The Morning After

The nights are long and lonely when disease takes its place in your bed. All lyrics in centred italics are from Meg Myers ‘The Morning After’. I encourage you to listen as you read, it is beautiful.

With love and light,

Jess x


I couldn’t sleep last night
There were lions and bears tearing you from my side
I couldn’t sleep last night
How you look like my daughter
It’s burnt in my mind

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It’s two am. I cannot sleep tonight. I did not sleep last night. Nor the nine calendars before that. As my fingers grope at keys under the light of cheap globes and a lazy moon, the world sleeps. How I envy them, wrapped in the sheets of the genetic lottery, perhaps a gentle fuck before their lashes went to bed. I’ve not a lion. Rather, a bull headed golden retriever snores contentedly upon my twisted, blanched, ten little piggies. She does not blink, for she doesn’t know any better. She’s only one year old after all. If ignorance was bliss, than she inhales continuity, a familiar sob from above. This is good. This is familiar. This is home.

And she sleeps.

The lions pace, taunting, tracing their claws across my skin. This is no Lion King. There will be no songs, no crazed baboon speaking in tongues of Yoda and Buddhism. Pick a piece, any piece. They’ve a favourite of course, like any good butcher does. Hips. Spine. Knees. The pack takes their turn. It is a merciless and longing death. They relish in my gasps, their skin puckers. My pain is their pleasure, and my pleasure is never to be without pain. There will be no gentle fucks tonight.

Sometimes my belly swells. Paralysis, or so they tell me. If I am indulging in a particular depth of sadness, I will picture my daughter within, and stroke my burgeoning belly. It’s never to be of course. The truth still stings, just a little.

And I can’t feel anything the morning after you
And I can’t tell anyone the morning after you

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Of course, I can feel the morning after. I feel everything. The burning lungs as I strategically free parachutes of bloodied clots above the plug hole. Last time I stained the sink. As dictated by the seven stages of grief, they choke on shock and denial. No matter how much one readies, the burn of copper remains a shock to the tastebuds, a smack of dirty serum across the tongue. Next comes anger, concaves of calcium screaming in protest. What the fuck do you think you are doing? It would be easier to stay in bed. I’ve never been one for conflict after all. But I must eat. I must bathe. I must study, I must make love, and I must try to just do life. Some days it is a bigger ask than others. My joints threaten, cursing, insults of detriment hurled towards me with every jagged movement, every partial dislocation. I was only trying to butter some toast, I counter.

I bargain, like usual, typically with a God whom I no longer believe in, let alone rely on. ‘Just get me through the day without feeling an overwhelming need to shit my pants, and I’ll be a really, really good person. Not Mother Theresa level good. I like sex too much. But a really good person none the less. Just don’t let me dislocate/haemorrhage/vomit/shit/faint, and I’m all yours Homie G’. 

The TV flickers in silence and I flit into stage five with all the ease of a stretch.

Then comes depression and detachment. I detach in the most literal sense, bones slipping from their beds with a gag inducing clunk. I am rumoured to have killed boners with a mere hip dislocation. Sometimes it can be funny. But not today. I need to drive today.

Two scoops of caffeine, four scoops of sugar. This is my permitted daily allowance. Anymore and I am tachycardic. Any less and I am without the hallmark signs of being a fully fledged adult. I curl in my nest, Golden Retriever Mom mug curled in my finger tips. I have even forgiven the Americanisation. I could cry. But I don’t know how to anymore, not unless it’s really bad. So instead I wish to be sad, hunched over a sofa that is freckled with golden retriever hair, with the realisation that yes, this is my life.

Well shit.

I couldn’t sleep last night
You were chasing the birds till the beast caught your eye
I couldn’t sleep last night
How you look like an angel
It’s burnt in my mind

I can’t feel anything the morning after you
I can’t tell anyone the morning after you

And I hope you sleep with a merry gold
I hope you win it this time
And I pray you don’t fear the animals
I’ll save you, I promise this time

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If you do not live in my world, understand this; There are no Marigolds. There are no bursts of afternoon, and there are no capes. There will be promises, but they will not be kept. Most of all, there will be no miracles. Marigolds and Miracles are not so different after all. You can plant as many as you want in your Etsy mason jar planters. But you will grow no miracles nonetheless.

What is acceptance? Is it resignation? A celebration? Or a total and utter cluster fuck? Here I am, here’s my shitty life. Make of it what you want. Just don’t shove lemon detox diets down my throat with offers of fairy tale endings and pretty dreams. I suspect that my acceptance is a combination of all quadrants, paint mixed and poured on top of one another until you can no longer recognise what you began with.

Sometimes I fear the animals. Sometimes I am scared, and sometimes I am vulnerable, and sometimes I just want to cry. Sometimes I just don’t want to have them tear my hips apart, necrotic teeth digging into the depths of my resolve. The pain scares me. The vomit scares me. The shit scares me, and most of all, the nights scare me.

I did not sleep last night. I will not sleep tonight. Nor will I tomorrow. You will never know the depths of my contractures beneath the sheets, unless of course you do, because you already live it. And in that case, I do not hope you sleep with a Marigold, and I do not hope that you will win. I will not pray that you fear not the animals, and most of all I will not promise to save you.

Because just quietly, we both know it’s bullshit.

I just hope you get a little rest tonight. We just need a little rest, that’s all. Then we can get up, and do it all over again tomorrow.

It’s worth it, after all.