Short Form Prose: Appendage


Ella Salome

I’m trying to escape myself. I lie with my head on your chest and I can hear your heart pulsing my name and I murmur back at it, and nuzzle towards it, brushing my nose through the soft down on your warm skin. I want to burrow into your chest, and curl up safe inside your ribcage where I can whisper right into your heart’s ear. I want to be one of your organs, and as vital. I want to be as inseparable to you as your own hand. 

No amount of contact seems to be enough for you to absorb me entirely. I’ve exposed every part of myself to you, every scar and wound has been bared and torn open. We’ve excavated a sizeable chunk of my personality together, discarding much in our digging. We pick over the rabble of me, and I am quick to turn my nose up at everything we find, just to be sure you won’t see me showing undue interest in myself. I’m hoping that when we finish overturning rocks and sweeping away the dust of my ego we’ll find something more valuable. Maybe if we chip away enough pieces of the wrongness that is me, we’ll end up with a more perfect form. 

It must be you that I’m hoping to find there, under all the me. You are much closer to perfection. If it turns out we can clean me up enough that I become you, maybe I’ll like myself better. Maybe you’ll like me better too.

For now I’m as frustratingly myself as ever. The more I shift my form towards yours, the more you point out our differences. The distinctions grow finer, more abstract, but no less damning. You seem to feel that everything about me is wrong, especially the fact that I am so weak as to alter myself for another’s pleasure. Maybe you’re so yourself because you never try to be anything else.

But I’ve already tried being me, remember? We didn’t like it.


Authors note: I wrote this just after the end of the relationship it refers to, and I’m so glad that I’m now much happier, healthier and several years in the future from that point. This piece helps to remind me why I left, and why I will never settle for a relationship like that again.

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