Prose, Writing

Just Another Day, Passed

I, wrought. Rotting. Rolled into year 22 last April, can you believe it? Madhat crazy 19 of those years, can’t recall the rest—everybody dies somehow. Sparkle-flash lights my eyes each time I blink, and they’d be prettylooking if it wasn’t an aneurysm. Expanding consciousness, maybe. I see the 4th of July, looking into the sparkler’s zip-zap burn, and I told this to Paul, my roommateboyfriend, but he’s a Brit, doesn’t celebrate Independence, doesn’t believe I see sparkles, either.

“What’s wrong?” he asks.
“Something in me feels funny, I just don’t know what,” I say.

See, what I think, I’ve gotta misfired circuit, that’s what I’m seein’. Flickering lights goin’ in and out. Only problem is, electricians’ are too damn finicky. Any cattier, and I’d call ‘em all stingy sonsabitches, but I’m not that catty, and so they’re all bastards my ma and Father never afforded me.

“Doc’s on holiday,” I always say. I’d like to go be examined by a professional, Head to toetag, but well I just don’t have that kind of cash. For now, I and dr.web are tryin’ fix me up in the home garage- makeshiftdo.

GODAM my neck, hurts. Something’s really wrong with me this time. My Head’s all drooped over to the left, makin’ my sinister eye and ear too lazy to hear or see evil-good. If I turn my Head westward towards the sunset, I can’t hear a thing. Southern, Sudden Death. It’s not death like people say, it’s deaf. How long does it take to arrive at deafness?

Reminds me, Paul came bearing me a story today about a blind man he bumped into on Easter Day, said it was a synchronicity, since he’d been reading Cathedral. Just like him to think it’s a sign seated just beyond the gaze of a blind man, a sign that he was keen ‘nough to see.

The bathroom mirror of God’s eternal rest house shows I gotta bend in my neck, that pain, manifest it just above the shoulder, slithering down the spine bump-bump-bump, into Shakti’s agape, Godhelpme.

She’s pissed now, nobody likes a deceptive kiss, and in that mirror, I age. Dark hair, faded-out turns into frazzled frays around the frame of my startled doe-face, exacerbated palepale sparkle eyes, an’d here I start to panic. Rigormortis, ‘bout 12 more hours ‘til I’m back to a pumpkin, and I can see it now. My p’tite bust popped, emptied out funbags now flat on my torso, is that normal?

“Nononono.”

I am ill, elderly reflection of me standing there, youth is just a memory now. Was it the two, maybe 3, hours in bathtub holy water, dried my young out like a prune? Prune juice is awful, my bodyimage gone hideous. Is this goodnight? I feel cold; cold inside, cold out. Prune juice’ll do that to you.

”Hey Paul, turn off the air, will ya? I’m in an icebox!” I say that to him, even though the words are hard, my voices fragile, myself is weak.

“Yeah,” he says, and not a word more. He doesn’t like being around the dead, who can blame him. That man’s got Mary holding roses round his neck and finger, charmsafe from whirlpool of rain-wrapped tornado; why risk hail-halting Ava Maria now? Devil get behind me Paul says, and we all listen. Even my sinister ear can hear that.

Wowbegone but the woe still lingers, lurking in a black hood, Grimm coming in to takeover for Fairy Godmom.

“Noo!” I cry out, childlike, clinging to mom’s hip on the last day as much as the first. But listens shenot, unemotioned by the changing hands. Made a wish ungranted at 11:11, now the last man sings in midnight’s quartet. Memento mori, clock reads.

Paul, saintlike man, walks into the bathroom looking for my howling, steps right on my toes, as I’m lying on the floor, preparing.

“I didn’t see you there, are you okay?”
“caleemanakietelpronenisk,” I say, and I can’t say anything else. Nodnot, I winkwince at him, and whatdoyaknow, the kid’s keen. Sign, he sees.

“puulsss,” I mutterhiss out with the exhale. Hesychasm, orthodox gibberish written in the books. Is this the part where my I kneel while my tongue confesses? Paul, heartofgold, hears not a heart turning to stone, forgets to read me my habeas corpus; does God value Miranda’s rights? Well, he likes all her hairs, so he must lover as much as Uranus.

My body can’t feel the sensation of the rug on which I’m laying, flatbacked against the floor. Pushing my eyes down since I can’t raise the dead, I see my toes are already fading. Coldfeeling, bloodless-colored like a corpse, man I swear I’ve never seen ‘em that way before. I worry, a lot I worry, if not about the lifelack of my feet, then the hypothermic hue of my lips, but this time I think it’s really happening.

I’ll mourn the sunrise, say goodnight to my family for me, it’s Sun’s day morn and I am no more.

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Prose, Writing

Somebody Sad

She was Goldilocks; possibly, she was Mic Jagger from the Rolling Stones. Her porridge always seemed to be too hot or too cold, and, no matter how hard she tried, satisfaction evaded her.

Oh, I must be Eeyore, she thought.
Only on some days, she realized.

In this particular moment, she must have been Eeyore, or Goldilocks, or even Mic Jagger. She, sad girl, was sitting Indian-style on midwestern grass in the dead of night. The resident geese were tucked away for the evening, and so she was all emptied out by an emptied out pond. Despite having accomplished a hard day’s work, with all her studies and writings, she felt so sad. No, not that painstaking sadness, thank Woolf, but the kind of sadness that leaves a person in a freeze frame while the world buzzes on by. Except, over time, the buzzing becomes this blur, and no single face is really recognizable anymore.

Where did all the people go, she asked the night.
The night said nothing, and so she assumed they were still out there, even though she was not.

It was all just really upsetting to her; toiling away, day-in and day-out, and for what? She couldn’t see the point of it all, and the world would not let her be James Joyce, anyhow.

 

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A Sentence A Day, Prose, Writing

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“Tears started to cloud my vision, the creases in my smile began to lay flat; the scathingly morose succession of notes to Quasi una fantasia absorbed a little bit more of me with each key, and in that moment I realized that I, too, would one day take my own life, for I was not well.”

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Essays, Prose, Writing

False Abstractions on the Meaning of Identity

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Who am I? Long buried, this question has escaped from my consciousness for some time, but only recently have I begun to wonder if it never really left. The anxiety and uncertainty about my identity has manifested itself in various forms under an array of names. Will I be a failure in life? Do I have any meaning? Am I a creative individual? Am I ethical in my actions? Am I Bipolar? Can I be disciplined in my daily life? Am I a night owl or will I ever be able to wake up early in the mornings to sip my latte and watch the sun rise as I ponder the beauty of existence?

The anxiety has not disappeared with the simple quandary of wondering who “I” am, but rather, it has catapulted that question, shot it in midair, and shattered it into a thousand different sub-anxieties that permeate my thoughts at every second.

I am a student. Being a student has been my identity en vogue, and I have worked vigorously to pursue and a place on which I can attach myself. I am a student. I must be a perfect student in order to see the value in my existence. I am not a perfect student, therefore I do not see the value in my existence. I skip class more than I find acceptable, and I do not know everything. Sometimes, my handwriting is sloppy. Sometimes, I mispronounce a word. Sometimes, I haven’t read the material before class or outlined and memorized its contents.

But what makes me feel incredibly miserable is how I am not surrounded by perfect students. Being a person who is uncertain about my own identity means I am looking for organism with which I can play “host.” An imperfect environment, imperfect friends, and imperfect abilities means that I am not perfect. Since I feel that I cannot be perfect like I expect of myself, the next place to exert pressure would be outwardly. How can I find value in my existence if everyone around me is flawed? How can I know everything if I do not have classmates that know much at all? How can I be a perfect pupil when my professor in not Einstein?  I can’t. This is logical, but what’s missing in my desperate logic, is that perfection is unobtainable. Impossible. It will never happen. Ouch.

I am an artist. When one identity proves itself to be defective, my strategy is to try a new one. I am an artist. I feel, think, and eat creatively, and every moment I experience incredibly ingenious revelations. The clouds move in a way that incites passion in my chest. Noticing a subtle sincerity in an exchange between two strangers makes me teary-eyed and reminds me of poetry. Gazing off into empty space while feeling melancholic gives me insight to how Van Gogh must have felt. I am an artist, this is my identity. Except, I am too crippled by my own impossible expectations to ever try to express myself with real intention. I love to write, but all of my words oxidize too quickly, and they grow stale and lifeless far before I can really appreciate them. I cannot edit my writings because I usually feel like nothing is worth the lifting of a hand.

In essence, there is a profound humiliation that my artistic endeavors evoke in me, and almost no one would experience humiliation freely. That seedy feeling of inadequacy stifles my potential before it ever has a chance to be realized, and this is why I it is seldom that I work up the courage to write.

Since I cannot express myself creatively, I look to those around me to have creative temperaments, so that I can, associatively, find fulfillment as a creative person. This is a predicament, because I cannot find Van Gogh, or Vincent Gallo, or Virginia Woolf, and they were/are creative individuals. All others force me to face the bleak, sparse reality of my own life.  I am not perfect, and I am not creative.

I am a bitter person. I cannot find happiness, and this makes me petulant. I throw tantrums (and sometimes objects) and I scowl. Life did not give me what I wanted, and now I am rebelling. I do not want to submit to societal expectations, and I enjoy walking around with my hair unbrushed. I feel betrayal when I laugh at a joke, and I must be restrained in my expression. I masochistically apply asceticism to my life, or to the other extreme, I overindulge in all that is gluttonous. I am not happy. I am not pleased with things.

Except, sometimes I am happy, and sometimes I am pleased with things, which completely annihilates my identity as a bitter person. My perspective changes and my mood changes, as well. Life isn’t always miserable, and this is why I am not a bitter person.

I am not. I am not everyone around me. Everyone else is their own person. My worth is not contingent upon their worth. They do not have any obligation to make my identity of merit. I am not perfect. I am not Van Gogh, or Virginia Woolf, because no one is. They aren’t alive any more, except in some abstract bubble of existence. I am not always creative. I am not always a brilliant student. I am not always bitter.

I am. I am breathing, I am Brittany. I am alive in the 21st century, and I am in my twenties. I have ideas, and I can be illogical. I am funny, and also not funny. I cry during the most unobviously delicate moments, and I am sometimes unwisely obstinate. I like sun, and the sea, and the stars, and on some days, I like when it’s overcast. I am ceaselessly willing to make someone happy when I think they are being genuine, but I am hateful and incredulous when I think someone is not. I like really obscure music and also AC/DC or Cyndi Lauper. I wish life was a reflection of nearly any John Hughes movie. Sometimes I am an incredibly diligent student, but other times I slack off more than I should. I am infinitely fascinated by my dream life and going to sleep at night is only enjoyable because I wonder what kind of bizarre experience I will have when I’m unconscious. I like to learn the origin of a word just because I find it amazing how time can change everything. I like colors, and I think they enrich our existence as humans.

This is who I am, and any of these things can change at any moment. I am transient and formless, and in fact, forms make me feel confined. I can be a different person on most days, and probably not any single person on all days. For this, it will suffice to say that I am. I simply am, and maybe that means that I have no identity at all. Maybe no one does, and “identity” is an illusive concept that doesn’t really define anything at all.

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“Sometimes I wonder whether the inability to broadcast your suffering is what separates the mentally ill from the sane.”

At twilight hour on the balcony, faces on bodies seem strange down below. Are they people? Oh, I can feel a dreadful rush coming on. I look to Ryan and wonder whether he feels the energy, but his book is still placed in front of him and he seems oblivious. My eyes dart from the outlet that holds the power for christmas lights wrapped ‘round the railing, to stale coffee, to Ryan, and then pull my vision inward. Those moments make nothing of comfort. The chair wobbles and exasperates spine in my back and I can’t stand being looked at. “Please, Please look elsewhere. But wait! Wait, I can’t stand being ignored!” I wanted to tell him that. Christ, there’s nothing in the world that could give my soul peace.

“I can’t tell whether or not I’m alive.” I say out loud, accidentally.

“How can you not tell that you’re alive? That seems absurd, and if I may say, unnecessarily dramatic.” Ryan responded with a tone that made my heart cringe, and when my heart cringes I cannot control myself any longer.

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Prose, Writing

What Separates the Sane from the Insane

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What’s the point of life? No, seriously. What’s the end goal? Because, in my twenty-one years of existence, I have yet to come to many reasonable conclusions. Now would be the appropriate time to disclose that I am not religious, although quite frankly, I wish I was. I’ve made a valiant effort to believe in a God, go to church, pray before dinner. But due to the unfavorable nature of my existence, I have never be able to really accept the answers that religion has to offer. So I won’t discuss religion from this point on: this is purely an existential debacle I’m trying to smooth out here.

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Apparently, this is a viable option to said toothpaste dilemma.

Let me tell you what life is like. You wake up at a time that feels unpleasing to your circadian rhythm. Because this is not your natural sleep cycle, you must check for minuscule events that might have happened on Facebook or Huffington Post while you were asleep, which is really just an effort to wake yourself up with the bright screen of your phone. Groggy and tired, you walk into the bathroom, and go pee (admittedly, one of the only enjoyable events of the morning), and then you set out to make yourself look mildly presentable. You grab the toothpaste, and spend at least 90 seconds trying to get the fresh, less crusty toothpaste past the hardened barricade at the opening of the tube. Annoying! You try to get that glob of stale toothpaste off and into the trashcan, but you use toilet paper, because it’s so gross to touch that sh*t. Well, the toilet paper is clearly not made for this kind of work, so now you have stale toothpaste AND little pieces of toilet paper at the end of you toothpaste bottle. Forget that, let’s go on to something else. Breakfast: the battle of willpower and masochism. Your options are slim. Do you cook something that’s only mildly enjoyable, like an egg and cheese english muffin, or sit in self-hatred as you eat something that’s quick, yet filled with poison like a toaster strudel? You can’t even enjoy those poison-laced pastries, because you can feel them rotting you from the inside out. Continue reading

Essays, Prose, Writing

A Not-So-Zen Essay on Life

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I can feel it coming, although I’m dealing with it well this time. I’d like to think it’ll disappear if I close my eyes long enough, but it hasn’t yet. I am a carriage turning back into a pumpkin at midnight and it’s always very dark at midnight. All of this vigor, all of those smiles, all of that discipline is disintegrating. But isn’t there something to be said for a laborer that works very heard within his means? What a romantic notion! Doing what one can manage when one cannot manage a lot seems nearly heroic. Sometimes that sentiment propels me when I feel like I have no business in moving. Maybe there’s a sense of stubborn empowerment in working through fatigue, illness, or futility.

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Prose, Writing

What Will I Do with You?

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