SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Thursday, Oct. 08, 2015 @ 4:50 pm
123.4



I go back to counselling. I go alone. I talk about how Daniel and I are stuck. She talks about bravery, about risking your heart. About how, eventually, everyone leaves. And if you think about that, then what's the point in loving anyone?

I talk about how I identify as independent. About how I don't need anyone, that I'm just fine on my own. She talks about how everyone needs other people, and that you can be independent but still connected to others. I talked about how when times get tough I turn into a snail, that I take care of myself, alone. She dug more into this. Eventually it all came back to Carolyn, and how my thirteen year-old brain was injured by her abandonment of me. That perhaps now, deep down inside, my so-called independence is a protective mechanism against abandonment. That because Carolyn abandoned me without reason, that I'm afraid that it will happen again. Even if my adult brain knows that this is not true, the little person inside of me protects my heart and me by not letting me become too attached.

We fly to New York tonight.

I continue to lose weight.

Last weekend, I added a layer of fleece blanket and feather bed to the mattress, to support my sore bones. My hips and knees jut out, and the firm mattress presses against my newly exposed nerves. Daniel runs his hand down the side of my body and pauses at my hips, grabs onto the handle of my ilium and asks what it is. My hips.

Ropey veins are appearing all over my body - across my biceps, running north-south along the sides of my abdominals. A brand new one along the front of my shin. My sternum protrudes on a rack of ribs, the skin thin and translucent.

We fly to New York tonight on the red eye. I packed and repacked my bag over the week as the weather forecast shifted. An hour ago I added a pair of patent red heels - Big Apple Red - just in case we decide to go to a cocktail bar.

Do I keep going until I hit 120?

I saw my Dad the morning after running the Mudderella obstacle race. He, as usual, called me his Big Bubba. I told him that I'm no longer big. I shouldn't have - it's his pet name for me. I don't know what he really means by it - I think it's because I was the strong child, the more masculine, the sturdy goat child while my sister was the feminine, fleeting deer.

I meant to write after our trip to Cannon Beach. About the Milky Way and spreading his grandfather's ashes into the crashing waves near Haystack Rock. About the shooting stars, and the dreamy marshmallow bed, the two person soaker tub, our ten year anniversary, the whales breaching offshore. The damp forest, the quivering ferns, the miles of interstate driving.

We sat one night in his aunt's hotel room. She comments that I've lost a lot of weight from doing our cycle tours this summer. I don't correct her. Nobody else has dared to say anything about my shrinking frame.

We fly to New York tonight.

Across the continent, coast to coast, and my shrinking body. The ferns still here growing lush in the forest, waves crashing on either shore, mirrored but altered. I will transform, from running shoes falling softly on the cedar-strewn forest floor, to red high heels on storied city streets. The Douglas fir trees replaced with cast iron sky scrapers. The sun rises and reflects off of Manhattan, glassy and structured, and then later sets off the coast, sending soft amber beams of light though the heavy limbs of fragrant conifers.

I feel my heart beat loudly in my chest, see my pulse rise in my translucent veins.

The numbers on the scale.

The plane taxis down the runway.

We fly to New York tonight, and the skies are clearing.


Roots | Shoots