Throwback to a piece of unpublished writing I did in November 2014. P.S. It’s super dark and it makes me sad that I used to be this human. So, trigger warning I guess?
I’m writing this because I want to prove to myself that what is happening to me right now matters. I want to believe that this moment of pain and loneliness is important, more important than all the great accomplishments I have ever made, more important than my future income or the accomplishments of my children. Because if this moment is not of value, then I have zero guarantee that any other moment will matter, or that anything leading up to this point matters either.
I’ve written two books before. One was a fairytale and it mostly turned out to be a checkmark on my bucket list: finish a whole book. The second one was kind of therapy for me, where I wrote about my experiences in high school in second person. I made it all about a different girl, and I ended up sobbing one day at the keyboard as the full weight of what I had lived through engulfed me. I like words like engulf and encompass. I use them a lot when I write poetry. I write poetry a lot. Because it makes sense and it makes the reader do some of the work. If you’re reading this, maybe you’re picturing me being a human and stuff, or perhaps you’ve been envisioning high school hallways, but I’ve been feeding you these images. With poetry you have to immerse (another good word) yourself in the words and flesh out the meaning on your own. And it can mean such different things to different people. And I don’t care what your English teacher says—there is always more than one way to interpret poetry. I think that’s the point.
Let me tell you a little about where I really am right now. It is November. I am at college in a computer lab. A girl with black hair just sat down near me and we shared uncomfortable eye contact. I am wearing a hat I made out of yarn. It is purple and blue I think, but I can’t really see it right now. I have short brown hair and large brown tortoiseshell glasses. My eyes are blue. I have acne, worse right now than usual I think perhaps from stress. I’m wearing a turquoise hoodie from Aeropostale. It is the only thing I own from this store. My aunt bought it for me for Christmas. My tennis shoes have holes where my pinkie toes are. I have a large, curved nose. I’m a girl. There’s an elastic band on my right wrist that I snap when I want to die.
Oh, yeah, I am suicidal.
Now I don’t know what to say. Saying the S word usually takes a lot out of me. People expect some kind of explanation usually but I just never have a good one. I’ll be honest: part of me wants you to understand this. I know this is wrong of me, and that I shouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone else, but I selfishly want to feel less alone. Less freakish.
I feel like this isn’t working. I still don’t feel like I matter. And trying so hard to feel that way isn’t helping. Let me tell you about a friend of mine. He is a boy. We became closer friends over this last summer, especially when I went to work in San Francisco for a month and we called each other a lot. He really helped me feel less homesick. He is going to a different school than this one, but we see each other on the weekends because I get homesick and take the train home every Friday. Except, last Friday I tried to end our relationship, because I felt too numb and I had a vague realization that it wasn’t fair to drag him along, especially if I have a timer ticking away on my life. That week was the hardest one I’ve had in a really long time. I tried to make up for his absence by talking to my family on the phone more, but it didn’t work. It just made the pain a whole lot more real. He respected my wishes and didn’t contact me, but later he said it was really hard, and when my friend says things are hard you know they’ve been hard beyond imagine, because this human feels emotion to a level beyond the norm. I think I like to be with him because of this—he understands how happy and how sad life can be. Mostly sad.
I will call him Dawson.
Isn’t there a show called Dawson’s Creek? I looked it up just now, because I’m on the computer. The answer is yes; I thought of it because one of the actors on that show is Joshua Jackson, and he plays one of the leads on my favorite TV show Fringe. This is my favorite show because the people in the story understand how it is to be broken. And also all the gore and scariness kind of numbs my brain to the horror I had in high school. You probably think that I got raped or something, or I lost a limb. Something life-shatteringly horrible. What really happened wasn’t that bad, actually. In fact, compared to what happens to other people, especially in countries that aren’t America, things are way worse. Or so I hear. I’ve never left the country. But I’ve traveled by plane twice: once to New York City and once to San Francisco.
When I went to those places I realized that they were real, not just pretend places on TV or the internet. I never should have watched The Truman Show—it has basically made me think the entire world is a conspiracy theory. I think maybe this is a self-defense mechanism. I used it once before when my best friend died. This is complicated because I wasn’t his best friend, but he was mine. I claim the title anyway so as not to negate the reality of the agony I went through when I got the phone call and in the years following. It’s been over two and a half years now. But I remember that when he died, since it was just before April Fool’s Day, I sincerely believed it was some kind of elaborate April Fool’s trick, and it wasn’t until I saw his body at the viewing did I accept he really had died.
Him I will call Joel.
I need to go now. I have group counseling at three, and I haven’t really eaten my home lunch. I usually don’t eat very much anyway. I only ever pack a drink, a granola bar, an apple, and a small extra something like almonds or fruit snacks. I have lost weight in the last month. Like, probably five or so pounds. I’ve always wondered if I could be anorexic. I’m not saying I am, but I think I have it in me.
I write a blog. You don’t need to know what it’s called. But I feel like you should know I already write at least a few times a week. Sometimes I worry that if I got better, I wouldn’t have anything left to write about. Sometimes I worry that if I got better, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.