This was the first creative piece I wrote on my MA at Sussex, and it received a *mixed* response.
It occurred to me a while back that I probably owe you an explanation as to why I stayed behind. In the beginning it was all I could do to look out of the window and assimilate crunchy autumn leaves and milky moons into some kind of weirdo breakfast cereal narrative that I thought would suffice. I talked trash about how sunshine and bonfires were enough for me and that they should have been enough for you too, you ingrate. But I was green then. I hadn’t yet learnt how to say goodbye in a way that wasn’t totally terminal even though, for all intents and purposes, it probably was.
Haiku number 14:
On the train old folks
Look toward the sunlight like
Flowers in a field
I open my mouth and jaded garbage spills out into the open. It ends up in little round bullet points on his page. It doesn’t take long, with my gift for compelling storytelling and the sad, dewy look in my eyeballs to convince him that my losses are historical, manifold and well worth his and anyone else’s attention. A few days later I get a letter confirming that yes, I qualify for wellbeing, and that, at some point, I will receive further, more official confirmation that being well is something that Jeremy Hunt can afford to give me. Later on I imagine fucking Jeremy Hunt in a way that is neither erotic nor disgusting but kind of curious, like the time I took my friend to the medical museum in Copenhagen, pretending that I didn’t know it would be full of pickled babies with massive deformities from the 17th and 18th centuries. She’d recently had an abortion. It was in bad taste. I don’t know why I do things sometimes.
Haiku number 15:
Sometimes I like to
Imagine speeches for my
Best friends’ funerals
Or how about at work the other day, when a man looked up at me from his wine list, and asked me beseechingly for something ‘soft’ in a way that made me want to smash his head in with a golf club. I opted for an Argentinian Malbec and pocketed the tip. I hate the way my thoughts of you get sucked on by things like this. I swear I didn’t come here to place blame on anyone. It always happens like that though, like when my mother gets a bad time of it and it feels bad to do it but I spew up example after example of times she’s done wrong by me. As though there were someone I missed out on, way back when, before I came along. I wonder if that’s something you can understand, or if I’m a necrophiliac and shouldn’t be allowed to take trips down memory lane anymore. Either way, I’m going bananas and the hell of it is too much for me to handle at this particular moment in time.
“Look, you miserable little cunt, sort your fucking shit out. How am I ever supposed to help you when you won’t fucking help yourself?” I didn’t have a very brilliant answer to that, which surprised me as I usually have a brilliant answer to everything. I was a high achiever. I have it in writing somewhere that I had the reading age of a sixteen year old when I was eleven. Things looked very promising indeed. It was only natural that I should fluctuate a bit, but I still wouldn’t have blamed you if you’d gone for good. When you did go for good I was left reeling for years and with dreams that I thought would never end. To be perfectly honest, I even wondered for one insane moment if wellbeing was something that might not be readily available on the NHS but, thank God, I was wrong. I am not a miserable little cunt, nor was meant to be. I get high as a kite thinking about things like nicely peeled shallots and toy poodles, and I love you like mad.