Parallel Universe 1: No Cars

In my universe, we walk everywhere. Because of this, we have extraordinary calf muscles. Everything in our culture revolves around the love of calves. We love baby cows too, but moreso, the glowing lower half of the human leg.

One day, Rohu was walking to school. On the way, he trips on some thick and mysterious rope and is paralysed. He lies here for several days and no-one realises. See, school is secondary to calf-training. Rohu has always been fantastic with his calf-training, so we simply assumed that he was forgoing school for extra calf-training. He’s such a committed boy like that.

Whilst Rohu is lying, still as a bean, on the foot-friendly bitumen, he is inadvertently face-to-face with the tiny creatures that dwell in the dirt. He realises that in this dirt, there are tiny cars. Seeing the tiny creatures in their tiny cars causes Rohu’s consciousness to expand.

The key fact that I have as of yet forgotten to tell you is that before this, our society had no conception of a car. We love travel. We live to travel. But travel depends solely on the strength of one’s calf muscles.

So when Rohu’s consciousness expanded, it was because his fundamental truths of our universe shifted. I.e., the truth that calf muscles are the most superior items we could imagine.

I scrambled home

Clutching my weetbix under my arm,
A bucket of peanut butter
Under the other
Half-way there, it leaked
Sticky nut brown over my legs
I laughed
Threw my hands up to the sky
Shaking my head at how things go


I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.