all the arms we need!

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laying in bed with my girlfriend i run my fingertips down her arms. her bones are bumpy around her wrists. “oh, that’s because i broke this one twice and the other one three times,” she says casually. i frown at this and she breaks into a smile. “it’s okay! i mostly broke them while i was having fun!” and she’s talking excitedly about some ridiculous skateboarding accident. we are comparing feet–we both have ugly fucked-up feet. her toes are all snaggly and it’s because she broke them all, too. same thing, same luminous smile. she mostly broke them while she was having fun, so it’s okay.

and the not-so-fun bone breaks, we just don’t talk about those.

today i am sad about things that i have absolutely no control over. today i am wondering if i am just doing that classic crazy-person thing of saying, “oh, i’m fine now! i don’t need my meds!” while neglecting to remember that the reason i am fine is because i’ve been on them. wondering if i actually need them or if i just need a buffer from life. aren’t we just supposed to be sad a lot? isn’t this desire for relentless happiness so stupid and american and just generally a bad idea? doesn’t it make us bad, weak people? and don’t i not-so-secretly think i deserve to suffer?

laying in bed, my girlfriend touches my arm. i make a muscle and she whispers how sexy my strong arms are. it’s nice to have a partner who is not intimidated by my strength, both physical and emotional. who needs me to be, and stay, strong for her. my body is the strongest it’s ever been, mostly because i live up a hill. a huge one, a ridiculous one. a cliff, really, but there is a switchback road that gets one up the hill without going straight up. i’m not close with anyone who drives on a regular basis, so it’s me & my bike or me & the city steps, every day that i leave the house. i used to hate that hill so much. used to weep as i struggled up it, partially because everything made me weep when i first moved to this apartment, and partially because i just couldn’t believe that this was my life. that i gave up a sweet house on a tiny hill for this shitty apartment on this giant incline.

now i love the hill. the way the struggle makes my thighs come alive. the awe of my sweat-panted neighbors, sitting on their porch, watching me go. i love how strong it’s made me. love the way my girlfriend squeezes my muscular thighs and says that she loves them.

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