Clicked my heels 3 times: there’s no place like home.


One crow black night in March, I bungeed my way back with a snap, crackle and pop to the womb home where baby bubble was brought up like phlegm. I’d clicked my star ruby ring three times unwittingly while knitting and back I was zapped. In the doorway of our kitchen, with my dad’s body laying on the ground behind her: she asked me if I’d come back home and live with her. Those pleading watery olive-pip eyes of hers looking up at me and in that moment I realised we were slowly trading places. How could I deny her? It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.

And in the popping of a grape, I broke a habit 17 years strong. More than a decade of dusting my own dumping ground and lugging laundry from one floor to the next, ramming it through the round window while I watch it rinse and wring itself clean. Relinquished the right to re-order the cupboards according to my own rules. And the precise method for hanging the laundry in the correct way is suddenly something I suck at. No sheet hung by my own fair hand will ever stay hung in the way I’ve hung it. A magical mysterious re-arranging of everything I do like an automatic spell check and before I know it all my colours are colors and no matter which dictionary I use, I’ll always fail the Daz white challenge.

But she is sweet and she loves me without question. And without her need to breed, I would never be here in the first place. So we knit together and watch all her favourite crime shows, one after the other, in the steamy washing-on-heaters hushed orange glow of familial love. I call her for dinner when I’ve finished conjuring culinary delights in the kitchen. Down goes the knitting, off goes the latest episode of ‘flog it’ and in she shuffles with her perpetually slippered feet. Watching her eat, I wonder what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. I wonder who she really is other than my mum. But I know she will never tell me, and she doesn’t know anyway because she keeps too busy for the neurosis that nags at me all day long. When she’s done, she’ll put down her fork without fail and proclaim that she’s bloated, shoulders relaxing down in an exaggerated sigh and hands resting on the belly where I once lived. A smile hits my mouth like an unexpected kiss because no matter how irrationally irritated with her I become at times, I know that I will always love her and that’s enough to see me through another season of CSI.


Symptom Recital: Dorothy isn’t always right.


I am not sick, I am not well, my quondam dreams are shot to hell. I shudder at the thought of men, I’m bound to fall in love again.

Loneliness is the sound of traffic in my head. Beeping screeching, shuffling, turning, grinding and it infiltrates my sleep, like the early morning dustbin men. All these years I thought it would be a quiet sound. Loneliness is coming too close to insanity. Creeping nearer and nearer the tighter you pull the knot.

I was lonely when I met him, plenty of people around me: faces, friends, places to go and things to fill the void with. But I was lonely for a kindred. Perpetually leaning against walls, hands deep in pockets, eyes fixed to the top left hand corner of my bored eyelids, searching the ceiling for something to save me. And in he walked with his dancing feet and the comedy Dave air about him, my hero. That’s how it is when you’re 19. Everything loaded with meaning, everything’s cool as fuck and fate isn’t the fickle fucker you later know him to be. I’d found him, my split-apart, the man that told me he was nothing without me, the first man to make me behave like a good girl. And now we’re not together, it’s like he put me back where he found me.

Taking that ring off my finger was hard. Because it meant the world to me. Although I always used to say I was too much woman to be bound by just one ring, finally succumbing to it was still something I took very seriously. One accessory less, like throwing down your cards in a polka match and fuck it full time, what else can you do when you’re no longer married. But if you’re interested I can tell you what’s the real fucker to cope with is, not the ring that’s for sure. The toughest shit to slide out the arse of this break up, is when I stop for a moment and think of him alone and heartbroken, that’s what really makes me hang my head. My share of the guilt for the thing we both abandoned and that’s really the bit I hate. He said I was used to being in a dark place and maybe this is why I can deal with my own hurt way easier than the thought of his. Maybe it’s because as a woman I’m genetically programmed to hold him in higher esteem than myself. Maybe it’s because when you love someone with all your heart, you never stop caring. O maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, that I love London town.

Being without him is easier than I ever thought it would be. And I realise that all those times I said I couldn’t live without him, I was bollox-talking like a bound-up Geisha. What I really meant to say was ‘I’m choosing not to be without you’. I chose to cling to the relationship with all my might, fallen at your feet, clinging to your leg like a brat ‘don’t leave me’, drag me around on your ankle, you’re little ball and chain and in turn I’ll tie you tight to my apron strings and soothe your soul with the seduction that sits in mine. That’s what being in love is. Suck is the nature of a relationship. You fall into it willingly because the trap is the most wonderful place you could ever put yourself. It’s a fact we’re not looking for freedom: we’re all desperately seeking Susan and the S&M style stability of togetherness. It sounds like I’m badly berating all that I’ve broken, but I’m not. The sweetness of belonging is what floats all our boats. I’m never convinced when people say it isn’t. I cut my eye at them and raise my Elvis lip, rude girl stare them up and down, wondering what the fuck happened to them to make them chat such shit. And I wish it wasn’t so but it is.

This tough talking tongue sometimes ties, runs out of lies and when it does I decide to write myself a happy ending to finish with, my very own fiction baby fooling myself asleep with the fantasy that everything will be fine. Just fine. And I hope it is. I really do. Because I want something shiny and new and cocky and happy-worthy. I want a new plan, but not necessarily a new man. I want a fresh song and a wheeze free whistle. I want the sun to rise on the melancholy confusion of night and I want to be standing there bathed in it’s golden glow gasping at it’s beauty. Hair braided, jeans slung low, agile body and mind because I’m ready to bounce right back like the big beautiful bitch I always wanted to be.