Today’s theme: dinosaurs knitting.
Clack of bone on bone, scent of dragonbreath and sweetbread, ‘fetch me another tea, dear?’ and the claws, the claws, the claws. They still smoke. Knit one. Eyes slide around young blood. Pearl two. Piles of doilies, jumpers and Pom Poms. A patchwork of quilts and a million po-faced dolls sprawling over the ground like so many dead, so many prized hides as they feast on 50cent lamingtons and sigh. Booties to keep little chubby bubby bits warm and a scarf and a bobble hat for the kids and a jumper grinning square clown teeth to stuff the stockings. Thin fingers wrapping around yarn like a long lover’s trist – the perfect wrists to give your neck a twist. ‘It’s ten dollars for the beanies love’.
God had called it a day, and the world was ruled by terrible beasts with wide smiles of toothy splendour. The earth was complete, and time stood still, smoking a cigarette in the heart of a volcano. And all was at peace as violence shrieked through the hazy hot foliage and small scaly things scuttled under the feet of giants.
But Myrtle couldn’t cast on her knitting. There was a fetching scarf she had in mind, blood red and snug as a skull in its skin, but t-rex arms are doomed never to meet, and try though she might, she couldn’t get the wool on the needles, and damn God, damn the universe, damn the clocking off of time, this fucking scarf was getting made if she had to wait a thousand years for her arms to slink out of their sockets and reach for the sky. Myrtle was evolving and she didn’t give a fuck who she pissed off while doing it.
Today’s theme: women are hungry.
grind my insides up like you are diamonds
and I am sand and rocks turning to dust
crush my centre into little sparkle splinters
broken glass that sings and shimmers
grind my bones into glitter
You know what? I don’t want your fucking cronut.
I don’t want your quinoa and massaged kale salad.
I don’t want raw high vegan paleo bliss balls.
I don’t want a banana and a plate of chips.
I want to sink my teeth into your collarbone and feel it break in my jaw.
I want to suck the marrow out of your fingertips.
I want to feel your arm hairs sizzle in your forearm skin crackling.
I want to jam a fork between your ribs and lever out your arteries.
Calories don’t count when it’s true love, baby.
Today’s theme: eating alone.
I’m wearing a jumper with waves on it so I feel like I am made of waves and I’m walking up the hill because that is what you do here. Sandwich and a camera and a pocketful of trail mix and a – fuck, I forgot the water. Hit the top. Sit. Taste of spit turning white and gluggy. Chew. Swallow. Chew. Think. Admire the roll of the hills through slatted eyelashes. Sun lashing my back, trail mix in my curled fist. Mountain and me. Hill, if you please.
I wonder what I’d say at his funeral. Something like ‘He was the best one, you know’, while feeling the eyes roll in the audience. ‘He was the kindest’ – yeah, right – ‘the sweetest’ – sure he was – ‘we had the most beautiful’ – fuck off, everyone’s a saint when they’re dead. So perhaps then I’ll stiffen up, sniff a few times, clear my throat. I’ll say ‘There was this game he played when walking past restaurants. He’d look in and find the people eating alone. Usually older men. Usually, and let’s not let death make us saccharine here, usually overweight older men. Eating alone. And he’s stand outside the windows, just behind where the saffron light fell on the pavement, just far enough away to avoid steaming up the glass, and he’d imagine what his life was like, the patron. The patron sitting at his table with his napkin folded into his badly ironed shirt, nursing a glass of wine, could never justify a bottle, see, staring into his plate of calamari or spaghetti carbonara or whatever it was, and standing outside, this figure in the shadows, he’d stand transfixed imagining how lonely this guy at the restaurant was. How he’d had a wife, maybe, but she’d left him, and his kids never saw him, and he’d tried internet dating and failed, because the world was too cut-throat for him, and all he wanted was someone to smile at across the table, all he wanted was a soft sweet hand to brush his over the salt shaker, but he had nothing, this guy, this lonely, desperate, milky-white man sitting alone in the corner table of this cheap nasty restaurant, and standing outside, these thoughts burbling through his brain, he’d get so upset, so desperately empathetic for this imagined life that he’d cry. He’d honestly make himself cry imagining this man’s sad cruel life. And when I said ‘You know, some people just like eating alone. Some people are on business trips’, he’d reply ‘Of course, of course I know that. But I think of these stories, and they just, they just break me, you know?’ And that’s who he was. He could be an idiot, and unintentionally offensive, and just plain dumb, but he had all this kindness, this empathy in him and it just seeped out like that. At men in windows of restaurants. Nursing their forks and their slow beating hearts.’