A Little Girl’s Path to Destruction

This poem is incredibly personal to me. It explains why I am the person I am today. Writing this was emotionally draining, and posting it is stressful, still.

That in consideration, I hope you can find some enjoyment in the reading.

 

A little girl, barely four years old,
So confident and funny,
Loves snakes and lizards,
Could talk about them endlessly.
She hears people talking,
They say that she’s weird,
Obsessive, Unnerving.
She kept her interests to herself.

A little girl, in her first year at school,
Struggled to pronounce the letter ‘Y’.
Her parents joked and teased,
“You yuv your yetters, dont’ you?”.
She wasn’t sure why,
Not at the time,
But she became cautious of her words.
She learned to be self-conscious.

A little girl, about nine years old,
Would mix up letters
When practising reading –
Like all children do.
Her mistakes were mocked,
A joke amongst family,
And she learned not to ask for help.

A little girl, in Year Seven,
Bullied, for being so shy, most likely.
She loved sweets and chocolates,
But hated her ‘friends’,
If she could call them that.
She was unpopular,
Noticeably,
The bottom of the heap.

A little girl, aged thirteen,
Told not to eat “so much rubbish”,
She needed to watch her weight,
She won’t be thin forever.
A boy in her English class
Calls her one of the ‘fat girls’,
And from that time onwards,
She learned to hate her body.

She stutters and stammers
Towards her first love,
A tall, sweet boy, of quiet disposition.
Her mind, aged sixteen,
Late to her first kiss,
Thinks it’s forever.

And it isn’t.

He breaks her heart for the very first time,
So she coats herself in makeup
And does things to her hair.
“It’s just a phase”, the adults all cry,
But this phase is what keeps her going.

She starts to lose weight.
She doesn’t notice at first.

Boys take advantage,
They throw her around,
Her body and her mind,
But she feels invigorated again.
She feels wanted again.
Even in her darkest hour,
When she’s scared and defenceless,
Crushed by his weight,
She laments her past, because
“At least someone wants me”.

His rejection starts talk,
And rumours circulate,
But this little girl, aged seventeen,
She rises above them.
With a close group of friends at her side,
Her past mistakes are a couple of jokes,
And she’s relieved she’s still wanted.
She downloads an app to track her weight.

A little girl, aged eighteen,
She’s happy and with a boy she loves,
But she’s so self-conscious,
Although she tries to internalise it.
His sister, his friends, his flatmates,
They’re all so beautiful,
Wealthy and confident,
And she feels inferior,
Lumpy, repulsive,
Taking up too much space.

Three meals,
Two meals,
One meal,
Snacks and coffees in-between.
Several cigarettes and a bottle of wine.
It counts as a diet,
It must count as a diet…
but where are the changes?

No one notices the difference.

A little girl, aged nineteen,
She starts university,
Full of hope and confident.
But another’s scheme to steal him from her,
Her only happiness,
It tears her apart,
But no one believes her.

She gets ill,
Her mind betrays her,
She drops out,
And he admits she was right,
But he was trying to help her.
He promises that things will get better.
He’ll help her find a therapist.

A little girl, aged twenty, now,
She’s still without help,
Two bad therapists later.
She dances now,
She loved her old job,
She hates her new uni
And her hips protrude,
Her ribs are prominent,
And she can’t drink as much as she used to.

Rings slide off her fingers,
Yet still, no one notices.

She battles with panic,
Insecurity,
Dysmorphia,
On a bi-weekly basis,
And that’s a good week.

She swallows sertraline
And keeps up the illusion
That she’s relaxed, that she’s fun,
And is confident in herself.
They don’t see scratches from a breakdown gone by,
Or the meals skipped
In thanks to congratulatory hunger.

She doesn’t tell anyone,
She never will.
She maintains that she’s fine,
She always ate earlier,
And the wine is just a bit stronger
Than she’s used to.

A little girl, nearing twenty-one,
Her thighs now touch,
She takes booze by the bottle,
She eats full-size meals again.
She hates it, but what can she do?
Attempt,
Attempt,
There’s no one who gets it,
So, as a last resort,
She writes poems about it.

Dedicated to George, the online friend who gave me a reason to start creating again, and Frankie, because you’re still here and still fighting.

The Thunderstorm – Poem

When the lightning’s flashing
And the night is cold,
When rain pelts against our single-glazed windows
With holes at the frame,
I thank whatever it is
That I made the decision
To stay in tonight.

Imagine

If we’d gone to the fire jam,
Just us, some friends,
And a lot of trees,
Standing out in the rain,
Rain so hard that we can barely
See three feet in front of our face,
Trying to keep our equipment dry
And our fires still burning.

No.
I’m glad that I’m here,
Inside, in the warm,
Getting drunk on cheap gin
And £2.20 bottles of cider,
Listening to the storm,
But tucked away from it.

Imagine
If, by some impossible chance,
The doorman didn’t check your ID tonight,
And we were at the club?
Overpriced entry
To stand in the fag pit
Smoking wet cigarettes
With only peaked 18-year-olds for company.

No, we’ve got this.
The sky is electric,
And so are we,
Embraced, mainly in silence,
With the occasional commentary
(And run-through of this poem)
To break it,
But we’re safe.
To be with you is to be myself,
And I know it’s the same for you,
And, trapped inside,
With the storm raging,
I feel like I’m in a film,
Where the heroine realises she’s loved him all along.

I’d considered, briefly, going out
For a walk along the sea,
And while I’ve no doubt the waves would be amazing,
We’d be freezing,
Wet and complaining,
Wishing we were home in our cozy little bed,
With our speakers and booze,
Our own private party.

It’s getting louder,
And brighter,
Like the world is ending around us,
Like we’re approaching the Black Gates,
But that’s out there,
And we’re in here –
Our own, private sanctuary,
Just you and me,
Standing strong against the elements.

That’s not to say
That we’re not both wishing
We could go outside without the threat
Of paranoia and a chance so minute,
That Zeus might strike us,
But we are together,
The one thing that never would have changed,
And for me, that makes my night
A good night.

Dedicated to Alex, my best friend, my love, my companion.

Incarceration of a Flower Child: 1: I’m With the Band

Following on from the prologue, this is the first chapter of the story I started many years ago. I really hope to one day continue it…

_____

“Tim, love, we’ve got a bit of a situation.”

My shirt buttoned only from the chest up, I poked my head back around the long, ‘velvet’ (supposedly, it felt more like a shaved rodent) curtain we’d been instructed by Phil, easily the angriest man in the world, to get changed behind for the show. Jean was stood, dressed head to toe in paisley, cigarette in her mouth, tapping her foot impatiently. “Jean, babe, what’s the trouble?”

She exhaled a cloud of smoke, which scratched at the back of my throat. “Don’t ‘babe’ me, Tim, it’s that doorman. Gav.”

“What’s he doing?”

Stupid question, what isn’t he doing? Gav was Phil’s worst decision for this place, from a non-threatening, welcoming atmosphere point of view.

“What he’s doing is not letting Michelle and Polly through—I told him they was with the band, but he’s not buying it. It’s bullshit. It’s not like they haven’t been coming here for every night since I got you that gig, or anything,” she snarled, glancing back over her shoulder towards the door to the club itself. God knows how she got in here, but it was clear that she wanted to get back to reigning over her group of psychedelic weirdos as quickly as she could. “Look, just get those kids in. I’m not having that bastard doorman making me look like a fool.”

That solved the mystery of why she gave two shits about Chelle and Polly; she felt that Gav, and yeah, she’s right, he’s a bastard if I ever knew one, was exerting power over her. And fuck, she may be tiny, but no one humiliates Jean Tobey and gets away with it. Her blue eyes were drilling into my skull as I fumbled with the last few buttons on my shirt. “I-I’ll see what I can do.”

Seriously. Jean is terrifying to the point where she can reduce a man over a foot taller than her to stuttering. How else could she get where she is?

Well… maybe some things are better left unsaid.

“You won’t see what you can do, you’ll do it, Tim,” she said, with a swish of her dress as she turned to march back towards her group. And, yeah, I’d have to do it, otherwise she could just as easily defile herself with Phil in order to have him kick us out as she could to get us in. If she hadn’t dropped out at fourteen to join the travellers she probably could’ve made a pretty effective spin doctor.

I shoved the pink silk inside my belt as I snuck away from my curtain. As I did so, Ian, in all his Hendrix-permed glory, grabbed my arm; I flinched, waiting for the rip of cerise which never came. I turned around to catch him grinning, his tongue poking out of the gap of his missing tooth. “Jeanie got your balls in her handbag, huh?”

“Not exactly,” I replied, nonchalantly. “Fucking Gav being difficult again. Not letting Chelle and Pol in, I fucking said…” I shook my head. “Anyway, I’m gonna go and get them.”

“Want me to clean out the storeroom?”

“You what?”

“Y’know, so you and Chelle can…” he wiggled his eyebrows.

“Fuck off, Ian.”

Ignoring the following jeering and vulgarity from him and Rog, I left our pitiful excuse for a dressing room at a jog, shoving through the doors with such force that they almost smacked right into Phil, who was laden with a large glass of beer and expression so venomous he could spoil milk. Which he’d probably feed to us after the show.

“You, Rowand. Where the fuck do you think you’re going, you’re about to go on stage?”

Great. His eyes were probably glowing red with the fires of hell beneath those bloody sunglasses that he was wearing, despite the fact that this room was, as is probably characteristic of unused nuclear bunkers, dark as shit. Even those which have since been extended and converted into a dank, yet somehow popular, night club.

“I think I’m going to get my friends in because your bouncer is being an arsehole again,” I replied, suddenly filled with inexplicable courage. Maybe it’s a pride thing; if I couldn’t stand up to Jean, that was enough humiliation for one night, thanks. “Michelle Carne and Polly Beckett?”

“Look, son. You know as well as I do that I couldn’t give a flying fuck who your friends are. Just go and get them in, then get back here and play that keyboard like I’m fucking paying you to,” he snapped, actually surprisingly more compliant than he normally is.

I gave a nod which hopefully didn’t look too surprised, and proceeded through the door—just in time to hear a cry of “Sergeant!”, which suggested that the real reason he didn’t eradicate me on the spot was because he was saving all that pent-up rage to rip into Ian. I’d say that I feel sorry for him, but I don’t. His hairstyle looks like my grandmother’s and if I’m perfectly honest it looks a lot better on her.

Bloody typical. Shaking my head to myself, and hoping that Phil wouldn’t break anything of Ian’s which would stop him playing bass like we all kind of needed him to, I marched past the tables which lined the back so as to avoid the ‘dance floor’, where bored adolescents swayed roughly in time with the erratic sounds of Cream. The tables all smelled the same: smoke, spilled vodka, and weed, though at least one lot had the courtesy to try and disguise the stench of it all with incense. Too bad it stank like dog shit, in my opinion. A few people turned their heads. I should’ve expected as much, really; a cerise-shirted silhouette behind a keyboard graced posters scattered all over the city, but I didn’t really have the time to give them the winks and half-smiles they wanted. I needed to get these two girls inside and my own arse backstage before Phil finally had that heart attack we’ve all been waiting on.

I reached the door just as the huge guy was stepping back, so that I was nearly thrown off-balance. I cleared my throat. No answer.

“Gav,” I said, rather more timidly than I’d anticipated. He didn’t reply. “Gavin,” I repeated, swallowing back whatever it was which made me sound like an imbecile. “Gavin.”

“Jesus Christ, what?” he said, with anger, whirling round. He realised it was me, and seemed almost startled. Nice. “I mean, yeah?”

I moved towards the door; he moved aside. I looked out, and saw two girls in their late teens standing together looking partly dejected and partly like they could kill six people each with their bare hands if provoked. I turned to him; my height meant I could look him in the eye. He just happened to be as wide as two of me.

“Gav, those girls, Michelle Carne and Polly Beckett?”

“Oh, the kiddies? What about ‘em?”

I could almost see Chelle’s fists clenching. To be fair, she was eighteen. “Whether or not you believe that they’re old enough is your own view, but, trust me, these girls are both adults and they’re actually really good friends of Ian and I…”

Really?” he seemed sceptical.

I gave an affirmative nod. “Yeah. Back at the Poly, we used to skip all the time to hang out with them. We’ve been friends since ’63. I don’t want to be rude or anything, but it’s a preference of all the band if you let them in?” by that, I meant Ian and I—Roger barely spoke to them and I don’t think Jude’s even met them at all. “Also, you’ve really pissed off Jean Tobey and she could fuck her way into the PM’s office if she wanted to.”

“You’re talking bollocks,” he spat. Clearly, he’d yet to learn that judging a book by its cover when that book was called Jean could pretty much result in you not having any bollocks by the end of the night. “But whatever. Take the kids in, if you stick ‘em in the dark, they’ll stop making this place look like a daycare centre,” he turned to them. “You’re in. Better thank your musician friends later.”

“We will!” Polly assured him as she shuffled through the door. Chelle, meanwhile, sauntered through with a look of entitlement, giving him the finger when his back was turned. I dragged them more towards the stage. They, if anyone, were going to get the best places we could offer them.

I left them right in the centre, and placed my hands on my hips. “What happened to ‘we’re with the band’?” I joked.

Chelle rolled her eyes. “Asshole wouldn’t believe us. You’re gonna have to get us cards or something,” she remarked, her evident dislike for Gavin shining through in the dryness of her North American tone. “But, no, thank you, though, I guess. I actually didn’t think we’d make it in this time.”

I shrugged. “Eh, take it as a compliment. Better to look younger in the long run, I guess. But, anyway, you’ll join us at the pub after the set?”

“Yeah, probably,” Chelle said, while Polly, with wide, blue eyes, looked somewhat startled but also willing. Chelle turned to her. “We’ll get one of the guys to get your drink for you,” she assured, before returning her attention to me. “Who’s going?”

“Uh… me, Ian and Rog, definitely. Jude might, I think he’d be up for it if we persuade him enough—that’s our singer-guitarist, by the way. Jean and some of her lot join us sometimes, but it looks like they’re smoking themselves to Mars right now, so fuck knows if they’ll be in any state to…”

From their particular corner of the room came the strongest waft of grass, and the loudest eruptions of laughter.

“Cool,” Chelle nodded, a smile forming.

Beside her, Polly grinned. “Yeah, cool.”

Incarceration of a Flower Child – Prologue

This is the prologue of a story I started writing a long time ago. I one day hope to come back to it – I’ve written over 12,000 words for it so it’d be silly to give it up…

__________

I guess, all things in perspective, it started back in 1963, two years before the band really took off.  Ian and I were still at the polytechnic, and we’d met a very pretty, nineteen-year-old American girl from the art college. Michelle from Maine, we called her back then. And, well, that was pretty much where the truth ended; she was actually just-turned sixteen at the time, and attended the secondary school round the corner from my house. Ian’s younger sister had recognised her one time when we were hanging out. Sixteen or nineteen, Chelle was gorgeous and, with hindsight, clearly had a thing for me which I should’ve acted on – she was beautiful. Ian and I used to skip lectures to get lunch with her and her friend, Polly (Christ knows how they got out of that school). By the time we found out that they were actually three (and in Pol’s case, four) years younger than they’d said, we didn’t really care. These girls were cool, and they’d become a pretty integral part of our friendship circle.

It was through them that we were introduced to Jean Tobey (dead now. Breast cancer in 1998, there was a tribute on the telly), seventeen at the time, who was 4’9”, and had the biggest sex drive (and Napoleon Complex) known to man. But she was the one who got us the spot at the White Rabbit which kickstarted our entire career. By which I mean, she did the manager a couple offavours’ and we were booked.

Thinking about it, if I had pursued anything with Chelle, I wouldn’t even be in a position to write this. Even as family friends, I only spent so much time at the house with Jude and everyone because I was very, very keen on his sister, Sarah. However, as fate would have it, I saw right past my opportunity to make it with a gorgeous, blonde American, and instead got to see my childhood best friend stumble down a path of destruction that I – we – didn’t exactly help to prevent.

My Hoop Journey

I took up hula hooping in the middle of January 2016. As I’ve just passed my 1 year “hoopiversary”, I decided to detail my journey from ‘fairly useless individual in a sports bra with a massive hoop’ to ‘actually quite competent’. I initially didn’t mean to write it in this style; it just sort of happened.

____

Once upon a time, a soon-to-be university dropout in a tiny room in Reading bought herself a purple, gold and black hula hoop.

She’d got to try out a friend’s hoop a few months before. Inspired by the fact she could keep it on her waist, thought she’d tryscreen-shot-2017-02-15-at-22-43-08 and pursue it herself, when she finally left university for good (unlike her halls, her parents had a nice-sized garden).

She soon realised that learning to hula hoop in the middle of January probably wasn’t going to be the most pleasant experience. It was very cold – very cold- especially since she needed the exposed skin to keep the hoop spinning.

The bruises… they were something else.

She learned using online tutorials, and, whenever she could, and run outside to try it, and try it, and try it until she got it vaguely right. Admittedly, she wasn’t exactly the most elegant, but she was determined that she would be, one day.

Her breakthrough came to her in the form of her friend, who recommended her a class which was starting in the nearby village. She signed up straight away, and soon she was just-about-spinning with a few other ambitious hoopers. For the life of her, she couldn’t neck hoop – something which became a bit demoralising when she realised everyone else could do it. In all fairness, though, she was one of the first to figure out lifting off the waist (although online classes had helped a bit with that one..).

And, she practiced. She practiced a lot – in the park, whenever she could, she’d drag her screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-22-57-17boyfriend and her hoop to somewhere fairly hidden, so passers-by wouldn’t see her mess something up, mainly. In mid-February, her boyfriend bought her a beautiful, iridescent polypro hoop – lighter, and faster, and it made all the things she needed to do with her arms a lot easier. She wasn’t getting tired in the classes, anymore, and really felt she was progressing. Going from a beginner hoop to a polypro definitely took a bit of getting used to!

Not long after, she bought her second hoop, from her hoop teacher – a neon pink, naked polypro this time, taped around the middle, making it much easier to spin around thescreen-shot-2017-02-16-at-00-21-27 waist. She still hadn’t quite grasped neck hooping, though…

When she got her job, she had much, much less time for hooping. She started to lag a bit in her lessons, having to miss several due to back pains from standing all day, or just staying late to get things done. Work was worth it, but she began to notice a lot of the other members of the class surpass her in skill – even the people who started the course weeks after she did.

Still, she loved to hoop, and she didn’t give it up. She took her pink polypros to Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham, and danced the weekend away with her friend – they finally had the chance to jam together, if just for a couple of days.

After watching the fire dancers at the Avebury Summer Solstice in awe, she decided to keep some of her paycheque back, and eventually managed to save enough to order a LED hoop from the USA, as summer was just around the corner. It would be the perfect weather for hooping at night, especially at future festivals.

(It turned out not to arrive until a week after Boomtown, though.)

Just as she’d finascreen-shot-2017-02-16-at-00-51-48lly, sort of, managed to grasp neck hooping, she came across her next, biggest hurdle: chest hooping. Notoriously difficult, she was no stranger to its challenge. No amount of pumping and awkward wriggling could get it working. It became an impossible goal, in a way.

Shoulder hooping was somewhat more achievable, with her first successful attempt being made at Secret Garden Party. The combination of intensive heat and an open-minded, loving, festival atmosphere, meant that cropped tops and swimwear – perfect hooping attire – were more than acceptable.

Coincidentally, this was also the same festival in which she hooped naked a couple of times… which led to her first, real success with hooping around the leg, coincidentally.

With chest hooping still a distant dream, and shoulder hooping not much closer (but her vortex getting incredible), she was given the opportunity to try fire hooping. Nerve-wracking, yes, but fun, definitely. The smell and the sound blew her away, and she knew she wanted to take it up, someday. Someday, in a few years, probably.

It was difficult to learn more techniques while travelling around festivals, but the one screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-01-15-29thing she definitely got to work on was her flow. There was music everywhere.

By the time she had her last hoop lesson, before she moved to her new home in Brighton in September, she’d still not mastered chest hooping or escalators. But, a beautiful, fully-taped polypro and some good luck followed, and she found a hoop class near to her new home, by Live Love Hoop.

The class consisted of six, hour-long blocks, and focused on upper-body hooping. After just the first session, she knew she’d made significant progress, and she couldn’t have been happier. Her posture was corrected, and neck hooping came naturally. Shortly after, followed proper shoulder hooping, neck hooping with an arm lifted, almost a chest roll and, finally, finally, proper chest hooping. Though admittedly completing more than five rotations proved a bit too ambitious, it was a breakthrough, and a huge personal achievement, to boot.

Something about mastering the one thing she felt was holding her back spurred her on to practice more and more. She signed up for another class, this time on lower body hooping, and, while she was back in her hometown, made sure to practice every day, weather permitting. Five rotations became seven, then ten, and then, sustained.

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-22-02-56Upon starting her leg hooping course, she was confident, and soon, by the end, more or less mastered a number of tricks on the legs. Eventually, she could work the hoop up and down her body, from her legs, to her chest, to her neck. She could keep up a flow, and even hoop on her foot without it flying off and hitting someone in the face. She definitely hit herself a couple of times, though…

As more and more assignments are handed in, she knows that she may not have as much time for hooping. However, as the days get warmer and longer, she promises herself that she will make the time for it. She has promised herself that she’ll perfect rolls and basic floor work before the year is done.

The progress has been huge, and she hopes she just keeps getting better.

It Started With “Hello” – Spoken Word Piece

So, for the past three months or so, I’ve been trying to write spoken word poetry, after being inspired by the Poetry Slam I watched at WOMAD World of Words. I appreciate that this isn’t the same effect as listening to it (although I may record it at a later date), and that it probably needs a lot of work – I’m still learning!

Another thing I want to mention, because I’m paranoid, is that this is a completely original work, and the only place I’m going to post it) as far as I know, is my Wattpad account (also GoldDustLizzy).

Anyway. This is a poem about love.

It Started With “Hello”

It started with “hello”,
A wave across a room,
A friendly smile,
And a suggestion that we meet for coffee.

He told me that he came from Reading originally,
But grew up in a small town outside of Windsor.
His parents divorced when he was ten,
And his older sister is married with a son.

And he was beautiful.
His eyes were kind,
His face elegantly angled,
And his voice was soft, like an angel’s song.

I asked him out for drinks, but he faltered;
He had plans with another girl.
I guess that’s fair enough –
He was an Adonis.

I asked what she was like,
But he refused to talk.
It doesn’t matter, he said,
They were going for dinner.

The next day, I persisted, and asked him about her.
He seemed more open.
They’d had a fight over…
…lasagne, or something?
He shrugged it off like it was nothing, but I saw my chance.

Their fights continued,
From what I can see.
He’d come in dejected, and I like to think
That seeing me would brighten his day.

He said he’d told her about me, once.
That she hadn’t been happy,
That she’d asked questions,
Interrogated him about me,
And I hope he said good things,
Like he said he did.

One night, he texted me,
Saying she was freaking out…
Again.
And could we talk about it tomorrow?
I said, “of course!”.
My face was glowing.

After that night, he was happy to see me.
We got drinks between lectures,
With no faltering this time.
He bought me a rum and coke,
Even though I’d offered to pay for it myself.
Yet, still, he ran back to the other girl.

What did he see in her?
She didn’t make him happy,
That much was clear.
What did she have that I didn’t?

It all made sense, when I met her later.
She was gorgeous.
Long hair, dark eyes, slight frame.
Little pout, shy mannerisms.

But how she shouted!
When she was set off, the heavens would shake.
So much anger in one so small.
Why did he put up with her?

Months into our friendship, he’d confide in me.
Many things would make her angry.
She was constantly distressed, and
I told him she wasn’t worth it, but he denied me.

At least, his words did.

“She hates how I -”
She hates you having fun.
“She hates when you -”
She hates you having a life.
“She hates how I talk about you.”
Because you can talk to me.
“She hates when I see you.”
She hates you having friends who aren’t her.

It was me he could trust,
Me he could confide in.
But she tied him down,
Relentlessly,
Angrily,
His freedom was compromised
As long as she was there.

I yearned for the day
When he’d finally realise
That she really wasn’t worth his commitment.
She’d never give him what he wished for.

I could.
I really could.
If only he’d see that.
If only, if only, if only…

Then, one night.

One strange, wonderful night,

He kissed me.

His lips were soft and sweet,
Like cotton candy,
To be cliched.
His touch was desperate,
Passionate,
Intense,
Clawing for affection
In that dingy nightclub,
Pulling me towards him,
As though he were clinging for his life.

He’d finally realised,
His decision was right.

Her?
She’s a problem no more.
A distant memory,
A wall between our love.
A wall which now has crumbled.

He and I were meant to be.
A love which was pure,
A love like no other.
She was just a jealous bitch,
Incapable of realising
That he was better off without her.

She is gone,
Her reign is over.

And, it makes me think:
What is it like,
To be the other girl,
Desperate for affection,
While his solace comes
From the arms of another?

But, never mind.
His choice was made.
A happy three years came to naught.
But, me? I’m fine.
I’ve won.
Now, she’s but a distant dream.
Now, she must realise
That nothing halts a true love’s path.
She gave her life to him,
I know,
But, now, his life is all to me.
I know she’ll find another man,
But at this point,
I couldn’t care less.

A Day Alone in a New City

I know I’ve not written in ages, but I’ve been very, very busy with moving to Brighton. I’m hopefully going to get more of a chance to write, I’ve got so many drafts saved at the moment. I’d like to do something on leaving home, maybe, or fresher’s week? I’m not sure. Uni will be strange.

Anyway, for now, here’s a piece of creative writing, inspired by my first day alone in my new flat.

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New places usually left her with a night’s sleep which was wanting more, but she awoke surprisingly refreshed, and proceeded to try and figure out the shower. The bathroom was still a bit grimy. She remembered that she was going to try and get the soap scum off the bottom, but forgot in favour of getting a bit pissed instead. It wasn’t a decision she regretted; the alcohol-induced wooziness was probably what made her sleep okay in the first place.

The water came out cold, as was usually characteristic of unfamiliar showers. They were a mystery akin to the Enigma codes. Or, at least, that’s how it felt, standing naked in the bathroom, desperately trying to figure out why, no matter which way you turned it, the water still came out at arctic temperatures. Eventually, she realised that the previous tenant had probably knocked off the knob at some time or another, and had managed to put it back upside-down. Cold meant hot. She’d have to remember that.

And, God, the neighbours were loud. She wasn’t sure if the door upstairs slamming was someone going in or out, but she could still hear his voice. He sounded very self-assured, to say the least.

She strolled through the underpass beneath the station, nearly tripping over a small child who’d stopped suddenly in the middle of the pavement to try  and catch a Pokémon. Coming up from the other side was a family with suitcases, so she climbed the step of the shop beside her to skirt around the congestion. People-Dodging really needed a companion. The subsequent complaining made it more fun. She shrugged, and tried to navigate the twists and turns in the Lanes. To be specific, that was which ones had cars going down them, and which ones didn’t. It was odd, really. The roads were open to traffic, evidently because it was a weekday, but it didn’t seem any less busy than the Sunday before, when pedestrians could stroll freely, without fear of some wanker in a BMW about to run them down.

You could quickly see who were tourists and who lived here all year round. The resident Brightonians, the ones who fitted the vibe, were the alternative crowd, minding their own business as they weaved around the holidaying families with surly, tracksuit-clad teenagers who sneered at them. As she passed, they sneered at her, too. She wasn’t sure if she should feel self-conscious or proud. They thought she was one of them. She fitted in here, after arriving from a place where she so often stood out like a sore thumb.

Pride aside, the Lanes seemed to have lost their charm in the peak season. She wistfully recalled trips with her boyfriend in the spring months. Colder, yes, but the character was there. The shopkeepers were calmer, happier, more relaxed. She looked forward to those months again, silently punishing herself for doing so.

You were a tourist, too, barely a week ago.

Guilty though she felt, the part of her which could quote BN1 as her postcode provoked her onwards. Get what you need, then you can go home.

The roads still scared her when she was alone. Brave, experienced shoppers charged through as the buses pulled around corners at alarmingly high speeds. Best to wait for the green, now make a run for the mall itself. Churchill Square is always crowded. She fought her way through the hoards of schoolchildren, staring wistfully at clothes their pocket money wouldn’t stretch to. She remembered those days, and then she yearned for her old job, back home. Home? Climbing the stairs of Urban Outfitters, they walked in rows of 5, silent and sullen. She edged around them and ran for the homeware shops. Too much effort. All she’d wanted was a toothbrush holder, anyway.

Arriving home, after pushing through more crowds, all she wanted was a cold drink. Typically, her family, before leaving the night before, had finished all the apple juice, and she really didn’t have the energy to go back out again. All that was left was wine. She shrugged. She was alone. Her house, her rules, and while wine at 4pm wasn’t a rule, it wasn’t frowned upon, either.

Taking a sip of delicious Sauvignon, she smiled.

Home.