I use to be musical, now I can barely play in tune.
I use to read, but now I’m distracted.
I use to play outside with friends but now
I dislike the outdoors
socialising becoming an excuse to drink,
I use to makeover my brothers because I so desperately wanted sister,
but now I only try to change myself and we’ve changed
and they live so far away.
I use to write reams, but now I never want to.
All this, I use to be a child but now am I an adult?
I use to be musical, now I can barely play in tune.
Can you not fuck off to Canada and stay here? And just say ‘piss off’ to your awful flatmate, awful because I’m blaming him for stopping ‘us’. No? A poor effort on my part, admittedly. Don’t change your plans for me, you owe me nothing after everything. All of this I’ve asked for after being owed so little- seems typical!
Go then. Like I give a shit, you annoy me anyway. And quite frankly you’re a little dull. So don’t hurry back on my account. Go off with other girls, and I’ll do off with other guys. Owing each other nothing, finding someone better, because others will be better. We’ll talk if we talk, but lets never make the effort, one of us might get the wrong idea.
You didn’t want your friend to know who I was.
As if my very existence frightened you.
As if acknowledging me, would make me grow.
Grow into something frightful which spits
bile mixed with words.
Words of hatred.
The bile landing on your perfect clean-shaven face,
lingering and revealing what you try to hide.
My very sweat frightens you,
cut me anyway,
my blood knows who you are.
She wanted to write a story, she just had no idea what to write. She used the excuse that it had to be about her but by following this logic there was little fiction she could spin out of what she knew, what had she done in the last week? Fallen down a flight of stairs? That had been painful. Thankfully no one had seen though so she didn’t feel she needed to drop out of uni and move country. It had only been her around but surely the people in the seminar room next door had heard the bang. She’d recovered quickly though, her eyes prickled, but she was entitled to cry. Also she was entitled to take photos of the bruise and show all her friends. Which of course she had done, there was a secret pride with this bruise, it was like being 7 again. That’s a lie. It was like every PE class she had been too old to fall over in but had sustained a mean astro-turf graze anyway. Coupled with the humiliation of being made by the teacher to hop skip and jump in front of the class. Or that time she had got her first rounder at 16 and the class had clapped.
Maybe she didn’t want to write a story, she’d tried to get virtually anyone else to write it for her. No one had. She should have offered to make them cake, maybe that’s where she had gone wrong. Maybe 2 cakes and she’d write their essays for them. They’d said that their story wouldn’t be very good, but hers wasn’t either. Also everyone in the class only said nice things so she couldn’t see the problem.
In the last week she’d half-heartedly written an essay on desire. As a self-proclaimed asexual, the quality of this essay was somewhat lacking. Desire; she desired to get into honours, desired to write a story. But she had no idea what the characters in the novels desired. She’d have liked the bruise to go away too. She liked the bruise at first, it felt like an achievement. But since her flatmate had told her that it had made her look like a zombie, the initial magic had somewhat disappeared. Her brother had found out and had told her that by the age of 20 she really should have worked out how to manoeuvre stairs. She hadn’t seen the funny side, she’d sent him a picture regardless. Almost like a postcard; “wish you were here” or perhaps more a “rather you than me”. She hadn’t appreciated being reminded she was nearly 20, the thought was borderline disgusting.
She’d gone to a gig. Another poor decision. And her friends wouldn’t let her forget it. At least the sequin skirt she had worn had looked good. Turns out she transformed into a magpie when shopping. But it was the day before she had to hand in an essay and she still didn’t really have a clue what she was meant to write as a creative story. She just wasn’t that creative. Maybe if she shopped more at charity shops it would make her more creative and quirky. The gig had been good though, they were Scottish and she loved being shouted at in ‘Scottish’ by bands. A love her flatmate did not share.
What else had she done? She’d drunkenly held hands with a guy and worried for a week afterwards that this might make her a sexual predator. That definitely wasn’t going to make it into the story.
The week before she had been ill, maybe she could write a story about that? She could certainly spin that into something more fatal. She was melodramatic to say the least and had blown a cold to pandemic proportions. She’d made a facebook chat named “team me” of her closest friends, made the cover photo a picture of the ebola crisis and posted regular updates on how the illness was ‘taking’ her. All she had was a cough and she was more tired. She loved her bed though so why was that a problem? Maybe she could write a story about a breakup with a twist. The twist is the breakup is between her and her bed.
She sat in the library, hoping that a story would hit her. Like a bus. Always the bus. In every situation the worst case scenario was always getting hit by a bus. In creative writing they had had to write about stories of intense feeling and then write the worst case scenario. She was throwing up and then she got hit by a bus. She was getting her braces off, then she got hit by a bus. Someone sat far too close to her in lectures and made her tense for two hours, then she got hit by a bus. How can she even write about being hit by a bus, she had never been hit by a bus. Enough with the bus.
What inanimate object could she give a voice to? No, can’t write that. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be an instrument. Maybe just send an email trying to get out of it? No one will miss this story.
The story is written but it isn’t very good. The problem is, her writing ability made her laugh. She also lacked the concentration to commit to a 1000 word story. 1000 words wasn’t even that much. Now she felt inadequate. She lacked imagination. But it seemed offensive to write about anything serious she knew nothing about. She’d never struggled, she was from Cheshire, the only place in the north which managed to be southern. Southern in its outlook on life and equally as snobby. This story lacks she’s disappointed it flew on the page but it wasn’t very good. She didn’t know what to write she wanted to write something good she had tried to think of something good. She had just spent weeks stressing about writing something good. Rather than actually writing it.
She’ll regret not thinking of anything when she is reading the first paragraph to the class because she doesn’t even like the first paragraph and hears the feedback she’d regret it when it was compared to the other stories undoubtedly they’ll be much better than this one, maybe she just won’t go, she felt sorry for anyone who’d have to read it she disliked her writing style she wrote like a 15 year old and she knew it it was all a little bit too much like her this wasn’t even a story it was too late to change it.
Blood bleeds through a clit in the sky
Mother nature bleeds herself dry
Slipped my hand into yours, didn’t I. Just two drunks walking home late through a park, holding hands. Except we aren’t just two drunks, are we? You’re the nice guy, the stereotypically nice guy, so nice you just went a long with it. And me? I’m a hypocrite, the self-proclaimed asexual, previously attracted to your flatmate. I told a friend about it, as though it was a big deal and he just told me I was a ‘Victorian’ in my flirting methods and perhaps he’s right. I am beating myself up regardless. Because you are a lot of things, but you are not a rebound.
“We just broke up, I told him I didn’t want him anymore, I told him everything that needed to be said”
“Oh, that’s good-”
“Just told him that he’d used me the entire time and that he just wanted an easy shag, like he tried to get it wherever he could. I told him he was manipulative, selfish and immature”
“You can do so much-”
“You know? I don’t even miss him, like I don’t know why I gave him 9 months of my life. Well effectively 9 months”
“Yeah, you deserve so-”
“I just feel so stupid for putting up with it for so long. Like it’s now so obvious how shit he is”
“I’ve been trying to tell you!”
“Anyway, just thought I should let you know! Isn’t being single so much better? Being single and not caring is the best! Anyway, bye!”
She ends the call, turns over and cries. These aren’t just ordinary tears though, these are great howls, into her pillow; the sound loud, possessed and unashamed. She howls for what she thought she had and what is lost. She howls because she’s given up and was scared of getting here. Of reaching the point of feeling that a human, any human, is not worth making the effort for. Feeling the only thing she can do is give up. At least she knows her limit. She howls because he left again, no amount of chances was enough to make a difference. She’d gained nothing from her patience. She howled because she’d convinced herself she was the exception, and of course she wasn’t.
She howls because she tells herself she ended it, when in reality it was mutual, we can’t pretend he wanted her either.
He had listened silently and responded: “there’s nothing more to say.”