Hold your own hand

Usually they try to talk about serotonin or avoidance tactics but I am master of conversation and steer us towards the stupidity of phonics testing or recipes for banana bread. Sometimes they offer a fairy-tale reading of my behaviours, I think the armour is meant to be a metaphor implying that the weight on my chest is to do with self-expectation. I am not taking the situation seriously enough when I say that as a woman I would never have been allowed into battle. I am really just waiting for impatience to froth from their mouths like the water did that time I was so thirsty that I drank from the basin in the church toilets. We don’t doubt what we know to be true. An egg is an egg. 63 is a bad mark. I am not ill. We decide to leave it there for today and I know what this really means. I can return to radio four and the rhythm of bouncing a tennis ball on my racket; they say this is about the sleeplessness that papers my walls but actually, it’s just good for hand-eye coordination.

Matilda Webb