Word Play

 

There is a thick lipped rumble tearing from the clouds above, and I think that I was wrong.

I step outside and stand in the porch, arching my neck and breathing in the close air. Rain paints polkas on the pavement at my feet and I shrug my cardigan closer, wrapping it around me like a straight jacket. Your words and mine are tumbling through my mind at break neck speed, crashing into each other and veering off course until I don’t know who said what. Or why.

To my left I can hear the shouts and excitements of teenage boys, their taut voices springing over the garden wall. They are waiting for the strike, just like me. The strip of blinding light that then ignites the sky brings stark contrast to the world. It is disorientating, to see night in the light of day.

Now for the wind: this is like a well-known performance. The flutes and oboes of the sky let loose and tongue great bursts of violent air at my face. Clothes and hair whip around me and into my mouth; I feel it scratching on my tongue but make no effort to remove it.

I fumble at the door handle and hurry back inside as wind tears at my hair. I am a set of scales, with weighted words clunking from your mouth and on to my heart until I dip under the strain.

The door bangs into its frame with a plastic thump, and all sound dies. My chest heaves.

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Three, Two, One.

No one ever wonders if the tick of a clock will tock. It is inevitable.

When a swing arcs high in the air, there is no doubt that it will whoosh back to the ground.

The foamy breath of sea on sand is known to return again and again and again. Lover’s kiss.

Put a pan on a flame and listen to the hiss of searing metal.

But who can love predictability?

Pick up the phone to bluster through a whirlwind of choice; a labyrinth of lies; a web of changing thought.

Slip on the dress that once he loved and now he hates. Guess the motive.

Inch your claws up his chest and touch your lips to his. Gauge the tautness in his limbs, the urgency of his return, and gamble on lust.

Every moment keeps your heart beating even as it breaks it.

Source: ignitumtoday.com

 

Reading Romance

To me, words are the most romantic thing in this world. They lay bare the secrets of the heart and joys of the soul, and birth them for the ears and eyes of anyone who would care to be a part of them. You are a part of these words, right now. You are a part of my romance.

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Miles away in Cyprus is a sleek blue card. Early this morning, it was opened by the man I love, who would have read my soul and smiled. I told him of love and happiness and the future; I painted with ink a canvas bursting with love and gave it to him for his travels. In it I wrote, Happy third year anniversary. 

In those words, I see the whole story of our love. 

I see the beginning, sitting on a boat in the setting sun as planes fly through fog overhead and light up clouds with flashes of green and purple. 

I see the family dinners, with his Grandpa winking at me as he slipped me an extra slice of cake and cousins grinning uncomfortably in the corner. 

I see holidays to bustling cities and blistering beaches.

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I see baklava atop a cliff. 

I see learning and essays and successes at university. 

I see our flat, with the purple fluffy rug you hate, and all the wisps of it that has now been tread into our carpet so it looks like a mottled sea.

I see movies and jigsaws and bottles of wine and boardgames. 

I see night time dancing in an abandoned shopping mall, laughter echoing in the silence as we slip over tiles and spin around escalators.

I see a blurred smile on a computer screen, miming out the words I love you.

On that thin slip of shiny card there lay exposed all that has been, all that is and all that will be, through the eyes of the woman who has loved him. Histories and stories and promises. On the one day of the year I long more than ever to be with him, there is no way that I possibly could be. So I gave him the next best thing.

My words.

My romance.

My thank you, for my Happy Ever After.

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I do not miss you.

I do not miss you.

I do not pine for the touch of your skin when you step out of the shower, the hot, sticky drops that rain on my sleeping body as you bend over to kiss me. The water beads that herald the presence of coffee and foamed milk, the crumbling disaster of pastry in bed.

I do not yearn for the panting breath of evening skies as we tackle the climb from the sea back to the shelter of home. Blood moon rising behind us like a lantern guiding the way as we duck under a tree to steal a kiss.

I do not long for the days spent lounging in each others’ arms, laughing and teasing, clambering over the thick branched muscles of the limb to grab the splayed twigs of fingers that wave tantalisingly in the air. Come down from there. 

I do not miss you.

Alone in what we call home, I fumble around the kitchen and make foods that I know you hate, just to see if you will smell them from halfway across the world and hurry back to get me to stop. Make something else, you’d beg.

I need shampoo but buy Head & Shoulders for Men. I stand in the stream and scrub and scrub and scrub, but all I get is the smell of you and people stare when I wedge my hair over my nose like an oxygen mask.

I am counting the days on my shaking fingers, mapping the global movement with bright pins on calendars and coloured sheets of the world. The tiny red dot that is you haunts me when I pass it on my way to bed, and is burnt on my lids when I close them to dream.

I do not miss you.

I do not miss you.

crave you.

 

Extra-Terrestrial Relations

Let’s start with a cliche:

Everyone makes mistakes.

Never heard that before... Source: http://thetikitakalondon.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/interlull-half-time-boring-boring-yawn-boring/

Never heard that before…
Source: http://thetikitakalondon.wordpress.com

True, we all nod our head in a vaguely bored, accepting sort of way when we hear those three words. We use them as an excuse for when we slip up: I’m only human, we all make mistakes. And we do. There are times when even the best of us mumble along in speech, digging a deeper, colder, lonelier grave beneath our feet as we go. We insult, accuse, condescend. We misunderstand, misinterpret, mis-communicate. We reject, scoff, and scorn.

We have all been the victim to a lot of mistakes, especially in love. There are relationships where people say ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it’ so many times it’s easy to lose track. This apology can work up to a point. It works because of the truth of the statement we started with. Everyone makes mistakes, so I can forgive you, you didn’t mean to. The problem arises however, not when it’s multiple mistakes that are made, but when it’s the same mistake over and over again. 

It’s at this point that the apology grinds. Because there’s a hard nugget of pure honesty inside us all: you know that not everyone makes the same mistake over and over. You know that if the same mistake is made twice, then the apology becomes meaningless, because if it was meant the first time it wouldn’t have happened the second. You feel that if they loved you as much as you loved them that they wouldn’t be so human as to make mistakes. For when love is involved, you elevate the person you love to a state of more-than-human, held to unspoken promises and assumed rules.

(An eerie, alien state, not achievable with our puny human minds.)

Then comes the anger. It’s not evident at first, because you love them and don’t want to start a fight. But it’s there, waiting to be noticed. And when it does, you are faced with an impossible swell of feelings. You demand apologies that you know you won’t accept because you’ve been angry for so long you won’t believe them any more. You want gestures and touch and whispers to make it better – whilst hating being in the same breathing space as them. You fight all those fights you put off at once, and make it so much harder to pull through that you’re in danger of losing sight of that love you started with.

When reading this objectively, it’s easy to see where the thought process gets distorted and sets up impossible barriers. In fact, it seems so obvious that it’s almost a pointless thing to say. But when it’s happening to you, when you’re in the moment, there is nothing but acute betrayal and anger. There is no room left for forgiveness, not straight away – and that’s ok.

It is because we are human that we hurt and get hurt, and it’s that very same humanity that means it’s alright to be upset for a while after mistakes are made.

This is a lesson that has taken me a long time to learn. For years in my relationship, I have forced myself to shrug off repeated mistakes and hurts, to put them down as innocent error. To an extent, I believe I was right to do that, for there are times when pettiness and quarrels can – and should be – avoided if possible. But at the same time, I began to realise that I was doing that at the cost of tiny portions of myself. I would chip away at my own ethics, my self belief, my self worth, my passion and reactions. I would keep myself in check when an argument arose because I was so terrified of hurting him.

I was so terrified of hurting him that I forgot how much he hurt me in the process.

Everyone makes mistakes; we are all human.

We are all human; we all love.

We all love; we are always learning.

When love comes along it seems such a miracle, such a treasure, that we covet it. We cradle it in our hands and wrap it in cotton wool, swearing to protect it forever. But that woolly little bundle is made of everything we had and everything we were before we were in it: which means it can still be ugly sometimes, it can still be human despite our expectations of it. Those fights, those battles, those arguments, those tears and shrieked insults are what make love beautiful: surviving in the face of all that, and with acceptance of it is the true miracle.

So when that joyous bundle hurts us, we should say so. We shouldn’t balk from shouting out in protest or expressing our rage. Equally, we shouldn’t shy away from sitting someone down and calmly explaining what they’ve done and how it’s made us feel. We should do whatever we can to ensure that we don’t ever simply sit in silence and take it. You lose yourself to love in the silence.

And you’d be a fool to let yourself disappear.

Let me put you back together

Each thick piece of cardboard is tiny between my fingertips. I smooth along the swelling edge, and curl out the scoop on the other side. On the front is an indistinct brown line with dark shading. I bite my lip and consult the lid. It could go here… my hand hovers in the bottom left corner before, triumphant, slotting it into place.

I am practically done. A dated picture of a grinning old man behind a grocery store counter beams up at me, sitting proudly next to a ration booklet. I stroke his face fondly.

At the moment though, he is not quite finished. He has two pieces missing, both skin coloured: one for the hand, the other for the cheek. He looks eerie, like a reflection in a mirror distorted and gaping, and I want to get him finished.

My hand reaches out and scrapes the bottom of the box and finds nothing. The pieces are gone.

For a moment, I stare down at this cheerful man with his honest smile and wide eyes. But then my gaze is drawn to those gaping holes, those roughly-hewn chunks torn from his face and body.

And I burst into tears.

 

A word on Love

1170874_10200383389848989_674311840_nThis Valentines day seemed to spark a lot of interest. By this, I don’t mean the happy smiling couples (see left) and their overtly flamboyant messages of love to each other that were inevitably plastered all over social media sites. I mean I read an awful lot of negative blogs, articles, statuses and tweets about the day – and those that weren’t openly disparaging of it, were subtly condemning it, labelling it as ‘any other day’.

The thing is, it WAS any other day. It was a friday – and where I was, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant friday, with gale force winds and torrential rain storms – but my point is, it was a friday, just like any other friday. Lessons were finishing for the week, people were driving home for the weekend, families were hunkering down with a movie. Just any normal day.

Except.

Except people used the day as an excuse to shout their love from the rooftops or stuff it in an anonymous envelope, cheeks blushing. People wrote statuses and tweets and blogs about that special someone. Couples went for meals, to dinner, or watched a film with a shared bag of sticky popcorn. For some, it was the first night in weeks that both managed to put aside for each other; conversations were caught up on, and people were reminded where their love for each other sprung from so many moons ago.

Which is why I want to respond to all those people out there pointing out that it was just another day.

Because so what if it was?

Moaning about the fact that it is a constructed holiday for profit, that it has no real roots in heritage or history, is meaningless – true, but meaningless. Whining that there are sickening messages all over your facebook homepage – selfish. Scorning those people foolish enough to buy into the holiday and suggest that they shouldn’t have to have a day set aside for love – well, no they shouldn’t. But equally they shouldn’t have to hide away from it because others don’t like being a part of it.

Negativity over Valentines Day is like complaining that its not your birthday instead of someone else’s. Your time will come, and when it does, you can choose to spend it how you please, but until then, be respectful of others and their choices. We have days put aside for mothers and fathers, days put aside for chocolate and presents. Surely a day put aside for love is the most universal of all of these?

531551_4577213350028_856751058_nThe way I see it, Valentines Day doesn’t have to be about the sexy kind of love, or the soul mate kind. If – as so many note – it is a socially constructed holiday, then make of it what you want; do with it what you want to do. I know someone who renamed it PALentines Day. They bought heart shaped pizzas and watched movies with a group of friends. A couple I know doesn’t enjoy Valentines, in fact they go out of their way to avoid it – but it didn’t stop them celebrating each other by watching a horror movie and going to a bar.

There is always so much campaigning for peace, sharing, and for love in this world – and on the one day everyone makes an effort to promote these very things, it only fuels the flame for the criticism that every day is a day for love.

And I hear you – some people go overboard. Some people sicken even me. I would be HORRIFIED if my boyfriend went to the lengths of some of the guys and gals out there. But that’s not my decision to make. That’s their day; mine was mine.

I spent it with the man I love – the man I plan to love forever. We put aside our friday and made time for each other in the exact way that fits us.

Isn’t that what love is all about any way? Does one little day really need to offend so many people?

For just one day, I ask that we put opinion and prejudice and jealousy and bitterness to one side…and just be glad it’s a day to celebrate love and not hatred.

I love Love. THAT’S what my Valentines was about.

What was yours?

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