Monday, 28 November 2011

The Prime of Lime;

So the last week of the semester is off to a bad start since I am not actually in attendance. This is because I am sick. Again. Twice in two months is not a good record for someone who Does Not Get Sick. Once more around Christmas and I shall be forced to admit defeat. So since Thursday I've been experiencing all the usual symptoms: the coughing fits, the foghorn nose, the inability for your internal thermostat to remain at one temperature for more than five minutes, the constant sensation of trying to swallow a cactus/porcupine/pineapple/medieval torture device and listening to your brain cells die one by one with an audible (but very pathetic) 'pop' as you realise the myth about TV being the only good thing about being sick is a Big Fat Lie.

You know the part in wedding vows where the groom/bride says 'I take thee in sickness and in health'? Yeah, my husband's not gonna want to agree to that part. I look disgusting, I feel disgusting, I sound disgusting, I am disgusting. I am a germ factory. Instead of a hug this morning, my mother gave me a packet of antibacterial wipes to 'clean all the things you touch, sweetie :).' Aww. Motherly love, eh? Nothing else like it. Anyway, I crave fruit, I'm weepy, I'm pretty sure I'm getting a six pack from all the coughing. I'm also sitting here typing this with a tampon jammed up my right nostril because I blew my nose a little too hard and it exploded in a fountain of blood. Classy. (Sidenote: I love that when I told Meejin this, she asked "Does it work?")

Onwards & upwards, I say. So,

Children, especially those of the boy variety that I'm related to, are of the devil horrid creatures. And I do mean creatures. Why do four year olds have DS's? Why do eight year olds own mobile phones? Why don't seven year olds believe in fairies and goblins and Santa Clause anymore? Are children of this new-fangled Millennium generation even aware they have eight other fingers besides their thumbs? Have they never heard the terms "please" and "thank you"? Look, call me old fashioned all you want, but it seems to me that generational flaws are becoming apparent at earlier and earlier stages. Like, come on, draw or paint or kick a ball around or make shadow puppets or play make believe. Do something active, not reactive. Use your imagination before it becomes an obscure concept confined to history textbooks. Actually, it's really unfair of me to take it out on the kids just because they are the ones showcasing the effects; it's their parents who deserve admonishment. And a right good kick up the arse. I just hope that when I have kids, they will get excited by a power-cut rather than throw hissy fits because they can't play a game about blowing up zombies.

This week I learned that pain comes in waves, and you can either surf that wave or just stand there and let it pull you down. Sure, sometimes when you surf it you lose your balance and fall, but you just get right back up again, and you know you're always heading towards the shore. Or you can opt for secret option number 3) vomiting at the cheesiness of this metaphor. Just remember to clean it up afterwards.

I'm getting that kind of itchy/restless feeling that I want to do something to my hair. See, I have this theory that we carry a lot around in our hair. Not just smells, or—oh God!—lice, but places and times and people. Memories, basically. The past. It makes sense when you think about it. Hair is dead. By the time it's coming out of your head it's already in the past. Between 2007 and 2010, I grew my hair out long (I think I was going for that whole vintage Avril Lavigne look to coincide with my attitude). Three years is a long time to be walking around without any external variation while there is so much internal going on. That period was the most significant of my life (so far), and my hair was soaking it all up like a sponge and I was carrying it everywhere I went. Even to Australia, the purpose of which trip being to get away from everything. And man, was it getting heavy. So before I started uni last year I decided to chop it all off. Well, not all, but a good 10 inches or so. What a relief. So I've got something like that feeling again, except it's different. (Don't you hate when people say something is the same, but different?! Lol.) If I lived in a warmer country and wouldn't look funny with no hair, I'd totally shave it all off, but I am not my cousin, so the next best thing is to change its colour. Again, nothing drastic, because it's not supposed to be a bio-luminescent SCREW YOU visible from space, just something with a little more edge and definition. Like a hint of mahogany, or mulberry or something. I'm totally not opting for that end of the colour spectrum because I've been watching My So-Called Life again and Angela dyes her hair 'crimson glow' in the first episode. Honestly. Last time I dyed my hair with any amount of red it went black, and then purple @_@. Apparently this is due to the fact my hair is technically dark blonde, not brown, since there's no warmth in it, aharharhar, oh the irony.

I'm also toying with the idea of getting a tattoo. I stress TOYING. Please put away your shocked faces. Experience has taught me not to jump on the back of an impulse before you've thoroughly thought it through, Rory Gilmore style. A trillion points if you guess what the tattoo is.

My new hero is Louise Sydes, the 102 year old woman who moved to New Zealand to start a new life after her old folks' home in Kent was closed. I love her doubly because the first thing she asked for when she touched down was a cup of tea! So British :').

Right, I'm off to spread joy germs s'more. If you have exams soon, like I do, good luck. Bye!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


LIZ: Hey, let me tell you my big, exciting news!
LUKE: Uh-oh.
LIZ: It's not an uh-oh. It's good, unless you don't like babies, in which case it's not so good.
LUKE: You're pregnant?!
LIZ: Oh, it was supposed to be a surprise. Who told you?
LUKE: You just did.
LIZ: Wow, I blew my own surprise.
LUKE: That's great, Liz. It's great, right?
LIZ: Amazing. I am over the moon.
LUKE: Well, sit, sit. You're in a delicate state.
LIZ: I am gonna take care of myself this time, big brother. I'm gonna do all the healthy things for me I did not do last time I was pregnant--like not binge drink.
LUKE: Good plan. So, where's T.J.? I mean, he must be thrilled about this.
LIZ: Ah, he's gone.
LUKE: Gone? You mean gone out of town?
LIZ: He's gone, the big "gone out of my life." Do you have Matzo Brie?
LUKE: What? Liz, no.
LIZ: Okay. How 'bout a Denver omelet?
LUKE: I mean, no, T.J. can't be gone. He's your husband.
LIZ: Since when does that keep guys from leaving?
LUKE: He left you?
LIZ: He left.
LUKE: How can you be so calm about this? You're so calm about this.
LIZ: Because I got my new come-what-may philosophy.
LUKE: Your what?
LIZ: My philosophy. It's about accepting what comes your way, whatever it is. If a bus is heading right at you, let it come. If a piece of space junk comes hurtling down at you, let it come.
LUKE: Or you step out of the way.
LIZ: You know, that's probably better, and when I said what I said now, it felt wrong.

Okay, so I'm with Luke in that if anything which could potentially flatten you into human pâté is hurtling your way, best thing to do is take a couple steps in the opposite direction. But if you've studied philosophy at all, you'll probably know that no single philosophy is foolproof. There are always exceptions. But on the whole, I think Liz's Cum-Wot-Mei philosophy is a pretty darn good one as long as you don't end up becoming a total door mat. As pointed out by Luke, certain situations do not provide exemplary conditions for Cum-Wot-Mei thinking, and that's where you gotta be selective. Space junk? Not unless you are a dinosaur. Big red bus? Maybe stay on the pavement. Pack of hungry rhinoceroses (I'm having total James & the Giant Peach flashbacks)? Run for your fecking life. Certain people who say one thing and do another? YOU BETCHA.

I know you're all getting tired of this back-and-forth, up-and-down, yo-yo thing I've got going on, and believe me, I ain't exactly thrilled about being a spineless turd either. But for better or worse, this is my venting space, so I will defend myself to myself no longer. At least you guys have the option not to read—I have to deal with my own whining on a till-death-do-us-part basis. 

ANYWAY *clears throat*.

So, last week I'm out having ho-cho (say it like Lorelai Gilmore or not at all) with Markus, and we're watching a guy having sex with his own nostril catching up on life, and he's all "Check out my chocolate powder star. I got it cause I paid extra worked my charm on the barista." Yeah. Anyway. Towards the end of the day the conversation turns to me and Markus asks how the ol' love life is ticking along. After much face-making and coaxing I explain to the best of my ability what is going on in that strange Venn diagram area through a scattering of disjointed phrases and mumbles and sighs, and Markus, nice gentleman that he is, and not at all for his own amusement, tells me to text the stupid bastard, to which I'm all "Dude, NO, because if I do then he will not reply and I will cry and you will have to sit here with me crying and you will feel very, very awkward because you are made of stone and that will just totally ruin our nice ho-cho outing." Markus then points out that girls cry all the time anyway. And I spot the cumulus nimbus hovering above my head and I SWEAR it is darker in here than it was five minutes ago, and I'm all "URGH FML. He makes me feel SICK." "Sick in a good way?" "Yes Markus, I love feeling like my oesophagus is going to yank itself inside out at any given bloody moment." Etc, etc. Then Markus, who can be quite a wise old bird sometimes, says, "If he's a good guy, you should hold onto him." Now, I don't know whether it's because this was the first male perspective I had on the subject and directly conflicted with all other advice, (which has been along the general lines of replying to my immature explosions of "Stupid bastard" and "Assmunch" with supportive sequiturs about my not deserving it anymore and concern over my future well-being etc.), or because Markus is one of those Man of Few Word types, so that anything succinct that comes out of his mouth invariably sounds like the wisest thing you've ever heard in your life and you pay it more attention than you might otherwise. Funny thing is, my reaction to his words o' wisdom was not in any way influenced by the fact it was what I wanted to hear, because, honestly? It wasn't.

Fast-forward to later that evening. A text is sent. No nausea. (And by nausea, I do not mean the nice butterfly kind that you get when you're like fourteen. I mean omg, get me a bucket.) Instead there is a kind of subdued meh. A shrugging of the shoulders. An almost boredom. This is usually a sign that I KNOW I'm going to get nothing back. I'm psychic, you see. And, hey presto! Nada. Niente. And, I don't know, something in me was like, HOKAY-COKEY, TIME TO MOVE ON.ORG, BABE. Like, for real this time. I'd said it many times before, but I just wasn't ready, you know? This time it seemed to flow naturally. It's a funny old situation, moving on from something you've never really allowed yourself to be on in the first place, mixed with letting a really great friendship go. But whatever. I'm a fan of the whole "things happen when they're supposed to" philosophy, and that goes both ways, not just for stuff that you gain and which progresses you forward, but also for stuff like this, where you might appear to lose, but you gain in the long-run. So the night wore on, and I examined how I felt about the whole situation, cause that's what I do. It's my thing, let it go. And at the same time as it was difficult to feel the emotions, it was also a relief because it meant I hadn't gone numb, the way I did before, and the way I told him I didn't want to again. I, like, MOURNED, right there and then, like A Big Girl, like an adult. I was kind of proud, if I do say so myself, because I'm usually such a mess with these things. (I'm usually all FINE THEN, F U WORLD, I'LL WEAR MORE EYELINER AND LOOK ANGRY ALL THE TIME AND NOT GIVE A FLYING FUCK AND I'LL DELIGHT IN PEOPLE'S FAILED ATTEMPTS AT BEING CIVIL HUMAN BEINGS & LAUGH WHEN THEY STAND IN PUDDLES cause I'm nice and dramatic like that. It never lasts long, don't worry. It's just like my way of giving the two-fingered salute to the universe without looking like a total eejit. Or, if I'm more on the self-pitying end of the spectrum I'll be like FINE THEN, F U WORLD, I'LL JUST GO LIVE IN A FUCKING CAVE AND NEVER CUT MY HAIR, ALRIIIIIIIGHT? AND NEVER GET MARRIED AND ALWAYS BE ALONE, OKAAAAY? SINCE THAT'S SO OBVIOUSLY WHAT YOU WANT, I'LL JUST TAKE THE FUCKING HINT, SHALL I? DON'T NEED TO TELL ME TWICE, ASSHOLE. And then there's some greeting. Uhuh. Catharsis and whatnot.) Anywho, back at the ranch, I'm laying in bed and I'm letting all the stuff I've been fighting against losing for a wee while kind of settle on top of me like this really fine layer of snow. And I'm totally breathing through it. And, okay, yeah, I'm crying a bit, okay? I fess up. I'm not PERFECT. Nor am I an insensate boulder, so, yeah, there's a few tears. But they're different from the usual kind where I either a) scream the place down and sound like a cross between a yowling coyote and someone giving birth to a cactus, or b) bite my knuckles under the covers and sound like I'm laughing (and we all know quiet crying is not satisfying in the slightest, so option b always sucks). These are like tears that are just let go of. They literally are letting go tears. They're totally great once you get used to them. (Yes, yes, I am talking about varieties of tears, do not judge me too harshly.) And I'm thinking of all the things we ever shared together, big and small, silly and significant, and all the things I wanted to show him and experience with him and take your filthy minds out of the gutter! Look, I'll give you an example: I wanted to show him the Fairy Field my dad used to take me to as a kid where I always found silver coins left by fairies. I wanted to climb Ben Lomond with him. I wanted to show him my stupid amateur photographs from Australia. I wanted to see the Northern Lights with him because that is something we always talked about. I wanted him to see me without makeup, the poor bastard. I wanted to watch The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with him. And as each thing floated into my mind--they were like petals of tissue paper or something, it was all very lovely--whether it was past, present, or future, I would watch it breezing in and I would feel its full power gracing me, and I wouldn't try to hold onto it when it got lapped up by the tide. Like little scraps of paper I let them all go into the wind. Like autumn leaves flying away and exposing the bare branches underneath. It was sad, but good. I would be happy again. And there was no hate, or anger, only gratitude. I was grateful for all that he'd taught me, whether inadvertently or not. He taught me how to be more open, how to feel again. He woke me up from a very deep sleep. He taught me how to love people again, and how to lose them.

And as I was thinking all this, words began to form in my mind, words that encapsulated how I felt. That kind of formulation usually only comes to me when I'm ready to move on from something. My dad once paraphrased one of those famous philosophers (I don't know which one, and Google was of no help), saying that as soon as you are able to express something in words, the feeling is dead inside you. I thought that was pretty apt. I totally wanted to get up and write it down but a) I was waaaay too tired to move, b) things you think of to write when you're between asleep and awake never appear quite so nice on the page, and c) I prefer typing emotional stuff like that because I can detach myself and be objective, whereas carving it out with a pen onto paper is like reliving it all, and when you're trying to move, that ain't always a good thing. So I went to sleep.

Next day I blitzed through my uni work, went to my bookcase where I keep my DVDs, and was unequivocally drawn to Into the Wild. This is a Special Movie, guys. You can't just have it on in the background. I've owned my copy for three years now and have watched it as many times. Yes, I sometimes do treat my DVDs like people, but whatever, if you've seen this movie and/or read the book (WHICH YOU TOTALLY SHOULD BTW), you'll hopefully know what I'm on about. Look, I'm not trying to draw symbolic comparisons between the events of that movie and my own life, believe me. All I'm saying is, I think it is somewhat significant that I felt free enough to watch the movie on this particular day. Let it be shown on the record that I was not wallowing. OKAY? That's the whole point. I didn't HAVE to wallow. There was noooo negativity floating around my head. I just felt very "ahhhh", like when you're at the ocean and it's freezing fucking cold but completely brilliant and you just don't want to be anywhere else, ever. Not that I've ever wandered into the Alaskan wilderness with fifteen pounds of rice and lived in an abandoned bus, or kayaked into Mexico, but I can identify with Chris McCandless. I'm not condoning everything he did, or everything he was about, but I definitely admire him. He is a constant inspiration to me, so after watching that (and spending the last half hour wailing "CHRIIIIIIIIIIS, CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS" in true Streetcar style) I felt like I'd come home, almost? As though I'd forgotten myself for a while and now I remembered what I was all about and what matters in life. SO THAT WAS GOOD.

But, of course, it was not The End. Cause The End in life is called Death, right, so you don't want to get there too soon. But still, COME ON COSMOS.

A few hours later, I am minding my own business, and my phone starts ringing. I'm thinking it'll just be the mother. BUT OH NO. That would be muuuuuch too easy. It's you know who. First thought: he's evidently dialled the wrong number/it's his workmate/it's just accidentally dialled in his pocket. Second thought: he is calling to say FUCK OFF, I HATE YOU, GET OUT MY LIFE BITCH, I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON A SPIDER ON YOUR WAY OUT. Third thought: Rosie, if you don't answer the phone in the next two seconds you may never find out which of these two fabulous possibilities are true. Note: no nausea and/or fluttering insects. GOOD-O. So I answer. The gist: "Heyyy, I'm just calling you cause I forgot to text you back yesterday. I've gotten into the habit of looking at my phone and then not replying. Oh that's funny, Meejin does that too does she? Har har har. Fuck uni. Fuck SAAS. I'm so behind. Want to die. YES I'D LIKE LUNCH PLZ. You free tomorrow? I finish at 11. You finish at 12? You're busy? Okay. OH HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOON? IT'S FUCKING BRIGHT AS FUCK. Go find it. It's ehhh, in the north-east of the sky? I think? Fuck second year. I have two grand. Yass. Business meeting. I'll text ye later, okay?"

AND JUST LIKE THAT, all my nice move business gets blown to smoke and ribbons. Like, poof, gone. And to make matters a little more spooktastic, he happened to phone on the same day we went to see Ludovico last year in our little bubble of loveliness. Cause life likes to keep you on your toes. Look, Cosmos, I know I'm kicking up a fuss about this whole business, but please don't interpret that as me being an ingrate. I'd obviously much rather have him in my life than not. I would just prefer it if I could trust a damn word he said, okay? Think you can work on that for me? I don't think I'm asking for much. Failing that, an opportunity to punch/defenestrate him would suffice. Cheers.

So, yeah, getting back to the title and point of this post: for the time being, I have decided to just let it be. Come what may, indeed. This is how I was last year, at the beginning of the whole rollercoaster, when I was all "Okay, you know what he's like, so don't get attached, just go with the flowwwww", except this time it is "Okay, you really know what he's like, so don't get attached, DO NOT TRUST HIM, and just go with the flowwwww. And possibly deck him next time you see him. Like, on the twelfth of Never. KIDDING. Not."

On the upside, Bonfire Night was faaaaaaaaaaantabulous. My friends and their burds are lovely. We did not stick to our original plan because for once we actually had common sense and the rest of the world did not. But this was like a thousand-billion times better with cherries on top. I was the Official Photographer, so here are the better shots from the evening. Also, I recorded the entire twenty minute display of fireworks, so it's obviously way too big a file to upload here, but besides the fireworks it's mostly me laughing, me and Madleen trying to explain to Stewart exactly which type of crisp a particular set of fireworks resembles, palm trees, hash leaves, and the occasional Dalmurian "SHIIIIIIIIIITE". Also, a chick wearing white pants, black tights, AND NOUT ELSE. Lovely.

Sparklers, duh. Me and Madleen totally didn't scream
for our lives or anything. Nah, not us.

Pyromania and whatnot.

Madleen, Stuart, Meejin, K-Dawg + Aimee doing some great product placement.

Meejin, Aimee, Rosaline, Madleen & Stuart.

Aimee, K-Dawg, Rosaline, Stooah + Meejin.

Look, I don't know why my lips resemble a hotdog, or why my fringe is being a lesbinem.
Let's just not talk about it okay? LOOK AT THE PRETTY, PRETTY HATS INSTEAD!

Natural banter (Y). Also, mega Stop The Bus-related stress.

K-dawg does straight lines COZ HE CAN. Me and Madleen cannot.

Stop The Bus is theeee most stressful game in the known universe.
Stuart had never heard of or played it before.
Like, what the hell did he do during free periods?

For November, you know.
Some beach in Australia, October 2009.
This was my last day! 

Word of the Day: epitoming; verb; the act of sawing off one's feet and replacing them with porcelain vases. Don't ask.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Where You Are Is Nowhere;

"Midlife crisis, noun: a period of emotional turmoil in middle age caused by the realization that one is no longer young and characterized especially by a strong desire for change."

Okay, so substitute ‘midlife’ with ‘on the cusp of adulthood’ and you’ll locate the You Are Here sign on the tourist map of my life. Don’t ask me where to go from here, cause I have no idea. You might want to check out the glitter-drenched disco in Old Town where I’m constantly dancing in a pink thong with James Foster to Sorry You’re Not A Winner and rum and coke is the house drink. Just don’t allow the 2006 calendar pinned to the back of the ladies’ bathroom door to deceive you into thinking you’ve gone back in time. Or if you’re more in the mood for a thrill, how about the old haunted high school where you might catch the lingering scent of Cool Waters on the air and hear the words When you’re sixteen, I promise whispered down the corridors by people who are no longer there? If a little culture is what you’re after, why not head on over to the museum where you’ll spend hours poring over the collections of photographs, paintings and recovered artefacts? Popular pieces include the tattered pair of black jeans given as a memento, the penny coin with the inscription I love you branded into the copper, and the colourful print of a black haired boy with his arm around a girl in a scarf which is the crocheted incarnate of autumn. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on your way out, where you can pick up a copy of the bestselling memoir A Diary Full of Christopher. (The original manuscript can be found on the attic level beside the box of bees, to the right of the moth & butterfly display case.) Alternatively you can watch a triple bill of Alpe D’huez ’07, American Beauty and Ludovico Einaudi live in concert at the nearby cinema for a lot of skiing caper, minimalist music and floating rose petals. The bookshop is always a favourite, carrying titles from Wuthering Heights to Into the Wild to Prozac Nation, and specializing in the Collected Letters of Freak-Out & Self-Deprecation. Feel like a shopping spree? The boutique offers an eclectic variety of clothing, from the black hoody I snuggled against in the rain after school when I needed to feel safe and he needed to protect me, to the slinky floral dress I wore on November 10th 2010 and haven’t worn since, caressed by another him and smelling of cigarette smoke, silent moments only for us, the first snowfall, inhibition, the magic of being in an unknown city at night, strangers to one another, the universe to one another. Why not explore the surrounding terrain? The topography ranges from majestic snow-capped mountains perfect for skiing, to the staggering cliffs of the Carpathians on one side of the road and the azure blue of the Caspian Sea on the other, to the cityscape of Sydney, the intense palette of antipodean mangroves, puffin-clustered sea-stacks and crashing waves, the picturesque seams and lawns of North Berwick. Drive in and leave your car on the top floor of the municipal car park, and note the dingy western vestibule that reeks of piss and stale smoke where I had my first kiss with a boy who saw right into me, and persevered even when I laughed at the tickling sensation of his proximity, and our rapt audience watching through the glass pane in the door, and the patchwork tarmac where I roasted in the sun and felt so very safe at that height, and the railing where I photographed someone who didn’t really understand why he was there while I realised neither did I.

Feeling lost? Don’t know where to begin? The Tourist Information Centre can help you out there! And here’s a free raffle entry. The winning ticket will be drawn from a lottery of memories in the still-extant ski hat, with the prize being Enlightenment, when the horizon is reached. Meanwhile, here’s your orienteering equipment and survival kit. Good luck with navigating your way through the maze—watch out, it’s a little overgrown!—and hopefully we’ll see you on the other side. The time will run out when the big hand hits the S and the little hand hits the OON. Get going.


I’m trapped in that maze, you see. My options are pretty much obscured by fog and I neglected to bring a compass. They don’t make maps for mazes; that would be cheating. I’m so fucking sick of the place. It’s always my fault in the end, it’s always in my head, you always have an excuse, I’m always wrong. I’m always the one apologising—but what am I apologising for? For your mistakes. For your treatment. Like I somehow bring it upon myself, like I somehow deserve it. So then I get to thinking that maybe if I do all of this good stuff, get through all my reading for today, go to all my lectures, sacrifice something, suffer some more, the dispenser of fate up there will reward me. Because I’ve earned it, right? It’s like a dog trained to obey commands for a treat, and scolded when it fails to comply. Except you withhold the reward. Because you have the power to do that. Even when you promise you won’t, you still do. And I’m just fucking sitting, and the whole damn world is going by. Why can’t I let you go? Why can’t you let me go? Why do you have to keep me in this nowhere place?

I’m obsessed by the gender politics in Things Fall Apart and The Dispossessed, particularly fixated by the objectification of women. But I’m wondering if maybe my total resentment and indignation regarding the bride-price is actually envy. Maybe I am envious of these women because, whatever else happens, they know their worth in gold. I have no fucking clue what I’m worth. I’ve often wondered why I find guys easier to get on with, knowing there must be a more complex reason other than the bullshit one that they are more straightforward than girls. In high school there were three girls and six guys and we were their property. They weren’t friends, not really. I’ve had many more friendships with guys than girls, but the female relationships are a thousand times stronger and more precious to me. In my mind, because of the guys in high school, a girl around a guy is a commodity. I get on with guys better because I’m pushed to inhibition because I want to know how much I’m worth. Truth is I don’t know how to be proper friends with a guy. I thought I did, but I don’t. Because of that introduction in high school, because of many unintended experiences, I don’t trust them. I don’t trust them to allow me to be vulnerable and a total girl about things, or be serious or jealous or afraid or like reading. It’s the same with new people; the constant expectancy to be a firework, completely radiant and dazzling and funny. It’s like bribery, trying to keep them interested.

And then there are the people who completely enervate you, who bleed you dry of all sense of self, and you sit around wondering what the fuck it is you do to pass the days and where the fuck you’re going and what you’re going home to. And the ones who make you want to let go because you feel safe enough and unknown enough to do so, and because you feel the need to impress them. And the ones closest to you who are hesitant to share because they know they’ve left you far, far behind and this might widen that gap insurmountably. And you hardly touch anyone anymore because you’re too afraid to make yourself known, and then to be rejected. And what exactly is expected of you anyway? You can’t be fucked going back to them, to their endless, empty, identical stories and their soulless conversation—that’s everything you gave up—but what else is there? Who else is there?

It’s that place between Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. I’m thinking about what I’m afraid of. Of having made the decision to scrape off all the detritus and then discovering that’s the only place I belong, and having to sentence myself to it again. Of very deep water, of drowning, of falling on the ice, of falling in general. I never wanted to care. I didn’t ask to care. Of only writing of things and never having them, of watching other people have them and of being left farther and farther behind like in that recurring nightmare I had as a kid where my parents left me on the pavement and drove away and never looked back no matter how hard I screamed or how fast I ran. Of always being so fucking scared. Of someone never reassuring me I don’t have to be scared. Of fucking it up and being alone. Of making my children suffer for it, of them ending up afraid. Of never getting over it, and also of getting over it. And then it’s Guy Fawkes Night and he’ll be there and I will be the fifth and I could pretend to see the symbolism, that he tried to capsize me and now I’m letting it all be consumed in the conflagration, but who am I kidding. That’s the trouble with growing up around movies and books; you become conditioned to the concept of a beginning, middle and end. But life is the middle. In all likelihood I will be so deeply unhappy I will verge into recklessly happy, and then come home and be in silence and curl up in a ball until all the badness is squashed up and I can’t hardly feel it, and console myself with the oblivion of sleep.

Right now I feel like taking off and tearing through some place and not caring about anything. But if I do that I will officially be the girl who doesn’t finish things; not high school, not Australia, not this. I would like to run, but I am very tired and the fog is hiding the escape route from me.