I say to myself, that I am sorry. I say to myself that being hard on yourself is not so much about vanity, not so much a ‘get out of jail free’ responsibility strategy but an reflex way of measuring what I see.
Today, I said sorry to my knee for drawing a picture of it looking like a vagina folded on the story mat when I was three. I said sorry to the mug of tea I knocked into my computer keys. I said sorry to the man that walked into me in Sainsbury’s holding three tins of baked beans. I said sorry to the old lady at the bus stop who started a conversation with me about corporate responsibility, while I stared quizzically at a sign which said ‘want to quit smoking?’
I closed the blinds while cooking tea to stop myself feeling sorry for all the homeless people, I am sorry to my boss for being tight lipped about budget re-allocation while she was just trying to think of department safety, I am sorry to that book of poetry on the bathroom shelf that I quote as my favourite but have not read since 1993.
I am sorry for not questioning my consumption of non fair trade tea, sorry for the list I made of my friends that make me stay up drinking wine until three, sorry to my ex flatmates for having to clean up the mess I made of the deposit protection scheme.
I could be drinking rum in a reggae bar in east London buying houses for people that most need them with money gained from heart surgery, and still be sorrier than the normal man you’d meet on the street crying because the world is just so shitting unfriendly.
2 am, all guilty from not enough sorry rosaries I meet myself in the mirror to check my face is still working, check – unappetising jaundice paunch around my chin from too much worrying, check wonky teeth all trying to get centre stage, check shoulders like the easy slope down to a disapointing elegy.
My hair says I am so long that even if you cut me, I would grow straight back in sorry straw strands, my ears tell me they don’t believe in listening to big fish schpiels, my daydreams do not believe in imagining who my friends would cast as me in the film of me, lining up at my funeral to say sorry for all the things they did that made me do litres of weeping thing.
They say memories are just molecules and that we make connections to suit stories and needs, mine is five letters, a blanket basic learnt at nursery, spelling out sorry like a list of un- asked for expensive groceries.