You know what would be great? If we didn’t, we just didn’t play this game of truth or dare you to say anything other than that which they’ll spin the bottle around to have it face you again before they pin the tale on the fucking donkey that was stupid enough to open up in the first place.
She started screaming today. She’s normally so quiet and she sits at the back but today she made a run for it. She burst the windows open and grabbing at the ledge she let me have it into my bones with a guttural roar I felt in my own throat as she ran her nails in between my ribs and filled up my lungs with the air she’d been saving up all this time.
I didn’t know how fed up she was. Being a possible contingency dressed as an ideal and kept in the back pocket in case what I say isn’t good enough. But she really wants out now. She’s tired of crying for two, eating for none of anyone’s goals and praying for sun that’s bad for our skin but she doesn’t care. We’ll get wrinkles either way.
The bargaining is over now. She’s better than me and it’s fine. Her gentle suggestions have become golden rule, she’s made for the world that’s ahead and I’m tired. For sanity is saved by raising an eye, by looking around and pulling up from a sodden ground and even one handed to heave your whole weight is better than crawling any further.
It seems that I end each day as I start it. In preparation. In front of this mirror I paint my face to prepare for whatever war I trip into that day and late at night I wash it all off to allow it to breathe. As if I’ve not taken a gasp all day I wipe and wash and scrub to atone for suffocating myself for the sake of going outside. For vanity, maybe? Maybe but what is vanity really. And what’s so bad about it? If vanity lifts my chin and chest and makes me grin and blessed then I shamelessly paint with each and every brush so that I may stand at my post for those hours. Unapproached. Unbothered. Untested. I suppose we like knowing that we could, if we needed to but we don’t, so we won’t. That mirror holds a face hung on a soul which eludes. I beg for them to like me, to praise me and love me, not in love’s own definition of love but in the love you always wanted but knew never existed. Fake film love that emulsifies soul intertwining and sonnets in the rain with groaning and writhing in obsessive sweet pain. The love where you love it just so and so it goes to sit there, untouched and unaltered because simply you love it as it sits. It need do nothing else than breathe. Which I may only do after washing my face.
There’s comfort in knowing that I know your words. And I do hear you from time to time but now, now your voice is often coming through my own vibration. I suppose that’s what happens when it’s been a little while. I’ll go the rest of my hopefully longish or long enough life reciting your gems and boasting your wisdoms and I’ll sound just like the others that ramble on about someone no one else knows. I can’t amble with those others who lie to save my youth when you talked the truth at me. Whether I wanted it or not. The chats about the days and the ways that the days don’t mean much when you’re old. Your walls were worlds where shame fell like biscuit crumbs. I miss the bus change and Tesco shops.
Not home, it’s not home. My home doesn’t exist but even what little part does is not the part I am in. This is not it, the arena is not mine nor is this armour. Currently as it is, I’m less a home and owed one I think but not sure from whom. This scene is seen from a dream that I refuse to stop having. I’ve never felt more at home then looking through that screen.
My own doors are keyless and keys are less that I would beg for. They are enshrined in ivy and stone and surrounded by riddle and I don’t know the answer. Less a home and more a house. Dismissed at first viewing, not enough charm, too much work. Damp. I suppose I should rebuild and make my own.
I want more friends. But I don’t want people. People are tricky and trickless am I or at least my bag isn’t as big as theirs.
I feel I should have more friends to say hello to. To say hello back. But I can only care about so many hellos and I fear I’ll reach my limit.
I don’t want their small talks and their large lives with their leashed up husbands and their caged up wives. I want frank talks frank nights with frankly weak, pathetic fights over who paid last.
I want to smack talk men and call them prats and dirty looks like we sound like cats of witches cackling over a can or few but I’ll never get that if I don’t say hello.
If I say hello, then so will they and I’m no good with after (unless I’m paid) I’ll overshare and undersell and come off like some stuck up foreign bitch. Like always. I think it’s best if I use this time to be with myself in case I can’t later on.
That used to be me down there. Loud friends, loud stumbles, loud lives, loud problems but a soft understanding it’s fine. And we were fine. Fine expires, you know. This and that and the friends move on and ontop of life is no longer your normal, normalizing problems is your new crusade, not crusading for the sake of it.
I suppose it’s a usual thing to be stood here, looking down, peering back into a past, a grained a hologram before me. Makes me wonder if that part of our lives was just a simulation. The places and the faces that weave in and around you have unravelled and caught the wind.
My mind is not that same mind, my brain a different one completely, replaced in my sleep perhaps? It’s as if I never saw the scar or felt the stitches, it’s cruel. The gods of age sent their minions for my puerile spirit and they amputated it from me. I shall have to learn to live with it’s phantom pains.
I’ve known sorrow and pain. Regret and misfortune frequent my already darkened doorway. I’ve lost my way and eventually stumbled half conscious onto a new path. In my short(ish) time on this plane I’ve amassed a colourful collection of grievances but none as steadfast in their morose agony as this fucking hangover.
No simple temple ache nor shaky stomach but an arranged marriage of despondent medication and a body that gave this life up long before my brain ever did. I can take a lot on any given day but that noise from that child is drilling through me, chipping at my shell and shattering my brittle atoms.
So hand me my sunglasses on this beamless day and my quiet jazz on the busiest road. I need butter and coffee and I need the air of a Sunday morning amongst the buildings of stone, glass and age. Allow me to sink back into my day a little more reserved than the last with a lesson that I won’t care to keep.
Why would I? You keep asking like it’s some sort of possibility like this is, was, and will be a good idea while it never used to be and while I don’t regret that day, that time, that breath, I do regret whatever I did that left you with the impression that this could be something other than what it was, and hasn’t been for years.
You could be looking at me right now without knowing. Some random woman who was no woman when you knew her, apparently. Who are you to determine for me, my being, to assign me a self reflection is what is needed. For who continuously tries to bed that which is ‘not yet’ a woman? A nonce that’s who. A nonce with no more maturity than the cheap cheese that sits in the fridge and is used only for a cheeky toastie. Your years are plentiful, your tricks the same yet you refuse to adapt and walk in this new world a world where your voice is no louder than mine.
I never asked what you thought or wanted from me me-ing all the damn time. I just acted for me, for my own tomorrow. If I’d been up shit creek you’d have drowned or doggy paddled away. If I’d had brought your wants into this for the briefest flash we’d have stayed together for a few months more. And I know for you, this sacrifice is normal, this grand altered ritual but it’s not about you and it’s not been for some time. I know you’re used to grooming on your stage- common with men of a certain age but times change and you’ll never be old enough for me.