I refuse to wish you a happy Valentine's Day my love. But I bought this card for you along with all the other lemming-drones in Paperchase despite the conspiracy of consumerism it represents.
I do not want to sign off with a simple I love you as you know my feelings on how love is brandished about in this commercialistic society of ours. It is the bullet of capitalism now, lost and forgotten, replaced with l—u—v love, the lemming-drones all “luving” their Starbucks coffee and “luving” Justin Timberlake.
It is not the love I want to say. It does not get close to the very Marianas Trench depth of my feelings for you. Or Lake Baikal depths. You probably don’t know but it is the deepest lake in the world. (I researched your GCSE marks online.) Anyway, Lake Baikal is probably more suitable as I feel my love is isolated and not touching any other body of water that may also be deep.
I want to write you a verse, as Yeats did, laying the cloths of heaven at Maud Gonne’s feet, asking her to tread softly. I want to compare thee to a summer’s day. I want to free-write, tease it out, so you can witness it being forged in the depths of my Lake Baikal love-darkness. Please, bear with me.
If love were dead, I too would be dead, for I am the embodiment of love. Scrap that.
If love was only mine and mine alone, I would make sweet love to myself every second of every day. No, if love were a song, I would sing it to you. Wait, forget this abstractedness. You probably won’t get it anyway considering you think Salvador Dali is a shoe. I need something more tangible. I will perhaps go towards something to which you can relate. In pop culture.
If love was your Facebook page I would like everything as soon as you posted it so that every bastard knew you were mine. No. A person, I need a person.
If love were Ayrton Senna hurtling at 205mph towards Tamburello corner on lap 7 in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, I would keep my accelerator pressed to the floor and not regret a thing. No.
If love were Luke Skywalker, I would have intercourse with my sister. God, that sounds sick. If love were Luke Skywalker, I would make love to my sister. No.
If love were Saddam Hussein, I would ram its weapon of mass destruction down your throat. No. Sorry. That’s bad — you probably don’t know who Saddam Hussein is. OK, something else, not a person.
If love were an animal, it would surely be a duck. I would set my dogs of desire into the long grass to scare it from its hiding place. Then, as it took flight to safety, I would spray love with shotgun pellets, unloading both barrels to make sure of the kill, and watch it fall to earth with a lifeless thump. I would rush to the scraggly, blood-soaked carcass of love so that the dogs did not tear it asunder. I would grab love by its webbed feet, bring it home, pluck its feathers and chop off its head off with my cleaver. I would rip love’s entrails from its stomach, keep its liver for pate and eat its heart raw, sucking the blood through its vena cava. I would drench love in orange sauce, cook love on gas mark 5 for thirty-five minutes then share it with you.
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Not a duck!
If love were any animal, it would surely be a triceratops. It would be the sick triceratops in Jurassic Park that was actually a sick stegosaurus in the Crichton novel. It gorges itself ferociously on West Indian lilac. I imagine it’s the same ferocious eating pattern as you at Nandos except it’s a herbivore. The Jurassic Park wardens think the animals don’t eat the West Indian lilac but it’s proved to them they do when Dr. Ellie Sattler roots through the giant pile of dinosaur droppings. That’s the love I’m trying for, that sick triceratops, extinct for 65 million years, read about only in books, learned about only through fossils, brought back to life by Dr. John Hammond’s devotion and hard work, by obsession, by dreaming the undreamable, by succeeding where hundreds of thousands had failed, by saying yes to no, up to down, a love that transcended ice ages and continental drift, that echoed through millions of years like a time-earthquake, that got sick, and the love plunged Dr. Ellie Sattler’s hands into that giant pile of dung.
No, that’s shit. I can do better.
If love were a triceratops, it would be Bionotops, He-man’s bionic triceratops from the land of Preternia. The Snake Men in the original Masters of the Universe series had captured Bionotops. They were going to eat him but He-man saved it. He then attached a laser to Bionotops behind the frill (also known as the flounce) that acted as body armour and is widely believed to have regulated body temperature. He mounted Bionotops when fighting Skeletor who had a Tyrannosaurus Rex. I am He-man, riding love into battle. Yes, that’s it—love is the triceratops on which I would ride you into battle.
I like that. Done.
With all my deepest Lake Baikal, triceratops love,
(c) David McGrath, 2013
David McGrath graduated in 2012 from an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths. He has won StorySlam at the Royal Festival Hall, the Peirene Press short story competition and is published on Wordlegs. He is putting the finishing touches to his first novel, Rickshaw. Twitter @DaveMcgrath1
Max Berendt studied drama at Manchester University and trained at Mountview. Max’s theatre credits include, The Trial (BAC: Total Theatre Award), Peer Gynt (Arcola), Journey’s End (West End), The Devil is an Ass (The White Bear). Max works regularly as a voiceover artist.