I Ran Away from Home to see how long it’d take my Mother to Notice

Are you my drunk teacher who took our game of rounders way too 

seriously? Are you the boy who said I had the ugliest smile on the 

playground? Are you the girl who toe punted my balls and made me 

a piss sack of blood? the girlfriend who slept with women behind my 

back, said it wasn’t cheating? I don’t know what I’m saying, would 

you be my friend? I spent hours in the house alone as a child. I left 

fingerprints on my sister’s CDs so the music kept skipping! I wanted 

her friends to be my friends but I wasn’t invited to her parties. Are you 

the party? Are you my Dad lying on the sofa, saying I’ll soon be dead? 

When I pull ‘What is Existentialism?’ off my mother’s shelf Simone 

De Beauvoir says The movement of my transcendence appears futile. I 

don’t know what that means so I put it back, fuck! Who loves me? I’m 

testing everyone! I need space for all my old and new gooey needs and 

projections, I need constant blaring validation alarms, give me award 

ceremonies, please observe my wall of fame. Best Second-Guessing 

Over Achiever, Best Internal Monologue While Drying Dishes, Best 

Self-Promoter at the Charity Fundraiser, Best Awkward Silence in a  

Moving Vehicle, Best Bad Advice to a Couple in Crisis, Best Non- 

Smoker in the Smoking Area, Most Self-Centred Fear during the Global 

Pandemic, Lifetime Achievement Award for Most convincing Head 

Nod In a Crowded Pub, Most Triggered Person In An Empty House 

from All The Names Given (Picador, 2021), © Raymond Antrobus 2021, used by permission of the author

Antrobus has many accolades to his name, including the Ted Hughes Award, Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of The Year ...

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