Before you are dismantled

“Before you are dismantled, fixed and broke again you are not yet a lover. Remember on the right night and under the right light any idea can seem like a good one and love…love is mostly ill advised but always brave.” Yrsa Daley-Ward

“And here I thought you were jaded.” He’s teasing, gently. The skin’s been healed a while now, but it’s been cold enough to keep legs covered most days. Not everyone has seen.

“The worst. I eat hearts for breakfast.”

“Seriously. I’ve never heard you say anything about love that didn’t sound like you hate it.”

I’m not sure what to say to that. I do hate it. It’s monstrous. It changes you. One day you’re at sea all filled with the thrill of wind and open water, daring every storm to just try; it’s never seen anything so fierce as you, so strong. And then out of nowhere you’re cast out like a stowaway, like vermin, like nothing. You’re left alone God knows where with no keel and no sails and no anchor. People are talking but what language you don’t know. They broke your compass and your heart and Broca’s area, too. You wonder if you’ll ever learn to fit the shape of yourself again (You will, it’s just a new shape and it has something of a limp).  If you’re even human, anymore. If you’re not just walking jetsam with water in your ears. They didn’t even keep your bones for scrimshaw, after all that. Not even your bones.

I hate it so much. Because I can’t quite stop forgiving. Because I can’t quite say it wasn’t worth it. Because life does, in fact, go on.

I’m using tattoos to reclaim parts of myself, a bit at a time. It was easy to feel weak for having been in love. To treat myself with disdain for it. Ill-advised is putting it mildly, when you’ve carried the wreck of a memory long enough. It is easy to try to shame it away until it is not part of who I am. But it is also brave. And I still can’t quite say it wasn’t worth it, either time.

The text is an excerpt from Artichokes by Yrsa Daley-Ward. Her book, bone, is most definitely worth picking up.

My other tattoos are here:

Don’t touch me, a how-to guide for handling my panic attacks from Beckett


i like my body when it is with your, a reminder that sometimes the body is so quite new a thing.

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