Vignettes of Ruin and...

Tropic of Cancer

In The Nightmare on July 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I am fragile.

And I am no longer sure if I mean it in an abstract kind of way. I am thinking about my body and how I haven’t been looking after her. For years I thought she was fat when she wasn’t. I refused to allow my picture to be taken. I dared not step outside without make up on, so disastrously ugly I was. Untrue, perhaps. But it was how I felt. I think of how I have stuffed it with instantaneous gratification, and starved it of sustenance. I have clawed at it’s skin until I scarred it. I have condemned it to a relationship that does not love it. Each day I feel that bit closer to the realisation that forces of nature will never cause life to take root and grow from within these bones.

But something else has seeded there, where life should be.

I don’t know what it is, but I feel a paralysing terror every time I am reminded of it’s existence. At first I dismissed it. Nerves perhaps, but nothing serious. Should be gone tomorrow.

But the next day, it was still there. Give it a chance, I thought.

Weeks later, still there, but looming larger. Impossible to ignore.

Growing.

So this is fear, in all it’s stark white purity. This is what it’s like to lie awake at night and try and reconcile oneself with their vulnerability, their fragility, their mortality.

In the dark, Vincent is oblivious to my pounding heart as I cautiously spread my fingers over my abdomen, tentatively pressing down. Yes it’s there, oh God it’s still there, how did I let it come to this.

I tell myself that panic is futile, that I must be logical. I need to see a doctor. Undoubtedly, I will be sent to hospital. And I will do this after the holidays, after I have finally paid my bills and when I have some money, that is the only time I can do it.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t really physically hurt. This monstrosity, growing where my womb should be idle, it is hurting me only in unexpected ways.

I must ask your forgiveness, dear aching body!

I am sorry for what I have done to you. I am sorry I did not love you enough to protect you. I am sorry I did not cherish your miraculous existence. You gave me a voice when I had none. You made it possible for me to walk upon the sand, to see the sun and catch the scent of the sea, you made it so that I could hear bittersweet music and run my hands through my dog’s fur and feel warmth, you made it so I could do anything I wanted.

And this… this is what I have done. This is what I have done to you.

I am sorry.

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