Don’t Cry

You’re so noisy.

Don’t speak, don’t breathe.

Heavily behind me.

Through your nose.

Long toes. nails. Harsh.

Scratchy voice, cackling.

And heat under an old green coat.

You’re so noisy.

Don’t tell me I’m wrong.

Don’t fake your beliefs, to make me happy, and then curse what I believe, when you’re tired of the lies.

Don’t swear

don’t SHOUT

Don’t breathe, just stop. Stop breathing. Just sleep.

Don’t blame, don’t bemoan, don’t lament. I am not your beacon of happiness.

I am not made to suffer your fury, your happiness, your pain.

I am human.

And when I leave, don’t cry.

You’re so noisy.

I want out.

But

I’m scared to go

Because you think you’re entitled to me.

You’re so noisy

So ill

so broken.

When i LEAVE

Fix your bones

don’t smoke.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t cry.

Don’t cry.

Those hacking sobs

those tears

not of pain

but of bitter selfishness.

 

N.B. this was real. not is. a v long time ago. thank goodness.

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Image credit: Carmen Renn

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Those Eyes

I was reading a news article this morning, about a woman who supposedly used a stun gun on her son to wake him up for the Easter service.

She said she didn’t actually use it, but the investigators found some telling bumps on the boy’s legs.

Now, I know that sometimes kids can be frustrating. I know this because I was a frustrating kid at times. I clashed horrendously with my mother, it was a mixture of difficult personalities and constant misunderstandings. I was also smacked sometimes. -shrug-

But the point of this post is not to berate this woman’s parenting skills. The fact that she was hauled up in front of a court room for her actions is telling.

I am writing this post because the news website posted a photograph of this woman.

A colour photograph, taken with a sharp-eyed camera. It was otherwise an insignificant story. Scant, lacking detail, except for that photograph.

Her hair was in neat dreadlocks, gleaming maroon strands intertwined with black. Voluminous, lustrous.

Her face, defiant.

At first glance she looked angry, distasteful, the face of a criminal woman seeking to abuse her child.

But I wanted to look more closely.

Her face seemed resigned, the more I stared at it.

There were hollow dark circles beneath her eyes and her colour ashen. Her mouth curved slightly to the left, in a way that signified determination, and a little anxiety.

But her eyes stood out to me the most.

Slightly yellowed, they gazed out at the camera. Tired, telling eyes. The more I stared, the more I felt drawn to them.

There was pain in her eyes. A pain I didn’t know, and couldn’t touch.

Something hard in those dark, dull orbs, born of time and consistent disappointment.

My eyes bored into hers; mine alive as each minute passed, and hers dead, frozen in time, encapsulated in a moment only she would ever understand.

What was she thinking?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman I Don’t Like

She is a tall woman. With sleek shiny brown hair, shoulder length. Her eyebrows are thick and sharp and give her the appearance of a forceful character. She is quite tall, well-built, and I think she has passed the age of 40.

She likes to wear tweed, waistcoats, crisp white shirts, jeans and tall black boots, almost like wellies, that reach just below her knee.

She always walks in with some kind of blazer on.

Her cheeks are ruddy, her eyes bright and black and sparkling, and she is the epitome of health and moral judgement.

And I just don’t like her.

I don’t even know her. She has a distinct Northern accent, which takes away from her outwardly ‘charm’, somewhat. Hah. What charm?

Laugh like a cackling witch; abrasive to the ears. Like a hacking saw, pierced with her slightly shrill voice. Not shrill, entirely, no.

It’s a concave voice. It has sharp edges and a sickly centre. It’s loud and a little abrasive, and, coupled with her accent, entirely distasteful. In fact, I despise it. It rings out through our large office floor periodically, and you can always hear every single thing she has to say.

Why do I hate her?

When she smiles, you see, she smiles right through me. I catch her looking darkly at me in the mirror sometimes, in the bathroom, and it is not a pleasant look. She is cheerful enough and talkative with plenty of other people, but I feel an icy blast when she looks in my direction. And after she has smiled at me, for a second or two, her eyes move on and her smile vanishes, because it never quite reached her eyes.

She is monotonous and boring. I have no desire to find out anything more about her. I think she is cold and cruel and judgemental. I have sat through a few of her presentations and almost fallen asleep. She is like metal, with no centre. She spends her lunch breaks sitting with this balding man with white hair, and they sit and share their food and talk in low voices. He certainly isn’t her husband because he is a Smith and she is a Furrow-Womble, meaning she has merged her name with a Womble. She has kids, I know, and oughtn’t that to mellow somebody out?

And why is she nice to everybody else, except me? Everybody is nice to me. I always smile at people and make them laugh. What’s not to like? She dismisses me in the rudest way.

She is just cruel. Cruel and wears boots and tweed, and laughs like a honking goose.

I just don’t like that woman.

Is there anybody you don’t like, without any particular reason?

Socially Awkward

I called my husband’s phone at work and his work colleague picked up.

I didn’t realise it wasn’t him at first so I said his name, tentatively, because the person answering obviously answered it differently to how my husband would, except he wasn’t speaking clearly, so I thought it was still my husband.

So he repeated, ‘D’s phone, how can I help?’

So I said, ‘D?’

I don’t know why I did, okay? I just did. So cringe, I know.

‘Um, D is not at his desk at the moment, can I take a message?’

Oh my god. How embarrassing.

So of course  now I was thrown off track because of my awkwardness, so I quickly said, ‘Oh no no no no. It’s fine. I will call back later. Bye.’

It was absolutely not fine. It was an emergency. I had broken the night latch on my door and was locked indoors and had to be somewhere asap. I jumped over the fence and tried to unlock it from outside but to no avail. So I went about my business and then when my husband returned home I pried the lock open from inside with a knife, and he unbolted it from the door to tinker with it.

Still in his work clothes, still with his jacket on.

‘My friend told me you called.’

‘Oh, yeah.’

‘He said it was so awkward. You were so awkward.’

‘Okay.’

But he said it so accusingly that against my better judgement I just stared at him furiously while unwanted tears swelled in my eyes. He didn’t notice.

‘Oh, right, so everybody thinks D’s wife is weird and awkward, is that it?’ I lashed out.

‘What?’ he was surprised, ‘No!’

He hugged me, and got lock grease all over my nice clothes, which was fine, but he was lying. Of course. Because I was upset. I can always tell. When he isn’t telling the truth, his mouth sets in a straight line. And he doesn’t make eye contact with me.

But they probably all do think that.

I am not weird and awkward. I was just muddled! It can happen to anybody, right? My mind was also far away so I didn’t react well to realising I was speaking to somebody else in the tone I used specially for my husband, so naturally I would be awkward.

Also, D’s friend MUMBLES. I just thought it was D using a different phrase to answer his, hello, work phone.

Ugh. Am I overanalysing this. I don’t want people at his new workplace thinking his wife is some loser who can’t talk on the phone. They probably don’t care anyway but I am pretty sure D does, his friend and him go back a long way. I don’t want my husband to think he can’t rely on me to not be awkward in social situations.

Eh.

 

 

What is Life

The world is a beautiful place. So stunning and ethereal and vast and ancient. And humans are also ancient, though perhaps not as ancient as the mountains or the seas or the many many animals and plants we don’t know anything about.

The hearts of people are mysterious things. The hearts of people quite often are what determine how we look out on to this world. And how we treat it, and often influences how others perceive it too. Oh, everything is part of the something massive we call life, so everything is too complex and complicated to understand.

For example, who can we blame for all the death and corruption in the world? The truth is, we cannot blame anybody. Because everybody who is a part of it all, are all part of a massive and ancient machine. And we can serve justice all we want, but it won’t mend it and it certainly will not make it better in the future, because there will only be more evil hearted people and more sadness and destruction.

Oh, I don’t know how to put this thought. I feel really bitter and upset sometimes, and I feel it in my heart even though I know my brain is doing all the thinking, and it makes the world look so bleak and grey. Even when the sun is out. Even when the sky is bright blue. Even when the flowers are nodding away brightly. And I try to say, well, it is not real. Stop thinking horrid thoughts. But they carry on coming and manifest themselves into very real self made problems.

And we have been around for so so so so long. And so many before have felt this way and so many after will also. But it fixes. And it breaks. And it fixes again. And it will never change.

The heart is so strange, folks. So odd. I am constantly at war with mine.

Well, there is that lovely lyric – ‘Don’t worry, be happy, don’t worry be happy now!’

So, I guess I won’t worry. I will be happy. HAPPY. GLAD. Fun fun fun.

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A Holding of Breath

There is something so tantalising about anticipation.

Anticipation to drive my first car. Anticipation to eat the chocolate I have hidden in my bedside drawer. Anticipation to see my beloved when he finally comes home. Anticipation to visit a place I haven’t seen in forever, talk to an old best friend, confront somebody after a change has taken place between us..

Anticipation can be both exciting and miserable. It can carry the sickening nausea of extreme happiness, or horrific nervousness.

I have often thought about the oddity of our senses, and how the same physical sensation accommodates two very different emotions.

I get the same lurching, heaving nausea before an exam that I get in the throes of deep excitement in the minutes before I see my husband after being away from him for so long.

And even though it is almost painful to feel that way, I love it! It makes me feel so alive! I can taste every breath of air like minty freshness on my tongue, melting like a cold snowflake. I want to run and run and run through cobbled streets, the wind in my hair, my feet flying as though winged, but at the same time I want to curl up and groan, clutching my queasy stomach.

My toes curl as I hurry towards my destination. A sinkhole could swallow me up at any moment. A torrent of rain could fall and mar this sweet reunion. An earthquake could shatter the windows and crack the walls, and my exam would be cancelled. That would be both bad and good, I think. Better to have it over and done with, than wait through more hours of agony.

I am so excited to see him again.

Anything could happen between now and 12:00PM on Monday. Anything. I could die. He could be struck by lightning or get tossed into the sea or have a car slam into him and be snatched away from me, just like that, my hands closing around the empty space where he would have been, had fate not had her resolute way.

I can smell him on my pillow and in the hoodie that I wear that really belongs to him, I can see his wide smile and dimples and pearly, straight teeth when I close my eyes, I can feel the warmth of him in the empty space beside me in bed, I can see his fingers running over the tips of my books, the way his knuckles look when he straightens things out, his minute attention to every tiny detail.

I am holding my breath until he is with me again.