I noticed you like talking about Pretzels a lot so when you returned home I ran to your door in London with a white pretzel. It had been dipped in the milky bar kid, but you shook your head at me. You did not want my pretzel. I thought it was because you just wanted to have a coffee with me and hang out and talk instead. The pretzel would be unnecessary decoration as we got to know each other properly, away from all this technology. But it was because you were attacked by a Pretzel somewhere far above the ocean.
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”
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.
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”
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”
I want inoffensive conversations with inoffensive women over bland food.
I visit the Memento Mori shop on Sundays after church. I go to church because I’ve yet to make up my mind about religion. I don’t know how I feel about God. I don’t know whether he exists and watches me masturbate or whether he is an old habit of mine I have yet to shrug off, like smoking or the fear of everyone I love dying in a house fire. Continue reading “The Memento Mori Shop”
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.
“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.
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.