[Written by Kirsty Crawford]
[Image Credits: Kieren Mehta]
Content warning: Mention of mental health issues.
My friend held my hand whilst I slept the deep sleep that only occurs after heavy tears have fallen, stroking my hair like that of a tired child’s. I could have easily backslid into the wreckage, but her care comforted me to caution. Healing was easy by her side.
We had the taste of last night’s red wine sharp on our tongues, and the painful heads to prove it. But we kept the date of our pencilled in plan. We boarded the train to Balloch with a packed lunch, softly talking and taking in the journey, my head rested on her shoulder. In these fleeting moments, I thought to myself, I felt like we were in our own world, this green-blue planet calling me home.
I ate a banana by the banks of the water as the wind toyed with my bare legs, strawberry season still far from reach. We lay between the trees with the sound of each other’s thoughts silent in the air. It was not raining, I remember, but there was a feeling in the sky. We ran into the overcast loch without question—the water healing us of our hangovers almost instantly. We laughed here splashing in the grey water, not feeling the cold even though our bodies were shaking.
I cry on the subway, tears falling on the yellowed pages of my book. There is something about the relative movement of the underground that always sets me off—the stillness of the stop after the motion. A couple of days later, I dropped the paperback in the bath, and I left it to dry crisp on my radiator.
I had been crying at the news again. I remember writing in bed with a sinking feeling in my chest, thinking about the biosphere, the silence of space, and how long the silence will last. It’s saddening to find a certain comfort in a podcast entitled The End of the World Has Already Happened and I talk to my friend to process it. We cry down the phone to each other, feeling lighter with every tear that falls. I sleep soundly through the night for the first time in days.
I turned twenty on a Sunday. My teenage self passed in the night whilst I slept on. I woke to a feeling that something was missing, off centre—but maybe I was just hungover. My friends gathered in my flat, and I thought of how a previously empty space can be changed with the people you love sharing the air. The beer to wine consumption ratio unsettled my stomach. I was sick.
The next morning, my friends came around for a breakfast which I could not cook. In my sorry state I was resigned from hob duties and lay on the tiled floor whilst they moved around me. We told our stories from the night before, debriefing, finding mutual catharsis. I laughed along. We sat down to eat, and I could only touch the tomatoes.
I want to write about my friends, but I don’t think I can do them justice. So, instead I say thank you. Thank you for being soft, for making me dinner, for taking your coffee black in the name of the environment even though we both know you’d prefer to take it with milk, for crying in the cinema, for crying on the subway, for crying with me, for holding my hand, for holding my hand as I sleep, for letting me sleep in your bed, for asking what kind of tea I want, for the tangerine you brought for me, for the text message, for helping me heal, for the sad days, for the comfortable silences, for sharing your lip balm, for watering my plants, for walking me home, for driving me home, for everything in between, for the way you make me feel a type of way that I find there are not enough words to express.