Laura Tansley

Have you tried humming? You know, instead of singing?


The end of the world will sound like gobs of hail bouncing off window sills, plus every kind of siren that beats a path of thunder through chest cavities, like that one alarm – I think it’s the laundrette – that goes off like a strobe light if you even breathe in its direction or look at it funny. Then engine revs whilst still in gear and the long-sighing realisation like a cassette player dying that population centres will be the most dangerous places because of people. But you’ve made plans and the only thing you’ll really miss is telly because there’s nothing or no-one anyone likes as consistently. It requires no effort and is always trying to impress with catchy theme tunes.


Share and share alike


Once, on a camping trip in South Wales, I met a woman called Mags who told me she would always share a cup of tea with her sister. Mags said she would take the first half because she liked the steam, was quick to court a blister; her sister would take it second because she was slower, shiftless, forgetful, preferred it colder. Everywhere she went that weekend she left a half-finished drink, unaware of the sisterless trail she was leaving and how annoying it was to wash up after her. I have a brother and we share nothing (except all our anxieties), which is why maybe in the sex dream I had about him I was full of apologies for pretending to be some kind of other. Because boasts of being different are really admissions of not knowing an antithesis, like those people that say I’m so weird about the most obvious shit. They’re predictable, like fucking our mater / pater figures to impress them; an idea as ubiquitous as flipping a coin to find out who goes first, and fixing our preferences forever.

Laura Tansley's writing has appeared in Butcher's Dog, Cosmonaut's Avenue, Gutter, Lighthouse, Litro, New Writing Scotland, The Real Story, The Rialto, Southword, Tears in the Fence and is forthcoming in Stand. She is also co-editor of the collection 'Writing Creative Non-Fiction: Determining the Form'. She lives in Glasgow and tweets @laura_tans.