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My Pyjama Girls

Your first love stays with you, that’s what they say.

For me, it was my second love that got me all balled up. Don’t get me wrong — my first girl was the snake’s hips. Jean Morris had the face of an angel, and the body of a movie star. She was a real doll.

She didn’t love me, Jean. Sure, she let me have my way with her whenever I could afford it, but I was just another John to her. That’s the problem with loving a prostitute; she’s always loving everybody else. I put a stop to that one night, though, half-mad with booze. She looked so lovely in her nightgown, all stained with blood.

It’s true, you know. You do always remember your first.

Annie. Now she was my second love, my famous love. Face and hips just like Jean’s, but Annie said she loved me. Said she’d give up the hooking for me, if I could take care of her. It worked just fine until the night I came home early to find some Joe Blow grunting away on top of her and had to send him on his way with a shiner.

Annie, my Annie. She was a true crime of passion. She made me furious enough to light her up by the side of the road when I was done. I didn’t know she wouldn’t burn all the way through. Or that they’d find her, pickle her, and put her on display like they did.

I went to visit her in Sydney, laying in that stinking vat of formaldehyde. A scrap of the lovely nightgown she wore that night was displayed nearby. “Linda,” they called her, as they stared at her naked body. Animals.

“I know who you are,” I whispered to her. “You’re my Annie, my Pyjama girl.”

I don’t know why the Agostini chump took the fall, in the end. Wrong girl, wrong thug. He might have gotten rid of his ball and chain, but my Annie sure wasn’t her.

My guess is they beat it out of him, or they offered him a real good deal. Six years in the big house was all that Diego did, before getting shipped back where he came from. I doubt I would have been so lucky.

And me? After my Annie was laid to rest, I got real careful.

Nobody ever found my Clara, my Margaret or my June. I’d learned to keep my Pyjama girls all to myself.

Peter M. 1925 - 2014

What can I say about him, in those final moments we spent together?

He was loving, in the extreme. He may not have known who I was, but he knew I was beloved, and the complete gratitude of that shone in his weary face.

Life left, and with it the pain. It was shocking at first, but like all things it became natural by degrees. Grief simmered quietly in the room, bubbling over from time to time.

Two months since he left. Since he was truly gone. Finding at that sepia photograph of him — 18 years and handsome as sin — despair reached into my chest and slashed my careful, consolidated mourning apart. 

We are all alone, in the end.

And we are. Yet in his aloneness, at the end of it all, he was so loved. He showed such love.

Surely, that must mean something everything.


I have taken up smoking in this city.

Another disgusting thing to do for three days and then never think about again.

The capitol is not what I expected, not what I remembered with childish eyes. The gardens are overgrown; weedy lawns thrashing out of control. The buildings are all a tremendously depressing, decaying beige. Drooping stringy barks, giving an impression that the trees have been doused in acid.

The flora is heaving and wretched – everywhere except in the Hill. That mound which rises like a polished pustule, flanked on all sides by clipped green pomp and ceremony.

It has been hot as a steamed bun, and then triumphantly cold. It rained like buggery today and all the time we have been overhung by angry, navy clouds. A sliver of sunset appeared tonight and it glittered gold. Not pink or orange like at home; bright gold, for a solid fifteen minutes and then gone.

Atmosphere. It is thick as peanut butter, smelling like something musty and forgotten. I cannot see why anyone would live here were they not handcuffed to a job or a bad love.

My dear one is unsettled. She flits from room to room before settling moodily on the couch, typing furiously into her laptop as if she is mad at it. Her search has taken on an otherworldly desperation in these last few days. I feel helpless to aid her. I cannot know her pain.

Neither of us slept a wink last night, haunted by the sounds of the street. It is a strange phenomenon; empty whenever you look at, but filled with motion and noise the moment you look away. Like the boogieman in a child’s closet.

Two fat pigeons have made a home on the balcony fusebox. Hunkered down they are bold as bread, never flinching, not even when you come near.

I have rifled through history like a headhunter collecting skulls, and the capitol will soon spit me out for my trespasses.

I shall not be sorry to go. 

It started with words made out of honey, with gentle fingers, concerned brows. They acted as if I were porcelain and they were terrified to drop me. Their kisses never seemed too hungry and they only asked for enough to quench the thirst and seemed okay with that. They acted like they understood that not everyone had been gentle with me.

My family started to notice when I didn’t call them anymore. I could hear my sister’s voice waiver and roll in her throat as I told her everything was fine. My friends started to notice when I wouldn’t answer the door. Their voices became shaky but I would assure them that I was okay and soon they would leave with heavy footprints.

I guess I started to notice after I realized that I didn’t have anyone else but them, after their arms were the only ones I could run to and they had become so unforgiving. When I stopped eating, stopped laughing, stopped imagining the future. When I cried so much I couldn’t cry anymore. When I stopped dreaming of wedding dresses and started dreaming of coffins.

Don’t let yourself slip this far into an abusive relationship. Notice when your partner starts to change. It won’t be sudden. It will be a fluctuation of their voice, a look of violence in their eyes, passive-aggressive insults. Leave. Please leave. Never stay. Don’t let them bury you so far beneath the earth before you realize you’re running out of air.

—    Recognizing An Abusive Relationship || Scarlette La Vaillante (via scarlettethewriter)

“ Menelaus, if you are really going to kill her, then my blessing go with you, but you must do it now, before her looks so twist the strings of your heart that they turn your mind; for her eyes are like armies, and where her glances fall, there cities burn, until the dust of their ashes is blown by her sighs. I know her, Menelaus, and so do you. And all those who know her suffer. ”

—    Hecuba speaking of Helen of Troy in “The Trojan Women” - Euripedes (via deliciousinterludes)


bite me, she said
i am both my cruelties
and my kindness and you
cannot separate me
we need to break the skin
anything else is just masturbation
i will be here for you
i will look at you, and see you
you deserve to be seen
i see your kindness
and your cruelty; you are all
a person can be, wrecked
and holy i love you i love you
i can accept or i can destroy this
do not let me go, cruel and kind
we are bitten, we are tied

Careful what you wish for 2.0

But if being loved by a writer is difficult, having a writer fall out of love with you is far worse.

When you inevitably betray a writer’s fantasy of you, they will turn on you like a viper. You won’t have time to react — one push off that pedestal and you’ll fall with an ego-crushing thud.

As quickly as your castle was built by their words, it burns to the ground. Your shadows, your shame, your shared vulnerability is splashed liberally on the page for all to see. Your character — once painted ethereal and pure — is now a twisted demon of a thing. Its creator will not soften their countenance toward you; a writer enraged is unreachable. Hold tight, you must weather the storm.

Yet a writer’s scorn is not the most terrible thing you will suffer. The most terrible of all, is the nuclear winter. The silent, sickening aftermath of a writer’s obsession with you. When all the words have dried up, forever.

After everything; the wild abandon of fantasy, the loving comfort, the dramas, the viper’s bite and the creative spite, the next part is what will really kill you. There is far more suffering in the frigid waters of indifference than anywhere else.

Yes, the very worst thing of all is when your writer stops writing about you.



I love you like an astronomer loves the stars. He watches them, with a late night cup of coffee and a note book. He writes down all his findings and he guards his work jealously. He reads what others have accomplished, he studies and researches. He reads every word intently. He listens when they speak to him. He wakes up in the morning and counts down the hours until he gets to see them again, those burning effigies that make him ache for more.

He never wears a space suit. He never lets his feet get off the ground. His love is all his sadness. He knows that no matter how badly he wished it, the technology doesn’t even exist to take him out to the farthest reaches. His fingertips might not be able to touch, but his heart exists out there in the blackness, in the countless light years between the Earth and the farthest spirals of the galaxy. I love you like this man loves the setting sun, waiting for the night to remove the sheath the bright and blinding sun has shadowed him with.

He stands in a field with his arms to the sky, with no streetlights for a hundred kilometres. I love you like this man who obsesses over something he can never have, I love you like this man loves the highest peaks on a clear night.

He wonders how something so far away could shine so much light on him.

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