Your gift


Whilst writing each piece, I listen to music, usually a particular piece which resonates with me at the time and what I am writing. Listening to this music plays a big part in what I write, so I am likely to begin posting the link to each song I have listened to with each blog. For this blog I listened to the following song by Hans Zimmer, up to 4:30. I think it’s very beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw3VkhTrK50

Jess xxx

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“You can tell yourself that you would be willing to lose everything you have in order to get something you want. But it’s a catch-22: all of those things you’re willing to lose are what make you recognizable. Lose them, and you’ve lost yourself.” 

―Jodi Pilcoult

And the soft of your tips will stroke each curve, each blackened patch of vessels, and each kiss of disease. The white puckered stretches, bled and settled from the glint of scalpel will stand brazenly, proudly. I will not shy away. I will not weep and cover. My canvas will stretch into the night.  I will speak, and you will listen.

Feel the broken skin. Kiss my wilting body. Hold it, and love it. Take me in your arms, every shattered piece. Do not run, and do not look away. May your eyes fill with my sickly shadows, the caterpillar lurches of bones. Drink up every last bit of disease. And now look at me, and tell me the truth.

Tell me how pretty my scars are.

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This was never my choice, that much you must understand. All too often, well meaning eyes fill with the same question, echoed over a canyon of five years.

What caused it?

As if everything was in my control. A door held open, invitations sent for a signed nightmare.

Here I am. Here I destroy.

 If I held this knowledge, I would surely not be writing this with the taste of sick still staining the tiles. Cures, remission and past stories all alike would have taken its place. If you can find where it started, you can surely find where it ends. Tie all the ends together and send them on their way.

No, I did not choose this. No thirteen year old girl chooses to fight for life. Thirteen year old girls are not capable of such choices, not even in the most shadowed of nightmares.

So you will treat it as the gift that it is. You will welcome it with open arms. And you will not flash with moments of doubt, your feet will not stand to run. You will smile, say thank you and know that this is what you wanted all along.

This is my gift to you, wrapped in scrawled medical notes, too many files too thick. Taped with steristrips and sutures for good measure. See the curled ribbon atop, and take a closer look. See that the ribbon is not ribbon at all. Share my understanding that foil packaging can be just as lovely.

Know that it has taken two hours just to wrap my gift for you. Stops and starts is my Normal Cycle. And you will not raise your eyebrows with questions, for you will hear the rushes to the basin and the cough of yellow. Your hands will know how heavy paper can be. Then there are the breaks from rests, and the laying down from breaks. The paper is torn from my fitting hands, weight too low for sure. It is not even finished, for living is much too exhausting. But you will avert all that you could see, for you know how special this is, and it will not be ruined. Not even half uncovered.

And you needn’t open it, for you know what lies beneath. You have known all along. From the first moment you saw me, you understood. You knew that my copper lips were dehydration, not L’Oreal. You knew that the bones were not genetics, but rather genetic disease. Too much bone, not enough fat, if it can be called that at all. You saw my lips greedily suckling at the lips of another, Mount Franklin water in plastic blue and pink.  You know how quickly a heart can beat once standing.

You will see all this, and you will understand even more. And you will still smile at me from across the room, because you know I am beautiful.

 And there will be no surprises in my gift for you. You will be two steps ahead of my limp. You will meet me at night time with tissues in your grasp. And when the sobbing and bleeding begins once more, you will empty your pockets and give all to me. You will call the world four nights before the first crackle in my lungs begins, and they will already know to expect two less. Parties will not be missed, for we will hold our own, and together we will dance to the bass of my heaving breaths. Maxalon and Oxycontin will rest side by side in the folds of your wallet, and I will giggle when I swallow the taste of leather. And then you will fill the folds once more, so that no journey need be ruined by the next waves of nausea grabbing at the back of my throat.

And I will be at my most beautiful as I sit in the base of the shower, when standing costs me too many breaths. You will sit from across the room and you will see me folded, naked, lashes closed. The diamond of my cheekbones will point towards the sky of streaming water, and the curve of a secret will stretch across my mouth. And I needn’t explain, for you will know that pretending that it is a waterfall makes the moment a little easier.

And when my hair frays and splits, and little pieces fall to the floor, you will reach for the comb and tease your own, matching scalps of straw. You will hide all the hats, ribboned, stitched, bright and dark, for I will not need them. You will hide the ads of Pantene and glossy health. And you will let me be equal.

You will kiss me goodbye, careful not to smudge the bronzer offering me a lesser shade of pale. There you will stand, and watch the plaid of my uniform walk through the school gates. You will see my posture stand, hear the foil wrappers in my pocket giving my secrets away. And you will know how much I am pretending, for bravery is something I will never show you. You will see my escape for a few hours, and let me have my paradise before I return home. There you will meet me at the door, slip off my mask, and walk with me into the cold of fight.

Together we will fill with failure and living in equal, quickened breaths. There will be stories of IV’s under the stars, and love made in the space between stable and disaster. And never once will you ask for a different story. You will never tire, for if I cannot rest from this battle, you cannot either. You will not

. The fear of flight will be but a distant memory, and for every prescription and procedure form I sign, I will know that yours lays nextdoor, mimicking my feigned courage in ink.We will never pretend we are a couple, for we know too well that there is only ever room for three. You, me and my gift.

You will make room for the thing which threatens to destroy me, and you will know that one cannot be without the other. So you will not hate my gift. Instead, you will hold me under the covers, and will be careful not to stroke the both of us, knowing how much it will sting. You will know not to expect there to be anything but three, for remission is much too rare now.

And you will love my gift in it’s entirety for, you will know, deep down, that without it, I could not be recognised. I would be without scars and sickness, without my story.

Deep down, you know that without it, I wouldn’t be quite as beautiful.

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This is my gift for you. My disease, in all its ugly truth.  All that I cannot change, and all that I wished to have begun differently. This is me.

 This is my gift for you.

So take it. Walk towards me with open arms. Hold my broken pieces in your heart, and tonight, before the cloak of medication takes me to sleep, whisper to me, and tell me all that I already know.

Tell me how pretty my scars are.

Then kiss me goodnight. And when you wake in the morning, know that I am all you ever wished for.

Know that I am your gift.

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