Sixty Conversation Starters, Choose One

This is what’s missing, in Oregon.

A splash of sunlight. An afternoon kiss. A smiley face, stuck on a sticky, noted.

This is what else is missing.

The weight of somebody’s hand on my hip, when I fall asleep. When I wake up. Are you familiar with how warm a weight that is?

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I talk about my new sweater, instead. We’re talking one of three. (!) This one, the one I’m wearing, is Banana Republic. (Mega sale, Banana Republic.) It’s pretty and printed, black and white, and, as you can see, adorably oversized. Or I hope so, anyway. I hope that’s the word that comes to mind.

Last week I went shopping with my mom, and we bought almost exclusively too-big clothes. Soft, encouraging, clothes. I am trying to gain weight now.

I have put my body through the wringer. This morning I woke up with my hand on my lower belly, the part of my body I have always hated the most heatedly, and thought I am so sorry. My belly, my too-big belly, which has historically hugged and held onto every last bit of fat, has been doing its damnedest to protect my vital organs. For all of this time. I have made it very hard.

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I feel a little silly, telling you this, but I started drawing slow circles on my stomach. Slow, sort of circles. Lopsided loops, if you want to know the truth — it turns out I’m a little out of practice. We have to practice, I think — loving the bodies we have.

Have you ever done this? Or had someone do it to you? It is oddly calming. It is the exact same feeling I get when I brew myself tea. When I sink into a bubble bath. When I slip a very soft sweater over my head.

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I know I am lonely, starved for touch, because when my head emerges from my new turtleneck, the rest of me feels as if it has been bear-hugged. I cannot tell you how good it feels, to be surrounded by such soft. Maybe it will feel good to be a little softer, too.

I want a bigger life. I’ve decided, now. I’ve decided, even though I am afraid of exactly what that entails. I want my life to be bigger than this.

Why? One reason why: I will only ever be able to act a part, in love, until I do this.

I’m going to have to deal with all sorts of things I don’t want to deal with, while I do this. But if I can come out on the other side…well, the other side sounds so, so, so sweet.

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I want a Tuesday as happy as a Saturday, a Sunday, and I want it with you. I want a love that’s ten kinds of messy — a love that’s lived in. I want patient hands, unpredictable kisses. Spontaneous laughter. Pillow talk. I want gentle lips, strong legs, steady hands. I want tenderness. I want shit, sorry, that was not tender. I want try, try, trying again. I want I’m sorry, I screwed up — and I don’t have flowers, FYI, because I was 60% certain you would chuck them in my face. I want you drive me bananas, I love you to pieces. I want come here, come back. I want see you soon, see you later. I want pick you up at 8, see you at 7:55. I want sixty conversation starters, choose one. I want more than that, a little’s not enough. I want a lot to never, ever, be too much.

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6 thoughts on “Sixty Conversation Starters, Choose One

  1. oh my Hannah. i know how unbearably isolating and lonely it is to think of your body as nothing but strong, able, and forgiving — to compare it to other bodies and to wish it wasn’t the way it was, at this very moment (your heart is beating! your hands are working! your hair swishes as you walk). And yet. you are so not alone. we all do this, going round and round, somehow too caught up to stop each other and say, “wait! how can you look at your body that way, when all i see is how great you are??” i wish we didn’t. be kind to yourself, love, as you are so kind to everyone around you. xoxo

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