Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

The World’s Greatest Amateur Actress

I tried to tell her that I was sorry,
but she was distracted,
her eyes glittering as she gazed in silent awe at my jewellery.
My mouth was dry,
no matter how many overpriced cocktails I put on my credit card.
I saw her eye the packet of cigarettes that was peeking from my open handbag,
and I instinctively tutted,
like a heartsick mother with only her wayward child left to lose.

She seemed to adore all the superficial things about me,
all the things I most despised, but clung to,
in some misguided attempt to keep myself interesting.
She was interested,
I could tell.
She spoke to me that same way I used to speak to my “elders and betters”,
that wilted affectation that gets a little stunted after a few drinks,
when hiding your past is no longer a priority.

I hated that about her.
I hated that she couldn’t hold herself in higher esteem,
how she couldn’t see that she was the child of a good woman,
a woman who did her best,
and that this wretched child was the best of her,
so she had nothing to be intimidated by,
but she always shrank when she started to share her ideas,
making herself so small,
so she could fit into a small world.
I snapped my fingers in her face,
and I shouted
“You will be the universe. Fuck the world.”

She was shocked.
I tried to make amends, but both of us knew that she was broken before she walked into the bar,
so it didn’t matter if I shouted,
not really,
because the damage had been done long before,
and I couldn’t face the first girl.

The first girl,
the fawn,
with her hopeful eyes and her hoity-toity ideals.
She never comes by anymore.
She used to.
She’d just stand in the doorway,
not quite beaten by imposter syndrome.
Standing with a withering stare, far beyond her years,
asking what I had done with her life.
I won’t see her.
I told her not to come.

I just want to see the one who still believes a little,
but has lowered her expectations.
Sweet sixteen,
vibing to the Beach Boys on her broken iPod,
eating it up every time when I exaggerate about how things turned out.

I tell her that I’m a singer now,
but I don’t tell her that my songs only earn a cent a stream,
and that I still dream of Vegas in the bedroom of a house share.

I tell her that I have heard audiences cry my name,
but I don’t tell her that I don’t love it in the way she expected,
and that I dread the din of applause because it means I have to tear myself apart,
six nights a week to get it.

I tell her that I lost my virginity,
but I don’t tell her that it was to the wrong kind of person,
and that I’m haunted by his paw prints over a decade later.

She asks me if I’m happy.
I tell her that I am,
because I know that she needs it,
and I needed it too.
I needed to know that no matter the stage,
I am still the world’s greatest amateur actress.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

I Will Not Grow Old, I Will Become A Ghost

Soft, swirling curls in a knot,
jotting down the world around me from my back garden,
as autumn’s chill beckons to winter,
and the sunset spills across my freckled face, at four PM.
This is what I will do, when I am old (if I get there).

I look at my grandmother,
and I know that nobody could love me as long as she has been loved.
I simply know that I’ll be alone,
but I will have my words to keep me warm,
and the promise of pushing myself off the cliffs of Dover when I tire of trying to make it through the day.

I will have Grandchildren who don’t want to visit,
because I am a mean drunk since my woman walked away (either by choice or by death, she never stays when I imagine my future),
and I lock them in the living room,
reliving my glory days,
done up like Baby Jane Hudson,
struggling through a verse of Swipe Forever before collapsing into the chasm of my misery.

My Son stops by, without the babies,
begging for me back,
a ghost he remembers from his bedroom, back in the old house,
a spirit who told him stories and sung him lullabies,
but I simply tell him that the Ouija board is broken,
and so am I.