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

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Italian

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.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig