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I’m late, but still wanted to say hi, I guess.

Hi, I guess.

I’m late by a day, for my writing prompt thingy. But I’m here to say that I’ll try to have last week’s piece up by mid-this-week. I realise that in a way, I cheat. Si and his students all get the prompt and write immediately. I get a week to hold it in the back of my head. I’m sure it makes a difference. But I’ve spent years writing rubbish-ly on this blog. I think I’m entitled to cheat now to try and write nicely sometimes.

Anyway, I’m late, but I’m not slacking off. I’ve just had a full weekend and now I’ll have a busy, busy week. Ugh.

Also, here’s some Random Advice I generated for you today. Just because.
Watch out for the dumb-bells.

Love always,
K.

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I know you hate it when it rains.

Look, Ma, I’m not a baby. I don’t need for you to come visit me. I’m not particularly enchanted when you do. The endless one-way conversation, the he-did-this and the she-said-that and the do-you-know-what-happened-with-Rai-Aunty-last-Tuesday? It’s not like I’m missing out on that. Or on your sudden silences, the inevitable tears, the flowers — I don’t even like bouquets, and I hate roses. So can you please just not, Ma? Can you bring me a plant instead, so that perhaps I could have flowers that stay fucking alive for a change?

Sorry, Ma. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m going to stop swearing now. But dead flowers make me sad, you know? It’s just… they start going all brown around the edges first and the leaves and stalks go all crumbly and then the whole bunch ends up so faded and brittle and depressing and my neighbour here has a dog that comes sometimes and he’s very jumpy and he just tramples all over them and then they are pretty much gone. Like they were never alive and nice to look at and a pretty red-yellow-pink-whatever. Like nobody ever picked them out carefully at the florist’s and arranged them to look just so, or clutched them to their chests or breathed them in and thought that they smelled lovely. It’s like they were never even there.

It’s like I was never even there.

I’m going brown around the edges, Ma. And I promise you, nobody’s gonna think that I smell lovely. It was weird in the early days, you know. I should have left, I know I should have left the minute it happened but I’m still me, Ma. I’m angry and I’m stubborn and I’m not going to give up what’s rightfully mine and being dead doesn’t change who I am. So I stuck around. Except I hate small spaces, you know that. I tried, though. I tried to be all dignified for, like, one hot minute after the lid was closed. I lay tall and proud and occupied every fucking inch of me. And then immediately threw up my metaphorical hands and rolled up into a small, dense ball and buried myself in my own shoulder for a bit. I might have stayed like that forever. But then the smell started…

Death stinks.

And so I got out of there, and it’s eerie and it’s weird and I don’t mean this in a creepy way, but I’m still here, Ma. I’m still here, and I like this place. It’s kinda peaceful in its own sad way, and I was waiting around at first because I was so angry, you know. I was all like – Fuck this shit, I’m going nowhere, that’ll show them. But the thing about being dead, turns out, is that there is no them, there is nothing to show, there is no changing this. Life is sometimes short and perfectly healthy 19-year-old girls sometimes drop dead mid-fag of aneurysms. I can’t change a thing.

I think I should leave.

Because honestly, it’s depressing as fuck around here. 9 out of 10 people who come here will cry. And I was okay with that while it was still summer because out of those 9 people, 1 would be you. And you can be annoying and all that, Ma, but well. Fuck. You know. I love you, and I miss you, and I like it when you talk to me because then I feel a little bit real again. Just for a while. But the days have gotten all bleak and grey now and it’s been pouring for so long.

It’s not like a bit of rain bothers me. But I know that it bothers you. I know you hate when it pours and that everything floods so easily. I remember wading out in gross knee-deep brown water to buy us bread and potatoes and stuff. Who does that now? It cannot be you. So who is it? Have you met someone? Have you, I dunno, found another sulky, ungrateful kid to take in or something? Do you think of me, still? I mean, I know you do. But it’s just been 3 weeks now, and you know, I’m still here, and I really do think I’m ready to go but I just really, really want to see you. Just one more time.

I hope you’re happy, Ma. It sucks what happened to us and I hope that you’re moving on and doing okay. I hope people are being kind but also normal because ugh I can’t stand that whole hushed-voice-useless-question-y thing they were doing to you back then. I hope you’re cooking nice things for yourself and going out for walks and watching TV and doing your daily crossword and stuff. And when the rain lets up for a while, I hope you come say bye.

I mean, of course you will. But still.

I know you hate it when it rains.

The last time I wrote anything purely fictitious was when I was 17, I think. For someone who reads a ton of fiction, I seem to completely lack the ability to write it. But last week’s prompt was “The weather doesn’t bother me anyway. Or does it?” I didn’t quite identify, so I thought I would try something different and write from the point of view of a difficult and dead teenage girl who is afraid of being forgotten and clearly, feeling insecure. I’m not too happy with this, but I expected worse, so it’ll do :)

Love always,
K.

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Where am I right now?

I am where I always am. I am where you expect me to be. Cross-legged on a cool tile floor in a room full of air and light in a home that someone has taken great pains to make. That someone was C, and me.

Zoom out and look in from the outside — from beyond the wide balconies and tall, clear windows. This is me in what is now my natural habitat, going through the motions of my day. There I am, working, making notes and drawing square after square after square on my expensive, glowing screen. If you look closely you’ll see that my eyes are sometimes zoned out. Glazed over. There’s my brave, hopeless yoga mat, bracing itself against a cleared-up bit of floor. That’s me being all bendy on top of it. Or trying to, at the very least — youth fades fast and my biomechanics were never too enviable to begin with. This is me trying to hold on to what I’ve been given for a little while longer, in the hope that perhaps I may glide into old age one day with some sort of grace rather than be veered into it, stiff and ungiving.

Peer in, and you’ll see me when I’m tucked farther away out of view. Look! That’s me reading, trying to learn to push myself to draw a bit better. Netflix-ing, online shopping, putting away stacks of freshly laundered clothes. (I love the smell of fabric conditioner, and it’s nice that this happens to be my main chore.) And that’s me again, on the phone with our moms, texting my two most text-y friends, coordinating all sorts of domestic things. Notice the endless stream of groceries being delivered to my doorstep, several times in a single day. Wait around for mealtime, and you’ll smell things cooking. Nice things, warm things, this-is-a-good-life things. Here we are at a well-worn coffee table, having our dinners and watching TV together, almost every night.

Now turn your back on this warm, glowing scene for a while, zoom all the way out and please look away. This is me, needing the space to disappear for a minute or a day or a week or two. Standing all awkward in the middle of a room or sitting up alone in bed, wondering what it feels like to not always be where I am, to not always be what you expect.

Note: Si is going to be sharing writing prompts with me, one every Sunday. I asked him to because lately, I often feel the need to write something, but I also have nothing specific to say. I mean like really write, not just blabber or rant. Last week’s prompt was ‘This is where I am right now.’ I am one week behind, but who knows, maybe I’ll catch up.

Please know that when I really write, or really make music, or really do art, the things that come out tend to be bleak. Do not be alarmed, I am almost always okay. This bleakness is just what comes out of involved and intentional expression, and is quite possibly little more than a stylistic choice at this point. Or a natural leaning, if you will.

Anyway, Happy Sunday, Zonk. Be kind to yourself today.

Love always,
K.

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Old friend.

Dear Zonk,

I’m sitting alone in my balcony, having a (probably ill-advised) beer, and avoiding this book that I quite regret buying. There are all sorts of lights here that I can’t figure out the sources of. And it’s almost 11, but the traffic’s still pretty loud.

It’s nice.

Sometimes I feel a strong urge to write.
But for all the fiction that I consume, I seem to lack the imagination to make anything up at all. And then I come here and just say stuff at you and it makes me wonder if I what I felt was really an urge to write, or simply the need to talk to an old friend.

Hello, old friend.

For some reason, I miss you tonight. In a nice way. Ping me when next you’re around and covid-safe and want a balcony to hang out in on a almost-weekend-night. I could do with some talking.

Love always,
K :)

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s l o o o o w

In the future, I have no loans or rent to pay. I have no high paying job and no career path to navigate. I work in a library or in a bookstore, at a desk with a computer on it, and a plant, and a jar of sharpened pencils. There is a sharpener there, the kind that sticks to your desk and has a handle that you must turn. Life is full of small nice things — early mornings, warm showers, iced water drunk out of glasses, being able to touch my toes, long walks with a Po who wants more walks. In the future, I run far, my heart beats slow, and every day takes time to wind down.

In the future, things are slow. But right now, I need to work.
For just another 20 years or so.

Alas.

Love always,
K.

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:)

Dear Zonk,

I’ve set up my old desk by the window in my mom’s house and proceeded to do barely any work at all. ‘Tis a bright, sunny day and I feel incredibly relaxed. I’m trying to understand what it is about this place that makes me feel that way, and I think it must be the return to a simpler time. I have no responsibilities here. No expectations. I wake up, work, read, watch TV, and sleep. In the evening, I can walk over to building no. 85 and holler for a friend and then walk about until it’s night. It’s not sustainable, perhaps, but for a break, it’s nice.

And now, lunch.

Ta!

Love always,
K :)

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Higgs Boson Blues?

Dear Zonk,

It’s been another weird as fuck rollercoaster kinda day. In which I started off ecstatic, moved directly into chill, and ended up, somehow, in despair. But now I’m listening to the most beautiful album ever and it’s kinda sad, but I’ve leaned into it. I might do another (sadder?) album after this. I might end with Radiohead. I might have another drink. In fact, I must.

I love my solo listening party. I wish I could still write a fucking song once in a while. I wish I still felt like, I dunno, someone’s kid. I also wish I was more adult.

I don’t really know what I’m saying.

Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the existential angst bite.

Love always,
K.

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Do not disturb, and other things.

Dear Zonk,

I’m here to while some time away. Work is… worky. And I feel antsy.
There is much that I can tell you but I’m not sure what I want to say. I feel like my head is at a mood-fork, and this day could go either way. Which is not very surprising. In the past few weeks I have felt: accomplished, content, ecstatic, depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated.

Things are a-stirring. And I hate when my insides are being stirred. I am a beaker full of murky water. Do not disturb needlessly because you never know what debris might emerge.

But if there’s anything that 2020 taught me (a rubbish way to start a sentence because really, I’ve learnt many things), it is that I ought, more often, to count my blessings. So, you know, I’m grateful for having a beaker to be in I guess? The means to sift through the silt and perhaps, one day, to decant? I feel like this metaphor has outlived its usefulness and so I will stop now.

In other news, my new house is fucking beautiful, and I won’t even hesitate to say so myself. I’ve started to paint again a little. We met two friends and had a small but amazeballs party on NYE and god it felt good. Having friends over. Another thing I’ll never take for granted again.

Anyway, I guess I really ought to go work now, Zonk, because really, I have no choice. There’s a fuckton of things to do and I must go do the doing. You do not do, you do not do, anymore black shoe. 10 points if you get the reference. 20 points if you don’t but choose to reply anyway. Make the reply delightfully random to earn an additional 47 points.

For now, goodbye.
Love always,
K.

PS. I’d forgotten how good this feels. Thank you, Zonk.

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This house.

Dear Zonk,

I’ve been steering clear of this post for a while. But tonight is one of my last nights in this house and I suppose it was only a matter of time before I came to you about it.

I’m lying in bed right now. The mirror is gone. There is a hole where the AC used to be that someone taped some newspaper up on for us. The shelf above my head has moved. My bedside table – gone. Tonight I’m sleeping with a stool next to my head, and a spike guard balanced upon a trashcan. Too much? Possibly. C chose a night of normalcy and slept in his mother’s house upstairs. But me, I’ve always been overly attached and resistant to change. I fall in love and then don’t fall out of it. I linger in the debris of dwindling things. I am a tree rooted to the spot except that I’m not. I’m a person, and people grow and people change and people move.

Move, goddamnit! It is just a move. It’s the smallest of moves, in fact. It is a move exactly 9 floors up and one flat across and everything that’s to come is going to be incredible.

I know it.

But here I still am, silently despairing at each thing that falls out of order and tumbles into the chaos that is quickly engulfing our house. This house that is, by far, the most favourite of all my homes ever.

How I’m going to miss this house.

How to move forward and also stay in place? Please tell me if you find out.

Love always,

K.

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:)

I’m sitting here in my rocking chair with a beer by my elbow. I’ve almost finished reading the book I bought last afternoon. The room is dark but the screen is bright, and C is playing Einaudi on his piano.

Everything’s just right.

Goodnight, Zonk.

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