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This is when the whole world starts to change.
In adolescent confidence, you can almost believe that you might know what's going on. You think you know, but you're wrong. You're young. You're stupid. You're dramatic and pathetic and you haven't got a clue.
So then the whole world starts to change. You find out that everything you thought you knew was wrong. Everything you thought you were means nothing. Everything you once had no longer has value and you're alone, here, and powerless.
This is only the beginning. This is only the start. The world, your world, is changing.
When she was younger (just a year ago) she promised that she could never do this again. In fact, she promises a hundred promises a day and forgets them all the next morning.
She is damn-near an adult now.
She would rather bleed than cry.
She sleeps with a baby-blanket.
She likes to swear.
She is learning to be beautiful.
She is in love.
She hates the word love.
A year from now she will look back and see only child's-play. Right now, she lives pre-apocalyptically and tries to pretend (while regretting it all) that everything is gonna be fine.
Every day I lose a little bit more of myself. We trade heart-pieces in promises, in words and kisses. I am losing myself to him. I am losing myself to this entity of us. I am giving over my parts in return for the threat of disaster.
When do you give up? When do you admit defeat? When do you finally realize the facts and the fatalism?
I can pretend to be wise and careful. I can try to guard my soul. I can make my wishes and then I can fail--
Just like I have a hundred times before.
Written in red on the downstairs whiteboard:
All that love is is helplessness, when I can do nothing at all and we both know it. Love is only weakness in the face of something so desperate that I want nothing more than the power to fix it, to make it better, to take it away. All that love is is the tears shed in unison when words lose their ability to express the second and third emotions.
Love makes me weak. Love makes me into nothing. Love is reason enough to give up. And that's all that love is, goddamnit.
to feel him cry
not to see it
but to feel it
in his body
in the shaking
in the rocking
in those barely-substantial
that stain my skin with salt-beds
is all that matters
before the apocalypse
when this will end
our lives are on the line
and every second
that was once taken for granted
has become precious
you take what you can get
you use what time you have
can not and will not last
it never does
and these tears
if they are all that
I can have
Talking in metaphors makes everything a little less real and a little easier to understand. It's like telling stories about other people
"I know this guy..."
to explain your own situation. Hey, it isn't you, it's him. Hey, it's not you, it's a metaphor. You aren't weak enough to need the help. You aren't pathetic and you aren't trying to wish the pain away.
Talking in metaphors makes it easier to accept. It's not your own heart pinned to the dissection table. It's not your pain spread across the walls. It belongs to someone else.
Today, we're talking in metaphors.
She's not as deep as the words she writes and never has been. Words are her way of pretending that there is more to life than there is. Words are her way of creating a third dimension to her flat-plane mind. Words are her way of faking it.
She is praying that faking it will be enough. She's sick of being simple. She's tired of being who she is. So she's praying and she's writing--
She's writing in the margins of her homework. She's writing on the back of envelops. She's writing on the side of cardboard boxes. She's writing.
So, at six months, how do you feel? Do you think we've got it yet?
None of this really matters but, hell, not even that matters. We can still be thankful for the time, for got growing sick of each other, for not giving up. It isn't the little things. It's not about a certain kind of touch and one day locked in a memory. It's the big things this time: the risk, the attempt, the success.
At six months (and all we'll have) I feel blessed. I feel lucky. At six months I feel wonderful, the consequences be damned.
when I see them
I want more
I want deeper
when I see them
I grow jealous
of my own red lines
when they fade
I miss them
I have been so foolish
as to make them
a part of me
my defining mark
as silly and
as that is
they are healing and
I am healing
I am finding
other ways to cope
I want deeper
I want darker
I want back
what makes me
I want to be selfish again
I want to remember the non-pain
I want the scars to show
We are all dichotomies, says the Madonna-Whore, all-in-one, have it all or nothing.
I used to know this boy, she says. He was a wild one. Loud, you know, and a little obnoxious. Handsome. Funny. A risk-taker, and that was why we loved him.
I dated him for a while. It started out fine but everything does, right?
Then you discover things--or you just begin to learn.
Through his eyes, the world is black. He fucks around because it's the only light he's got. Yeah, but you couldn't tell that from looking at him.
We're all dichotomies, aren't we.
Is your life lived by bleeding? Do you like the color red?
Either these songs are singing to me or I'm a little crazier than I thought.
I was healing so well until just a few days ago. I was doing wonderfully, all things concerned. I guess that's how it goes.
I couldn't stop thinking about it. Even without the stress, even without the reasons, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The scars were fading and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Part of me was fading and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I broke down. I cut again.
These little things take me far too long to write. I think it's because I put too much into them--or, at least, I try to. I want them to be human, I want them to represent someone (God forbid that someone would be me), I want them to be worth reading.
But this month I got started damn late. My 100 words are rushed. They're tired. They're pretty dull. I'm speaking in first person, so they're rough and unfinished things.
When I say "I" I'm being honest, it's as simple as that. Not storytelling-honest, but me-honest. Honesty is tough.
I'm a teenager, he says. I might as well act like one.
He thinks too much about things like this--or maybe not enough. Hell, who knows anymore.
He's trying to be thoughtful. He's trying to be smart. He's trying to be more than he is right now and it's too difficult.
So he might as well face the facts. He's a teenager, and it's time to act like one. It's time to play around, it's time to screw off, it's time to reinvent honesty.
Life is hard. It isn't going to get any easier.
And who the hell cares?
It's lonely at night with my boy gone.
I didn't notice until now, but now I can't forget. The only voice is mine, as I talk to myself while writing. The only sound is of my hands on the keyboard. It's quiet. It's lonesome.
And what is this? A few days gone, that's all. It'll be hard when I'm separated from him. It will be lonely like I can't even guess. I should be thankful for what time I do have--and I suppose I am. But I feel lonely already. I feel sorry for myself.
I feel rather young.
Working late at night in front of my computer--
wearing drawstring pants and a bra, hair down and silken on my back, my chest and stomach and hands blue by screen light, my skin porcelain, my glasses shining, the room dark, the keyboard speaking in sharp clicks, my voice deep as I read aloud, the music rolling the words fantasy and reality out of my speakers, with pixels on the screen glowing prose like poetry and images in neon colors, writing sentences making little or no sense, the word count growing, the time passing
--I wouldn't change a thing.
I've come to the conclusion that the answers to our questions are never quite as wonderful as we hope they would be.
The answers are never so tragic or so heroically reparable as the guesses that we make within our minds. Far too often, they are pathetic and hopeless things. Far too often, they leave us powerless.
But still we seek the answers, and when given the sad little things, we still want to do whatever we can to change them. Dreams and hope and reality are all very different things, and we are adolescents until the day we die.
Dreams and hope and reality are very different things, and we are adolescents until the day we die.
Deceived by a hundred wouldn't-it-be-wonderful wishes, we pretend to be adults. 18 and grown: all curves and sexy smiles, all facial hair and broad shoulders, we are confident in the abilities that we don't have.
And I will be a writer one day. And he will do great things. All of us will be angels. All of us, we'll be fine.
But we are children still--lost and stupid things--are we are all far from ready and we are never grown.
Warning: stream of consciousness writing. In fact, I'm not even looking at the keyboard right now. I'm sure the spelling is horrid, but believe me, I'll fix that (and the word count) before I even think to post this. I'm strange, but I'm not stupid.
My stomach is killing me. I haven't been eating much lately, but I think that today I did just the opposite. Either way, I'm in pain every other night. There is no satisfying a body like mine.
I think--really I'm pretty sure--that I feel best while writing, even if it's crap like this.
Fuckit, these guys are good.
I wish that I could write like this. I wish that I could write in a way that invents humanity all over again. I wish I could be that good.
I'd say all kinds of things about practice and effort and perfection here, but we all already know them, and we all know that it's never quite enough. I can try, I can work at it, but if it's not in me then I'm still fucked, aren't I?
I wish that I believed in God. I wish I were religious, because then I would pray.
She's finding Freda in the newspapers. She's finding Freda on television. She's finding Freda nearly everywhere.
In every kid hurt in a some stupid stunt, in every broken teenager and every other broken heart, in the fifty-percent divorce rate, in all the suicides, in half the corporate takeovers, in violence in kid's cartoons, in the face of that retarded boy at school, in the mirror, in the eye-like windows of the house across the street, in the darkness of her bedroom, she's finding Freda everywhere.
And she's remembering stories about accidents and intentions and surrender that she would rather forget.
she is helpless
she has already given up
she will never find the strength
the feeling of not being enough
refuses to go away
how pathetic in her angst
how unlearned in loneliness
and how sad
is not worth the effort
costs too much
and bleeds her dry
so she is telling lies
and pretending not to care
things like this happen every day
this happens to everyone
she is not worth the thought
so she is not thinking
At first glance she is beautiful, with high cheekbones and long, glossy brown hair. At second glance, she is the non-threatening girl next door with a wide smile showing white teeth and simple, uncomplicated eyes. After staring at her image for a few minutes, she looks no different from me.
I've known all the while that my life was changing--that my life was getting thrown upside down. But it's the little things that make those facts real. Like my roommate's face in student handbook, glowing out of glossy pages and spelling out the beginning of four strange new years.
The words are trite, but: sometimes it hurts to breathe.
The future is crushing. It is heavy and overpowering and in the face of it, there is no room for my lungs to expand. My ribs are creaking in the effort. Sometimes it hurts to breathe.
I am terrified. I am suffocating in the heavy mass of personal and public expectation, of prevention, of anticipation. I am afraid of this future that I asked for. I am scared of this thing that I have worked so hard for.
Ironic to fear what I want.
Ironic to suffocate in the intangible.
My moods are going to be what kills me one of these days, I just know it.
I'm human, and that makes me imperfect. I'm young, so I'm still temperamental and unlearned. I am a thousand things that make me normal and nothing special, but--
My moods are going to be what kills me one of these days. The fluctuations between energy and retardation, between inertia and cutting, they're going to drive me mad. They are nothing more than normal, I know. They are simple problem, and all I have to do is learn to deal.
But they're getting worse.
I write bad poetry
about what I don't know
and may never understand.
I am adolescent
fragmented into broken
I am the god of my own creations
every single word
belongs to me
to be deleted
or scribbled out
as my will decides.
I am braver
when everyone else is sleeping
and I am writing
in bursts of
I can lie
with a smile
and tell the truth
almost as easily
and I can experiment
with who I am not
but want to be:
I want to be fairy-light, long-haired, and sore. I want to bare red-lined arms. I want to speak so quietly that they have to lean in to hear. I want to wear black gloves and thick eyeliner. I want to be the one called perfection.
I know this girl--
I don't really know her--
she's so beautiful--
she's everything I want to be--
she has never spoken to me--
and I suppose that's why I want her to--
I want to tell her secrets like--
I would love you, if I could--
if I could, I wouldn't love at all.
List of promises made in a single day:
One: to go to sleep before the sun rises.
Two: to wake up before the sun sets.
Three: to follow simple instructions.
Four: to not complain about what I hate.
Five: to smile and act happy.
Six: to stop moving.
Seven: to find a reason to move.
Eight: never to cut again.
Nine: never to cut again, because that was the last time.
Ten: never to cut again, but those barely counted anyway.
Eleven: not to miss what I don't deserve to have.
Twelve: not to wake the whole house by laughing.
Build your cages, pray for freedom. This is your corner. This is the corner that you backed yourself into.
Count down the days until the world falls apart.
Sacrifice everything you have ever known. Sacrifice everyone you love. Pray. Give it all up and hope that your life will buy you what you've always wanted. Die for the fifteen minutes.
And the dreams are seldom what they seem. Dreams are seldom what they seem.
Embellish. Fail to satiate. Give in. Give out. Hate it. Miss it. Think about the long ago.
And then--and then wonder: was it worth it?
It feels so good to know that these are almost done.
I wasn't planning to do my 100 Words this month. I was without Word for a while and frankly I was both busy and lazy. Yeah, but I decided to anyway…
And they've gone so quickly. Faster than ever before, which is both lucky and amazing. I'm still chasing the same tired teenage circles, but at least I'm writing.
I met someone recently that said something very deep about creativity and healing. I only hope that he is right, because I have a lot of getting better to do.
He's only sane enough to recognize the multiple personalities. He's not sane enough not to have them.
There is no pain of breaking apart--he broke long ago and can't even remember it now. There is no pain at all. There are only holes were memories or emotions should be. There is only that vague, blurred feeling of emptiness, and he only notices the missing pieces long after they've passed.
So he's broken--what of it? He's learned to deal with the mind lapses, the forgetfulness, the sudden changes. That's the only way to move on--by learning to deal.
I am lying.
This isn't your life and it certainly (hopefully) isn't mine. I'm taking artistic silence. I'm stretching the truth. It's late and I'm tired.
So please excuse me if I piss you off with my incoherent fantasies, and I'm sorry if I sound like a whining little bitch. I don't mean to misrepresent. I don't mean to be unfaithful.
I just want to be a writer. I want to fake it. I want to push this far past reality. I want to write my own reality.
I am creating a beginning. I am leading towards my own end.
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