Do You Love Yourself?
The tattoo artist let me use his really nice pen to draw on my arm. I drew a bird, off in the distance. He asked with the tat gun in his hand if I wanted him to fix it up, make it perfect. It is perfect, I said. He told me I’d see the flaws when it heals.
We got a bit drunk, did karaoke afterwards. My song came on and I said I wasn’t ready. One of my friends suggested I was the only person he knew that was always ready. For anything.
Sometimes I’m not ready to open the word document that contains my novel. It can take me two coffees and four hours of procrastination before I can even open the file. I’m terrified of Chapter Eight, of these people I made-up who are so real to me. I want good things to happen to them, but good things don’t always happen.
I had a session with an energy healer this morning. His vibrations felt concentrated at my heart chakra. At the end he asked me if I loved myself. He told me the key is forgiveness. The sickness, he said, the sickness you think is in your head, is in your heart.
What is really wrong with you? A boyfriend asked me once. I’d ripped all the curtains down in our room. It gets too dark, I said. He told me the curtains weren’t the problem. London is grey most of the time. Turn on the lamp, he said. Look, it’s right beside you.
It’s like being chained to the bottom of the ocean, the healer said, you need to break out of it and swim up. Practice it every day.
It’s a choose-your-own metaphor. I’m practicing turning on the light.
Why the bird? The tattoo guy asked. We talked about freedom and travel and flying south for the winter. It’s not a symbol though, I said, I’ve been drawing this forever.
The tattoo is healed now, perfectly flawed.