Virtual Reality

This is the soundtrack of my heart, of my life if you care to listen.

If there is anyone out there who cares to listen. I am the girl you never phone. You never think of me. Was that too much to ask. I never hear your phone voice. Here I am breaking it down for you. With my usual honesty. I am trying to break through to you.

I am standing desperate on the shore. I am drowning in the sea again.

I am coming up for air again. There is no stopping my plans. That’s the house I grew up in. That is my mother. That is my father. And those are all my reasons. This is hard. Do you still accept me, is what I want to know. I want to tell you everything. Everything will always come back to you, you see.

And those are all my reasons. Do you accept my sadness? Do you accept my happiness? You still make me nervous. You still give me butterflies. Look, the stars are falling. You are all my reasons for this pantomime, for me being the girl with the broken smile, for being sad. This is my mother. Are you pleased to meet me, mother. Don’t be ashamed to cry, dad.

I think I have lost all self-control now. That nothing is left here for anyone to love. There is always a spark, electricity and chemistry like a light in the dark. All I want to say is this. Stay. Never let me go. Please don’t leave, but you’re already gone. I am always falling in love. Falling so hard for the guy. Falling so fast for the man in the photograph, on the radio, everywhere but here. I think of the stars. Their magic and chemistry. Their flicker.

Maybe I am just not enough. I am running. You love who you love when you are falling hard, or, slow, or, fast. Maybe I am just not enough.

I am running just like the wind in the branches of my trees. Dad, mum, all I wanted was your love. Why was it so impossible for you to love me, why was it so impossible for you to love, for you to care. For you to show that you loved each other. Can we play that family portrait again, can we play pretend.

Am I vulnerable amongst the mysteries that life has offered up to me, am I happy although I have a smile pasted on my face for all the world to see.

I wish I was happy and I wish that I was fulfilled. I wish I was with you, but you’re not here. My sister wants to get married but they haven’t even told each other that they love each other. I wish I was loved, but I’m not and I don’t think I ever was. They called it madness, I called it a love for life. I am so crazy, why can’t I sit still and stop fidgeting and dancing around the house like that, my mommie dearest says. I wish I was happy but I wouldn’t be this poet if I were. I don’t want to vulnerable. I don’t want to be vulnerable ever again and put my heart out there for someone to love. What is love, please don’t hurt me. Please let me alone and truth and desire stop flirting with me and making empty promises that you can’t keep. Take my life, take every sacrifice that I have ever made for you in the name of love, mother. You don’t love me. You say so. You say so.

Nobody has ever loved me like the poets and I am sitting James Dean pretty as if you didn’t know it.

Here is how the story of my life goes. This circle of haphazard mess that you left behind mum and called my playground. How you scarred me with your love that was tempestuous and nobody is ever proud of me.

Nobody ever calls me up on the phone just because they needed to hear the sound of my voice. My life for yours, isn’t that what you always wanted, mum. You got what you wished for. The savage wolf is near again and he means to take me this time to the bottom of the river or that black sea. So black I fear that I will be lost there forever this time. How I hate myself, mum, but are you the cause of that. How I hate life. Perhaps if I had a flame to keep me alive that was filled with substance and not the adrenaline rush of flight or this wounded feeling. I want someone to love. I want someone that loves me for me.

Life is short. Time is precious but I also need a home, a place to rest and a sanctuary. Of all things I need a sanctuary.

I wish someone could be proud of me but that is too much to ask. I want someone to hold my hand but that is a price I can’t pay. I don’t want to live anymore and asking is for the taking. I need to sleep before I drown. I need to sleep before I wake up and realise that it is over. The dream in me has died. And the pain is creeping around the edges again. Yet this smile stays on. And all I want is to act and sing and dance because that forms part of the colour and shape of every performer’s life. I felt alive there on the stage once and perhaps I can again. I will have the world’s attention, instead of yours mother. I will have the world’s love, instead of this lack. This lack of mother-love. I am so dead inside. How can someone so beautiful and loving with this attractive personality feel dead and loved-up inside. How can this be and how will this story end. Brother Panther is on the stairs bringing me chamomile tea in the chipped cup he uses for shaving. He is losing his mind again. And not for the first time, I am cleaning up his mess. My sister is pregnant and for now this makes her happy. The thought of bringing another life into the world and all I can think of, all I can taste in this moment is despair and hardship. They shine like diamonds, imagined diamonds in the virtual sky.

Abigail George
Abigail George
Abigail George is a researcher and historian. Follow her on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @abigailgeorgepoet.