The 5 Stages of Mitosis


During interphase, the cell is preparing itself for division. The majority of the cell's lifespan is spent in interphase.

This story begins with a boy jumping of off a rooftop in to your mother's kitchen garden and breaking all of his bones and tomatoes and pea vines as well.

This story begins with a boy, whose name you even didn't know and hadn't bothered to learn for months after the accident.

This story begins with James.


He breaks his spine and fractures the scull but you don't really care. You just think how pretty he must look in a white room, on the white bed, in a white gown, all pale and light from blood loss and smelling of disinfectants.

And suddenly you can't breathe.

You feel dizzy and envious and it feels like love. You're in love with a nameless boy, who jumped from his own house not only in to your mother's kitchen garden but in to your heart as well.


On the day he returns from the hospital you read Dostoevsky, Goethe and Proust, all precisely in alphabetical order, clad in only your mother's woolen socks.

Your feet keep on itching and you leave hairy fingerprints on different letters; starting from A and finishing with Z. It drives you mad.

You don't look out of the window. Don't stare at his too big nose and tangled curls, that you want to yank straight, and dark bags under even darker eyes.

They look muddy and it irks you so much, that you want to pour bleach down his face, until he's all white again.

Instead you build walls out of book stacks, all in alphabetical order, until you can't see your broken heart and the window anymore.


You clean the gaps between wooden floorboards with a spare toothbrush and pretend not to care that he had not left the house for three days straight.

You grip and rub and rush and your knuckles turn white.

You imagine taking him on the same hardwood (slow, long and hard) until you're both raw, until the smell of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia becomes your second skin. Until you both have four legs and arms and two heads and mouths but one heart filled with soda and vinegar.


You don't sleep since then, because you can't and you live on your window-sill.

You sit by the window naked, freezing and hollow, sucking on white chocolate squares. They paint your tongue white.

There are shutters and shades and cracks and you count them all repeatedly while your eyes, obsessively, try to crawl through the gap between the 34th and the 35th into another house, another room, another boy who has been haunting your head and heart like a dull ache, yet in reality, has not left his bed for days.

And it's precisely between the 34th and 35th that you see those muddy eyes screaming:"Pull me out!.. Pull me out!.."

And it's precisely when you choke on your fear, your bones locking in a terrified seizure. And you don't remember how, but you find yourself curled underneath a full bathtub. Your body raw from trying to scrub him out of your skin.

You sleep that night and you feel him pressed against your spine, mapping out a message in Morse code against your vertebra 35 times, so the knots of your spinal cord look like constellations of SOS.


You try to avoid windows and the color of brown. Again. It's becoming a cycle and you are tripping twice making the same mistakes, but you don't mind. You like repetition. Instead, you take long baths and make your bed 28 times then polish the door handles for 28 minutes and wash 28 loads of laundry. You are trying to purge him out of your system, because, frankly, he is a bad habit and your therapist says that you are obsessed.

“It is not love, it is another form of obsession.“ He says. And you count to 28 before you nod. Like you understand. You don't. You count to 28 again. But you really do try to.

So when you rise to go you promise yourself that you are not going to slam the door 28 times, but then you open it and there's brown curls and brown eyes and your therapist doesn't get to finish : „ Ah, James, you are early to...“ because you slam the door with a loud and clear „one“ in his face. And then „two.“ And you can't stop yourself, from trembling and exhaling the words out until you reach 28 and embarrassment and fright curls into your bones. You leave tripping over his wheelchair. You look back 28 times even though he is no longer there.


Trip out of the office as fast as you can. Don‘t look back, don‘t start the cycle again until you count to 28 backwards. 27... 26... 25... Breathe in breathe out. 24...23...22... Let the cold air wrap lovingly around your lungs like smoke. 21...20...19... Pace yourself: left foot forward and then back, right foot forward and then back. 18...17...16... Repeat the motion. 15…14… 13… Easy, steady, very good. 12...11...10...Don‘t you dare to rush! 9…8…7… Don‘t shiver, it warms up the muscles, lets the blood flow faster, turns your skin red, like his sweater today, and just for that you still want to break his knees backwards until there‘s white face and white bone and white pain. 6...5...4... Lovely. 3...2...1...


He doesn‘t come home, until his mother calls him Jamie, not like an old friend, more like an owner calls it‘s dog. Like he belongs to her: heart body and soul. Like a piece of him is still stuck in her womb leashed on an umbilical cord. It makes you uncomfortable how ill-fitting it sounds. It leaves you irritated when he grimaces: ugly curl of chapped lips, but so aroused that you want to lick it up and down until his mouth becomes one clear line again. Yet it becomes even more uneven, more distorted, just like your heartbeat, when he catches you staring. He doesn‘t blink, doesn‘t smile. Just looks back. Dissecting you layer by layer: past the skin, the muscles the organs and the bones. And he knows, you swear to God he fucking knows... So when you turn away, you somehow feel even more crooked and broken than his vertebrae.