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.