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after Fleabag

I want to iron your favourite shirts

two, nearly the same, navy blue, white stripe

I want to fold the collar down

at the nape of your neck, when you’re

rushing out on a Tuesday to one of the

too many jobs you have

You’re terrible at being still

I want to cook you dinner

Nothing fancy, maybe pasta and a tomato

sauce—one from scratch and I’ll spend too long

labouring over it. It will taste worse than from a tin.

We can sit at wooden table, wooden chairs

and for dessert, maybe an orange

like the poem we love

the one that melted me when you referenced it

casual, offhand.

I want to be seafoam on your ocean

I want to smoke cigarettes from your lips

I want to crawl inside your ribs and live there

I want to love you so completely and so fiercely

it will fill houses.



Tonight, I am drunk. So much more drunk than I planned on. I suppose the issue was, right, that normally I just drink rum-cokes. But I’m here on a date with this lad and I want to impress him, or something like that, so I tried drinking Guinness and my brain really doesn’t know what to do with that. My stomach really doesn’t know what to do with that.

I’m leaning so far forward on this toilet that my nose is basically on my knees. I have my eyes half closed, occasionally looking up at the rows of graffiti on the yellow bathroom door. It says things like FUCK Henry and You look super sexy, ignore him! As if bathroom graffiti has ever made anyone feel better about anything.

I might get sick. You know that moment when your heads spinning and you’re trying to decide if you’re best just getting it over with? Only problem is, I want to keep kissing him. Somewhere between the 5th pint and 7th he leant over, held the back of my neck with one hand and the inside of my knee with the other and went, Let’s do this, then. (which admittedly, definitely made the moment feel a bit more like a weird workout routine) and he kissed me. He’s not half bad. Maybe a bit keen with the teeth, but he can match rhythm and doesn’t try to go in with the tongue too fast, which most guys seem to love doing.

I didn’t know if I liked him at all before this date actually. He’s not my usual kind. Friend of a friend, met him at a party recently. His hair does this weird flicky thing at the back, but he has that malnourished look I really go for so I didn’t see a problem with giving him my insta and now here we are. He was a bit keen over text, checked three times today if we were still on for 2nite yeah? Xxxxx. Nearly cancelled over that alone. I had an outfit picked out that makes me look really sexy though, so I couldn’t exactly say no.

Then halfway through the night, he was telling me another boring story when he mentioned that he was sleeping with another girl a few nights ago. I felt myself go half wild with jealousy. This reaction both made me laugh a little and also want to die. Quite suddenly I was obsessed with him. Now I can’t stop wondering about it he’ll text me tomorrow, if he’ll want to walk me back, if he’s the kind that does the thing with their thumb over the back of my hand. I don’t know why I do this, but I know my housemates will kill me in the morning when I tell them this is why I went home with him.

I take about 20 slow, deep breaths. Nose, mouth. Nose-mouth. Nose. Mouth. God I hate drinking I’ll stop tomorrow. God I hate men I’ll stop tomorrow. God I hate myself when I’m like this. He’s definitely going to give me hickeys, I can smell it off him. I should probably cancel that date with the other guy from the bar on Saturday. Bit embarrassing if he saw them. I use the toilet paper holder to pull myself to my feet and wobble for a minute. I’m not going back down. I don’t think I’m going to vomit.

I can see him through the half-glazed glass on the Toilet door when I open the cubicle. He’s ordered himself another pint. None for me. Scabby with the rounds, he has been all night. That’s hot for some reason.


I smooth my hair back in the mirror and apply some more red lipliner, badly. It smudges round the corners but I stare at myself hard for a minute and decided I pull it off. I turn for the door.

Right, let’s do this then.


Úna Nolan enjoys writing so much she occasionally forgets to be embarrassed about it. She has been previously published in Crossways Literary Journal, Green Carnations Anthology, The New Word Order, The Madrigal Press, and Morning Fruit Magazine. Her latest work appears in The Martello Journal (of which she is Editor in Chief) and The Madrigal Press’s anthology, ‘An Áitiúil.' Instagram + Twitter.

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