Adult – Adelaide Faith
June 13, 2023
Take the good with the evil
I was in the chatterbox club because I didn’t speak.
I had a hate book to write down what was wrong with other people.
Things that were inside kept coming outside.
I said yes only once.
It only took one puff to see it.
I poked my head out the window on the sixth floor and I saw it.
I saw the evil had made the lamp posts and the light. And it had made the pavement to cover up what was under the pavement — evil so pure it wouldn’t let us look.
The only way we could get through was pretending we were good. I assumed we were all doing it.
We took photographs of food that looked like sick. We couldn’t believe how similar it looked.
But sick is just food come out the wrong way.
Seems obvious, now that I’m older.
I held the dogs so the vet could inject them with apomorphine.
Kept them company til they brought up all the toxic things inside them.
Dabbed the fur around their chin.
The owners started giving me cards saying THANK YOU like they really meant it.
I really believed they meant it.
My face is old I have a X I like to hold
You can do the same things you did when you were young when you are old. Everybody knows you can do what you want now. Everybody knows you can wear what you want now when you are old now. Everybody knows that age is just a number.
You can keep your hair really long, and if someone is looking at you from the back or from the side and they are waiting for you to turn around, and you turn around, they might look shocked to see your old face swivelling within your long shiny hair, but that’s no reason to cut it.
I’M still doing THESE things:
Eating candy cigarettes*, drinking Coke, sitting on the edge of pavements in the sun with my feet on the road, underlining in books with pencil**, drawing hearts without thinking, keeping change in my socks, feeling happy to receive free stickers.
When I was young I could write whole paragraphs in black marker on the back of the toilet door at the ICA but now I would be embarrassed to do that, I wouldn’t be drunk enough to do that. But you can write a small message on a wall or a groyne. In a tunnel just now, I saw the same boys’ names that I wrote underneath a slide in 1999. Then I saw: LIFE IS GOOD, HOPE IS REAL and I can tell you that will have been written by an older type of person.
*I’m not yet SMOKING REAL ONES, though when I’m older, when I get to the point when it stops making sense to abstain, I will.
** Similarly, I will switch to pen in books when I’m older.
I felt like I should help stack the chairs, like everyone else, so I started helping stack the chairs. After a couple of minutes I noticed I was enjoying myself. I felt like I’d had Fanta, but I hadn’t. I felt like I was chewing gum. I loved the feeling of stacking chairs. I loved it physically and I loved it mentally. I decided I’d try to do it more often. I’d get faster, learn more tricks. I’d learn what was too many, what was too high. When people had events, they’d contact me to help them, but just at the end, when it was all over. Of course, that was why I liked it, because it happened at the end, when everything was over.
When I stopped drinking I started getting the feeling I was waiting, to be called by a cherub, blowing a trumpet, to gather at some giant airport car park. It had been a recurring dream as a child and it was about to happen IRL, I thought. In the dream, I could never get there on time using my tiny tricycle, but now I was an adult and I was sober, I dreamed I’d get there first.
All the human beings would be there, and nobody would be able to swap brains, and no brains would be hooked out of ears, no blancmange used as a foil.
Did you judge someone based on their appearance? Did you change your mind about somebody when you found out they were popular? Did you call someone Potty? Did you eat salt for money?
I found my CD of the choirboy. He was grown on this cover but it still made me feel the same. I looked at his hair, I looked in the mirror, I pressed play, stacked two kitchen chairs, and I waited.