The invention of writing and the futility of all these intricacies.

And after a beautiful sunny spring day, me and him sit and eat the pizza he made expertly. Looking at the flecks of grey in his hair, I swell fat with love for him. I really do. He just keeps on getting better looking. Loving him this much always makes me scared. I once wrote that I couldn’t bare the idea of death simply because it’s the one place I must go without him. And I still feel that way.

Through the window, the trees show off. Blossom and buds and nature and such breathtaking prettiness that the blue vastness of the sky is nothing compared to it. And I find myself wondering what the point of it all is. Not for the first time. I understand and yes I accept that death is inevitable but really, what is the purpose of life being so rich and complex and vivid if it’s impermanent. Living and being alive, this chance encounter between a sperm and an egg, and zap you’re in existence: why would something so poignant and intense be so ephemeral? I really can’t understand it. Between the lines of everything I’m observant of death and it’s potential. Those country boys are so very right when they say death with steal your innocence but it will not steal your substance.

This isn’t depression, this obsession with the beauty of living and the sad loneliness of tombstones. It isn’t. I’m not certain but I think if depression means hating life and longing for death, then wouldn’t I prefer that feeling? Wouldn’t I choose it over this reminiscent melancholy, this acute awareness of the end of all days, this desperation to be here as long as possible: as if I have some prior knowledge that it will be snatched too soon? As though I am very old, somehow skipping out my youth. And all I want, all I long for is to be here with him for a length of time that feels enough. It’s not right at my age to be so preoccupied with death, but what can I do when death plays a constant game of chess with the people around me: snatching pawns and rooks and pieces so dearly loved that I don’t feel like a perfect set without them. This isn’t depression, it’s the exact opposite. I’m so extremely happy with the things I have that I’m hyper-terrified they will be taken away from me.

Visiting Dylan today, I watched Phil pick the bits of grass from around the grave. Watched him use the scruff of his sleeve to wipe the cross, the metal heart shape and the colourful mushroom. The way he loves is tender and practical. In his care and affection he is purposeful and tactile. Unafraid of the dirt like a real snot-boy burning through the streets on his BMX. I would have loved to have loved him before I knew him. Way back when he belonged to his mum and dad and all his many siblings. I would have loved to. My job seems….peripheral…in comparison. I arrange the flowers and give the weeks news headlines, as if the dead need updates of what’s been going on without them. Surely if they’re somewhere to hear the update then they must be around for the live show. I tell myself they don’t need the news headlines. And if it’s true that they float around in the breeze wafting their arms loftily then they don’t need purchased flowers in vases. They have the vast fields of the earth and the tiny magnificent wildflowers that grow in abundance. So I sit back in my chair, tucking fingers into the warm chub between my crossed legs, and let him do the meaningful stuff. Instead I close my eyes and pretend I have him flat on his stomach, in a flannel jumpsuit, sleeping on the heave of my chest. I hope my imagination is not a place for fiction and un-reality, I hope instead it’s a place where we can all be together, without the hindering walls of consciousness.

A week filled with hospital visits and driving my dad backwards and forwards to the hospital for treatments. But listening to him talk, and spending time with him is a privilege. It really is. Not because he is ill and won’t be with me forever, but because he is such a funny and interesting man. He has cancer but it doesn’t seem to worry him. He lies in the backseat of my car, his head on my mum’s lap, talking incessantly and smoking. He says the word ‘bomba’ lots, voicing the second ‘b’ as much as the first. It’s his word for ‘wicked’ or ‘cool’ or whatever. And it’s not strictly Greek and it’s not strictly English either. But it’s what he says after a big sigh, when the sun comes flooding into the warm car or the breeze catches him through the open window. And I don’t understand how he can be so happy and relaxed. Can that really be the effects of the morphine alone? He’s been hardcore and gangster all week, so much so that I began to believe that my dad’s body must react well to drugs, prescribed or otherwise. But today, popping by with more of my futile gestures, an exploded homemade cherry pie and a vegetable soup, I see he isn’t doing so well. Tired, freaked out and unwell, he isn’t jabbering on and making us all laugh. And I can tell it’s an effort for him to speak to me. So I leave him to sleep and discuss pills and side effects with my mum. I can see in her usually laid-back eyes that she is worried. She is tired. And I want to squash her up in my arms, because she is shorter than me nowadays and I can recall a time when she did the exact same thing for me…..way back when I was shorter than her.

Right now, an hour later than it should be, I wonder whether I have any right to write about these things. These observational things that people keep to themselves. I don’t have the consent of my subjects to tell the world these things about them. Perhaps they’d be disgusted to know the things I write, perhaps they’d hate me for sharing in detail in the way I do. And I’d be repentant wouldn’t I? I’d regret not having dedicated a blog to the surface of things; to the newly painted skirting boards, or how much weight I could lose if I don’t eat fuck all, some mildly amusing comments on the week’s tv, how to plant and grow vegetables without ruining your nails and the three-piece-suits of idle chitter chatter. I’d regret it, sure I would, but I couldn’t do it any other way. No matter how hard I try, I can not apply myself wholly to the things that don’t make me feel.

All this bedroom-miserablising is cathartic. It really it is, but it’s more than that. It’s the documentation of the things that go on around me. And isn’t that why the Greeks invented writing all those years ago.

Fragments of chapters written whilst pregnant.

A book I started writing for Dylan.

1.01.2011  Clear Blue.

 Today I pissed on a stick and it said I was pregnant. He took a picture to prove it. We stood together in the hallway cuddling. Waiting for two minutes to change our lives…or not, as could have been the case. Creeping into the bathroom hand in hand, I partly knew what it would say but was stunned as I stared at it. All the bullshit and fakery left my body in a zap of reality. And we stared at each other. I think I said ‘fuck’ and his legs were shaking.

 

04.01.2011  Bunking Off

 Three pregnancy tests later, and everything is still ‘positive’. That little plus sign everywhere I look. And I am happy: in fits and starts. But I haven’t been able to sleep the last few nights and I feel sick all the time. Also, you’re making my tits hurt in an extraordinary way. Which is crazy if it’s true that you are probably right now, no bigger than a poppy seed.

 I called in sick today because I slept about half an hour in total and didn’t want to puke and shit constantly at work. I know most people suffer more with morning sickness but think mine (up until now) has mainly been morning shitness.

 I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I guess everything will seem more real and less conceptual from there.

 I don’t know if you will ever get to know this about me but up until recent years, I was the biggest bunker that ever lived. I calmed down once I started work. At secondary school I missed most of the start of the first year. At college I only went in when I absolutely had to. And at uni, I went in a grand total of seven times in the first year and still passed.

 In secondary school my greatest scam was getting dressed and going up to the tube station to meet my friend Anna, then coming back home and telling mum that I had fainted and the nurse had sent me home. She believed me.

 I just had this thing with never wanting to be where I was supposed to be. Never wanting to follow procedures and join the crowd, never wanting to leave the house, mingle, progress: let’s hope you’re different.

 Bunking is about stealing time away from the regimented world and exploring yourself, learning to just be, without any direction.

 Make me a promise which has nothing to do with bunking off. Promise me that you won’t make me and Phil love each other less? That sounds like a selfish request but I promise you it isn’t. As long as we love each other intensely, as we do now, then we will both be the strongest we can be and that is surely all the back up a kid needs. In return, I promise we will really really love you, no matter what and we already know you will be the coolest mother fucker on the planet (third to me and him x). I know that’s a ridiculous promise for you to keep because as I type this, you are a tiny spec on the smudge of my innards.

18.01.2011  In the telling.

 Remember this my little orange pip: sometimes the greatest news can be ill received. Don’t imagine in this world that everyone will share in your joy of things, because they don’t always.

 You aren’t even a month cooked and I have already told nearly all of our closest friends and family. I think people were too shocked at the news to give me the reaction I’d hoped for.

Phil is so affectionate and supportive and wonderful with everything. It makes me feel simultaneously selfish and sharing with him. I want him for myself, but then I can’t wait to share him with you. I know you will love him supremely and if you don’t, then I will be disappointed I think. I hope that the three of us help to reaffirm each other’s love for each other. If that makes sense.

  I am stuck on the names Dolores and Rosalita. Although Mike bet Leila twenty quid that you will be a boy. A little Yanakis (if my dad has his way). I don’t care one way or the other which sex you are. I just hope your healthy and wonderful.

 I can’t believe I am growing a human being inside my body. I can’t fucking believe that. It bends my head. I am actually beaming from the inside out at the idea of you in there. Earlier on I became overcome with emotion picturing how Phil and I would look at each other during your delivery. It is truly an honour to have his child and I don’t care how sappy or non-feminist that makes me sound.

  I have started reading Montessori books too. I read this fucking ridiculous book called the baby book and it’s meant to be like one of the best out there on the subject. Utter bollocks if you ask me. It reads like this: put baby to bed in his own bedroom at 6 o clock regardless if he is tired or not, leave him there alone, feed him at 7.15, 8.15 and 9.10-no sooner or later and leave him again. Even if he cries you must ignore him as the routine outlined is more important than anything, including the risk of cot death…FASCIST NAZI RIGHT-WINGERS. It really depressed me. I couldn’t cope with a world where everything was like that. So the book drove me to Montessori. Let’s see how that works out. Hopefully I won’t fuck up your life but if I do, forgive me, this is heavy shit and who knows how things will work out.

22.01.2011  Doing our Pikey thing.

  Howard once said about us, that it was like being friends with Pikeys. We have moved at least once every two years since we left uni. And we moved annually at uni too.

 We had every intention of staying in this place, this magical strange cold place, for longer than two years. And then we considered you. It is small here. Not tiny, but small. And a kooky layout. Think you would love the star room with the van gogh type walls I painted but it’s really little. Also it’s up stairs to the flat and then down some rather creepy stairs to the garden.

 I haven’t been to work for the last three days. I think you should get two years maternity leave…paid, maternity leave that is. Then you can find out you are pregnant and just leave work for two years, returning once the baby is a round a year or so old.

 I keep dreaming about making out with Phil, like when we were students. .

 I hope you will always have the strength of character and the confidence to go your own way, when it is right to do so. And don’t ever let the greek guilt stop you from being you.

27.01.2011  The Three Buddhist Truths.

 The three Buddhist truths are birth, sickness and dying. Or sickness, old age and dying. Something like that.

 I have been off from work sick again the last two days. I have a terrible cold this time. I feel much better today and think I am going in to work tomorrow. I read in the pregnancy books that Rachel gave me that the reason for this foggy headedness, tiredness, nausea and sickness is because of a hormone that keeps you pregnant called ‘progesterone’. That’s why I feel I am permanently hung-over.

 And reading more about pregnancy, I am now terrified I will miscarry. Although the other night I felt so dreadful that I considered (fleetingly) that I would have to have an abortion rather than suffer this sickness any longer. I was clearly deluded with tiredness and grumpiness. It’s not something I would ever really consider. It’s safe to say that I think I am falling in love with the idea of you. And as I write this I have a dreadful fear that in a sick twist of irony, I will die giving birth and you will never meet me and these pathetic musings are all you will have to show of me. I pray to god that isn’t true. I have a feeling I might have written that in a previous section, but can’t be arsed to read back now and check. Forgive me if I am repeating myself.

 Since being pregnant, I feel the universe has somehow shifted. Or at least my universe has. I don’t know if I care less about things or if I care more. I don’t know if I am starting to become more independent and detached from my friends or whether I am becoming closer with them? I’m not entirely sure of myself and at the same time I feel more confident and insightful than I have ever been. More hormone induced delusions?

There is so much music I want you to hear. Want to teach you the words too. So you will know the feelings those songs conjure in your soul. God that is so important. The intense melancholy that some songs can bring. The fierce happiness others can instil in you, it really is amazing. I hope you inherit the finest of my music tastes and hope that your childhood is filled with the best soundtrack.

 Motherhood scares the shit out me. Mainly because I always say and do the wrong fucking thing. Mainly because I am out on a limb when it comes to being in control, when it comes to interacting with others who are difficult to interact with, because I am no good with stress and because I have a foul mouth at times. Ego comes into play, as it always does. I want to be a wonderful, natural earth mother, with all the instinct of those powerful women of history. African. South American. Native American. Nordic. Celt. I want to have all the strength and fight of Bodeccia with all the heart and soul of Maya Angelou. And the reality is that we will probably never be exactly as we are in our heads. I will always play second fiddle to the imagined me. Ha. I hope at least I am a BIT interesting and that I don’t completely suck at it.

 Cling onto me with all you’ve got baby because I might not be the smoothest ride you will ever take, but I promise you, I will be worth it in the end.  

18.02.2011  Sleep Waking. 

You’re apparently the size of a lime. Completely formed just waiting to grow. Like all of us I guess. We will be looking at you through the eyes of technology next Tuesday. We will see you before you see us. But I don’t need to see you yet do I though, because I feel you. Messing with my hormones while you nestle in nice and tight. Bless you. Just stop making me feel so sick and dizzy all the time would you? I guess you can’t help that though can you.

 I realised last night that I am afraid of sleep. All my life I have been afraid of it. Uncomfortable with being left on my own, faced with it. I try and think what the reason could be. But I fail to find something that fits and solves the puzzle. Perhaps something before I was aware of what was happening to me happened to me. I really hope it’s not something you inherit. Afraid of something so sinister inherit within me. Something so true and revealing and uncontrollable about the sleep world and the spirits and truths that lurk there.

 My lime. I am shitting all kinds of bricks about your arrival. I really am. And whether there is one or two of you in there. Am I secretly hoping there will be two in there? To save me going through this again perhaps? But then two would mean not being able to have a home birth and dare I wish/hope for something that will force me into the realm of the probing man doctor! No I daren’t and so I tell myself, whatever will be will be. And you will be perfect as one or two or whatever you turn out to be. And I will roll with the punches. I WILL roll with the punches.

28.02.2011  Leaving the lavender.

 So we’ve moved. And I have seen you in an ultrasound scan. The photo is sitting on top of our TV. That’s my two main bits of news.

 Seeing you in that ultrasound, man that was heavy. Exhilarated and shit scared all at once. I heard your heart beat. Much faster than mine. And saw you curled up, your knees scrunched beneath you, your fist near your mouth, facing my vagina. And even though you are only a postcard image from a distant, nearby place:  You looked so incredibly cute.

 I keep waking around 3 am. Wondering about that Jesus time and that film when it was a bad to wake up. And then I get to thinking about you. About me and him and you. I shit myself all over again. A fresh panic in the early hours. Till eventually I try to lull myself into a calmness, telling myself it will all be fine and wonderful once you are here.

 And we have announced the news to everyone now. I did it via Facebook. My announcement followed your first scan photo and said ‘at last I can get fat beyond my wildest dreams: fill up the bath with some ready salteds, here I come!’ and so many people commented. People that don’t even give a shit about me. People that barely know how to pronounce my name at work commented, telling me I would make the best mum…and I thought, how the fuck do you know? It’s just one of those things people say isn’t it. Still I suppose it was nice of them to care.

 We moved into the new place.I keep trying to picture myself washing up while you are playing on the floor in the front room, the sun streaming in.

  I dreamed about you last night. Or at least I dreamed about having a baby. I loved it and it was cute and chubby. Then Leo scratched you on your head and wouldn’t remove his claws. So I went mental and bit him. You had a horrid scratch across your head and I felt sad and angry.  Then I dreamed of a grown up boy who looked just like Phil but was supposed to be my son, who I was having a fling with. Someone recorded our phone conversation and we were torn away from each other. Freaky. Half way through that dream the ‘I’ point of view turned to the third person and instead I was watching a rich old woman falling in love with a gorgeous young man. Jeans low lung and top off, just like Phil. Strange.

  Phil has been talking to you. Mainly about the soprano’s and how tony soprano is a complex character but lovable too. I think it’s so lovely how much he seems to be feeling about you. He said the other night ‘I think I love it already’ and I completely and wholehearted agree.

17.03.2011 Son of a witch .

  Last night I dreamed that Nana Abba’s mum (she was  from Ghana and used to be a nurse) saw me in the street and felt my bump. She then turned into Yiayia (internally and not externally) and started talking to me in Greek. She pushed hard on my stomach and said she couldn’t feel any baby in there and was I sure it wasn’t dead. I think in the dream I went to the doctors and they said they didn’t think it would be a girl child. I awoke. Afraid of my dreams again.

 Today was my 16 week midwife appointment and it was the nice black lady from chase farm who was there today. I liked her immediately from my very first midwife appointment. She had a laid back northern vibe about her. She took a urine sample and found blood in my urine. My dream came back to me and I suddenly felt worried. She said she would have to send it off for testing and that I should hear back soon.

  I am constantly wondering if my dreams really do partially foretell or forewarn of things to come or whether some of my dreams just stick out in my mind and then I somehow find ways to make them link to my day to day life. I wonder if you will have this spooky possible gift that I inherited from the spooky women in my family?

 On the bus ride back to work, I saw little horses in the fields just before oakwood. My heart leapt at the sight of them. It really did. And in the streaky bleak grey sunlight day, that felt very wuthering heights, I realised that I AM maternal and that I AM a naturally loving woman because I have a complete love even for the creatures of this world. The notion of this and the possibility of something going wrong; made me realise just how much I love you…already. Be safe in there, in the dark cauldron of my stomach you little son of a witch.

24.04.2011 The Kick Inside.

And like both Phil and I, you appear to be shy. During the second scan the sonographer proved to be a bitch, jabbing my stomach and trying to jiggle you about so she could make her measurements and do her checks. Like a soulless seamstress she prodded and poked without any kind of care for the fact that there were three human beings in her company. She barely spoke. And made no effort to explain what she was seeing or why she was hacking into my stomach so viciously.

 After drinking a pint and a half of water in preparation for the scan: it took all the strength I had not to piss myself right then and there. And pressing her magic xray wand right on my bladder was not helping. I recall staring at every inch of her face, committing it to memory. I had no idea why she was being so heavy handed with my stomach but in a brief wave of paranoia, I thought she might be one of those psycho hospital people that hate babies and do everything they can to kill them. I stared at her long and hard till I felt confident that I could pick her face out in a crowd of thousands, should I ever need to hunt her down and kill her. Such is the nature of the maternal instinct.

 Although we asked, she couldn’t tell what sex you are. And if I were you, I wouldn’t have wanted to show her my bits either.

 Changes have occurred since last I wrote. I had a urinary tract infection and had to take antibiotics. It made me afraid that you would be affected, although the doctor assured me you wouldn’t. But hopefully the infection has passed. And hopefully everything is ok with you and the flesh and bone house that you live in.

  I have also started to feel distinct movement inside. Like the Kate Bush song but less depressing. I am quite addicted to feeling these movements. And Phil wishes he could feel them from the outside. When he places his hand on a particular side of my stomach, or speaks to you from one side, you move quickly and with purpose (so it feels) towards his hand or voice. I love this feeling. My two favourite people in the world: bonding. Leo the cat also comes to lie with me nowadays. He hardly ever did before. But now he likes to lie pushed against the bump of you. And you move towards his purring heat.

 I’ve dreamt of you too. Last night actually. You were a small baby and I held you and felt that love for you again: the love that makes me certain that I am doing the right thing. I feel in general more ready, more certain, more distinctly maternal and I can’t wait to meet you at the end of the summer when you’re due.

 All sorts of preparations are taking place now. I wonder how aware you are of them? I have been doing prenatal yoga. Phil has been performing the most amazing massages to my neck, shoulders and feet. We have booked our hypnobirthing course and my mum (your Yiayia) has been shopping and knitting incessantly, excited about your arrival.

 This long bank holiday week that has passed, I feel ripe like a mango. And although the sickness and ailments still persists, I suddenly feel ready to be a mum.

08.05.2011 Extending the bounce world.

Last night I dreamt about you again. I dreamt that I had a stupidly easy birth. I even went round telling everyone in my dream that it was ‘a piece of piss’. In the dream you were a boy. I think this is twice I have dreamed you are a boy.

 It was my friends hen night on Friday. We went bowling to Finsbury park (krapy rub snif). I bowled and was doing really well. Then you started kicking me so frantically I thought I was going to give birth. You either hated the shit pop music (who could blame you) or you hated the loudness of the shit music or else you were having a ball and a biscuit sugar. Who knows, either way I stopped bowling and you calmed down a bit. Your dad is a brilliant bowler: after getting a strike followed by a spare, Ivowed I would breed with him again at the drop of a hat. I wonder if you will like bowling. Hopefully you will have the best of my fluke abilities and your father’s skills and you will be a star. 

 Yesterday I felt a bit down in the evening. I felt as though I was going on an adventure all by myself. I felt lonely. But not because I don’t have a kindred or a soul mate because I do, I have your dad as the best friend to my heart and soul. All the changes that are happening to me; getting fatter, swelling, even getting freckles! All these things are happening just to me. And although your dad is there to witness them, he can’t feel them or experience them first hand. I feel sometimes like I am trapped under a microscope or in a museum glass tank where I am carefully observed. That sounds stupidly dramatic and it probably is, but that’s how I felt. Your dad made me feel better though. We cuddled on the sofa and he stroked my hair and we talked shit till it was bed time. He has a wonderful knack of knowing how to handle me and my moods. I feel confident he will be the same with you.

 So I’m 23 weeks pregnant now and that’s like nearly 6 months. By the time summer has started to wane, you will be here. I bought you two baby grows from Asda. I think they are the first proper clothes that I have bought you. One says ‘super cool baby’ and the other says ‘one of a kind’ with a big green star. Both are cool baby grows with funky colours and no shitty pastel colours (and NO FUCKING WINNIE THE POO!) What is it with winnie the poo? I don’t mind the books or the show but why on earth do they feel the need to stick it on every bit of baby paraphernalia that there is? Idiocy.

 I’m nervous and excited and trying to cram in as much info as possible, like a lazy badly organised teenager, rushing to prepare for exams.    

22.05.2011 LitTLE RIVER

 Yesterday we put your cot up and the spare room is starting to look more like your room. The cot looks so big when I think of how small you will be at first. The sun streaming in through the window, passed louie the plant and the long white flowy curtains and onto your little bed, I suddenly imagined how it would feel to be you, sleeping in there. I hope you will love it.

 Full into the swing of this hypno birthing course and I am starting to see how together we can work for a smooth calm birth. For both you and me. And I could have cried when I suddenly thought of Phil holding you, being the first to touch you and hold you to his chest. I just know already how much you’re gonna love him.

 I hope it’s that simple and that wonderful and I hope we all carry on loving each other as much as I think we are going to. I’ll be observant and patient and loving, at least I’ll try to promise you that. And I’ll show you all the things I love; like the rain and the way the trees move in the wind and the tallest man on earth and the Hotel New Hampshire and Betty Blue, the scream, Miro and Meg & Mog and that slight soft twilight which makes me think of ‘soft touch of a piano blues mood and suddenly everything about me felt acute’: I’ll show you and you can turn your nose up till you get old enough to realise that I was right all along

 Your Grandad brought us round a massive half of a watermelon on Friday night. And you will come to learn that’s what’s so rock n’ roll about my dad. He doesn’t do things by halves. And I spent almost the entire of Saturday eating it, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand while Phil laughed at me.

 I feel you moving so much of the time, especially when I’m sat at my desk or in bed. You like listening to Phil playing the guitar and you like it when I sing, although my voice is terrible, I sing all the same. Feeling you move lulls me, makes me feel transfixed, enthralled, bewitched but sometimes alone…just me and you in the dimly lit smooshiness of my inner world. I can’t wait for Phil to be able to feel you kick. I want him to KNOW you’re there as I do. I suppose there will be time enough for your presence to mark his existence in a way that nothing else will. That HE lived and that he passed something on, that together we used all our skills and biological magik and conjured a force like a little river to the golden ground.

 

01.06.2011 Secret bath thoughts.

 I had a bath yesterday and spoke to you, out loud. I closed my eyes and pictured what  it would be like to have you, cuddled close to me. I told you I loved you and that you were very much wanted, and I cried, quietly. These are not things I readily admit. And I know myself too well. More like my family than I think I am. I am reserved and find it hard to say how I feel when I really really feel something. Like love. I suppose everyone is like that. But I promise I will try my hardest to overcome this and be an openly loving mum.

 You will be tiny and I keep imagining Phil holding you to his chest when I’ve birthed you. I think I have already written this before but it’s such a powerful image. I hope that’s what it will be like in real life, as it is in my head. I can’t wait to make him a dad, to see how he will be with you and how he will forget the whole rest of the world because he will love you so much. To see how protective, nurturing and fun he will be with you. And I can’t wait for those quiet times when you’re sleeping or off with your yiayia and me and phil can be together and get close again, touch base with each other. And I imagine it will be even more precious and intense and romantic and loving than it already is. If I fail at everything else in this whole mental world then let one thing be communicated perfectly and properly to you: you were made with the romance, passion and intensity that all the greatest novels are based upon. You really were. And you will probably hate me for saying this, but fuck it, the sex was always always always amazing and I have never ever wanted to be with another men other than your dad. That’s not pathetic or indicative of how basic and happy to settle for second best I am, demure and accepting: it’s because me and your dad are a match made in heaven and if anything ever happens to make me think otherwise, remind me of it. Ram it down my fucking throat till I remember all this and the way I felt about him for more than a decade before you were born and while I was pregnant with you. Hopefully just looking at you will remind me how you came to be and the process that evolved so deliciously and slowly that made you.

 

13.06.2011 Bumper to Bumper.

 And so while on a driving lesson the other day, someone bumped me and my bump. I was patiently stopped just left of the centre line with right indicator on, waiting for my path to clear before turning right. And some prick comes speeding into the back of me and mashes up the front of his car. A bad combination of him not paying attention and driving too fast meant that my shit day just got a whole lot worse. I sat in the driving seat feeling really embarrassed while my driving instructor sorted things out with the guy. My mind flashed briefly over the events of my particularly miserable day and in that moment I could honestly have cried. But I didn’t. I sucked it up. Held it together.  But that night, before bed, I cried like a bitch.

 I was so worried that something had happened to you. That the relatively small amount of impact of the shunt that I felt, would have damaged you or killed you. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I became obsessed with desperately trying to detect your sparse movements. By the next day I could think of nothing else. So after work me and Phil went to the hospital. We didn’t have to wait at A&E thank god, we were sent straight through to the delivery ward where two midwives faffed around trying to hear your heartbeat. Which they did in the end, declaring everything was fine. Laying back, belly and big knickers exposed, a forced smile stretched painfully across my face, I prayed intensely. And when they said everything was ok, the relief was blissful like hot piss down a frozen cold leg.

S-club and all the other cunts I went to school with.

One of the things I fretted about when I was pregnant, was what kind of life Dylan would have. How would the world treat my child? And how would I cope if I knew that my child had the same horrid experiences of school that I did? Or worse, that my child was a bully? It genuinely frightened me because kids can be nasty little fucks. And those of us who are just too delicate, too sensitive to bare it…well we’ll wither till adulthood when we come into our own. And for those us that do not start flowering at the time when we are supposed to flower, well, we grow forever crooked.

School for me wasn’t a place that inspired thought, learning, culture and all those other brilliant things. School for me was the place that inspired fear and hatred and the violence of inheld breaths, of unfullfilled intentions. And most of the people I went to school with were cunts. There is no sense struggling to put it politely because that’s what they were and most probably still are. The two blond Sarahs and Heather, Michelle, Dennis, Danny, Osman’s, Richard, Helen and all the rest of the little fucks whose names I can’t remember. And the teachers weren’t any better, the scottish cookery teacher, the fascist geography teacher who was insistent that I had nipple piercings when I clearly didn’t and the homophobic RE teacher. And I went to school with a girl from a pop band. I did. I read something once that said how she was bullied at school and I desperately tried to think of how she was treated and all I can remember is trying to be friends with her in one-up-from-bottom-set maths because my real friend was too clever for that class. She said she had no interest in talking to me because I was a hippy and she didn’t want people thinking we were friends. I recall looking at the side of her face, amazed that she had been so rude. I’d only spoken to her because she looked sad and fakely pretty. I honestly wished I hadn’t bothered. And so you’ll forgive me if I don’t have any sympathy for her ‘bullying’ stories. I don’t recall many girls liking her. But I don’t recall anyone actually picking on her like they did on me and my friend. But perhaps she has her own horrid stories to tell regarding those times and perhaps it suits her now in adulthood to play the victim through a life filled with inevitable success.

And what would I have done if Dylan had gone to a school full of all the shits and fuck-ups I had to go to school with? What would I have done if he didn’t even have an Anna to love him like I did? I don’t know. I would want to rip them all skin from bone, of course I would, but would I? Most probably not. Is bullying just one of those things that happens which will eventually differentiate nice people from the arseholes? No. Because I am certain there are plenty of arseholes today who successfully masquerade as nice guys. Plenty of vile wankers who are perfectly well adjusted now, but who some years ago would have been heard hurling painful abuse at some timid little freak in a playground. Saliva foaming excitedly in the corners of their little pink cherub mouths, as they delight in the misrey they inflinct on others. And this is the truth of your little darlings. It really is. Your sweet little Tommy’s and Sophie’s. They lob stones at fat kids. They laugh at people in big gangs with other children who’ve had it too easy in life. They easily needle out the one thing you feel most insecure about and they poke at it and poke at it till you eventually learn your place. Against the walls, head down, skulking around hoping to not be noticed. Dreaming quietly and big in your own head of times when you’re the hero, when you’re in a political ‘switzerland’ that you pray really does exist. And let’s face facts, if you’re little bundle of joy isn’t THAT little horror, then it’s the one spending it’s entire childhood in misery and emotional turmoil. Which suits you best?

But I had one friend. Yes I did. And a friendship that was full enough and satisfying enough that it didn’t matter to me that I had only one. It really didn’t. So if Dylan would have been anything like me, or anything like Phil, he surely would have found someone, just one specific other soul that would have made all the difference as he came of age. Of that I feel confident. And if he loved the fact that she burnt the hairs on his legs with a lighter, well who would I be to judge?

Did I learn anything at school? You bet I did. I learnt plenty. I learnt that the battle of hastings was in 1066. I learnt that velocity is speed in a straight line. That Hamlet is written in iambic pentameter and the Vincent Price bit in Michael Jackson’s Thriller is like the tis now the very witching time of night bit. I learnt how to do shading in art. I learnt that Napoleon liked chiken and didn’t like shagging his wife. I learnt that I prefer the world in my head to the one I’m really in most of the time. I learnt that surviving school is one big publicity stunt that some people’s parents are better at teaching their children than others. It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you’ve learned to expect from people and how the inner world defines the outer. And so if the world has taught you that you are a pretty much loved little treasure, then you will probably continue to inflict that on the world. And if you havent…well you’ll learn the art of hunching and you’ll probably be a much more considerate and loving a person in adulthood. Is this the real reason why mummies cry at school gates on their kids first day of school?

Grieving is a process. And I’m not just grieving for the viable feotus I lost which turned out to be male. I am grieving the little boy that should have been born alive, would have sat up on his own at some stage, would have started gurgling words and eventually copying everything we said. I’m grieving the out-growing of clothes, trousers turning into shorts with tummies bulging out the top. I am grieving the grazed knees I’ll never know and the football smashing into my herb garden again and again till I scream at the top of my voice for him to ‘pack it in’ before he kills all my plants. The guilt I’ll feel after telling him off for the first time. And the wipes kept in my bag for when chocolate covers a face and fingers, which invariably it will and so forgive me if I’m the opposite of reminiscent. What the fuck do you call the mooching over a time that never was? Whatever it is, that’s what grieving someone who never lived before they died is. Maybe Phil’s right, the two men we’ve seen visit baby graves at the cemetery share an unsaid sorrow with us, and maybe that’s why they will always speak to us, at ease when they say hello. Maybe grief connects people and maybe through a shared sadness, we really learn to love and care for each other. Maybe through compassion and emptahy we show the best of ourselves, show that although we pollute and slaughter and enslave, there is another dimension that can liberate us. But then maybe we should be carefuly that miserey doesn’t bind itself from one soul to another: the roots of a beautiful tree that eventually pulls down the house.

Anger Is A Gift-and other raging against the machines.


I tried to remember how I felt on the day when I left the hospital and came home. A whole day inbetween being told our baby had died and going back to the hospital to give birth. I lay in bed last night desperately trying to remember what I felt and what I thought on the day and a bit that I walked around with a pregnant belly knowing that the lovely little thing inside was dead. For the life of me I can’t recall exactly what I thought. I should have written it down then. I should have done. But it’s too raw to write about these things at the time they are happening. I wondered whether I was afraid or disturbed by the idea that I carried within me something dead. And even as I type that I know it’s dark. The darkest thing that ever happened to me, the darkest feeling I’ve ever felt. The darkest thought I’ve ever had. Everything about that fact, that written sentence and that truth is so fucking wrong. Dead things don’t belong in the womb. I have memories of me lying around on our sofa, me and him, blankly staring. That’s how I got through that day and a bit before I had to say goodbye to the little thing that lived its whole life just within my body. And now it feels like that time is becoming blurry. I’m desperate to scream-etch, scratch, punch the facts of what happened into my waking mind. I want to watch that film over and over. My favourite one. The one where I was braver than I ever thought I could be. The one where I gave birth and I was stupidly deliriously happy for one split second before the sadness merged with it and made it something so powerful that I honestly can not put it into words. I can not put it into words. So I’m on repeat: as you can tell. Like UK Gold TV, I’m playing Only Fools and Horses and The Good Life, over and over trying to understand it better, trying to keep a dead thing alive….in one way at least.
And in the aftermath of more bad news, my lost little baby is becoming foggy around the edges, less precise. I recall the facts, I recall the things that occured but time is dragging me from the scene like a screaming mother in one of those films, getting hauled off by the cops. Time drags me off and away but the emotional umbilical cord still stretches. It does, it stretches through time and space and earth and heaven and hell and wherever I am and he is, we will ALWAYS be connected by a feeling, a love, no matter how abstract it becomes, it will always be there. A few weeks ago we found out my dad has Cancer. So many people do nowadays I shouldn’t have been so taken aback by it. But I was. I’ve heard friends of mine say that same thing about their fathers and I remember thinking how hard it must have been to say those words together in a sentence ‘my dad’ ‘cancer’. It was easier writing about it and not using that word: keeping it vague. But I have to say it, or what’s the point in telling a story this way. I have to put it in black and write. Don’t I? I’m not going to tell you how scared I am for him. Or how much impact it has on my emotions when I think about losing him. I’m not going to because you know those things already. So the sadness of things overwhelms me sometimes and I honestly think I might finally snap. But where is this place, Crazy, that I always imagine I am going to go? How far away is it and how long will I be away if I go? Especially when I’m at work. The vice that grip-squeezes us. Such a massive atomic anger seems to fill me. And a bitterness makes me feel I could vomit the sadness and the feelings and the internal screamings of my soul right there onto them all, right there onto the photocopier. I could do it. And as near as it feels on days like today, I know it’s still a world away. And so I don’t say anything I just suck it up and carry on smiling. Fucking hell, I even skipped the other day. I haven’t skipped since I was in primary school, I’m sure of it. But none the less I did it: skipped happily over to a lady I work with, from one side of the office to the other, like I didn’t have a fucking care in the world. It occured to me right then that I wasn’t happily taking it all on the chin like I thought. And neither was I sinking into a black pit of dispair. I was simply throwing myself into the air repeatedly hoping I would catch the wind, take flight, keep afloat. I was hyper. Over the top, talking to fast, gabbling like a twat, self-conscious and completely un-cool. Away from the pressures of work, I’m not so angry. I’m calmer and more relaxed, fuck it, even hopeful. Maybe. But in that place, that place of festering resentment and power struggles: how can anyone be ok? How can anyone find a little square inch of comfort and serenity just for themselves? And aren’t we just all in the same boat, like little busy money making particles: the fury creates the fuel and the friction squeezes money out of people that don’t have it to begin with. Seated at my desk and computer with my plants and my star shapes: the very bowels of ecommerce swollen beneath us as we feed the coffers till they burst. I’m obsessed with trying to imagine what everyone is really thinking about. Reading between the lines if my daily persuit and I can’t stand the pretence. I can’t stand the people misunderstand me. I detest it that when people fail to be impressive in ways that really matter, instead they resort to fake heirarchies built by insecure rich people to structure the shit out of everything and make everyone else do what they want them to do without actually having to tell them. The dependency I have on them for paying my bills and such is so great that they can get away with it mostly. Mostly. But I can try and communicate with my eyes can’t I? With my sniggers and smirks and my insolent will. I can and I fucking do. If anger is a gift then the giver is the king of everything that’s wrong with the world: the most spiteful and nuferious of all Santa’s. It’s our job to collect all our coppery-smelly-dirt-pennies of anger in the little pots in our nervous system and psychology and use them one day to buy the great shareholders out. Buy back the time (relative) that we gave to them so cheaply.

The putting away of childish things.

Bad news came sudden and loud like the slamming shut of a book. Stopped my internal traffic, bumper to bumper backed me up and what could I do but stand…and blink. Blink. And sometimes I believe there is just nothing you can say. Dumbfounded and expectant, like a child. Watching your parents get older can be painful. Watching them getting more frail, delicate, it’s fucking hard and it’s fucking frightening. And knowing the things they have had to endure in their lives: well it’s heartbreaking. And when my Dad makes direct eye contact with me, I want to cry. I want to cry because my eyes are his and he begat me. More than that, sometimes I feel they are all I know. And I’m transported back to the tiny lake in the park. The one in front of that old gallery house that was burned down long ago. I’m there, back to that time when I was still cute. To the time that’s so vague it’s a dream or black and white film: it’s bit-parts and unreliable. I was there, with my Wednesday plaits, sitting next to him on the grass, just paddling my bare feet in the water. And why do I remember it outwardly? Like a film viewer. Like my memory sees it from a different person’s perspective and did that little girl die when I grew up or did she just morph into me now? I remember it more than an image, what I remember was happiness. I remember a green grass youthful basic kind of joy: the finest type there is. And whizzing on my mind-train, from then till now, sitting opposite that old man lying on a sofa and that’s why I am moved so dramatically with love by a held gaze.
And when I stepped out of my office and went into the stairwell to phone and find out his test results, I huddled in the corner and looked out the window at the snow. My mum answered and cutting through the small talk I went straight for it, ‘what were the results mum’. And why was I in such a hurry to hear bad news. There’s a word that lurks in the shadows of everyone’s minds, a word that smothers you breathless with fear. And hearing my mum say that word, inside I crumbled. I controlled my voice with all the mental grip of a boxer and I’d be fucked if I’d let her hear my fear. She would be strong and positive as long as I was. Somehow I managed it. Through sheer will alone. But as soon as I said ‘bye’, the tears came for once in public so amazingly easily. I walked to the bus stop but then kept going right past it. On foot. To think and calm my beating fearful heart, I needed to keep moving. I headed for them, through the snow, I followed my childhood tracks back to my family home, like a miserable old Lassie dog. And emerging through the alleyway, through the old estate and through the grubby bin rooms at the bottom of the block, I sighed deep and dived right in. I cuddled my mum as I said hello, and our hug lasted a lot longer than it normally does. She held on slightly tighter, and did her voice tremble a tiny bit as she spoke? I couldn’t be sure. But then we were back to putting the kettle on and having tea and spouting positives as if the answers were all easy and everything always has a tendency to working out well. We were painting a new picture, putting the world to rights, consoling each other, comforting ourselves. Soothing and sipping sweet tea, and through the steam, some small nugget of shock was actually absorbed. Braced and prepared, I went into the living room: sitting on the spinning chair opposite my dad on the sofa, God did he look old. Frail, smaller somehow. And all my love and fear and insecurity and intellect and gumption and faith and strength: every leaf of my tree withered and fell and I sat still and stripped bare in my own internal autumn. Trapped. And what did he do? He effortlessly and instantly made me laugh. Of course he did. And I didn’t realise all those years ago how right he was when he told me the best sort of comedy makes you cry as well as laugh. I came back home, defeated. Tired. Sarcastic. What is it called when you have heard one too many bits of bad news? Am I dramatic? Am I am a doom and gloom goth-bitch? Am I fuck. I am the gritted-teeth outwardly cheerful stuffed bunny that sits at my desk tip-tap-typing at my computer diligently. Laughing and I realise my outward happiness is really just a massive ‘fuck you’. Of course it is. It’s a fuck you to sadness and depression and people that will whine about the tiniest things. It’s a fuck you to myself and my deconstructing harry brain. It’s a fuck you to the inevitably dark thoughts that only I know I have. A scared creature biting-desperate for an interventionist God. A God who will hear my prayer-thoughts and make everything ok, like I need it to be. For my Dad, for my family, for my friends who have massive sadness’s and difficulties they just don’t deserve, for my gorgeous husband and for the universe that is screaming out for the hushed snap of spring and for the blossom to finally come.

Shopping for headstones in a tiny shoebox world.

So what was the meaning of those white feathers, falling beautifully and randomly from the sky? I wanted it to be angel feathers, but there is this cynical robot in my brain that destroys any hopes and happies I might have in the world. There is this supposed intellect, this supposed educator telling me I’m not 5 and the feathers are just fucking feathers. Nothing more. A coincidence. An occurence randomly that has no meaning other than that to which I attribute it. And when someone is as shit at science and maths and philosophy and all cleverness in general, then why can’t I idiot-believe in whatever the fuck I want? And the dreams with their heavy spatterings of truth, their high percentage of accuracy, where do they fit in. I believe them true enough don’t I? I wish I didn’t. I wish I saw them as just dreams. Or even better, to not recall them so vividly that they could be Eastenders. They could be playing before my eyes on the polished clarity of the t.v. In that other world I gave birth….again to a dead baby. And a doctor had to plunge around in my vagina with an old pair of scissors to help fix me up. I couldn’t remember things about real life in my dream. Kept climbing up that thick soggy sand with aching ankles. My ex had a thick head of hair. My best friend wore stripey socks and no fucker could get me to my driving test on time. And then I ask her ‘Pix, what happened in the driving test?’ and she said ‘Reeks, you passed’. The weirdness and it scares me. Although I puzzle through trying to make sense of it. And now I can drive all on my own, should I go to that place where my Yiayia used to live…the place I associate with childhood and wonder and magic and safety? Should I go there and see where it leads me. To try and re-live your dreams in waking time is frightening. A bring-it-on battle between the two minds. And which will win? Who knows.
Guilt for breakfast and guilt on toast. My life is flavoured with it. It takes me a long time and a lot of guilt to realise when I need to change my ways. With me, nothing happens quickly. I deliberate over every tiny thing. Over think things. I scrutinise each move before I take it like a keen chess player. So internal and stuck and worried that I seldom make a move. My cat had a lump on his head. I know very well where this came from: a scratch from a fight he had a few weeks ago. A scratch that I did nothing about until it swelled and forced me into action. Taking him to the vets, I honestly thought they would just ‘pop it’ or give him some anti-biotics to bring it down. Nothing is ever that easy it seems. Because he has the fury and fight of a trojan army, he needs sedating for them to even come close to him. And after that they shaved his head and put a tube through it and a cone around it, they gave him back to me so I could see what my lack of actions, my ‘observations’ had caused. If only I’d gone earlier when it was just a scratch, they would have been able to give him a few pills and that would be that. No shaving, no stitches, no cone and no medication. And it’s confirmed to me once more that I need to change my ways. I need to act in accordance with things, like a nike tick, I just need to do it! I can’t keep thinking and thinking and observing and taking note, I have to actually take action. I need a little coccoon of change so I can metamorphisize from tortoise to tiger, from inert to irrate….and please god give me something of the Germaine Greer about me. He looks at me, eyes lowered, heard probably hurting like hell, and approaches slowly cheek sticking outside of the cone and certainly, determinedly towards my hand. His ability to love and forgive is admirable. I can only fathom that it’s due to a small brain, an inability to think things through fully. But what do I know? Not much, except that I can’t seem to shake the belief that I could have always done something to prevent the shit things that happen. Maybe in this, I’m not alone.
Gravestones like bookmarks, section off my thoughts. The soil has settled and it’s time to choose one now. We don’t have to. We could leave the grave unmarked. But I can’t do that. I can’t leave things unsaid. We search the internet and find a stonemason. We scan numbly for a black heart. For something simple and elegant. Something that has an element of ‘us’ to it. We find a place. Local. And the website has stuff that seems like what we want. But no prices. Which is fine because who cares about the price when you’re shopping for a headstone to mark the grave that holds someone who should not be dead. And I don’t doubt for a minute that they profit from this heavily. So I email for more information. What do you say? I gave the product code and asked how much and how we go about ordering this. I don’t know how these things work. So I ask if they will fit it. Which is a fucking stupid question because I can’t imagine they will expect us to do it. But I ask it anyway. And sign it formally ‘kind regards….’. The feelings of shopping for a headstone are a blanket numbness like an insurance policy. No-one trusts it completely, although all the usual rules of shopping apply. And it’s something you do quietly. Without much fuss or excitement. And it’s something you do in seriousness, like having a tattoo, you know the grave will be marked by this forever. It has to be just right. With anything else I would happily get the measuring tape out, start sizing up to make sure everything will fit just right. But with this I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t apply measurements to something so abstract: like a brace fitting for a fractured soul. And the world is small, it really really is. The world is a tiny little matchbox and I have always known this. In the same way that the midwife was the bog roll bitch from my primary school, things tie in and the past comes back and back and back like a big arse rearing into my favourite seat. Be kind and stay on good terms with people, because you’re paths will probably cross again, at some point. An email comes back from the stone masons. It’s signed with the name (and address) of my old manager from when I used to work as a book-buyer and manager in a magical little shop called Toys & Tales. She was a hated and much reveered area manager. But for some totally unknown reason, she was always kind to me. She seemed to detest all those in her employ, she really did. And she was mean, rude-cold-harsh and fucking mean. But I have always loved an awkward headstrong woman. I have. And so I liked her, against all the odds. And when she came into the shop that day when we all sat about doing nothing, and told us the shop would close and we would all lose our jobs, I shrugged and replied ‘oh well. Shit happens’. And she laughed. Her head hung to her bossom, and she smiled. She touched my arm lightly and thanked me for making it easy for her to tell me that. So as we packed up the shop and cleared the stock, I always felt she was ok with me. Seeing her name at the bottom of that email, I slowed to a tingle in the skin. What a funny world it is. The woman who willingly gave me a job doing something I’d never done before, surrounding myself daily with screaming children and overpriced wooden toys, would be the same woman to mark the grave of my son

Worse for women

I awoke with an urgency to write. I got up way to early. I was thinking of some of the women I know. I thought of Wendy and of Anna. Great women. Feisty women. I don’t know why I thought of them because I know so many other women who are just as great…and just as feisty and just as brilliant. But for some reason they both came to mind. Maybe because they knew me when I wasn’t really properly me yet. Maybe because I don’t see them often and can therefore perfect them in my mind. Fictional and without flaws. Maybe because they are subconscious metaphors. Maybe because collectively they make me aware and amuse me. And in facebook status-update terms, theirs are amongst the most interesting, honest and grumpy sarcastic fucked off funny. Either way, I did and felt unable to write this without mentioning it. And the title that came to my mind was ‘worse for women’. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I think it is.
It’s not something that I wanted to admit to. When all this first started Phil said to me ‘it’s really bad for me, but I can’t even begin to imagine how horrid it must be for you’. And I grimaced. Snapped back, ‘don’t be ridiculous. I don’t buy into that. It’s just as bad for you too. It’s not worse for me just because I’m a woman’. But looking at his face some days. I know it’s true. And it makes me feel lonelier. Not just because of what we’ve gone through, but because in general life is lonely. And I’m a lucky one, I have a soul mate, the closest anyone can get to me without being me. I’m lucky. I can’t imagine how much more lonely you would feel not having that. Saw Richard Branson on some chat show the other night. He was talking about having lost his first child. They called her Claire. He said it was bad for him, but that it’s much worse for the woman to lose a child. The camera zoomed close to his face. No trace of tears. But there was something there, beneath the beard and squinted eyes. Or does just everyone look that same way when you zoom at them with a camera. Close ups. I felt like Truman. Like the universe is designed just for me. And these constant relentless reminders of what I’m feeling inside are postered everywhere for me to see. That’s such an egotistical thought. Perhaps I was just right all along, the inner world dictates the outer. December 21st 2012 isn’t really going to be the end of the world. It will just be the end of the world as we know it. The end of the masculine energy orchestrating the show. The unveiling of a new power. The pendulum swings and Armageddon is a woman. Or so they say. Like a benevolent and benign Margaret Thatcher. Doing everyone else’s job as well as her own. I swell with pride, but I’m scared. And when the cosmic iron lady comes, will she crush us all as predicted. Will she dismiss us all with a flick of her hand, sending tidal waves to sink us all? Or will she reward the gardeners, the vegetarians, the nurses and the mothers? Will she, won’t she. You can never tell what a woman will do. Being pregnant felt unusual. Getting fatter, but in such a happy way. A beauty that wasn’t apparent physically. One that was there none the less. Something radiating within me like a beam of light and I was light….out of the shadows at last. Although my nipples doubled in size, darkened like flattened black olives, although my body ached and I puked there was still something magical about it. An excitement as I have said before. And I was simultaneously fierce and fragile. Being pregnant feels like skinny arms, poking from beneath a bean bag. It feels like digits gently weaving, like soil falling between your fingers, like stars in your hair, like fun weighing down your jaw. Being pregnant feels like singing and wet hair dripping over your collar. Like the a sponge being wrung out, drained translucent. Like chunks of vomit under your finger nails and between your teeth, like bruising beneath the ribs and stones in the light sack of your breast. And when he forgets, just that one time, to clear away the dishes, you think its because the masculine energies in this world resent you, are determined to crush you like an ant. You’re convinced. And after the whirl and the spin of 7 months gone, he turned to me on the sofa and says ‘but I didn’t give birth to a dead baby. You did.’ blunt like a smack and the silence hung there like cigarette smoke. ‘I was there, but I didn’t have to do it, you did. The way it feels for me is shit, of course it is, I’ve lost a son, but I’ve known it all along that it would be worse for you’. Was he passing the buck? Was he shrugging off the responsibility of sadness and grief? Delegating tasks like a right geezer ‘run along and fetch me a coffee would you love. I’d do it but you’re so much better at it’. Or was he just being honest? I know him so fucking well, I finish his sentences, I can tell what he’s thinking by the way he smiles…or doesn’t. But this, I don’t know. I have to go by what I want to be the truth. And anyway, when it comes to this one thing…I would let him off the hook. I would. Gladly. Because when it comes to this, I wouldn’t want to inflict it on anyone else. So women are objectified. Women are raped. Women are afraid walking around the streets at night. Women are afraid in their own homes. Some women buy into the advertising. Spend all their money, time and energy on being attractive. For themselves, of course not a man. Of course not. And some women think being ugly is the worst thing in the world. Some women want children so much that the rest of the world doesn’t matter to them. Some women want to make the world a better place, want to gently make a success of all things. Some women couldn’t give a fuck. Some women will take any man….and spend the rest of their days trying to mould him. Some are too fussy, greedy for what they can get. Some want men to be both man and woman. And some men want us to be both Madonna and the whore. And if the universe was birthed from the spittings of a black hole, then the universe came from a vagina and so god spread her legs happily and released all this marvellous wonderful greenery and magic into being. And if that one idea is true, then how can it be worse for women? How can it? So crack on, let’s. Wont be beaten. Get up and get on with it. And at times we will have to smile and play the game, like good humoured whores. And at times we will have to submit willingly. And at times we will quietly laugh with a look that sticks like snot and all who meet us will know they are either our equal or our inferior. And I’m sure….I’m sure, that in this respect, it’s the same for men.
I once dreamt in sentences. Like poetry narrating itself in my mind. It was weird. I dreamed in random words and names of people I don’t know. Amy. Harold. The functioning of sound and mind. Calculating my ears into small enough sums to make such delicate sandwiches and serve them to you like romance. Eyes blink like a tornado and even the fish didn’t know where to look….and  the clever part of oppression is making you believe that your plight is worse.