Tag Archives: love

Mental Breakdown #3 – Student



Date: 03/14/2013

Dear whoever you are,

It’s 3:45 in the morning and I’m upset and tired and alone and drunk in LA. I tried to get some sleep but between my own crying and the echo of those little boys screaming in my head I couldn’t catch a moment. That awful, awful noise has been going round and round for hours and hours. I can still hear them crying, and that woman shouting, and Donny sounding so scary, all threatening. Its kept me awake all night, torturing me.

I feel so awful. I had no idea who they were. I thought she was just another crazy person. I mean, this is downtown LA, and we were outside Ralph’s. But she just started screaming, dragging her crying kids towards us. “Look at us you bastard! Look at your family!”. At first I laughed and shook my head, thinking she was someone else’s problem. But when I looked to Donny to say something about her I saw his jaw clenched shut and felt him go all stiff next to me. I fell down a big hole. I just ran away.

It’d be pretty naive of me to say that I didn’t suspect that he might have been married. I mean, he’s like forty years old! Maybe it was just the way he was, all youthful and free-spirited. More like a renaissance, less like a crisis. It honestly felt like we met somewhere between nineteen and forty. He didn’t look like he’d had kids. You know that way sometimes you can just tell. It’s not a physical trait, more the way they view the world. But maybe I saw all of that but didn’t want to acknowledge it. Maybe I figured that I was in love with him, so why jeopardize this over something like that? Or maybe I saw it and didn’t care because I’m a terrible person like that.

When I got home I took the bottle of vodka in the refrigerator into my room, flopped onto my bed and cried. I text him, maybe seven, eight times. Phoned him twice but on the first time he cancelled the call, and the next time it went straight to his voicemail. I heard him saying his ‘Hi it’s Donald Elrich, I’m sorry I can’t take your call-’ thing. I hadn’t thought about what to say, so I just said a few sobbing words asking him to call me asap, then deleted it. I broke down. I mean, every single bit of me just fell apart as I hit the bottom of the big hole. I felt like the loneliest, stupidest little girl in the world. I couldn’t do anything but lie there and cry into my pillow.

The crying has stopped for now at least, but in a way I always felt that crying was good because I always saw tears as baggage. But cried tonight about who I’ve lost, not about the lives I’ve ruined. I can’t seem to shed a single tear over of the shame I feel. I’m trying to cry, but the tears are all blocked up. They’re in a big lump in my stomach. I’ve been sitting here for the last two hours watching the ice cubes melt in my drink and thinking about all of the people that I’ve been horrible to in my life. All the way from the mom that gave birth to me to the mom that was screaming at me. I’d never done a comprehensive overview of the casualties of my selfish behavior. Maybe if I had I would have been so ashamed with myself that I wouldn’t be here today. Because that’s how I feel right now. Not like some people who think like, ‘No one would even notice me if I was dead!’ I feel that people would notice me being dead, and they would be happier. ‘That bitch?’ they’d say, ‘Thank God for that! The air around me is that little bit fresher.’

Brandi is the only person I want to speak to. The friends I text earlier still haven’t gotten back to me, and I don’t even really want them to. Because I don’t know what I’d say to them. I want to speak to Brandi. But I really fucked that up. She’s like my best friend and my roommate, but since we moved to LA together I’ve become an even bigger bitch and we’ve grated against each other. She took school seriously, and I constantly made fun of her for it. Like bailing on class and wasting my father’s money and my own time was cool. Ugh. Anyway, we had a massive falling out a week ago and haven’t spoken since. But I feel ready to apologize for the way I’ve always treated her. I’ve kind of come to realize that I’ve always sort of bullied her. Like she was almost beneath me, in a way. I pulled myself out of bed and knocked on her door, but there was no answer. She must have been with that guy she’s been seeing. I thought about calling. But I couldn’t. I didn’t even know where to starting knowing what to say. In the end I just sent her a text saying, “I think I see it now. You’re right. I’m so sorry gurl. I love you x”. I still haven’t heard back from her yet. I hope she forgives me. I need her.

I’ve been sitting with the knife close by for about an hour and I’m thinking about it. I am. I closed my eyes put it on my forearm and felt it, all cold and straight. Maybe it’s just a childish cry for help, but why not? I need help, and I’ve proved time and time again that I’m a child. I mean, I feel like I deserve it. No one wants me. Yesterday it felt like everyone wanted to be me. Like I had one of those lives. The kind that I thought I would have when I came to Los Angeles. And today I’m toxic. No one wants to be around me. I think I love Donny but what does that even mean? To him, to me. I’m a child, and he already has two of them apparently. I thought about calling dad, but I can’t tell him about any of this. I’m his baby girl. His baby girl that thinks she’s a full-grown woman, stumbling in these big heels, crying for attention when she falls.

Someone help, please. This really hurts.








Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sugar Mama – Based on a True Story

The next bus will be along in about six minutes.

Oh, okay. Thanks.

Oh my god! I did not expect that big gruff voice!

That big gruff Scottish voice.

Oh it’s Scottish too!? That’s so sexy!

Haha. Thanks.


So you’re here on vacation?

Nope. I’m here to live.

Get the fuck out of here! How?

I’m married.

Really? Shit!

Yeah, I’m sorry about that.


So what do you do?

Ehhh, nothing. Yet.

I’ll give you a job.

Yeah? Doing what?

You can be my boyfriend.

Is that a job?


I’d take care of you honey.

I’m sure you would.

I could be your sugar mama.

And what would that entail?

My sugar’d stop you from getting bitter.

I need some of that sugar right now.


Is it true what they say about tall, skinny guys?

What do they say?

That you’re ehhh, well, you know… hung?

Of course. I’d rupture your spleen darling.

Baby, I don’t think you’d even touch the sides!

You know, you’re probably right.


I’m a home help these days.

Who do you help?

My man. He’s not well.

I’m sorry to hear that.

It’s okay. He’s getting better, I think.

I’m pleased to hear that.


Is this your stop?

Yeah, this is me.

Can I get a kiss before you go?

Yeah. Where?


Hahaha. No.


Okay, on the lips.


Oooh! I’m going to be thinking about that at home tonight!

I’m sure you will be. What was your name by the way?

It’s Mark.

Ross. Nice to meet you.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

With Love – Part Six

“Any last words?” she asked.

“I love you more than life.”

“I love you more than death”

The cars screeched to a halt about thirty yards behind us. The helicopter flew over head. The light shot over us and then moved back. The dust whipped up all round us. In that bright light from above I saw how beautiful she looked.

“Drop your weapons and step out of the vehicle!” shouted a cop through his megaphone. We could only just hear him over the music and the helicopter.

She blew me a kiss. I blew her one back.

“Three, two, one” I said.

We pointed the guns at one another, closing our eyes, ending everything, just as it had started. With love.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

With Love – Part Five

“Put on the radio” she said, “I want to hear if they’re onto us yet.”

I reached down and ejected the tape. I started scanning around for a station. I scratched past some country and western, some talk show stuff, some classic rock. I found a news report and left it on.

We both sat in silence, listening to the newscaster. They didn’t mention what happened in Albuquerque, or in Deming, or at the side of the road where we left the bleeding cops. We were both a little disappointed.

“I don’t think we’re going to get to hear about ourselves” she said.

“I think you’re right. They probably won’t report it until they’ve caught us.”

She looked at me and smiled again.

“If that’s the case then they’ll never report it.”

“They’ll report it tomorrow baby. Nationwide. Worldwide maybe.”

Her eyes lit up and she started clapping her hands together.

“We’ll be famous! Posthumously fucking famous!”

I smiled at her. I always wanted to be a famous rock star. She told me once that she wanted to be a famous Hollywood actress. We knew that tomorrow we would both get half of our dreams. I guess that’s more than most people ever get.

I looked back in the mirror. There were no twenties left in bag. I could see the half moon rising higher in the sky behind us. I reached my arm over and put my hand in front of her mouth. She started to kiss and bite at my fingers. She looked around for another tape. She picked one and pushed it. It was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Our favorite album.

“Yes!” I shouted, springing back to life, “I fucking love you sugar!”

“I fucking love you too button!”

We both sung ‘Second Hand News’ as we blasted towards the setting sun, almost gone behind the wide horizon.


We heard the cop cars just as the sun disappeared. We pulled over and turned the music down. ‘Don’t Stop’ was playing quietly in the background. It seemed pretty appropriate to be honest. But we did stop.

“Is this it?” she asked, smiling widely.

I looked at the blue and red lights lighting up the dark sky from around the way. That deep into the desert we could hear the sirens for miles. They’d be here in a couple of minutes at most. I tightened my hands around the wheel. I could feel my knuckles go white, trying to burst out of my skin.

“Yeah. I think it is.”

“Okay” she said. She opened the door and got out. She walked to the hood of the car. She turned the light on her cell phone on and started to write something in the dust on the hood. I got out and walked around. The sirens were getting louder. I looked back. I could see a helicopter light beaming down onto the sand, scanning around for signs of life.

“What are you writing?” I asked, putting my arm around her and kissing her hair.

“Our suicide note!”

“That’s great!” I said, watching her write it quickly, beautifully, without thought.

“Done!” she said, stepping back and shining the light onto the hood.

It read:

We did what we did because we do what we want.

And our laughter will echo forever,

louder than guns and sirens.

Our victory lap around the wind.

Good night motherfuckers x


I felt a little tear drip from the side of my eye. I wiped it away and started to laugh.

“It’s beautiful sugar.”

She turned to me.

“You’re beautiful.”

I saw that same drip in her eye, tugging at her thick make-up. It held up strong. She looked so real.

I brought her to my lips and felt that rush run through my body like it had so many times before. We pulled away and wiped the tears from one another’s eyes. We both smiled. We turned and looked to the blue and red lights getting closer, stronger.

“Let’s do this then” I said.


We got back into the car and sat down. I opened the glove box and pulled out the other gun we brought with us. We hadn’t used it yet. I just pointed it at her stepmother. You know, to calm her down. She shot her with the other gun. I took off the safety and closed the glove box.

“Okay” she said, “take out one of your bullets and give it to me.”


“Just do it.”


I pulled one out and handed it to her. She did the same.

“That’s the one I want to kill me.”

“Okay” I said. We each slid the other’s bullet into the chamber and snapped it shut.

She turned the music up, drowning out the helicopter and sirens. ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’ played on. She looked at me and smiled. Her tears had dried up. Mine had too.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

With Love – Part Two

We were stopped by two police officers about forty miles from the Mexican border just past Deming. We picked them up as we were leaving the town.


I knew I’d made her angry so we’d stopped in Deming to get something to eat. Biscuits and gravy. I grabbed a handful of the money from the bag and stuffed it in my pocket. I just looked around for cops the whole time. She just sat talking and laughing and eating. I hadn’t seen her that happy before. People were looking at us in the restaurant. In your head you tell yourself that it’s because they heard about what you did on the radio and they know you did it. But we were dressed like ‘city folk’ in a country town. And she was bouncing off the walls. And I was starin’ out every face, jumping every time the door opened. We stood out like a couple of Jews in a Mosque.

“Do you think we’re gonna make it to Mexico?” she asked.

“Probably” I said. I was sure we wouldn’t. Even if we could get there I knew we wouldn’t get there.

“I don’t. I think we’re gonna die.” She smiled this big goofy smile and kept chewing on her food. I started laughing.

“Yeah. Me too.”

She stopped smiling.

“Then why’d you lie?”

“Cause I thought you wanted me to.”

She kissed her fingers and reached out and pressed them against my lips. I closed my eyes. I could taste the gravy. It tasted really good. I was really hungry but far too wired to eat anything.

“You got your gun?” she asked me, looking over those heart-shaped glasses, swallowing a big mouthful of biscuit.

I looked around to see if anyone heard her. She was so loud.

“Yeah. Of course.” I whispered.

“Give it to me” she said, smiling at me.

“Why?” I asked, still whispering.

She took off her glasses, folded them and sat the down on the table.

“I’m gonna kill someone, that’s why.”

I looked into those eyes of hers. I could still see the young, broken girl I fell in love with a few weeks ago, but she was disappearing faster than our chances. When she stared down the barrel of that gun in my pants and pulled the trigger on her daddy, that little girl in her died without a corpse. She was someone I didn’t think I’d ever know. She was so beautiful.

“Sugar,” I leaned in, trying to throw a blanket over our conversation, “these people ain’t done nuthin.”

“You’re right.” She sat back, her smile disappeared. She looked down at her plate, all sad.

“Look, I don’t wanna kill nobody,” I took her hands in mine, “but, if you wanna rob the place, then I’m happy with that. You know, for kicks.”

She looked up and smiled.

“Really?! Like Pulp Fiction?”

“Like Pulp Fiction.” I smiled, rubbing her hands. “But no killing nobody. Not unless you have to.”

She looked at me from across the table. She blew me a kiss. I watched her shoulder dip under the table. I felt her hand slide up my leg. She moved her hand over my dick and started rubbing. I closed my eyes. In one move I felt the gun come right out of my pants.

“Everybody be cool this is a robbery!!!” she shouted, her chair sliding back across the diner floor. I smiled at her as I rose to my feet. At that moment, I’d never loved anyone so much.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

With Love – Part One

Twenty dollar bills hotter than the smoking gun in the back covered our tracks all the way to the border. We both laughed when she said that we’d lost more than we’d won. The bag in the back lay open and all those dead Presidents stared up at the sky as we laughed under the setting sun, knowing that tomorrow we’d both be dead and none of this would mean anything.


“I keep thinking I can hear the police” I said, turning the music down and looking in the rear view mirror. I saw some of that money floating out. All they had to do was follow the money.

“You’re just hearing things” she said. She looked in the mirror too. She was putting on lipstick. But I knew that she was looking for the cops. She pouted at herself and took a big swig from the bottle of tequila we brought for the ride. “You want some?”

“Nah” I said, looking back into the mirror. I could feel it burning holes in my stomach. “Can you zip that bag up sugar? I hate thinking we spilt a lotta blood for the sake of throwing money out the back of the car.”

She looked at me, and smiled. I couldn’t see her eyes behind those big heart-shaped sunglasses she always wore. She pulled them down the bridge of her little nose and smiled.

“Honey, we both know we aint spending that money on anything but the pleasure of watching it float away.”

“That’s true.”

“So I aint closing shit.” She lit a cigarette and put her feet up on the dash. I looked back into the mirror. I couldn’t hear anything but the wind and our engine and Iggy Pop. We both just listened.

“I’m hungry. Can we stop in somewhere?”

“Where the fuck we gonna get something to eat round here?” I snapped at her, looking around at the big orange rocks that were all around us. There hadn’t been a sign of life for an hour by that point. The trees had slowly changed into cactus and the eagles into vultures. I thought about trying to shoot one. You know, to keep the buzz going. But I just drank more. “There’s nothing around here but roadkill. And that’s probably all burnt up from his fucking horrible sun. If I was going to eat roadkill I’d at least want it rare!”

“All right, chill baby! Fucking hell.” She looked into the mirror again and pouted. She rubbed her stomach. “Ugh. I’m starving. You know what I could eat right now?” she asked, springing to life and throwing that bottle into her face again.

“What?” I said, still looking at the road in front of us.

“Gravy and biscuits. From The Watermelon.”

“Yeah. Those are good.”

I looked back to the mirror. I didn’t know why.

We both sat in silence for a moment. I couldn’t hear the sirens in my head anymore. I couldn’t hear Iggy screeching. I could only hear the wind. I wondered if either of us would ever get to eat gravy and biscuits at The Watermelon again. I looked over at her. She was moving my Zippo around in her hands. I had no idea what she was thinking about.

“We should have taken stuff from daddy’s.”

“I think we took enough.”

“Fuck that! He owed me. That motherfucker.” She slammed her hand on the dashboard. I jumped a little. The car swerved over the lines in the road that were fast disappearing behind us. “I’m still hungry.”

I looked back into the mirror. I watched the twenties float out over the back seat. He didn’t owe me anything. But I couldn’t help but feel that I owed him a lot.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Teaser – Untitled

Twenty dollar bills hotter than the molten gun in the back covered our tracks all the way to the border. We both laughed when she said that we’d lost more than we’d won. The bag lay open and all those Andrew Jackson’s fluttered and stared up at the sky as we laughed under the setting sun, knowing that tomorrow we’d both be dead and none of this would mean anything.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Getaway Driver – Part Three

“So you make it out alive. And I’m waiting around the corner in the getaway car.” She pointed to the phone with the lighter on it. “But that lousy bank manager hit the alarm and the cops are coming. Your phone is the cop car.”

“Okay” I said. I was getting into this hypothetical bank robbery almost as much as she was.

She put the sweeteners next to the lighter and popped the cigarette in her mouth. She started to move her phone around the table. She grabbed my phone. I almost stopped her, but I thought she might get mad again.

“The cops are chasing us. High speed. We tell each other that it’ll be alright. We’ll get through this. We’ll lose these mother fuckers and get to the airport.” She moved the phones around the items left on the table. They skidded around the book and swerved around the coffee cup. I kept watching. My eyes following her hands around the table like it was a trick. “But we don’t make it. You lean over to kiss me. And I lose control.” She pulls her phone off the table. “And so do the cops.” And off goes my phone as well.

I sit back in my chair. I start to bite on my finger nail, trying to make some sense of it all.

“Did we die?”

“I don’t know. That’s for you to decide I guess. You’re the writer” she said, leaning back and handing my phone to me with a wink. I thought for a moment, looking down at the table, trying to block out the absurdity of what had just happened and focus on what happened.

“We didn’t die.” I said after a second. “But they did. The cops.” I leaned back in. A broad smile crept across her face again. She looked really pretty when she smiled like that. That sweet smile was like the tonic for her crazy eyes.  “We get out of the car and walk to the side of the road.” I picked up the sweeteners and the lighter.


“And we use the shotgun,” I reached over and pulled the cigarette out of her mouth and pressed it behind the sweeteners, “to steal the next car that comes along.” She sat her phone back down on the table and moved it slowly towards the lighter and the sweeteners, pushing it gently with her fingertips, all painted a different color.

“We steal the car,” I put the lighter and the sweeteners on the phone, “throw the shotgun out of the window,” I roll the cigarette off of the table and stamp it out, “and drive to the airport.”

I sat back again. I found myself a little short of breath. But smiling.

“And?” she said, holding the phone with her fingertips, waiting for her next instructions.

“And nothing. That’s the end.”



She looked both ways and leaned in closer.

“What about paying off the pimp?”

“Fuck him. We decided not to. When we were driving away.”

She started to clap her hands together softly again, beaming from her gold earring to her silver one. She stopped suddenly and leaned in closer.

“What about Rishikesh?” she whispered.

“We might make. We might not. We should leave that up to the reader.”

She slowly moved back into her chair and carefully took her fingers from the phone. She picked up the lighter and the sweeteners and sat them down back in their original position. All things in a line.

“I like that. Mystery. That seems so…you.”

I felt my back straighten up. So me? I couldn’t work out what she meant by that.

“Is that so? I’m not that mysterious. I’m actually quite open.”

“No you’re not. I’m an astute judge of character. But I didn’t have you down as a freak.” She smiled like that again.

“A freak?”

“A mysterious freak.” She pointed her purple fingernail at me. She started to pack her items back into her bag. “You see, dressed the way you are, in a coffee shop, on your own, notepad, sitting with someone like me. You’re hard to work out. You keep that freak in a cage somewhere. I guess it takes a bigger freak to bend the bars and let him loose.”

I just looked at her, confused and rooted in my seat.  She stood up quickly, throwing her big bag over her shoulder.

“I’ll see you around” she said with a smile.

“Wait. Do you come here often?” I asked. I immediately realized how corny that sounded.

“Was that a pick-up line?”

“No, I don’t think so. I just mean it would be nice to see you again. What’s your phone number?” I went for my phone in my pocket.

“Don’t worry about that,” she said quickly, “we’ll bump into each other again. I have a feeling.”


“I didn’t catch your name.”

“Eh….Richard” I said, looking at the empty table, feeling a bit shell-shocked by everything. My brain was having too many thoughts at once.


I looked up at her and smiled.

“Yeah. Why not?”

Tagged , , , , ,

No Day for Shakespeare – Part Four

          As soon as I put the phone down I jumped into the shower. I needed to make it quick because I wanted to clean up the shit tip I had been dwelling in for the last couple of weeks. I stared myself down in the mirror as the lukewarm water rained down on me.

“This is the right thing to do” I said aloud.

          I shaved off the beard I had been growing. It seemed strange to see my face back to normal again. It was better I think. I thought that I could see a few more wrinkles than before. But I was probably just imagining it. My eyes looked a little bloodshot. Sleeping drunk with my contacts in every night hadn’t helped I’m sure. I wiped all of the dried blobs of toothpaste from the edges of the sink and moved some of my cosmetics around. I stood back and looked at the organized space that framed me in the mirror. I had gained a bit of weight recently. My six-pack was now a two pack and I had none of that definition she used to love. There was something about my stance as well. My shoulders never used to slump as much as they did now. It was as if the extra weight I had was pulling them down a bit. I grabbed the towel and wrapped it around my shoulders, covering myself. As much as I wanted to, a part of me hoped that the night wouldn’t end in sex. I didn’t want her to see what I had become in her absence.

          As I dried myself off and grabbed some fresh clothes, I put on my “on-the-go” playlist. I laughed to myself when “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan started up. Grabbing a white recycling trash bag and puffing a cigarette, I started to clean the sty that I was living in. Makeshift ashtrays, coke bottles, beer cans, takeaway boxes, receipts for bar tabs on my credit card. They were all ruthlessly stuffed into the bag. I threw all of my dirty laundry into the washing machine and left it there, hiding.

“You’re the reason I’m travelin’ on, don’t think twice it’s alright” sang Bob.


          The rain thrashed down heavily on my window pane as I did my hair in the mirror and sang along to Lou Reed. My hair had started to grow back to the way I liked it. I splashed on a little aftershave and sparked another cigarette. I looked out at the grim apartment complex I lived in. Everything in this bastard city looked awful in the rain. Not like home. There’s something beautiful about the countryside in the rain. I grabbed my keys and phone and walked towards the door. I decided to leave the music playing quietly while I was out. I hated the thought of coming home to silence again.


          “Hi Julie” he said as she approached him. She walked carefully, tip toeing over the puddles. She didn’t hear him. The rain was beating down on her little umbrella, deafening all but the noise of the traffic as it splashed through the water.

         “Hi Nick” she said as she came in closer. His hair had grown longer since they had last seen one another. The short style she had suggested he wear had started to grow out. It looked a little closer to when they had first met.

         “How about this rain eh?” he said. Julie smiled and looked up at her umbrella. A big drip of water seeped through the fabric and dripped onto her forehead.

         “Horrible. But sometimes, I think that rain like this is quite nice. It’s good for thinking.”

         “What?” he shouted, straining to hear her over the drumming sound of the rain and the faint noise of the traffic.

         “It’s horrible!” she shouted. He nodded. He looked to his feet and saw that the water had climbed up to his knees already. His sneakers had squelched with ever step to get here.

         “Let’s walk!”

She smiled and nodded.


         They walked in silence for about ten minutes. Every now and again their eyes would meet. They would look away again. The road from the subway station to the riverside was almost flooded. They were the only people on the street who weren’t running or skipping over puddles. They just walked slowly, dragging through all the water in front of them. When they arrived at the riverside, they were the only people there. The river had almost burst its banks. The brown flow moved smooth and powerful, dragging at the flowers and grass that framed the river. They each looked at the river and back at one another. Nick smiled first.

          As they walked they gradually moved closer together until his umbrella came over hers. The water streamed from Julie’s umbrella and ran onto Nick’s shoulder.

        “Ah, fuck!” shouted Nick, leaping to the side a little, pulling himself away from her.

        “Oh shit! I’m sorry Nick!”

They stood opposite one another with a small river of water running between them. They were both soaked up to their thighs. Julie’s make-up had started to smudge a little. Nick’s hair had been glued to his head from wayward drips and splashes. A drip of slid down his cheek and into the corner of his mouth. He tasted that salty moisture he had fought back earlier.

          “No, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

He dropped his head and looked back at the small stream of water between them.

          “I fucked up Julie. I love you so much. I just got scared I think.”

          “Wait, wait! I can’t hear you!” she shouted as she moved in close to him. She put her arm around his back. Sliding under the protection of his umbrella, she threw hers into the river. They both turned and watched it as it floated down stream, until it was swallowed by the driving rain.

Tagged , , , , ,

No Day for Shakespeare – Part One

          Yesterday I sat and listened to the rain. It sounded like a million military drummers, warning me to stay hidden inside. To stay wrapped up in my bed, window almost closed and book in hand. Every now and again I would walk to the window and look down on the street. I could see hundreds of brightly colored umbrellas, connecting together and overlapping, keeping their owners as dry as they could. I would look up to the sky and watch the huge, bulging beads of water being shot from the grey clouds. Looking up and down soothed me. Looking out at the enveloping grey cityscape I called my home put me on edge. The buildings seemed to drip with the water. It made me feel so far from the green that begged for rain like this. The drips slid down the window pane like little rivers, connecting together and moving towards the sill. I caught my reflection in the deep shadows from the city. Those drips looked like tears on face. But I didn’t cry at all yesterday.

          I had been drinking a lot of green tea that day. Since I’d tried to cut back on caffeine I was always drinking some kind of tea. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t much of a substitute. I’d noticed that my anxiety had gone down little. I wasn’t nearly as edgy. But I was sleepy. The rain does that to me as well. Particularly the rain here. I didn’t get out of my pajamas all day. I just lay in bed and tried not to look out of the window unless it was towards the street or the sky. I heard my phone ring a couple of times. It was Mary. She had been in touch every day since Nick left. I had always answered and we always chatted away. At first, we always spoke about him. But recently she was always trying to make me laugh and trying to talk about everything except him. I always seemed to veer conversation towards him. She usually grabbed my thoughts tight and pulled them back, stopping them from wandering towards tears again. In the last two weeks, I had cried as much as the sky did that day.

          I didn’t feel like talking to her yesterday though. I didn’t want to think about him, and talking to her would always make me do that. I associated her with part of the recovery process. I sent her a message telling her that I had been called into work. It was a Saturday. I knew that she wouldn’t believe me. But it was one of those little lies that you tell to let someone know that ‘now’ isn’t a good time. She messaged me right back, asking me to call her later. I stuffed my phone back into my bag and slipped back into bed. I had put fresh sheets on the night before but they still smelt a little of us. That delicate smell that we shared together. The pajamas hadn’t been washed in months. But I hadn’t been wearing them until a couple of weeks ago.

          The day was dark. I had a scented candle burning next to me. His mom sent it as a gift to me at Christmas. The smell of cinnamon spread across the room. It mixed with the smell of rain that crept through the crack I’d left in the window. I’d left it there so that I could hear it clearly. The candle would flicker and sway to the sound of the drumming rain. Almost disappearing into the little gusts of wind that followed the smell. I had been reading “The Girl that Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”. It was one of those books that you can just switch off and read. Your mind will wander through the words, picking up just enough to stay on track. I needed something like that. Most of the books I had were what you would consider ‘literature’ I guess. But yesterday was no day for Shakespeare.


          I had taken down all of the pictures of us that used to sit on my windowsill. I had gone through the collection I brought from home to find replacements. The thought of leaving that space bare was too much. I had pictures of my parents from before I was born. There was a Polaroid that my brother had sent me of his baby. I had pictures of Gary too, but I just looked at them. I couldn’t put them in place of Nick. Lots of memories came rushing back to me as I looked at Gary. I remembered exactly when I took the picture. He had just finished changing the strings on my guitar. All of the worn strings were lying at his feet. I remember that he was playing a Led Zeppelin song. ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave you.” I used to sing along with him when he would play that song. His long hair covered his face. I moved here about three months later. I put the picture back into the shoe box and closed the lid. I slid the box back under my bed. I looked over at the drawer where the pictures of Nick were. It felt like they were prepared to go on waiting, indefinitely.

Tagged , , , , , ,