This past week: realising I could live life this way and not die, like Qiu. Beginning with Annie Ernaux and bleeding, unreservedly, into that Saturday night with A. Two nodes in my life I am slingshotting towards.

Tonight, I am listening to this specific cover of Remember You and crying, suddenly and inexplicably. I feel yoked to my romantic self for the first time since I cleaved her clean all those years ago. I sing it quietly to myself, touching my hair and face repeatedly, saying sorry, holding her hand.

This moment feels like a homecoming. A return to a pure, crystal self I thought I had lost. I am recognising her bright body and reaching towards her plainly. I am a sober and forgiving witness to her pain, her grief, my loss, my survival. What it feels like: stepping out of the bounds of a world I had confined myself within in order to survive. Emerging, hand in hand, from the pink wreckage of this self into something green, unknown, liveable. Honouring all the things I have done to save the both of us so we can be led to this moment in time.

I cup my face and it still feels like the soft clay I first laid my hands on back then. I feel tenderness, pity, and pride, amongst so many other things, for the body that has brought me here. I run my hands down my arms and thighs, along the nodes on my own skin that seem so primed for this. I am sensitive to the world again. See: even the air feels like a small storm. I’ve forgotten I could feel this way. I’m remembering the raw yolk of my being. I hear Marceline ring in my head, but what I'm listening to is my own voice calling my own name.

Here I am now, wet and anew. Leaning into the night with the force of this culmination careening behind me, and all my metaphors made real beneath the dark, deepwater sky.

Marceline, is it just you and me in the wreckage of the world?
That must be so confusing for a little girl.
And I know you're going to need me here with you.
But I'm losing myself, and I'm afraid you're gonna lose me too.
This magic keeps me alive, but it's making me crazy,
And I need to save you, but who's going to save me?
Please forgive me for whatever I do,
When I don't remember you.

Marceline, I can feel myself slipping away.
I can't remember what it made me say.
But I remember how I saw you frown.
I swear it wasn't me, it was the crown.
This magic keeps me alive, but it's making me crazy.
And I need to save you, but who's going to save me?
Please forgive me for whatever I do,
When I don't remember you.
Please forgive me for whatever I do,
When I don't remember you.
Da da, da da da da da,
Da da, da da da da,
Da da da da da da

We stood side by side beneath a shelter. I wasn’t sure what we were queueing for. I’m so happy. I haven’t felt this way in a while. I felt the heat of her palm against the back of my neck, then that look we used to share—definitely the best date I’ve been on for a while. She stopped there, said nothing more, not even sorry. My rage rose quickly, twisting its sharp end into the back of my throat. I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t find the words. Erupting with a tear, which I could trace by a hot trail that pooled finally within the crease of my nose, I asked, Then why didn’t you try? You didn’t try, and now it’s too late. This isn’t possible anymore.

It hurt me to say that. But if I hadn’t hardened myself I was afraid I would let it all go. I remembered what it felt like for me to become liquid for her. For me to take the shape of her want.


She walked to the side without looking back. I moved forward towards a bright window as I watched her dig her toes into the pavement. It was a money changer we were queueing for after all. Only the illusion of a sheltered stop. What I had imagined to be relief simply turned out to be transactional once more. We needed something from each other. Then and now. She was lonely. I had questions and a body primed for desire. The money changer struggled to give me exact change. He kept giving me denominations that didn’t exist anywhere else. This isn’t right, I gestured repeatedly, you still owe me. I turned around and she was no longer there.


I feel J nudging me to wake as my alarm blares. She runs her thumb along the crown of my head as I settle into real life, hazy with the memory of indifference. I look up and out the window. It was raining in my dream. For a moment I imagine the smell of rain, and the taste of money and dirt in my mouth, but I push the windows open and let the crack of light press against my eyelids. It isn’t kind, but it’s sobering—which, I suppose, is a sort of kindness too.

I glance over at my phone; of course, it’s her birthday tomorrow.


The rest of the day I spend moving easily between work, time with J, Twitter, and playing fetch with Nomi. At the back of my head I wonder what this 27th will bring B. I wonder about the dream. I wonder about whether it would be strange to drop a message—and how late, how early?

As I write this I remember that I’d forgotten to send D a text on his birthday this year. 11th June. The final Saturday I spent in Korea. I can find it in me to forgive myself for that. In time I suppose I will forget to send B one, too. And how beautiful might that be, the final cleave that will set all our parallel lives free?

A dream on 6th July