You know I would do it, if she would just get out of the way. I know what it is I need to do, and it’s so simple really: get up, cross the floor, brush things – hair, teeth, sleep from my eyes. Wash. Choose something to wear. And then just one deep breath and open the door and …
And I would do it, but she trips me up, she circles just there where I can’t quite see the shape of her, snapping, nipping, snarling silently. She makes me shiver and worry and fret and all the time I say, no, it’s just Fear, don’t be silly. You Can Handle It, I say. When I sleep she crawls in under the covers with me like a labrador and licks her way into my dreams; I wake wet-cheeked from crying or from her incessant love.
She hurts me, I know it, she keeps me small and still and silent and never crossing the floor or opening the door. Thank god for those who live without her, who come to care for me, sit and feed me, talk to me. But in the end, they always go.
Bless her down there, she will never, ever leave me. She promised.

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