No thank you
Speak to my secretary
I’m sure I have said all I have to say on the matter
I won’t give them even a scrap of it,
That darkness belongs to me and I won’t let go of it no matter what they come at me with
Sacred and locked up, only I get to feed it
And I am sure that it is best that way
Mostly under the covers, an obvious place
Alongside ridiculously oversized cuddlies
They all had names
One was a long flat dog with long flat ears that lay alongside me on my top bunk
Can’t remember what he was called
We did all sorts under the covers, when we were small
Mostly to scare each other
Discussed what bodies we had
Enrolled in thousands of careers and areas of expertise
Solved the world’s problems
Conspired on how to ignore our grown-ups’ flaws
‘Don’t,’ she said, as he got on one knee, ‘I trust you too much to get my hopes up. Maybe I’ll hold you. Maybe I won’t.’ He blinked at her from down on the floor. He gave nothing away. He gave her nothing but a smile and a game, both of them hooked and unable to stop. All they could do was see through the silliness.
‘Don’t take me seriously. Ever. If I offend you, don’t take me at all, put me down and walk away. It will not offend me. Don’t worry about what I think of you, it’s all good, I promise. Don’t think of me at night when it is cold, but in your dreams where you are safe.’ The rest, she thought…
Don’t tease me. Don’t make my heart sing for the briefest of moments, knowing full well you’re taking it back any second. Don’t tell me I’m more than I am. Don’t make out it’s fine. Stop trying to fix everything, because you fail. Don’t tell me clichés. Don’t comfort me. Don’t humour me. Don’t – ever – pity me. Don’t act like you don’t know me well enough. People do in the first thirty seconds. You know exactly what I’m like. Don’t play with me. Don’t assume I know myself better than you do. Don’t assume I can take it all. Don’t hang back. Don’t deny me common honours.
Don’t, it is dangerous. It threatens my existence and my constitution. Don’t. Just don’t.
He knew what she meant by ‘don’t.’ It was always done with a certain look, a dimple and a look down to check her feet were still there.
He blinked at her from down on the floor again. Again she uttered, ‘Don’t.’
‘I do,’ he knew, was what she meant to say.
This story will go on forever, until we don’t play games. And this is how we know each other, give each other names.
This week – a lot of firsts. Today, my first attack at work. (First seemingly unprovoked attack – no triggers as far as I can remember.) My first time shopping for art materials to make a dream map to sort out my head. Yesterday, my first class of a free writing course which I am rather excited about; it’s good to be back in a learning environment, especially at a real university this time, where I can glean as many new skills as possible. Also yesterday my first time with sole leadership of the drama group I now facilitate at a local mental health charity. Bumpy but acceptable; room to improve. As my head is really lagging tonight, I hope it will suffice to post the product of the Speed Writing exercises from the class. The first, we were given Corridor of the Asylum by Van Gogh as stimulus:
A man moves, and I wait. I stand, and wait, and long for sides. Shade. Frozen in the open. Perhaps if you close your eyes hard enough and actually believe you disappear, others won’t be able to see you. Like that trick in the book about the devil – invisibility via imagination – if someone doesn’t expect you there, they won’t see you. But somehow I know this man expects me. What then? Stand and wait, and let it happen. I start to hum to myself. No more point in caution. Always question whether it was my mistake, whether I could have overcome myself, but still just still. I wait, I stand. I open my eyes and he has turned to half-face me. His eyes still, they wait for movement, confirmation. I try so hard to give him absolutely nothing. His inner business can be felt, almost heard, but not seen. Whatever lurks inside that thing awakes today to taunt me. It will get me in its own time.
For the past couple of weeks I have felt the urge to write a short film about this feeling, this whole period in my life. Still watching lots of Imogen Heap on Youtube, I feel inclined to use ‘love love immi’ as the title, albeit just a sign-off. I like it, and I don’t like making sense. Logic is not for art, although sadly my writing teacher disagrees. Cue more painstaking analysis of poems, dredging up meaning from nowhere, digging into poems by people who clearly have no knowledge of Van Gogh’s life and definitely shouldn’t be writing double entendres, or what turn into double entendres in the eyes of farty professors, about a dead artist and his sexual life. Maybe he was lonely and had a wank every now and then. But that’s for him to say.