Voyager reached the edges of the solar system and I ran my duster along the edges of the skirting board. I asked you if you would mind if I killed myself and you said you’d understand, but it didn’t quite answer the question. I wondered what the highlight of tomorrow would be, and to the whooping delight of the cleaning staff, found it to be the intoxicating scent of the marker pens. I felt like you wanted a reason, but I wasn’t sure there was one. Things just were. Unchanged. Unchangeable. The pens smelled so much almost like liquorice that I could have drawn rapidly, ceaselessly, on my tongue.

You should talk to someone about it. I lay in bed, mostly paralysed, with your hand on my arm, too delicate and clammy to be real. I felt a single tear slip from my eye, navigating between the fine hairs on my cheek, before it came to rest in the creases of my mouth. I felt the salt harden before I had strength to taste it on my tongue. I couldn’t contact the authorities, there was something too cliché about lying in the dark, crying. It was 05:00 AM before I recognised sleep would not take hold again.

Speak more plainly. I was well accustomed with the contracting of organs under the trauma of the job, and of course your opinion didn’t matter except when it did. I couldn’t stand unethically shredding paper for two hours talking about people who are famous for only being able to live at home. Another profession would have much the same effect, getting up to work for facelessness, applying a face underneath which lay a rotting metaphorical corpse, and a decadent literal unravelling.

Don’t talk about death in public. The pianist had wanted to kill himself, but no-one at the table found it funny. I listened to you talk about your father and your new shoes but you didn’t ask how I was. I added you to my list of people who mostly couldn’t care and considered life without you, and your invitations. I would have held your hand if my sinews hadn’t already decayed, without regret.

This is my elusive daughter. You introduced me to your friend in the bathroom and I held the other side of her handbag whilst she searched for her cigarettes. I sent you messages about your mother’s forgetfulness and your most recent holiday, and reminisced about my time spent in hospital without you visiting. My lack of silence growing parallel to the responsibility for holding your fragile mind between my fingers. Your mother grew grey in accordance with Aristotle’s laziness, she would not remember your next visit. We were elusive in different ways.

You have the wrong number. The scent of the marker pens couldn’t lift me from the coughing woman looking for the health centre on the phone. ‘Thank you’ couldn’t pull me from the emotional lament at hearing that you lost your baby and got addicted to cocaine, nor could £4.50 pull you from yours. Alcohol couldn’t pull me from the loss of £4.50 one dreary, unspecifiable afternoon, in conversation. We were designed to die, like flies, like your baby. You couldn’t look me in the eyes especially when I told you that Voyager had left the solar system. We were all strangers, really, genetic failures: pennies and alcohol. All the money in the world would not have made a difference.

You had drifted off to sleep, so I asked you again. Your silence said you wouldn’t mind if I killed myself this time, but only as I had lived, unexceptionally.

11 thoughts on “Laziness

  1. Wow you’re a fantastic writer. I especially liked the lines:
    “I asked you if you would mind if I killed myself and you said you’d understand, but it didn’t quite answer the question.”

    “The pens smelled so much almost like liquorice that I could have drawn rapidly, ceaselessly, on my tongue.”


  2. I’ve actually laid there in bed with these thoughts, even the silence as consent, and ultimately been just so damned tired from lack of sleep it wouldn’t matter if I had any resolve or not. I literally ended a relationship over it and he just told me I was a “fucking freak” when I said it was because he didn’t care if I died. It didn’t really dawn on me until later I hadn’t actually said anything about it to him.

    I had a set of permanent markers that were scented by color. The black one was licorice. I used to love crossing out the return addresses on the inter-office envelopes!

    And I don’t know if it’s any consolation, but Voyager is just on a really big orbit. It will be back.


    1. Anne, you aren’t a freak at all. We think about things in the same way, and I like to think (hope) that this means we have a more valid perspective on the world. If you are a freak, I am a freak. We can be freaks together.

      I read your comment a few days ago and have been thinking about Voyager ever since. I love the thought that it will be back, when we are nothing but dust. Or perhaps the universe would have retracted, and then exploded all over again by then, and it will be sailing past the point at which it is released once more. Oh my.

      I also read a few days ago that Annie had died? I do so hope this is not the case <3


    2. It will come back, it always does. This happens to me all too frequently. You haven’t died, and I won’t let you. Would it cheer you up if I told you I fainted at the supermarket today? I got my flu jab and proceeded to dry-heave all over the waiting area. In the confusion I forgot to pick up any bananas, and had to send my boyfriend later in the day. I can never go back. Never.
      P.S I love you.


  3. I am flat-out floored by your ability to create or remember or adapt (or all the above) these utterly convincing head spaces, and then contain them long enough to write down. I DO think like this sometimes, but so far I can’t get it affixed to the page. Too elusive. There are things about your work that are Proustian, and Plathy, but it’s still all your own.


    1. Mikey, I’m overwhelmed by your comment. I never see these things in my own writing because each piece is just the result of fractured memories and my own attempts in trying to make some sort of logical (and very occassionally entertaining) sense out of them. I feel most attempts are unsuccessful, which is why I will sometimes go for weeks without posting a thing, though it isn’t through want of trying.

      I am really glad you liked this one. It developed mostly from becoming reaquainted with the previously drugged-up (and therefore supressed) part of my conciousness, and then also a 36 hour bout of being wide awake. I’m struggling actually to convey what a difference your comment has made to my mood, because you’re one of my favourite bloggers, and to know that someone whom I respect deeply, appreciates my insignificant posts, well… it’s just made my day. :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.