My body … my physical self, is that to me.
We befriended ardently at the age of nine due to the severe migraines that would plague the rest of my life to date. She provided codes that guided me as to what I could and could not do: like the itching in my eyelashes that notified that sight would soon be leaving or the flash behind the eyes that was the start gun leaving approximately twenty minutes to get indoors before all hell broke loose.
Since then, her messages and moods have guided my movements and decisions. And yet, throughout changes in dress size and ever-expanding boobage, we learned to understand each other intimately and lived an effective life of joy and pain-filled effervescence.
We have spent countless days scuttling around darkened rooms recoiling from luminescence in all its manifold forms; as its burning fingers left the skin cringing and stomach churning until we had thrown up for so hard and so long that we were left with a sore throat for three days after.
We have splashed and skimmed through water’s variations across sixteen countries and four continents and used its cooling droplets for healing, play and relaxation.
We have explored across abstractions of geography and precipices of ideas. And used skin and limbs to inquire into desire and seduction, appetites and wantonness.
We have danced, her and me: skipping to drum beats and guitar riffs along train platforms and stone steps.
There was that time we forgot ourselves whilst listening to ‘Off The Wall’ on the Tube and before we knew it, we’d dropped the knee, shuffled a couple of steps and executed a tight spin … only to come face to face with a prim Suit who looked at us as though we’d lost our mind; whilst others surreptitiously edged away – despite there not being much space to begin with.
We have rejoiced in each other – regardless of aging and weight; and have found in each other a partner of equal need, fascination and mischievousness. And in time, my physical self, my psychological self and my spiritual self reached a point of fellowship that provided me with a sense of completeness and possibility.
But that was before. Before I got sick. Before these last eighteen months.
We have been forcibly separated, my physical self and me: cleaved asunder from desperately clinging arms by a phantom titled “Functional Movement Disorder” and torn screaming into two disassociated entities that cannot communicate despite sharing such intimate proximity.
Our alliance has been defiled and eroded until I am left a stranded passenger strapped nervously and reluctantly into a shaking, spasming container: facial features collapsed on one side, uncontrollably flinging limbs into space and making involuntary sounds that cause children to cry and adults to make the “What the fuck?” expression whilst backing away slowly.
Where we danced, I now rely on crutches to stand and walk (on the days that I can stand and walk unaided) and use a wheelchair to travel whenever I leave the house.
Where we spent hours exploring movements and shapes, I now rely on others to help wash and dress: and to clean me up after soiling.
Where we endlessly played, there are times I am unable to determine whether I am touching or being touched: for without visual confirmation, I cannot register the contact.
I have been made weary by sickness and wounded in a manner so invisible, that it is impossible to show to others and say, “This is where it hurts”.
And though I have been injured before, this lastest affliction has distressed me in ways so personal and peculiar, that I have struggled to explain it to those who matter.
My physical self and I have been placed in rooms divided by a dense glass wall that appears to be only window-like on my side of the division. And though I can see her clearly enough to read the confusion on her face, no matter how loudly I shout or how heavily I strike the glass, nothing gets through.
Music, books and Anime have failed to reach her, as the thick fog in my head obscures any message; and as the medicine takes hold, I don’t even get the dial tone.
And dancing – our greatest private pleasure – is taken from us; as the world spins when standing and complicated movement causes back, hip and legs to collapse whilst screaming pain gets trapped behind sturdy teeth.
And so, tiredly, I rest my head against the thick glass and whisper: I am here still. I see you still.
And hope that in time, my words and my love will reach her too: that she will know that I am here; that I will wait.
I refuse to leave (or live) without her by my side.
Dedicated to and in celebration of: My body … my dear physical self – who has been temporarily separated from me. I look forward to the time that we are mated again. Pray God, ‘twill be soon.
SO TELL ME: What do you think of this piece?
- Did it engage you?
- Does the meaning come across? Are there any images or lines you don’t understand or find unclear?
- Are there obvious errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar?
- Do you have any suggestions for revision?
Please be brutally honest in your assessments – good, bad or indifferent.
I don’t scare easily; and I really do want to hear what YOU have to say about my work.
Many thanks in advance for your time and your criticism.
- Sick ‘n’ Tired (An exploration of anger as a healing process)
- Spastic … and sh!t
- Vomit … and sh!t
- Inside I’m Dancing
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.