Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Ask Me Anything By Chris Newton

You ask me why I did what I did, in spite of how much I loved you? How much I love you still? We met at the Rough Trade signing. You probably don’t remember. I told you that you didn't look like yourself, not without the eyeliner and the trademark fishnets. You just laughed, as though I'd said something idiotic. You asked, "How I could I look like anything other than myself?" But it was true. I'd never seen you wearing white before. And your hair was too short. You looked nothing like you did on the cover of the Beautiful Mistakes EP. I should know, I have it framed above my mantelpiece.

"It took so many years to find you, I almost didn’t recognise you." I sang, but you just gave me that look again, like I was stupid. Like I was one of those journalists who don't understand you. "Fundamentally Alone." I prompted. "The B-side from the Special Edition Cemetery Songs 7-Inch?"

"Oh." You said vaguely. "Jesus. We haven't played that for years. I'd forgotten it even existed." That was the moment. Not solely disappointment, but a piercing, physical wound in my chest. You - the real you - sing those words to me every day. Your pain, your unrelenting intensity... Your unapologetic humanity was the only thing that kept me going through ten miserable years of the customer services complaints department, Christmas promotions that start in June and the general abysmal emptiness and soul crushing futility of human existence. You were all that kept me from suicide. No matter how wretched each day was, it would all be worth it if I heard you sing that song. How could you not remember those words? You were the only one who understood me. We feel the same things, you and I; too sensitive, too fragile, too human for humanity. You don't understand yourself anymore. But it's okay, because I know you better than anyone. I knew I had to help you. To fix you, just like you fixed me. It wasn't until I noticed the wedding ring that I realised you had to die.

You were supposed to be asexual. Celibate. You're too perfect to be weakened by lust. "Everyone you love will leave you in the end”. Your words - not mine! Was your wedding day the happiest day of your life? When you kissed, did your lips remember the lyrics to Fundamentally Alone? Don't you see I had to save you from yourself? Because you're perfect now. It was harder than I expected to dye your hair, and the extensions aren't ideal, but from a distance you almost look like yourself again. The makeup was easy, I perfected the look for my own face a long time ago.

I know you won't stay fresh forever, but that's okay. Having the genuine article on my wall is still better than a framed picture. Although it's funny: these days I almost look more like you than you do.

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