Nobody Starts Out To Hurt Anybody

I didn’t see a crime when I should have. Raised Catholic I’ve been taught every day’s a sin, every action is, so it’s hard to tell what’s right. And it’s a neat blur, the overlap of songs on the radio so slight you almost don’t notice it. And then you do.

And even though I see now, after the shout punch beration, I don’t know what to do, because you’re my rosary beads and I can’t stop playing with you, the statue I turn to nightly, the framed print worth nothing I question and question and question and the answers don’t make indentations, aren’t useful in a pub quiz.

If I didn’t learn from nuns, if I’d had entirely other lessons, maybe I would lie better or wouldn’t have to because I’d understand right from wrong. As it is everything is wrong wrong wrong and before you, I’d wake up, a shallow pit with a certain knowledge I’d mistaken, I’d been making mistakes. And after the first kiss, slip, zip, button, I’d wake with the same feeling, a life hangover unaltered by anything we’d done or not done.

So tell me how to figure this out. Pass me an etch-a-sketch, make me believe some things are really erasable; not everything lingers.

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It’s HD so the image is perfect, right?

Once, my dad cut my fringe an inch short. I can’t remember him doing it, the reason for it – my mum was away, asleep or speaking languages to the neighbours and they couldn’t hear the vowels or the numbers so understanding each other took a really long time. When she came into the kitchen her mouth opened like a slit baked potato and in bed later I could hear half-spun swear words and five times, “What were you thinking?”

Non Sequitur

You open fire exits with the force of a man when a fire’s starting.

Your suspicion’s thick, the way pasta’s fuller once you’ve cooked it, how not all cuts of material fit every body. I’m yet to find a wedding dress that fits.

Did you see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen? Ewan McGregor has caps now. He was in Star Wars. Do you remember Ewoks? Care Bears?

You are my logical fallacy. Once, I was sure that the mess of dialogue connecting us day to day, episode to episode, was leading to penultimate points in which we revealed ourselves like Spring/Summer collections in Autumn.

You are my tricky second album.

Baldwins

When one of the Baldwins is your dad, anything happens, anything can. You should expect secrets, surprises, someone more groomed than you are.

Remember in the 90s when Baldwin meant hot, it meant handsome? My outfits were not the ones of Alicia Silverstone, the suits she accessorised for school, caps, long socks, pink patent boots.

And the things we have in common:
1. Can’t drive well.
2. In love with uninterested people.
3. Reliant on praise.
4. Problems with weight.
5. Almost. Almost. Almost there.

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Crotchety

You slept somewhere else last night, can’t afford the snacks your friends want but buy them anyway because you know what left out is like – you never had brand trainers, tracksuits, jeans when you were young, and you don’t now, so why shouldn’t you get Tasti D-Lite? Why shouldn’t you have chocolate?

Your etiquette is off in every situation and you’re lucky when you don’t say cunt or something you shouldn’t.

On TV people walk in heels, fast, but your flats hurt your ankles and your skirt can’t get tighter when you’re eating less but it seems to, even when your grocery budget evaporated with your parents and every job advertisement is for someone just like you but not you and every man that you meet wants someone like you, but not you, and you wonder what the slight alteration you could do is, to make every question have a yes answer.

But most verbal exchanges are no, are maybe, are next week, politely. And you don’t know why you sleep with who you do but you do because what else are you going to do?

Sink Fixer Shock Kisser

You strike a balance between suburbs and city and you keep women happy because you were brought up to even though you were raised in a whore house or because of that.

You can’t believe out of every man it’s him that kisses, a grab shock kiss you resist an appropriate amount, open the door after to send a message, or fake send it, you’ll decide after. You’re almost divorced.

Losing a shirt, tie, tartan suit jacket, is enough to impress anybody, and who knew spanners were easy? Who would’ve thought a tap could be mended succinctly. It’s true you have a touch. Each of the three knows it. Every city woman, worker, girl.

No hands – and by holding them back the scene’s underscored with, “I saw Sherlock Holmes. I saw you in it. And you were the villain. You ended things.”

So we end this we end this we end this. We find the toolbox and we stop leaks, mistakes, slips, feelings not substantiated by knowledge or learning or friendships. We smash and we want messiness more than this but we tell everyone we want this because we want it now but now is not tomorrow.

 

 

Clear

You remember the moment you made it, the decision that altered dynamics, and there’s nothing to regret, really, because stagnation is Season 8 of The Office – we’d be better off without it.

You never knew you were brazen or capable of it. You censor swear words as you say them, nod your head before meals for blessings that you were never due, but you do it anyway, because repetition is our only constant – hair drying, hair washing, verbal tics, obsessions with men you work with and men you’ve never met and women’s breasts and the way shirts cling or pop off them.

Once, you wanted to mould him to you, make an incision and resew, so you were pieces of a whole because your head told you that was the way things turned out, and you’d rather read the end first anyway, fast forward through filler to get you to the opportune point. But your head also said soulmates were palpable, hearts were more than a symbol and contained bright lights and messages and fortunes and fates.

You thought Bridget Jones was a real person, and you appreciated the intimacy of reading one woman’s diary.

It’s only now, widowed, you’re unpicking every decision, each note you wrote to Charlotte, whispered word to Ally, gift you gave John, morsel of scripture or science you believed, harboured, and you’re wondering whether you’re imaginary afterall because nothing’s had the structure it ought.

Only An Idiot

Jack says, “Only idiots leave,” so I leave to prove his theory or disprove it – just to see the look on his face.

He calls three days later to ask when I’m coming home. He calls once on my mobile, once on my landline, and I say, “I have a landline number and you found out about it. It’s been three days. Doesn’t that say that I’m serious?”

But Jack says brick’s not serious, metal is, and he’s prepared with a selection of metals, stones, solids, if I bring my case back, my bones home.

Second time around, or however many times it is now, I’m weighed by the weight of his convincing, bribes. I consider the lines ringing, digits being dialled and the people dialling them, but mostly it’s just wrong numbers, accidents, people you don’t know from Adam West.

Penn Badgley

You know what turns you off when you see it. Before that, the delicious unknown swirl, the way his hair sticks to his head nonchalantly, like it’s better not to wash now, will make you heady, and you’ll sleep with your stomach elevated, your aesophagus threatening to slide right out of your mouth.

You remember what dating without talking was like – like a movie – and the familiarity of films, which makes you remember sidewalks and stores you’ve never been to, means you hanker for other, simpler men, who haven’t an opinion on Damien Hirst, don’t know who Tracey Emin is.

His fault wasn’t trying, writing, dressing, kissing, wasn’t what he said the first morning or what he’ll say the last. Some renovations you can’t make. The sheer energy in wood-sanding, carpet stapling is a full time job, and your career goals of princess, pop star, don’t leave room for almost men, slight ones, men growing their hair to pretend they’re Jeff Buckley, the sort of extinguishable genius that knowing is like touching a Ouija board. You saw The Exorcist when you were fifteen and have waited for transformation since.