Saturday, 22 August 2009

I put on my red lippy, darling, and get back out there and smile.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Whenever I need to get over someone I go out and walk my dog on my own.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

I’ve chosen photos from our albums without you in them: my 21st birthday, my graduation, my first flat, my first house, the first Christmas without my grandma, me above the clouds at the top of Ben Nevis with my sister, my first kitten, my dogs, my last Christmas with my nana, my first trip to Italy, me dancing like an Egyptian at the Pyramids, my parents kissing in Vienna, laughing with my family in the park, my first dive, sitting on the bonnet on the Pacific Coast Highway, my first 10K. You both took great photos.

Friday, 8 May 2009

I wore sunglasses for a month. Then I started to feel like a bit of a tit.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

I moved twelve times in nine years to find a new home, each time finding a few things that were less important than the last time they were carefully wrapped and packed.

I discovered that I don’t need a chipped bowl, a cardigan with a coffee stain, a photo of the Duomo that was never properly framed, half a set of candle holders, insurance documents for rings I no longer own, a cracked makeup mirror from the National Gallery, half a set of placements, a lighter & cigarette case (I no longer smoke), half a tool kit, bed linen for beds we no longer own, cassette compilations a decade after ditching my last tape player, half of a story that made everyone laugh each time we told it, a wholesale supply of micropore tape (I no longer bite my nails), keys for properties we no longer own, half a conversation that ripped us in four, small change in lira, francs or pesetas.

Friday, 27 March 2009

I used your photograph as a dartboard.

Monday, 16 March 2009

I had sex with your friend in your living room, while you were in the other room
I had sex with your friend in my living room, while you were in the other room
I cried, a lot, and didn't dare think about you
I walked from Waterloo to Stepney and thought my way back into my life
I walked through a desert with only a moon for company
I cried, a lot, and thought about you all the time until it stopped
I can't remember

Friday, 13 March 2009

I deleted all the emails you sent me. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. CLICK.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

I sat down and wrote this:

Red Balloons

I filled them with my breath
Then stuck them to the wall with pins,
Five red balloons, plump as cushions
And in the shape of hearts.

The days pass, I wait for them
To shrivel up and waste away quietly
As is usual,
But they remain the same.

Shiny heads gorged with air
Hanging from strangled necks.

I do not take them down or even
Touch them for fear they will
Burst in my empty hands.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I went to your wedding and saw the way you looked at the man you were marrying.

Friday, 6 March 2009

I phoned my best friends and raved about you for hours. I told the story of you and me over and over until my throat felt as if I’d swallowed road grit and I couldn’t say another word.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I made a list of all the people I'd had a crush on before you. It was quite long.

Monday, 2 March 2009

An unhealthy combination of love poetry and furious masturbation.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

I stalked him on every Internet dating site each day for the first year, then once a month for the second year. After that, I occasionally went on an all night bender of him online, parsing the words in his updated profile, studying his aging face in his photos, and scoffing at the man he purported to be -- all the while feeling myself longing for him and hearing myself call his name in despair.

He telephoned me again after seven years. He called me monthly, then weekly, then daily. He had two successive relationships with Internet women over the next six months while we talked. Both women rejected him and he was drenched in misery. I commiserated and kept waiting for him to . . . you know, but he didn't.

Last summer, after a late-night telephone call from him in which he recapped the events of his day, I booted up my computer and fired off a one-sentence email, "I'm letting you go." I added a PS that read, "For all the reasons you may think I am doing this, I want you to know that every single one of them is correct." He telephoned, but I did not return the call.

Friday, 27 February 2009

A couple of months after we split up i realised i still had your toothbrush in my bathroom whilst i was having a cleaning spree. So i used it to clean those hard to reach areas around the base of my toilet. It still makes me smile when i think about it now.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

I did quite a few things when I split up with my ex - cried a lot, drank a lot, read a lot of self-help books and spent more time with my closest girlfriends. But I think probably the most interesting thing I did was a cutting cord ceremony. I went to my friend's houseboat, taking with me many treasured notes, cards, memories, photos, and even photocopied notes from his journal where he had chronicled the wonderful beginings of our relationship and us falling in love. I put all of this in a purple box, tied it up with a black velvet ribbon, said thank you to him, and visualised cutting any remaining cords between us. Then my friend and I burnt smudge sticks and floated the box (and him with it) down the Thames. Sounds crazy but it worked...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I have two (they're separate instances):

I went dancing with my friends and hooked up with someone 10 times hotter than you.

I met my soulmate.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Getting over you would be so much easier if we didn't live together.

I can hear your alarm go off at 5 am, your door opening, and your footsteps across the carpet that we bought together. You walk around the house naked (though in all fairness, I do as well), flirt incessantly, cook me eggs, do my laundry when I'm buried in books, and tell me all of your secrets.

You let me share baths with you and you slide your soapy legs around my waist. I put my arms around you when your anxiety spikes before your first shift of the week. You tell me to calm down when I freak out about an exam. When we buy groceries separately you text and ask if I'd like anything, or I call and ask if you're out of soy milk. Sometimes you come into my bed, and lay your body between my legs, and we just hold each other.

So all I can do is to fill my nose with blow, and forget how you smell.

Friday, 20 February 2009

I took swimming lessons. Now I can do the butterfly.
For the first three days, all I did was sit alone drinking cocktails, and watch the sea.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

I got married to someone else.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I cancelled mornings. It's when I miss you most.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I cleaned our apartment obsessively. I bought a mousetrap and caught the critter that had been sprinting around the kitchen for weeks. I took the clothes you left behind to a charity shop. I threw away your yellow toothbrush. I woke up mornings, went to the office as usual. I generally got on with my life and rediscovered lost friends. I found a different appartment to rent. But your ghost was nothing if not persistent. I often had a sense of you being there next to me, especially late at night. That shivering, feathery feeling still rises up in me sometimes, but less and less frequently. Slowly, surely, I’m getting over you.

Monday, 16 February 2009

I stared at strangers on the tube and tried to guess whether they were happy or unhappy in love. It was hard to tell. I still wonder whether you know I used to love you.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

The day after I moved into my new, single-person room, I got on a plane from London to New York with my sister. By the time we were a few hundred thousand feet over Ireland, we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. We didn't stop laughing all week. When I got back, my single-person room looked like home. I never wanted you back. I hadn't thought it would be so easy.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Long walks without a map.
Over the years, here are some of the things I have done to get over you.....

I cried so much I was sick. I cried so much I couldn't wear my contact lenses. They wouldn't fit in my eyes.
I drank red wine and pretended nothing was wrong. I drank more red wine and talked about how it could have been different. We drank red wine and talked about how it wasn't different. Not just once. For years and years. I don't know why I didn't stop that sooner. Perhaps I always thought you'd change your mind.
I sent you long long emails that I thought were sensible and calm but were filled with pain and anger. You never replied to those. I'm not surprised. What would you have said?
I slept with as many people as possible. I always thought of you. I slept with you as much as possible and pretended it meant nothing.
I dated wonderful men who I should have loved. I would never commit. There was no point. You'd always come back. Although you still didn't want me.
I hated going to bed for a while. Every night, I dreamed you kissed me, told me you loved me and said everything was going to be OK. Every morning it felt like I'd lost you again.
I phoned a therapist. I never showed up. What would they say?
I felt humiliated when people asked me if I'd met anyone nice recently. That it would be lovely if I had someone special in my life. What would I say? I have met someone. Someone to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who fills my soul with light and sunshine and stars and music. They just don't want me. But they won't leave me.
And then, I wanted it to be different. I deserved more. I moved south of the river. I left you. I hear you are hurting now. I don't care anymore. It's too late.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I sat in a launderette and wept until my socks were dry.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

I bought trousers. I wanted to make sure that, from now on, I was wearing them.
I wrote to you. I wrote pages and pages. Then I made paper flowers out of my beautiful, angry, weepie letters and stuck them in a vase. They were pretty but I set fire to them one by one. He loves me not.

Monday, 9 February 2009

I started to run, and have now completed a number of half marathons. It began well; novice runners have to concentrate on their speed, rhythm and lots of pain. Unfortunately there is a down side to becoming a proficient runner, your mind, with each stride, becomes a little more free to ponder and pine. Ipod to the rescue; as long as your can resist playlists featuring Colin Hay and Roy Orbinson, which I couldn't. So with the running cure waning in effectiveness after 4 months, I decided I would engage in an abstract form of confrontation. I went to Mexico, a country she had lived in for a year, prior to meeting me. I went to landmarks, to restaurants, to clubs I knew she'd visited. I imagined her sitting at bars, talking to guys, taking photos; and I ignored her, I met other travellers, ate with them, talked with them, and created a micro life amongst the memories of her. It seemed to work, its been two years now, and i've not called once.

Friday, 6 February 2009

I did the London Knowledge. It took three years and two months. You have to cram your head full of street names and routes. There wasn't room to remember the colour of her eyes or how it felt when she kissed me.
I killed a moth that was you. But it wouldn't die.

Let me explain: before we got back together, I'd been doing some nature magic with a friend. Then you wheedled your way back in and started to substitute your sleight of hand. Then, when we split up for good a month, maybe two, later, I was laid waste. Like you'd taken my soul with you.

A couple of nights later, I woke up at the feeling of something brushing my face and a heavy beat in the air. Well-warned by the tabloids that poisonous German moths were invading the UK, I bravely sprang up, turned the light on, cornered the beast -- really, it was, with a wingspan of about four inches -- on top of a chest of drawers and killed it. Slam, a heavy book smashed down on it.

Next day, I was getting ready to take part in a play planned to celebrate kissing the city goodbye. A friend hanging out in my room lifted up the book, and the moth flew out -- and up under my (skin-tight, angel-covered) lycra dress. Feeling very Victorian, I had a fit of the vapours, tore off my dress, but still the moth wouldn't leave. It kept flying into me like an attack. Even after we shut it out the window, it flew back, audibly butting its anthers on the glass.

No wonder it took me a whole summer to get over you.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I lived in my dressing gown for a week. The old lady next door took pity on me and brought me groceries.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Thinking back, I wonder whether that's why I got my nipple pierced. The pain was a distraction from the dull ache in my heart. It was also oddly enjoyable. I remember lying in the bathtub for hours and watching my skin slowly turn from purple and yellow back to pink and cream. Now this little bit of steel is part of me. I forget it's there until someone touches it.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Me, I did Aretha Franklin. Loud as I possibly could. And I know you know which song I'm talking about.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

I couldn't sleep after you'd gone. One night. Two nights. At 5.00am on the third morning as insomnia daubed its black pitch across my soul, I decided to take our mattress and duvet to the skip.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

often when i have broken up, the pain and restlessness brings on a lengthy bout of drawing and painting with an intensity that would be nice to experience when the heart is whole.
once when things were quite dire and i was at a loss to understand my role and the suddenness of the split, i did cartoons/comic strips of all my dismal thoughts: standing naked in front of the mirror questioning my low self-esteem or my skinny body; suicide in the bath; and countless cruel depictions of all his shortcomings and those of men in general. drawing blood and wounds was healing in itself. i still have the drawings; they are humorous and poignant. it is possible to lay them out and see my gradual return to the world and enjoy the details of the house that many of them were drawn in.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Far too much buttered toast, followed by far too many stomach crunches.

Monday, 26 January 2009

1) I listened to the holiday mix CD you made on repeat for months. Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" still makes me a bit emotional.
2) I got so drunk on coffee martinis that I turned up disoriented at my sister's at 4am. When I woke I'd being crying and being sick so much that I felt strangely calm and purged - except that my coat was covered in vomit!
3) I'd wake up in the middle of the night and smoke numerous cigarettes out of the window wondering why you'd stopped us.
4) I went out and fucked the first person I could, and in the morning I didn't want to leave her, not because she was anything special, in fact I didn't even recall her name, but because I was missing affection so much.
5) I was desperate to get you back in my life I invited you to move into my bedroom when you wanted to live in London, even though we weren't together. We lived in my hutch-like room for months until inevitably another room came up and you left - I was trying to control you.
6) I read your blog every day and told you I was cyber-stalking you. Only when you rejected my suggestion for Facebook friendship and my pals sat me down and told me my behaviour had got out of hand did I rein it in. I haven't read your blog since that day and consider this a major achievement of 2008.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

It is six months since I've seen you and I've finally stopped clocking the minutes like taxi fares.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

I ate every bite of a candlelit dinner intended for you by myself.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I cried.
I slept with every single person you knew who would let me.
I told everyone I was going to Berlin for the weekend and went to Sarajevo for a month. And turned my phone off.
I bought a dog. And named her Penny.
I played sad songs and happy songs. I played all the songs i had as loud as i could.
I made up lies about you and repeated them to myself over and over again. I revealed your secrets to anyone who would listen and repeated them over and over again.

I moved city. Got a new job. Met new people. And told no one about you. I created a new history for myself, forgetting those stories that were from our past- which was all my past. I shortened my name, lengthened my hair and changed my fag brand. I forgot that I had been to cities in which we spent time. Went to all those places with someone new and feigned a sense of discovery.

The new you. She had the same name. I didn't even notice for quite some time. It had to be pointed out to me. You didn't exist in the front of my mind any more. After a while I realised that in my head, my memories, my stories that I didn't tell anymore- in those things, locked away, I had replaced your face with hers. We didn't share a past any more. Those jokes belonged to someone else, those times had been confiscated from you and given to her. But whenever I said her name it was really yours that I was saying. The familiarity of that name older than possible with her. It is your name.
And nothing i have done makes any difference to that.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

On different occasions, different yous.

1. I avoided country music for six months.

2. I stood in every room in my house in turn, looking at everything in the room, waiting for the new memories to replace the memories in which I was experiencing the room with her. It took three days to do.

3. I repainted the back room that she had insisted we paint lilac and I listened to The Fall as I did it, which she had banned from the house.

Monday, 19 January 2009

I reclaimed the centre of the bed, read William Boyd, recycled all the vintage wine bottles I'd saved from our nights together, wrote you a really evil email, invited a sex-addicted ex to lunch, went to a hypnotist, cried very hard once and promised never to cry again. Then I did a lot of yoga and pilates and wheatgrass and started fancying other people.

Friday, 16 January 2009

I didn't leave my flat and drank 584 cups of tea.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

What an interesting proposition. I should like to tell you not of something I've done alone, but something I did with my father after my mother died last year. A physicist by training and a retired engineer by profession, he decided that it was about time he built a petrol combustion engine from scratch. My mum died last October, and never one to dwell on sad things, my old man went out and almost immediately bought himself a 1960s 1000cc Ford Cosworth engine from Autotrader as an early Christmas present. It arrived in the guts of an old formula junior car, which we scrapped, having taken this (working) engine out. Over the next few months, each weekend we'd carefully pull the thing apart, clean all the pieces, and lay them out. We then put it back together, piece by piece, a process which took about another two months. In May, we tried to start the thing and it didn't work, so we started from scratch again, taking it apart, cleaning all the pieces, and (in July) putting it back together a second time (by this time, I'm afraid I'd lost interest in the project, but he valiantly continued). Again, second time around, the engine wouldn't start. In August, he took it apart for a third time, before putting it back together again, and at the beginning of October, he tried to get it going for a final time. No luck. So, a year on from mum's passing away, he went out, hired a JCB from the local Fork Rent, dug a massive hole in our back garden, and buried the engine.

I figure that's a pretty effective way of getting over someone.