My mum keeps ringing me frantically after reading these, so I’m going to stipulate that sometimes they are part fiction with bits of truth. This is one of those times. Stop calling me ma, I’m fine.
‘Is this lift working?’ I ask the cafe guy.
‘Are you sure?’
‘You’ve been waiting 10 seconds’
‘It could be broken. How do you know it’s not broken?’
‘It’s definitely working’
‘I don’t know about that, the light isn’t coming on’
The lift arrives.
‘Yeah the light was broken’
‘Do you even lift, bro?’
‘I was talking to the lift’
Talking to inanimate objects, off to a flying start.
Inside the lift. It moves slowly and stops. The women behind me giggle and laugh,
‘Oh no we’re stuck! Haha! Oh dear, imagine if we were stuck and we just fell straight through the building to the floor!’
WHAT THE HELL? Are you fucking kidding me, who planted these women here, this must be a joke, I was being metaphorical about the lift but now I’m really worried about it.
I don’t like being stuck in tight spaces with humans.
The lift opens. A little girl bounds in, holding a balloon.
She’s in my way.
I have no time for balloons.
I have to fix my brain.
‘What? No reclining chair? What if I was just here for the reclining chair?
‘Tell me about yourself
‘Where to begin?’
She smiles and nods. Tough question.
‘I’m a girl’
She nods. That obvious hey?
‘OK I can get all of this from the form you filled out’
I word vomit all over her carpet floor; all the things I haven’t said in 8 years come spilling out. I throw all the broken pieces of me onto the floor and nod to them, as though she’ll know how to put them back together. There you go, you won’t find that on the form.
What is she writing? Is she writing that I came here 27 years too late?
Why didn’t she take me seriously when I told her my depression used to sit in my hand?
This is bullshit.
I didn’t mean to say ‘yes’ so emphatically to the question, ‘do I drink’
Lie about marijuana, she doesn’t need to know everything.
I take it back.
I take it all back.
My brain is fine.
Don’t ask me about that. Why did I tell her that? I hope she won’t ask me about that other thing.
I worry about each question.
‘Tell me about your family’
‘Have you got 5 million hours?’
I point to the broken parts of me on the floor.
‘Look at what I used to be’
‘Tell me about that recurring pain in your heart?’
‘Who told you about that?’
‘It’s all over your face’.
‘I can’t kill it’
‘You’re not supposed to kill it – you need your heart’
‘I didn’t even think of that! What if I killed the wrong part?’
‘How long does it last when it happens?’
‘Oh an hour before bed, but it usually fades into sleep, if I can sleep’
‘That’s another thing’
‘That’s another thing’
I don’t sleep.
And another thing.
I say that a lot.
There are so many things.
‘That’s all we have time for’
Take all my money. I’m not fixed yet.
What do you mean I have to come back regularly?
I bend down and collect myself, gathering and piling the pieces on top of one another in a heap; that time, this time, those times.
‘I don’t think you understand how broken I am’, I whisper.
‘Cheque, savings or credit?’