Friday, 19 December 2008

Trying Not To Grow

I have not always been this small. I went up before I came down. Which I suppose means I was this small once before, just not for very long. I grew at the same pace as my class mates for a while. Which is not to say that I wasn’t terrified by the speed at which I grew, I was. It was far too fast! Who needs pubic hair at twelve? Who wants breasts? I decided to take matters into my own hands when I was fourteen. I thought that as you could curtail your nails and keep your hair as short as you liked, why not the rest of you? I am a meticulous cutter of nails and trimmer of hair. I never go to the hair dressers because every other night I will be sitting by the mirror, scissors in hand and ruler in mouth. I save a lot of money this way. My nails suffer the same attention on every third day (which means of course that on some days I cut both nails and hair, and on some days neither). I have been told that this behaviour must take up all of my time, but really it’s just an extension of the way my brain works, I’d like to take the scissors to more than my gruesome outspillings (hair and nails come from inside your body straight to the outside! Then you just let them lie on your hands and head. FOR EVERYONE TO SEE!) I don’t see any difference between them and all other bodily effluvia. I’m sure you will come around to my way of thinking. I think time ought to be scissored back too, who asked it to grow and grow the way it does? Unbounded, wild, full of split ends, and growing interminably! Revolting. Anyway, me. I grew to the startling height of five foot six, but this was not for want of trying not to.

It has been said that the Amazon women sliced off their right breasts so that they could wield a bow and arrow with the same ease and accuracy as men. I tried to cut off the tip of my left nipple, just to see if I could get my breasts to stop growing. Suffice to say, the logic of the human body does not bow down to the logic of a fourteen year old girl. I was rushed to A and E pretty swiftly with an alarming post box red spreading all down the left side of my body. It was painful (which is always the first thing people ask), but the over riding sensation was that of fascination. There was a point (a split second) where my body was connected to my body (hand, scissor, nipple) and then the next moment, it wasn’t (hand scissor, scissor nipple). There’s not much to choose from between my breasts, but where the tip might have been on the left one, is a flat, woodlouse shaped scar.

I have not always been this small. As I write, you can measure my height by noting that my eyes are level with the handles of a shopping trolley. It goes without saying that shopping is a painful and particularly depressing experience. I can only reach the full fat milk. I can have iceberg lettuce but even standing on tip toes I can’t reach the coriander. I can eat alpen and all bran but none of the cereals I like. And all I look at throughout the day are groins and midriffs. I get a crick in my neck if I try to look up too much, so lately I don’t really bother. Predictable perhaps, I do have a loving relationship with shoes. My feet are the only part of me that have not reduced in size. Some people might think this would be upsetting, a miniature girl with large, oversized feet. What it actually means is, for once in my life, I get to wear things appropriate for my age. I have at least fifty pairs of killer shoes. Platforms, wedges, stillettos (etc etc). You can tell a lot about a person from their shoes. You can also tell a lot from someone’s groin too, but I don’t really want to dwell on that.