I don’t do any drugs but I write about dreams more than a person should. Is that like worse?

It’s like I switched the TV on 25 minutes into the movie, because I only have snapshots. This night you’re not a narrative ready to be blogged, or told, or turned into marketable packages like poems which won’t make any money. But it was you, exactly. And isn’t it, always?

We were on a sofa in someone’s house, watching a kids’ film, a cartoon, one of those in-between, appropriate for anyone things, because sex jokes go over the heads of even some twenty year olds. But we’re not twenty. You most definitely aren’t. And I’m at that announce-able age where if I don’t start having children soon, people will think there’s something wrong with me. And there is, but not that.

I ended up on you, and I say ended up like it’s osmosis, this natural move, not play or awkward moment, but something that happens like when the bus turns a corner and the person next to you starts touching you and it wasn’t purposeful but it happened and you’re sort of okay about it. Well it was like that, but better. Basically, every dream that we’re in, eventually, I’m pressed against you like wallpaper, bubble-less, and you’re quintessentially okay with it also.

Dream me wondered if that black jumper might make an impression on my face. If it did, it wouldn’t be as structurally solid as the indent you’ve made on me, that you’re making, that’s an un-finish-able wool pattern, fun even in the knitting. I crave solidity like a sweater stamp.

My dad walked in when the film was over, and I didn’t jump up like real life might enforce, and no-one was surprised at the situation; Us. And we wondered what next. Didn’t say, but your eyes, eager in direct moments, when everything else was onscreen, asked.

I won’t say the rest. Even under duress, with the right bribe. Because it was imprecise. And an idiot could work out the meaning. Google’s got it on the first try. Comprende? “Maybe triggered by some major change or wish.” Whatever.

Lucy Hale and Ian Harding as Ezra and Aria on Pretty Little Liars kiss in the rain S02E17 2


You talk about Derrida, explaining the plot of a play. One that you’ll write. And this 5 minute, joke free, impassioned as prosthetically enhanced Matt Damon, conversation segment, catches my breath like a hoover in a corner; unexpectedly. And what I wanted to say evaporates like moisture right out of roast chicken at hot heat in the hundredth minute. I stutter and say that you’ve ruined me and you apologise like it’s an actual thing: ruining me. Like you didn’t do that already and know that you did and it wasn’t philosophy doing it then. Just you, years ago.

Your voice turns on like a lectureship and I’m equal in these minutes, in the middle of them, frittering grip on my usually ready ripostes. Even if your references aren’t things I’ve read (are they ever?), I take like communion or delicacies from places I’ve not been. I’m no lapsed Catholic. Or that’s exactly it; I’m lapsing, constantly, relapsing, like an alcoholic or chronically ill person unsure when attacks happen. And this is chaos, this all is. Purgatory, like a Comic-Con queue in winter: 4 hours to see an old Doctor Who, and even then, no guarantee the photo opportunity’s open, is there?

We’re picking over language. Less is lost, than was. And I like you best on the phone, as you light cigarettes, make coffee and RT bad quotes by Albert Einstein. Someone on Twitter asks where you are – they’ve not seen you online in a while. My heart beating like central heating, I head-perfect an inscription for you. But language is fallible. Out of context. And that’s the point. Pick an errant sentence, tell me what it means. Don’t misinterpret me yet.

aria ez rain

It’s a little bit horrifying how quickly everything can fall to crap

I remember one moment. I don’t think it was decision-making, but acknowledgement, that we were separate like branded cereal, manufactured by different companies, competing for the same shelf space. And in that moment I was like, “Fine, do my thing, and you, yours,” thinking it temporary like a post-Christmas hiatus of shows in a lull on terrestrial.

Except this wasn’t post-Christmas, but before it. Because I couldn’t fix every problem, and I still can’t, and there’s nothing liberating in knowing that. Instead, it’s a tiny bit damning, like patchy fake tan that won’t come off completely with fingernails or loafers. And the requests just keep on coming: if you want this fixed, then book it, call it, be the one that sorts it.

But I couldn’t organise a small scale anything, much less a rescue mission. My body’s intent on evacuating itself for a new skin, because this brain is obliterated, one white dot at a time. I wonder which memories it took with it, if function’s something I’ll get back, or reminisce over like Brad and Jennifer; remember when you felt something burn the exact second you burnt it? Yeah, me neither.

And I want to try. There are days on which I want to try. Think that I should. And others I can’t get a crisp picture. We’re pre-HD, when YouTube would judder and stop when you’d dare full screen it.

I’ll list the tiny increments if it’s helpful. But it’s not. Because none are the moment. Was I even there for it? At best, I’m a bystander, ill-equipped to call ambulances or a next of kin. Or to even just tell you what I think.

horrifying how quickly

It was a long time ago and it wasn’t my fault and I can’t change it and I can’t fix it and I don’t need to because it’s the past and it’s not here anymore.

Hardly revolutionary. Nothing I can say is. And nothing changes, either. Because my heart’s still in my mouth, and maybe that’s normalcy, you know?

If there was one promise I made, I’ve broken it, because it was ONE: Don’t be vulnerable again. But I’m letterbox watching because hearing from you’s the absolute pop of a day.

There were reasons layered like winter looks in overpriced magazines that don’t tell me things the internet couldn’t. And I’d tell myself this when you’d resurface like badly buried soil bulbs.

Not the priority. And that’s my biggest problem, isn’t it? Wasn’t it? Won’t that always be it?

We say there’s no way of stopping. But I wonder what happens the day you decide to. Another 8 years of apple drownings on Halloween, promises I can’t keep, comparisons like you’re Brad Pitt. And what if?

law school

You’re About To Find Out Who I Am

You tell me I’m text book, that if we fucked you’d start analysis immediately, calculate my BMI, log it next to my shoe size and what I give Spielberg movies out of ten. Always a six or a seven.

I say, “Analyse away. I’ll fill a form out if it gets you.” You find a ruler and measure the distance between our mouths, ask, “How is two centimetres and how about four?” But I’d prefer to be a negative equation, without a plastic end point. You’ve had dinner with all the men that we work with and have seen every Reese Witherspoon movie, even the serious ones I didn’t think anyone saw. You’re a completest; I want you in spite of this.

Before you leave, one hand in your bag trying to locate missed calls, I hold the ruler for you. “This is too far,” I tell you. On the porch you ask, “And now?” But this is not one of those girl-getting shows where season one builds to a crescendo kiss. This is a police procedural in which criminals eat people. And soon, we’re bones.

alanayOriginally published in Scraps: A collection of flash-fictions from National Flash-Fiction Day 2013 [Paperback]

This year’s National Flash Fiction Day takes place on June 21st. Enter their microfiction competition here.

Surprise Centre

Your eyes on the third day. The thread count. Any guess. Cassette tape stretched from rewind. The clock, begging mum for extra. Cigarette breaks. The hip bone flutter. Tendency to say what I mean, mean it. Signal drop out. Age gap mishap. Sofa stitching. “What if,” temporary tattoo, and “Almost.” Touch excuse. 16 hours a day. A stomach kick, brain bleed. No time enough. Your photo jumper. Profile, date stamp. Future. Hanging up last like life dependency. Clarity. An infinite restraint amount destroyed with simple follow.