I don’t do bodies.

Earlier in the week, I squashed my finger in a door, one of those crazy accidents for which I have only myself to blame.

I pulled the door shut with one hand and somehow let my tall finger get stuck between the door and its jamb.

A heavy door, too, one that divides the noisy part of the house from the quiet.

It hurt like hell in those first few minutes and then became a dull thud over the rest of the day. It interfered with my capacity to type but only for a time.

All that remains now is a purple half-moon at the base of my cuticle, a purple that will turn black and most likely still be visible in six months’ time, the way these things go.

Fingernails take their time.

The night before I squashed my finger, I had a dream in which a man forced himself into my house. I connected these two events in my mind for obvious reasons.

When I opened the front door to this man in my dream, and took one look at him, this mountain of a man whose nose was bleeding: I pushed the door shut and tried to lock him out, only he forced his thick fingers between the door and the jamb and managed to prise it open.

Then he pushed me over onto my back and sat on top of me, with all his weight pinning me down against my will.

There’s not much else I remember of this dream only the sense that I was helpless against him.

How could I move his vast bulk and get up?

This body gives me grief, a finger stuck in the door, a hip that’s twinging at present with one of my vertebrae out of alignment, small ailments associated with carelessness and ageing,

I don’t do bodies.

My body is merely a suitcase into which I pack my thoughts and memories. Out of which I make noises and decisions.

It gets me from one place to another and mostly it does so well enough though I find I’m slowing down, and this bothers me.

I want my body to cooperate, but I do not want it  to have a mind of its own, to operate outside my conscious control.

And then I squash my finger in a door and see how little control I have over all things body.


My daughter gave me a belt for my birthday, which is yet to come. She’s gone away for the weekend, so this morning I sent her a photo of my body wearing this belt.

She found it ‘creepy’.

I see her point and yet this belt is wonderful. The creepy has more to do with the disembodied body, no head or arms, no legs, just a torso, thrust forward to reveal the belt.

A friend told me recently that I often write about bodies. This came as a surprise to me given ‘I don’t do bodies’.

Though maybe that’s why I explore them in words.

So much safer.