TALKING, QUIETLY

Sometimes life is hard, and at the moment I am waiting it out.

I am waiting it out in a old, rickety shed on a beach somewhere. This is where I live, for now, and it rains a lot of the time. Some days I don’t mind the rain – I put a bucket or two out, just in case. If I could whistle, I would. I wear a turquoise waterproof and my motions are slow and I say “this is all manageable” three times over, like I am chanting a magic spell.

Other times the rain gets heavier and I look up at the sky like it is going to eat me. The bucket overflows. My socks are damp and my heartbeat is fast, thumping no-it-isn’t, no-it-isn’t, no-it-isn’t. I kick the bucket hard, heavy, but nothing dies and I feel the bones in my foot flinch, horrified. What did we ever do to you?

On all of the days, it helps to talk. I am talking a lot, just quietly.

At work. With friends. To dogs. In the doctor’s office, during my smear test. “Sometimes these things just happen, don’t they, love?” They do.

Honesty is weird. Saying “Actually, I’m finding things quite hard right now” when someone asks “How are you?” is weird. My mouth blurts “Good, thanks” before my brain has had chance to catch up, because I am always good. Good, thanks. Good, thanks. Good, thanks.

You?

You? is pointless, mostly, because Good, thanks begets more Good, thanks. I am trying honesty, LIKE BILLY TALENT. People don’t really mind vulnerability, and I tell myself they do but they don’t. People like knowing that it isn’t just them who cries in the toilets sometimes or feels claustrophobic when the sky is grey. They get it when you tell them your brain won’t work today because all of its energy is devoted to something else, something sad. Every time I share a little of myself, every time I talk about it, someone else surprises me by what they share in return. Now I am talking a lot. Just quietly.

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