Something was up with Marky Mark. I didn’t know what. We were in Bondi, at his family’s holiday house. His mother and all the wild sisters from The Fighter were there. The house was ramshackle. We went into the bedroom and got nude and I tried to forget about the weirdness I was feeling from him, but he started picking at me. We argued. It got nasty. I said ‘What’s wrong? Why are you doing this?’ But he turned his back on me. I lay there, feeling that familiar fury rise. Then I got up and stormed out.
Now things would never be the same. I would always be waiting for the bad thing to happen again. That awful mood, the impenetrable one. The aggression. The brick wall.
That was it. It was over.
I got my swimming costume out. There were awful photos of me on the walls with Marky Mark, all dressed up, but looking haggard and old. In one photo I had white Harlequin make-up on with the painted-on tear and the white circle only covered a portion of my actual face, the rest was fleshy, old-person jowls. Mutton dressed up as Harlequin. I walked out into the sunlight.
None of my friends in Bondi were home. It wasn't Bondi. I went to the beach. I didn’t want to swim, it was a wild ocean beach that would swallow you whole. So I sat there. And I thought ‘It’s over between Marky Mark and I.’ And I felt better for a moment. But then I looked down.
I was eight months pregnant.
FUCK I thought, and started to cry. What would I do? It was over, but now we were tied together forever. How could I have been so stupid?
Everyone on the beach was so normal. They were smiling, happy. And I could never go back to normal with Marky. Not since the Fight.
A little fat boy came and grabbed my hand and took me to a park where the autumn leaves had all fallen from the trees. The smell of the fallen yellow leaves, which formed a thick blanket on the ground was exquisite. I said to the boy, ‘Smell the leaves!’ But he didn’t care about the smell. It drove me wild that he didn't care. The boy started talking to an elderly man on a bench. And the elderly man snarled and said something horrible to him. I grabbed the fat kid’s hand and we walked away. When I looked down at him, the kid was crying.
‘Don’t worry about the mean man,’ I said to him. ‘Not all old people are nice.’ The kid didn’t say anything, but kept licking his ice-cream.
I took him back to the holiday shack with all of Marky Mark’s family in it, drinking mixed spirits. I was happy because I’d lasted all day and hoped they’d been worried about me, missed me. But nobody had noticed. Not even Marky Mark who sat outside by the pool, looking into it, thinking, scowling. He didn’t look up as I walked out there with the fat kid. The fat kid wanted to swim in the pool. It was an above-ground one thick with leaves and dead animals and scum. I said no. The kid was gone.
And I was left there with Marky Mark. He looked up at me. He was smoking a cigarette. His face was hard. I wanted to die.
Did we have to stay together even though we loathed each other?
The feeling was so awfully sad. The Blue Valentine ache. That knowledge that it was dead, there was nothing either of us could do to get it back. I wanted so badly to reach him. But there was a big, murky pool of toxic water between us that would skin us if we tried.It was one of those great dreams, because then I got to wake up and realise it wasn’t true. I lay there in the dark, feeling the sweetness of reality. I wasn’t pregnant to an ice-cold Marky Mark, nor lost in fake Bondi with a fat kid. I was here, the bed was warm with a gentle, sleeping non-fighter and perhaps I’d just watched a few too many new releases.