Monday, 7 May 2018

The things I can't ignore.

I came across Kelsey J Barnes’ TinyLetter some time ago – and miraculously, it seems to be one of the few that actually land in my inbox, despite subscribing to several since? Gmail, sort your sh*t out.  

Anyway, Kelsey wrote a little something entitled ‘10 Things Ex-Lovers Ruined For Me’ (‘because of their need to introduce me to songs, books and other things that now appear at random moments in my life without warning’). It of course moved me, and inspired me to write something similar. 

But I won’t be writing a list. Because when I settled down to actually pull together all the things I remember, and am now somewhat sensitive about doing/seeing/hearing...it didn’t all come to me in a neat little list. It flooded in like a storm at sea, throwing everything up around me and trying to suck me in.


These are the things I cannot ignore. The things I think of, and the things I miss. 


(Photo: Lex Brookman)

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There’s a certain Ed song I can only listen to right before and just after seeing you. I sold that red dress with the little flowers all over it – thank God, it was sitting in my wardrobe, shrieking at me. I can’t watch ‘Drive’ ever again, at least not without wondering exactly when we paused it that day – and wanting to put a hand down my pants. I heard a rumour that Bolton’s bar closed not too long ago, and was weirdly sad, after all those nights spent on its terrace that I barely remember. Some days all I want to hear is your voice – singing the songs that are about me, or just saying the words you’d pronounce differently to me. 

Hearing a pub karaoke can often bring back visions of your smug, sneering face, sipping your Fosters and lime and insisting you’d do a better job of each song.

For years I couldn’t – wouldn’t – watch (500) Days, but now I giggle when Chloe Grace Moretz says ‘Jesus’ abs’, like we did in the cinema.

It killed me when I saw you’d gone to the pub I’d been trying to take you to, for 2 years, with her. You always said it seemed ‘too hipster’ for you.

I still have your old bow tie, somewhere in my room. I keep trying to find it so I can post it back to you, its rightful owner, and apologise for keeping it after everything that happened. I wanted to bring it when we had coffee last year. It would have felt very ‘full circle’. But it doesn’t want to be found. I’ll keep searching.


(Photo: Lex Brookman)


Remember that time we came back to mine after a night of drunken dancing, and we were so amazed we’d left out bread, Scotch pancakes and crumpets, unwrapped beside my toaster on the kitchen top ready for Drunk Us to consume? I should have done a lot more things that night. I still don’t know why I didn’t.

Tattoos make me think of you. Woodsmoke smells just like you. The Northern line always leads to you. That band, that song, that singer, sounds remarkably like you. Going to my favourite restaurant alone now is strange; I really miss your sister’s cooking; you reminded me how much I loved Blink-182. 

I don’t agree with the expression ‘other half’. I am whole on my own. But I loved it when I was sixteen, and you called me your ‘better half’.

I smile at every dog I pass in the street, because of you. I never used to. 


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