Moonlight

You have a glow to you like moonlight, when I squint I swear I can see it. It suffuses your skin with an opalescent iridescence that feels like magic, like nostalgia, as if you’re a friend from a childhood we never had. I want to discover secret spaces with you, our eyes wide with curiosity and our hearts beating with excited nerves.

There’s this connection of chemistry and the language of eyes, like I can read the flickers and shifts within you and they are weather, phenomena that alters my own interior environments. The smell or something of you enters my bloodstream so that your desire becomes my own and in an Ouroboros of intoxication, I want you to feel good so that I can feel your feeling of it.

It’s so cold outside and when you tell me of that haunting wind that blows, I want to wrap myself around you or lay myself on top of you like my cat does in winter. I want to create a shelter of warmth and love and protect you like the precious thing I perceive you to be. I know I’m only one small creature and that nobody can ever be truly safe but I hope, at least, I can offer you a little warmth to help sustain that beautiful glow.

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Days Like Today

Days like today, days when my life feels so full and so ripe with possibility, days like today I am so fucking glad that I didn’t jump in front of that train.

At those darkest moments, when everything hurt and I felt so worthless, when it felt like the pain and shame was all I had, at those darkest moments I had no idea how much joy and hope and light was just a few steps ahead of me.

The dark days are still there, pain is still a struggle but the shame is so much quieter, my heart feels so fucking full and so I feel strong and resilient. I feel so fucking rich, so gloriously fat on love, sex, connection and art.

At those darkest moments, I thought I knew what I was. At those darkest moments, I thought I knew what my future was. I did not. I could not. Days like today, I am so fucking glad that I didn’t jump in front of that train.

Welcome Letter

Hello darling,

Thank you for stepping inside to see me, thank you for taking the time. Yes, that room has always been there, no, you’re not the first to take a peek, but you walked right in and started looking around with interest. I become the absurdly servile hostess, so grateful for the company that it’s almost embarrassing, plying you with offerings and stories and photos from my past. As I perceive the metallic sound of your belt buckle unfastening, I tremble with a pitiable hope that I might soon hear it cracking sharp across my skin.

Please, yes, thank you, yes. Yes make yourself at home, yes help yourself, yes whatever you like, however you like, oh please oh yes oh please. I wait in a corner and observe you with keen interest, hanging on to every word, anticipating every movement. Is this what you want? Is this how you want it? Oh I am perfectly comfortable down here on my knees, don’t you worry about me.

Don’t you worry about me, this is what I was built for, hope for want for, it is craving and ancient and instinct and myself on autopilot. Please, I aim to please. I am to please. Please. Yes, you may touch what you want how you want, yes, yes, please. Unfurl yourself inside me and make a monstrous mess.

Please.

Only, darling, respect this interior; all that breaks must be rebuilt. Hurt me darling, make yourself at home. Only, hold me, darling and promise you will take care.

Ember

At some point almost every night, my giant, emotional, weighty puffball of a cat will make a little whirring beep sound at me which is her request that I lift the blankets and allow her onto my chest. Almost always, I acquiesce and, purring loudly, she climbs aboard, crushing my boobs until she is comfortably lying down.

She’s a big girl, Dicey, and the slightest movement will cause her to flop down sideways where I will ease her into a comfortable position with her head on my arm and her legs draped around my body in a sort of cuddle. There she will remain, impossibly, luxuriously soft and with a purr that crackles like a campfire and we will both drift into a blissful slumber of interspecies love until I either move her because I have lost circulation to my arm or she decides that she has tired of me and leaves. Sometimes, Wes, my husband, will join the cuddle and that will be almost more love than my chest can contain.

Once in a while, Dicey will become violently enraged by some movement I have made or some dream she has had and then she will attack me with terrifying ferocity which ultimately gets her propelled off the bed followed by a loud “FUCK YOU CUNT” which will not disturb Wes from his sleep because he is acclimatised to these night dramas.

Despite her violent outburst, I love that cat immensely and often reflect on the transient beauty of our time together, for her lifespan is so much shorter than mine and when she passes, only Wes and my hearts will truly break as our little family loses a precious member. Her existence, like ours, is temporal, a tiny ember of warm life in an impossibly vast universe, shortly we will all flicker out and memories of us will soon vanish also. Her, us, love. All of it will end.

I feel tiny pangs of the pain and sorrow of that cold, indifferent future reality and I perceive our current reality of love and warmth and comfort and sweetness as nothing short of miraculous, delicate, precious. Such an unlikely, glowing, ephemeral experiential jewel. Life and love a flower that blooms and withers in the course of a single day.  We will end but for the most microscopic of moments, we get to exist. For the most microscopic of moments, we get to love. I count my blessings. I see the beauty.

Grey Matters

The other night I had a dream where I pity fucked an awkward, unattractive man from Instagram who then proceeded to stalk me through a jungle. We wound up in a KFC together where I ordered a fish burger which he fucked into my cunt. He then lifted me into a curled up ball in his arms and offered my KFC fish burger vagina to the other customers who were entirely disinterested. I was mildly embarrassed and repulsed which really, is about the level of discomfort I’d perhaps feel in such a social situation. I’ve experienced worse.

I’ve been paying more attention to my dreams lately as I become close to someone who seems to enjoy hearing what happens inside my head when I slumber. This experience reminds me of a lover I once had who liked it when I would describe the kaleidoscopic images of crabs, coral, rubber toys, insects, cutlery and so on which plays in my head when I am exhausted, overstimulated and falling asleep. He would keep me half conscious, insisting that I use words to let him into the psychedelic theatre embedded in my skull. It made me feel special, like I had something to offer. Currency, he made me feel like I had currency. Shame about the time he was so drunk and tried, very clumsily, to rape me. It wasn’t traumatic, he was too drunk and utterly unsuccessful but it hurt my heart nonetheless and ended that connection we had.

But I do like it when people care about the things inside my mind. Like the time my husband heard me sleep talking and he was so smitten with what I said that he stayed awake reciting it in his mind until he had memorised my words to share with me in the morning: “The cliché of an old man sitting in a bathtub, eating a gobstopper and just watching you.”

It makes me feel so much love, it does, when they so badly want to inhabit my grey matter and see the world from my perspective. Because that’s how I love, too, greedy to climb inside, greedy to share and see what it is that you’re looking at and how and why.

Marriage

IMG_1278IMG_4610Ours is not a conventional marriage, if it were it never would have lasted, never would have happened in the first place, I’m too weird, you’re too weird, we don’t easily fit into standard shapes.

But we’ve been together over 10 years now and married for almost 5 and over this time I’ve only fallen for you deeper, only loved you more passionately, only come to know down to the marrow in my bones that I want to spend the rest of my existence in partnership with you.

I don’t often write about my love for you, why is that? Perhaps because I feel self-conscious, we coexist in such harmony that speaking aloud about it makes me concerned that I might come across as smug and self-satisfied but how ridiculous is that? The world needs more beauty and love and kindness and our relationship has those things in spades so maybe I should speak up about it just a little more. Here, I’ll try.

You are my rock. You have been there, unwaveringly there through the hardest, darkest stretches of my life, through my deepest depressions and most violent of traumas and instead of perceiving me as weak or broken, you have seen my battles and only loved me more for the ways in which I silently struggle onwards.

You are my friend. We passionately rant at each other about the things that make us mad, we excitedly ramble about the things which excite and thrill us. We do stupid dances and tell moronic jokes like giggly, puerile five-year-olds. I tell you all my secrets, my wildest dreams, my deepest fears and you hold them like gemstones.

You are my lover. In a relationship of 10 years long, sex is something which ebbs and flows and changes over time but what has remained consistent is the fact that I find you absurdly, ridiculously sexy and it delights me that we have a physical connection and attraction which I suspect might persist long after our bodies have wrinkled and sagged. Also, you have a big dick so that’s pretty cool.

You are my collaborator. We make art and comedy together of which we are so incredibly proud and driven by. You understand how fundamentally important my art is to me and have only ever supported me as a creative, never once questioning my priorities.

You are my conscience. You are one of the most deeply principled people that I know and because of that, it is hard for me to get away with bullshit, you are like a mirror held up to me with compassion, you make me want to do better, be better. You stand by what you believe and it motivates me to do the same.

You are so smart, so strong, so strange, so sexy. You are my husband and my partner and that gives me a sense of security in the world but it never feels like a cage. With you I am free to be entirely myself, to express and inhabit every aspect of the things that are important to me. With you I am held, with you I am loved, with you I am free.

I love the shape of the life we’ve made for ourselves, I love the rules we wrote for ourselves, I love you, you bald, lanky, beautiful idiot.

Tonight

Tonight I am wallowing in a psychological rut. Letting go is so much easier when you’re moving forward, it’s this reality of my physicality that forces me to be still until the pain decreases.

If the pain decreases. God it takes so long and the surgery has caused new issues that at least are not the same issues but I’m forced once again to sit still. So I read Buddhist philosophy and meditate and tell myself I’m teaching myself to sit more comfortably with the unavoidable reality of suffering and sometimes I feel so proud of my resilience, of how I can weather the most violent and painful internal storms. Sometimes I feel so wise, so connected, so grateful, so much love and so I work to keep my focus on the beauty that is a purring cat on my lap, a storm of autumn leaves on the road, my mother humming in the kitchen, a lover telling me I am beautiful.

And I am getting better at sitting in this stillness, there are moments when I feel the reality of my body and accept it with grace and calm. There are more of those moments now as I have begun to let go of needing to meet any standards but for the ones that are realistic and kind. Everything is easier now that I am kind to myself.

Easier but not easy. Sometimes I look at my life and see how much of it has been spent from a place of enforced stillness, watching as everything moves and grows and shifts around me and I am forced to wait while my body ages and my face starts to sag. I no longer want to dwell in the bitter taste of envy when I behold the able-bodied who know not the privilege of doing without thought, I no longer want to feel as if I might die when I watch other people paint or play music or do whatever they love with unnoticed freedom. But when months go by and I am unable to pick up a pencil or brush without unworkable pain… well, to pretend that isn’t devastating would be a lie. It’s grief, it still is, maybe it always will be.

There is that temptation to fall into that grief and succumb to an overwhelming hopelessness like I once would have. I can see why I wanted to go there in the past, I can see the horrifying way in which giving up would have been a relief. This existing in my crippled and chronically painful body is hard work, it requires constant vigilance, such intense internal work, such a deep and brave and thorough exploration of myself, my worth. It requires the ability to stare into the cold face of reality and unrealisable dreams, it requires the ability to resolve to keep trying and loving and hoping no matter what. It requires a dogged determination to perceive the beauty and tenderness in whatever I might face, no matter how utterly cold and cruel it all seems.

It requires a deep humbleness, an uncompromising kindness and a gentler hold on my own ego. It requires the careful cultivation of people who can hold space with me through light and dark, sickness and health. Compassion has become non-negotiable.

Tonight I am wallowing in a psychological rut. Tonight I may cry for an hour and feel entirely bereft and alone. Tonight I might not be ok. Tomorrow I may step outside and notice something overwhelmingly beautiful such as the drama of sunlit storm clouds. Tomorrow I may read a book that takes me out of myself. Tomorrow I might have a drink with friends who make me feel loved and content. It’s light and dark just every day, it’s pain and joy just every day.  The magical highs, the tedious lows, much of it is unavoidable and inevitable so I might as well learn what I can from it all. I hope, no matter what, that I can learn to navigate the entire spectrum of experience with equilibrium, curiosity and dignity.