superlatively rude

because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Collecting and Preserving Butterflies

Having a word for it contains it. That’s it, I suppose. The point of words. They help us pin down ideas, thoughts, feelings, so that instead of floating, circling overhead, we get to pull the thing towards us, put it in a frame, with a label, and look at it, study it, comprehend it through a microscope (of language).

I have a poem by Wendy Cope in my bedroom. It’s on the shelf almost opposite my bed, so that I might see it in those particular moments where one is, indeed, in bed, thinking about… well, a rotation of “him’s”. The poem is called “Cures for Love” and goes:

Cures for Love

1. Don’t see him. Don’t phone or write a letter.
2. The easy way: get to know him better.

When we know more, she’s saying, the mystery vanishes, and when the mystery vanishes our level(er) head resumes. That’s how it feels to have a word, now – like I have gotten to know the feeling better and so I am cured of the hold it had on me.

It’s a word for the emotive souls out there. The ones who get told they “feel too much” or “are too sensitive” and who can’t, physically or mentally, watch a film or TV show with any level of violence in it. It’s a word for taking on the emotion of the person in front of you, of being exhausted by groups because that’s a lot of emotion, and plants: it’s a word for the person who needs a room, a house full, of plants. The word is for the one who seems cold and distant, sometimes, but underneath is firing on every feeling, emotion, possible. Mama has always said it to me: “Laura, don’t you feel ever so much?” Somebody said it on Instagram, only last week: “You feel so very deeply”.

The word is for the person who strangers tell their secrets to, and I am reminded of this when the dpd driver tells me he is a poet in the thirty seconds he is on my doorstep. The intense need for solitude, the feeling - it’s just a feeling but I know it to be true - a word for the ready tears, the ready squeals, the ready sigh, the ready love.

I’m not crazy, is the thing. I have a word.


On Depression

Eat something green,
he said.
And don't work too hard.
he added.
Talk to as many strangers as you can.

I knew what he meant. He meant the Old Me would've done that. That I could play pretend until it was real. I smiled in the coffee shop that day. It didn't make a difference - the fog wouldn't lift - but I saw how easily I might fool the world and its baristas. 


And I sat on his floor and I didn't think to care that nice girls don't sit on floors and I watched his face and I trusted him, is it. I trusted that it wasn't for him, what he was saying, it really was for me - that he knew there was a trifecta that exists for genuine discussion, a very specific trifecta of having felt his sweat mix with mine, and his grunt - such an audible, grunt! A groan! - in my ear and all it took to get there: a few text messages too late at night, is the short version, a few months if we go back further, five years when I really sit down and comb through the filing cabinet marked how unexpected. 

And because of that - because of the sweat and the grunt and the un-expected-ness of it, he knew to look me in the eye to make me hear what it was he was saying, and he knew that this time I might listen. I stood up again, wine in hand, to resume pacing from the glass separating us from the balcony and back again toward the kitchen, and when I said accepting the help of a man infuriated me he didn't skip a beat to ask, rhetorically, do you know how much I normally charge for this stuff?

I was there because he said he wanted to learn. Learn... me. When I'd lost my temper, told him what he was doing wasn't good enough, that I wasn't interested, to have a good day, he said to let him learn what is good enough.

And I'll be damned if that isn't the most extraordinary thing a man has ever said to me.

I suppose I'm learning, too. 

Do Not Change

superlatively rude

Darling Laura: some things for 2017. It’s that time again.

Go to bed early. Stretch every day. Food is fuel, first.

Wank. Stay soft. Be generous, but not a mug. Believe him when he tells you what he is.

Call home. Take the flight. Expect nothing, experience it all.

Miss people.

Light a candle, lose a day to reading, photograph things just because. Wear red lipstick and eat with your fingers and laugh, loudly and without apology.

Do not change.
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