My Kryptonite?

5 years ago. The sun. Your eyes. Your hand touching my side before kissing me to make sure it was ok. And then lightning, our eyes, don’t hurt me, I promise. I can’t remember if we spoke in words. Your voice in my ear on the district line, that stupid song, and my last proper belly laugh. It was sunny that summer. My neck constantly bruised from your lips. Everything opened inside me. Our souls and our brains cohabited for a while. Before the fear came. Before I stopped breathing and started spending all my minutes fearing the end. Before we started the stupidest of wars. Two sides of a coin, negative images. I melted in your eyes then drowned in your silence. You burned in my tears, in those moments when I wanted to explode everything to get to the other side. Fire and Ice. We never slept peacefully. How could we? We were everything the other needed, everything the other couldn’t handle, what a cruel fucking joke. You left me, I begged and begged that night, you were so hard, I don’t know how you found the strength, but you freed us.
And now, in the middle of a pandemic. Somehow we’re back, everything has changed but the invisible thread knotted around our souls is still there. So tempting. Having access to each other would be like having the key to another universe, to another brain that sees different, thinks different. And if the world is going to burn, why the hell not. I needed you to know, always and still. I don’t think I ever want to stop breathing again but I needed you to know, it was always you, until the end it will be. We’ll never be together again but do we have to be so separate? A pint after all this you said. I felt myself shaking like I used to when I was waiting for you. Might not happen, chances are one of us will chicken out. But it’s a nice thought that we could be something to each other, that we could sit in the same space without any stakes. I can almost hear you smile and say there’s always stakes. Funny how you’re the emotionally brave one now.

Lockdown brain scribbles

Funny old times. The world has stopped. We all retreated home, where it’s safe, behind closed doors. Ironically, the most glorious April weather I’ve ever known. But when the body’s stuck the mind wanders, over the locks and the beyond the masks and ventilators. They say in the news, that we’re all realizing, that when we’re allowed out again we’ll build a new normal, we’ll do better but will we? Are we capable?
I’m usually optimistic but I don’t know. The sunshine almost makes it seem like it’s not so bad. Every evening we count our dead and then, what’s for dinner, what’s on Netflix tonight? And before that, who lived or died, did we know, did we care?
At the start, I almost resented this pandemic for stopping me, for delaying me. What kind of person does that make me?
We clap for our carers at night and I cry. We pull together, we call the people we love even those we usually forget to call. But what now, what next? Thankfully, the world is full of people smarter than me, braver than me. One day, we’ll look back, but from which standpoint? From the ruins of a world we couldn’t enjoy or from our new normal? Slower, greener, kinder to others.

Tattoo

Tattooed in some corner of my brain, my boy with the bruised heart. I don’t linger anymore. I walk in a straight line. I forget. I don’t cry. I don’t try. I stop writing to you when it hurts. I don’t write at all most of the time. But instincts don’t lie. Yes I still do. London bridge, You were my first thought. I couldn’t breathe until you told me you were ok. Life and death I told myself, you care, that’s ok, that’s nothing. It’s not a step back. But in those moments, the truth outs always, are you ok, are you safe, get home quickly, i love you. Because it could have been me, or you. And i needed you to be ok. I needed you to know. For always. If I’m honest, part of me thought, he didn’t ask, he wouldn’t have asked. But for the most part, i just wanted you to be breathing in and out somewhere close. Out of harm’s way.
And yesterday, I was in our restaurant, with someone else, because we don’t do this anymore, because we’re not an us anymore. I saw you walking past, right past me, behind the glass window; and i ached for you. I just did. He had a tattoo. Soon enough I will forget how to spell his name. Because you’re my tattoo. Seems no matter how hard I scrub, the shape of you imprinted on me. I wish. Well, y’know. That I didn’t have to ache for you. That I could just hold you. My boy with the bruised heart.

It started out like this

It started out like this, one homeless guy on a tube somewhere in London, asking for money, she thought it felt familiar, then forgot about it, like all the other good people on this tired train.
Then another one, and a third one again not long enough after.
It started out with the longest winter in the world, a deep set apathy and a profound sorrow with no tears.

 

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to

30. 

30 years of trying, laying new wallpaper over cracks, then over old wallpaper, and again. 30 years constantly moving forward but somehow never moving on. 15 years of falling in love, and never quite completely out of it. I learnt to speak before I could walk, and then many years later that no one ever really listens, nor are the words ever quite right. I laughed, a lot, hard and cried rivers. I built up a confident personna, I built a nest of love all around me, I thought I was invicible then got beat so heard I thought I would never get up again. But I did slowly, as you do. And now, I’m gonna be 30 in a minute, and I’m sad about a boy, and I’m tired of being alone, but also, I’m feeling kind of straight in my boots, and things could look up soon. So, it’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to, but I hope I won’t. I hope I’ll want to smile and count my blessings instead. 

Toi qui disait que tu m’aimais, comment c’était ?

How was it when you loved me? What did it feel like? Sound like? What colour was it? What did I look like in your pupils? Do you remember kissing me, beinh inside me? Was I different from the ones before me in some way? 

Loving you felt like the brightest light, like morning sun when it warms but doesn’t burn, like that song you sang in my ear. All of the answers to all of the questions. At first. And then, then all at once like being on the edge of a cliff, barefoot, the rocks cutting my feet, naked, the wind whipping my skin. And now still, like bile in my stomach, like a restlessness than can never but cured, a failure that can never be fixed. A gaping hole where our future was supposed to be. 

Ta main

“J’aurais aimé tenir ta main un peu plus longtemps. J’aurais aimé que mon chagrin ne dure qu’un instant.”

I wish I’d held on a little longer, breathed you in a little more. And let you go a little easier.

Missed call.

I’d like to say I didn’t pick up because it was too little too late. Because I’m over it and you. I’d like to say I didn’t spend the night replaying your voice on my voicemail over and over. But it’s not like that. I’m just terrified. I just miss you everyday in the pit of my stomach. Spend sleepless night wondering with that baby inside me might have looked like, if it would have survived if I’d known and looked after myself better. 

I didn’t pick up because I’m getting through it, slowly and painfully, painfully slowly. And I don’t trust myself to walk the steps over again. I don’t trust you to say words that would soothe. I don’t know if there are any. I let the phone ring and cried in my pillow because that’s all I was able to do.