Sunday, October 2, 2011

little house

i love the way the cherry blossoms are outlined against the spring blue sky - that october colour, somewhere between azure and forever. it makes me feel like there couldn't possibly be any troubles in the world.

and i feel like getting married and living in a little stone house in the woods and cooking and sewing and wearing pretty dresses every day. there would be mayflowers in the garden and hummingbirds that would come and sip sugar water from the porch and ivy that would trail from the eaves. there would be an arch covered in honeysuckle and a wooden swing and so many flowers that you couldn't even see the ground. we would have picnics in the garden every night all summer and watch the sun rise and set and the stars twinkle like silver snippets in a blue velvet sky. and we would grow our own tomatoes and in the autumn i would pick them and stew and can so that when the snow came, the cat would lie on the hearth rug in front of the fire and we would be snug and happy in our little house.

and we would grow older and happier every year in our little stone house in the woods.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


i dream a lot. vivid dreams that i don’t want to wake up from. i dream of n most nights, though i don’t think of him often these days. mostly he just comes and talks to me. we cry a lot. i don’t know why, although today when i woke up sad i wondered if it was my subconscious reminding me of when he left. i was 17 and i cried every night for a long time. i’m still sad when i think about what might have been.

this morning i go back through all the old emails, the old misunderstandings and confessions. i remember how we used to say ‘god bless’, but really what we meant was ‘i love you.’ and i remember the way he looked at me the last day i saw him, with those big dark eyes and that solemn face that said what a thousand words never could.

things change. people grow up and move on. i don’t live in the past, but i don’t want to forget either. our first love is the one that touches us most deeply.

don't forget me n. i won’t forget you either.

shine on my friend. shine on.

Monday, June 27, 2011


on saturday i was the golden girl again - wide eyed and laughing, in love with the world and everyone in it. i felt like summer and flirty dresses and messy buns and eating ice cream on the sidewalk.

that night i cried myself to sleep.

by sunday night the world was magical again. my little room in my home away from home was beautiful in the dim lamplight.

tonight i sit on the floor in that same room. it isn't so beguiling anymore. it feels lonely.

sometimes i regret the fact that i am a person ruled by feelings, because when i am sad it seeps through me and becomes me. it is who i am. i am made up of long hair and sticking out ribs and rain and sunshine and clouds.

but then when i am happy i revel in it. i love the fact that every smile, every feeling feels like a shot of electricity running through my veins.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


for some strange reason alice cullen stands on the edge of my dreams. she shouts at me, "don't worry. the ending is happy - i saw it."

i wonder what she means. in my dream the future spreads out before me, a miriad of choices leading to a multitude of different lives. which one did she see? which one is happy?

i wake up before i can decide, hungry for something that i can't put a name to, wishing that this year was over and the future could begin already. wanting sunshine and happiness.

i fall asleep again and dream of darkness.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


the fog settles over, smothering and cold. it buries this little town by the river and me along with it. i light candles and flash sos signals to the outside world. people wave back cheerily. they don't realise. they don't know...

today i eat half a salad sandwich. that's all. i feel empty, apathetic. i call in sick to work and read all day. i try to lose myself in someone else's fictional reality. it's the only time i'm free from the thoughts that try and hunt me down, devour me.

before bed i stand in front of the mirror, the harsh light glaring at me. i don't like what i see. i want to watch myself disappear again. i want to curl up and sleep and never wake up.

i cry a lot. then i let the yukka die.

Monday, May 30, 2011


the tides change quickly here. so do other things.

last week i held you as if you were the lifeboat that had been thrown from my sinking ship. i thought you could make it all better.

this week i realise that i am actually the captain, navigating through choppy waters. i stand in the crows nest and look out at miles of grey sky reflected in an equally grey sea. the stars will show me where to go. the sea gods will stop me from sinking.

the sea wind blows my memories of you away. i rip the photos up into little pieces and let the wind take those too.

i fall out of love.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


when i turned 18 you gave me a plant. a yukka in a big blue ceramic pot. it lives outside the kitchen door even now.

this year it withers and dries up. i forget to take care of it. mother looks at it and says, "do you want to let it die?"

i say i don't care, but when she isn't looking i water it and fertilize it and plant my wishes among its roots.

i try to make it come back to life...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

tidal wave

sitting in church i can feel it coming. the darkness that is. it ebbs and flows. it crashes over me last saturday night - i watch 3 movies and stay up until 2 in the morning. i can't sleep because of crying too much. over the next few days i cry so much my whole body hurts. amanda worries over my red eyes and puffy face. i pass it off as allergies. she believes me.

then as suddenly as the darkness came, it leaves again. i feel like a baby, newborn, blinking in the bright sunlight of the new world.

now i can feel the tsunami building again. building. building. building. it will crash later today.

i wish i could stop it.

now sitting here in church i miss you. i want you so much i hurt all over. just one glimpse. maybe you could break the spell.

if only i was brave enough to ask you to try.

Monday, April 25, 2011

a year later

last easter sunday i hiked for 8 hours over 19km of mountains. afterwards i slept for three days. i never really woke up.

that was the end of life as i knew it. the sad feelings which had been building up over a lifetime crashed over me that week and i couldn't get up again.

is 21 too young to look back on my life with nothing but regret? will these ghosts haunt me forever? i see pictures of wintergirls - they're 30, 40, 50. hardly girls anymore. i thought i was better than that. i thought i was thawing.

but then i thought, 'what's the harm of just looking down the rabbit hole? i won't get hurt, right?'

wrong. i leaned over, trying to see the bottom, wondering how far down it was.

now i'm falling.

i don't want you to catch me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


i'm dizzy again. i loved today. nothing exciting happened, but i loved the way i felt. i wore my purple coat and new stockings and i sat in the church hall at lunchtime. a strange man in an eccentric green and yellow sweater sat down and lectured me. when his phone rang, he got up and i closed my eyes and wished to be somewhere else.

when i opened my eyes you were there.

i love the reality of you. it's when i don't see you for a while and i sit in my room and think about you, that's when i feel sad. i don't like the memory of you and i don't like the idea of seeing you, but when you're there i am happy.

i tell you i can't stand miso soup and that i hate the beach. i try and make you fall out of love with me.

we go round and round in circles. i love you. you love me not. you love me. i love you not.

i don't know how i want the story to end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the game

i use them like tissue paper. the same two. they lie crumpled on the floor where i've thrown them at the wastebasket, but missed.

the two are interchangeable. when one comes too close i push them away and reach for the other. then it repeats.

it's a game they don't get tired of. i don't either. not yet anyway.

i feel remotely sorry that this is what it is has come down to.

i was made for more.

so were you.

Monday, April 11, 2011


i feel like alice - standing on the edge of the rabbit hole, about to tumble down. down, down, down. yet again.

i wanted to be better for him and now that he's gone i have no reason to be anything other than what i am. he made me want to be better, but i let him slip like sand through my fingers, not realising what he meant until it was too late.

even now i don't know if i loved him, or if i just loved the idea of loving him. or perhaps more accurately: i loved the idea of him loving me.

but it's over. today i try and be strong. i go downstairs and spoon mouthful after mouthful of cereal into my unwilling body. i make a new pact.

tomorrow i will put on my grey-blue dress and be alice.

this is your last chance to save me. hurry. it's almost too late.

Friday, April 8, 2011

endless blue

even though i am surrounded by people, often times i feel alone. i have seen life from outside the neat borders of sanity and that makes things different. sometimes i miss the reckless abandon of living outside those lines, of having no discernible boundaries, of it not really mattering whether you live or die. it's a risky state to be in, but now that it eludes me, i crave the free falling feeling that it gives you.

i am at the hospital now, for work, sitting under the fluorescent lights and scribbling in my notebook. my uniform gapes at the front. it's still too big.

in my break i walk the hospital hallways, looking for you. i wish that i could see you, but i don't. i wish that i could miss you, but i don't.

i hold you like a kite string, slowly unravelling through my hands.

i don't want to let go.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

hot air balloon

balloon festival. my favourite time of year as a child. my parents used to wrap us up in coats and take us to the lake, fog rising off the ground as we watched the rainbow balloons inhale the warm air and lift up into the sky.

esperanza - hope - rising.

i think of that today as i watch the balloons fly higher and higher into the sky.

then this afternoon he breaks the "no contact" rule one too many times. only i am allowed to break that rule, although i don't. it wouldn't be a big deal, but it comes in the wake of my sister contemplating suicide yet again. it's all too much. i email him sharply, staccato bursts, not saying what i really mean.

my dreams rise with the balloons and burst like bubbles in the sunshine.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


another day, another wedding. as they say, the bride was beautiful. i was so happy for her that i cried.

at first he ignored me, so i thought, "two can play this game." but i was wrong. i can't play that game. i lose miserably every time.

at the reception we yell a conversation across the table before i go and sit with him. you know, i think we could talk for an eternity and still not run out of words to say.

at some point he makes a quip about the groom always needing to say sorry whether he's wrong or right and the lady next to him laughs. "i think you're ready to get married" she says. his eyes lock with mine and he says, slowly, "maybe not quite yet."

all the way home i'm replaying what he said, what i felt, how he looked at me with that secret smile that says, "we know something nobody else does."

this night is sparkling/don't you let it go/i'm wonderstruck/blushing all the way home.

i'm enchanted with you. you know it. wait for me.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


this morning when i wake up i stand on the scales. i don't usually do this because it's against the rules and i'm a good little girl, but for some reason i think i should today. 49.0 stares back at me. it doesn't mean anything. i smile and get off the scale and into the shower, singing.

one to hannah. nought to ed.

on my way home from school i go to my old binge place for the first time since recovery. i sit at my old table and eat my fear food. calmly. slowly. i even enjoy it.

two to hannah.

at home i see a picture of a wintergirl, deep in the ice and snow of dangerland. her scapulae look like wings, her vertebrae like a stack of coins within her hollow flesh. "that's not what beauty is," i say and turn off the computer.

three to me.

last week i ate an egg yolk. this week it was a burger. next week i'll be invincible.

the stone walls i've built around myself are tumbling. i promise i won't cry.

Monday, March 21, 2011

house of cards

sitting in class today i watch the rain drip down the window panes, slide like silent tears towards the ground three storeys down. my lecturer drones on about the rose theory. it sounds pretty, but it's not. it's physics in the guise of floristry.

i take myself away. in my world it is calm and the sunshine tickles my bare toes and makes me laugh. the sky is an endless blue, an upended bowl above me and there i am, lying on my back in the midst of the prairie grass. i'm invisible to everyone except those who are looking.

g snaps me out of my trance. "earth to h."

later, in my boarding house, i sit on my bed. i don't like this place. everywhere i look reminds me of last year - the year i was sick. at dinner i cut my food into tiny pieces - not because i'm afraid, but because it's habit in this place.

now i sit on my bed and wrap myself in the mink blanket. house of memories. house of cards. i wish you would come and knock it down.

i take myself back to my dream world and lose myself in my version of reality.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


today on my way up to school i stop at the cemetery. i take off my sandals and walk barefoot under the oak trees beside the hundred year old graves. everything around is dry and cold. grey slabs of concrete, crinkled brown leaves. it's perpetually winter in this place.

i take a bunch of pink tulips with me and lay them on the littlest graves. children.

right there, in that moment, i am silent. quiet. inside and out. i tread through the leaves and look up at the pink-blue sky above the trees. i feel connected to the world around me. my soul is at rest.

i keep driving west, following the path of the setting sun. the last orange rays stream down behind the clouds, make ladders in the sky from earth to heaven. i want to fly up into the sunbeams, ride on the wings of the wind.

i am alive.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

on and on

24 days. 576 hours. 34,560 minutes. over two million seconds.

eternity. without you.

i always liked the idea of living forever. at high school someone once asked me what my preferred method of dying would be. i said i didn't intend to die. i was going to live forever. florence laughed and said, "we'll all be dead in our graves, but there h will be - slowing grasping the next rung of eternity."

i realise now though that eternity without you would be unbearable. 24 days is bad enough.

every night i kiss your picture goodnight and go to sleep wondering if i come to your mind as often as you come to mine.

then after that two million-something seconds i hear from you.

you miss me. i miss you too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


i used to wonder why, when you were all that was on my mind, i didn't dream of you more. you never came into my dreams. not once. it was odd considering that every waking moment was taken up with you.

maybe because dreams are what is in your subconscious and you were very much in my conscious mind. all the time. so there was no need to dream of you.

now that we are over, and i do not think of you so often, you are all i dream about. every night you come to me and i am happy.

in waking i am only happy without you, in sleep i am only happy with you.

does my sleeping self know something that i have yet to realise?

Monday, February 21, 2011


my birthday night is sparkly and so am i. my friends come and there is smiles and laughter and kisses. i wear a white dress and i skip and dance and jump on the trampoline and act 10 years old again. i realise people love me.

he hugs me twice and i talk to him when he leaves. c lurks nearby, with her flamboyant orange dress and freshly inked arm, pretending to look for the cat in the the bushes.

he understands.

my cake is pink and white and green. i blow out the candles and make a wish. almost before i've opened my eyes it's come true.

at the end of it all i'm so giddy i can hardly sleep. i fall asleep smiling.

once again, all is well in my world. i am happy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


21 roses, 21 skies, 21 smiles, 21 reasons, 21 years.

21. 21. 21.

this is the beginning of the rest of my life.

i can't wait.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


i have two more days left of being 20.

all i wanted for my birthday was for him to kiss me. just once. just so that i knew for sure that he loved me, that i was worth being loved.

now he won't. now my world is falling apart again. now i can't sleep or eat or even think. they say it's a broken heart, but if that's true then why do i hurt everywhere?

i have a party to host, people to smile at, a face to be put on. but i know that i will stand there the whole evening, talking and laughing, but at the same time watching him from out of the corner of my eye and wishing i could rewind the past few weeks. wishing that he would think of me, just once and remember that he used to loved me.

wishing that he could be mine again.

unhappy birthday to me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


i say no to him. no. no. no. i push him away like i always do with everyone i care about. as he leaves i can feel a part of me going with him.

i lock the door in my heart that belongs to him. the glass starts to splinter and crack. shards break off and lie like tear drops on the ground.

i don't remember where i put the key. i don't remember why i wanted to be better, except for him. now he's gone.

that night i forget to eat again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

cat and mouse

i sit in my room spooning baby food into my mouth with a teaspoon, wondering whether or not to text him.

he annoyed me yesterday and i complained to kate. usually i don't do that. then today i didn't talk to him, even though i could see that he spent more time in church looking at me than at the preacher.

i flick him between my paws, turn him upside down and inside out. he wants to be free.

i decide to text him.

am i the cat or the mouse?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


you carefully remove the glass top of my heart. "can you fix it?" i say.

you don't answer, just reach inside and plant asiatic lilies so that whenever i see them i'll think of you. you start to sing.

you save a place in my heart in a white walled room. there are bay windows and the smell of the ocean and if the sky is clear you could see for a hundred miles. you say you'll come back.

and your name is written in silver paint on the walls, in the walls, through the walls.

careful. tiptoe. don't break it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


i go to camp because he's there. it's a little awkward at first, but then it's fine. i don't know how i went two weeks without seeing him.

on saturday afternoon we play a game. we have to walk to different areas of the park and do different activities. in one of them we have to walk up the stairs blindfolded, holding on to the person in front of us. i was scared of falling.

he was right behind me. "don't worry," he said. "if you fall, i'll catch you."

i am falling. head over heels.

catch me.