reunion episode

a quarter-life crisis outstaying its welcome seeping like cask wine through a carpet i can’t write anything honest i’m always imagining someone reading and loving/hating me you are supposed to write first and edit last but you can’t live like that always surging forward guns blazing and then sweeping up the mess of the past no you no you have to carry it with you rolling in it like a slug in a dustpan encased in grime
it is my birthday in two days and i will be the same age as romy and michele when they went to their reunion i will no longer be the same age kurt cobain janice joplin uh jimi hendrix were when they joined that club i would not want to be part of any club that would have me as a member/remembered
every year people become to be the same age as me bachelor contestants with occupations like pr consultant like body painter like wanderlust chaser like they were made up by television producers who need something to use instead of “actor” to make the idea of a man dating twenty-four identical white women simultaneously seem more believable every year this happens and it’s not a big deal
the older i get the more i hear the cacophony of doors slamming on me and the older get the less people i have to pretend to care about it in front of and the older i get the more i think it’s so boring to write about ages and the ideas attached to them like ill-fitting collars i am ageing out of my identity and it feels hopeless but fine i am farting in my bedroom i am taking a mental health day listening to lana del rey singing in sad aphorisms like inverse motivational quotes
what would romy and michele the movie have been like if they hadn’t gone to the reunion at all if romy didn’t even have a michele and instead she just sat in her room in satin pyjamas internet shopping taken valium and eaten pizza ordered different newer pyjamas so she would still have to exist to accept them when they arrive

i don’t think anyone would have watched it and i’m

at the age where i tell younger people i remember what things were like before

like i remember how that apartment block used to be a market

i remember when that apartment block used to be a restaurant

or a school or an art gallery or when it belonged to someone other than a developer

i remember when these younger people took my word for it

and now they just look at me kind of funny i’m

at the age where i try to give less of a shit what people think though i’m

scared shitless of making mistakes but the biggest one i could make is the one i am right now which is doing nothing I want to make something just for me just for once but this is not something i can bring myself to deserve

a reunion episode is supposed to be like a before and after

old lives held up limply on new bodies like jeans in a jenny craig ad

but life is a timelapse that you press play on and the pause key breaks and you’re chasing it it’s chasing you

there are winners and losers and then there are people who sit in their pyjamas at home and pretend not to exist

these people are the extras who didn’t turn up to the shoot

these people are the scenes on the cutting room floor

these people are the characters who did not survive the writers’ room

i am twenty eight today now and i was twenty seven when i started writing and both of these facts remain relevant and alive for now

i bought myself a cupcake and i told the lady at the shop it’s my birthday because that’s something you do and

she asked me if i wanted her to write happy birthday on it because

that’s what she’s meant to ask i don’t think i’ll know till later if i was embarrassed in that moment

there’s no comfortable song lyric to swathe myself in nobody likes you when you’re twenty three when you’re twenty one you’re no fun but nobody likes you or writes about you when you’re twenty eight and no fun

all i want is a warm bed to lie in or a field

i am flat on my back watching the clouds moving imperceptibly time carrying meaning like an empty shopping bag drifting no need to be fulfilled the older I get the more i cannot live within my brain scoop me out like a pumpkin put me on your doorstep deride my hollow americanism under your breath my candle flickers with the breath of an insult i can no longer register.

 

Eloise Grills is a writer, photographer and comics artist from Melbourne. Places you can find her work include CHART Collective, Spook Magazine, Overland, The Suburban Review, The Age, The Lifted Brow and Killings. She tweets, grams and hides from her high school tutees under @grillzoid.

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