I am couch-sprawled, pinch of lower back and hips because I twist my body outlandishly, a comfort that’s uncomfortable. Every night I cuddle into this, the sofa black, plush and velvety, except where the cushioned edges have an oil-slick sheen. The armrests are the same, sleek and loved, and they’re wide and solid, sturdy enough to hold the heftiest, most fragile glass of wine, which it does, nightly, usually a red though sometimes a white because I have cravings, options, just enough money and a strong and defiant will. My acupuncturist / therapist / saviour / friend helps me rationalise my excess: people all over the world try to cut down their drinking and most aren’t dealing with an invisible disability; give yourself a break, and I do. It’s true, I give myself a lot of breaks. My hair is still wet from an hour-plus bath where I read a book of poetry, my partner and children just fine without me (just fine, just fine, without me, great). I am a series of brief indulgences. I gift myself minor freedoms from a tough trudge because my trudging is ongoing. I see myself deserving of this every single night which feels selfish and reactive and I think it’s okay to be both of these things. I think it’s okay to take over couch.
my leggings and ugg boots my fire-warmed cheeks my coming down my tired frown this digital tv my raucous ear the remote control my spiralling hole my sloshing gut and wallowing and swallowing my bloodshot eyes my throat-blocked tears my melting endurance this insisting endurance this exhaustion this assent and I think I’ve seen this show before