Friday, December 31, 2010


we meet in the gardens. we sit by the lake and look out over the water. it's really more like a duck pond.

he loves me.

i knew that, i just didn't want to admit it. i wanted to flirt, but i didn't want to be in love. does that mean it's all my fault?

i can't do this now. two months ago i was on the brink of killing myself. i still can't eat three meals a day without wanting to puke. i need to get better first.

i say i'm not ready. he says there's no rush. i say," if you can wait for me, fine. but if not, then that's okay too. i'm not the only girl there is."

he says, "i know. if i find anyone who can compare to you then i'll think about it. i don't think that would happen though."

we live in a small town. do we need to settle for each other?

i try not to cry. then i say, "i'm sorry i'm not who you thought i was."

he tells me it's okay, it's just made him like me even more.

he hugs me hard before i get into my car. "friends?" i say. "friends," he says.

whatever that means.

Monday, December 27, 2010

what happens next?

this morning mother tells me that she was woken up early because someone had sent her a text. for some reason i think it was him. while she's in the shower i go into her bedroom and look through her phone.

i'm right.

he wants to meet her tomorrow to "ask advice about some things". am i egocentric to think it has something to do with me? he told me that i always make him smile. what does he need? what does it mean?

the beginning? or the end?

i have a strange feeling that one chapter is finished, but i don't know where the next one begins.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


we go to midnight mass - it's my first time. we sing carols and stand up and sit down and listen to the choir. the cathedral is beautiful.

we look at the priest and a says, "the father usually has a beard". (he used to be a catholic.) i say, "like santa?" he says, "no, like a wizard. like gandalf." i laugh and he smiles at me - that twinkly smile that says "we have a secret". my sister pokes me, "not supposed to laugh in church."

afterwards we walk around the cathedral, just him and me. it's awkward, but nice. then he gives me a christmas present. just me. my sister says, "how sweet".

i agree.

at home i can't sleep. i'm so giddy and glittery that i want to run or dance or sing. at church in the morning he tells me that he couldn't sleep either - not until 4am. he makes me happy.

christmas is my favourite time of year. i'm happier now than i have been in a long long time. it's only going to get better.

i haven't even opened my presents yet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the future

the evening is dizzy, my legs cramp from my shoes and my dress makes it hard to breathe. i try to keep smiling. weddings are happy times. i am not a scrooge.

before the reception i sit and watch him playing pool. i'm dying inside. i'm jealous of the beautiful bride and her husband - the knight in white armor. i want to fast forward to the time when we can be together.

when i get home i think of sylvia plath.

"i took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. i am. i am. i am."

i get in bed and close my eyes. i listen to my fragile heart ticking over once, twice, three times.

i am not.

but i will be.

we will be.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

great expectations

star light, star bright
first star i see tonight,
i wish i may, i wish i might,
have the wish i wish tonight.

i hate the way they box me up, wrap me in tissue, tie a bow around the top. tying me in place. "this is your future" they say.

uncle says it's not long 'til i'm finished my degree now. he says then i'll get married and live happily ever after. mum says that i better start looking for the white horse prince now.

what if he never comes? the prince i mean. and what if those are not my dreams? what if i don't know who i am or what i want? i wish i knew.

i wish i was free.

i wish i was happy again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


the weekend drags on and on. i am an overstuffed porcelain doll in a pastel green dress. i look like i will break. i smile and hug people i don't know and kiss those i do. i laugh and eat liqueur chocolates until i can't eat any more.

inside i'm breaking.

in the plane on the way home i rest my head against the window. the sun drops, its golden beams gleaming against the water, making a pathway towards the horizon. tears drip down my icy face. it's useless to try and wipe them away.

two years ago he told me he used to slice himself with glass, letting out the feelings that hurt too much to say.

he's been dead since august. i didn't know.

at home i take one pill too many. serotonin creeps through the secret tunnels in my body. i go to sleep.

unlike him, i wake up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

wedding days

it's a hot day. the sun beats down and we stand in the shade, fanning ourselves with silver programs.

he wears a stripy shirt and brown pants. his shoes click as he walks towards me.

the white dress is beautiful. so is she. they exchange their vows with tears and smiles. it's been a long road.

he is standing behind me - i can feel his eyes on my dress, my hair, my neck.

the flowers are purple, bright against the dresses, a splash of colour, beauty.

he looks at me for longer than need be. does he know?

there are fairy lights and fern leaves in the hall. it looks like happiness.

he rolls up his sleeves and helps in the kitchen. he comes to our table and serves sparkling grape juice.

then there are speeches and laughter at things that happened long before i knew either of them.

he smiles at me.

then i am home and in my room, still in my blue dress, dancing around in the moonlight. happy.

i love you. i love you. i love you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

question mark

i get a virus and miss my exams. i can't get out of bed. eventually i go to the emergency medical centre. they tell me i have ketones and bilirubin in my urine.

"you haven't been eating," the doctor says. she frowns at me, "how much do you weigh?"

"50 kilos," i say. give or take a few.

no use being truthful. it only makes them worried.

amanda fusses over me, trying to feed me maple walnut ice cream. i have a little, but i don't want anymore.

i don't want to eat. this scares me.

i don't want to relapse.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


the samurai are back with their swords that slash me into thousands of pieces. i find it hard to move or talk or breathe. i curl on my bed, make myself as small as possible and wish for it to end.

“it’s just anxiety,” they say. “i feel like being sick too.”

i don’t know. not even your rainbow pills can help me now.

but i have to get up. i have an exam to sit in two hours time. i have to will the monsters not to crawl up my throat, spill out my unwilling mouth.

i have to stop my racing heart, tachycardic beats which get more random by the second.

i have to be strong.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


i sit on the bank, mesmerized by the embers floating over my head, sparks shooting high above. there is red and orange, yellow, blue and green. it's too dark to see any faces, but i can hear voices i know everywhere. it's guy fawkes. time to be young again.

i love fireworks. i love remembering what it was like to watch them as a child, snuggled up with my big coat on. i love the memories, the smiles. i am still wide eyed now, wonderstruck, almost innocent in my too big coat with my curly hair falling out of it's ponytail around my face.

i go and stand by the fire with my friends. i laugh until my face hurts and the smoke blows like mist into my eyes.

here i am - shining like fireworks over your sad empty town.

i am happy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

as you wish

i say i'm watching the princess bride. he says, "as you wish."

i say i have to miss the end because i am too tired. he says, "happily ever after is how it ends."

i am enchanted.

i fall asleep and dream of white horses and happy endings and me. and you.

please, please don't be in love with someone else.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


i am scared to let go. my mother says that she is proud of me for the steps that i am taking to overcome my issues. she says i'm brave.

i'm not though. i have been to an incredibly lonely, dark and frightening place. my identity is completely wrapped up in the darkness and i can't let it go because it's who i am.

without it i am nothing. i guess i would still be me, but a different version. i have been here before, in this place, on the edge of this cliff. i have recreated myself and come out a different person. i don't want to do it again. i'm afraid that this time there will be nothing left.

i want the light. i want to be warm, to be well, but i feel i have something to prove. i can't turn around until i've reached the end of the path.

i'm confused.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

so let the rain fall down

it rains so much that people worry that the river will overflow its banks. grandmother fusses that in all her life she's never seen rain like this. two trains crash down in the capital because of a land slip. houses are turned into islands, survivor - only in the middle of civilization.

jimmy smiles at me from the tv. "another mean watering machine is coming your way," he says.

i don't smile back.

i sit at my desk, rain splashing on the windows, twilight falling over me.

the rain falls inside my bedroom too, inside me. perhaps it's a good thing.

let the rain fall down/and wake my dreams/i'm coming clean

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


mother buys me a book on how to journal and two brand new journals. the cleanness of their pages scares me. she comes and sits on my bed.

"it's time to get better," she says.

i say, "i wish".

not sarcastically. i just say it. but even now as i write this, i know it was a lie. i don't wish to be better. not at all.

what i wish is that i could wish to be better.

Monday, September 27, 2010


i just did something wrong. really really wrong. i can't write it down because it's so terribly wicked. i wish i'd just gone to sleep. i wish i lived a hundred years ago when things were so much simpler and i wish i wasn't so awful.

i don't understand how god could ever forgive me.

no food for me tomorrow. or ever again. i'll fast until it kills me.

it's a good thing i resigned myself to being a spinster months ago.

i'm spoiled goods.

nobody would want me now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


mother comes to my work. she buys me hot chocolate and citrus slice. i cut the slice into microscopic pieces so only a few calories at a time seep into my blood. i sip the drink - tiny, tiny, sips. i feel it slip into my stomach, run like a river of chocolate through my veins.

later i go to my brother's school production. i cry three times because they are young and happy and i wish i was a child again.

but then again, even if i had the chance to do over my existence, would i change anything? everything?

i don't think so.

i wouldn't know where to start.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


there is a whole drawer full of them in the kitchen. i take one out, silver blade flashing in the light. i hold it against my wrist, feel its weight in my hand, trace the outlines of my veins with its handle. i look at the teeth, ready to bite into my skin.

it's dark outside so i can see my reflection in the window. i see an ashen faced girl about to commit an unforgivable crime.

i can't do that to them. i can't.

i go to the fridge instead and pull out an orange. i peel off every piece of pith and cut it into tiny pieces, orange blood spilling onto the counter top. i put the pieces in a container. they are tainted. the garbage disposal slices the skins up, cutting the air into shards.

i go to bed. i'm sorry i'm so weak.

september days

it is windy. so windy that i am almost blown over on my way out of the church. i put my head down, curl myself inwards and will my feet to stay on the ground.

i remember a day like this, 4, 5 years ago. we went to the lake with our coats on, held hands and spun in circles until we were giddy and out of breath.

that was before the wind blew us all to separate corners of the world, before the ghosts with their silent silvery voices crept inside of me.

i miss that time.

now my parents argue, my brother hides himself in a fantasy land, i cry and starve myself.

i hate this month.

wake me up when september ends.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


i go to church. i stand up and sit down. i kneel on the floor, face rested on the seat in front of me, knee caps pressing against the wooden floor. the preacher talks. i can't remember what about.

it hurts.

he isn't there, but i knew he wouldn't be. he told me he was going to be elsewhere.

i pretended not to care.

at home i have the strange feeling that i am about to float away, that this is not my life. my feet aren't on the ground. i eat/starve/eat/starve.

i kneel again and ask forgiveness for my sins.

Friday, September 10, 2010


i eat noodles - raw because cooking them would take too long, three biscuits, two mini chocolate bars, a big bowl of cereal, popcorn, another chocolate bar. i spin myself into a web of spun sugar raspberry cheesecake. i lose myself in a carbohydrate blur.

afterwards i don't even bother trying to puke up the stinking cesspool in my stomach. it never works. my body holds on to the food. my body needs it. i need it.

i don't need it. i don't need it. i don't need it.

i lie on the couch in a tangle of blankets, the heat pump blowing stale breath into my face. i'm hot. i think i'm getting sick.

i fall asleep listening to the news, simon dallow, wendy petrie. they remind me of my childhood. i dream restlessly and wake up with a start when the garage door opens and my lap is filled with wet cat and my ears are filled with the familiar Dad-talking-to-the-kids-when-he's-in-a-good-mood voice.

i go upstairs and lie on my bed. sleep hovers around my edges. things start to get blurry. i make a new promise:

i will do better. i will do better. i have to. else i think i'll die. and i'd rather be dead than living in the in-between, like now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


i am cassie floating in her white dress, ecstatic, excited for no apparent reason, in another world. i am failed tests, broken mirrors, burned photographs.

i am 50.0, 49.5, 49.0

losing, losing, losing

i wonder what will be left when i am gone.

i am confused.

Friday, August 27, 2010


you know, sometimes the anticipation of something is far better than what actually happens. the dream is better than the reality.

i have this friend. i don't know him in real life, but i feel like i do.

even though we're just friends, somehow i feel like life is worth living just because he's there. i can't kill myself because of the possibility of us. and every day i can wake up and keep going, just because i want to think a little, dream a little, wonder a little about what would happen if we actually met.

i know that will never happen, but i am only young. i can build castles in the air. i can find something that makes me want to stay alive. something. anything. it doesn't matter what or who.

thank you t. you make me hopeful.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


at the mall i see two girls sitting with their parents at a table. the elder girl is maybe 6 or 7. the younger maybe 4. the younger sister is effervescent, alive. she turns to me and smiles. the elder sits and stares at her fries. she pushes them around on her tray. tears drip down her face.

the younger sister eats her chicken nuggets. she smiles at me again. the father leans down to the elder girl. i can hear his voice in my ear, "hush, don't make a scene."

she is the me of years ago. that is not my family, but it is.

they were real. i saw them. they made me cry. they made me remember.

i want to go back in time and be the younger sister.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

they know

i walk down the stairs from class. i am very cold, icy even, though the heater's on. my lecturer passes me. he gives me the absent minded 'you're in my class, but i can't quite remember your name' smile. then he pauses and looks back. his smile wavers. i lock my eyes ahead.

he knows.

i hate the opening up of myself to others. and even more, i hate the way they talk - unwrapping me like a present, trying to find what's underneath.

give up. you won't see me, no matter how small the russian doll gets, no matter how many layers are peeled back.

i am locked away in the land of the hundred year winter and you can't find me here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


i often wonder if, in a few years time, i will be proud of the life i have lived.

will i open the box underneath my bed one day and be reminded of the suicide notes, still in their identical white envelopes, date printed neatly in the top right hand corner.

will i be proud of that in 10 years, 5 years, a years time? will i remember that it hurt?

or should i just burn them now? hope my memory is written in sand and not on stone. hope the river washes away the things i'd rather left unfelt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"there is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. you want one and i want one, but there isn't one. it comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect.
and yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. there is no other way."
marya hornbacher

i call in sick to work and then i sit in my mothers room, legs outstretched, bones pressing against the floor, sunlight on my back. i read wasted. i finish it in a rush, tumbling over the words, gasping for air when it is over. i read the paragraph above again and again, trying to slow the frantic clattering of my heart, the realisation that this will never be over.

sure, i will get better (if i try). but i will always be different. i have seen the world from outside the tidy box of sanity and although i can learn to eat and live and laugh, i cannot undo what i have seen.

but yet, like she says, i will always be me. when the broken pieces get put back together the picture will be different, but it's okay. i will still be me. you will still be you.

that is all that matters. that is all that we have.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

you are back

i watch the rest of p.s. i love you. i cry. my mother leaves for the city and doesn't hug me goodbye (i'm 20, this should not matter). i cry. my cat bleeds all over the bed and i ring my dad (i bawl my eyes out). i take him to the vet. i cry. philippa is nice, but she does not understand why i am upset. my cat is not dying.

still i cry.

at the end of three and a half days of not thinking or talking and showering once and smiling even less i know what i need.

i missed you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

it's almost over

i go through 5 trashy magazines in quick succession. i watch 2 movies in a row without stopping or breathing or thinking. colours and sounds go into my eyes and ears, but they stop before they sink in. at the end i couldn't tell you what the main character of the movie was or anything about the magazines except that i think the pages with food and writing are called recipes.

i sleep and sleep and when i wake up i watch 37 minutes of p.s. i love you. i cry the whole way through. i turn it off.

i sit in my room with an unmade bed and piles of clothes and books and dirty dishes and a cup filled with 4 day old hot chocolate that has turned the colour of puke.

i cry again.

i am a widow who has lost the husband she never had.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


we argue about something stupid. it's not even an argument really. just a disagreement. i am right.

afterwards i go to my room and cry. i think about killing myself.

is it worth it? life i mean. somehow i don't think so.

i go to school/work/church/fill in the blank. i cry at random moments. i get so tired that i want to lie down on the pavement and never wake up. i have no friends. i want no friends. i am not pretty, not skinny, not smart. i am nothing.

i wonder if anyone would notice if i was gone.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


every single day they tell me how tiny i am. every day. for the first time in my life i am not exaggerating. perhaps it's because half the hospital employees are overweight. perhaps it's because what they say is true.

today i stand in the changing room in farmers. mother tries on shirt after shirt. red and pink and yellow. i look at myself in the mirror. do department stores have skinny mirrors so unsuspecting people will think their butt is smaller than it actually is and therefore buy the jeans even though their butt is still the same size? note to self and others - skinny jeans do not make you skinny if you're fat.

for once the mirror doesn't lie to me. in my jeans and coat i am tiny, doll-like. i could break if you touched me. my clothes suck me in, hide the yards of fat which i know are underneath.

finally i see myself as other people do. i am a concrete shadow, angel wings lying on the road.

the fat melts off the bird bones underneath, but so does my personality, the things that make me me.

i wrap my coat tighter around me, feel the way my thighs do not touch, the way my scapulae press hard against the wall when i lean back.

i wish that i could fly.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


i start work at the hospital. every day i go there and sit and walk and look at people's bones from 3:30 to midnight.

the days blur, but at the time they seem different from each other.

day 1: i learn that it’s not a good idea to step on the totally gorgeous baby doctor’s toes (even if it did mean he smiled at me) and what most people learn at age 5 – that the world is bad and most people are not very nice.

day 2: i learn how to change a patient’s oxygen, run hospital beds into walls and that second year students can only boss first year students if they actually know more.

day 3: i learn that midnight comes much slower when you are sitting down, that hospitals are not always busy and that the young security guard in the front office is a flirt (but i don't mind).

day 4: i learn that some babies are born so tiny that you can almost see through their blue-grey skin and that they can break if you just look at them.

day 5: i learn not to wear my blue bracelet, to put on yellow infection gowns and gloves and masks, and that i must not cringe when i see a patient with serious head injuries on the table in the resuscitation room.

day 6: i learn that there is a ghost in the elevator shaft on the ground floor. for some reason this realisation does not scare me.

day 7: i learn just how fast you have to run for a cup when someone says, "i'm going to be sick."

at the end of the week i learn that i am glad to be alive.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'real girls eat'

it is as i have thought for some time now. the title of the book confirms my life is not a reality.

i knew it.

i stand on my tiptoes in borders. the book hits me in the face. the title beats me down, crushes me into the carpet. i can't cry. not here. not now. not ever.

i am standing on the sidelines, on the border of dangerland, insanity. so close, yet so far away.

they will not satisfy me with a diagnosis, with reassurances, rainbow pills to shroud the monsters in my head with fog. they will not placate me with worry, get well cards, sympathetic smiles, whispers behind my back.

now i know why.

it's because i am not real. and if i am not real then neither is my problem, symptoms, "so good to see you with an appetite."

they just don't see me. i am my cream coat, lolly pink smile, hair about to be cut off. i am the me that they have created in their minds. irrelevant, unreal.

i sit outside jamesandaugustredcurrantbackdoorvalleygirl. it blurs. they don't see me. not the guy with the purple scarf holding the plump girl's hand (a wicked hidden part of me asks why does he loves her when she's not a perfect 0?), not the laughing high school girls who think they're cool because their tartan skirts are two inches short of the regulation knee length, not the dad with curly haired twins in the push chair, the elderly couple, my mother walking towards me, "h - where have you been?"

i am invisible. i am not real.

this is the way they want it. this is the way i want it.

(but if am not a poacher of ivory then why does this realisation sting me in a place that i'd rather left unstung?)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


in the night i wake up. samurai are sticking my belly with their razors. i can’t talk, i can’t breathe, i can’t think. it takes an eternity for my hand to find the light. another eternity to turn it on.

i can’t move.

my pills call me from the bag on the floor. it takes all my willpower not to pass out when i get up. i find them – sweet sweet magic pills, but then i can’t get back to bed.

the fire traps me.


in three years time i lie down again. the pain has been going on for days/my whole life/too long.

i try to pray but all that comes out is ‘stop the pain’ and then my next thought (irrationally) is:

‘how could anybody ever have children? this pain is bad enough.’

i'm sure it’s hardly comparable, but your brain doesn’t exactly work right when you are so in pain that you can’t feel anything.

i am swept away on a tidal wave into the darkness.

in the morning the waves wash me back up on the shore.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

block your ears

in my room there is a teddy bear wearing a red shirt that says 'giordano' (whatever that means) and blue overalls. the overalls are unravelling and falling down and i keep pulling them back up again. i wouldn't want him to be done for indecent exposure.

on sunday i drive to university. i get lost. why does this keep happening to me? i drive this road every week. i have for almost 2 years now. this is the second week in a row where i have not known where i am.

on monday i wake up (thankfully?), i study, i go to my exam, i eat (because it is required of me) and then i cry because i ate and because i think i failed (the exam and life too). i study again.

on tuesday i wake up (once again i am unsure as to whether this is good or not), i study, i go to my exam, i eat (because she made dinner specially) and then i cry because i ate and because i know i failed (at everything). study calls.

on wednesday i wake up...

this is the song that never ends.

each day i hope for friday. it doesn't come. it never will. i need to go to it.

i think it's time to mend the bear's overalls.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


it seems i speak too soon.

in the night i dream of him. it is perfect. we are perfect. i am me and suddenly when he is there i remember who that is.

then on saturday afternoon i see him. we play a game where we have a sticker with a character's name on it stuck on our backs. we have to guess who we are.

oh the irony.

he talks to me. i don't remember what he says, but he touches my hair when i turn around. you know, they say that hair has no nerves, but they are wrong. they haven't known the jolt of sunshine that goes through you when his hands are on you. i want to be childish and say 'i will not wash my hair for 100 days, until this memory has faded from my mind'.

but i am not a child. how could i forget?

now it is sunday and i am in my room, all 110lbs of me being swallowed whole by physics textbooks, anatomy notes.

i am more determined than ever. i will be a doll, his doll.

i will make a me that both of us want. it can't be that hard. (right?)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

a day in the life of -

"you look like you need endorphins."

yes mother. feed them to me on a silver spoon along with chocolate ice cream, high-carb smoothies, peanut butter. prick me with a plastic sword and pour them into my hollow veins.

you don't have to tell me that i am jonah in this dark fish belly life. you don't have to remind me that my world is navy blue. and you don't have to point out that the one splash of golden has long since joined the sunset in alaska.

i know i need endorphins.

i need sleep more.

Friday, June 11, 2010


i wake up at 7:47AM. this is bad. i should be studying. instead i dream of:

boris teaching us the vasculature of the brain and spinal cord.
being in a falling lift and forgetting to lay down so that all my bones (instead of just my legs) are broken.
walking in the woods at my grandparents house (although really there are no woods, or even any trees).
my sister and childhood best friend and a basket of boston buns and eating and eating and eating.

i dream of lots of things.

i do not dream of you. (do i want to?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


what do you do when the sun isn't shining?

i sit in my shoebox, staring at a hungry screen. i find myself a home in the arms of other angels who know the maddeningly sweet song of sticks and stones and bones and bones and bones. i pretend that i am a baby, already finished university, that the ghosts that haunt me have not crept into the minds of those who i (back when it was on my kindergarten vocab list) love.

i pretend i am alive.


today i wake up and i am happy for the first time in weeks. not pink glitter and bubbles kind of happiness, just content. i am getting what i want today.

then mother comes in. she sits on my bed. she tells me that i cannot have what will make me happy now. it is not her fault.

she goes out. i want to cut (but i don't). i want to binge (but i don't).

i want to cry (so i do).

i am not happy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

one day

stick girl
baby doll
white powder perfect
fairy dust
on the sand.

coat hanger collarbones
vertebrae coins