Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Natasha Beddingfield can fuck right off: if anyone can talk about getting bruised, then it's me. And no, I'm not talking in the metaphorical sense. I mean literally, physically, black-and-green actual bruises. If there are bruises to be had, I probably have them.

At the moment, I am quite impressively bruised. My bruise catalogue is as follows:

1x hickey, on my neck, from a night of necking in Willow. Reddish and almost invisible.

1x bruise on my left leg, circumstances unknown, but presumed to be from the infamous Party Harty. For reference, Party Harty was almost two weeks ago. This bruise on the outside on my thigh is roughly the size of my fist, presently brown, but has faded full the full spectrum of colours.

4x bruises on my right leg, circumstances also unknown. From their uniform colour (green) and similar locations (in horizontal bands up my shin and to the knee), I presume these are from walking into things - but again, I can't tell you for sure.

1x bruise on my right outer forearm, from either tree-climbing or my habit of shrugging a tote bag off my shoulder and catching it on my arm. Only perceptible because the skin still feels slightly tender, otherwise gone.

Admittedly, alcohol may have featured in a lot of these stories, but I have always attracted bruises, far more than scrapes or burns or cuts.
At ten I fell over constantly, laddering my tights and getting away with no bloodloss but impressive contusions.
At twelve I was so clumsy that the school nurse, seeing my multi-coloured arms, asked if "everything was alright at home." 
At fifteen I would come out of gigs looking like I'd been beaten up without ever going near the moshpits.
At eighteen a playful bite from a beau turned into a line of angry red marks on my tricep, which relegated me to wearing long sleeves for a week lest I explain it to my mother.

On Hallowe'en I was accidentally hit in the face, and wore an impressive black eye for two weeks until it faded into obscurity. My friends might have forgotten, but I haven't: there's still a small bump on my cheekbone where it healed funny, a permanent lump under my right eye.

I sort of like it, the way I sort of like all my bruises.

They remind me that things really happened, that I was really there, anchored in the material world. This is not to say I would ever put up with someone trying to hurt me - ain't nobody got time for that - but more that I understand accidents and incidents. Most are my own fault, from wandering around with my head in the clouds rather than staying grounded. On my more ephemerally dualist days, my bruises remind me my body is real and active and perfect. There is no good reason for me to bruise like this either: I have no blood disorders, and even my chronically-pale family members seem to have more resilient capillaries than I do.

Bruised emotions are another matter, and a story for another time. But, Ms Beddingfield, until you've managed to bruise yourself sliding downstairs to see your friend on New Year's Eve, or carelessly dropping an empty tin on your leg, or sneezing a bit too violently too close to a wall - don't talk to me about bruising easily. I'm like a fucking peach, and I might as well be proud of it.

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