Back and Forth
I took a walk the other day into the sunlight to let it fill my bones and my mind like I had not breathed fresh air in months.
I had sat stagnant in rooms full of dust and sour memory for almost two months and I could feel the new person I had fallen for beginning to drift out the front of my chest. She had enough of my wallowing and was frustrated because where had I gone to? In the morning she rolled her way out the front of my chest and drifted out the window in front of me whispering curses and exasperation that how on earth could I let a house do this to me. How could four walls make me a bitter old crone and remove the moisture from my heart, my veins, my hands until I started to blow away like ashes into the four corners of a building? It took me by surprise, I didn’t realise my happiness was a separate being.
I had assumed that she would stay with me and nurse me through each wave that smacked into my face as the wind stretched the skin on my arms back into red raw open burns. Instead I could feel the sea salt pour into the gaps that were left after, stinging and making me sob like disinfectant on a child. At the very end of the pier I instead sat down heavily and let the waves hit me, each smash feeling duller and duller until I could almost feel my legs drift up into the water in front of me and the weightlessness reminded me of how she made me feel out in the open when we weren’t alone.
They never warn you that your identity can feel so swung between two people, or that your brain cannot comprehend anything beyond a good and a bad pointer that clatters its way round a board you spin it against. Each second it takes another spin that will settle on whether you’re a Good Girl or a Bad Girl for the next hour of your life. The complexity and volume at which someone so small can hold emotions in her mouth needs to be told to her from a young age.
Sit her down and gently stroke her hair, pat out her skirt and hold her tiny white hands up like a china doll you can’t get to not fall off the shelf everytime a door swings shut at the front of the shop. Explain, in soft reassuring words, how people are supposed to feel things in big and small ways but she is extra special. She may only feel things in a big way, so big that she’ll feel seasick throughout her entire life from the hurtling back and forth.
I took a walk the other day into the sunlight to feel something inside me, toast my organs and grill my heart out in the fresh air under layers of UV and a painful brightness. It didn’t work.