Number

There were other offers. I don’t want you to think that there weren’t. But hotel rooms are a palate cleanser. And you’re on speed dial.

I don’t know what we talked about; it wasn’t much of anything, actually, that we hadn’t said already. Still, it was ’90s Dayglo coupled with Skrillex songs.

And it didn’t cut out, did it? The signal, I mean. The way it does every other time we talk from our actual houses. No-one redialled a million times. It was an ever connected line, for about three hours. Not eternity, exactly, but the things I learnt.

Every one of your stories, even the worst ones, I’ll take twice. If you run out, if that’s possible, three’s fine. Just don’t stop talking. Texting. Typing. Blogging. Logging the fact you exist in survivable formats, archive-able ones.

No-one cares if it’s true, but you may be the tattoo I’ll not bore of. Only, what font do I get you in?

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Scratch

I had this dream, or it was like 5 dreams, in 9 hours sleep; you were scattered between 3am and 11, in fabric-like fragments, and each extra doze was a salt pinch of you, until I couldn’t close my eyes more.

You finished playing, and in the green room after, someone wanted a photo, so you stood on the ledge with the others. The open window was a straight drop but no-one was phased. I felt the outside air buffer you, and when they all got down, untwining arms from you, I felt you waver and, instinctively, pulled you down, took your hand even if etiquette said don’t. And that was enough to start it.

I don’t know who asked. Whose idea it was. But we said let’s spend some time alone, to see; we both agreed.

The rest’s a badly cut movie, jumps making the narrative incoherent, if incomparable. I trawled strangely linked hotel rooms, mostly empty. But, remember this: we kissed like a TV kiss, where you can’t but you kiss because the script dictates. And even if it didn’t, you’d do it anyway, because it’s a dream, so why fucking not?

And that’s the essence of it, like a retina scratch, not on an eye but the screen of a MacBook, so all the more serious. I’ve been looking at it all day. You’re not online. But you’re writing this shit too. I know that you are. Will you always be writing it, the way that I’ll always be writing it? Do the words urge?

make it

Point Match

It’s two words: match and point. I pick discrepancies up each piece I read. Whether you like it or not, I am your editor.

You got the volley right, the limbo, the way we photo developed until every picture was a little reddy orange, overexposed, ultimately unframeable. And endless.

So I ended it, quite unprompted. Except, do you even believe anything’s over which wasn’t before? That we’ll never really talk again? Because I don’t.

There’s always next week. All I need’s a pencil and a print out of everything you ever wrote. I’ll perfect you. That’s what I do. And you know that, don’t you?

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Whatever Happened to Discretion?

Where did it go, the notion that some things you’re told simply for you? When did diagnosis get fodder, dinner conversation at parties I’m not even at?

Selective smartness says people talk. I even really know. But I forget when my story traded hands into your hands, with permission gift to dollar slick each of my details into someone’s else’s teeth. Because I never gave it, to you, did I? You didn’t ask what’s okay, and what’s not.

What I’m over is sixth degree separation pity filling inboxes after ten and Christmas cards laced with condolences and sorry scrawled worse than love. And texts to say we’ve heard and people I work with finding out, choiceless, before I’m ready to tell. I thought that you knew; I thought you would know. This is not your news to tell.

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What Kind Of Sandwich Would You Be If You Were A Sandwich?

I put the specials on the board in chalk because I’ll change them tomorrow. I don’t make rules as it’s intending to fail. And forgiveness? Fucked. There is no such.

Perhaps it’s the worst which defines us, those moments, weeks, months, we don’t think we’ll emerge from. Leaving the house is enough of an ambition, honestly, I get that.

Energy’s impossible, as are the right words, and the character it’s crucial to play to some people’s faces. Like, spending years trying to impress, improve on someone’s expression they don’t think I see through. But it’s the tiniest indents of skin making emotions up, so I’m well aware what Jack thinks, what Harry does. I’ve seen it in their eyes this whole time.

And there is no more. The coconut’s scraped and drained, sucked, and I won’t hold my tongue.

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Courtesy (LOL)

I text you purely in a professional capacity. Not that my opinion’s headline important just, sometimes, if I think a thing, I got to say it out loud, before it disperses. And your story felt like my heart was a beehive and honey was ready.

I realise in the not talking stage that we’re in, I shouldn’t exactly text you or call, even if my heart/head are a situation of constant “fuck it”. I should exercise the restraint Guides taught me, those church cheese suppers where I just drank water, ate crusts, for 24 hours, and this somehow proved to god and parents I’d got like total gumption.

You know what? I do. I’m steely. Except every person I know looks at me like paper with a misprint on it that they can’t fix, might as well shred and start over.

You don’t look at me like that. I don’t meet your gaze often for obvious reasons and even in the same postcode it’s a tricky prospect. I’m pretty wordless about it.

But your story. I liked it, so much.

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Lame Quit

One thing they instilled, mum and dad, was don’t quit. Like quitting is a bad thing. It can be. And church did this. You try. Trying is what people do. And if you don’t, you’re dead, basically. If you’re not slogging for something, regardless of want, you’re not alive. That’s hindsight fucked.

There are things I’m glad I never quit, though I was truly tempted, like, my teaching degree and Grey’s Anatomy and writing, generally. And there are plenty things I wish I quit sooner like Girl Guides and The Walking Dead and this one unnameable ex who thought I was a name-change away from being a fixer upper. But I’m not and was never.

A sense of duty pins me: doesn’t it everybody? Makes decisions tricky, because what if a little trying is all it’d shoe-shine take? I weigh it all up like I’m un-fault-able electronic scales but, truth is, I’m in the aftermath of an earthquake, and even if my mind is conducive and lucid, I’m surrounded by bricks. I better start picking those up.

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Didn’t Work

You might think the things I say are completely correlated to alcohol consumption but, you know what? I’d say them sober, or think, at least. My January thoughts, through June, have been book burned, totalitarian-ed, because they’re not norm-fitting, the way A-levels ask. And I should’ve learned better. If you were my tutor. That’s a thought I had earlier, actually, but I can’t write it to its conclusion. I’m too prim. But my brain will go there. Repeatedly.

I realise you tried to shut talk down purely from a proprietary standpoint. But I’m past that. You must know that I’m past that.

And that ridiculous stuff you wish I’d not said but I said anyway because a quart of cocktails does that. You pointed out, I  blogged  back in February. And nothing’s altered. I’m still fucked. Stuck. Rotating the same problems like I’m roasting the underside. But the ridiculous stuff I didn’t say out loud to you, trust, I thought it every time I looked. Really: every. Sorry.

I was never after a response of the same. It ain’t simple, babe. What it is, is, genuinely, I thought I’d never feel it. It’s clearly just a blip. TTYN. Or always. Who even knows which?

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Endless

I sent this Valentine, once, to this guy who didn’t know my middle or first name, who wasn’t going to. I used to think that a great loss but, you know what? It’s the tiniest ocean drop compared with the idea I’d never met you.

I wrote the lyrics to Iris like a song could say everything I couldn’t. He binned it after first break. My best handwriting next to a Mars wrapper.

If I did that for you, if we were in the same school year. LOL, I know, but for a second, music aside, your style, decade specific, and my hair, always Jennifer Aniston. People would talk, and they do, sure, but would you keep the envelope if I sent you something? Would you memorise each motif I write?

Because all of your words are better than literature: the stuff they made me study for four years. When mostly, you’re just talking shit. There’s nothing like it.

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