies about snipers that stop him sitting by the window. You hate this journey, you hate coming home and as you press the button for your stop you’re sure you hear the girl sigh in relief.