The 8-Pound Man Who Saved My Life


I’ve found myself swimming through some unimaginably treacherous seas in the past year or two. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve had the desire to stop paddling and sink to the watery depths once or twice to escape the never-ending emotional waterboarding that’s floated my way.

I’m frequently referred to as a cunt—a cunt who turns everything she touches to shit. I stopped believing that those things were true a long time ago; occasionally it still hurts my heart to hear them, but when those words were spewed in my direction not five minutes ago, they didn’t sting at all, because in this moment, I am doing something so very, very right.

I’ve learned a lot about myself, life, and the true meaning of unconditional love in the past seventy-two hours. Sitting quietly for long periods of time on the aesthetically displeasing terra-cotta tiles that make up my bathroom floor, saying nothing mostly. Leaving the room intermittently only to replenish my water, take stock of the goings-on in the rest of my living space, and uphold my responsibilities outside of the house. Listening exclusively to Dirty Three and random harp music…I’d long forgotten just how grounding that can be.

My companion is also mostly silent. He eyes me suspiciously. His experiences with the world, outside of the one we’ve created together, have not been conducive to sensations of trust and safety, much less the gift of true, unconditional love. We have a lot in common, he and I. My sole focus at present is to change his perception of this shitty dog-eat-dog world and its generally self-serving, empathy challenged inhabitants. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll alter mine in the process.

I’ve always fallen in love rather too quickly, always to my detriment. I love him with every fiber of my being already. For the first time, I feel no impending sense of self-destruction attached to my runaway emotions. I trust him. Alone in this room with him, I feel safe. I’m practicing true unconditional love.

The universe threw me a life jacket this week. It came in the form of an eight-pound feral cat.