What we are up to

Neutral Spine

04/11/09 Friends
by Emma Hammond

Just so I can stop thinking about it. It is actually boring now I say. I think I even mean it. Errata say that she definitely didn't lose her virginity when she was 9 in the treehouse, he just put it in. That doesn't count does it? We disagree and agree all at once. Since then, since before I think. In a clammy old garage I looked up in the sky and whispered to him: Hello boy I say, I wonder where you are? We write lists of every boy we ever fucked but they blow away over the balcony into the pool.

Mum and her straight back. Good posture like me, she say. Ballerina style. She walked up and down with Bird. Bird was 3 days old and knew it, but not much else. My tits were hard as toads. My daughter is usually as thin as me, say ma. Look at her now! E-normous! she say. I blink but I am cut in half and can't feel much else. The dads kept coming in to see the mums. My mum brought me walnuts. She gave me these cups that go in your bra. They catch the milk she say. Drip, when your baby cries, they drip. I won't manage I say. Don't be stupid she say, you just do. You're not the first woman to have a baby AND YOU CERTAINLY WON'T BE THE LAST.

I stare at families like they are fish. I watch them drinking tea from each other. Here and there a man lifts a child high on his shoulders. Definitely more family than me and my 1.2, the missing element of husband. Husband. Yes, but is he husband material the girls say. I say well yes, he is made of matter- he is husband substance. They are bored of my unravelling. The villa is throbbing with chat and the linear equations are all wrong. I am pinned onto the holiday like an example of a badly tied bow-tie, the anti-princess. I am stuck in the cinderella phase, my glass shoe fogged up.

MILF. You're a MILF they say. Thanks I say. Men like it, the milkiness. I am the Lady of the House of Sleep, good and bad. Bird is the real child though, and that upsets them. The magazines say if they love you they will love your child. That's a lie but I haven't the heart to tell 'em. It is bound up with the equations and hard to put a finger on. Love is like time, and people know fuck all about time. It moves in the same way and is unreachable. The girls don't believe me, they think I am on the unravel again, childish. I probably am.