There are things I’ll never learn. How ideas come, like Star Wars or Star Trek or Indiana, world changing ones which make the writing of fiction harder. How to change style so that it’s not a stunted jump to uncomfortable collars, elastic and patent white, but an enjoyable slitted fit, a confident maker. What E equals. Who Snooki is. What it takes to fill you.
And I don’t see yet, but we are not the story I think we are. I’m the penultimate, necessary, gift receipted, and my own undoing. I’m that girl before Juliet.
I will stop caring and you won’t know it. You’ll be oblivious like you were to Sarah Chalke joining Roseanne, or Russell Brand leaving radio, just the one station specifically.
And the days sweep so that some sight lines are totally obscured and you forget what genuineness is, that genuineness is a word, not mistake, and every attribute you sought to high-school-lose, and acclimatise until you were someone else entirely, the man in the office that girl-gets, you accentuate until you’re the stereotyped version of yourself and you don’t know how you got there: think Zach Braff, after the indie film which should’ve cemented personality but somehow didn’t.
But there’s still time to rewrite your own version and not buckle to other people’s storylines for you: I think Zach’s on stage now. I watch you sink into carpet like it’s coffee and you’re Demerara and you almost integrate entirely, and the carpet is office gray.
You liked Drew before anyone did, read horror novels in middle school, felt cheated by the Prodigy song, a rip off.
Ryan didn’t mean to do it or he did but his motives have never been pre-figurable like some people’s, and you know we’re all supposedly destined but that doesn’t explain newspaper headlines or the plots to horror movies based on truth unless it’s the devil at work but you can’t pre-figure him can you?
And it’s the graceless unpicking of the rules you grew up with until you’re unsure if it’s disappointment or freedom you have or how to tell the difference because Stockholm Syndrome’s happened with almost every boyfriend, girlfriend, priest.
You’re not saying no feeling is real only you couldn’t assert with any authority why something is the way it is. And if books taught you anything it’s the potential for disaster, the absolution of men by men, the imminent dissolution of society, with fire, eventually, with plagues first.
And Drew was the powerful woman you loved when you weren’t powerful. You watched her exhaust every option without devastation. You read books she’s in the film of. You only read books there are films of. Ryan started the fire and she did and the Bible predicted it.
Who will be left when you go? Who will I watch when you’re gone?
I wake up with the guilt I was programmed with at five, stapled to at six, and I can’t always pinpoint the reason. I think, last night, I dreamed of you undressing, and I wondered how you exposed yourself easily in front of audiences. I unlocked each navel and scar.
Maybe you’ll kiss onscreen more. You won’t let people cheat. You’ll have a fixed identity from day one, instead of a slow spill, steady evolve, re-written, re-dressed Kelly Kapoor one, which is not a criticism. Just I would’ve seen that potential sooner, and would’ve addressed it.
You could be the new Deschanel. You might meet Jennifer Aniston.
I want your life, this moment, wish it could swallow me like a gobstopper. After the initial choke I’d dissolve into it. You wouldn’t even notice me there. I do a killer chair impression. I once pretended for fifteen minutes, only moving my arms twice. I’ve missed a trick, could’ve been a successful performance artist, do you think?
I don’t do what you do but there are similar seconds. There are almosts and that’s okay. I came to terms with my hip juts and my big toes years ago and I’m looking to improve furniture now, to upgrade, add on, acquire appendages, not that I lack anything just more is more is more is more is.
You wouldn’t pick you to represent anything other than sarcasm, maybe. You don’t like blanket terms or sweeping generalisations about who people are and choices they make at weekends. You like picnic blankets and sweeping motions and the men doing them, whether that’s shining shoes or pushing laptops off desks to throw you on to them. You like anything that might happen in a Reese Witherspoon movie although you’ll always be the sidekick asking inappropriate questions. At some points offensive is comic.
You don’t have fake ID, only need it at opportune moments, and generally, when you couldn’t care about being sent home by blancmange-eyed bouncers, they don’t ask you for it. You’ve spent nights in places that would shock older women alive. You’d rather be home than necking men to whom you’re backup.
He might notice. Buying coffee’s a good way to imply like, and so is faking interest in music you have no idea about. When I was trying the same thing in the nineties we didn’t have Google, the resources you have, so if you fail, it’s a lack of research, only lazy trying.
And if he doesn’t, you have mementoes, saved up shoe box remnants of almosts and nearlys, and how much do you care anyway? How many men should you really know before you’re gone? How many’s an adequate number?