Lives you never led

I wish I’d been diagnosed sooner.

I know I bang on about this, but I do, I do and it hurts, it hurts sometimes when I let it hurt.

It’s pointless, fretting over the lives you never led and will never lead. It’s pointless dwelling on the past and thinking why why why, didn’t I?

Why oh why oh why, didn’t I? Why didn’t I work harder at uni in Leeds, get a job to give me some money and make the whole thing more bearable? Because you were ill you fool, you were ill and your head and your world was imploding.

‘You’ve done a lot more than most people!’ the doctor says, prepping the phlebotomy kit and swabs. She’s friendly, it’s been a long consult and we’re chatting. Places I’ve lived, subjects I’ve studied; parties I’ve left only bruised, never bleeding. Not bad, I guess. Strange how we’re blind to ourselves.

Why oh why oh why didn’t I say yes to Phil, say let’s give it a go let’s give it a whirl? Because I knew it wouldn’t last and we would never work in the end; but nothing ever lasts and we can at least play, for a while.

The morning after I found out about him; standing in the shower, empty shock and steam and winter light. Men grow old and nights grow cold I said; a small part of me puzzled at the words as they escaped; most of me still stunned and just standing staring breathing in the steam and the winter light. Men grow old and nights grow cold, and we all lose our charms in the end. We all lose our charms in the end.

It’s pointless, fretting over the lives you never led and will never lead, the men you never kissed. No time but the present, this impossibly slim slice stretching on somehow to ever forever.


The Mormons came over the other day.

Bless ‘em.

We sat and we chatted – why not, why not? Must be strange in a strange country, so young. So we sat and we chatted and they tried to convince me of the consolations of Christ, the promise of life eternal.

People deserve honest answers.

No, I said. No, one life is enough.

This moment is only precious because it ends.

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