How To Be Brave

Saying never is an asking-for-it move and your vows were, “Never you, not you, no,” but me now. And me.

What we bill split I’ll receipt tick and box keep with every egg shell breakfast, cinema stub, left sock, under my bed.

Going back and over what’s said is satisfying when forever can be coddled again. Our always might just be on tap.

A Little Further Away From Me

Since you ended it, slept with my best friend, published secrets about me to gain status, I’ve accepted we’re not an aquarium meet, an accidental street bump which romantic comedy ends us at the same address.

If there are 7 stages, steps, tick boxes to log and work through, I’ve done it, and some I’ve completed more than once. I didn’t cling to concepts past, to versions you were clear were fictions, temporary incarnations. I moved on with a number of men, and I moved back through some who, inappropriate the first time, looked promising like a Spiderman reboot, but essentially, what extra is there? Where’s the worth?

And you might think Batman worked, but in fifty years somebody’s son, grandson’s going to remake or boot it and you’ll curse the Christian Bale choice, because hindsight makes us all look shit. And I wish I said granddaughter, that it could stand, turn in 2062, but who the fuck am I kidding?

If something doesn’t change, move against it, because nothing’s constant: even stone statues melt.

Thanks For Being Humiliated With Me

I hoped that you’d get together but I hoped that too with Joey and Dawson and I’ve never recovered from that wrong choosing, even when I said I had, got determined to pick my own Pacey even though flaky men and downright liars aren’t my type, but some women are impressionable, impressed with bullshit stories and outdoor sex and boats and unbuttoned top buttons.

This is the 6 episode tease as the end unravels although, actually, the end started way back, when Mum birthed the last of us. Since then we’ve been treading water, ready to contaminate us all by 2018. Or, you know, a comet or something.

Surprises We Were Hoping To Avoid

Things you won’t wish for like
Sleeping with men your mother did
Or friends’ exes
And incurable illnesses
False rumours
True ones
And sex tapes
And restarts with Dan and Matt and Joe
And Jack
Week 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 10
Any mid-point
At which the dip is a death mask making
And any unclean paid for hotel room
Or Jury’s Inn
Eleventh choice at best

Fourth Boyfriend, Five Times

We don’t get it right, despite tries, texts to ask, “Are you up?” then no follow-through.

Every possibility I could have had, that there was, I picture. Fruit basket them. And decide which I’d have now if I skinned them. Peeled.

Jack reappears five times in four years, somewhat nonchalantly. He doesn’t feel it but knows that I did and thought that I still, so each afternoon was an exquisite excuse-whip, denial-blend, of got-it-wrongs and not-nows.

And there were two post-scripts I’d rather not pitch. My fruit basket’s a balance and each is ready to mulch in their own clothes.

So I married Ryan Reynolds.

Holy Crap You’re Gorgeous

The papers have pictures of us but the ones on my phone, insured by your bank account, are precious like heirlooms I’m yet to inherit but the mere mention of them, the idea of an almost-get, is my brain tick before sleep, my morning nerve. And we’re a back-forth before we’re anything solid like a vow is solid and not just something someone says in a moment adjacent to ordering a hamburger.

We leave when sticky menus compromise manicures and I wouldn’t ask because periods don’t add up, of singleness, refinery, of the shoulds and who I am will never matter. In 2050 I’ll be a nice chest your grandmother once fantasised for and about when she was your age, when she was a little bit older than you.

What I Am To You Is Not Real

I’m sure, at home, you’re the nicest of men, and you meet responsibilities straight on in the stickiest of fashions, like jammed bread on a linoleum floor. I could bet that you do. I lose almost all bets though, betting which characters die or who wins singing competitions, like I have impeccable tact, could pick a girl by her shampoo out of a crowd and make her Blake Lively. Actually, my knowledge base makes for a mediocre CV and I could blame Isle of Wight careers’ advisers or the religious persuasion of schools I went to when I didn’t know who George Clooney was, but I made each decision, and the only problem was impressing, in the people I tried to impress with each application.

So, against you, in a bathroom, or close the way contestants are, lit un-make-upped, in your category, houses or on tour, I wouldn’t want approval, because I have fathers for that and ex-boyfriends who keep in touch with up-to-date moral codes and thin disguises, but I know when a book’s not a book but a prerogative. And you, you nice home man, are diabolic.

And when you find yourself saying, “Confidence is your only problem,” wonder if you ever knew how not to be confident, if you ever felt how it is to hold convictions lighter than plastic bags in movies which won awards but actually, commented on time as it passed, and now, its trademarked stars are good for reunions and sequels and album titles, but not quite the singularity once anticipated of them. And you, also, stand example of a time in which we wanted only the forgiveness of a person completely inept at giving it, in public.

Carol Ferris

I will wait for you but once I get you, I won’t wait. Because how many times do you own what you want? A lot sure, but I mean really really want. And I’ve wanted you since the ten years between us mattered, when you were dating Oscar winners or nominees. I try not to pay too much attention to the accolades of past lives you lived before you acted against me.

The chemistry was a pay check for a day, a wig worth wearing, and the green screen was an easy act, and each time you disappeared, materialised elsewhere, it was a simple pitch, an emotion I found, and the tabloids told, the stories unravel, and I hung like last year’s coat jacket sure that there was some wear for me, other than professional glaze.

I waited, and the merge was timescaled, with me sure that what happens to me won’t happen to her, wasn’t the course run by you both, because I’m a slower burn, later award, significant hair colour, no music career and none waiting. And every person I fucked before was a has-been or up-and-coming indie, never a verger, A-list maker, just 5 years too late.

I grew up on Titanic, wondering if Leo and Kate reenacted their costumeless roles outside, cameras off. I craved co-stars and I craved you and I got you and I won’t be a dot in a sequence obliterated by 2014.

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Perjury

Didn’t keep a diary when I was small, or now, because that requires a level of honesty I’ve not got. Someone always finds it and I didn’t want my secrets spread on toast. Nutella makes me hyper, peanut butter makes me sick, jam is just fruit in a jar.

Better to code it, write stories, change names, than allow for the possibility of it found, and serialised, and internet property. Not that public would care about mine the way they care about Hannah’s, Blair’s. This isn’t HBO or a show closely mimicking shows which used to be on HBO years ago. Or how about that Showtime?

If I had something important to say that hadn’t been said, I’d bitch it out loud and let the words fog up. Vocal purging’s just as satisfying: have you not heard of confession? And then it’s gone. And I’d get guilty for it because there’s no resolution really and forgiveness is a sickness – some things you can’t track back from.