Guest Post from Cheryl
April 10, 2012 § 49 Comments
[The Plankton writes: I forgot to say before posting earlier guest posts – and with no special reference to this one, of course – that I do not vet or edit or even copy edit guest posts in any shape or form. I simply post what anyone happens to send to me, warts and spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and typos and all, and whether or not I agree/disagree with what has been written, think it is brilliant or a load of bollocks; just grateful for a different voice from my boring old droning for once, and that the guest bloggers have kindly donated something and have given me a day off – even though I have taken quite a few days off of late, but you get my drift! Anyway, today, many thanks to Cheryl for her post below.]
The thought came to her lazily, like it always did, that maybe she was broken. Not broken in a physical sense for that would be too easy to fix. But she knew there were cracks in her being that she could not see in the mirror.
Like a corpse dumped in a body of water, every so often this thought would float to the forefront of her consciousness during the minutiae of her day. She would prod it, poke it, worry it, and wait for it to sink back into the grimy depths of her quiet self-loathing. Its malingering presence resisted burial at sea or burial of any kind and she felt towed under by its weight.
On the surface, her patina of normality, of being modern, empowered, sexually literate and free had a subtle shine that her female friends congratulated her for. Wished for. Remembered possessing before they themselves became the possessed of partners and children.
But the men…she was sure that the visibility of the cracks and decay and broken parts were gender-specific. How else could she explain seeing the reflection of those cracks and decay and broken parts in the eyes of her lovers, for however briefly it was that they saw her?
She pondered therapy, yet doubted she would be of interest to a therapist. Didn’t therapists like to drag memories, like corpses, out of the silt in which they were buried? Work for them, coax and belabour them out of the depths then feast on the catch to validate their own existence?
She could tell a therapist the exact moment in her life when the first man that would set the pattern of her intimate relations rejected her sexuality. Was blind to it, was off-handedly dismissive and disinterested. Floating in a gentle current of loneliness and prodded with a long stick of bitterness, her reason for being intimately flawed rose from the depths, too easily caught and filleted.
She could recount the awkward attempts at attracting the dangerous yet desired sharks, list the unconsummated seductions. Those long, grey times between lovers where the skin hunger dissolved into her deeper layers and ate away at her heart, time after time. She longed to pulp the script from which those men read out their identical, nonchalent goodbyes.
She could, with startling clarity and conciseness, tell a therapist of the common threads of timelines, behaviours and goodbyes that wove themselves into a shroud appropriate for burial at sea. What was left of her heart knew that if she could find a way to kick off that waterlogged shroud, the woman who was drowning on land might eventually be able to breathe in love and live to tell the tale.