(a companion piece to Joe's 'Still Waiting for the Glue to Dry'.)
I know you keep broken cups in the cupboard. Shards of china hidden behind the Royal Albert dinner plates. I know you’ve tried to glue the pieces back together. Dark stains on the edges of the ear-shaped cup handles. I can’t warn you. It wouldn’t be right. I still have my broken ballerina figurine. I have tried to glue her back together. Twice. It’s that tiny grey line fracturing her feet which ruins the illusion. She can never dance again. Weakness. So I retired her to a cardboard box under my bed. Just like you have retired your cups to the back of the cupboard.
I wonder what you do with your girlfriends. Do you collect them too? Like that guy in that John Fowles book. Do you have a secret chamber where you hide broken girlfriends?
I have to be there in twelve minutes. You will be waiting with a glass of shiraz. I will wear rhinestones in my hair because you always choose an outside table. My rhinestones will shine across your plate. Quivering rainbow. When I order the lemon meringue pie. Halfway through my third bite, or thereabouts, you will ask me for a taste. I will reach across the table and you will eat from the cream-smeared spoon.
We always have sex in the pink hotel. You let me eat the toblerone from the mini-bar. I love the hard, honeyed pieces of nougat speckled through the chocolate. Sometimes your mobile phone rings. Sometimes you answer. Left hand over my mouth. Pink ring of lipstick on your palm. Sometimes you ignore the ringing and grind against me. My right leg nudges you further into me. You close your eyes for a second. Your temple throbs. Once. Everything is still. Except for our breathing. And my heartbeat in my head.
You leave when I run the bath. You mention something about work. I use the bubblegum bubble bath I carry in my fluffy backpack. As the pink liquid curls into the bath I think of neopolitan icecream with strawberry topping. I pin my hair on top of my head and sponge your stickiness from my thighs. You leave your teeth marks across my collarbone and smile. I cannot mark you. You are hers. I am careful. I reach for the handcream and knock the small vase of violets teetering on the edge of the basin. It smashes. Purple petals scatter across the tiles. I remember your broken cups and hide the sharp fragments at the back of the drawer. For later. Just in case they can be glued back together.