Tess O'Hara

On my Made Bed



Magnolia like the walls like the bed like the walls like the fat estate window rims, the throw. Ribbed. Thrown over the duvet cover over the fitted sheet thrown over the mattress protector over the double mattress the double bed, an adult gets a double bed. The throw a sofa throw until mum worried about Capri Sun, until me, me and my brothers. An airing cupboard throw, airing airing airing packed flat folded fat dry dry dry, till I threw it over my duvet cover dry.



Bye. Poolside convo about your summer last night, oh yeah, about your slizzered side eyes, pooling sighs, fubar convos. The production is tight. This sound mixing is sick. Maybe bass we don’t need bass no reason reason why? Your phones diametize my radii radii my scalp. My circumference is higher, a little inch out of reach of my hearing nerves, patches of stereocilia rocking like back and forth back and forth, aint give you no play last night mm.



Mauve Shiraz spot on a wrinkle, lighter than my snot on a wrinkle, much more colourful than my sweat. Thirsty. If I was out at Uni or a bar, I’d blow my nose and throw the tissue in the bin but here in bed, I fold. Sneeze on the right side, blow on the wrong side of the tissue of the bed. Mop up an apple juice drop and I’m done, time for bed for bin for bed.



Leather with me, gold edges with me, spirit with me, life on my headboard. Little little letters, which ones shall I read? Don’t observe the law to be righteous, the law is numbers and your religious education teacher’s cushion soft shoes. Observe the ghost who is inkier than little letters, font-size-seven. Fabric condition, ghost me, under the granola-crumbed throw. I’m too full for my bedding, for any pudding.



Lapsang Souchong like a cigar without friends. Your English breakfast is not what I want, your back bacon with baked beans. I like streaky, so well done, and a little bit more well done, good and faithful servant. Pear-shaped mug like me. Handleless. Strong. We’ll fairy it and have a filter coffee and fairy it for an espresso and fairy it for a Lemsip. Dehydrating.



The sticker ripped off the rhubarb sparkle bottle so cleanly. I water it in the morning, try to remember to water myself and balance all the caffeine, all the Instagram, the beats. I need topping up. My needs topping up with something. You have to fill the bottle to fill your seventy percent. Distil. Focus.



My glasses nose-pads are the colour of my forehead. My nose dive skin is the most blue-grey part of me so I colour it in the colour of my forehead, the colour of my nose pads. My foundation is Christ. My foundation is warm ivory double-stay, crack-free, smooth. My reality is blue-grey. My reality is Christ. My reality is a ghost and thirsting finding thirsting finding filling welling. My eyes don’t see the same so I wear these glasses, this ghost. Under a warm ivory film, I don’t see all the same.



I definitely spent like twenty minutes in the shower, an hour and forty-one watching The Hangover Part Two; I chatted to Matt for thirty and I went to Co-op, ten, and then, I don’t know, I guess I was on the internet, scrolling. Scroll scroll shoulders legs couples beds. I’m hungry so I’ll send a text. I’ll group chat in my bed: grin emoji grin emoji pink heart not red. You can see in certain lights my Android pattern password my fingerprint sludge.

Tess O'Hara, from Bath, studies Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton in London. She has contributed prose poetry to Students magazine, and fiction and personal essays to two Fincham Press anthologies. She won the Roehampton Editor's Choice Award for short story 'Tate and Paul', inspired by her favourite London landmarks.