I run my tongue up and down the edges of my favourite book, ‘The Optimum Nutrition Bible’. I reassess it, and link the spine again. Set it aside. Pick up a purple gift bag, and run my tongue over it too. Sit it on the train window sill. Reassess.
The lid on my jar of coconut syrup was on askew. It’s stuck on, though it managed to empty itself. I struggle to get it off and the syrup slips everywhere. My hands are covered in the sticky, sweet mess. I feel the attention of the lady across from me and resist the urge to look at her. If shes watching, no wonder; I’m the most interesting thing in the vicinity right now. And she doesn’t know the half of it. Imagine what I’d say to her. I’m on the way to a funeral, my cat’s in hospital, and the boy who asked for my heart won’t talk to me. Maybe that’d stop her judging, if there was any. Who knows, maybe she’s kindly, or amused at my clean up skills.
I run the rim of the jar along the edges of the margarine container, watching the syrup flow back whence forth it came. As it ought. The paper bag of macadamia nuts seems to have absorbed all the sweetness like a semi-permeable membrane; it went in but it isn’t coming back out. Reassess.
My life seemed to fall apart spectacularly after the last breakup as well. Well, so I thought. Seems that was just a practice go for this time round. Maybe I’m still in shock- I seem to becoming more okay inside myself, as the world around me disintegrates and defies expectation. I feel loved. I feel supported. I feel amused, and I feel fucking messy. Maybe grief is the way we raise our vibration. Maybe that is what it is for. To shake us out of our denial, move us through our emotions, and settle us clearly in the centre of ourselves, our lives, and the universe. Sans illusions.
I systematically scrape the jar along the insides of the bag it has poured into. Cleaning up external messes cleans up internal messes too. I suppose I needed an outer mess to match my inner one. Bag of corn chips and jar are still coated. This requires a tap. Abandon my belongings to the wolves, set off to the train toilet. Catch a glimpse of my reflection as I walk barefoot and leggings into the cubicle. As if this is my own private yoga studio. Pray there’s water. Spare a thought for anyone who needs to wash their hands later today, as I methodically wash my belongings. If my ex was here, this whole situation would make him so uncomfortable. Bag packed, period blood captured, on time, ticket purchased, but she’s covered in syrup and washing her things in the toilet. The public toilet. What was it the dream lady said? You think you’re not good enough. So you are compelled to make mistakes. Everywhere you go, disgrace will follow. Sigh.
Back to my seat, the old lady barely steals a glance. Just another muddled human making their way home. She has her own baggage, her own mistakes. Resume licking my book. Syrup drips from the inside- my work is only just beginning. Just when I think I am done, another layer unfolds. Grief is like an onion. A lot of layers, and it’s gonna make you cry.
It’s sunny, the train track bridges over glistening water. I’m sticky, but I have a change of clothes. I resume cleaning a piece of paper with my tongue. If you ever spill food on the page of a book, try licking it clean. or sucking. seriously. This sheet doesn’t need to be cleaned. I could just throw it out. But maybe I like the taste.
The book has started to stick together. Flicking through and pulling it apart page by page, I remember I’d attempted to leave the book at home. A little voice in my head said ‘you need to read it, you need to work, take it!’ and I did. The boy had said that I always expect the worst. And maybe I do, even of myself, but I’m happy to be proven wrong I think to myself, as I begin licking my sticky arm clean.
Start repacking my bag. What the fuck? My ass is wet. Lid not on your drink bottle, Angela? Why for? Why on earth for…. The cloth bag that held my food is irrevocably lined with coconut nectar. I fold it and file it away in the front pocket of my full backpack. Look around at all my belongings as the train announces ‘Next station, Central’ and begins to brake. Oh, for fucks sake. Jacket. Jumper. Mittens. Pants. Phone. Macadamia nuts. Fucking book. Gift bag of tea. Bag of corn chips. Gather it all up in my arms, and dump it on the platform. My tights are on inside out.
This is my life.