This One

With standards lower
than my necklines,
I scribbled your name,
everywhere I could reach.
My wishes for us,
fell to the floor,
and I joined them,
clutching at your shoes,
the hems of your trousers,
hysterically hoping.
Please.
Please.
Please.
Don’t let this one,
be the one,
who leaves,
like the last.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

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Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

Watch the “Love Lessons” short film here

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Are You Afraid?
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Summer Of Love

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The Answered

I wanted him to look at my face,
and follow the script,
but we had wandered into an ad lib class,
so it was up in the air,
like the planes,
and the pollution.
He tried not to say it,
but when he looked at my face,
he could see you all over it,
so I suppose I’ll wait,
until you want to kiss yourself.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

Watch the “Love Lessons” short film here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
Ladylike
Summer Of Love

RECENT BLOGS
A Letter To My Fifteen Year Old Self
MYSIGN: The Elements
Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review

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El Triste

El triste.
I am at my mirror,
unable to glance up,
to the disappointed gaze,
of a girl who hoped for better,
but settled for something that made sense.
I am wrapped in the velvet rope,
that holds me,
from the woman I want to be,
and I am ashamed,
but apathetic,
that I didn’t fight for myself.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

Watch the “Love Lessons” short film here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
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Summer Of Love

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Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review

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Medicine Cabinet

I made friends with the medicine cabinet.
I asked him to take me away,
from the house that built me,
and I asked it why the house went deaf,
every time I went to the door,
to tell it my troubles.
He told me she had dreams for me,
stuffed in her ear, like wax ,
and I couldn’t push the truth in if I tried.
So I just lay,
on the kitchen floor,
watching the waves of the washing machine,
the way I used to when I was a child,
and he placed a pill,
one for each year,
we’d been friends,
on my tongue,
until it was full,
and he took me away,
from the house that built me,
and it fell to the ground.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

Watch the “Love Lessons” short film here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
Ladylike
Summer Of Love

RECENT BLOGS
A Letter To My Fifteen Year Old Self
MYSIGN: The Elements
Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review

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A Letter To My Fifteen Year Old Self

Hey,

It’s me, or rather, you, from the future. Put down the star trek fan fiction, we need to talk. I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, you having fuller lips won’t be as bad as you think. Sure, you get made fun of it for now, but in about ten years, it will be fashionable, and both men and women will pay tons of money for surgery and lip glosses that promise the plump pout you are currently embarrassed of. I mean, it will be favoured on white women over you, but it’s something.

Don’t bother fucking about with your eyebrows either, because it isn’t worth the effort. Thicker brows will be fashionable too, and let’s be real, you can’t handle pain, so waxing, plucking or threading really will never be an option for us. Now I’ve typed all that, I’m concerned that they may be out again. Luckily for you, you learn, over time, not to care anyway. They’re just eyebrows.

Onto some bad news, but with a hint of good news. You will never “grow into your nose”, and you won’t learn how to contour it away either. However, you will one day learn to accept that your face would completely change if it was different, and that is a reminder of your heritage, and you will realise the importance of keeping your past close to you, because it’s a lonely, fucked up world, and sometimes, all you will have is yourself, so it will be comforting to be able to remember where you came from. You are a concoction of so many different places and people, and that is something to be proud of, so don’t be ashamed that you look different, because that’s fine.

You’ve spent your whole life feeling like you didn’t fit in, and a lot of people around you contributed to that. A lot of kids picked on you, and called you weird or ugly. Some were even racist, which is fucked up and you’ll probably still think about it for a long time, but don’t hold onto your anger for them. It doesn’t help you, and it won’t change them. You are responsible for you. You can’t make everyone good. You survived, and that’s all that matters. Maybe they grew up to be better people by themselves, maybe they didn’t, I don’t know, because I’m busy doing my own thing, but I wish I (or you), had learned to do that sooner.

2017, which is where I am now, is going to be weird as fuck, and you should prepare for that as best you can. You’ve seen some pretty weird and fucked up things already, so I wish I didn’t have to tell you it gets worse, but I do, and I’m sorry about that. It turns out you were right about Tony Blair, but you were wrong about Kevin Spacey. You were very, very wrong about Kevin Spacey. You will discover that sometimes, evil can be hidden by nice things, and nice gestures, and a nice face, and you will never stop being astounded and disgusted by it. You will never really learn to be aloof or unsurprised by supposedly good people turning out to be awful, but maybe that’s a good thing. You were also wrong about Seamus Heaney, but he isn’t a sex offender like Kevin Spacey (probably should have mentioned that in more detail earlier, sorry), he’s just a better writer than your jealous teenage self was willing to acknowledge, and at some point, you will find it within yourself to admit that you only dislike him because he has a nobel prize, and you don’t (yet). There is still time for you, and you don’t have to dislike people because they have achieved things you haven’t, especially when you are literally still in school, and haven’t even finished your exams. He’s 53 years older than you, so it is to be expected that he will achieve things you want, before you do. Give yourself a chance to grow, and you’ll do all those things too. With this in mind, you can also stop hating about 45% of celebrities and public figures that you don’t like, because the same thing applies. You have plenty of time to collect trophies, sign books and perform.

On the bright side, there will be a new Star Trek series, with a black female lead, and a better chance of not being cancelled like enterprise, but to enjoy that, you first have to endure a Tory government, leaving the European Union, and an absolute bastard being the president of the US.

I probably should have done those one at a time, but it’s important that you understand something. Many of those things happened because of voter apathy, and I know that right now, you’re super hype for politics and desperate to vote, but in about three years, that enthusiasm will die, and one man is responsible. When you were (or are) eighteen, you will vote for the liberal democrats, because Nick Clegg makes a lot of promises. Nick Clegg will then form a coalition with the conservatives and the effects will be devastating to the country, and to you too. It will break your heart. You will lose complete faith in politicians, and it will take a long time to get it back. You get your groove back after seeing Nicola Sturgeon in a debate during the 2015 election, and will reluctantly return to the Labour roots you were raised on, because it’s the closest thing to the SNP in England (I mean, it isn’t really, but it’s the best you can do), so if we ever get a chance to do 2010 again, save yourself some heartache and just vote labour or green. It doesn’t actually matter how you vote really, in the bigger picture, because you’re registered to vote in a safe Tory seat, but it might make you personally feel better. The moral of that story is, people might let you down, specifically politicians, but not all of them are the same and many of them do want to help. Don’t give up and definitely use your vote, and encourage others to do the same, no matter how annoying it makes you feel, because people not voting led to most of 2017.

Speaking of men in 2010 who will break your heart, there will be a man that you meet on a tube train, on New Year’s Eve, he will make lots of promises and tell you so many nice things, but he will ruin your life for about two years, and to be completely honest, you’ll still be slightly broken in 2017, and maybe further on, I don’t know yet, so again, if we get the chance to do 2010 again, don’t talk to anyone on the tube. It’s frowned on anyway, regardless of how Northern your upbringing was. Keep your mouth shut and read a book in uncomfortable silence, like everyone else.

Back to how fucked up 2017 is. You will be devastated by the result of the EU referendum, and will briefly consider desperately attempting to get Spanish citizenship and leaving the UK forever. I don’t know if the UK will actually leave now, because it’s currently a bit of a clusterfuck, but whatever happens, you will be okay, and the UK isn’t so bad (at least, some parts of it, anyway). Please remember to speak English in public at all times, for your own safety, because some people will go nuts and be unrelentingly xenophobic after the referendum, but keep to yourself, and don’t talk to strangers, especially in Spanish, and you’ll probably be fine. You will have to stop pretending not to speak English to avoid gross men, as this could get you into way more trouble than before, and you may feel like this place isn’t your home anymore, but there are places where you will still feel like you belong, so hold onto that.

Donald Trump becomes president. This doesn’t directly effect you all that much, but you will hate it all the same. For a while, you will feel there is no good left in the world, but there is, I promise. You just have to look harder to find it, these days. Oh, and you will later discover that he, like many people in 2017, is the absolute fucking worst, and you will no longer feel guilty about your angry blog posts about him taking up space at Wrestlemania.

You won’t be a Broadway star, like you wanted, not in 2017 anyway, but weirdly enough, Broadway World, a website where you spent most of your childhood, writes an article about one of your books this year, so that’s a nice consolation prize. You will go to university, though, like you wanted, and you’ll be a writer, which you’re just getting interested in now as I remember. You also dip back into music, and a song you compose gets thousands of streams on Spotify. I’m aware you don’t know what that means yet, or what Spotify is, but basically, thousands of people hear your music, and that’s pretty fucking cool. It’s like music downloads, except you will get way less money in royalties, so we aren’t exactly living fancy yet, but I’m working on it.

You are currently sad. I remember it so well, and I wish I could tell you that everything magically gets better, but it doesn’t. You’ll later be diagnosed with depression, and you’ll be resistant as fuck to it, because you’re used to helping the people around you with their own stuff, and it will be hard to accept that you need help to, but take it, because it doesn’t make you weak.

Depression isn’t your only problem. I know this is all pretty bleak, and I’ll stick more goodness in this soon, but I’m just writing it as it comes. You will go through many things that will make you question who you are, and will make you feel like life isn’t worth it, this will of course not be helped by the depression you are not yet currently aware that you have, but even without depression, it’s a lot to go through. You survive. That’s all I can promise. I can’t tell you it won’t hurt, but I can tell you that you survive.

Your handwriting never gets any better, by the way, but you have a very impressive typing speed, so stop worrying about that. You will barely write by hand once you leave sixth form anyway, and you will have the convenient excuse of never writing by hand, because you want to save the planet from deforestation. To be real, though, I think people are aware that you’re just really bad at writing by hand, but many people you meet are too polite to say so.

Right now, you think you’re very smart and mature, because you listen to radio 4, and read the Guardian, but you still have lots to learn, and realistically, you’re a very young fifteen, at least emotionally. I really wish we got a second shot at 2010, or any of the years actually, because there is so much we could do differently. There is so much you didn’t know, and so much that I can’t protect you from, that still haunts me to this day, but realistically, I can’t. We can’t. All that we can do is be thankful that we made it this far, and keep going.

Your survival is all that matters. Things will be tough. Things will be devastating. You will get your heart broken (no bones though, so we still hold that record), you will be disappointed, you will feel like a failure, but you will live on and you will feel joy, and passion, and pride, and you will survive.

Whatever happens, keep fucking going. You may not get exactly what you want, and things might feel hopeless some days, but you survive, and that’s all you can do sometimes.

As I write this right now, you are happyish. Things are okay. You’re currently waiting for your new music video to process through editing software, and trying to pass the time, by saying hello to the girl you once were. You had a decent night of sleep last night, despite being caught in traffic for ages. You look a bit of a mess because you didn’t put on make up this morning, but you’re still cute, and most importantly, you are still fucking here.

Besos,

J x

PS. You don’t learn to swear less, and around 2012, you stop putting it on your new year’s resolution list, because it just isn’t fucking realistic. Sorry.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

Watch the “Drowning In Us” trailer here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
Ladylike
Summer Of Love

RECENT BLOGS
Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review
How I wrote “Depression Is Not Real?” from Home Wrecker
It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).

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Happy Halloween!

Hola amigos, and happy Halloween!

Below are some brand new halloween poems for you to enjoy, and a link to listen to the extra spooky episode of Sincerely, Jennifer x

I hope you have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Listen to the Halloween episode of the podcast HERE

Besos,

J x


AreyouAfraid-jenniferjuan


Are You Afraid?

Monsters in office,
on iPods, big and small screens.
Are you afraid, love?
Like and subscribe,
vote for them
and they crawl,
from under the bed,
at the dead of night,
through headphones,
slither into DMs,
and touch,
with teeth,
all over their body,
and ours.

Are they ashamed, love?
Only when we speak,
and a publicist shrieks,
that stocks are dropping,
and sales are shocking.
They’re strong and stable,
changing the world,
oh so capable,
until unmasked.
Suddenly, boys,
not men,
but boys,
who couldn’t help,
slight indiscretions,
but please support them,
while they “get better”.

What are we to do, love?
Like and subscribe,
to lifting the voices,
once afraid of being heard.
Send the truth to the top of the charts,
vote for the one who says “I believe you.”
Settle down,
at the cinema,
to watch those who don’t need to be shamed,
to be better.
My name,
is all of yours,
I approve this message.

-x-

The Presence

I’m crazy for you,
and the way you freeze the room,
to tell me, you’re here.

-x-

Basement

As you hold me,
late at night,
when the world is drained,
and distant,
I begin to wonder,
how many days,
you expect me to stay,
tied up in your basement.

-x-

Motherhood

From the second we were together,
I knew you’d be the death of me.
The dreaded double stripe,
and non connecting number,
given by a man I knew I’d never see again,
paled to the way you clawed at my insides.
Though I held you close,
until the day of your escape and ascension,
every second was hell.

I would scream,
for freedom,
release,
death,
and I could hear you,
gurgling and giggling in my guts,
as you sapped my strength,
and prepared to devour the planet.

-x-

Freddy, My Love

On our first date,
I trembled as you drew closer,
my pearls were ice,
against my neck,
as I traced and cherished each letter of your name.
Freddy,
my love,
you haunt my desires,
my hands, possessed,
wander under your dictation,
until I fill my home,
with the name that aches in my mind,
a masterful migraine,
a rapturous roar.
Freddy,
oh,
Freddy,
my love.

-x-

Cupcakes From Damien

He says he loves me,
and nobody could love me more,
and he has left cupcakes,
by the door,
so I can taste his passion.

He says he has baked
the day he first saw me,
and each sleepless night since,
underneath vanilla icing,
and left them at my door.

He says he longs for me,
and he calls every number I have,
an unrepentant bingo bastard,
until I scream that I won’t play,
and I don’t want his cupcakes.

He feeds his fantasies,
but I won’t let him feed me.

-x-

Are YOUR Children In A Cult?

She’s very “Saint Tropez”,
whatever that means.
A vaporwave vixen,
God’s girlfriend,
sending the good word,
through small screens,
and leading the children off a cliff.

-x-

Haunted

I didn’t watch a tape,
hunt for a haunted house,
or stare into a mirror,
while whispering your name,
into the icy night,
and yet,
every night,
you appear.
I lock my windows,
and doors,
pray that my heart will sleep,
as soon as my head hits the pillow,
so I won’t dream of you.

-x-

Bradley’s Girls

Bradley is my boy,
until he wakes up,
opens his eyes,
and falls in love,
all over again,
with everyone he sees.

A one woman man,
with a short attention span,
and a desire,
to keep us in a collection.
All of Bradley’s girls,
live in his heart,
and are a mangled mess at the back of his wardrobe.

-x-

Babydoll

Baby,
pay attention to me,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You told your phone to forget,
the naughty nights,
away from home,
but Babydoll,
has a memory you don’t control,
and she’s still waiting.

Baby,
you better call me back,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You ask Babydoll “forget”,
she shakes her head.
building a plan,
is Babydoll,
to punish the one who broke her heart.
Soothed by her seething.

Baby,
give me what I want,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You beg back home, “forgive”,
maybe she will,
maybe she won’t,
but Babydoll,
isn’t in that mood, she wants to play.
Are you playing?

Baby,
I told you we’re not through.
now you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

-x-

Heart

I went to New Orleans,
with you,
in my mind.
I had never felt such desire,
as when my eyes,
desperately draped themselves all over you,
and I knew,
you had my heart.

I drank your hair,
my blood,
and the light of the moon,
as the voices of the universe,
shook the ground,
until it pushed us together,
and I knew,
you had my heart.

You couldn’t resist dark, desperate passion,
that had been given wings,
and teeth, by a woman who warned me away.
My love circled your head,
and pecked until I could sit inside,
and I knew,
I had your heart.

When I was through,
crawling from your brain,
to do the walk of shame,
you clung to me,
and offered me a reason to stay.
Your lungs,
leaked through a hole,
in your chest,
but I couldn’t say yes,
though I knew,
I had your heart.

-x-

April Jane, And The Curious Case Of The Disappearing Dad

Screams at night,
that I first suspected,
came from the dolls,
at the end of my bed.

Fearless,
I scolded them.
“Don’t wake the neighbours.”
Back to sleep, I went.

Until more screams,
the dolls shrugged and wept,
as I rose from my bed,
and placed my ear to the door.

“HOW MANY?”
“I DON’T KNOW.”
“I’M CALLING THE POLICE.”
“I CAN’T LET YOU GO.”

A thud,
more weeping from the dolls,
and mother too,
I go back to sleep.

The next day,
dad went away,
to join Mum’s other friends.
I left flowers for him.

-x-

Dining At The End Of The World

We were so sweet,
hands clasped,
as we strolled
to the end of the world.

To run felt futile,
when I was happy,
to fade from life’s sky,
for the girl,
with a smile that all the stars envied.

You didn’t need to say a word,
I saw, before, when we ran,
the way the madness clamped it’s jaw,
around your dainty ankle,
and roared “No more.”

We strolled,
you hobbled,
to the end of the world,
where the madness took you,
and then, me,
ever so willingly.

We were so sweet,
when we ate each other whole,
dining at the end of the world,
with candles by our side,
and each other’s calves,
between our teeth.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

Order “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” here

Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

Order “Home Wrecker” here

Listen to”Past Preston” here

RECENT FREE CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Are You Afraid?
Ladylike
Summer Of Love

RECENT BLOGS
Jim Chapman’s “147 Things” Review
How I wrote “Depression Is Not Real?” from Home Wrecker
It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).

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Are You Afraid?

Hola amigos,

I hope you’ve been doing well.

The latest episode of my podcast is now available, and you can find links here, as well as the new episode guide, which will allow you to go directly to the poetry and stories in the podcasts, if you would like to read them again.

I will also be recording a special Halloween edition of my podcast, which will be available on Tuesday evening, just in time for Halloween, along with uploading a brand new poetry collection, themed around horror and fear. I can’t wait for you to see them!

Besos,

J x


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Order “The Things We Did Last Summer” here

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Listen to”Past Preston” here

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Ladylike
Summer Of Love
Baby Steps


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How I wrote “Depression Is Not Real?” from Home Wrecker
It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).
The Best And Worst Of Horror On UK Netflix

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The Kidnapped Prince Of Iceland

Awoken from Iceland,

I sigh.

Fly high,

for breakfast,

before staring,

aimlessly,

at shameless tourists.

Beat up the windows,

Ask me to dance.

I will not dance.

Tilikum_(orca)_(Shamu).jpg

I’m so far away,

and they push pills in me,

and starve me out,

to bring me closer.

I lay still,

where nobody can see,

surrounded by tortured strangers,

that have become family.

I will not dance.

Bottom of the pool,

waiting for Iceland.

I will not dance for you,

in your cheap, chlorine hell.

My body belongs to the sea.


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Love Lessons

His brow furrowed,

as his eyes,

that had seen and collected,

the wonders of the world,

fell to the floor.

He asked me,

why I wanted him.

 

 

 

I took the hands,

that had spent more nights,

alive and exploring,

than I had had days on the earth.

I told him,

that I wanted someone,

who knew how to love me.

 

 

 

He has loved me,

with tenderness,

with curiosity,

with ferocious passion,

that he thought he had lost,

and I know,

nobody else could love me,

the way he taught me I deserve.


Order “Stormy Weather” here

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RECENT CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Ladylike
Summer Of Love
Baby Steps


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Touristification

You are a tornado.

We took you into our arms,

but you spin out of control,

and tip trouble down your throat.

Por favor, no grites tan fuerte.

Our streets weep,

at your devastation,

as you scream at us,

in English,

as if it will magically translate,

the louder you become.

Deja de beber tanto.

As you roar through us,

we stand beneath you,

to catch the coins you drop,

so we can repair our pride.

El carrer no és un vàter.

We have to tell you in English,

because you won’t learn anything,

that isn’t in your phrasebook.

Encara sóc aquí.

Please, do not yell so loud.

Stop drinking so much.

The street is NOT a toilet.

I’m still here.

This was our home.

Esta fue nuestra casa.

What did you do,

on your summer holiday?


Order “Stormy Weather” here

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RECENT CREATIVE WRITING COLLECTIONS
Ladylike
Summer Of Love
Baby Steps


RECENT BLOGS
Let’s Go To The Movies
An Open Letter To Miranda Larbi, In Relation To Unicorns

Thought Provoking Stories In Your Horror Movies? It’s More Likely Than You’d Think!

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Women Who Work (Really Hard At Pretending To Be Allies)

She tapped on a screen,
as if it meant the same,
as standing with the brave,
and using her freedom,
to free them.

I am proud
I will say I am proud
to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans
of the LGBTQ Americans my Dad targets
who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.
so they can’t point out my cowardice,
in the face of their bravery.

I will say I am proud,
of the LBGTQ Americans my Dad targets,
so they can’t point out my cowardice,
in the face of their bravery.

She tapped on a screen,
and typed everything,
a publicist told her,
and it meant nothing.


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OK

I tried to hate him, I tried harder than I’ve ever tried at anything to hate that man. As I lay alone with nothing but a bathrobe and a small blanket for comfort I tried again. I closed my eyes and visualised his soft, gentle hands on her body and bit my lip to stop myself from wailing in agony. It hurt to think about them together, not psychical pain but emotional. When I thought about them I just wanted to cry.

I’m sure she has some kind of disease, which explains why he did it. It was probably just out of pity, it might have been her last time. Again I’m making excuses for him and I know I shouldn’t. They aren’t even good excuses. They don’t even make sense. He wouldn’t make excuses for me if I had done that to him, I like to pretend he would but I know he wouldn’t.

I didn’t see them, I didn’t have to because he told me. He said he was awfully sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again so I just nodded and carried on preparing breakfast. It was her job to do breakfast, she’s the maid so should have been busy but I’d imagine she was upstairs in bed. Our bed. I heard them the night before as I came in from drinks with a friend and decided to sleep on the sofa downstairs. I didn’t want to walk in and see them because that would make it real so I stayed downstairs and pretended.

After breakfast I played outside with the children for a few minutes before leaving them with the nanny so she could take them to school while I went to work. “Are you okay Madam?” She asked after sending the children to go and get their coats. I nodded and she nodded back at me. “I’m sorry.” She said quietly, I smiled in thanks and walked towards the car with my handbag on my shoulder, wondering who else knew about my husband’s blatant indiscretions. Rachel, our nanny, was the closest thing I had to a friend, and I was certain she was only my friend because we paid her.

I kept it together for the entire day, I stayed quiet at the office and kept to myself as usual. David would have been pleased. For a man who socialised with any woman who took his fancy, he had a lot of ideas of who I should be talking to. Namely, nobody but those in our isolated existence. My work wasn’t even mine. I had always been aware that he had set up my job with a friend, and that I was constantly being watched. Sometimes, I wasn’t even sure what my workplace purpose was. He probably just wanted me out of the house, so he could have more time with whoever he liked this week.

We all ate together that night, David sat at one end of the table and I at the other, the children sat together on one side and Rachel sat on the other. Mary had dinner in her bedroom because she was ill. I spat in her soup.

It was when the children went to bed that things got worse, David went up to check on Mary and Rachel went to read the children a story. I just sat in the kitchen looking into space not knowing what to do with myself. It had occurred to me during my dull work day of doing nothing but staying out of my husband’s way that beyond staying out of my husband’s way, I didn’t actually do anything. I had no friends. I had no hobbies. I only played with the children to give David some space.

After a few minutes of soaking in existential despair, I walked, almost robotic to my bedroom, fully aware of my husband’s voice behind Mary’s door, but also fully aware that I’d be doing absolutely nothing about it.

David’s tie was lying on the foot of the bed, I pushed it to the floor and began removing my clothes. I stood in front of the mirror in nothing but my underwear and took a moment to evaluate myself. I was acceptable. I always had been. More than that, I was beautiful. In my pain, and his rejection, I was beautiful. I took a moment to fantasise about a future without David. Taking the children to school myself, getting to know the mother’s at the gate, getting to know myself, maybe finding someone new, or not, it didn’t matter, just as long as he wasn’t there.

I took my bathrobe from the top of the door and wrapped it around myself, squashing the flames of my rebellion. The bed, as treacherous as it had been for keeping secrets, welcomed me and I wrapped myself up in the duvet.

I heard footsteps approaching and closed my eyes, desperate to escape, or even to find the bravery to consider the idea. “Kate.” David called as he pushed open the door, I didn’t open my eyes and simply lay still, unable to face him. “Kate are you sleeping?” I stirred slightly but kept my eyes firmly shut, I couldn’t bare to look at him.

“No.” I felt the bed dip a little as he laid upon the bed next to me, his breath was warm against my skin and his hand crept up my leg and under my bathrobe. I didn’t push it away because it was all I wanted. I wanted him to hold me so desperately, despite my earlier desperation for anything but.

“I’ll always love you Kate.”

I opened my eyes and laid in silence for a few moments. “Ok.”

I suppose it hurt his feelings when I ignored him, I just couldn’t handle telling him I loved him back. I did and we both knew that but he didn’t deserve to hear it from my lips. I rolled over and fell asleep hoping I would wake up from the nightmare the next day and it would simply have been a dream.

I awoke the next day with his arms around me, Mary was gone and everything seemed back to normal. He had made his choice and I suppose his decision was final, for a whole day all I wanted was for Mary to be gone so I had David all to myself but now I wished she had kept him. I didn’t want to be trapped any longer. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else, and I’d be sat in that God forsaken house, screaming at the walls and my own lack of a spine.

I sat up in bed and heard his voice, it was hushed but just about audible. “I love you Kate.”

“Ok.” I said quietly as I took a step off the bed towards my old life.


 

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Merchandise

Collecting

Chrissy let out a heavy sigh as her latest lover collapsed on top of her with great force, he groaned a little before rolling over and closing his eyes. She pulled the duvet around her and put an arm over his warm body, exhaustion was a powerful thing and allowed her to have this strange man under her control.

“Your thoughts?” She asked taking his hand in her own and squeezing it gently, she often had random bursts of affection for her men after the deed was done, even if she didn’t find him all that attractive. She simply couldn’t help herself, a wild and uncontrollable rush of happiness filled her and all she wanted to do was lay in his arms and pretend they loved each other. It was called making love for a reason, every time she participated she created at least a few minutes of genuine love for her companion.

“Good.” He replied as he pushed her hand away, she grabbed his again and pushed her body closer to his. Her lips found their way onto his ear and she kissed it with intense passion, she thought he’d at least be grateful but he simply pushed her away again.

“What’s wrong?” She asked sounding and feeling a little hurt, she rest a hand on his waist and leaned closer again. He turned to her and opened his eyes a fraction, she stared intently into them and smiled.

“Look Carrie.” He began, her smile remained intact but seemed a little forced.

“It’s Chrissy.” She reminded him before shoving him affectionately. He didn’t return the affection when he replied.

“I’m tired so just give it a rest.” Her face fell and she felt the tears approaching, she tried her best to fight them as she knew crying was the worst sign of weakness. A few simple tears would show him who she really was and that couldn’t happen.

“Sure.” She said as he turned onto his side and she lay on her back staring at the ceiling, she hadn’t intended for things to end like this. She never did. He was supposed to hold her and tell her she was beautiful, he was supposed to kiss her endlessly until she fell asleep, he was supposed to remind her of all the reasons why he was attracted to her. Of course he did none of these things and simply fell into a deep sleep beside her.

She rolled onto her side and took a good look at him. He was presentable at best, not exactly her future husband but he was decent at least. His hair fell past his strong shoulders and fanned against the pillow, it was cute but perhaps she’d like him to get it trimmed. One thing she definitely liked was his slight tan, a healthy tan was always her favourite part of a man, also tattoos. She spotted one on his lower back and slid under the covers to take a closer look.

“Stephanie.” She read aloud in a hushed voice as she traced along the elaborate lettering with her fingertip. Wonderful. She thought to herself feeling the tears return, she had picked up yet another married man. This had to stop.


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