Mad respect for the shark’s streamlined singular purpose, the cheetah’s Pilates-limbed booster mode, but the animals I am most enamored with are made of softness. A radius of pettable fur and ideally, selfishly, carrying a few more pounds than is advised for their species. I can’t seem to extend this love for my own mammal self, though. I fiercely eradicate most of my own fur and despair over the squish of my tender body for its refusal to transform into a more armored and aerodynamic shape.

Somewhere in the cave of my heart I want to be a round-bellied puppy, a gloriously chonky longhaired cat stretched out on her side, a young piglet happily rooting for who-knows-what, a well-fed quokka with a Mona Lisa smile.

The heart-cave is a hot mess, though. My god, have you looked in there? It’s more of an overstuffed attic filled with everyone else’s bullshit. You can’t get from one side to the other without being ensnared by some wiry tangle of bad programming.

You may have noticed, it is so very hard to get rid of.

My heart often gets confused by everything it is surrounded by and I forget that it is okay to be soft and to love soft things. There my heart beats behind a fortress of ribcage because of its own vulnerability and sometimes I want to be shut tight and water-sealed and hidden away from sight and sometimes I just want to crack wide open and let hot summer sunshine come pouring in.

Inside of me are five trillion stern sets of instructions that all lead to unyielding locations but all I want is the hand-drawn one, the paper-napkin treasure map written in crayon that’s all wobbly dashed lines and a great big X to mark the spot where the stubborn soft animal of me is held and maybe even cherished for its lack of predatory features.


8 Responses to “Inside the cave”

  1. Laura on April 10th, 2021 10:48 am

    Love the painful truth of this!

  2. Stephanie on April 10th, 2021 10:49 am

    um, I don’t know if this helps, but even though we have never met (in fact, I’ve never even commented before – sorry about that), I totally cherish you. Your posts are continually spot on and routinely make me laugh out loud. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs. Sincerely – thank you.

  3. Heather on April 10th, 2021 12:46 pm

    Do you think your post is too long to be a tattoo?

  4. Nine on April 10th, 2021 12:49 pm

    I see you and I love you. <3

    Also, random rec from a rando: Have you watched Fleabag on Prime? I had a panic attack during a fucking conference call the other day and in a startlingly adamantium/beskar-esque moment of self-care, decided FUCK THIS FUCKING SHIT, hung up, logged out, got in bed with my iPad at 2pm on a Friday and binged the shit out of that show until there were no more episodes left. It's hilarious and heartbreaking and horny and holy. I liked Season 2 better than Season 1, which I didn't think was possible.

    Also also: Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron is low budget John Wick backwards in high heels and thigh highs. I spent actual $ to rent it because of the fight scene in the apartment.


  5. Jill on April 11th, 2021 3:14 am

    I live in Asia and am a 5’3″ size 10 American woman. I tried on pants the other day in the largest size possible that the store here carries and not a single pair fit and I wanted to come home and cry the rest of the day.
    I gained weight the last year+ b/c I was depressed and now I’m depressed b/c I can’t find in “normal” sized clothes. Luckily the food here is fucking delicious and I can always have cheap leggings shipped from Old Navy so I guess silver linings or something?

  6. Juli on April 11th, 2021 11:09 am

    I love how raw and real this is at the same time. Once my heart was so soft, and a prime target for every predator to damage. As the scars have healed it’s grown tougher, with only few tender spots left, and only a few people have the crayon drawn pirate’s map to locate their spots exactly. (((HUGS)))

  7. Mary Clare on April 12th, 2021 8:50 am

    You accomplished a well-written and tender-hearted post. Beautiful!

  8. Kym Wootton on April 12th, 2021 2:38 pm

    Puhhhhhlease write a book. FFS. I am trying to be a fiction writer and this post is like a master class of everything I strive to be.

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