One day I’ll learn to love you

You’re warm, and soft, and curvy. You have good bits, like tits and beautifully shaped fingernails. And today, I hate you.

And do I trust you? Ha, you must be kidding. Why would I trust you when you constantly let me down?

Take this week, for example. Every time I stand up, my left ankle tries to collapse. My right knee is tired of putting up with that shit – I know, because it aches so badly.

We don’t understand each other, you and I. The ankle thing, someone suggested, might be because you don’t like the cold. Oh. I *love* the cold. I didn’t know it caused your muscles to contract, made you tight and inflexible. At night now, that ankle gets a hot water bottle. Does that help? I wish I knew.

I tell my mum what I found out about you, too: that it’s not just that the left leg is shorter, it’s that the hip muscle has yanked it up and won’t let go.

‘What’s the point of knowing that,’ she says, ‘If you’re not going to do anything about it?’

But I don’t want to change you. I want to like you the way you are.

That’s not to say we don’t have good times. We just mainly have them alone. Just after Christmas, we went for a walk, and as usual, we set out later than we should – sundown, it turns out, isn’t at 5 p.m. in early January, it’s at 4. And so we’re under pressure. The walk is flat though, according to the book, so we’ll be fine, right?

I forgot about mud. It coats my boots, means there’s no friction between you and the ground. I force you to swing from branch to branch to get down the first bank, and they snap and you have to clutch and grasp for another. Over and over again. We survive. Just. And I’m proud of us.

There’s more mud, and water that slops over my boots, but we cope. Ultimately, it’s not you that brings the whole endeavour to an abrupt end, it’s me. I have plenty of ridiculous fears, but this one I think, is justified. Staring back at us, from the field which ‘has a stile in the corner diagonally opposite’ are three bulls. Uh uh. No way.

So together we try to scramble back down to the road. And we almost make it. We’re probably three steps from safety when you fail me and I land flat on my back in the mud. I could cry, but there’s no one to see my humiliation. So I forgive you and we set off along the road instead.

We get to a junction. Googlemaps seems to think we’ve gone the wrong way, and then my phone dies. Obviously.

There’s a grim looking hotel and I go in, and ask the guy on reception to call me a cab. And could he check they’ll take cards?

‘There’s a cash point in the petrol station,’ he says. Then: ‘I can’t call it unless you stay here. Sometimes people do runners.’

Yeah, he’s a cunt.

In the petrol station I ask a woman if she’s going the way I need to go. It’s only just over a mile, but it’s dark, I have no torch, no phone and there’s no pavement.

She’s not, but she points in the opposite direction. ‘You can get back that way, too. It’s quicker, and there’s a pavement.’

Thank fuck for that.

We drive home via Sainsbury’s. I want to buy you something nice for tea. I’m proud of you. And it even makes me laugh when, later, in the bath, the bits of twig floating on the surface confuse me until I realise that my hair is bloody full of them from when we were swinging tree to tree.

We’re ok, you and I. We just need to learn to love each other. To trust each other. And maybe, once we’ve done that, we can start to trust other people.


14 thoughts on “One day I’ll learn to love you

  1. Lovely post, if a bit stress-ful. I landed flat on back round Christmas too – the dog was very concerned. Then I sat in the car and the wet soaked through the receipt I had in my back pocket that I needed to use to return something. Just living is embarrassing for some of us. Three bulls, though. Scary!

  2. This is a really interesting and different take on the prompt and I really like it. I know my body is not as challenging as yours is but I can still totally relate to the sentiments of this post. It took me a long time to accept my body but now I pretty much love it…. most of the time!


  3. This is lovely! Especially love the last paragraph. Definitely not an easy road, certainly one I’m still traveling (maybe we always are some way) but I think we can learn to love ourselves more and more, just takes work and vigilance and no one teaches that so it’s a surprise when you realize you have to continually make an effort at it. Good luck on your journey! PS I loved Vida’s link.

  4. I felt tears stinging my eyes when I got to the end. This is beautiful, the way you talk to your body, essentially talk to yourself. I read pride in your words, pride that your body manages what it does. I see love in your words, love for your body and I feel that you’re only a small step away from loving and trusting your body the way you want to.

    Thank you for a wonderful take on this prompt!

    Rebel xox

  5. This really touched me, I recognised some of the struggles as being similar to ones my arthritic mother has when her joints fail her. When I was growing up I’d often hear her chatting and scolding those joints for not doing wha they were supposed to. We often laugh at some of the ridiculous angles they get stuck in or some of the daft things she has to do to compensate, it isn’t necessarily funny but it is how she copes.

  6. Pingback: Prompt #141: Interviews - Wicked Wednesday

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