My bones are on fire.
Ignited with a spark into a heart long dead, new and pulsing with life. It’s something, it came to something, it will come to something. Something strong, something unique. It taught me things, to life, to laugh, to learn, to love. Waiting is hard, waiting is tiring, waiting is cold and sad, but waiting is easy, waiting is awakening, waiting is warm and happy.
December, be kind.
A series of promises. I breathe them.
I will never leave you alone.I will always protect you, especially when you don’t need protecting. I will care. I will never forget my promises. I will never let you down again. I will be there when you’re ready, and even when you aren’t. I will be present.
All I am saying is this.
I will love you.
Dig deeper, heart keeper.
Take my promise, tie it to your throat with red string and sing the songs of the oceans. For nothing can compare to the rolling tides, a promise to be the bride, and taking pride in what’s held inside.
It is below freezing and my breath billows out in clouds of carbon monoxide, warmth against the cool air and a lack of sleep. What have I become? He who waits, he who paints the sky with numb fingers. He who apologises. He who cannot, and he who will.
It is a beautiful fight.
The punches are harsh, but they come few and far between, the rest are fluttering kisses on pale skin that has seen too much heartbreak and woe, and is more than ready for the next stage, for the horns to sound that battle has ceased, and the lion may lie with the lamb. She’s seen things, and so have I. Things that would drive a sane person mad, or a mad person sane. We’ve wept, and shouted, but those times don’t even make up 1% of the other times, the times where words have been whispered, where we’ve watched one another sleep, where we’ve laughed and talked for hours every day over an irritating connection. Where we get headaches on the same side at the same time, or that damn restless leg. The bumbershoots, they mean something, and we both have them. When she paints a puffin on her fingernail because I fucking love puffins. The secret words we share. The open heart beating bang bang bang like a knocking, because I know she’s in my ribcage, on the left, knocking to remind me she’s still there.
It is a beautiful fight, and one neither of us can give up.
When I was a little boy, my younger sister ate an apple.
It didn’t seem particularly important then, but it is important now.
She took the pips from the apple, and, with my Mum’s help, she planted them in a small garden at the side of our family home. She checked it every day, and eventually, the pips took root, and they sprouted, small, weak and green at first, but becoming more and more solid.
The years rolled on.
Growing up, I always thought my family was unique, in that I had two loving parents who loved one another, in a climate where a lot of my friends in school had parents who had divorced. There were lots of words like ‘step-dad’ and ‘step-mum’. My first girlfriend’s parents were seperated and she would say “my Dad’s girlfriend is making corned-beef hash for tea, do you want to come round?”. These were all alien concepts to me. I had the typical nuclear family. Very middle class, we did lots of things together, and life was lovely.
The tree that grew from those apple pips was a constant from when I was very young. The apples that grew were too bitter to eat from the tree, so they were only useful for cooking with. My friends and I would throw the apples at one another, or smush the fallen, rotten apples against the wall, much to my parents chagrin. I would climb the tree and pass apples to my sister, and we would collect them in the orange plastic bowl (that eventually became a sick bowl when we were poorly), and my Mum would take them and create wonderful, gloopy, golden brown crumbles and pies, along with the rhubarb that grew in the corner of the big garden at the back of the house. Those pies and crumbles were eaten with all my family around me, my Grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins. Christmas and birthdays were greeted with those apples, all because my sister was madly excited to plant her pips she found in her apple.
We both grew up, and our own children took part in collecting the apples, and the place settings at the large, varnished table became more numerous, until we had to set up a second table for the wee ones.
When I was twenty-six, my Mum and Dad came to my house, and asked that I arrange for my sister to be there too. My boys were sent upstairs, and they broke the news. They were to divorce.
It hit me hard. I’d always grown up believing they loved each other deeply, but I realised, all at once, that they hadn’t. That they’d stayed together mostly for us. And I remembered, suddenly, all the times when it was evident that they just didn’t make each other happy, the lack of a connection over those countless apple and rhubarb crumbles.
After my own divorce, I lived in my childhood home, briefly, empty apart from me, a table, a blow up bed and a 21-inch television. It was waiting to be sold, the five bedrooms, the large downstairs, the big kitchen, all once echoing with voices and activity suddenly empty and silent.
I found my own place, and, eventually, the house was sold.
A few weeks ago, my Dad took me down there on the way to a meal together. Everything and nothing had changed, the front garden had been turfed where once there were only bushes and flowers, there were new ornaments on the windowsills, new curtains on the windows, cars on the hard standing that I’d never seen there before. I felt like running to the door, and banging for them to let me look at what they’d done to MY house, what my bedroom looked like, what the attic looked like where I recorded my fake radio shows.
But I did not.
But, before I left, I saw something that made me stop and reflect for a moment. The thing that had been present all those years, had stood strong in the way I always thought my parents had been strong with one another, had disappeared.
The new owners had cut down the apple tree.
I hope they made an apple crumble with the last few apples on the branches, and tasted my childhood.
Needed this on my blog…..
“Darling, the subtle little way your lips curl up at ends when you say my name. The way your cheeks get all puffy and lovely when you smile, those are incredibly interesting to me”
Don’t be so fucking ordinary. Don’t settle. If you look at your significant other and wonder what ever attracted you to them, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re together because its ‘easier’, then you’re doing it wrong. It should fucking scare you. It should fill your mind with a million possibilities, all of them good. You should be prepared to burn down everything for them, but be secure that they would never ask you to.
If your soul isn’t on fire, then what’s the point?
(Direction) or bust,
I try but I must
chew on the burned edge of the crust.
Shake off the dust,
place all my trust,
worship the creamy skin of the bust
Much is discussed,
time to adjust,
never a feeling of dismay or disgust
Take all the lust,
pull out and thrust,
give to the autumn of copper and rust
- Me: Did you just find Jesus?
- Her: Yes... Right in the centre of the bluest eyes I've ever seen
Everything will be golden, all will be good, there will be whispers in the darkness, laughter in the light. Gallons of red wine, acres of parma violets and 80% dark chocolate. Bubbles in the bath and candles round the side. Winnie The Pooh and Alice, leading inexplicably to a deepened voice saying “Mm”, no more than a preparation to begin reading, but somehow becoming a sexual sound, lips and thighs part and breathing begins to slow. There will be boring times, too, times where the TV is popped on and something ridiculous is watched. But even those times will be valuable, just a stroke of a shoulder, a breath of warm air on the skin. Trying new things, and keeping those that benefit a life.
You’re in my bones. When they’re dust, you’ll be with me, carried away on the wind. You’ll form mountains with me. Before then, I’ll be your companion, your lover, your guide. We’ll see rainbows, and stars, and galaxies. We will make love, we’ll fuck, we’ll get drunk and watch the moon travel across the skies. We’ll see shapes in clouds, and wild beasts, we’ll walk, we’ll ride, we’ll sail, we’ll take a road trip to somewhere we’ve never been. We’ll get lost. We’ll be bored together. We’ll create things, and break things and burn things. We’ll watch TV and open a million doors, and love one another in wild and wonderful places.
I want it all. Tear-stained shirt shoulder, and blood around the rim of a coffee cup from chapped lips. The sun rising suddenly over the aching silhouette of five bottles of wine and a half finished pack of slim French cigarettes. The squeeze of a hand as blood is drawn and the grimace of pain, beautiful in a terrible way. Open spaces and inappropriate moments. The flash of teeth and the passage of time. Aching legs, a shared groan as legs are swung out of a car and the flat of a hand against the small of a back. Distaste in Crocs. The smell of a curry that has been developing for eight hours in a slow cooker. Conversation about everything and nothing, all at once. Staring at a pair of buttocks as they leave the bed and stagger to the kitchen for thick black coffee. Gripping the sheets in blissful elation, back arched and eyes wide. Pain. Happiness. Sadness. Joy. The end of the pier and the touch of a hand.