Last night was one of those terrible nights where you’re worried you’ve offended someone and you’ve got that bad feeling in your bones like you’re a really, really bad person. I have that so much at the moment, especially writing the blog. The thought of upsetting anyone terrifies me. It aches.
Also, we watched the comedy ‘Get him to the Greek’ which was truly depressing.
I dreamt it took me hours and hours to wash my hair and it wasn’t my house so the people whose house it was were getting annoyed. I was wasting water. But the conditioner just wouldn’t rinse completely out and my hair was an enormous birds nest.
It was an infuriating dream and when I woke I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Especially as it was 7am and there was a drill grinding into the wall behind our heads. Dratted construction site. Dratted world.
I lay there with the drill in my brain wanting to scream out to the men on the other side of the thick brick wall but somehow the Love kept sleeping so all I could do was reach my arm back to the wall and extend my middle finger really hard. The drilling actually stopped. Power of The Bird. So I tried to go back to sleep, but the icky feeling was still strong. I tried to think Happy Thoughts. I thought of Hair and I thought of The Hairdresser and of a time I saw her recently, where I learned a good lesson. She looked radiant. I said:
“You look radiant. Have you met someone?”
And she said,
“Yep. I’m having a torrid affair.”
And I said,
“Wow, I could really tell. You’re bursting out of yourself.”
“I know,” she said. “I feel amazing.”
It had been a while since she’d seen anyone and last time I’d seen her she was pale and gaunt. Now she was shining – her eyes were bright, skin luminescent, wild black hair shiny, tattoos buffed. Her limbs seemed looser, the clothes hung off her body joyfully, like they were having the ride of their life. I could understand – it must have felt great to be close to her.
“Who is he?” I asked, rubbing my hands together.
“It’s me,” she said, with stonefaced conviction. “I’m in love with myself.”
“You?” I asked, trying to act like that was normal, and cool.
“Yep,” she confirmed. “Me.”
I gulped. She was dead serious.
The Hairdresser had always been a very strong woman and an ultra-cool cat. I was madly in love with her and completely intimidated by her. She was wise. She knew Everything. I looked up to her. She was an icon around town. She always knew exactly what she wanted and could see through all sorts of bullshit. Most times I came in for a haircut I left with renewed clarity on my life.
“Are you a good lover?” I asked.
“Yep,” she said. “I’m amazing. I buy myself flowers. Last night I took myself out to the most beautiful dinner. I’m having long baths with myself, making long love to myself. I am amazing in bed. I am rubbing oils all over my body. I am taking myself away for weekends and buying myself gifts. I am having love-ins with myself. I am making myself breakfast in bed and having champagne with myself and eating delicious things with myself. Taking myself to the movies. I’m totally hot for myself.”
“That is the most amazing thing I have ever heard,” I said, making a note to write it all down when I got home. There was not a hint of arrogance or new-age-iness or insecurity about it. This was her absolute truth and she was living it. I was mesmerised. Imagine how powerful that might feel, I wondered to myself. To have an affair with yourself. I couldn’t imagine liking myself enough to even stop feeling guilty about treating myself to this hair cut.
When I got home I tried to write in my diary:
I LOVE MYSELF
And you know what, I couldn’t do it. The letters were all scratchy and ill-formed. It was amazing. All I needed to do was write it and I couldn’t. I pushed myself.
I AM IN LOVE WITH MYSELF.
I slammed the book shut and hid it. It wasn’t true at all, and I felt insecure for having written the words down. Fake. A feeling of terror that someone would find the words and laugh at me ripped through my veins.
A week later I dared open the diary again and looked at the writing. It didn’t feel quite so bad. I traced over the letters in heavy ink. And I did it again and again every few days and by the end of the week I actually felt quite a surge of strength. Maybe I could be in love with myself after all.
It was a powerful feeling, writing the words. It sounds like something from a self-help book, but I swear, it helped. It entered a funny place in me, I can’t quite describe it.
I still try to write it down occasionally, but it’s still hard. It’s important, though don’t you think, to at least conceive of the possibility of being in love with yourself? Especially on icky evenings like last night when you’re convinced you’re the worst person on earth and you just wish you could crawl into someone else’s skin and live in there forever. Or at least until the night is over.