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y u mad bro
As I'm shattering my stoic barriers that keep me safe and sound, I'm wondering: is it worth it? Will this time be any different? Can this phone call change anything that hasn't already been attempted before? Will there be medications again, will there be apathy and accusations, missed school days, fake sick leaves, dropped threads, lost friends? Is this my opportune moment to make myself right again, or is this just something I've forced myself into, in some foolish hope that everything will turn out alright? Chewing at my lip, I flipped open my cell and dialled the dreaded number.
I'm still reeling from the wedding between my mother and stepfather, but for good reasons. I always get a bit thrown off my path when there's a grand party; even worse so when I have to travel on a train for five hours the day after. I do nothing: take my showers, play my stale video games, turn the food over in the microwave and play some more games. It's my way of unwinding and catching up on my normal rhythm. In my dreams, I keep kissing strange men: I haven't had sex for over a year now. Oh, abstinence.
My social phobia strangled me today. It was unbearable, to be a prisoner. I could not make myself go out, avoided phone calls like the plague, and bit into stale food, breathing my own recycled air. My eyes ached from the strain of doing nothing, and my legs itched to move; but I ground myself into bed, throwing back the sheets and lying exposed as the need made me feel feverish. I spread my lips in a sigh and rolled over, tasting sweaty fabric, and then, finally, I could touch upon sleep and dreams, that which I always long for.
While the etymology behind my name, as well as the meaning, turns me into a rather peculiar combination (Universal – Twinflower – Little Aspen Tree) I have grown tired of it. Or rather, I have never had it grow on me. Whenever someone calls out my name, I have to stop and think for a few moments before responding, because I'm not entirely sure of my own name. It's ridiculous, really, but that is how it is. One thing that makes me think twice about changing it, however, is that my father named me. He's been dead for fifteen years now, though.
I tried out new names for myself, letting them linger in my mouth before spitting them out onto the floor, semi-chewed bits of letters growing into a knee-high pile. Could I be an Edith, or should I be a Sylvia? Would Dynn be a fitting name for me, or should I turn to another combination of vowels and consonants to form another name fitting of me? Still, I do wonder how people can go their entire lives, satisfied with the name their parents gave them, a name given when one was merely a blob, a nothing, a nobody.
I'm beginning to see that I truly am a hermit in the city. I dodge through the streets when I'm needed to go out on them, I loathe having to sit next to anyone on the subway, I turn away from stores and cafés if they are too crowded, and I very rarely go to clubs anymore. Even going out for cocktails with my partner in crime is becoming somewhat stressing for me, and I keep trying to get us to sit in a solitary corner, away from all the noise and sweaty palms. How deeply I value my loneliness.
I really loathe being back in high school. I know it's just one year left of this damned diploma programme, but my motivation has been lacking for a long time now. Of course I see and understand the value in studying, and all that, it's just... My own, deep-rooted problems that come up to the surface and inhibit me from truly enjoying my studies like I used to. Part of the problem, though, is the high school drama, that makes me completely sick. Somedays, I look at my class and ask myself what the fuck is wrong with them.
I had booked the laundry room in my apartment building today, but I realized I had no washing powder, and sank down into my armchair to play Jade Empire and try to forget about my scatterbrained self for a while. Jade Empire is a very enjoyable game, though the martial arts fap-fest BioWare set out on does irk me sometime. I feel guilty for following the path of the Closed Fist with Scholar Ling, which might be good storytelling – it's a bit too early to say. Sagacious Zu, however, is one man I want in my bed. Half-naked.
Amanda came over, and I baked us some banana-chocolate cake. My apartment was too hot for the two of us and the stove at the same time, so we took up outside the front door, drinking cider and enjoying the slight breezes from the incoming subway trains. Amanda told me of a man that had sat down opposite her on the subway, trying to chat her up, pretending to be a tourist, when a woman had come along and dragged Amanda away. The woman revealed that the man had been jerking off, albeit very discreetly, while talking to Amanda.
A dull day, stretch out and wait, playing music while staring a blinding screen, unable to think of anything witty. When did my mind grow so bored with itself? When did I become this idiot, who cannot stop staring, stop counting cracks in the ceiling? (Two cracks.) I look at the apartment and feel ill, but I pull something old over my head and curl into bed, or curl up with a video game, choosing to disappear into my own head rather than let the outside world work its charm on me. Then again, charm? This world? Such utter lies.
As I walked through Gamla Stan in my high heels, getting lost as I tend to do during tourist season, I felt my head begin to pound slightly, and I dragged my knuckles against the rough surface of an old church to get over the immense pain. Eventually, I found my way to the counselor's office, and rang the bell, trying to be inconspicous in a square with hundreds of people. After four attempts with no answer, I went home, feeling rejected, and tried to drink myself into a stupor thick enough to make me forget about my embarrassing defeat.
So far into my diploma programme, and I keep asking myself: does it matter at all? Is there any worth to what I've accomplished? Not that I have actually accomplished anything at all, I've just gottend drunk and gone to school hungover, or still intoxicated. My dedication to completing my high school studies in a calm, collected manner went out through the window sometime in September. There is so much lacking on my behalf; I look at it, wondering why. I barely kept myself within ten inches of the water surface during the spring; how will I survive another year?
A weekend of crying, drinking hard enough in the hopes to kill my last few brain cells off, and drawing circles on my skin with ink pens, my brother had me over for dinner. The city was oddly deserted, and I moved through my own clouds, barely aware of my brothers as they talked and decided upon things for my future. I felt incredibly detached and lonely, feet tucked under my body in the leather sofa, as they talked mathematical numbers over my head. ”Everything gets better when you have a job, a steady income and finished high school studies.”
After making myself some bland coffee, I went for an hour-long walk through the area, weaving through the villa neighbourhoods and the green parks dotted about, until coming back to my own neighbourhood of apartment buildings and concrete slabs. The subway thundered by as my feet ached, blisters covering the soles of my feet, but I felt proud that I had at least done something with my own self. Aching muscles, a pounding head, and small wounds that bleed. I stretched out in bed after a soaking cold shower, my eyelids fluttered close, and I returned to the dreaming.
A small anecdote that was told to me today by Felicia made me see that world is so much smaller than I thought it was, and that all roads lead to Paris. Otherwise, I've spent my day going through what I am going to pack for Riga tomorrow, and watching trailers for upcoming games that have been given some attention during E3. Funny, a year ago, all I played was Super Smash Bros. Melee and Mario Sunshine, and these days I'm actually getting hyped over what's shown on E3. It's nice being a geek. Or am I just a nerd?
Riga is a warm, damp city, with the remains of the former Soviet Union clashing against the modern times of stainless steel, smooth glass and internationalism. We'd been getting drinks ever since we walked into the hostel bar, and I was more than a little tipsy when we got into the cab heading out to Arena Riga, and my mind was swimming while Amanda nervously wondered about what the concert would be like. The heat at the stadium was nauseating, but Björk's encore song made the ground tremble. It was a beautiful night and my mind buzzed with new impressions.
Hungover boys lined the hallways of the hostel the next day, and we left the orange building to have a small breakfast at John Lemon before crossing the river to take the bus out to the airport. Every muscle in my body ached, and I had open wounds that wouldn't scab over. My body was miserable, and my mind raged against my sick flesh, wanting to turn what little time I had in Riga into something more than a tired goodbye. Upon arriving home, I tore off my clothes and showered, but the smell of Riga's damp streets was unyielding.
My assigned week at cleaning up the apartment building, and I pick the hottest day of the week to do it. I seethed with heat and bitterness as I mowed the lawn with a barely functional mower; a lawn I don't have access to, but am expected to pick up my neighbour's cigarette butts from. It was good that most of the building was deserted though, otherwise I might have snapped at one of the poor kids that have recently moved in, and they don't need my bitterness to poison their fragile youth. (I'm eighteen, what am I talking about?)
For some peculiar reason, I longed to return to Riga today, fingering the ticket stubs and the worn shoes. I loved listening to the language, enjoyed the food (that felt homely and yet not) and marvelled at the architecture, at the strange attempts to merge the past with the present. The air felt thick with history and thunder, and I stepped in puddles as I walked the winding streets of the Old Town in Riga, thinking to myself that I could live here, if only for a little while. The city would be wonderful to be lost on purpose in.
Getting a job requires experience. Solid experience, often a year or two, and proof on top of that. Getting a job requires working full-time, being a team player, being extroverted and service-minded; it involves early mornings and late nights, involves changing the diapers of seniors, flipping burgers while your friends snicker at you, serving cocktails to ungrateful brats. A job demands that you are dedicated, honest, not afraid of being verbally abused, not afraid of being assigned the shitty shifts. It involves being creative in the right ways, and having a big smile, and a small, tight butt.
Laundry day, and for once, I actually did it. I rifled through my piles of clothes, finding the dirty underwear and the stained dresses, threw them into the machines and added a healthy amount of detergent, and felt rather good about myself. When I returned to my apartment, I opened the window for some fresh air, and saw that they were tearing down a building just outside. The noise was deafening, and drove me into the city, where I picked up my lime green Nintendo DS, and then the rain and thunder soaked me through before I could get home.
My flight for Kalmar departed a bit after noon, so I lounged at the airport, reading a magazine and eating a hamburger before boarding the small plane. It was barely an hour spent in the air. When I arrived, my mother drove me back to the house she owns with my step-father, and I did little of value. I was half-asleep for most of the day, either on the grey couch or up in the bedroom that they think of as mine, despite that I only come around for a week or a few days at a time.
I got to meet my step-father's family today, or rather: his sister, who turned sixty; his mother, who is a year short of ninety-five, and his nephew, who is adorable. I accidentally slipped into their accents, and feeling embarrassed, I went outside to try and charm the cats the sister owned, but they were shy and ran away. The mother welcomed me into the family with a gift: a wristwatch. I thanked her graciously, and rather nervously, because she was so old and frail. I was so stuffed with cake upon arriving home that I crashed into bed.
The unbearable heat has descended upon Sweden, and during the day, the entire household came to a stop. The stepfather was drinking cold beer, while I slept in my white, virginal bedroom, barely lucid at the going-ons outside my four walls. The cat disappeared into the forest, suddenly re-appearing on the porch, beginning for water and shade. My mother goes around, showing off her toothless grin, and I flip my Nintendo DS open to try and focus my mind on something beyond the crowded house at the edge of the forest, where the cat drags dead animals around.
I did little but write fanfiction for Mass Effect. My history with the character (Liara) I'm writing for has been strange. At first, I didn't think so much about her, she was just there, fulfilling her role in the game as destined. Then, I began wondering, began probing, began dissecting. Each little word uttered by her came under scrutiny, and I began to write about her, not because I loved her, but because I had a desperate need to understand her; others seemed to appreciate my obsessiveness, too. These days, however, I think I've come around to loving her dearly.
Continously writing, shirking my actual obligations to put pen to paper and sprout words that have little meaning to anyone but me. ”Much noise, signifying nothing” perhaps, but I hope I'm not a writer who makes the term 'purple prose' come alive. To be able to write, to spout words that dazzle and deceive; I think it's what I live for. Somedays, the only reason I live. There are always stories in me, stretching out their tendrils and refusing to let go until I have told them. It would pain me greatly to die without letting them out of me.
When the evening came around, I went out into the garden with mother to fix what we hadn't been able to do earlier. When the sweat started trickling, I suggested we go for a swim. Twenty minutes later, we arrived by the small slip of beach in the middle of the forest, where we quickly tore off our clothes and waded out into the cool waters. It was my first outdoor swim of the year, and I couldn't fully suppress a scream before I dove in headfirst. I floated on my back in the calm waters and watched the sunset.
My mother went to the dentist early in the morning, and I had some chilled cheesecake and Stargate SG-1 for breakfast while waiting for her to get back. Upon returning, she had a numb face and lacked a couple of teeth, and my stepfather laughed each time she smiled, calling her a pirate. I reminded him that he did have the chance to null the marriage, but it was a joke, and I crawled into bed when the heat drilled into my head, making me nauseated and needlessly cranky. I woke up in a puddle of my own drool.
Mother asked me that dreaded word: why. I stood at the tiny airport, crying my eyes out, before I shrugged her off and went through security check. Still, as I waited to board the plane, I had to bite my tongue several times to not start sobbing uncontrollably. Suddenly, all that I had kept calm for months came bubbling up, vicious memories and reasons that defied logic. There was no end to it, and even as I went to see my grandmother, I had to keep careful watch over myself to not turn into fragments; it was a draining exercise.
I woke up in grandmother's guest room, rested still feeling under the weather. I had breakfast before taking the bus to the commuter train. As I sat on the train heading to the central station of Stockholm, I eavesdropped on the dull conversations the teenage girls had around me, feeling completely indifferent to their lives. I dragged my bag up and down stairs before coming to the subway platform, and I sat down, the train six minutes away, wondering why no man had tried to pick me up for months and accepting the answer with a wry smile to myself.
I started up Mass Effect again, and sat in my overheated living room, playing as Dynn Shepard, the Paragon soldier that will save the galaxy in 2183. While the game doesn't hold the same appeal to me as it did when I was depressed in December, it still means a lot to me. Therefore, it means something to me when I kill off a certain character, or when I utterly fail at circle-strafing around that damned threser maw on Antibaar for the fifty-ninth time. It keeps my mind occupied on a non-existent future, and that alone matters.
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