Safety In Numbers

Entry by: jaguar

4th August 2016
Dear Nigel,

I am sorry I forgot to switch the iron off. Or remove it from your shirt but a buttercup winked at the sun, grass’s blood is greener than my eyes and I didn’t lose my head in the park, as you say, I finally found an answer to myself.

You keep telling me to wake up and smell the coffee. Well I want you to get down and smell the grass. Look at the clover petals quivering in the wind, dancing in anticipation, small, complete and self-contained.

See last year’s leaves curl in on themselves at their loss of life. You’re so clever at dissecting people but can you distinguish all the yellow pixels in the centre of a daisy? Do you want to fire the arrows of its white petals at my recently untenanted heart?

I played pin the tail to the donkey with you, didn’t I? I believed all the things my unstable mother taught me. Find a man who’s good with money, hold him with your honey even as he dries you out completely. The day I brought you, an Accountant, home she cackled with glee: ‘There’s safety in numbers but this one’s so dry you’ll be a lit match in a tinderbox my dear.’

We ignored her. I pretended not to be contagious with madness and you turned a stoic blind eye on my non-conformity. We were happy, I thought. I was content and secure for the first time. I started to imagine I might reclaim an ordinary life, leaning against the stolid weight of you. But it was an empty promise, wasn’t it Nigel? You were no more solid than I am. You are emptied at your centre.

As almost empty as our little flat now because you were never there. How long will it take you to realise I’ve gone? It’s fun in the park at night, all people beyond rules, drinking cheap cider from plastic bottles despite us all being eco-warriors. They light fires after dark and I worry, sometimes, that the clover will get trampled.

I worry sometimes, more of the time, almost always. I remember how I used to feel about you. Like wearing new clothes that made me look amazing. Like being given a present I’d dreamt about but never asked for. That day when you asked me over and we went along by the river, nosing in boutiques, a bit too much wine, both of us playing hookey from life. There will never be a day like that one again, will there?

Now I’m out amongst the crazies again and there’s a logic here – we know some of us will get taken every night. We know that, yet we huddle close and we pretend the horde of us will see them off. Blokes in dark, sharpened off jackets cruise around us showing their shark fins. We lumber towards them – all booze and bonhomie – and they scatter to seek more isolated prey.

You’re what I really fear. I start in the night from dreams where you’ve come to find me. I tell myself you won’t bother now I’ve unraveled so far, now my companions are so rank. I tell myself there’s sanity in what I’ve done, there’s safety in numbers.

Then I write all these letters to you, excusing myself, explaining. I write all these letters I’ll never send. I want to undo what I know. I want you to be someone who would never go out looking for a solitary, sassy girl to erase. I want to be the kind of woman who can only bury herself to escape your attention