3… 2… 1…
In the early days it was easy
We slotted together so perfectly
For my every quirk
You had the reverse
Like an enzyme – a key to fit every lock
And together we broke everything down
We erased every block on the screen
And we were free
Just you and me.
We made space for each other
Friends: who needs ’em?
Jobs: fuck that.
Food: maybe later.
All we needed was each other
And those falling blocks seemed gifted from the heavens
We were on a never-ending winning streak
Riding the wave of good fortune
Perfect fit after perfect fit
And we laughed – wide-eyed – that we were getting away with murder
Couldn’t believe how many last-minute changes
We could make work
We had lazy days – on autopilot – where everything just went to plan
We didn’t even have a plan
But our Zs and Ns stacked to the left and right in neat little piles
Os in the middle tessellated into neat lego-brick walls and melted away
And even though we were only half awake, everything fit perfectly, without a thought
We were entranced together, while that tune hummed around and around
Those blocks swimming before my eyes even when you weren’t there.
And I’ve heard you can actually win at this game
That with a high enough score a rocket appears
And you just fly off into happily ever after
And I don’t know if that’s true or not
I’ve only ever heard rumours and fairytales
But if I ever was going to make it –
I just know it’d be this game. With you.
But then we hit pause. Just for a minute. Some real life stuff got in the way.
But when we came back nothing was the same
Our winning streak was gone
It started with one little gap –
I’d said L
You could’ve matched my L
You act soppier than me and you’re leaving a 2-block gap here
Would it really kill you to say you L me too?
And it wasn’t great, but we’d fix it later
But that later never came.
We stacked our tetrominoes around it, higher and higher
But the gaps grew with every layer
Seriously, what were you thinking putting that T there like that?
Or leaving your Top Gear magazines and dirty socks all over my floor?
You were all Zs and Ns misaligned
And I was waiting for the I
I’d lost where I fit in
Seriously where the hell is that I? It could solve everything
But our screen is filling up too fast
And the last-minute changes no longer work
We don’t get away with murder anymore
We don’t get away with anything
What’s that face supposed to mean?
No, I’m not being over-sensitive – you’re being an arse.
And now the world is piling in on us
And there isn’t the room turn around
Because we’re moving too fast to fix
There isn’t even time to roll your Is
Because it’s moving in split seconds
Faster and faster and then
We have no moves left.
As the final tetrominoes entomb our screen
For you and me, it’s:
We had a good run.
Poem originally written for Towel Day/Geek Pride Day. Filmed at the Tate Modern, April 2015, courtesy of Queersay, Apples and Snakes and Out in South London.