When the phone was enough, I took your calls at the office, on the bus, when I climbed the stairs a la Year 4 gym sessions trying to rigging rope climb, closer than Ally, faster than John, who I had a crush on the month before I left, before I knew what crushes were, what love is. I wanted to talk to him more than another person, about nothing, and I was 11. And this meant something, so Charlotte dated him.
I wasn’t astute at first, knowing when a person liked me. And I don’t know when you did, from, until, or I, you, but I log the little increments like it’s important: the first day at the edge of the Travel Section or the moment you said who you lived with.
When phones were enough, we had each other’s numbers and said, “Phone whenever you want to,” like we were family, eventually, at the craziest time to try that. But that’s what it felt like, feels like, and although my school, that first school, where we faced front for the bloodied crucifix, morning and afternoon prayer, said, “Change how you feel so you’re better,” I don’t think that’s a thing, is it? And really, like, listen when your feelings say something, or what’s the fucking point?
A few years back I found John on Facebook, but that was a pointless add, a “Remember me?” 3 message breakdown. But of course you don’t, he doesn’t. I’m mousey. Which has advantages. I eke myself out of it, trying to find that buried layer of what I am, like a pudding penny breaking teeth on its way out; not a prize at all.