by Izzy Rogers
I bought some tea yesterday.
Proper leaf tea, not those bags that I drink nine a day of. Tea that takes time, and effort.
That’s exactly what I need. Unimportant activities made complicated. Because clearly my life is not challenging enough without perfecting some minute piece of domesticity.
Real tea takes time to brew. I stood there at the kitchen counter staring into the tiles, unsure what to do with this newfound gap between activities. (I am the most proficient and practiced multi-tasker known to the modern age.) Something from four years ago crashed into my brain about how you used to make tea with tongs, squeezing out the dregs of the strongest tea I have ever had. Bitter and caffeinated.
Surprised on first sip, I teased you about it. I wondered what you did in that time while it was brewing. But now I know, because I know you better. You got distracted; let your mind wander. Caught up in some complicated conversation with your family – educated and ponderous. And fifteen minutes later my bitter cup of stewed love arrived on the side table next to me, while I sank into the leather chair in the kitchen.
“I wondered what you did in that time while it was brewing. But now I know, because I know you better.”
I called time on the whole thing of ‘us’, not that particular habit, which I never managed to improve. When it was time to say goodbye, it was in the kitchen and you sat on that chair, and I held your hand and told you I was sorry. But I didn’t cry because two years of crying is enough for anyone. There is no-one but you who I would shout across a street at, the cobbles tripping me up as I marched forward, incensed and confused.
No one makes Nigella Lawson as controversial a topic as you do, my love. ‘Obscenely extravagant’ apparently, like anti-thrift propaganda in a velvet twinset. Luscious lips licking off butter are too much for your Englishness. Which is just as well, because my lips are small and not daily-smothered in cream. Women’s football was another of our debates. As I sat on my bed applying makeup, you told me I was undermining my argument. Hmm.
I am too tired a person to try to change someone. Neither of us want the trauma as we fledge our lives, into something we don’t know. I would hold you back, shamelessly, needfully. You must go where you want.
In the age of perpetual connection, you know where I am. (Though you don’t know my address, I am not telling you.) Contact me at your leisure, when life makes no sense and you want to check the validity. Never have we found such truth.
Izzy Rogers is 26 and writes most days: poetry, notes, reviews – having been brought up on Keats, sonnets and a lot of theatre.