I read books until my 18th birthday. After that, the “have to”-ness, made the process attractive as anchovy pizza.

There are opinions. Trustable ones, solid like second hand furniture checked for furrowing woodworm. And the ideal is ingrained like Corinthians and the Fresh Prince theme or the yellow M. Mouthwatering down to each tooth root.

I undercut myself completely from 12 and the damage is not reversible. But ours is, which is a fuck-up luck advent calendar second life shot jumble. Rare as Impossible Princess.

No matter what happens, there’s no banter like it. And that’s a compartmentalised important sort of novel detail that mattered pre-diagnosis, before any off-switch, was theatre director fact. She said, “Is he coming? Can he see it? Will it be a bit fucking weird?”

And I can’t change all opinions, of the part I family play to each of my well-worn peoples. But updating operating systems is time-wise lengthy, and maybe we won’t blame others for changing our minds on this one, for how were they to know? How were we?

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Take responsibility for the lack of integrity and honesty within yourself

Church learnt me love is a choice. Except that it’s not, or I’m doing it wrong. I read a set of self-help books when I worked in a book shop and handed them out to friends in interim years, and coveted lives when they went against advice I lived by.

In the end, I went to church to meet men, and it’s truly a terrible place for that. Unless you’re into repression, and I was when my twenties were preparation for baby bodies and a promising career and husbands entertaining like Clooney. He’s only fun because he trades his girlfriends on eBay for new ones, on Gumtree, locally. I don’t do that because women aren’t choosers, in church, anyway, and no man ever picked me, because I didn’t read the Bible in a year. Started, my boyfriend wanted twice-day sit-ins of verses on Noah and Abel, wouldn’t fuck me; it was motivation-less study, sorry.

I Googled that label: “Emotional.” With a second word after. But I never believed or knew this was an actual thing, to be savoured or sucked like mouth Rolos (incidentally bought for myself). The line, for me, was a clarity head definition: to kiss is wrong, but chat’s just normalcy. There are men in the supermarket I’ve touched more, in the spice aisle, reaching for a low leaning Paprika glaze.

The future’s fucked. And not only environmentally. I’ve been looking for a Bible bus replacement service since 2006 when all my friends were like, “If you date non-Christians you’ll do accidental oral and Jesus won’t speak anymore and you’ll think that it’s good but it’s not because who marries sluts over virtue?”

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It’s a little bit horrifying how quickly everything can fall to crap

I remember one moment. I don’t think it was decision-making, but acknowledgement, that we were separate like branded cereal, manufactured by different companies, competing for the same shelf space. And in that moment I was like, “Fine, do my thing, and you, yours,” thinking it temporary like a post-Christmas hiatus of shows in a lull on terrestrial.

Except this wasn’t post-Christmas, but before it. Because I couldn’t fix every problem, and I still can’t, and there’s nothing liberating in knowing that. Instead, it’s a tiny bit damning, like patchy fake tan that won’t come off completely with fingernails or loafers. And the requests just keep on coming: if you want this fixed, then book it, call it, be the one that sorts it.

But I couldn’t organise a small scale anything, much less a rescue mission. My body’s intent on evacuating itself for a new skin, because this brain is obliterated, one white dot at a time. I wonder which memories it took with it, if function’s something I’ll get back, or reminisce over like Brad and Jennifer; remember when you felt something burn the exact second you burnt it? Yeah, me neither.

And I want to try. There are days on which I want to try. Think that I should. And others I can’t get a crisp picture. We’re pre-HD, when YouTube would judder and stop when you’d dare full screen it.

I’ll list the tiny increments if it’s helpful. But it’s not. Because none are the moment. Was I even there for it? At best, I’m a bystander, ill-equipped to call ambulances or a next of kin. Or to even just tell you what I think.

horrifying how quickly

Capital Phoenix

I ask Jack what wrong is. Can he quantify it? This is a man whose answers are too specific for pub quiz questions: like the star signs of each of the Spice Girls, how often Matt Damon washes his hands.

Jack says, “I can’t tell you which choice to make, or even label every choice that’s on the table. I can tell you what I want, what I think you want, but then it’s getting into speculation; even Perez Hilton’s not right every single time. And me neither.”

But at church there were such clear rights and wrongs I fell asleep sorry for something, every morning a flu-like guilt squeezing my stomach like a stress-ball in the shape of a heart sure that the pumping action was helping. Then there was only purge, purge, purge.1 in the dark

Why I Fired You (NaPoWriMo #13)

No list of tardy slips
toilet trysts
CCTV alerts
locker swaps
sick texts
staff night out
faux pas.

Didn’t shop floor skive
slag managers off
short customer change
steal stock
sleep out back
take trash
leave early
unapproved holiday
aid robbery.

Just, every sense word
thick lip spoken
when I could see tongue
was my downfall, pitfall, penance
defined my Father’s purgatory
Minister’s limbo
siphoned my blood
and sieved all the gold bits out.

Now, oxygen deprived
iron low and over.

Yes/No (NaPoWriMo #10)

You’ve said no three times
and his slip move toward you
is a board game counter
hitting the exact squares
in sequence

You’ve said no to him
on uneventful days
date days, in kitchens
Morrison’s and bed

He listened when he chose
with you in agreeal

Not now though

You’ve said no and the take back
is a non-accept
hard to admit
like Piers Morgan
hacking voicemail

You change the code

Teach Me

“I think a lot about god’s plan,” she says, “who he brings together and who he plans decimation for. It’s not something we prefigure – we don’t have the intuition of an angel or a Christian Union President or a Bible writer. We’re bet-placers, with money down on our favourite TV characters dying before season’s up, to distract us from the fact the real life people we love will be dead soon. Might be. Could. But we’ve not got money on that because we’ve not got money and we don’t want to know. But what I would know, what I’d want to, is how we took separate routes on a gameboard with only one track. It almost disproves any fate or factual, prefiguration or plan, don’t you think?”

But Jack doesn’t.


Ellen Pompeo

When you’ve seen a lot of TV you know the choice between two people’s a life lesson we navigate trickily, and sometimes the choice is easy, I’m thinking McDreamy/McVet, and other times it’s complicated, the difference between rooms in a hotel block; an absolute gamble, a personal best, a stain on the inside duvet, a stonewall deputy, a blood blot under each sheet.


I Stayed Awake For 4 Days

Jack thinks I’ll forget, that he can pick up a year from now, two years later, with only crimes erased, erroneous decision-making, so all positives become fateful, like both knowing the words to Stay by Lisa Loeb or reading the same play once or dreams about men living in air pockets between the waves and water, and a smoke trail between tongues like string for torturing and last night’s drinks lacing today’s t-shirt and gravel stabbed in soles from long walks home post 2 a.m. and an absolute uncertainty in the questions asked of you, because, “Will you move?” drunk isn’t, “Move in with me,” is it? But apparently, Jack says, not knowing the intonation well enough to understand the actual meaning of it is a steal destiny sort of a move which fucks up end points and is the reason he left in the first place or didn’t re-ask, or definitely ask, or make clear or sober for a second to say, “Come with me now.”