Not What You Think

This wasn’t a mistake until you made it one and you had every clue, knew solutions, like bleach, were exonerating. Instead, you patched clothes, reattached arms to old dolls and hoped the tears would mend. They didn’t mend.

Instead, you’re an uncertain park walker, unsure if the castle’s open, if the coffee truck is trustworthy, whether to keep dogs on a leash.

You’re my revelation daily, a well structured sentence or Bible verse revealing a truth or jam smacking me so that I stand up or sit down at a person’s request. This is the opportune moment to ask for your money so I’m asking for it. And this, my collection plate, is a beg or a preach or a charity video designed to make you feel the guilt that I’ve taught you to feel.

Voicemail Can’t Make You Love Me

I hung up because reception was bad and your dad was in the next room grading papers, kissing students, whatever he does but I don’t see because I don’t see it.

Your voicemail flashed and I deleted the text telling me you’d left messages, one two three, and I marked five papers, each more absent than the last and a student came in and asked me what a comment meant and I said, “It’s a tick,” when actually it was your name and a heart and an arrow through it.

You wrote every book in my office and the mantelpiece photos are you but not you because no-one can see, and when they see, if they see, I’m a skinable fuck.

Everybody Dies

You deserve the chance to not die if you don’t want to. But there’s no cure for it. When will they find cures for it? And don’t say what’s said when questions get asked about life being eternal. Life isn’t. It’s almost.

I’ve nothing profound to add. I fucked up my time and you did. And some of the moments I thought maybe, only to realise no.

But if you die, don’t do it this way. Not like this. Don’t choose this. If a hallucination says anything it tells you you’re not sane to decide if to die.

Don’t die don’t die don’t die don’t die don’t die don’t

Boxes

I saw this movie with Cameron Diaz called The Box and it was sort of science fiction and she had a wig on or it might have been dye, but oftentimes a person’s hair is really a wig and it can take you five years just to notice it. Or I guess it could be a toupĂ©e. So secrets don’t surprise me now. I like finding things out and I read Wikipedia at work when I’m bored and six months ago I didn’t know where Norway was, three months, France, and there’s so much I could tell you now, if you’d only ask me. I have a photographic memory, a head of totally genuine hair and a box full of photos of people I used to fuck or mess around with or fancy, which is kind of a creepy mix considering most of them don’t even know me. And every time I look, each time they’re fished out, I could swear another turns out to be false. There’s always one more wig.

No Kind Words

I missed my chance. My Reese Witherspoon moment, and everyone’s much less forgiving as I’m not her, or Julia Roberts, or even Leighton Meester.

I’d love a break cut, slack, a little pliable glue, cement, trouser fabric.

I wasn’t taught to calendar check, calorie count, can’t follow diaries with appointments in them, have no real sense of time passing other than by TV seasons and even then it’s only the haircuts changing, the sense of entitlement oozing.

And when I put make up on it doesn’t stay on the way it clings to the faces of movie stars, giving them the sort of thick skin Mum told me to have but I just never grew it. I wear leathers and cords and Goretex and plastic but my pores clog, grease the rest of my face up and it’s hard to put a good show on.

I want to be positive, believe luck is made not won, stumbled upon like curses or George Washington’s ghost or spirituality on cereal box packets or song lyrics.

Everything’s constructed from something – hair extensions and houses. And un-tie-able us and every fucked up, mis-routed prayer, wish, promise, for something better we couldn’t create if we wanted. Even though anything’s achieveable, swear to fucking god it is.

Ending It

I give up after single tries.

You can’t bribe, stick, fix, drug me, tell me what’s good for me.

The end was never a fixed point and people have gone on to other, better things and we’ve stayed the same for eight years, more, and we’ve relied on the mistakes of the other and we’ve not said prayers and we’ve had people die, leave us, pick men instead of us.

Our shared memories don’t make me responsible.

Don’t

When you get the chance to trade up, don’t. Some formulas don’t change, like Catholicism is still super popular and they’ve not changed a belief in 500 hundred years, so remember why we married. Think of us as classic. Young might feel fresher but don’t. Keep every single button unpopped.

Repeat my names, not grace. Don’t hail any other women or cabs. Pretend I am the person 13 years ago I wasn’t even.

Stop appreciating slighter outlines and understand the dips in my skull, the scars on my feet my cheap shoes make. Buy me new shoes. Buy me dinner. Don’t joke with women about what your wife wore in the nineties, what I did.

Trade even. Trade me over and over and

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Cheating

When it looked like Jim might cheat I was like what the fuck have they done to this show? Have they not seen it? Do they not know who they’re dealing with?

Nobody cared, they just carried on writing, emphasising characteristics I knew were not that, but thrown in to create a kind of tension only Steve Carell could create.

And in 6 months, it depends on deals really, who’s signed pilots, who thinks they can make it on their own. I can’t wait to watch them fail one by one.