Sunday, November 09, 2008


See thing is, I'm velcro.

And I've always been velcro.

It can be such a little thing, a trifle, a mere nothing. But it twinges. And then I start to make associations.

And so it goes.

And so it grows.

Until my belly is churning so badly if it were milk it would turn to butter.

And then war breaks out - there is screaming and insults and words so full of anger and hurt they burn right through my scalp.

If uttered in real life, they could kill.

If uttered in real life, everyone would know exactly how hateful I actually am.

And sometimes, I vomit them out before I can stop myself - whisky-flavoured bile, green pus, brimstone, crushed glass, rotten vegetables, rusty nails - it keeps pouring. And pouring.

How much vitriol can one body contain?

And then I turn it off. Freeze up. Absolute zero. (That's O degrees Kelvin, not Celsius, not Farenheit).

Now you have received the full measure of my hate you no longer exist. I command you to die. Never mind, even if you don't, I will act as if you did.

It's funny to think that I spent nearly four decades, perfecting the technique. And that I thought this was normal. That to hate was normal. That to be interminably angry and cut people off, one by one, for the rest of my life, was somehow good.

Honourable even. Strong. Impenetrable. Fortress-like.

Har fucking har!

I don't know what happened to me when I fell sick this time around. I was comatose for most of the week. I relinquished among other things, my handphone, my will to live, my food, my friends, my stupid crushes, my need for something to happen to change all this around so I would be happy. I felt someone kicking me in the belly over and over again and I curled into a foetus and tried not to breathe.

It was dauntless.

It was unrelenting.

I wished I were dead.

I guess I had been digging myself deeper into the prison all this while and expecting a miracle - someone somewhere somehow would come along and rescue me. From me. Though how they were supposed to do that, God only knows.

Before I left Geneva, my friend Beatrix asked me to pick five cards. The first would denote the major problem in my life. The fourth would indicate the solution. The fifth, the way to the solution.

My problem? Living in the moment. I was too caught up in the past and the future to be in the present. Big deal. I'd heard that before. And frankly, I didn't know what to do about it. How do you change your hardwiring?

The solution? Rebirth.

Oh wow - that's great, that's really clear, that is. Rebirth. Die and be born again. Yeah, that would be a synch.

The way to the solution? Meditation. I didn't meditate. Instead, I fell sick. Much quicker and more effective.

So I died.

But I came back to life.

And things had changed. I couldn't find it in me to stay angry. Maybe there was no fight left in me. Something was missing, but whatever it was, I didn't want it back.

I wrote to tell Beatrix about it.

She said, illness as initiation, how interesting. And then she signed off to go on a five-day surprise birthday holiday with her husband.

And I thought, illness as initiation? Well why ever not? Nothing else had worked. For those like me, a mass of infected wounds under layers and layers of scab, nothing would, I guess.

I was velcro.

But I think I'm turning into teflon.


john calica said...

I want to be Teflon...

Jenn said...

Are you sure?

john calica said...

I tend to get attached to so many things, even to people and while I revel in the fact that I am the stronger type of velcro, meaning, the type that doesn't wear out easily, hanging on gets tiresome and there are days when I just want to be teflon and let everything slide.

Jenn said...

You sound tired...

Sometimes the very air, enervates.