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You said you thought I was cute, but I'm just a cut flower.

I have a job that makes my study feel like a calling, beautifully real friends, housemates who make me feel I've known them all my life. I'm living in the sort of room I always imagined, sloping ceiling, white walls and dark wood, room for even more books. Home is still eight hours drive away, but I should be happy here. The home from my dreams is full of workmates and friends who don't belong there.

I believe beauty was drowned in because.

I shred your soft eyes with my cynicism, because if I let you get close I know we will both only get hurt. I think that I'm better off drinking alone, but I don't know how to end it while I'm still having fun. You tell me your heart belongs to someone else, and I tell you the tin clock in my chest stopped years ago, no one knows quite why. It's not worth a trip down the yellow brick road, though. I try to get you out of my mind, focus on subordinate legislation and ultra vires, black letter law that never lept off the page to make anyone feel. Nothing lovely can survive the ferocity of absolute truth.

We're made up of moments and fingernails, toenails, and hair

This might be someone else's early twenties. I feel so far beneath my skin that I'm no longer responsible for my own sensations. A sixteen year old would call it numb, but I curl the blankets tighter against the world and relish having nothing to cry for. I wonder idly if this is a waste of some glory years, but I've got no real need to pursue the expected. Time is fleeting, and I sink into a novel, the words washing comfortingly through my eyes while I float on beautiful words and the sorts of noble ideas that seem so missing when the pages are closed.

Turn the lights out, close my eyes now

Apr. 16th, 2009

I'm flying through the night in this city where I can never be lonely, loving the way the light caresses familiar streets and memories.

I think this is why I can't love you, I don't see you framed by the buildings of my relative youth, sprawling comfortably across my world as on a threadbare couch. I don't see you at home in the places I am always homesick for, but rather sight-seeing and humouring me. You would find it nice. Cool. Charming. You would pause and trip in the crowded streets, unused to dodging deftly the flow of human traffic. You would like the parks, the streets, the quirky little coffee shops and independent bookstores, but they wouldn't haunt your dreams. You would want to do what the tourists do.

You stroke my hair, you like how it smells, and you are kind with this fish out of water. We take your time, and the pace is gentle but inevitable. You show me your tree-lined squares, favourite galleries, the council-sponsored community amusements, and I miss the cynical whimsy of home. You mistake my bemusement for rage, and I am glad I never let these two worlds collide, for the unspoiled sanctuary of coming home.

thin ice

[an editing experiment]

If she doesn't make eye contact, she can have another moment after this one, and another after that, with ice disappearing under her feet and wind rushing past her face. Her cheeks feel pink from exertion, happiness and cold.

She turns to face the tall figure standing alone, and moves to take his hand. Together they shuffle across the lake surface, and it is... pleasant. She can see afternoons and evenings spanning into the future, glove in glove with faint sensations of warmth and nicety. There's a cat on a rug, and a fireplace. They are courteous, if distant - they are kind to one another, give space to each other's quirks and foibles, and they eventually reach a point where to touch does not feel forced and awkward.

And release. Fingers swathed in wool are gone. Her hands are a little colder on their own, but she places one skate in front of the other, faster and faster until the little vision of a comfortable future is far, far behind her, and she is flying, pink-cheeked with exertion, cold, and anticipation.

100 word challenge

We are the friends who do not touch; artfully arranged around invisible barriers and always, always careful not to let it show. We stare determinedly straight ahead, avoiding the accidental intimacy of a glance that might be deemed too long, too deep. As a step in an intricate dance, one leg shuffles slightly to the side, shaking out pins and needles, and a corresponding limb moves fractionally out of the way. In hallways we pass in a civilised manner, my knees want to curtsey, but instead we each linger to opposite walls. Our disguise holds; we friends do not touch.


But this is space they cannot touch

Mr Rochester, I am better than you, for I would scorn such a relationship. Reading too much into Jane Eyre, and feeling my misplaced sympathy swell, cresting on a wave of pseudo-restraint. You're safe with me, though, because I'm hiding too. I say that I don't have the mental energy to know what I feel about him, say that I don't remember what love is and I have to give this a chance and see where it will go. I am avoiding eye contact before I even notice it, but I can't help noticing that I'm comparing everyone to you. Even if you chose to be free to choose, the notion that you would choose me is one that I cannot fathom. It is enough to know that you are happy and well in the world. Zenlove is not a needy love. I am needy, though. I don't want a world in which we are alienated, and so I keep my scary thoughts to myself where they can do no injury. The connection remains whole, if not all that I could hope.

My favourite place is me and you
Anxiety beats away anything resembling an appetite, and I'm lost in flashes of hands on waists and recollections of sensation long denied. The warm glows are faux and borrowed, but I'm grateful for the loan, however short-term. Your eyes will shortly stop seeking mine, and you won't reach out to touch my hand or stroke my hair, knowing that the next step is mired in awkwardness and will never quite eventuate. We'll avoid each other on the street, the gulf becoming something which no sane creature would attempt to bridge.

Sitting somewhere on the spectrum between clinically dead and fully alive, I claim that I'm resisting being sold and catalogued just a little while longer, but secretly I'm the child who wants all the things they simply can't have. I know you would take me for granted because that's the way the world works, the gentle and softly spoken are naive and deserve to be trampled. History repeats. I think if you had confirmation that you could have me, we wouldn't even last a week. The only thing I can offer is a challenge, but I always run just a little too far away.

Now I don't need to sleep to dream
Three days ago I had my gestalt shift and now the world is brighter and more brilliant than I was ever before able to imagine it could be. I'm flying with the wind and ever so richly alive, fortunate in my friendships and associations and able to face nearly anything, as though everything I've ever feared has been a lie, a story built to bar me from accessing this pure and total freedom. Everything makes a kind of marvellous sense.

The flip side is that I could get very used to feeling this way.
I frosted walls heavy with spice and royal icing, made a marzipan santa with jellybean boots for the roof, and an icing sugar snowman in scarf and chocolate hat for the door. It's strange the way these things become traditions, the truffles and gingerbread houses that shape the Christmas that we share. Wrapping in exhaustion the gifts left until new years eve - awaiting the postman with anticipation and a mild terror that they'll have nothing from you to unwrap in the glow of Christmas morning. There's a flurry of unwrapping, expressions of gratitude and appreciation, and fervent hopes that the choices you made in department stores, markets, fabric and craft stores leading up to this moment were the right ones.

As we get older we replace the glow of magic and mystery with the warmth of friendship, good wine, and overindulgences of every good thing we can find. It's not and never can be a replication, but we manage to preserve some of the happiness and warmth of fond memories and the afternoon glows golden, nevertheless.

An old greek man holds back tears at the dinner table and weeps silently for an orange grove once watered by hand, with a little bucket and a stream over the crest. The forest has reclaimed it and now it's as though it was never there, a childhood spent among the woodcutters and craftsmen, a father who went back to the old country whom he never saw again. There is an awkward silence as we all lack athe family connection to know how to respond. I go to stand beside him, resting a hand on his shoulder, and he is embarassed to be found crying.

Dec. 9th, 2008

Go for broke.

Always try and do too much.

Dispense with safety nets.

Take a deep breath before you begin talking.

Aim for the stars.

Keep grinning.

Be bloody-minded.

Argue with the world.

And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things—childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves—that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers."

--Salman Rushdie

Thousands of pieces swirl in a girl-shaped maelstrom. Compassion. Cattiness. A tendency to cover my eyes when embarassed. Irreligion, social justice, walking with a purpose in the night, sometimes longing for the pressure of another body curled tight against my spine. Feminism, shyness, outspokenness, vegetarianism, utilitarianism, playing guitar, listening to good and bad music, thinking uncharitable thoughts. Independence that dreams of one day finding some sort of a compromise. Student, wageslave, sister, tutor, lover. The lilt to her voice, the quirk of an eyebrow. Tears that well slowly, damply, spilling over in silence, and great, heaving, hysterical sobs that tear the world apart and make it hard to breathe.

Some pieces are missing, but there's still more than enough for several different and contradictory girls to emerge. I'm trying to discover which one belongs where, so I can leave one in every place that I love and never have to abandon anyone. All of these parts and I'm still incomplete.
"Miss Collins heroine is prudish, calculating, selfish and dull, despite her miraculous expanding tits."
-The Female Eunuch- Germaine Greer