Nothing Compares 2 U
She remembers when she used to sympathise with Sinead O’Connor. When she thought seven hours and fifteen days was something to write songs about. Now she can no longer even string a sentence together, let alone some lyrics.
She has lost count of the days she has not slept, the cups of tea and plates of food she has not finished, the times she has burst into tears for apparently no reason, or wondered what the hell she was doing and why and how and what she was thinking.
She knows she’s supposed to be able to cope, because she sees all the other mothers bouncing their little ones on their knee at Starbucks, listens as they explain in voices that are little too high how little Archie or Alfie, or Abi slept through the night last night, and is on solids and is sitting up and for all she cares they could be speaking French at five months, and she wishes these women with their perfect nails and lipstick smiles and bouncy hair with their decaf soy lattes because they’re still breastfeeding as well as making all their own baby food would just fuck right off because somewhere between the hospital and here – though she has no real idea where here is – somewhere, she lost herself.
And tonight when her husband comes home and she’s sitting on the floor with the scissors by her knees and the baby is crying and she’s crying and clumps of hair lie on their floor from where she has grabbed handfuls to hack off, he’ll gently tease the scissors from her fingers and store them somewhere safe, and then he’ll pick up the baby from her cot and he’ll sit next to her singing the way he used to when they first met, when they came in steaming drunk from the pub, with not a care in the world, and she and the baby will finally fall asleep to Sinead’s song and she’ll remember the reason they named their child something nobody else could spell, something that meant everything to them before she meant nothing but mother to anyone, and she’ll remember what she was before, and she’ll finally know what that song title really means.
Hannah Storm’s @HANNAHSTORM6 flash fiction and creative non-fiction and has been published widely on line and in print. Named in the British and Irish Flash Fiction of the Year (BIFFY 50), she has been published widely, placed second in the Bath Flash Fiction Award and won the ‘I Must Be Off!’ travel writing prize. She is a media consultant, mental health advocate, marathon runner and mother and lives in the north of England with her husband and two children.
Cathy Daley @CathyDaley1 is a Toronto-based visual artist whose work is exhibited and collected internationally and deals with the intersections between abstraction and representation, exploring cultural depictions of women.
Banner Art: Green and Yellow a painting by Cathy Daley