by Chloe Cela
Dear crushed one
- Dim the lights.
- Make sure you don’t have to pee. Otherwise stop reading and go now.
- Sit comfortably on the couch.
- Give me a chance, in this time of war – in our minds, hearts, streets.
- If you are sour, lonely, avoid the eyes of people, hate the internet, the news, the dishes, your arms and legs and smell and breath, your lover’s arms and hands and breath and sleep, the absence of a lover who you can scold, nudge against, a mother a sister a brother a father who owes you, who makes you feel worthless, who makes you want to slouch on the couch until forever; then slouch.
Allow the weight. Allow it for five full minutes. I am here and I am hearing you. The pounding of your heart. I feel it. Your chill, your heat, your contraction.
You switch off your phone. You kick off your shoes. You bury your face. You sob, you cramp. You crawl into fetal position.
You turn on your phone. No messages. No mail. No shares. No celebrations. No news. No discoveries. No alternative realities. No promises.
You feel betrayed; again, that this is it. This is it and it will never ever get any better. You will not grow younger. Not more straight. The scar on your chest will not disappear and the memories from childhood will not fade. You will not win that prize; you will not get a bigger house. You will not get a better skin. Those spots on your legs are here to stay.
You feel cramped, empty, abandoned, tired, stressed, impatient, imperfect, fraudulent. You fear someone will find out. Where you copied, who you were rude to, why you lied, how you were exposed in school. Your fear of violence; your paranoia. You crawl into fetal position until your stomach hurts.
Pause for the fabric of the couch. Feel your body resting on the soft material. There is life and history right below you. The fabric, the material, was pulled from nature to serve you. It is carrying you unconditionally. The air you breathe. Unconditionally. The light that beams through the window. The sky, the birds, the flowers. The traffic is here for you, the sounds of kids laughing, the bells of cyclists. The sound of your breath. Your skin that endures burns. Your hands open, close, fight, touch someone’s cheek. They cook for you, clean for you, bathe you. Your legs get you to places, they dance, run, jump. Your eyes open and shut unconditionally. Your body, everyday, again, wakes up for you. It might be slower, it might lose capacity, it might even lose an organ. And yet it stands. It fights. It goes through horrifying pain, for you. It is there, for you. In the kindest possible way no matter how big the horror, how much the betrayal, it does everything, your body, to restore. It is reality in its most tangible, most precious way. Touch it. Place your fingers on your skin and strike it with gratitude. Become aware of the temperature. The texture, the lines, the curves. This body, you never asked for it, and it is there for you, unconditionally. Say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.