I Am Twenty-One
Two-thirty am and a boy I vaguely know is outside my house.
I Just Want To Talk.
The night is without comment, the morning is this sad damp promise and with the rain falling straight and without compromise I think, as I look across the suburb from the drive, this would be something to look at with someone you love.
But I don’t love him.
You Don’t Even Know Me.
But from where we are I can see my lover’s light, the curtains open, with a different woman, more woman than me. And I think I Could Love You, Maybe. I could love anyone.
Being young and being hard to please, I suppose we were quite different. When we stepped outside and found nothing worth working towards, nobody worth working for and no appreciation grand enough to sedate our unwarranted rage towards nobody in particular. Diverting it away from ourselves.
No hills to head for, no money for cars we didn’t have licenses to drive.
We still need direction but hate anyone telling us what to do. I’m sitting here with dettol heels and memories of tight smiles and pretty girls. Nothing to bulk up the last four years but drunk nights, which are as weak as coffee stains. Coffee I don’t even drink anymore. Coffee I only drink on the weekends.
And having sex again was always a terrible idea.
Didn’t See You On Sunday he says. Yeah My Other Life Caught Up With Me.
My Mother on watching American Pie 2: ‘Why do all guys want us to lick their balls?’
And me: ‘I don’t think they do, Mum.’
And her: ‘No, ____, I think they do.’
On circumcision. Her: ‘I’ve only ever slept with one guy who wasn’t. I used to call it a sleeping bag. You know? Because it goes inside it at night?’
I don’t even.
I had a shower, brushed my teeth & fell asleep.
Thought of the thin & spindly trees
Newspaper print & your knees.
Fresh paint on the walls of your place
Still seems not new to me
I have nothing to hold anymore
That’s what the slick of white speaks
Which is not a revelation,
More of a constant price I pay.
There will always be a place for pretty girls to perish. And any place is made worthy by a perishable pretty girl.
Sandfly in my room. I know how you feel buddy. Whenever I lunge at someone’s face, they flutter their hands at me, too.
In a dream, I was in a seamy, sunless greenhouse and the light switch was flicked but I couldn’t see. You came in and bleached the air, only then did I notice I had been rubbing against several plants swarming in spiders and earwigs. I pulled the pincers from my left arm while you plucked insects from my hair. I still felt we had missed one, and you urged me to take my clothes off, because it was nestled in my cardigan. Probably, you said.
Does anybody else feel pain in dreams?
Girls and boys who feel more cerebral than emotional; I envy you. I wrote at thirteen that I sometimes wished I didn’t hold captive a conscience, even if it has never been so thick a haze I can’t pursue any number of dirty efforts. Stealing from my parents could only be a worthy application of self if I first convinced that quaint, drowsy do-gooder Guilt that I deserved it. Starved of freedom or affection or pride, I was due some sort of respite. All my Fathers uncounted foreign bills from his abundance of lavish child-less trips.
Except that he didn’t hate me. He just thought my Mother loved me more than my Sister. He only shed light on this a few months ago, though. After some eleven years of filching an unbelievable sum of money from his home. Only now do I feel bad.
Somebody is listening to jazz across the street. Or across the hall, maybe. What I wouldn’t give to be able to sway into that room and seduce the occupants.
Now leave me alone to brood bucolic.
Peeling an avocado in my kitchen, she stops to lend me a hand tying my shoes, because my ribs still hurt. Afraid to sneeze, she’s been airing out my room.
A toddler with bags under his eyes. Parents smoking in the car. Confined smog. Ladybug in a gas chamber. I feel a sneer appear. Poor little lout. My sister and I could always slam the door and holler all the way downstairs.
Sugar-free lemonade. My mother eating table spread to lower her cholesterol. I don’t point out the irony. I blend sour cream into soup and hope I get to eat dairy without pain again.
I see her again, with long legs and a sick smile. Hasn’t come out of the closet yet, so every boys narrowed eyes are following the quiver of her thighs. There’s so much confidence to be had, she says, when you honestly don’t give a fuck what guys think and you know girls like the back of your hand. Like the nail beds. Like the scars you’ve collected, the bottle caps of your youth.
My sister on the phone. Our parents failed us, she hails from the south. But it’s ok, she says. Because they always bought us things. She recalls a memory of being left alone in a cot, untouched for hours. Bawling. But then they bought us things. So when we love someone, we buy them things. And when they don’t buy us things, we question their affection. And then we buy things when we feel empty. When there is no one to go to or touch, we open our purses. The bells of coins. The noise means little, if there are faces we enjoy, who will smile in surprise at the things we give.
I want a cigarette. But I don’t. But I do, but I really don’t. It’s ok. I have patches. All my fucked up dreams. Stop pushing me down in them. You have bluish lips and your eyes have the same lines. You’re making me laugh the same. I hate you for that.
I Would Own You, Too.
Wake in the infant morning to turn at both taps with vice-like hands(because they drip and if you are going to waste water, please do so through well-meant means. Half clean dishes I will have to wash again). I make a sweet rice dish in memory of the Sister I once had (when she was everything she was supposed to be. Young and trying. Making plans and mistakes), in my dreams she says she never liked it, remarks my lodgings look like the corridors and classrooms of our high-school. Someone else sits on the end of my bed and smokes a lone cigarette, I deliberate over my hunger for isolation. I don’t need to worry, they leave soon enough. I go out for lunch with my Mother and pick at something I am supposed to be swallowing. I watch the concern touch her features. It dances from one eye to the other. I don’t watch for long, her unrest gathers into piles that resemble fear; I recognise disdain in the taut grip around my own neck. She is not scared for me. She is pondering what she might have done wrong. I wish I could tell her now, without building to the conversation (first I would tiptoe, then dip a finger in and under and only then would I start to lower my limbs inside); I don’t know if you did anything. I don’t know what is wrong and when it started. There is also a part of me that doesn’t want to gift her relief. Because she is always the victim, and maybe for once she should be the predator. She should be in the wrong.
I lied about my age a lot when I was younger. I wonder how long it will be before I am tempted to say I am younger than I am.
Well-fed is a much more pleasant (and possibly honest) way to describe a curvy, jolly person. It is like the lean back after a large festive meal. It is content and it is dazed.
If I were to give you sole credit. If I was to rely, depend and count on. If I were to trust you. You had better not hurt me because I swear to fuck I would kill you. I would come round to your place and I would push my fist into your face, claw at your neck. Stuff like that.
Dulcet & Efflorescence. Forlorn, Cathartic & Lilt.
I lied when I said I went to the after hours about the kidney infection. I think I fell asleep instead. I’ll just wait until i’m pissing blood. It’s not like I want to, the motivation is just not there. And my GP is a dull-minded moderately-well-dressed woman who hates me as much as the nurse does, missed appointments and no calls of explanation. Truth: I just don’t care enough.
Notes in French stuck to my front door, I have friends in high places and friends in the same building.
If your body is a wonderland then mine is a deserted fairground. With only the most morose of carnival clowns and filth where the glitter should lie [in my dreams].
Telling the little brothers what I remember from seven years old - “I remember playing kissing tag.”
The youngest turns across his dinner plate and looks at me with all the seriousness he can muster and says - “I love kissing tag.”
He knows he’s cute, so I give him the best advice I can under the circumstances. Never let on that you know. It’s not that I have experience in this, I just hate the men who swagger and jeer. Pick me out in a crowd because they know I am not comfortable or fond with my appearance. Easy lay. Yeah right. I’d rather fuck myself than you. And I could probably do it better.
I dip one hand into a great bin of cinnamon while the lady at the counter is looking away. My skin announces it’s ability to appreciate the simplest of pleasures. At home I mix it with fejoas and oats. I eat everything with wine, at the moment.
Yeah, that’s breakfast, too. It’s just a phase. Don’t freak out.
A word I like: Petrichor - The way the earth smells when it rains after a dry spell. And Desultory - Sluggish. I also like hippopotamus, though. Because I would find it hard to be serious all of the time. I really enjoy the comfort of words. A beautiful word is like dessert to me. While some people go for gastronomy [you know those shows where plates of strange, steam-oozing puddings with lurid green sauce are placed in front of patrons who make orgasmic noises after each bite?], I actually prefer the feel of an emotive sentence in my mouth. I like that you can convey literally almost anything with words. The taste of something, even if you feel it is indescribable, there will most probably be a series of words to describe it. Or the feel of something. Heartbreak, the look of someones knees.. I guess I am still under the raw misconception that if I learn enough words, I will never have any trouble communicating. I will never be misunderstood.
But, it gets messy there. Because different words mean different things to different people. I could say custard to someone and it would conjure up images of Christmas Day and fruit mince pies. To someone else it might make them think of school cafeterias and picking the white-icing from the tops of faux-custard tarts. To me it makes me feel fun. It reminds me of last year, when I made custard from scratch and couldn’t believe it was so easy. It was autumn and the light was starting to differ. I smelled like vanilla essence for days and days, because I kept making it. But it also holds this awful after-taste, because I had just left my job and been forced to move home. Another sinister version of past eating-disorders had begun to cling to my hips and He would never see me, save for the safety of that one little room. Always with the curtains closed and the lights off.
Also, there is a huge possibility of being misunderstood.. There are so many words that people aren’t familiar with. So in the process of explaining myself, I get stuck on explaining what these way-of-explanation words mean. Which means the paragraph or two I’m attempting to expel never reaches its destination point.
Winds up looking like a family tree of whores.
I like that word, too. Actually.
Smiling with teeth,
Opposite ends of our street.
You finding me scissors,
I’m wearing your rings.
Boys, in hordes, trying to convince me another hole in my face is: just a good idea[!].
I arch my brows in the mirror. See a landscape, mountain-tops. But no room for more embellishments. We all leave disappointed. I miss the exhilaration of a new addition.
The dreams I had whilst on Kava pills: Satanic, lesbian cult, me being photographed in the act. These photographs somehow ending up on my camera, my stepmother loading them onto her computer and laughing them off. Then attempting to sleep in my mothers back yard with old highschool friends, covering muddy puddles with duvets. I have no idea where the fuck that came from. The depths of my mind are obviously a really creepy place. Think the depths of the ocean, with those fanged-fish with light-attachments.
Anon Asked [sometime ago]: What do you do when you’re not writing?
I still don’t know what to say to this.. I’m really sorry.