Local Boy Makes Good


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blue carpeted yellow walled, heart shavings embedded in every corner. why does moving out always seem like free-falling and realising the rope isn’t tied around your waist? the before is fine, and then you take one step and…

i don’t know. i think i compare everything to falling. maybe because i used to fall down so often that the fear is ingrained in my head. i’d take a step and there i was, sitting lotus style on the ground wondering what had happened. you never realise how short the distance is between you and the ground. it’s like a trip through time, teleportation. if that makes sense. and now i’m so scared of falling.

someone told me three years ago how weird it is that i laugh like a little girl. and then i got so worried that other people must think that too, so i put on this fake laugh that (in my head) was nicotine and chiarascuro, too many late nights sipping on cancer sticks. obviously, i’ve always been deluded. and then i tried using it every day. sometimes i slipped up, but i got better at it. oh that’s funny. polite laugh, don’t show teeth, smile coyly when you’re done.

but once, i wasn’t thinking too much and the unanticipated joke he directed at me– the drinks probably catalysed something as well – and i. i laughed like i used to. i could hear myself giggle.

and he said. “that’s so cute. you’re so cute, fucking cute.” and he meant it. he really did. it made all the difference that he did. when did i know that i loved him? i still can’t place my finger on the exact moment, but i’m sure' i’d already figured it out by then. drinks or no drinks. i love this boy.

so i folded up this year’s calendar, his name with a heart underneath in april, and i wondered how moving out, the emptying of your material self into paper boxes that won’t actually hold your weight - how did i go from this to two years ago? in this quiet room, where i pretended i was well and truly happy. when he’s never even stepped through the door, how is he here? in all the heart shavings i’m leaving behind… how did you get here?





some nights i tell myself, feeling lost is better than not feeling at all. but then i’ve got these strings hanging from my chest and they’re tied, tied to everything i’ve ever loved and now they stretch all the way across an ocean, three thousand miles away where i want to go. home home home i want to go home to the people who make me smile. this ubiquitous thought, looping endlessly, diaphanous though it may seem.

because do you remember that one night in a frost tinged garden, where the branches were clinquant for quiet lovers and yesterday’s newspaper lay shredded on the ground? the only warm hands were yours and they held my heart, you carried me to the room and sat singing out the window while i tried to sleep. it made me feel so safe, your constant inexorable presence and how you always understood.

in the more familial context though, i miss waking up in the morning to beetroot oatmilk and a vacuum cleaner, watching phineas & ferb (hello LMY!) on the couch and laughing with joy at how the only question on my mind would be a shrill “what’s for lunch omg i hope it’s veggie udon and quesadillas!”.

and that’s why i keep these keys in my pocket. so one day, i can say ‘i’m done’. dust off the onus of being here, get on a six hour plane ride, drink infinite cups of rootbeer while watching dodgy flicks, hop into a cab and.

open the door. home… i’m home.