The Fifty States


someone just called me a slut because they saw me having dinner with my friends. who just happen to be guys. all five of them. yes, i am a slut. did you catch my working gear - the black oversized blazer, the ballet flats and the huge neon paper bag filled with candy that i had to lug around? how about the sexy way i fell asleep at the table while waiting for them to shut up about their new DOTA team? also note the suggestive ‘oh sht i spilled pudding on myself’ move that i pulled during dessert. i wonder if you liked it when they gave me seductive pats on the head and poured ice cubes down my back. kinky.

asshles. they exist in every corner of your life, slithering out when you least expect it to pass some sick form of judgement on you. even if i had been doing anything wrong, why do you care? you don’t even know me that well. i shouldn’t have to answer to you. i shouldn’t even have to sit here and take this crap from you. go eat bullets.


it is a sad day when danny donkey starts to make sense.



The Shape of Love




the best words come when you are sad, the letter pointed out. so how do you manage? but if inspiration only lives in one place, then maybe i don’t want to write anymore. pain gives rise to understanding gives rise to eloquence. that is the way it has always been. the deeper the cut, the more words rush from my pen.

i gave up my religion for genius, she told me. my nights are filled with paint and the things i see in my head. that night i sat, lotus on a wooden floor, and waited for the divine voice that only speaks during desperation. nothing. nothing. the next morning she showed me a watercolour of a clear sky, marred with vicious streaks of red wax crayon. guess what it means? i put away the blank pieces of paper that i’d fallen asleep on.

i would give up a thousand things for happiness, like the barefoot run across hot tarred streets when the ice-cream man rings his bell. but that is happiness in itself, my brother said, teeth stained red with cherry popsicle. now that he is older, does he still feel the same way? he doesn’t even eat ice cream any more. it rots your teeth. he threw away the packet of sugar that came with his tea.

age brings with it its own rules to happiness. the little instances give way to extravagance, grand gestures that leave us unfulfilled. never good enough. when we still lived next to a golf course, my brother and i used to stand under the big trees on a windy day, waiting for the right moment. the leaves fell and we’d rush to grab them before they landed on the grass. each one has magic! i’d shouted. once they touch the ground, it’s gone forever. but if we catch one while it’s still falling, we can make a wish!

we caught thirty eight leaves and kept them in a box, making a list of the things we could wish for, biding our time until we were sure of what we wanted. a puppy! more new books. no school tomorrow. no school ever. then we were ten and thirteen and we changed our minds. a new house. a new television. that new pokemon game. a new gameboy. and eleven came. and fourteen. before we moved out, our mother found the box again. what is this? only bits of broken brown, the magic gone. we’d forgotten.

there are no trees near where we live now, at least not ones with enough leaves to shed when the wind blows. but maybe that’s a good thing. if there were any, would i still wait in the shade for falling wishes? i say i haven’t changed, but the D of eight years ago had skinned knees and tangled hair from rolling down gentle hills after school. today’s D went shopping without eyeliner and felt completely naked.

the things that made me happy once, the details instead of the bigger picture, i wonder if they are still there. for knowledge, the ability to melt into a crowd seamlessly, a cloyingly materialistic lifestyle – did i sell myself through and through? each handcrafted word that used to mean so much, i gave every one up for the promise of something bigger. the leaf that fell on my head while i was trying to find a bus stop last week – i cast it to the ground and kept walking.