Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am friends with some of my exes. Some, not so much. You never picture the end at the beginning and if you did, well, I doubt you’d start anything. I’ve only ever had one ex boyfriend whose break up deeply affected me. When we ended I was still very dearly in love with him but I knew it could never ever work. Instead I turned into a crazy lovesick person who couldn’t eat or sleep, checked Facebook obsessively and wept quietly on public transport.  

The world became a muted tone of grey and I sought solace beneath an excess of duvet covers and flannel pajamas, scrunching my face in despair and wishing things were otherwise.  I started going to bed at 7.30pm, compiled mournful emotional playlists and stopped washing my hair.

The thing is, I didn’t want to get over him. I didn’t want things to become easier. He was the only person I had ever felt slightly in awe of. Friends urged me to see the light and look beyond him, to see life after heartbreak. But that would be an even greater tragedy because I’d have to admit it was over. I turned away from sympathetic looks and well intentioned cups of tea.  Instead I retreated deeper into my world of denial,  dreaming of him, thinking of ways we could meet again, concocting bogus reasons to ring him and remembering the times we had. I clung to my sadness because if I let go of mourning I would let go of everything we had.

I still think about him sometimes, that one person who was capable of breaking my heart. He wasn’t a bad person, he just failed to feel something that I felt. We were looking for different things in each other and it floundered miserably. In hindsight I know he wasn’t as amazing as I imagined him to be and I only say this because I thought he was, quite literally, perfect.

It may be one of the greatest tragedies, unrequited love. Hindsight has taught me I can always come out the other side and that makes me feel bolder. The heart may be a little wary, wrapped tentatively in cotton wool, but beneath its protective layers it is ready to risk consuming undeniable heartbreak all over again if there is a shot at love.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

To write

Whenever I ‘decide’ I am going to write I always fail. I will clear my throat, push my chair forward and pick up the pen, staring at my paper. The first sentence always comes easily, it’s anything. A thought that pops into my head. A fluid line that someone once said to me. Where it comes from I am uncertain but there it sits, lonely on the page. Following the first sentence is the difficult part. And so, after half and hour I am left with a paragraph that looks foolish and I ridicule myself and screw up the paper.

Proper thoughts and ideas that turn eventually to writing form in my mind on the edges of sleep, while I am selecting a courgette at the supermarket or starting absently at a vase of flowers. It will suddenly come to fruition and I will be seized with an urge so great, so overwhelming that I find anything, a napkin, a receipt, a business card and furiously scribble, afraid that the idea will escape like cigarette smoke out the car window. I am happy for anything concrete that will capture a vague or foggy outline that has been brewing in my mind.

The idea must be followed up. A wisp on an idea scribbled on a torn napkin will lose meaning if it lefts for days, weeks or months. What was once an urgent idea quickly becomes a random formation of words and the idea is be lost forever, or until the next time I am staring absently at a courgette.

I know it is foolish when I ‘decide’ to write. Why force myself into a fruitless writing process that leads to frustration and tears? Why write inane and cumbersome words if all it leads to is bad writing? Because I couldn’t not. Because I feel like a lazy writer most of the time. Sometimes the ‘idea strike moment’ is a hazy memory of the past and desperate for anything I will fill line after line of my book with terrible writing.  Because even though the writing is sometimes terrible, it feels right.