August 8, 5.00pm. Thornbury: my garage. Series of v cute texts from Dork Butt proclaiming stupid Emma feelings, delicious warm shadows, nameless happy sensations. Sparks coming out of own head. Body levitating. (｡・‧̫・｡).*＊♡
5.10pm. Will not see DB for like 2 weeks as must write and draw entire book before launch date. It cool. Am zen. Must write thesis anyway. Will: spend entire two weeks writing thesis. Will not: open Tinder.
6.00pm. Have matched w 2 grade a qts and 4 grade b qts so far. Fuck thesis: will go to housemate M’s gig tonight instead.
10.00pm. Collingwood: Bus Projects. Housemate M’s noise band impressive, immersive. Beer v cheap (gold coin donation). Cold. Fingers numb. Roll cigarettes while peeing w Clare. Is impossible to pee in same cubicle as girl and not become instant bffs. Clare and I emerge from toilet w cigarettes, identical expressions of newfound-bff-smugness.
August 9, 4.00pm. Thornbury: my living room. July Emma Jones’s Diary published. Housemates M and M like being referred to as angels. Am v nervous abt Dork Butt reading tho as entire second half of column reads as sappy, teenage ode. No regrets: feel this stays tru to objective of column/experiment. Hélène Cixous: “woman must write her self.” Sheila Heti: “One good thing about being a woman is we haven’t too many examples yet of what a genius looks like. It could be me.” Could it b me? Prob not, but there is empowerment in making public innermost experiences, desires, fears – no matter how banal. Fuck it. Will live on edge. U kno Bridget Jones was vapid, boring compared to me. Cannot deny Bridget Jones and her husband search and daily record of calorie intake was so 1998 and not in a good, bucket-hat/platform-shoes way.
4.30pm. Have sent link to column to DB. Forecast: apocalypse.
5.00pm. DB responds effusively. Has read diary in its entirety out loud to best friend. V cute, v relief. Am goddess, wunderkind. Can now bask in own talent, glory without fear of self-sabotage. ✧٩(•́⌄•́๑)و ✧
August 14, 11.30am. North Coburg: my therapist’s office. Commitment issues? Um I have committed to a 15,000 word thesis, thank u v much. I have committed to several houseplants and not one of them has died. I have committed to an aesthetic for this season and I call it scunge (scum/grunge) and it WORKS for me how dare u
August 15, 4.00pm. Melbourne: Sticky Institute. Thank u mother earth for Sian Campbell. Thank u stars and goddesses for aligning in such a way that this gem of a woman landed in my life. Thank u that she knows how to use a photocopier and understands without needing 2 b told which side of my face photographs best for the gram. Thank u that she will selflessly spend hours stapling while I guillotine and then swap when my hands get tired. With her help I have produced my first, kinda shitty minicomic. It is abt Tinder and has at least 2 badly-drawn, erect dicks inside it. If u want a copy go buy one at Sticky or ask me I will mail u one for $4.
17 August, 10.00am. Thornbury: my bedroom. Message from TDHAC who has read July edition of Emma Jones’s Diary and says it made him smile. What part of diary made u smile, TDHAC? The part where I wondered whether u produced excess saliva? The part where I called u out for being an unapologetic horndog? The part where u made me cry in a KFC?
1.00am. Thornbury: my living room. Texting marathon w DB has ended w me agreeing to uber to his house even tho I am a lil stoned and he is jacked on painkillers so we can lie down next to each other and see each other irl.
1.30am. Brunswick East: Dork Butt’s. After weeks of texting and not seeing + hours of smokin joints in my garage, am far too fuckin nervous for this shit. Is DB even real? This body. His real body? My voice? What am I even saying rn? Prob making ass out of self? Heightened sense of anticipation, nerves means total collapse of social ability. Am usually capable of cute, witty jokes, sparkling banter, sharp teasing. Is what attracted DB to me in first place, no? Oh fuck. Am turning into inanimate lumpish 1998-era Bridget Jones in cage of own vaguely weed-fuelled social anxiety.
2.00am. Oh, it ok. Was all in head. Is always all in head. Lying on bed cuddling and talkin dumb shit and talkin deep shit and talkin dolphins for some reason. Anxiety u piece of shit fuck off and leave me alone to have irl fun with this grade a qt thank u v much.
20 August, 3.00pm. Parkville: Melbourne Uni. Meeting w thesis supervisor interrupted by message from TDHAC suggesting date next week. Agree to go, immediately question this decision, immediately refute questioning. Am assertive. Will go on date, hold own, remain ice queen. Will write thesis, will ruffle institutional feathers. Will, while am listing resolutions, improve posture and stop forgetting to take meds.
6.00pm. Melbourne: The Wheeler Centre. Dork Butt in city, wants to kno if am in city. Am in city. Am not dressed for date, but yolo. Off to meet DB.
7.00pm. Brunswick East: The Alderman. It only takes one pint to get me drunk now so I drink 2 lol. Dork Butt askin hard-hitting date questions like “what was ur last ex like”. I am way too thesis-brained and plagued w trust issues to answer this question properly so I just try to look coy and cute but probably just end up looking vaguely constipated.
9.30pm. Brunswick East: B.East. Where did these fries come from? Lil touches under the table, hands on legs. Kisses in the bar queue. We are talkin abt being each other’s favourites. We are talkin abt cute dates we can go on real soon. We are talkin abt going to the country together. Is this normal for a third date? Is it a third date or would u count each day of the weekend we spent together as an individual date? Why do ppl go to the country? Is it so u can have sex in the wilderness?
10.30pm. Thornbury: my garage. I have class way too early in the morning 2 b this drunk. Maybe if I smoke heaps of cigs I’ll sober up.
22 August, 1.30pm. Thornbury: my bedroom. Thesis taking over life. Every word that comes out of mouth: “thesis”. Sweat coming out of pores: thesis. Breath coming out of lungs: thesis. Shit coming out of butt: thesis.
27 August, 7.30pm. Thornbury: my living room. Hannah comes over to watch The Bachelor. Brings wine, fries. Have date w TDHAC at a bar up the hill as soon as Bachelor finishes at 9pm, so Hannah helps me figure out what to wear in the ad breaks.
8.55pm. Oh shit, am so drunk. Where are my shoes.
9.10pm. Oh shit, how do you even book an uber right now. Hannah and I rolling cigarettes, listening to Alanis Morissette in advance of my date w TDHAC. Hannah not entirely sure why I am going on this date. She’s like, didn’t he fuck u up? And I’m like, yeah. But the sex was great.
9.15pm. My uber driver is kind of hot and I’m kind of drunk so I flirt w him shamelessly. He asks where I’m headed and I tell him a date w some guy I used to date but then dumped. The driver winks at me when he drops me off.
9.20pm. Northcote: Joe’s Shoe Store. Trip over front doorstep when entering. TDHAC, standing at bar waiting for me, sees and laughs. Ice queen facade: shattered. TDHAC knows how cheap a drunk I am. He buys me a pint.
28 August, 10.00am. Thornbury: my bedroom. TDHAC surprised me last night by apologising for being such a shit and taking full responsibility for his bad behaviour. I surprised nobody by taking TDHAC home, peeing in an alleyway halfway between the bar and my house on the way and getting own pee all over own $200 pants. Somehow TDHAC found this disgusting act rly charming. Sex, as expected, v v good. Orgasm count: 3 (for me).
29 August, 7.30pm. Thornbury: my bedroom. 1,000 words to go until I meet my Monday thesis deadline. Housemates M and M trying to convince me to go to Moon Palace party. Must. Finish. 1,000. Words. First.
8.30pm. 1,000 words finished. Bottle of wine from back of pantry opened. Am ready 2 party.
1.30am. Northcote: 24 Moons Bar. When we arrive Clare and I go straight to some weird corner near the back door so I can take off my bra and give it to her to wear as top. We are freeing the nipple tonight. Nips visible thru sheer top I feel liberated, badass, sexy. Tonight body made of mirrored glass, men’s unwanted glances bounce off me like am untouchable. Housemate M and Clare disappear onto crampy smoking balcony so housemate M and I dance for hours. Shed anxiety re DB’s recent silence, anxiety re thesis. Feel am transcending stresses of mundane, postgraduate singleton life but am prob just rly wasted.
30 August, 3.30pm. Thornbury: my living room. So. Fucking. Hungover. Need. Pizza.
6.00pm. Have just been dumped by Dork Butt via text message.
6.15pm. Feel rly dismissed, small. Last cue given by DB v gushing, crushing. Have just begun to trust this as space could open up in. Am far too hung over to deal w this shit.
6.30pm. Housemate M arrives home to find self staring moodily into slice of pizza, trying not to weep.
7.15pm. Getting dumped by text message is becoming monthly occurrence. Should make staple of column. Should make playlist for occasion. Playlist of one song on loop.
8.30pm. Fourth wine. Am bit drubk. I kno it was only our like fourth tnder date but whatever. To go from delicious warm shadow in someone’s heart to dismissable nothign w no warning painful. Is insensitive to dump someone via text in this way. W such callous delivery. Hate to end month on this note of vulnerability, weakness as know self. Know feel crushes deeply, consumingly. Mourn loss of them deeply, but quickly, and will heal quickly. Will b strong, whole, radiant by first of September, new spring growth.
Emma Marie Jones is a Melbourne-based poet and writer and the Sex Editor at SPOOK magazine. Her short fiction, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in SPOOK, Scum, The Lifted Brow, Stilts, The Suburban Review.