Leaving London


All pics @ Johnny’s Bird

It’s my last day in London so Mavi offers to buy me lunch. Sitting anxiously on a sunny patio outside Café Alto, I reluctantly shove forkfuls of salad between my quivering lips, the leaves salted by my tears. To our right a homeless woman begs aggressively for change. “Spare a few coins?” she spits, stumbling toward us.

“I’m sorry Darling, I really would, but I’m only carrying cards,” says Mavi, not lifting here eyes from her Blackberry. Furious, the woman plunges her dirt-caked fingers deep into the bowl in front of me, tosses a handful of wet leaves into my face and storms off. Vinaigrette dressing merges with the teardrop rivers streaming down my cheeks, trickles down my neck and seeps into the crease between my tits. Mavi screams obscenities in Italian.

We leave before finishing our food, partly because I’m now sobbing and partly because the eBay auction for the one-off Justin Bieber T-shirt that Mavi is currently bidding on ends in twenty minutes, and it’s really important that she doesn’t lose. The waitress offers us a pitied smile and says our meals are on the house.

On the plane to New York I swallow a Valium and dream that I’m deep under the ocean, swimming like a fish, fast and eager, until suddenly I fall off what seems to be the edge of the earth. I wake up violently. I spend the remainder of the flight turning the dream over and over on the tip of my brain, trying to find some profound meaning in each and every one of its tiny details, but fail completely. I’m sad I think, I can’t tell anymore.

My mother picks me up from JFK and tells me that my skirt is too short and that I probably need a haircut and that she loves me. On the car ride home I pop a Morphine pill that this boy called Huw gave me last night as a leaving present, knowing full well that taking it means I will vomit violently for the first five hours of tomorrow.

By the time we arrive home my body feels like jelly so I lie face down on the kitchen floor and go limp; for some reason at this moment this behavior feels both appropriate and necessary. “Is this a new hobby of yours?” asks my mother sarcastically as she steps over my lifeless body. My brother Rob walks up behind me. My eyes are closed but I know it’s him because I can hear the scuff of his Converse against the wooden floor. He never was good at picking up his feet.

Rob curls up his frail, still boyish body next to mine, breathes deeps and runs the tips of his fingers slowly down my spine. “Feels good, right?” he says. “I’ve stopped biting my nails, finally. It was really hard. But now I’ll be extra good at tickle-rubbing.”

“Cool,” I say, slowly lifting my eyelids. He’s grown a mustache. I guess that means he’s a man.

There’s a long silence, and then: “Is this… are you… bleh. Wait, fuck…” he stutters, then smacks himself in the forehead, as if to kick start his brain.

“How stoned are you?” I say, my face reflected in his dilated pupils. He closes his eyes carefully, trying to gauge his wastedness. “Not very,” he concludes, then adds, “I’m really happy that you’re home, you know. “Nothing good has happened to me in a long time. Why is it that good things happen to bad people?”

“Are you referencing something in particular?” I ask.

“Not really. It’s just that… Sometimes, I think I wish I believed in God.”


“No, actually,” he says, pawing at his face sleepily. “I don’t even know why I said that.” And as I lie here, half conscious, he keeps talking, speaking in his weird, oblique way that’s at once worrying and comforting. And as he spits words at me, one by one hitting my face I think, What you say means everything and nothing, don’t stop.




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10 Responses to Leaving London

  1. scot james says:

    so, I'm Australia, a guy, 19 and in no way should be able to relate to you nor any aspect of your life. But I do. I know you get 284 cigarette smoking, coffee drinking, pill poping, unemployed skinny fucks saying they relate and I'm no different to any of them. but iunno, maybe saying reading your blog and your occassional updates has kept me happy and from offing myself. obviously not the only thing, but yeah, your blog is one of the decent things that makes me enjoy life but i guess because i fantasize about living your life while still spending 99% of my time in my bedroom.

  2. xoxo says:

    your posts are the things i look forward to in the day, so amazing

  3. dalas v. says:

    GOOD LUCK! (I typo'd "GOOD LICK," which I do also hope you get)

  4. fergus says:

    ohh… loved this. made me think of my sister that i miss dearly, i wonder what it would be like if i went home one day. love you karley, fergus.xx

  5. Scot says:

    hi karley, just replying to your comment – my e-mail is scotj@live.com.au

  6. siimone says:

    god, i'm i love with your blog, i want to fuck it XD

  7. danielita says:

    Does that mean you left London for a longer time than just for a holiday? Please keep writing here, I somehow enjoy your style…

  8. this is the good shit

  9. Our Youth says:

    oh, no. i didn't read your lovely blog for a while and now this: you left london. to be honest london isn't that exciting at the moment anyway and you probably won't miss that much. i'm sure american boys wash more often, have better drugs and don't have chlamydia all the time ;) xxx

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