Saturday, August 15, 2009

Witnesses

Luckily I’m past this moment: my childhood hippo in my arms on the sofa by the window with the blinds drawn and I’m leaning over to hug Henry, Henry the hippo, and I’m saying thank you, thank you for staying with me for all this time and I’m crying because of all this pain, all this pain in my stomach, intestines that woke me up and I just keep trying to get it all how it’s all air it’s all pain, maybe a hot water bottle maybe if I walk around no that hurts more maybe I need to shit no maybe I should drink water but maybe it was the water that brought me to this place, I mean that’s when I first felt this clenching in my gut around 8 pm, 12 hours ago no don’t look at the clock. I hate keeping track of these things I hate doing everything so consistently but then it’s something else, something else that hurts.

I’m past this moment, but the good part is when I start crying a little and then I think about the way emotional pain is stored too, in the gut, and then I can walk around a little more my stomach doesn’t hurt as much I’ve been up for two hours in the middle of the night, bright night sun streaming in through the blinds turn it off.

Lately I’ve been sleeping better, I mean maybe for four or five days, sleeping better and feeling more exhausted but also more relaxed so I appreciate the sleep even if I don’t feel rested. Or maybe this exhaustion is what rest feels like, rest that helps me to feel how exhausted I am. But then all this pain in the middle of the night and I think about the way pain is stored, it’s so hard to store energy or calm or help or even heart is hard except the pain, the pain is always stored. And when I was writing about that time between childhood and the world, that time when I wanted my body to go away, that time when eating was so hard and maybe this is that time again.

I mean not that time, because I eat all the time I mean I need to eat all the time or else I can’t function but maybe eating all the time means I can’t function too, do you see what I mean? It all wraps around me, my body, this body that I don’t want to go away but the pain, the pain is a different story. No the pain is this story, this story of pain and so when I’m talking to Henry, not quite talking but mumbling, mumbling like drugs or childhood and I’m saying thank you, thank you for being here, thank you Henry. There are other witnesses; there are no other witnesses. I am here, here with Henry who is here with me.

Later, after I sleep yes sleep thank you sleep I look over at Henry on the sofa: Henry looks scared, staring out at the sun in that awkward way I pull him up to my arms and oh Henry you’re so soft, I can’t believe you’ve stayed so soft after all these years, and then if I turn him around to face me he actually doesn’t look scared anymore, softer with the light behind him.

2 comments:

kayti said...

I am so glad you have henry.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Aw, thank you!

Love --
mattilda