Thursday 24 October 2013



I know pain.  I've been through it all before.  I've been cut, bruised, broken and beaten.  I've had my bones broken.  I've torn my flesh in a thousand places.  I've felt chunks of my body ripped away with dirty pieces of broken glass, with rusty nails and splintered wood, with barbed wire and shiny but dull blades.  I've had my shoulder, my knee, my hip, several ribs and the fingers on both hands dislocated, torn violently out of their sockets and shoved mercilessly back into place.  I've had my back sprained in violent collision and forced myself back into usefulness through years of excruciating physiotherapy.  I've damaged the interior, cushioning bits in many of my joints, so that I can feel the bones scrape together when I move...the stabbing pain that accompanies my every breath.  I've torn the fabric of my lungs and been left struggling to breathe as they began to fill with my blood.  I've been burned by dozens of cigarettes, by fires and boiling liquid...I've been immersed in ice water and rushed to the hospital as my skin began to blister and redden.  I've fractured my skull and battered my brain over and over again.  I've tattooed myself and sat out in the sun for days, watching my skin take on a sick but cheerful glow.  I've been beaten and put down by the fists of someone I loved.  I've awoken on the side of the road with a limp and a bloody lip and several cuts and bruises and no idea of how I got there.  I've fallen from the tops of many, many high places.  I've picked embedded rocks and gravel from too much of my soft pink flesh. Blood like streams pouring off of my body, pooling in my shoes to make a soft squishing noise with every step I take.

I know something about pain.  I cannot recall the last time that my body did not hurt.

And none of that, not one bit, has ever hurt me as much, has ever caused me as much pain as a woman...

I sometimes feel (these days) as though I'm living my life wrapped in gauze.  As if I'm so emotionally detached and unavailable that nothing really touches me any more.  I can practically see the cool white view through my soft cottony bliss.  The calming light, the chance to rest. 

Is it any wonder I'd wish to protect myself as the days tick by into years?  Of course not.  All that amazes me is that lately I can feel the gauze begin to unravel.  Like a lady caught in the Twilight Zone, doctors are pondering my rate of healing, doctors are unwinding my soft gauzy cocoon.  What will be underneath?  A monster?  A human?  A beautiful creature in a terrible world?

The gauze grows thin and the light grows brighter.  Of course it will take time.  Lots and lots of time.  I'm well insulated.  Bright red spots stain the snowy white.  Time.


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