- Vol. 09
- Chapter 08
Remember the night we got so high we decided to walk with our backs bent behind, our head straining to reach the floor, our arms pointing downwards as if grounded by anchors?
Some dick at the party said “cut the crap, you’re nowhere as funny as you think”. You gave him your death stare, as best as you could with your gaze constrained to the ceiling, and shot “does the weight of the world sound funny to you?” in return.
Some other dick laughed for the wrong reasons. “Jeez, that's one hell of a core workout.”
At the tube station, inside the empty tunnel, we thought leaning our shoulders against the wall would help our bodies rest. And then, when the next train clattered into view, we couldn't move. Bound to the slick green wall tiles as if with glue, we couldn't manage the final push to break free. The effort was too much, the reward as yet unclear. We stayed put. We said “hilarious” a hundred times. We told each other secrets, and let out the things that spun inside our heads when we stopped paying attention.
“The weight of the world is my mother. It’s like she’s carrying it on her shoulders, day after day, and wants nothing more than to shift it on to me.”
“Every time I hear the ice cream van go past my street, I think the man inside must be selling drugs.”
“My inbox wants me to believe the actor Mark Rylance has financial advice that can change my life. I'm like, duh. If you want people to fall for your scam, maybe don't spell Rilance with an I.”
More trains, more screeching brakes, more light flooding out of sliding doors. More words escaping filters, more idle thoughts.
“It's kind of obvious. Shouldn't he drive by after 4pm when school is over? And his tune sounds a bit like that Beatles one that stands for LSD.”
“Maybe I should reply, though. I keep picturing an old man behind a desk, taking calls from people who want to know what Tom Hanks is like more than they want his investment tips. Isn’t that sad?”
“I'm sorry I can't introduce you to my mum. She'd love you, if we were just friends. Or if you were a guy.”
All of it was true. None of it was. We believed everything we said. The next morning, we woke up to sore necks, and the burning sensation of our insides being ripped out of our bellies. Or at least, I did, and imagined you would too. We never spoke of it again. We spoke of some things, for some time, until one of us or the other moved cities, friend groups, countries, phones.
Even then, I knew I’d be fine. It was you I worried about. I hoped I wouldn’t find your face next to an article warning readers of the dangers of internet fraud. I never met your mother.