Brinkmanship

You tell me it matters. I try to deflect any borderline-complimentary thing you might say, but last night on the phone you were firm, like a lesson outcome actualising itself before an observer, grading on a scale of 1 to 4. 4 is fail, you know?

You say that it matters, that it really, and hurts, and you hide stuff from others if it means I’ll stay but we both know I’m not the staying kind any more than you are and, if anything, that’s what will work, the unstickyness of us as a couple: I won’t live with you and you won’t want me to, when you really think about it.

Because online is best. Phone is better, but in talk time lieu, we communicate the worst way humanly (and, like, humanely) possible: Facebook. Tone’s not even the problem. Repetition is. And being that girl, scrap catcher, embroiled in a billion pointless interactions at the sake of you. Or for you. Except it’s for me. I’m the disaster.

You text ❤ like it’s a thing people do and I save up Catfish quotes for, eventually, we’ll end this. Won’t we? Maybe. We watch TV on a phone line and you say, “Someday we’ll be in the same room, together,” which is nice like the thought of grabbing a drink with Tom Cruise and finding what life is to him, you know?

This and the list of things you say which I wish I’d remember better, is what whirls when a movie’s on. And that fucking kiss.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 09.44.34

I’ve Grown Attached To Your Thinking

You think there’s revelation, altering us both because we’re in the same multipack. I guess our expirys match, or something, even if you’re way old, and when you say, “It’s fine,” it’s not fine because the only thing better is a stranger lying. I wish you were a catfish plethora, 6 people operating the same account so it’s always online. That would explain how you know what to say. Because, like, as it is, you spend days just thinking up a winning sentence, right?

But there’s just one of you. And you’re a dick.

There’s no satisfying answer, only, how can I sustain this many strands? I don’t read but, if I did, how’d I choose which book to finish out of the shelf stack, apocalypse-ready, except it isn’t food, so where’s the use? What’s the good in paper? Say, “You mustn’t know how I feel about you,” though I’m sure we said it, in person when we shouldn’t, and online, all starred out, on blogs, an investigator field day, matching IP addresses to the worst declarations ever, all 7 years late but, like, real, which is worse, I think. I miss doubt like a Lindsay Lohan laugh line.

Nothing happened. It’s not that. It’s the not happening, actually, being so available, droppable, how at home, achievements are glossed over like junk mail, no special offers, just my name and TV’s more attractive. And I’m sorry it hurts every time I try find a way to do a thing. But there’ll never be right, a right, and conjecture says we want the same things and the questions your friends ask I’d answer the same. But does it matter?

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 09.07.00

Hotter/Colder

In the first few weeks we’re hands behind backs, using playground games to direct the other to where we want them. But kiss chase was corrupt in that Max could run faster than me and got me 5 days a week through primary school. So we pick subtler games like Guess Who? or that one where you tell someone when they’re getting hot (Clue: if you were hotter you’d be a cooker or a George Foreman grill).

Jack asks if I watch The Office and I ask what else he likes and tell him I gave up TV for Lent one year, except school gave us Sundays off, said we could do what we want, presumably because we’d be confessing that day anyway, so may as well take the opportunity to sin.

“I always gave up sweets,” Jack says. “I like challenges and I like punishment,” and I ask if he knows the Stations of the Cross and he says, “Break times for me were meditations on badly drawn pictures, on graphic stained-glass windows and wooden objects. That’s when I learnt you should never let yourself get too settled, or happy, because love’s a sliding abacus-scale and those that feel their pain deeply get rewarded later,” where I’ve always thought a man would save me, and I can’t blame Renée Zellweger for that.