It’s late, our watches creeping towards midnight and we’re stumbling through a quiet, residential part of North London; I don’t remember how we arrived here but I’m six glasses of wine deep and I haven’t eaten since lunch, I regret that now. I think about how the world looks different after six glasses of Pinot Grigio and I asked for ice because my mum taught me that helps with the hangover and slows down getting wasted, but it hit my blood stream five glasses back, and the world looks tilted on an axis and everything I keep buried when I’m sober has come flooding to the surface, and I think I’m drowning.
I don’t know how to filter myself when I’m like this, I don’t know how to shove questions so far down my throat I think I’d rather choke than let you try and swallow what I have to say. And it’s becoming a habit now, isn’t it? I need alcohol in my veins to feel brave enough to ask you why it’s been almost a year and you still don’t want to call me your girlfriend and you think I’m some crazy, drunken mess who brings the storm directly to your door and yet somehow, I always manage to be collateral damage.
And if liquid courage worked like liquid devastation, I would walk right out your door and never come back, but there’s something so addictive about your chest beneath my cheek, even if you wish I were someone else. Someone more optimistic, someone who believed in herself, someone who wasn’t in love with words and her dreams, someone who would walk down the aisle in an ivory dress towards you and start a family of little green eyed children, maybe tomorrow. I wonder how you sleep beside me knowing I’m nothing more than a placeholder and I wonder what that says about me that I let you.
And it’s on nights like this, when I am thrown head first into the reality I stupidly built for myself, that I think about all of the broken pieces men like you have left me with. How many times I have let men like you chip away at me, convince me I am not enough, not worthy of something certain, only deserving of almost-like and almost-love and almost anything which would make me feel loved and safe, and wanted. I think about all of the times I gave men like you everything when you can only give me half-way in return.
Its 1am and I’m removing clothes and crawling into your bed, and I think there must be something really broken inside of me that my naked body against yours is the only thing which will soothe me tonight, even though right now, I hate you so much I think I could tear this entire place apart. Because in the dark, in the silence, you dodge questions like this is one giant game of chess and I keep losing. Because I know avoidance is actually admittance, and defensiveness is guilt, and no reassurance is a reassurance that I am building my own destruction. And I think at some point I have to stop chasing people who have no desire to be caught, who love how I fuck and how I look on their arm, but don’t love anything below the surface.
And I think how if I was stronger, stood with more conviction, believed the things I tell myself in the middle of the night when I am high on the adrenaline of knowing I deserve so much more than you will ever be able to provide, I would dress myself and excuse myself and never look back. Not this time, not like the last time or the time before that when your words were seductive, if not, convincing. But the sad truth is, I can’t help but choose a night of meaningless passion over my ability to look myself in the mirror and sometimes, sleeping beside someone who doesn’t want me, is better than sleeping alone.
But the seasons keep changing and your mind never does, but the nights are drawing in, but your willingness to be truly with me never is, but everything in the world is moving and adapting and changing and I am still here, waiting on you.
It’s 8am and I roll over to face the space where your body should be and I wonder what it would be like to wake beside someone who would do anything to spend a few more minutes wrapped up with me. I hear the television come alive, the lights from the lounge flicker on and the kettle is boiling. You bring me tea whilst I lie naked between your cold bed sheets and we pretend nothing ever happened last night but inside my mind my entire universe has shifted.
Just get back into bed with me, I think. Just hold me, kiss me, soothe me. Tell me you’re a stupid, reckless guy, tell me you’re an idiot.
Tell me of course you want me, of course you want everything I want.
Of course you do.
But you don’t. And I am sober. And you look different in the sunlight and my self-hatred is suffocating me.
Oh, how I would have done anything for you to be the person you promised you were