By Lucy Harbron - 16:23


I woke up and I’d turned to stone. Stuck still in complete fear of the things I’m made of; have been made of, always made of. And this Saturday; it’s disgusting. I’m a greyish brick, some modern built that sits awkwardly among the rest. Stale white, something slate, I clunk with every move, skin rubs on skin in scratching friction but never enough to fade anything away. 

I must have pulled something in the Friday night contortions of moving from size to size, small to large in two skirts as a personal best. I thought I’d stretched it out, fell back into a child’s pose and then rolled my skin up into a ball trying to be least I could and succeeding somewhat when my mirror felt looming. One of us is always getting bigger, despite daily familiarity I’m still not sure who I can blame for all the upset. Something tells my arms they’re the common denominator, four homes and they’re still causing issues so it’s time to stop shifting the blame. I slipped into a cobra and look someone in the eye, to say anything but I hate her feels wrong but it feels wrong to say it.

I felt the same September 2018 but September 2019 looks to me now like a gem, a flower, something thin and clean and to be longed for in lack of substance that somehow makes the colour pop. Why does her skin look foreign to mine? Not quite the four years to be all shed and gone, I hug my hand tight round my forearm to feel her but there’s too much in the way. I’ll work harder for a reunion, but I’m sure I’ll hate her as well when I meet her. 

And all of her clothes still fit. Tuesday I slip again into the polka dot trousers of 2017’s Easter trip home and I no longer want to unbutton them when I sit down. 3 days later I will. 7 days later I won’t again. My comfort is a line to cross and one toe means I’ve let myself go, one button means I’m fat now, sized up and I’d tell everyone but myself that’s fine. Not me though, never me though. Roll the grey cloud in, crying over my inability to despise myself enough for discipline to shrink, cry more over the toxicity of that, burning the back of my throat in a familiar way.

Wake up the next morning and eat some toast, 10am. Drink coffee. Eat 5 olives, 12pm. Plan a morning around the success or failure of not eating a sandwich. Something sweet at 2pm and rewarding the day’s efforts with a meal at 6. 

Seeing the words written down my brain is tugging between too much and not enough, whether normal feels indulgent or I’m kidding myself about gluttony.  I watch strangers on the internet eat 3 meals and 2 snacks like a luxury life not made for my genes, my body which at 9am sometimes looks the same but by 5 is all grey and stone and moss and weeds, clunking again. 

But what did I expect? Nearly a year has passed with nothing to dress my body up for, no big day to work for, strive to make my skin look and feel as good as possible for, no nice new dresses and heels. I think I feel out of context. With no background to be set upon, no music to tell me again why pieces of me move, nothing but day in day out monotony of clothes to put on by not wear, I’m wondering why there has to be so much of me.

I want to be a brain in a jar with some eyes and a fringe maybe. I want the choice to be a physical being 2-days a week when I’m finally seen. I want to leave my skin in bed while my head sits on the sofa to do work, no longer left with the hot and cold awareness of skin expanding and shrinking with the tricky man-made heat of a home in winter. I don’t want to have to wash my hair for nothing. I want my skin to be marble or be not there. I want to not have to think about anything of these things but I’ve just stood up and my two thighs are touching and now I wish they’d never met; I want to be a stranger to myself, I think.

I want to live off meal replacement gloop or Camembert, no in between. 

I want to stop wanting cake so much. 

I want to eat cake without it scowling at me. 

I want to stop looking in mirrors. 

I want my skeleton to stop being unique. I want to look just like my friends. 

I want an artist to draw me every 20 minutes of the day so I can compare without a camera to blame. 

I want to know what I look like. 

And when I know, that can’t change. At least not till I’m 30. 

Today something about who ever this is looks young and old. Unsleeping and greyed over, immediately massive because she skipped a 10-minute workout video that gives her an extra point of worthiness for each exercise. Her nose from one angle looks to turn up and everything else is trying to fall down to the ground. Her eyes have nothing in them to write home about. I hope tomorrow they’re try harder so she can be me and maybe I’ll stick around to chat to myself a bit.

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