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This is not an ode to London;

because I could get stabbed in Beckton,
I could get groped on the tube,
and mugged walking home.

This is not an ode. It is, instead,
my love letter:
fucked up and read, not recited.

I love London because it is home
in a way home is not home.
I embrace it because it has received me;
I’m a more or less successful
liver transplant:
part of me is here, in this very much alive city
and I grow – I’m a liver in a sea of livers
that transplanted themselves here.

I love the smell of weed everywhere on this campus,
I live with the smell of shit
floating every now and then
with a stronger gust of wind.
I breathe in the feeling of belonging,
I swim with the people walking around at rush hour,
I fall in love for a second every time
I fly back here
and the first thing that greets me is a “sorry, love”.
I peed in central London
but who hasn’t?
I fucked people in the tiny room I call home,
here on campus;
I started towards my future life
on the sticky sofas in the East Building;
I cried for football again and again
and while I might have done this back home,
I love London. I wish I could say it
like Tim says “I love the rich”:
with slight contempt and a confident voice.
I let mine tremble though
because I love London, but in such a way
that few have: in an idealistic rotten way.
If London abuses me, I’ll wipe my mouth
and say “no one will love me like this”

I love the rain and yes I might be a
slightly tiny bit insane.
I love the puddles, the river, the whiskey, the people
whom I think of as idiots;
And those who fix my bags
and bring me food
and buy me drinks
and tap me in
and hold my hand through the films
and cheer me up with their pink hair
and wave their weave
and offer me adrenaline shots and
insult me and tell me I need to get a grip
and tell me I missed lecture and how dare I?!
and how fucking horrible is the rain?!
“Mate, I love the rain!”
“Oh, you spaz.”

The people who will hug me when I make
my daily habit of complaining,
and introduce my use of “cunt”
as a Jo thing.
The people who think I’m stupid
because I can’t argue the only topic they know;
the people who make fun of my accent,
the people who think I’m from here
and the people who think my father
will have to pay in cows when I marry,
and who think I’ll steal their shit because I’m Romanian.
And yes, I’m Romanian!
But my mate says I’m fundamentally British;
and he talks a lot and he’s quite clever
so I’ll go with that.

This is about the women I like
and the men I flirt with
and the fucked up laundry
and unmatched socks,
the people I sleep with,
the food I don’t eat,
and the whiskey I drink.
And the story of how I met
My London.

Three

Dear Cunt,

I’m back to writing to you. I’ve started writing to so many people and they are simply not as important. Not as fucked up. No one is really. No one quite comes as close to how beautifully crumbled and unable to live any longer as you do.

So I write to you. Even when I’m too lazy, even when my only way of writing is my phone. I stab you with these horrible letters. Again and again. I’m not even hoping you kill yourself. As a matter of fact, I really hope you won’t kill yourself. Please don’t. Who will I destroy with my words? Who will I hurt? How will I live with my venom? You complete me.

I want to tell you something that will hurt. (Don’t I always, though?) The reason you are not happy is yourself. The reason you are single is yourself. The reason you can’t fucking love anyone in that way is, again, yourself. You fuck yourself with everything that could go well. You grab it, strangle it and then fucking piss all over it. And then cry.

I’m not saying this to help. I could never help you. Fucking hell, no one could. I’m saying this purely to fuck you up. To make you understand, once and for all that you are nothing. Useless, hopeful romantic at heart, still waiting for that perfect life that will not come. Of course it won’t fucking come. It doesn’t exist. And if it does, it doesn’t happen to people like you; it doesn’t happen to people like us. We’re too fucked up for “perfect”.

I could argue that “perfect” is boring, but “perfect” is perfect and trying to convince you otherwise will only end up in two things: a) you would cling to the notion and keep lying to argue in favour of it; and b) that would mean helping you and we really can’t have that, can we?

Go back to bed, today is just as fucking wrong as always. No, sorry. Let me rephrase that: today you are just as fucking wrong as always.

Best hopes (none at all, really),
Jo

Two

Dear Cunt,

Whatever were you thinking? Whatever are you thinking now? All the time you were putting your make up on you kept saying it’s for your own pleasure. You said, you say right now if someone asks you, that it’s not for him. “Fuck it,” you say, “I wanna be pretty because I feel like it.”

Yes, you fucking cunt. You feel like it because you hope he’s gonna be there. You don’t even know. You hold that brush so tight it could break, all the while hoping with everything you have — which is not much, you disgusting insecure lonely idiot — that he shows up. And then you’ll smile when you think he looks your way, trying to charm him from a distance. Guess what? This is not a cheesy book where some guy falls in love with you over your smile. It’s not even a pretty smile, with your uneven teeth and the way it screams ‘fake’ a mile off.

Your life is not a wonderfully written text. You won’t catch a guy’s eye just by being lovely. He won’t approach you because you have three coats of mascara on. Yes, you’re pretty but he knows better. You’re intelligent and he doesn’t like it because he can’t fool you. You’re too smart for your own good: you can’t even fool yourself. You know deep down just how pathetic and miserable you are. You’re pretty but it doesn’t matter. You’re ugly in so many other ways; and that puts him, all of then off.

And it’s upsetting because this was not supposed to happen. This was not supppsed to be your life. This was not supposed to be you. How often did you think, while growing up, that you were destined for greatness? You always hoped great things would happen to you. You always believed it, actually. And here you are, facing the prospect of a 9 to 5 job. Alone. You’re looking at a lifetime of being alone. Miserable. Disgusting. On meds. On meth.

I’m writing this to you because no one else will tell you all this. No one else will look at you and just scowl; no one will tell you just how fucking pathetic you are.

I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to think about it either. I wouldn’t want to accept it either.

I’m writing this to you because I love you.

Best hopes (none at all, really),
Jo.

One

My dearest,

I need to write this down and hope against all hope you will get to see it, because you’re the only one who would understand enough about my life to know what I mean. You know me, you know how I think, how I come to conclusions, you know all there is and some pieces I don’t like to think about.

There is something that pushes me to be mean and evil and should I believe in god, I swear I would live with the constant fear of being struck down when I get out of bet to use to loo. I would fear Hell but how can you be afraid of a choice? I wish I could blame some sort of tempting force, some devil or demon or inherent evil, but there is none of that.

I feel bad for my feelings and I wish I didn’t have them; and then I accept them and bask in them, relish in how much life they bring out in me. My love, I must have found out what it means to be human. There is no other explanation to this. That, or I’m a sociopath, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

I hate and wish bad things to people I love. I justify these feelings by telling myself that it would help them on the long run. And I do it half out of revenge. Because I cannot stand people being so full of themselves and so self assured and so bloody cocky. I cannot stand them disagreeing with me, contradicting me on matter I have experienced further than they have. And then they stand a bit taller and are so bloody happy to try to prove to me that they could do what I do, what I need to be doing better than me. They are so fucking proud to shoe me that they can do what I do and their own shit,

And for that, I wish things for them. Struggles. Some degree of pain. Disappointment. I want to build them, add brick by brick to their core, paint them beautifully in glowing colours and why they are finally confident enough to take over the world, I want to shatter them to pieces and watch them become stronger, do it all again but alone — be powerful enough to deal.

Fucking little cunts going on and on about the struggles of their lives, about the pain, the self harm, the imagined aches and the various illnesses. I want them to know true pain so that when asked what made them be so strong individuals, they will have an answer. I love all of them and I want all of them to fucking drop down and scream with the injustice and hurt. I want that because I love them. I fucking love them and hate them and I’m thinking, when I finally see all these words on a screen, that I’m the stuff psychos are made of. At least it would give me a purpose.

I wish bad things to happen to the people I love. I regret them almost instantly.

But my love, I feel more alive than ever.