‘You Can’t Eat Words’: Creative Essay published in Gertrude Journal

I’m delighted that my creative essay, which looks, amongst other things, at queerness, wearing ‘toddler’ outfits in your thirties, the messiness of eating disorder recovery, and my enduring hatred for other Millenials’ enduring love for Mr. Brightside, is now published in Gertrude Journal. Read the opening below, or the whole essay here.

You Can’t Eat Words

It’s July 2021, and I’m jumping up and down to The Strokes’ Last Nite at the second of the three weddings I’ll attend this month, when some woman grabs my trousers. ‘Oh my God, I love them. very Saved By The Bell vibes. Where did you get them?’
She is blonde hair, beige satin, and almost certainly a clone of the blonde-and-beige woman who asked me this at the first wedding.
‘Instagram,’ I say. ‘It’s as if the algorithm knows that though my body may be thirty-three, my soul is a toddler.’
She laughs.
I laugh.
Last Nite gives way to The Killers’ Mr Brightside. My friends are on the dance floor, jumping up and down as if they’re back in Sixth Form, ecstatic that their fake IDs got them into some leopard-walled, 80p-a-shot, club.
‘I could never wear something like that, but you,’ she says, ‘you can get away with it.’
Before I can reassure her, she’s gone, and — coming out of my cage and I’ve been doing just fine / Gotta gotta be down because I want it all — I’m jumping up and down to a song I have always hated. I am getting away with something, however; beige-blonde knows it, my gut knows it, I know it. The question is: what?



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