He asks why I am angry and I cannot respond.

There is heat in this carpet. I curl up in a patch of sunlight, begging for warmth.

I am so cold all the time.

-thanks for coming, it’s lovely to meet you

-thanks, you too

-this is Jordan’s girlfriend

-lovely, thanks for coming

-thanks for inviting me

I am in a room of strangers sitting in circles around white tables, skirts and alcohol and bits of food.

He holds my hand beneath the tablecloth. I catch his eye and smile because I know how to smile.

But I haven’t learned yet how to talk, how to be. How to exist and burst out of myself in a room full of strangers dressed in white.

In the bathroom other women smile at me and tell me how beautiful I look.

I have gotten good at being beautiful.

I am also good at remembering facts. Quotes from the plays and the books I have to read. Statistics. Voting systems. Franzosisch y l’allemange. Billions of words and sentences, different languages.

But before all that, nutrition. Vitamin B1, B12, calcium, selenium, whole proteins. Low carb, smart carb. 8 Glasses of water a day.

This is just a small body. There’s not room for much between my skin and my bone.

At the table there is cake. I eat the icing.

-don’t tell me you don’t like cake

-I just like the icing.

I tricked him, though I didn’t mean to. I painted a picture on myself of a warm woman full of passions and ideas and he fell in love with her. But I cannot explain to him why I am so angry and sad for no reason, or why I shiver all the time. Or why I’m doing so well in school and not much else. And how I don’t know how to talk to his family.

And now he starts to realise that I’m not a woman, not even a human at all.

We do not stay at the hotel.

The next day I take a train home and continue writing a script for a film I’m making.

He makes his excuses. I never see him again.


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