Short Stories, Writing

When the Manic Pixie Dream Couple talk

Let’s get minimum wage jobs and talk about how we will spend our lottery wins. You can’t make art with flat pack instructions. You can’t make love with wikihow instructions, and where is Waldo? Really? You know all I wanted when I was younger was someone to drink Ribena with, to talk about Judy Blume with. But If we break up, who gets the netflix account? But if we break up, who gets the spotify account? But that’s all you are really, a person who pins things on their pinterest account. And you only listen for the sake of talking. I bait you to undermine me constantly. I want you to punish me for drinking the last of the milk. No relationship really works without a little bit of mutual flagellation. You flagellate my back, I’ll flagellate yours. You ignore my faults, I’ll ignored yours. Mutual Assured Implosion. I drank all the wine again.

Short Stories, Writing

Showboating

You think what you hated most about the party, though you would be hard pressed to settle on just one thing, was the endless parade of new couples.

They showboated their untested relationships as they walked around the room, smirking as if their lives were complete now this person had decided to put the weight of their arm, on the back of their neck.

They seem to drip with each other, melt into each other, screaming to their exes and estranged parents, ‘see I told you I was loveable,’ and once in a while they would summon you over, invite you into their private world, to drop hints about their new possessions, new sleeping arrangements and all the new vulnerabilities they had shared that morning. You would smile, nod, remember how lovely it had been at the start, then look for an exit. Continue reading “Showboating”

Short Stories, Writing

Hands

I read some poetry and prose out on at a short story night. This is the first time I have done such a thing, and it was terrifying.

me

My hands were shaking. I was wearing too much grey. I had torn a bit of my paper off to put chewing gum in without thinking. I read too fast. People were sitting in intimidating chairs. I started with a poem. I didn’t know how to write poetry. It didn’t rhyme. I had drunk some wine (lots of wine.)

But it went okay! Like, I think. I don’t know. No one punched me afterwards. Continue reading “Hands”

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

Breeding

What is the end game of a date? Please tell me, I am an urban legend, and have forgotten about sex. I keep getting invited in for coffee and when they open up cupboards devoid of caffeinated beverages and I ask why they lied, their expectant smiles turn upside down.

Continue reading “Breeding”

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

Show Boating

It is only now that you hate the showboating. The couples who scream ‘look at us, look at how truly loveable we are,’ as if their lives are only complete with the weight of an arm on the back of their neck, and aren’t you lucky to be let into that world albeit briefly as they drop hints about their new possessions. The public bickering is worse though, tearing each other apart like no one else can. You could tell these two, Tony’s cousin and her new beau, don’t stand a chance. The the biggest sign of a failing relationship is treating the other with contempt, and the thread she just picked off his jacket before telling him that’s what you get for being cheap is a sign of abject failure. They would be separated this side of Christmas. You funnel your way through the room. Moving from one side of the even to the other. Picking apart everything as you go. You stop by a mound of glistening meat, and you pick at it. You pick at the white bits within the pink, like they are skin.

Continue reading “Show Boating”

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.