Part One


There’s a big hill near your house. It’s called Muswell Hill. It’s steep and you’d always wanted to walk it but in the two and a half years you’d lived here you still hadn’t. Until you have a panic attack at work and now you find yourself walking down and up it daily. On the walk tonight you consider human nature as you do. If it’s easier to throw something in your hand in the bin next to you rather than leave it on the side and collect it later- why wouldn’t you do it? Are you not average for having these thoughts? You’re lazy, so efficiency is everything. You don’t see how this isn't known logic. It’s time to stop being embarrassed or feeling vain about being self aware. You are not average.

You look in the mirror when you get home, the biggest wave of all manner of thoughts has hit you previously and you wonder why and how you’re still here. Why didn’t you die when you drowned? Why didn’t you die when you electrocuted yourself in that hotel and shut down 3 storeys? How come that maniac almost rapist you dealt with never killed you? How about the car accident the doctor hailed a miracle? The one that when you woke up and started walking, when you finally started breathing painful winded half breaths and then cried because you realised you actually had died, you actually had got away without doing it but how you were back, with two people you loved sure, but you were back and you didn’t want to be back. You wanted to be in that nothing where you didn’t exist anymore, why? Your dad thought you were crying because of your wounds but really you cried because it wasn’t enough. You were blameless in death. Why didn’t you follow your instincts and dive down in the abyss of the Egyptian sea when you saw the darkness and how much oxygen you had left? Why didn’t you jump off the balcony head first when you stood there, a tube in a vein in one arm and bruises up your bicep, unable to breathe, feeling the sky close in on you, knowing this would be over?

From a young age you fought against feelings that you were special, that you could make anyone like you if you told them enough truths and didn’t pretend, that your book would be amazing, that you would one day be happy. You dreamt it at 3, crying and clawing on the ground missing things you were aware of and things you wouldn’t be aware of until 14. You wanted to do it at 5, 2 years of pure agony, when they told you they were leaving, you didn’t think things would get worse- things had to get better.

So you look in the mirror at 29.5 years old and, as usual, you do not recognise yourself. What even are you, you murmur so as not to seem mad to your reflection who is, without doubt, another person. You see the person reply, I am something you are not.

You listen to Pulp on the walk there; the lyrics talk to you and you only. The person says you look like them but they don’t want you to be like them. You’ve been fighting against turning into the people you look like most but it’s happened with both. Even with the person who you look like least who other people have hinted may not even be your blood at all. After all- she wasn’t pregnant in ‘86…

You find yourself getting pregnant the first time you have sex, even with protection and you think, of course. The course is to not last the course. You don’t tell a soul, the 3rd soul that needs to find out hears your sobs break out after the first spray of piss hits the stick. You know you are fertile because even with the coldness in your life you still have this overwhelming urge to give and to love and to fuck up your brain in order to serve. It won’t work; unless you run away. That’s the plan, the secret plan that will never happen because you’re scared to lose the roots you don’t have. It’s a lose-lose situation. The one who hears the cries who you didn’t tell, needs to and you don’t blame him even though the consequences of that are people you know, and don’t know (who all happen to go to the school you were denied twice by your parents to go to) all know. Two people contact you by MSN the night before the night before the day of the thing you’re not fully thinking about. You straight out lie. You protect them from yourself. You feel that anyway. You don’t want help. They don’t understand that their help won’t really help. This is my, this is my, this is my the man who didn’t believe Jesus when he said, “just put some mud on it fella and believe. It worked for the other guy,” but you feel as though it won’t work for you.

You killed what you loved most. It was. And you did it again.

You’re now walking up the hill singing This is Hardcore. The lyrics speak to you as the music waves from slinky jazz to those subtle beats you enjoy as they mirror your natural rhythm. You’re numb. But as you sing louder and louder you feel again. Oh come on, you think.

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