superlatively rude

because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 11 September 2017

Fabio


I look at you sometimes, and I think: give me your seed. I look at you and I think, give me your seed. Plant yourself inside of me and grow and grow and grow, let two become one become three and let’s build something beautiful, together, forever. I love you. I am you. We are we.

I look at you sometimes, and I think: if you chew that way one more fucking time, I’ll punch you so hard my fist will go through you.


*

I can’t focus when we first sit down. When you talk, you are so handsome to me that it is a distraction. Laura, I remember thinking to myself, still watching your mouth move, how your tongue hits your lips, you have to say something. He asked you out because he thinks you have something to say for yourself, and you’re disappointing him. “Oh really?” I squeak out. “Tell me some more about that.” I continue to watch you. Mesmerised. This continues for five hours.

*

You meet my friends. I wear a yellow dress and you stand with me in a corner and it’s because you’re shy, you tell me, even though you haven’t paused for breath since the day I first met you. We look good together, and I know we do. They tell me it’s obvious, that I am myself, that there is no show. You make them laugh. The day after, I meet your friends. I make them laugh. We’re good at this. Our Uber driver asks if we’re thinking of having kids. The woman next to you enquires after your wife. My friend sees us from across the park and says it’s like we’ve been together for a very long time indeed. It’s been three weeks.

*

The months before I met you, I explored ethical non-monogamy. There was too much diary-management for me. Dating one person works just fine: I need time to write and eat and watch Netflix call my mother. I say dating one person works just fine, but so does dating no people. I’d decided to move to near my parents, to get a jog on with adopting a toddler alone. I was more okay than I had ever been, right before I met you.

*

We have our first fight on a Saturday morning, in your bed. I am naked and sat against the wall, a pillow pulled to my stomach, trying not to cry. You are my father in that moment, by which I mean you are me, because I learned how to pull away from him. From my father I learned that when somebody cries they are weak, and when confronted with weakness one must become resolute. Stronger. Carry you both. And so you lay there and do not move to rest a hand on my leg or pull me in close or hold me as the tears fall, instead you play the role I have practised for thirty-one years, and I assume the position of weakness, tears leaking from my eyes and words stuck in my throat.

“You need to decide what you want,” you tell me.

I want to go home, I reply, eventually. I want to go home and I want to do it alone and I want that to be okay. I tell you I am tired, and I don’t know how to be tired and overwhelmed and scared with somebody else. I only know how to do it alone, because I always have done it alone and that suited me, in the end, just fine.

I’m scared you’ll leave me if I want to be alone.

That when you said you liked a strong, independent, women, you fudged the truth, because that’s what most men do. Did. Are other men past tense now?

*

There is a leaf, a sort of bud, maybe blossom, trapped in the latch of my Macbook, even now, in the hinge bit, where the screen connects to the typepad, and it’s blossom (I’ve decided to call it blossom) from that Monday, during the heatwave, when we went to Hyde Park. I brought a blanket, and figs you didn’t eat because I didn’t know you didn’t like figs, then, and you brought wine and cinnamon biscuits your parents sent from home in a big box that costs thirty euros to post. The pretext was “work” – that you were going to read about neuroscience with a highlighter pen in your hand, and I was going to type some words, but I didn’t get beyond opening the computer and your pages lay in the shade, and half an hour before I had to leave and we’d held eye contact a bit and I’d made sure to touch your arm you kissed me, and I thought to myself, Huh. So that’s what it’s like to kiss a man with a moustache.


When I masturbate I think of you.


I’m almost embarrassed when people ask about you – and ­everybody asks. They meet you and comment on how handsome you are, how much space your 6’4 frame takes up, your deep voice, your greying temples and manicured moustache. They ask what you do and I tell them and they are impressed. I had started to answer the question, “Anyone special in your life yet, Laura?” with a joke about how I couldn’t find anybody special enough. You know. To prove the point that I wouldn’t settle. Now you are my evidence. The proof that I was right to hold out for the best. But how do I tell them my evidence, my proof, doesn’t always feel right. That it is the hardest work I have ever done to make room for somebody like you in my life? That I’m terrified that I could walk away any minute and survive, and that I absolutely cannot. Why does nobody say all this under their Man Crush Monday? Is it only me who finds being in a two this hard?



Don't go anywhere. 

Give me space. 

Come here. 

I love you.

*

You give me a shelf in your bedroom. I clear closet space in mine. We plan trips and split checks and take photos and misunderstand each other and sit in happy silence and hostile space and make love and cook and take a suitcase back and forth across the city. You say things one way and I hear them another and I almost made you cry, that one time, and I have never felt worse. We wrestle. We push and pull and decide what feels comfortable and these growing pains - they hurt. But for you, and me, and us, I want to grow. I just never knew this is how it would be. That I would want nothing from you except all that you are and all that you do, and sometimes, want to punch you. Because you chew too loud.

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Number Two


I wanted a record, somewhere, that this is what I wrote the afternoon before my second book came out, and that I stood on a chair to read to a room full of people I love. A first book party felt huge. This second one almost more so.


*


(FYI writing this speech felt like writing my Oscar acceptance speech, except that I knew I’d won.)

(Prepare yourselves for some words about my ~feelings~.)

This time last year, I was sad. I felt like the saddest girl in the world, actually.

Now I know just how common depression is, but last March - when I finally got diagnosed with an illness I reckon I’d had probably six months before that - I was the most isolated, and empty, and lifeless I have ever been.

I didn’t want to die. But. I sort of... couldn’t see the point in living.

The lesson of my life is letting myself be loved. And being sad – having depression and anxiety – was the ultimate lesson in what it is to accept love. I wouldn’t survive, I knew, if I didn’t let myself be loved.

When I was in therapy (more affordable and less wanky than you’d think!), I said I felt like I’d been smashed open, somehow. Broken – but broken open.

I know now, on the other side of it, that I was absolutely right. I was smashed open by depression so that I could learn to let love in.

I wasn’t going to have a party to celebrate this book, because - and this is the biggest of humblebrags - ICE CREAM has happened so close to the first book. Having another party when I still go to bed thinking and dreaming about the last one seemed indulgent – like having a gift registry at my second wedding.

But.

This is a room of people who love me. A room of people who taught me how to accept love. You are a room of my teachers, and that makes me the luckiest human alive.

I wanted to have this party so that I could say thank you.

However you reached out, however you held my hand when I needed it – thank you.

In my recovery – in the days and weeks and months I learned how to accept love and channel it into the strength it takes to get up, to stand, to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, I met three little girls in north London as I nannied them.

And because you loved me, I was able to put one foot in front of the other to their front door every morning at 7am, and the nine months I spent working with them was an honour, and a delight, and they were my teachers, too.

I learned forty little life lessons from them that helped me to step into this new version of myself, and that’s why this book – ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST – is dedicated to them. Because they taught me how to have adventures and be silly as a virtue and laugh loudly and dick about.

But I could never have been open those lessons if you hadn’t carried me so far.

So.

This is a book about embracing what it is to be childlike so that we might rediscover our joy. And friends? It exists because of you.




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Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Film Trailer Editor

I saw you, and you looked happy. 

She wanted you in a way I never could. She nuzzled into your neck, lips-to-skin not enough so pressing her cheek to yours, her arm to your body, the length of her leg to the length of you. 

When I had done that, I didn't mean it.  

I tried. 

I wanted to. 

I wanted the mis-matched pieces to fit, because I wanted to be part of a two. I don't now. But back then, I did.

I wish I had been kinder about explaining that it wasn't you. That is was the maths of it. The equation of our parts. I wish I'd been kinder in general. Because, that's just it: you are kind and gentle and sensitive and I treated you as "not enough", somehow, because you weren't what I needed in those moments, what I'd imagined, and I knew that if I came over to say hi you'd continue to be kind and gentle and sensitive and that, truth told, I don't deserve that. 

Not from you.

Not when she looked so happy, too.



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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

L

I hung out with the girls used to nanny, because I love them and miss them and they teach me so very much, and the seven-year old fell off her scooter on the way to the cafe because of a Very Big Stone. She cried, it was the end of the world, and then we decided to take the stone home to (wash, first, and then) keep on a shelf, so that we could show it who the boss is. And you know what? Ain't that just it? You can get tripped up and be afraid, or you can get tripped up, wrangle the motherfucker that dared, own it, and then take it home to draw a moustache on in Sharpie, next to the word "LOSER". 


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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Geek

The message said, "I wonder about what you wrote, in your column, about the guy you dated who wanted to be friends - did it work? How did you do it? I'm in a similar situation, you see..."

I didn't know how to write back that the man who "just wanted to be friends" sat across from me drinking wine and talked about how he thought what we'd like in the bedroom might "match", and who looked at my bum when I went to the bar but wanted me to know about who he'd been sleeping with. The man who "just wanted to be friends" stayed out until 2 a.m. in hotel bars and pressed his body up to mine, and my resolve was weak and I so desperately wanted to be the friend, you see. So desperately wanted the sense of self it takes to say you did not dent my fragile heart because I forgot that the biggest sense of self would be to admit it and walk away.

When will I learn that I have nothing to prove?

I wanted him to change his mind, I suppose. I did a good show of saying, that isn't a good idea when he got serious and pressed his nose to mine. I pulled away. I pulled away twice. But three time's a charm and I let him collide with my hope and we kissed and it was stupid and it was everything and nothing and the next morning he wanted to know if we could just "draw a line under it" and his dismissal of it that way - the way he took zero responsibility and then fell off the face of the earth, save for continued stalking of my Instagram stories, so I knew he was still, actually, alive, in that very particular twenty-first century way - meant that three months after I should've, I deleted his number from my phone.



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Friday, 10 March 2017

Thinking Out Loud

And the music plays and the moon peeks through and the darkness of outside means we see ourselves so very clearly in the giant glass doors. We play the song again and again and again, and we stretch and we spin and we kick and we do everything else we've seen on the television, on the internet, in that music video about loving deeply and wholly and for a very long time.

I don't know much about romantic love. Not really. I'm trying to love myself into the answer and the question, I know that much. But with you three girls, in that house at the top of Islington and that song playing for the fourth time in a row. Well. My heart grew a size in a way no man has ever encouraged, and I overflowed in gratitude that three children who don't belong to me could remind me what it is, indeed, to love.





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Thursday, 9 March 2017

9/03/17

It's not the answers that impress me.
It's the way you ask the questions.



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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Him

They say to stick with the people who pull the magic out of you
and not the madness.
But darling,
You do both.




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