I feel like sometimes I have these stories floating inside me, like worms trapped in my stomach eating at my insides. Parasites resting in my brain between the grey-pink folds of me.
Most of the time I barely care, like an old oak being strangled by ivy, I hardly notice the infestation. I engulf myself in happy banalities, but when I take off my clothes, I can see the damage it’s done. The holes in my chest where I can see straight through. The places where my skin thinning and blue. When I wipe off my makeup, I see the hollowness in my sockets, the peeling skin and the fear behind my eyes.
Sometimes for me, writing is less like breathing, and more like heaving. Like retching up something rotten that’s been mouldering in my core. Like reaching down into something festering and tearing at the nerves to bring back up something sharp through my throat.
When the words finally touch my bloodied lips, I can taste the diseased parts of myself on my dried tongue and then I throw what’s left on a page, in the desperate hope of retribution. An act of painful futility.
Another rambling mess that no one will read.
The words that I ignore, grow like knotweed in an English garden or decay in a putrid corpse. The more I take it out the more it extends its reach into me. Tendrils reaching up my spine, helixed round my nerves, branches pushing through my eyes.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m too far gone. In the moments of pure clarity between the general denial and excruciating pain, I try to grasp at glimmers of hope – little slivers of something that always seems just a step out of reach.
Sometimes I wonder if – I could take out the rot, would there be any me left?