She Don’t Stop – Laura Mvula
MsFat Booty – Mos Def (seemingly only for the line “I know I can’t afford to stop for one moment”)

Two months that should have been fun and joy, turned into a test of endurance. Two more weeks of steaming through, the fatigue, stress, pain and the none. stop. travel. all around West Yorkshire. by bus. often having to wait half hour or an hour for a connection. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop.

She don’t stop, she can’t afford to stop; has just been stopped.

I played She don’t stop and the difficulties of driving myself on these few months hit me. I cried. Trying to push out and suck in breath at the same time, like I had been winded. Heavy deep sobs and throaty gasps. I pushed away from the desk, I felt like I wanted to lie fetal on the floor, but instead I knelt.

Was I going to pray? I didn’t. Instead I pushed my knees into the kickboard of the sofa, bringing a pillow close, folding it, positioning it, I had no idea what I was doing. I was holding the cushion, pressing my cheek against it. And then it happened. I cried. My whole body shook, almost convulsing. I was letting go. I was stopped, only to let go.

I only realised that I hadn’t been breathing properly until I heard my fast and shallow breath. I thought about work in my position. They will have to prepare for me. That’s if I go in this week at all.

Stop.

Pause.

See; sofa, fabric, books in the back ground.

Breathing, in my position.

I remember the necklace that she bought me for Christmas. I go and get it. It is an opal in a teardrop silver setting with a small diamond. On the back is the inscription; ‘I am with you still, with each new dawn’. I am breathing heavy again. I sent her a text to say goodbye. The last time I saw her I only told her I loved her.

Om Mani Padme Hum every Wednesday for the next six weeks.

What happens if I forget?

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