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

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

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.

(Empath).
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