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Creative Writing

Illustration: Caroline Weaver

Sharon Garrard, “Black Hat”, Poem
Illustration: Caroline Weaver

‘Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God…’

–Anglican Wedding Ceremony

Love was
Sunday lunch.
Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, flowered wallpaper and a considerable lack of dust.
Fellowship. Friendship. Feasting. Such great intentions.
Routine nestles itself into the corners of our daily lives.
Over time, the food begins to rot, the surfaces become neglected, the wallpaper peels, the conversation is pulled, pushed, and stretched to its limit.
Everyone stays where they are, shovelling rotting food into their mouths believing it to be nourishment.
We press on, ignoring the decayed surroundings, until the wooden beams begin to fall from the ceiling.
My apron is getting dirty, my hands are unwashed.
Should I escape?

Love was
Stockinged feet.
Down the aisle, across the threshold, past the kitchen tiles that leave my feet cold.
I took your hand as we walked through the familiarity.
I had visions of the future, of us holding a tiny life that we’d made, of porch swings and other clichés.
You thought you were funny. Your voice grew louder as you approached the punch-line.
You always laughed the loudest.
Your bright eyes grew darker. Promises transformed into lies. Lies that I believed.
Gentle touches began to leave my skin cold and clammy.
I think I need to escape.

Love was
Five minutes.
I didn’t know any better. I wondered what the fuss was about.
The shapes on the ceiling took form. Form and substance.
I became stifled and smothered under your increasing weight. Life slowly being squeezed out.
Numbness took over. My visions of the future didn’t include you anymore.
This cannot carry on, or I will surely die. Well, I will. My body will breathe and eat and shit and sleep and get up and function.
But me, I will be gone. For every short, selfish second that goes by, I fade.
I have to escape.

Love was
Quotes. I fucking hate quotes.
Seneca. Avenue. Cigarettes. Coffee. A million miles away.
Options exhausted, I slump into a stupor.
He said, ‘It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare, but because we do not dare that things are difficult.’
Yeah right. It’s because I cannot find the energy within myself to tell you that I hate you.
Instead I tell you the exact opposite. And every time I do it my ability to love becomes blacker.
Perpetual sickness is taking me over.
I must escape.

"In the real world there are no villains. No one actually sets out to do evil… There are only people with problems, struggling to solve them." – Ben Bova



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