There is no effing way in a quadrillion years

You are the exact opposite of want. I tell you this in between eyeing the inside of your jacket like it’s a baked potato and I haven’t eaten in five hours. That’s a lot of hours.

It isn’t the stitching, or lining, the fact that you’re wearing it, or the texture of the outside I understand as I patronisingly pat you down, deciphering who your wife is. And there’ll certainly be a next one: the joke level quantity alone fills 50 dishwasher clean jam jars.

I pretend I won’t talk to you ever or later; you won’t be on my mind as YouTube playlists shuffle Fiona Apple songs. Oh, sailor. Even your friends think it’s me.

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Change Course

I kissed someone else. And any actual feeling which wasn’t a ploy was a willing casualty. And, the family you’re from, you better than anyone understand what compromise is: a daily occurrence, not a prison sentence because even they eventually end, mostly.

Months later, once you’ve fucked my friends and I, yours, when you’d think it too late to try you ask, “What if?” and the boyfriend box with your name on it which I loft-shoved, barely saved from setting light, changes status. Trinkets waning in and out of use.

I’m Clinging

Sometimes, disappoint was adamant and the refusal of dinner expected and I could understand it. I didn’t know Beyoncé, wasn’t the Michelle they thought I’d be, and my misnaming was someone’s fault entirely, although I cultivate blame between breakfast and finishing it, and there’s a list of the unforgives and one of the almosts and I didn’t live through the nineties to end at a laundry sort of a situation which has me ironing underwear and bedsheets, things which don’t need ironing, basically.

And the break is a crooked kind of a garden ornament in someone’s decorative yard and it’s accidental apart from the affair which is only a half of an affair because watching and words are nothing, like, literally, nothing, and if you could handle the evaporation, the way days are forgetable minutes into the next, then there’s not a reason we can’t be us. Let’s be us. Forget every finger-fuck which happened in head only.

The Break-Up

If my breakup made the news and there was speculation as to who I’d date next I’d hide out on an island with every ex-boyfriend I could convince to come with me.

You’d be an easy draw, first RSVP, an email, a text, short call, not even a letter. In fact, you’d be awaiting announcements, from Day One to present day, sure that fault-lines effect not just earth but my underskirt, understudy (the girl you see in almost every photo of me), under-eye-skin, conscience.

I was never quite sure my religion, which my religion was, until I was sure and knew it was not text book, a modern day creation. You, who Sellotaped Rosary beads when they snapped, once.

Every other piece of news is tea-making time and that, this, relationship is the whir of a plan to kickstart a career that never should’ve veered, from TV.

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Safe and Sound 2

You’re a safe breaker, code breaker. That Inside Man movie was about you even though you’re female.

You get out of bed when you’re ill and your maid brings you blueberries.

You’re impartial to Taylor Swift songs, films she’s on the soundtrack of. She’s your Halloween go to fancy dress outfit. Or it’s Gaga.

You’re too young to remember Dawson’s Creek in any sort of complexity and Boy Meets World, Blossom, Fresh Prince were shows your sister saw, but not you.

In your dreams, you figure out who A is, you’re the elusive third The Civil Wars member.

You’re watching as the famous people die.

What You Want How You Want

You couldn’t guess your wife’s name before you met her and now you know it, since you married, you wish you could forget, know that moments clasping the air for words are full of hope whereas this, well, isn’t.

You couldn’t agree on kids, didn’t discuss god, aren’t exactly sure what TV the other watches (you think Dawson’s Creek is a place people go like the Grand Canyon, Palm Springs), don’t know if you ever read the same book – at school or for the hell of it. You don’t know if she ever does things for the hell of  it; the regime at your address is an alarm set, a clock flashing.

She wakes before you, and the first few moments, eyes open, she watches your crows’ feet twitch. In the shower, she cancer-checks her breasts as seductively as possible. She thinks about Gemma, Tim. Follows alternate paths she could’ve taken: kissing Paula, fucking Paul.

She’s one thing you can’t fix. She doesn’t want fixing and the fact you’re inclined to try is your fault, a fault of yours, an eternal error. You couldn’t cup her in your palms how you could cake and you can’t pull that ring off without pinning her down, which always ends in police. Your mistakes your mistakes your mistakes are dialogue.

There’s Something You Should Know About Me

I won’t waver. Change, you sense like strangers’ star signs, like the contents of meals in restaurants, spice slipped.

Once, we got drunk together. We forget it happened, won’t mention imprints the other left.

I’ve been alone, often, and in six years you’re the only. In bed your legs look like Alicia Silverstone’s on the cover of Clueless and don’t just say that’s a viewpoint. I’ve seen you standing up too.

I like your back best, shirts skimming shoulder bones, unkempt weight. We’re not even programmed to remember what we’ve seen most, necessarily. I worked at Subway for six years and all that’s left is the smell, lingering in pits of cotton.

I watch my trailer door, even when you’re not coming. I want you to come, believe I’m not the 2006 version. That was years and so much has changed, that I know you feel in contours, cards. I’ve read your blog. And if James Van Der Beek’s due a revival, why not me?

It Was Always Going To Die When She Left

Jack says, “Now where am I going to go for my ‘Columbo based medical CSI type hourly drama’?” and it sounds like a question but it’s not one because he knows there will be a replacement, that’ll takes years to ingrain, sure but, eventually, the reruns will feel retro, of a better time, like listening to Bryan Adams duet with a Spice Girl or hearing the song Save Tonight and wondering what that guy’s name was.

But I felt the death coming, saw it, the second they announced she was leaving for another show, a somewhat less popular show, that she’d rather be in than this (perhaps she was a big Sex and the City fan?)

Recovering from Cameron was hard, because you can’t create chemistry, it just is, exists, like the asteroid belt or rings around planets or how forks fall to the floor then bounce when you drop them. Cuddy was impossible, and if you think about it, her going was like Joey leaving Dawson’s, Rachel leaving Friends, Marisa leaving The O.C. (okay, bad example), Summer leaving The O.C., Luke leaving Gilmore Girls before the shows were up, before those shows got canceled or whatever you call it when they stop something while it’s still popular? I guess, dying with dignity, euthanasia.

But Cuddy and House burned out like me paired with many people, because some of us equate catastrophe with love. And ending the show one season after a principle leaves and saying you’re stopping while the show’s still got something is what we call “denial”.

Which Michelle Williams Do You Mean?

I start talking about her, to Jack, and I assume he knows who she is because, for me, she’s a fitted part, a bead on the necklace string that takes me steps closer each week until the prayers are all done. The prayers are wound down. But Jack thinks I mean Destiny’s Child, the gospel singer, the lesser known member, whose CDs aren’t mainstream now.

But I mean the girl they killed off at the end. The one that started it all. The biggest in terms of critical success because the rest are, well, a parody, a clone of David Duchovny, and the wife of Tom Cruise. But she…she you believe when she says, “What you do to me.”

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