We stood up and measured ourselves against everything we could find. We measured the tips of our fingers to the points of our elbows and compared them to the panels in the wooden doors, lining them up precisely; edging palms up, straightening each ulna. We took the edges of each eye and we spun and spun until we knew exactly how many Mississippi’s it took eye to eye around the backs of our living minds. How tall are you compared to this fern? Here, let me place your finger in the crack of the wooden floorboard. It’s but a fingernail wide; the baby, that is. Where is your nose in relation to this light switch? We compared ourselves to the world and this we did every Sunday; Our only way to distinguish between life and death.
The mighty catfish sunk to the floor
It sunk so far it could go no more
And then one day it saw the light
Saw the light and decided to fight.
It raised one whisker up from the sea bed
Raised it way, way above it’s head.
It said, “Hey World, I think it’s time
To stand up and to take what’s mine!”
And sooner or later it was flying high
Flying high in the media industry up in the sky.
I wish I could draw your body,
With the tattoo on your chest
And the one on your arm.
It reminded me of everything I once wanted;
Everything I once yearned for.
It pushed me back to youth.
All that joy of Christmas lights
Took me back to last year, bounding
Around as if new to treating
My senses to your smell; fleeting
Cascading fireworks in the night sky, holding
Hands and hearts beating, bleeding
New and old you are seeing that
Somewhere in here, I to you am freeing.
It’s frustrating. Like the reoccurring dream where I try to remove a garment and it snaps back on. Don’t you get it? I just want to remove my dungarees.
There are questions inside of questions. Tiny questions hiding inside big questions like why do I exist like this and should I eat less meat? I shout the questions to the abyss and nothing comes back. I am Zack Braff, Peter Sarsgaard and Natalie Portman. I am shouting in the rain in a bin bag, every day, inside myself. Yanking the dungarees, losing parts of myself.
And every day it’s total annihilation. Drunk and sad, and sex with married men and drugs and shrugging and 2am messages to the man who never, ever loved me. And I’m empty and I’m lost and I wish it were a game of hide and seek. I just want to be found.
But I’ve always been an angry drunk.
I can’t come if you tell me to. Something about the words makes it filthy and I’m transported. Girls are flashing their assholes and biting their lips somewhere and I’m dry as a corpse now.
There was a time I wanted to have a baby with you until the assholes, and the lip biting, and the blowjob history, and the trust smashed in like a corner shop window, midwinter.
Don’t you know I’m not present. I’m no present for anyone. I’m a bored housewife without the house or the wife part. Waiting for the postman to ring the door bell and sort me out. Send in that long-awaited rush of blood. Give me a hit. Pull me apart, shine up the rust, and put me back together.
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. It’s just so out of this world! It’s hard to bring myself to even say the words.
You beg me. You say please. Please tell me your story, you say. I won’t tell anyone.
I can’t tell you! I say. I wouldn’t even be able to describe it right. It’s impossible! You couldn’t possibly understand, I say as I giggle.
Just try me, you beg. I can’t even imagine. It must be such a story!
It’s just so crazy, I’m not sure what to say. What a story it is. Such a burden to hold.
And it goes back and forth like this until one of us dies.