What all the fuss is about

I don’t know if people have timelines but Facebook leads me to believe everyone’s set on something, has a wish list, collection of targets, that they’re getting by 30, 5 or 7. I enjoy nodding when someone says something totally egotistical like it’s fact, like you’d be fucking ridiculous to not just have a kid at the earliest opportunity or buy a house if you’re offered deposits. You should be the type of person that commits willingly, instantly, eradicating doubt like a Christian, convincing the vicar before they’ve convinced themselves that Baptism’s what they want. This is what you want. This is it.

But I call bullshit. The moments I knew what I wanted, I forget most of them, and the ones I remember are inconsequential; when my heart and decision-making abilities were in someone else’s rental and their cut-off policy of whether to be or not be together was a television switch and they chose another channel.

And if we’re all on the same playing board, even if directions are different, and dice rolls can crisscross as much as they’re linear, then I must be under the fucking board, and I see what everyone’s doing, and every single picture posted about it on Twitter. I can hear the dug paths over head, but in the almost dark, I don’t remember which direction my playing piece was going in and why. Why is the worst, the unanswerable, part.

I dream about you most when we don’t speak. And I like the dreams. It’s the closest we’ve been in a long time. I don’t know what it means, and any guess is pieced from a Dawson’s monologue. And all that Sex and the City watching is only helpful in knowing life’s a mess, and the questions asked each episode contradict the next. A difference in opinion is helpful in the sifting. A barrage-like deciding factor.

I carried you like the chronicity I didn’t know I had for five years, fifteen, ten, or less. I buried you best I could. Like a patio grave even the rain can dislodge. And I knew, honestly, I did, one day I’d deal with it. When I saw you across the street, or in a shop, down a different aisle, I knew I’d deal one day. Just not that day.

And these timelines. Do you have one? What’s on it? Do you ever wish you could shop it, donate it with things which don’t fit, frames you don’t have photos for, now? That you could get off board, just for a while, shut that noise like expensive earplugs almost do? Because I wish all the time. But wish is a lot like prayer, isn’t it? Wasted thought, statuses without any likes. Ha, you know how that is.

There’s no timeline. Not a rational one, anyway. Nothing worth sharing anywhere, with anyone, not without raising an eyebrow chain across all people I’d ever met. And you’d met. Friend.

5 years

You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it, for any amount of money.

I start to regret what I said.

I wasn’t watching words,

which felt best: there’s nothing unsaid,


Obviously there are things I don’t say;

you skirt a lot more than I do.

You’re braver. You can be.

The under layer of being best friends, ha, friends,

is anger.

I’ve said all I hoped of the past.

There is no therapy left.

The problem expressing each wrong, each ash, upset is,

sentence quick, jokes

are laced bile.

So when I said, “What do you know

of parenting?”

it was a mis-delivered line, an unintended strike;

Really, I meant, “Do you want kids yet?”


“With whom?”


I dreamt about you last night and I…want to know, is there a cure?

It’s kismet. It’s a dream so, of course it fucking is. I’m wearing these ridiculous bright green leg warmers, capri gym trousers, like I’m going for a run or to aerobics. I leave people I know, and ten steps out, there you are, across the road, matching my pace: your home’s the way we’re going, so it makes some sense to be there. You’re like, “Fate. Shit.” And I say, “Sure. You don’t believe that, do you?” But against odds, or only in this momentary jolt, you believe it. With me, you do. And we’re both dumber for knowing the other, in this way. Because reason is like an optional extra, an on the side salad dressing we wouldn’t start to drizzle, unless we had to.

You invite me over. I don’t make excuses like in real life when we walked this route, when I knew we’d see your family, worried what they’d think, of us together, years later, like this. Being a dream, they say what I wish they would. “Hi,” I think. Then the narrative skips, a scene deemed unimportant by the director, even if clues in it, prepare us for later deaths or laughs or kisses.

In town, the people I know ask about you, where you are, and I say, “Why would I know where one Facebook friend is over another?” Their smiles call bluffs, and work, because, like an earlier appearance, you walk past the shop that we’re in, and they open their eyes wide like a secret’s unwrapped like a chocolate box, like a ribbon. I go to grab you, but can’t find you in the street, or through windows, and when I’m back at the people I know, there you are, too, sat in the middle of them, like a commuter with not enough space for a briefcase, or arms.

The people I know are less judgemental now, move to let me sit there, and you hand me a present. “Why did you get this? You didn’t have to get me this.” It’s a necklace. It has three guitars on it. I have no idea why three guitars, or guitars even, and under your breath you say, “Matching,” and I know that, somewhere under your shirt is the same. I wonder if your wife bought you it, or your girlfriend. You put mine on. I wake up.

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