Vodka and Divorce

It all started one day in January, our first major fight.

We were both screaming at each other, not really hearing what was being said. It was over something trivial, all the fights were after that day. Always pointless, but still we fought, constantly.

We were man and wife, grown adults, and we acted no better than kids in the playground. We fought, we made up, we did it all over again pretty much every day.

The same shitty cycle.

But this was a marriage, ‘Til’ death do us part’, and all that bullshit. No matter how many arguments you have, you keep going, you keep making it work.

What happens when it’s not working anymore?

What happens when all you’ve got is a crappily patched up marriage, with cracks beginning to show and there’s no love left?

I look up from my book and see my husband cooking. If you can even call it that. He was making his signature dish of beans on toast and he was burning it.

Typical.

I watch him as he moves about the kitchen slowly whilst humming some annoyingly repetitive tune. I can’t bring myself to say anything though, it’d only result in another argument. I can’t face another one of those.

Not today.

It’s cold in this kitchen, I pull my cardigan tightly over my shoulders, but I don’t think extra layers of clothing is going to protect me from the cold that is between us, heightened by the silence within the room. This room was once the heart of the home, full of warmth, happiness and the smell of freshly baked bread. Now loss and sadness thickens the air, settling around us like a heavy cloth that can’t be lifted.

I remember the romance, the happiness, the first summer we spent together. We’d met in the quaint little bar near the beach. It began the same way your usual cheesy romance story does.

It was a summer of passion, and laughing.

Lots of uncontrollable laughter.

I remember how he’d brought me flowers. Roses. He thought they were my favourite, I didn’t have the heart to tell him they weren’t.

When he brought me them with a huge grin on his face I couldn’t but make them my new favourite thing, second only to his smile. I loved that obnoxiously happy smile. It made me feel safe, comforted and loved.

I miss that smile.

“I’m going up to bed, you coming?”

He asks interrupting my pretend reading and my sentimental thoughts. He stands in front of me, waiting for an answer, even though he already knows what I’m going to say.

“I’m going to finish my book, I’ll be up later”

He nods almost hesitantly and smiles sadly as he turns to leave the room.

I’ll spend the night in the spare room. The same way I have done for the past three months.

Still we continue this charade as if clinging on to our marriage with some kind of desperate hope. I almost want to reach out to him sometimes, but I don’t, I can’t. It’s too late for us.

It was our anniversary, that’s when it happened.

That’s when our marriage died and the love was completely extinguished.

We had made reservations at the local family run Italian restaurant that we both adored, but he was late home from work. When he eventually rolled in an hour late, he was tired. He’d forgotten. Five years of marriage and he’d forgotten.

We argued for hours.

I was fed up of being second best. He was fed up of my nagging. We screamed back and forth calling each other every obscenity we knew. Bitch, dick, arsehole, slut, shit…

You get the picture.

I’m still surprised the neighbours never complained.

That’s the night I realised. There was no love left in this marriage. All that remained was exhaustion and resentment. It was just a certificate now, a legal bond that only existed through signatures on paper.

It still hurts my heart to remember this.

Six months later, as I reflect on what our marriage has turned into, I sit in my lawyer’s office, preparing to finally close another chapter of my life. All I have to do is sign the papers, it sounds so simple.

But as I sit in that dreary office I cry. I cry for the love that once was and has now been well and truly lost. I cry for the marriage that turned toxic.I cry for the marriage vows which are now null and void.

I eventually bring myself to sign the papers. The ink stains the paper with my signature, leaving a smudged scar. A permanent reminder of what had been.

God, I need a fucking drink.

I head to the closest bar and walk straight up to the counter.

“Vodka and Coke please, no actually make it a double”

I ask the bartender who is giving me a funny look with one eyebrow raised, almost judgemental. I am drinking at one in the afternoon. Before I know it, hours have passed, nine to be exact.

Now the bar is crowded, people are huddled around the bar talking loudly to hear each other over the music. A guy has taken the seat next to me, I’ve only just noticed him so he must of just arrived.

He’s not bad to look at either.

I smile at him, offering an unspoken invitation to join me. He wordlessly accepts and moves closer whilst also signalling to the barman for another round of drinks.

That could be a very bad idea.

It’s twelve am, we’ve been talking and laughing for the past few hours. Mostly laughing at his crappy attempts at pick up lines, and his cheesy jokes. Him being the gentleman that he is, he walks me home and leaves after only giving me a goodnight peck and his number.

I wake up the next morning alone.

Left with nothing but a sore head and the memories of last night. I reach for my phone and scroll through my contacts, searching for the guy’s number.

But it wasn’t there.

There was nothing but a missed call from my ex-husband. I quickly pop on some sweats and run to the bar to check for any more information on the mystery guy. When I approach the bar I realise why there had been no number in my phone.

It wasn’t the same bar I met my ex-husband in and there had been no new, charming guy.

There had just been lots of vodka, nostalgia and delusions.

From Behind The Phone

Tulips, daisies, roses and sunflowers.
Four blossoming cliches, that hold all the powers,
The promised seduction they entail,
Life is no longer a simple fairy-tale,

You led me on a journey of wonderment and mystery,
A guided tour, promising to divulge the juicy secrets of history,
Yours, mine, hers, in fact the whole human race,
You flew through life but I couldn’t keep pace.

Social media has destroyed romance,
It’s all a bit of an inconvenient dance,
You now stalk the ones you love and hate,
The thin line between the two is disappearing at an alarming rate.

Effort is a two way thing, relationship gurus preach,
But nowadays its non-existent unless you teach,
The kids of nowadays, no not how to seduce,
But rather just how to induce.

Teen pregnancy is at an all time high,
All because ignorance is on the rise,
Its all for a few likes,
Vanity strikes,

Filter this, filter that,
Honestly that dog filter makes you look a twat,
Happiness can’t be bought, liked or retweeted,
Capture the memories but don’t make it so they can be deleted.









The Seat on the Train

Days go by, I sit amongst others who are like me but not quite the same. Yes, we all have the same print, we are made of the same stuff, but experience is what really makes us.

I’ve witnessed the ‘sleepy working mum’ who rings her kids on her way home from work. She listens dutifully to their harmonious days whilst remembering her arduous one. She says “see you soon, I love you” and hangs up the phone. Then out comes her phone on which she pretends to read the news, whilst her eyes slowly drift to a close. Her first shift at work is done, now she must go home to another. I let her rest, god knows she needs it, all the way up to her stop at which she leaves groggy, but slightly better rested.

There’s also the ‘classic chav’ who wears a tracksuit and swears a lot. Keeping up his bravado is a must. He cusses out his ‘mate’ before rolling up another cigarette ready to light after leaving this train. But my favourite part of the ‘classic chav’ is when his bravado lays dormant. When he’s not telling someone he got out of prison last week or that he really needs a smoke. He sits there quietly, in amongst his own thoughts, who knows what’s going on in his head? Who knows what has happened to him, today, this week or even this year? When he’s not putting on a show he’s just as human as everyone else. He’s ordinary in his silence.

Next comes the ‘stress-head’ the one who’s all a fluster at the train running five minutes late. Her hair is windswept, yet her makeup is still intact. She taps her fingers on me in an increasing frenzy of nervous jitters. She stares out the window willing the train to go faster. Knowing all the same, it makes no difference. Her body doesn’t relax for the whole commute. She remains rigid and teetering on the edge. Where on earth could she be headed that’s so important? 

The friendly old man is, the seat next to me’s, favourite type of passenger. He occasionally naps and that in itself gives a peaceful rest to those who need it most. The best part though, is when he’s awake and lively. He chats to everyone and anyone, even himself sometimes. He tells stories of the ‘good old days’ captivating every ear within reach of his booming voice. He laughs, he chuckles, he spreads uncontainable joy. He’s happy in his old age, not a care in the world. Why should he care, he’s done his bit?

My personal favourite is the emotional passengers. Maybe favourite isn’t the right word as such. You see, nearly every day there’s some poor soul that sits on me, embarking on a journey, who’s full of tears. Whether the tears haven’t sprung yet or whether they’re cascading like a waterfall, it’s beautiful to watch. Not beautiful to watch someone cry as such, but to see such a person in a despairing state, release their emotions in an honest way and then wipe away their sadness and put on a brave face. Pulling themselves together as some call it. It’s a beautiful transformation that I get to be an audience to. A private show of some kind.

Not only do people embark on a physical journey they also embark on an emotional one, as soon as their day begins and sometimes as it’s ending.

I just sit there and hold them as best I can.


Unfixable

The dull ache in my heart,
Is something else,
It's like trying to get a screw into,
A piece of build-it-yourself furniture,
It won't quite screw right,
Why won't it go in?
Why won't it stay fixed?
A soulless sob story.

Life never comes together,
No matter how many parts you add,
What instructions you follow,
It's not a table or chair,
Its messy,
Complicated,
A bout of chaos,
Love but a hurricane in the midst.

Love (A Creative Essay)

That’s the thing about me. I’m existent in everything. There’s a common misconception about how I manifest in people. Many believe that I love, only manifest through happiness and light. That love can only be a positive thing. To love, is to care for someone deeply and to be loved is to be cared for deeply. So surely that means love can only be a positive thing to feel and receive? But love is very similar to life in its nature. It gets messy. Even when you are miserable, and down in the dumps. I’m still here. Whether you find me in the food you eat, the people you surround yourself with or within yourself. Maybe you find me only in the memories now, in the past. But the memories live on inside of you which means I, love is always with you.  

I will be there throughout your entire life. I cannot be destroyed or lost. I was there when you are first born, I am there in your first breaths and I am in your eyes as you see your parents for the first time. I was there when you lost your first teeth, the excitement you felt when you waited for the tooth fairy to come, your love for magic began then. Followed shortly by Christmas when you were inundated with me. Family members came together to share my joyous glow and the arrival of Santa Claus helped your love of magic flourish. I comforted you through your first heartbreak and the countless others after. I helped you through all the pain you faced but I also tormented you. I can be painful, I can be dark, and I can be miserable. I was ultimately the cause of your heartbreak, I wouldn’t let you lose any person peacefully, I tormented you with nostalgia and constant thoughts about those you wished to forget. Mind over matter they say. But love conquers all.

I wait for your wedding day. A day on which I’ll thrive. A day dedicated to celebrating me. Your heart will be fit to burst with all of me filling it with a glowing pride, as you begin the rest of your life celebrating me. You will be surrounded by people who have so much of me, that is meant just for you. They will share their love and happiness with you. I’m nervous yet delighted at the prospect of the birth of your first child. I’m nervous at the thought of how strong I will become; how powerful I will be. The influence I will have is immense. Your entire perspective on life will change. Your protective instincts will be heightened beyond belief, your worry levels will soar and all because I will be so much more powerful. I am delighted at this idea for the most part. This is because I know you will experience my powerful reign over your heart and mind like no other, it’s an indescribable sensation of pure elation when you meet your child for the first time. From that point on, I won’t only exist within you. I will be the director of your life, of your choices and decisions. Love really does conquer all. It’s not to say that other significant events after this point won’t occur but simply to express how this momentous day will change your life forever and how love will be the deciding factor of your nature from then on.

They say love is to care for someone or to be cared for. But I love myself, disagree. Love is messy yet pure. I can be the reason for your pain or the cause of your happiness. I am love. I am in everything. I am you.