1739 c/o Stephen O'Toole

The Ass of You and Me

I will assume that steam is the ghost of water, and that therefore boiling a kettle is straight up murder, so that when you say I can come home with you for a coffee, it's okay for me to feel scared and cry.

I will assume that you'll believe me when I say, as cover for crying, that I'm really just glad that Sandra Bullock made it back to Earth okay, even though she couldn't speak Chinese and had a dead daughter.

I will assume you'll never ask me to juggle, because I'm about to tell you I can juggle; in fact I'll even examine three of your eggs and say, I'd show you with these right now, but they're just not ripe enough yet.

I will assume that you weren't saving those eggs for anything, because you've more or less let me just smash them on the floor.

I will assume the same goes for these towels I've just ruined.

I will assume that you won't scream at me, and will, in fact, be all be-still-my-beating-heart about me, when I say, with my knees in egg yolk, and my hands massaging the floor through your flatmate's Princess Jasmine beach towel, that, Actually, I've just remembered: it's yo-yos that I'm good at.

I will assume that it's okay I've kept my socks on, because socks are just condoms for the feet, and our legs have already started doing some beautiful DNA impersonations—they're linked up under the covers like double helix, double ankle-ix, double toe-ix, double sole-ix.

I will assume that when you picked your phone up there, you were checking the GPS to see if the earth had moved.

I will assume that it's not raining today; in fact, I will assume that, from this second, I will never be rained on again; that when I leave your bed and turn your shower on, instead of making me wet, it'll actually give me the perfect suntan; and that if I was a stripper, and I was having pound notes flicked in my face by men who loved nothing, they would all origami themselves into swans, these pound notes, and fly off out of a window rather than touch me—though where they'd land had better be my bank account, because, you know, I earned that money, I earned it with my hot golden bod and superlative twerking, and just because I'm untouchably in love with you now, doesn't mean that I'm dizzy enough to be cheated out of my own cash by a bunch of sentient pound note swans.

I will assume that 'bunch' is the wrong word though.

I will assume that the correct collective noun for sentient pound note swans is splash-register: a splash-register of sentient pound note swans; though when they're in flight let's call them a windfall.

I will assume that when you roll over and say, These are the sort of puns my dad would do, that you're finally voicing some deep, long-buried Freudian feelings, and that you secretly always wanted to marry your dad and do French kisses with him forever.

I will assume that the phrase is actually 'biting my time', and as I wait patiently for the chance to ask you to marry me, I will crack open wristwatch after wristwatch and feast on their delicious innards.

I will assume that 'seen by' means you've skimmed my message, but that you haven't had a chance to go through it line by line, because admittedly that itinerary was quite detailed, and maybe, just maybe, five months of frolicking in long grass is a month too many—but I was trying to factor in, what, fifty, sixty years together, going forward?

I will assume that you've got hayfever; that the grass should never have been 'long', and I'm sorry. I promise you I'll mow it. I'll put it in a room where we can watch it, safely, from a distance, on twenty four hour surveillance cameras. A special room that keeps the grass green. I'll arrange to have it guarded by an army of Israeli and Palestinian soldiers, whose nations will have agreed to work together just this once because of you and you only—until, after a year, or however long it takes for your next birthday to arrive, I'll dismiss the guards and have the room flooded with thousands of bees, hungry bees, hives and hives of them, and they'll eat up every piece of pollen in there and then fly out through the bee-chute again, all of them, straight up, like sentient pound note swans, up towards the ozone layer, where they'll stuff the hole full of five months worth of long grass pollen, fixing it for good and saving everyone, the whole world, from catastrophic climate change, because I saw you went on that protest march once in Edinburgh. And then I'll have the grass dried and turned into hay, and I'll take you to it. Sniff, I'll say. Go on! Breathe in! And your nose will never get red, there'll be no itch in your eyes or narrowing in your throat, and I'll put my arms around you and say, Hey, how about a quick roll in this, baby?

I will assume you're just not interested; fine; I'm not an idiot.