Feb 6, 3.15pm. Parkville: my office. Receive Tinder message from Yellow Pants Guy. Y.P.G. masterful user of cheeky, suggestive emoji. Spend rest of day at work waiting for boss’s phone to ring/dreaming up cutest possible emoji combinations. Top four emojis right now: hibiscus, sparkles, peach, bicep. Am not fan of phallic eggplant. Peach reminiscent of booty and is therefore favourite.
Feb 14, 4.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Today day of romance, day to treat self in lieu of having special someone in own life for mutual treat exchange. Over course of day so far have treated self by following methods: application of clay-based face exfoliant; removal of hair from upper lip; online purchase of one pair novelty socks; illegal download of two romantic French movies in which women w bony wrists sigh from windowsills; surreptitious viewing of v shitty internet porn; consumption of four large glasses $11 champagne; lengthy post-champagne declaration to housemate that 2015 is year in which I will find love because I am glorious woman w freshly waxed lip; brief cry. Why feel as though must spend today pretending to be thrilled about unattached status? Am mostly thrilled about excuse to eat small, heart-shaped chocolates.
Feb 14, 9.30pm. Brunswick West: Genevieve’s place. Champagne, pizza and girl time obvious solution to V-Day woes.
Feb 15, 1.20am. Brunswick West: Genevieve’s place. Am preparing to go to bed w handsome, man named Viktor. Viktor drooling, is v enthusiastic to be close by my side. Viktor corgi. Licked to sleep by gorgeous, Chum-breath friend.
Feb 15, 3.30pm. Melbourne: Melbourne Central Cinema. Have just seen Fifty Shades of Grey w Genevieve and feel v unsettled by representation of emotionally abusive, manipulative relationship as epitome of romance. Would not be overjoyed if new boyfriend followed me to interstate hometown in his helicopter just to police my Cosmopolitan intake. Am particularly troubled by fact that Christian Grey originally fan-fiction version ofTwilight franchise’s broodiest asshole, Edward Cullen. Why is appearing in girl’s upstairs bedroom in middle of night uninvited considered cute behaviour? Is literally illegal behaviour of stalker. Does not matter if stalker is rich, successful owner of helicopter/half of Seattle. Does not matter how attractive stalker looks in v expensive jogging gear. Will drink as many Cosmopolitans as please. Will lock bedroom windows.
Feb 19, 8.30pm. Brunswick: my couch. Tinder banter w Y.P.G. becoming regular fixture of weeknight. Have agreed to meet irl. As is basically perfect stranger, anticipate possible need for escape plan. Usual escape plan: smile winningly, say “thanks, I’ve had a great time” and exit building casually, building to power-walk once hitting street.
Feb 22, 4.00am. Melbourne: some garden, somewhere. White Night night of such extreme decadence, feel like Marie Antoinette. Possibly feel like Marie Antoinette mostly because am v drunk and experiencing bodily sensation in which all movements feel graceful, choreographed, poised: am like ballerina. Have done shot w Sian in belly of Fed Square. Shot half Kahlua half Baileys. Followed this shot up with large glass vodka and orange juice. Sat on pew in St Paul’s Cathedral listening to organ and feeling orange juice curdle Baileys inside own body. Sensation paired w organ music transcendent experience, am listening to mysterious voices of own involuntary bodily systems. Digestive system work of art similar to actual works of art in gallery seen tonight.
Feb 22, 4.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Tired, happy. Cannot figure out if finally have life I want, or if finally want life I have. Too drunk for existential conundrum. Have placed bucket beside bed due to nausea (common physical reaction to existentialism).
Feb 23, 1.30pm. Parkville: Melbourne University. Today marks return to uni, commencement of thesis. Feel positive, energised, have been back at uni for four hours now and have already taken several pages notes. This year will be model student, can feel this in bones.
Feb 23, 3.30pm. Brunswick: my living room. Skipped afternoon session of class. Several pages notes enough for one day. Decided to instead spend afternoon getting haircut in order to embody complete picture of “fresh start”. Haircut necessary to commencement of thesis. Absolutely necessary.
Feb 23, 7.15pm. Melbourne: Emporium, Elizabeth Street. Am shorn of locks. Fresh bob both liberating and terrifying. Remembered as hairdresser made first decisive cut what happens to bob when washed and allowed to dry on own. (What happens is appearance of recent electrocution.) Small talk w hairdressers a weird thing I do maybe four times a year. Seems bizarre that must make small talk w complete stranger in whose hands control over physical transformation. Am grateful of wooden barrier between mirrored alcove in which am undergoing transformation, and rest of shopping centre. Feel vulnerable in black waterproof cape as though cocooned. Am thinking too much. Should buy cheeseburger on way home, will fix.
Feb 26, 7.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Tonight am meeting Y.P.G. for drink. Feel good about new haircut. With new haircut appear confident, empowered, chic. Have applied lipstick, given self pep talk, finalised escape plan.
Feb 27, 11.30am. Brunswick: my bedroom. Y.P.G. smart, good conversationalist, buyer of nice beer. Asking permission to kiss me in beer garden nice touch. Permission granted. Y.P.G. tentative kisser w good saliva control. After kiss Y.P.G.’s mouth smeared w lipstick, v cute when paired w wide grin of man who has just kissed babe (self). Later, at my house: Y.P.G. v thoughtful and considerate Tinder fuck. Did not need to be asked re: condoms. After each one used, Y.P.G. tied neatly and put in bin. Watched muscles in belly contract w movement of hips. Am always enthralled by coital body. Body’s involuntary movements seeking centre of pleasure. Collision of bodies, need to consume the other wholly, mouth on neck, teeth on nipple, hand on curve of butt. Large arms, good spoon, would do again. Will spend rest of day in post-orgasmic haze.
Feb 28, 2.35am. Melbourne: Bony. Where did vodka shot come from? Cassie pulling on hand in direction of dance floor. Drink vodka shot. Vomit on own shoes, right beside bar. Am not seen. Wipe mouth and continue to dance floor. Not sure if really happened. Limbs loosened by shot, dance moves off the charts. Feel as though am discovering secret at heart of life and secret is pullin drunk shapes w babe bestie.
Feb 28, 3.50am. Brunswick: my bed. Is raining. Walked w Cassie through rain down Bourke Street from Exhibition to Elizabeth. Soaked and crying for no discernible reason. Crossed street to McDonald’s to see if fries stop flow of tears: success, cheered immediately. Bed is made: weird reminder that perhaps anticipated sex earlier in evening, before leaving house. Now made bed is only barrier to being inside bed. Wrestle with neatly tucked sheets. Collapse.
Feb 28, 1.30pm. Brunswick: my bed. Forgot Sydney Road Street Party happening today. Woke fully-dressed, face-down in pillow, exact imprint of own face in makeup on pillowcase. Loud noises. Crowd outside bedroom window. Look up: stage outside bedroom window, Polynesian drumming troupe on stage. Head feels like drum. Hangover drummer.
Feb 28, 3.40pm. Brunswick: my couch. Finally ready to move into sitting position. Created pillow nest on couch. Message history bearer of bad news: attempted to set up booty call w Y.P.G., used such unfortunate phrases as “THE BODY WILL NOT REGRET”. Not ashamed: Saturday night texting gets free pass, yes? No? May appear desperate. Too hung over to care. Phone dying, will not charge. Instead am ordering pizza and downloading movie. Is end of summer. Am ready. Am ready to never vomit on own Nikes ever again.
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.