The truths of our beautiful tragedy

This blog is inspired from the song ‘Little Talks’ by Monster and Men. You can listen to the song here, which creates the theme for this blog.

This is for anyone that is waiting for their reason.

Jess xx


I don’t like walking around this old and empty house

So hold my hand I’ll walk with you my dear 

Six years. Eight months. A handful and splatter of days. I guess that specifics don’t really matter, they aren’t going to make a difference. You can remove all the bricks and mortar from a home, bar the carpet and a kitchen sink. But that patch of carpet doesn’t distract you from the pitiful truth; That your home is now past tense, and ruins has taken its place. No, it’s been too long for specifics to matter. And yet it amazes me all the same. How is it that, nearly seven years on, I remain here? Trapped in the tragedy of my own biology. I was fourteen years old when doctors handed my broken parents my first wheelchair and a promise.

She will be better in six months, and this will be something you can all look back on and laugh at.

I wonder if the esteemed white coats know that they are the joke.

I am tired, doggedly so. Sleeping on a building site will do that to you, there is no rest for the wicked. There is little relief for the tragic either. Burns don’t heal anymore. Cell renewal can only be confounded by Apoptosis, programmed cell death. You must be one or the other, there is no in-between. Hanging gingerly upon the plaster in my little unit is a canvas of the skeletal anatomy of the human body. It is my reminder, my bread and my butter. It hangs there just in case I begin to forget;

Today you stand, tomorrow you may fall. Paint your walls while you still can. 

And yet I am not sad. And perhaps that is the saddest part of all of this. Some people have dared to say that I am unable to recognise my own tragedy. And maybe they are right, or so I let them believe. It’s just easier that way. How else could I ever explain? I don’t expect them to understand, nor do I need them to. But you my love, you hold my truth. And in case you did not hear my whispers in the night, I will remind you once more.

I will fight and I will weep. I shall break and I shall tire. And one day, I shall die.

And I shall be happy in my broken house, which together we call a home.

The stairs creak as I sleep it’s keeping me awake.

The nights remain the loneliness. It is cruel to be sick, but it is crueler still to be alone. And for this I hate you. I dream of nothing more than ripping your flesh from your bones, and leaving the meat to rot. My fingers stretch for the belly of your throat and guilt eludes me as you lay in your own sick, too tired to even change yourself. May your lips follow my snorts of hate, and may they swell into oblivion with dehydration. And now the needles can fuck within your veins, heated and bitten until they collapse from the very effort. Lay still while I thrust your thighs apart. Bite your bottom lip and blink away the salt as the surgeon abuses you with his cameras, forceps and pliers. Look at your shame of the projected images within the radiographers room, and feel the blood stick in your underpants. I want you to bleed and sob and scream until your lungs are as red raw as your heart. And now return to your bed alone. Feel not my arms reach to comfort your sobs, nor my lips to nibble upon each surgical stamp on your taut, swollen belly. Hold the cloths to your own crackled lips and know that tonight will yet again be the longest of your life.

It’s the house telling you to close your eyes

Most of all, know that I am sorry my love. Know that I plead for your forgiveness. It’s not your fault that we haven’t met yet.

But when we do, promise me that you will make it up to me and keep the night watch, no matter what horrors the stars bare witness to. Promise me that when we meet, you will never make me face the nights alone again.

Some days I can’t even trust myself

We are closer than any other, and yet we are filled with the greatest hate for one another. Some days I am so sure that we could kill one another I become afraid for us to be left alone. That’s when they take me to the hospital. It doesn’t matter how cunning you are, they understand that you started this and fully intend to finish it. I will never understand my crime. I loved you and neglected you through implicit faith and a lack of awareness. I never  meant to take you for granted; That’s just what thirteen year old girls do. It doesn’t occur to us that we can die. My greatest crime was assuming that I would be here forever.

It is our unspoken truth. You are trying to kill me, even now as I sit on the train on my way to the hospital. And for this I cannot trust myself. My own flesh is my greatest betrayer.

It’s killing me to see you this way.

And one day, my body is going to kill you too. It will be slower, more subtle. You will hold me sobbing in your arms as I weep for the fact that I am too sick to make love to you, and you will forget to take a breath. You will stumble into work bleary eyed because the night was spent listening to my machines, and you will tell your boss to fuck himself when he berates you for not being on the ball. And the whole while you will remember that I am being fucked over by a force that neither of us can touch. It will kill you when we fail to see tiny heartbeats on the radiographers screen, and when you are called to my work because I have collapsed in my own sick. It will kill you when I am too weak to take off my own panties, and it will kill you when you realise that we can only afford to pay the power bill or buy my medications. But that is the pay off, the infinite cost. To love me you must watch this disease kill me.

And it will kill you in return. When we meet, tell me that I am worth it. Tell me that you will be killed without me, so let us at least lose together.

Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore

My truths change every breath, every scan, every appointment. There is hope and there is not. There will be a cure and not in my lifetime. I will be full with baby, and the cot shall lay empty. The treatment is working and the treatment has failed. There is more to try and we have reached the end of the line.

One truth isn’t going to vary. No matter how I bleed, retch and wilt, some things remain a constant. As long as we are together, it doesn’t matter how my disease kills me, nor how it kills you. Our beautiful tragedy will always bring us home.

There’s an old voice in my head that’s holding me back 

She screams and hisses, spits her venom into my veins.

You cannot be loved and you cannot be adored. Your scars disgust his lips and your bones bite away all desire.

She reminds me of all that I was ever told by past lovers.

You were a waste of my time
I thought you were going into remission
My mates all agreed they could never date someone like you
I can’t do this anymore
It’s just too hard, ya know? 

And so I push my admirers away, leave them wilting side stage until one day, they finally walk away. All so that she can have her proof.

See, I told you they wouldn’t stay. No one ever will.

One heartbreak I sobbed into the arms of my Mum and Dad.

Why does everyone leave me? Why does no one stay?

Dad turned to face me. And he told me my truth.

Only one person is ever going to stay. And when you meet him, he will never leave you.

Well tell her that I miss our little talks

You are going to thrive off her, you will rise to her challenges, above and beyond. When she screams of your impending flight you will take me in your arms and hold me for the night. And you will thank her for the challenge.

Soon it will all be over and buried with our past

The time is going to come when I can fight no more. I will cry, I will become tired and finally, I will die. Us will cease to be and you shall be all that remains. It scares me of course, but most of all it scares you. We both know that I will be okay; death has a funny way of making sure of these things. It’s you that I worry about. So when I am gone weep and cry, sob and scream. But then stop and remember our dream.

We used to play outside when we were young,
And full of life and full of love.

Remember our trips to the beach, sand in my size six bikini bottoms. Remember how we would eat chips and hotcakes on the shore, sharing generously with the one legged seagulls. You needn’t miss me, for you will remember how we would jump on a train, destination unknown and spend the day in a foreign land. We would sing with buskers, pose for Instagram with street performers and frequenting unknown markets with lavender soaps and wind-chimes  You will raise your glass to the nights at the pub, hot and noisy and filled with the smoke of strangers. We would scream at Essendon on the communal TV and celebrate with strangers. And once the night was old and the day young, we would stumble home and make love before we even reached the hallway. When I am gone you will not miss me and you understand this as well as I do. We created a lifetime of memories for this very reason. 

But mostly we did it because we were young and in love.

Some days I feel like I am wrong when I am right

It’s only natural. You are so real I can almost touch you. Only, you aren’t real. Not yet. You are my creation, my hope, my reason. I have to keep fighting because I haven’t met you yet. I am so dependent on your existence that without the knowledge that you are living a pretty, simple life, I am not sure I could take another breath. You have a lot to live up to my Dear.

Your mind is playing tricks on you my dear.

This is what you will tell me. And I will not have to pinch myself to remind my flesh that you are real, for you will do it for me. You will tease me for ever doubting your existence and we will laugh until even you are out of breath. You are flawed, terrible with directions, with a penchant for eating everything with tomato sauce. You leave your wet towels on the bedroom floor, forget birthdays, and are unable to tell when I have had my haircut. But you are real.

And one day you will show me that I was right all along. And that I fought for a reason.

So listen to the words I say
Our screams all sound the same
Though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore

And that is your promise, one that you are not yet aware you will make. That your screams will match mine, tear for tear. When my flesh bleeds so shall your heart. Your screams are a choice; you could always walk away and whisper of your weakness. But you won’t, because you are different. You were never like the others, and nor am I. That’s why you chose me. You just never wanted normal. You wanted me.

I am vivacious and suffering, hopelessly in love with a love that is trying to take me, and filled with the knowledge that everything is just as it should be. Most of all,you know that we are the beautiful tragedy that you were always waiting for.

There is one verse left.

Your gone, gone, gone away
I watched you disappear
All that’s left is the ghost of you
Now it’s torn torn torn apart
There’s nothing we can do
Just let me go we’ll meet again soon
Now wait wait wait wait for me
Please hang around

But I don’t need it. Because you aren’t gone. You cannot be, for you are yet to arrive. And once you do, you will never leave, just as Daddy promised.

I will wait for you and you will wait for me. Until your beauty meets with my tragedy and we will build something from the debris. My mess, your laziness, my beaming smile and your dark head of hair. My slow death and your life.

One day you are going to see me. At the hospital, on the train, wandering down the street, bargaining at a market. I will be all legs and smiles, tapping fingers and raucous laughter. My bracelets will jangle and my green eyes will crease with my smile.

And I will see you too.

And we will begin our beautiful tragedy.

Until then my love, I will use the last line.

I’ll see you when I fall asleep.


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