This one’s for you.

Same shit, different year. And I say that with a smile on my face. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. And I’ve wanted to share my thoughts with you, but we’re not always as receptive as we’d like to think. I’m as guilty as the next. So sometimes it’s better if private talk is in full view, if you speak personally to one person, in a massive crowd so everyone can hear. So I’ll spill my guts to you, and hope that you wont vomit at the sight. And remember that like the snake whose year it is: my hiss isn’t always venomous.

We haven’t always got on well, and yet we are the closest we can be. I’ve known you most of my life, or does it just feel that way? Sometime’s I’m convinced I don’t like you. I probably started off hating you, convinced you were a moron. But then I got to know you better, and I realised it was true. And just when you annoyed me the most, just when you left me seething at the thought of you and the things you say, I realised you’d made the grade: a permanent place in my heart. So the roles probably reversed, as they always do, and you made the mistake of thinking that I was expendable through my love for you, that you could do anything and I would always be there. But I am not a puppy, I am a snake and you’ll do well to keep that in mind.

So we let each other down, that’s what you do with your loved ones. Surely that’s the privilege you gain after you’ve known someone for a very long time? Surely. I hope like me, you don’t mind it, and forgive me anything. Because I’m going to have to take you up on that some day. Every day if I’m honest. Every day there’s a new confession. Even if I’m not confessing on my own behalf. Even if I’m confessing to your sins and not my own. And let’s be honest, we have hawk eyes for the failings of others, and little bifocals moley eyes for our own. Isn’t that true. But in this new year, in this year that I’m claiming for my own reflection and contemplation, I’m going to try to be better, give you false hope that I’ll be all you want of me. That’s my gift to you, even though it may not have got there in time, it’s there now.

And don’t think I havent noticed how you teef off my beef. Because I have. Waiting a safe period of time, and then you take my words for your own, thinking I’ve forgotten. Well I haven’t. And although I’m desperate to do the childish thing and confront you about it, snatching back the phrases so heavily plagiarised they came out with direct quotation marks, unwittingly. But I don’t because I know that you can’t put words to thoughts and feelings as easily as I do and I know that you concentrate too much on the external to cultivate the personality plant which is wilting with want of attention inside of you. So I’ll give them up for you, and don’t ever say that I’m not a generous soul.

But through it all, the push-me pull-you seesaw of feelings I have for you: I love you intensely, through the sadness you try to blink away and the mortality that will one day take you from me leaving me bereft. I want you with me, the forever wart in the centre of my hand. The perpetual tear in the circumference of my arse. The relentless rash in the tenderest part of my elbow skin. I want you. More than I will ever confess directly to you. And you might be richer than me, in estate and opportunity but I don’t begrudge it of you, because there is a reason you are compelled by me even though I have nothing of value to give. Because what I do have ‘is a stupid amount of overconfidence and a screwdriver’ or so the Doctor in me would have you believe.

Your longings are my own. And I know how you want to grow in stomach and birth a child, have a home filled with tea-towels that say something about who you really are. I know you want to quit your job and go smell the roses. I know the fury you feel about the shit hand you’ve been dealt, about the pesticides that have made you depressed, about the trip switch in your brain that just doesn’t fuse as it should. I know you want to know love in the deepest and most romantic sense, I know you long for the kindred who always seems to escape you. You can’t bare the misery of the world, and the pain it inflicts on others. You’re not always afraid to die, when things get really bad it’s a guilty comfort. Some days you find it hard being good. Some days you want to jack it all in and slurp up that chance medicine that might just make you big, but then might just make you too small. You’re tired of the failings of your body, and having to monitor it all the fucking time, just to keep it normal. You like the idea of things more than the actuality. You wish you could stay at home more. If only you were the benevolent dictator of the world around you, then things would be better. Because people aren’t as capable as you of getting it done as well or as fast and people just don’t take the pride in it that you do. People don’t know what’s best for them, and if you could make them all see what they’re doing is wrong then surely things would change for the better and everyone would be happy wouldn’t they? You don’t want to communicate with me all the time, because you don’t trust me implicitly and you’re right not to. And sometimes you don’t want to tell me those burning secrets that shackle you to the silence you’re so fond of because you’re afraid it will mean you’re a hypocrite or because you’ll owe me. You’re mistaken if you think I care about the things you say behind my back, you’re a fool if you think I don’t do the same, in the private folds of my trusty notebook. I know these things about you, even though you never told me. I know them because our insecurities are what unite us and beauty body brain business perfection is a fucking death trap that feeds on us if we let it.

My secret is that I know you have betrayed me. I’ve been sitting on the proof for years, but choose to keep it under my hat. In the hope that one day you might have enough love and respect for yourself to come clean about it. And when you do, you’ll be rewarded because I will follow suit. And take comfort that my betrayal is far worse than yours, trust me. And in shared honesty and humility, we’ll feel better about everything and the closeness will return: reminded how much we love each other. Grateful for every imperfect step we took in the wrong direction. Because our failings are what made us cool. Our impulsive indiscretions are what meant we have lived a foolish and full life. Bonded by the 60 denier knowledge that we are just as fucking bad as each other.

I know you will immediately think this is about you, see yourself in these words clearly and that’s because you’re right. This is about you.