The cigarette sits perched on an empty can of beer. She looks at it, looks at the ceiling, looks back to the cigarette, then closes her eyes and falls asleep. Her bra smells of milk. She hasn’t taken it off in days. Can’t be bothered. No energy. No desire. I’m in the shower masturbating. There’s nothing on my mind, and I don’t even really want to, but it’s good to clear out the tubes. At least that’s what I once heard. And it releases endorphins, right? So, it’s kinda like taking a vitamin tablet, or something. When I’m finished and have washed away the remains of my vacant act, I go downstairs and cook her two eggs making sure not to break the yolk. When they’re looking good, I place each one on a slice of lightly buttered toast and pour her a glass of orange juice. Taking them to her, she refuses to open her eyes, so I tickle her feet, and soon enough she eats. The days are dark and cold. They suck the life from out of my bones. The animals are hiding. Haven’t seen them in what feels like forever. There’s a little rain. It hits the window and clings until each bead evaporates as if they were never here to begin with. Need to pop to the shops to pick up wine and dinner in that order of importance. I’ll get a treat for her as well, something to lift her mood. But what if I’m attacked on the way? What if someone throws acid in my face, or I’m stabbed in the belly by a pack of travellers? Standing there worrying while she finishes her food before washing it down with the orange juice, I decide to leave as quickly as possible, for if I venture out after dark, the chances of being attacked will be a certainty. Kissing her on the lips and running my fingers through her hair, she tells me not to be long, but all I can do is nervously laugh before hurrying downstairs. Putting on my jacket and shoes, she calls out from the bedroom. When I ask what she wants, she tells me to wear my hat, because otherwise, the rain will flatten my hair and people will laugh and call me names.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

21 replies »

  1. god, the emotion. I love this. I think because it’s real, like a real slice of a real person’s day. Like I’m there, an impartial, invisible voyeur, a mouse in its hole, watching without influencing. You, sir, inspire me to be a better writer. A better person, really. Thank you for this.

  2. “Putting on my jacket and shoes, she calls out from the bedroom. When I ask what she wants, she tells me to wear my hat, because otherwise, the rain will flatten my hair and people will laugh and call me names.”

    This is so wonderful, so real, so personal. X

  3. Despite how we try so very hard, to keep what’s happeningin the world all around us out of our lives, we just can’t, because eventually, everything WILL get to us, and, there’s, NO safe place, and our minds can’t even feel safe again…

  4. When i think of Hemingway it’s always some simple, clear depiction of a wounded pleasure, eg, We’d stop at the little cafe along the enzo and she would order one bottle of amarone with her lunch…
    But this piece adds in that modern worry we all have about the world shoving its fist into our guts and publicly fondling our intestines. So instead of the enzo we get boxed wine and Netflix.
    Ok. Sorry for projecting. I really liked this one.

    • I’m delighted you liked it, and thank you for projecting. It means a lot.
      I’ve always felt that modern life is rubbish, and nothing has changed this opinion since my descent into adulthood.
      Still, at least we can keep dreaming.

  5. You’re really superb at capturing feelings, your voice is a gorgeous and elaborating one that I just can’t… mffg! Excellent work.

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