June 1, 10.30pm. Melbourne: Thousand Pound Bend. Am receiving v cute, flirty messages from T while at late night literary event. Am flirting back, but lacking enthusiasm. Would prefer to be flirting w TDHAC, but must play it cool.
June 5, 11.30am. Melbourne: The Wheeler Centre. Have just finished speaking on panel about writing while feminist for Emerging Writers’ Festival w v badass ladies Clementine Ford, Lou Heinrich and Jessica Yu. Do not think extreme nervousness was visible to audience, or at least hope was not. Discussed fact that internet, as public space, is space dominated by male voices. Wish to take up own corner of internet with loud, female voice. Am I doing so w diary? Transcribing events of own privileged life perhaps not radically political act, but is in some way political as am woman and am refusing to be silenced. Or something. I’m hungry. Will eat, then think.
June 6, 9.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. TDHAC coming over to watch MasterChef. Am currently horizontal on bed in tracksuit pants. What is dress code for home MasterChef sex visit? Quickly switch crotch-hole tracksuit pants for jeans and put on mascara before TDHAC knocks on door.
June 7, 8.30am. Brunswick: my bedroom. Last night essentially identical to all nights spent at home alone except featuring additional body. Additional body obviously TDHAC’s. Additional body functioned to order and pay for pizza, provide cuddles and perform snarky running commentary of MasterChef episode and then, after episode ended, sexual favours. Am glad decided to remove crotch-hole tracksuit pants. Crotch-hole tracksuit pants not fit for public consumption.
June 12, 4.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Have just published May edition of ‘Emma Jones’s Diary’, in which I make sweeping declaration of crush on TDHAC. Have sent link to TDHAC. TDHAC has seen link but not commented. What if declaring crush weird thing to do? What if crush not reciprocated? Holy fuck he’s typing. Holy fuck he says he liked it. Holy fuck.
10.30pm. Northcote: Northcote Social Club beer garden. Two pints in and shamefully drunk. Sitting in beer garden telling TDHAC that everything in the world is beautiful and it is, beautiful I mean, because he just told me he smiled all the way thru reading my diary column and he loved the pseudonym TDHAC and the look on his face when he said this beautiful too. His hand on my calf, wrapped around it. How is his hand big enough to hold my whole leg? He is talking about the sublime. Should listen but drunk and v happy just to look at TDHAC’s face.
10.45pm. Northcote: Northcote Social Club toilets. FUCK YOU, UTERUS. YOU WANNA HAVE A PERIOD NOW? NOW? REALLY? FUCK YOU.
10.55pm. Northcote: High Street IGA. Buying tampons when I should be buying condoms :’(
June 13, 9.30am. Northcote: TDHAC’s house. TDHAC works so early in morning. Waking alone in somebody else’s bed strange experience. Rest of last night spent in bed spooning and receiving gentle tummy rubs. Not sure if tummy rubs for cramps, or for impending doom of hangover am now experiencing. Either way, heaps cute.
10.00am. Brunswick East: somewhere on Lygon Street. Told Uber driver am hungover. She was like, me too. Drove to McDonald’s as though telepathic mutual agreement in place. Currently driving down Lygon Street with windows open, blasting Beyoncé’s “7/11” and armed w hash browns.
June 20, 10.30pm. Thornbury: some burger place on High Street. Am w dear friend Stella who is visiting from interstate. Have just come from gig where some guy was kind of rapping about not having a girlfriend over sound bites from the BBC. Now we are having real bites. The real bites are better than the sound bites, mostly because we don’t have to stifle our laughter in the name of ~art.
June 21, 1.45am. Brunswick: my bedroom. Smoking a joint w Stella a long overdue pleasure. Staying up late talking about old friends and old times and then somehow stumbling upon the entire back catalogue of Round The Twist on Netflix a far better option than staying rest of night at weird art rap gig.
4.00pm. Melbourne: Design Market, Fed Square. Everything at this design market is for people with more money than taste. Stella and I find corner near brazier from which to watch WASP-y young couples compare ceramics. It’s Sian and Murray’s annual Yule dinner tonight and TDHAC has agreed to attend as date. Stella listens patiently while I and my anxiety list all possible ways this could go wrong.
7.00pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. One possible way did not think of that tonight could go wrong: TDHAC could not turn up for dinner. Fancy radish and winter herb salad w boozy lemon dressing: made. Mulled wine: mulling. Uber: on way. TDHAC: radio silence. Have been stood up.
11.45pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Dinner was success. Salad was success. Mulled wine was success. Made excuses for TDHAC that I ~think were successes. Am furious, gutted. Was this somehow my fault? Was declaration of crush in online diary too much? Should I not have asked TDHAC to dinner in first place? Have ruined everything. Would eat litre of ice cream from carton if had not just eaten 2.5 large slices of Alex’s Nigella Lawson Christmas cake.
11.55pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Fuck it. Am eating litre of ice cream from carton anyway.
22 June, 9.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Due to conjunction of Jupiter and Venus today supposed to be most romantic day of decade for Libra (me). Ironically have spent most of day crying, eating chocolate, checking messages (none received). Am aware must address issue of last night w TDHAC but cannot bring self to do it as am aware will probably spell end. Keep saying to self: give him until tonight. Feel that am walking, talking sex and little else to all men I date. TDHAC’s present silence serving only to corroborate this feeling. Will be alone forever. Am probably being melodramatic. Plan to dilute melodrama for rest of night by ordering pizza, smoking joint and watching entire season of Round The Twist.
23 June, 3.30pm. North Cobury: my therapist’s office. Abandonment issues? Trust issues? Me? Are you sure? Yes. Actually. Makes a lot of sense. Am now no longer just Anxiety Girl. Am now that girl w abandonment issues and trust issues. But look inside yourself, reader. Are we not all that girl? Is being abandoned not the most terrifying thing? Is trusting not the hardest?
24 June, 7.30pm. Carlton: Heartattack and Vine. Am reading Carver and drinking red wine, waiting for TDHAC to show up. Is late. Am too distracted to really be reading Carver but keep holding book anyway so won’t look like am just sitting here staring into space when TDHAC eventually shows up. Received sincerely apologetic message from him today and decided, since I miss his stupid face, to meet for drink.
9.30pm. Third wine and am already tipsy. TDHAC has made heartfelt apology and given reasons won’t list here but deemed acceptable. Took my hand across the table and told me I’m his favourite person. Stomach all gooey. Due to untimely period on last date, has been weeks since last had sex. Give TDHAC a look that he interprets correctly and we get out of here.
25 June, 7.30am. Brunswick: my bedroom. Overall feeling of optimism re: TDHAC. Many promises made last night, many confessions and explanations. This part of story not mine, but TDHAC’s. Have decided, out of sensitivity, not to tell it here. Still, feel that TDHAC may be starting to open up to me a little bit. Hope am right.
30 June, 10.30pm. Brunswick: my bedroom. Am weary, downtrodden, dispirited. TDHAC has broken promises made in sweetness of reunion. (Worth noting here that timeline of TDHAC-related events compressed to fit entirely into month of June for aesthetic, anti-cliffhanger purposes. “Reunion” seems melodramatic given, in diary timeline, were only apart for 5 days. Was longer than this. Am not that clingy.) Broken promises do not feel nice. Decide, for better or worse, to end things w TDHAC. Am sad, but feel sure this is right decision to protect self from own future anxiety spirals.
11.30pm. Instant regret, of course. Agony. Now who will I watch MasterChef with? Who will give me gentle tummy rubs when I have menstrual cramps? Who’ll necessitate me getting out of crotch-hole tracksuit pants? Relationships complicated, love complicated. Do not know if what felt for TDHAC was approaching, would ever have approached love. Idk, have never really been in love. Will not take back what was said, because protecting self from own sadness most important act. Still – feel loss of whatever this was w TDHAC as tho heart is being stepped on by giant boot. Feelings are cruel. Lies are cruel. Mental illness is cruel. But all are circumstances cannot control, and so must find nearest litre of ice cream, and carry on.
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.