My tale is atypical, tuneful, and difficult to digest. It’s about a jack-of-all-trades, whose wit is not matched letter for letter with sense. One day he will run out, long before me, because he bakes too many cake mixture cakes.
My jack-of-all-trades, who is mine in loose terms only, has mastered no trades at all, except maybe packet cookery and dealing. And that is not cards. We play games, sometimes, to shake the feeling of this fucking up and fucking around. It doesn’t shift.
I ask to cut the cake, but no. For now there is no wedding, no wedding photo, and no cutting the cake. I’ll cut you eventually.
(Originally published on Pindeldyboz)
When I ask, assume it implies I’m not a let go, forget kind of a person, and I’ll want you when you don’t want me, won’t know how to shut off those feelings simply like closing kitchen cupboards to hide disorganised ingredients. Public opinion won’t change my mind about Tom Cruise, not when I’ve seen that method, logged that screen time. And you’ll plump up exactly when you should oven-sink.
And you should be a screen door settler, who I bar better than Columbus who didn’t discover anything evidently and thought he’d discovered something else entirely, and it’s the unexpected finds that foundation-fuck and undermine plans which you shouldn’t make unless you’re ready for a lesson in fate which doesn’t exist but you’d think it does going by every decision you did make and the unbuttered side of it as it gravel-scraped.
In another life, an actual one that a timeline is living out right now, adjacent to yours and simultaneously, this this this is. But not here.
When that girl pretended to be me, I thought I’d lost you and I did and I conceded easy defeat because I had someone to sleep with already and that’s the epitome of greed: wanting two people as yours. But who set the limits and the rules, deciding monogamy was the ultimate and only? And I’m not talking polygamy, because don’t marry if you’re not set on somebody.
But like sexuality, love’s a sliding scale and like the abacus in the primary colours they had at nursery, maybe there’s a slip day to day and we’re not concrete like the Cullens or how society says we should be. I resent yes, no and maybe options. What about I don’t know, tried once, all of the above, tomorrow?
And when she was here I untied each of my guts that tangled like earphones in handbags or string left to its own devices or spaghetti, but that’s slippery and possible to deal with with a fork.
And I made deals, wished, prayed to every obstacle or god or figurehead or pillar or statue or show or star or celebrity or text or eye or undersole or beer glass, cigarette butt, finger dial that I could. And I didn’t get anywhere because that’s not a thing. It’s a fiction. A character played by Morgan Freeman.
You were missing. I didn’t look but you were twelve, I was ten. I had your name and a jumper you loaned and a half pack of cards, mainly hearts.
I’d seen Gremlins and my nights were horror films in waiting, trailers, teasers, tantalising. Pen pals only worked if parents sent letters. Mine said they would but I expect loft boxes stuffed with unstuck envelopes and birthday wrapping and yellowed Sellotape.
I thought that if movies were Biblical lies, Jason Statham lines, you’d be dead before I knew. Are you dead now? Or is this that unfinished game?
Jack says, “Only idiots leave,” so I leave to prove his theory or disprove it – just to see the look on his face.
He calls three days later to ask when I’m coming home. He calls once on my mobile, once on my landline, and I say, “I have a landline number and you found out about it. It’s been three days. Doesn’t that say that I’m serious?”
But Jack says brick’s not serious, metal is, and he’s prepared with a selection of metals, stones, solids, if I bring my case back, my bones home.
Second time around, or however many times it is now, I’m weighed by the weight of his convincing, bribes. I consider the lines ringing, digits being dialled and the people dialling them, but mostly it’s just wrong numbers, accidents, people you don’t know from Adam West.