Submitted by megan on Tue, 05/27/2008 - 18:21
In the summer of 2006, a few weeks before I told my ex I didn't want to live with him any more, I developed a cyst on my left wrist. It wasn't huge, but it was noticeable: I've a clear memory of being in Grace and Greg's living room on a yellowed August afternoon. I'm sitting on a chair, leaning forward, my elbows on my knees and my hands hanging loose between them. Grace is several feet across the room.
"What's that on your wrist?" she asks.
"That," I say, "is what I'm not saying."
A week or so later, he and I were walking beside the empty lot on Preston Street, cooling off after another screaming match. Sand and milkweed desert colours beside us, smelling like straw in the heat. I told him I thought it best we not live together. Or rather, I agreed with him when he said it, and then didn't take it back when he balked.
Within two days, the cyst was gone.
You know, I've never really doubted the mind-body connection, but that's the first experience that gave me proof. As soon as I saw that cyst, I knew exactly what it was. Why it was there? No. Though the cyst part is obvious, I should hope, I'm not exactly sure what correlation there was between my left wrist and not moving out. But there was never a shred of doubt in my mind that that bump was my words. It was an unassailable internal truth.
I have been not crying for weeks. Since I found out about my grandmother being sick, actually. As soon as I heard that, through email, I got down to the business of making plans, not crying - what was there to cry about? She was okay, wasn't she? She'd lived a good long life, hadn't she? The only time I came close to crying was after saying goodbye to her, standing in the parking lot with my sister and father. And I sucked the tears up, because it felt like they would have been a burden, unseemly, and I didn't want Amy and Dad to have to take care of me, since they didn't seem all that fazed.*
There have been other things over the past few weeks that have added to my store of sadness, but every time I've had that lump in my throat, I would think - no, not now - and my throat would tighten and release, this time tear free.
Then two Sundays ago, I was getting fucked, hard. And I came. Hard.
You know how some people laugh when they come? I'm a crier - doesn't happen all the time, but it's happened before and it feels good, like it's part of the come and the tail end of letting go.
So I started crying. But it wasn't the usual crying, a few tears, a couple sobs, some hiccups. I disappeared into it. A vivid image of being on the edge of grassy shore, at the edge of a forest, the moon coming up straight ahead, dark water from one side of the horizon to the other. Not rising, not rocking, not wild; smooth and pervasive, hiding god knows what monsters.
Felt like I was falling headlong into it. I stopped crying.
For the first time in a long long time, I had the feeling that if I really started, let go, I might not ever stop, because that water was fucking everywhere and deathly still.
My massage last night has to go down as one of my top five most intense physical experiences. Perhaps more intense than the Sunday fucking, if only because there was no orgasm to stop it.
Rob, my massage therapist, is great. He comes to my house, which I love. His massages are not of the happy-relaxy variety, but Kerri warned me about that. I've had a few now, and they really work for me. He finds your shit and he works it. And he can tell a lot about your shit by where and how you're storing it.
I was on my stomach last night, describing the aches and pains left over from spending a bazillion hours in a car: my sacrum, my hamstrings, my calves. He poked and rubbed and prodded and pressed. "A little stressed about being at home, too, maybe?"
Yeah, you could say.
He kept on. I started yelping occasionally as he dug into my calves and the sides of my heels.
"How old are your orthotics? Ten years? You could probably just throw those out."
I flipped over, gingerly. He worked his way up, quick presses here and there, along my sides, up my face, the base of the skull, cracking my ears, feeling along the edges of my chin. And there, under the left side of my jaw, he found a knot, a nut of tension, and he took his fingers from both hands and he pressed in, up.
My first thought: "Those are my tears."
Indeed, within a few seconds a salty fluid was leaking from where he was pressing and down my throat. Not literally tears. I'm sure it that biologically it was something else, but my fuck, metaphorically, that's what they tasted like.
My breathing became erratic, my fingers clenched into the table and my chest heaving in quick bursts. He eased off, but only slightly.
"You just do what you need to do. Take it as far as you can, as far as you feel safe."
And I started bawling. He kept at it, put his finger in my mouth and massaging my jaw from the inside. I cried harder. He made soothing sounds, took one of my hands and moved it so I was gently touching the hand that was breaking down the tears, then was touching my own lips.
I kept crying.
Eventually, he took his hands off my jaw and laid his arms on mine, holding my elbows, holding me together, breathing in what I was breathing out. My lungs calmed, I stopped actively crying, though my eyes were still puffy with the need.
I was a fucking mess.
The last moment before he left, half-way out the door, he put his table back down and turned to me. "I'm going to give you a hug," he said. And did. Held me tight. He breathed quickly: in, push out, in, push out. I could feel that he was trying to absorb and disperse whatever sadness was lingering around me. I held on and let him.
Today hasn't been much better. I feel raw. The fibrous membrane around the cyst is gone, but what's left is the sharpest eye tooth, a snag of tangled hair, and a bloodied mess of ragged nerves.
* They probably were, we probably could have taken care of each other.