Friday, November 09, 2007


She said that it might put things in perspective, but I wasn’t really sure how lying on the floor under a blanket was going to help there.

“Things look different when you’re lying on the floor under a blanket.” Said her text, well, I’m pretty sure that they do.

“Are you alright?” I texted back.

The strength of this break up had floored her. Literally. Imagine being in that much emotional pain that after the shock and the alcohol had worn off, the nicotine levels dropped back to normal, the sobs that had followed, racking her body; all this had passed until she lay down on the floor, pulled a blanket over her self and started sending texts. The second step in sending out communication fronds.

Her first step had been to pour it out on the internet message board. She had written about crying so hard and then feeling numb and then noticing that she had scratched her arms, big red marks down her arm, but still not feeling anything. She hadn’t scratched them in a self-harm way, just that she’d been holding herself in her own arms in the absence of anyone else to do it for her. And then in that way that when you are upset and someone holds you, you cry harder, and they grip harder and hold you and you cry some more, and deeper. And she was gripping herself, holding herself and crying and then realising that there was only her to hold herself from now on and the poignancy of this made her cry even harder, and it was then she noticed the scratches on her arms.

And so this is how it was that she found herself on the floor of her front room texting me. Well, ok, I texted her first when I read her post, but she seemed like she needed some kind of response, and I couldn’t resist. But she responded, and how she responded, the raw honesty of her emotion shocked me.

She had spent the beginning of her relationship with him lying on the floor; I remember her writing about it. This was before ‘us’ of course, this was when she had just met him and we had never met, and I doubt she even knew my screen name let alone my real one. But I had read her words and they were more than just words on a screen to me. I’d seen her photo as well.

I remember her describing how her feelings for him had so floored her that she spent whole nights when she couldn’t be with him lying on her back in the middle of her front room floor, high on red wine, smoking cigarettes and listening to his music. So it seemed almost apt that at the end of it she found herself floored by it all again.

The fact that it was the same floor that I fucked her on when they had broken up the first time probably never crossed her mind.

But then the piteousness of her post and the fact that she was so bereft pulled away any lasting malignancy I may have felt towards her. That and the thought that I might get to fuck her again spurred me on to greater textual platitudes; I offered to come round.

Still under her blanket, at least in my mind, she responded suddenly back to her cold, blank little texts of the end of our affair: No, she was fine; her friends were on their way round with food, wine and cigarettes. But Thank You. And one kiss. I knew what one kiss in any mode of textual conversation with her meant.

However, the thought of her sobbing on the floor under a blanket, vulnerable and slightly drunk was enough to give me a boner and sufficient material to keep me going over the next few weeks until something more substantial came along.

Lisa Payne

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