Over the weekend I have been visited by an old friend. She’d lived with me for a while as she was going through a hard break up, and you could say I am a fantastic listener, and that’s what she needed at that time. She chatted to me casually as we danced, sipped and tried to sleep. Her burley brown hair flashing and swaying. She chanted into my ear stories she’d exaggerated up to stir me, mindless gossip and tales of neurosis. I turned red, and my eyes slept wearily as I gave in, and heard her murmurs. “It’s true” she said, stirring the last bit of her drink, the ice-cubes clinking together. “I saw it, and it can only mean one thing”. I stare at her, listen intently, hanging on to every word she says, each word forms a maelstrom of images and therefore emotions which drown the present. Suppose you should think a man had had a long voyage who had been caught in a raging storm as he left harbour, and carried hither and tither and driven round and round in a circle by the rage of opposing winds.
When she comes round, it’s like she’s living with me again, she clothes dumped around the house, her coffee cup, with her signature pink lipstick mark, her stupid fucking notes on the fridge. I have to wash her mug, pick up her clothes and read the notes on my fridge. “By the way, your friends, they really fucking hate you”, “Go on Instagram, there’s some really cool stuff on there, it should help you take pictures better, “No one really loves you, you’re just a bit needed is all”
I watch her undress, her shoulder blades moving closer as she undoes her bra. She slips on a night dress and asks me to hold her, he lips parched and her eyes glassy, she almost looks like an angel. I refuse and turn away and remain in the middle of a life I don’t believe is real and her.