My shoulders are bent in like I’m trying to become concave instead of the convex appearance my breasts create. Sitting in an office chair I’ve got one leg curled over the other with my foot digging into the dorsal arch of the other foot. Nervously I keep moving my hands.
In front of me a woman sits turned slightly to the side as she draws a diagram of a cycle. First step physiological, feelings, emotions; next step thoughts; next step behaviour, actions. She tells me to breathe. She tells me to keep my feet grounded, to open up my shoulders and breathe in.
one. two. three. four.
one. two. three. four. five. six.
Her whole body looks like a tree. Her light brown leather shoes firmly planted on the ground, her dark pants, her green shirt, her brown hair. Nature’s comfort.
I walked into my room having held her a few hours before, having kissed her, having smelt her. She’s just a pet, a stupid little rodent. I saw her feet neatly tucked together, her belly extended, her ear open and exposed, her eyes- little tiny slits- a dull grey.
I call out for help.
I think I’ll always see the image of her body wrapped in a plastic bag, her curled over nails peaking out through the side as they lowered her stiff body into a postage box.
She tells me to plant my feet on the ground, she says because I’m the creative type that I could probably imagine my feet growing roots and giving me stability.
My mind wanders to the last time I had a panic attack. The yellow walls of the odd waiting room outside the classroom door shrink in all around me. The door expands, the key pad shrinks. My breathe becomes short, my hair grows long and wraps up my throat suffocating me. Just then my feet begin to grow branches that spread upward and tackle my hair. They become vines and lack onto the walls like ivy reaching for sunlight. They grow roots and keep me in place.
but do I want to be stuck there ?
I suppose it’s better then running away.
Flight - Fight - or Freeze ? Which sounds more like you?
As I leave the office I pass a glass case labelled ‘wall of nostalgia.’ It’s empty.
Will my memories of her fade ? Once glorified and set aside in a glass case - will they soon become so insignificant that I’ll see right through them?
Memory is such a tricky thing, it evaporates before we even realise it was gone. We simply took for granted that it was stored somewhere in a drawer. The reality is that when we look it’s empty. All that remains is one water damaged piece of paper that perhaps we can make out a word or two. Maybe all it says was ‘sad today’ or ‘green coat.’
I sit in the cab. Tears silently gravitating toward the postage box on my lap. Inside the body that used to contain her. It’s my only proof, but the proof of her existence cannot be kept. Her only tie to this world will rot and fade away.
How is it that there is a separation between body and soul? You don’t believe in one till you see it leave. But the body is not her. It’s just what enabled her to animate herself.
After I bring her into the vet I walk to a park bench. The calm and collected person who sat holding her in the cab cannot contain herself any longer. I fall apart. I have no regard for the passer-bys. One always becomes invisible when displaying unsightly displays of emotion.
I don’t do well with loss.
I don’t think there is more closure when there’s the body is still around. Just more questions. Why is that body no longer what I knew? Where did it go? Why did it go? Did I do something to do that? Did she wait till I came home to die?
I feel like eating until I throw up. I feel like eating until I can expel as much as possible from my body. I feel like eating until I expel all these feelings from my body. Until I can sit as a peaceful mass that is nothing more than a body but not dead. Just an absent glazed over face.
I stole her. I was so desperate for a companion I snatched her up and took her across the country. I took two pets here, and now they’re both dead. I feel like I failed them. Did I not love them enough?
One two three four
one two three four fix six