REPORT A PROBLEM
Dear Professor Ludo,
Above, I have attached a file of my writing assignment.
Have a great weekend!
She clicks send and continues to stare at her screen for a few seconds bewildered.
She leans back in her chair raises her arms above her head in triumph. She has an hour.
Her eyes are closed and inside her head plays a track of an audience clapping politely but enthusiastically.
She is at an awards show-
They call her name and he climbs up to the stage.
"I would like to dedicate my FreeTime to the back of my eyelids."
Alone at her desk she sits- too afraid to reflect on the night before. At the tips of her fingers lies her cell phone.
She dare only send messages to one number.
While the one receiving the messages is physically far, they are sent to a person who is one of the closest to her heart.
What would she do if this number was ever unavailable? She does not know.
Honestly, she does not know a lot.
Her arms cross on the desk. They turn into a pillow.
All she wants is to be told she isn't a terrible person.
He leaves the apartment and everyone crowds around her in silence- anticipating the worst.
"Don't hate me, Adam" she hesitates.
She already feels shitty as it is. Telling someone that you no longer want to date them is never an easy task.
They all understand and back away.
After a few seconds Adam speaks up, "Katie, now you're the one who can't hate me."
He starts laughing but it quickly subsides. He's embarrassed. Curiously, she raises an eyebrow. "No, no. I can't say it. I'd feel like an asshole."
A shy smile spreads across her face, "Who won the bet?"
She stares at her computer.
Again, her pinky caresses the backspace key.
"Why are my words so uninspired?!" she types.
She stares at the screen.
She twirls her hair.
She types about twirling her hair.
twist. twist. twist.
Her friends are in the other room. Through their speakers blair sounds of "comedic" youtube videos.
Her fingernails trace her bottom teeth.
She does all she can to not shorten her nails.
She taps the keys in frustration.
She fluffs her pillows.
She wants to shut out the world but can't- instead she types.
In class the other day a presenter was quoting something about how
sometimes man is so close to the ground he thinks it is the sky.
For some reason this sparked nostalgia within me.
I remember days when I just felt so low that I felt hollow. I felt I was an atom surrounded by nothingness. This nothingness was what provided my comfort. Somehow, I was content with not striving for survival. Whatever happened would happen- I'd let life carry me.
Time passed. I broke out of that cavern and found stability to lift me up and let me fly.
Shadows mark my legs where the balcony railing blocks the blinding sun.
To my left are two algae infested aquariums, a rose (long since dead), a potted plant (in the same state as the rose), a tipped over Pepsi can (once an ashtray), and an actual ashtray half filled with the remains of cigarettes.
To my right is the door that will lead me to reality. I would be surprised if it lasted another year.
My body dons a sock that is back, a sock colored blue, gym shorts of purple hue, and a sweater that expresses my school "spirit."
SALT! I NEED SALT!
screamed her taste buds.
No! I don't want to cook. Besides, I am not even hungry.
her brain reasoned back.
"I'll be back soon" she tells her studious roommate. She tightens her jacket, treks down the stairs and onto campus in search of a vending machine.
"What are you up to?"
"Just searchin' for food."
"I can help you get some!" he places one hand on her shoulder and points the other toward a cafe.
She maintains her smile but her brain screams,
Are you really that dense?
My insecurity gets in the way of a lot of things.
Did she really just leave without saying goodbye?
Uh, sorry. I didn't realize I was important enough.
Uh, I'm never satisfied with any of the work I turn in.
Why did you never go for XXXX?
Uh, he is a god.
Then at the same time my ego could be lessened and I'd still have a big head.
Hey, what's up?
Ugh, are you really talking to me?
Oooh! I really like your hair!
Ugh, ok. Thanks?
Why didn't you go for YYYY?
The pounding in her head did not stop her internal voice from screaming outward.
WHY CAN'T I KNOW EVERYTHING?
She flops back onto her rumpled comforter and fixes her eyes on the familiar crack in the ceiling.
She imagines 100 baby spiders scrambling out in search of a new home.
She wonders if any of the people who stayed over last night noticed the crack.
Most of all she is curious as to what was going on in their minds as the night unwound.
Her stomach churns. Her cheeks are rosy. Her mouth is dry.
Every movement brings agony.
The thunder rumbles the sky leaving traces of its wrath in the cracks of your foundation.
The flashes of lightning frighten your children and prompt your Labrador to find solace in the laundry room.
Your significant other is stuck in rush hour traffic.
Please come home soon.
It's just a thunderstorm but tonight it feels like a metaphor.
Your front gate is blown wide open by the whistling wind.
You take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Everything is going to be okay,
you tell yourself but you no longer feel secure.
Your garage door opens.
Her head hits the pillow as she pulls the blanket up to her chin. Her legs mechanically fold into themselves as she curls into a ball.
It does not matter to her that the sun's rays are a spotlight on her face, she is going to rest.
Forget about her schoolwork. Forget about her friends. Her first responsibility is to her health and well being. She is not going to kill herself for the sake of survival.
Or is she killing herself regardless?
According to society, if she does not assimilate to their standards, her life is not worth living.
Can the room please stop spinning?
For the past two mornings I have woken up with a pounding in my head. I've turned to my alarm clock and read the digits six, three, and zero. Neither of these mornings have witnessed me leave my room before 7:30 (the time the TV show I work on starts.)
I have somehow managed to make it to my classes without giving into the urge to fall asleep on the geese infested sidewalks. My professors likely think I am super bored or super drugged because I feel myself constantly rocking back and forth.
I met vertigo again this morning then fought my way against the unlit and wobbly sidewalk to make it to the television studio.
I would not be surprised if I got an x-ray and it was found that there was a rock that swims in my head placing pressure on random parts of my brain.
My facial expression likely resembles that of a person who is ridin' a permanent high. My eyelids attempt to disobey my orders to stay open.
Will tomorrow find me in a more comfortable state? I sure hope so- my good friend arrives à demain!
She finally surfaces.
pant pant pant
That salty water stings her taste-buds.
She opens her eyes and notices that it has gotten colder and darker.
The sky starts to shake.
, she thinks
She squints and shifts her head in every direction.
She regrets not wearing her prescription goggles.
Where art thou shore?
Her head jerks toward the sound and spies a darker area.
She dives under again and makes her way to towards the dark shadow, hoping for salvation.
She feels woozy.
What she swam into she'll never know.
The surface slipped away.
I am having difficulty forming today's 100 words.
It isn't that I am uninspired.
It isn't that I do not have the capability to creatively string words together.
I just can't.
My immediate reaction after I write something is to delete it. So right now I am just going to ramble.
Why is it difficult?
My hypothesis is that I am slipping back into a state of mind that entices negative thoughts every time I look at myself.
I'm turning into a person that even I would not want to share air with. Like, how do I still have friends?
Green adorns every corner- green balloons, green coins, green necklaces, green hats, green streamers, green cupcakes, green cups, and soon, green faces. Surprisingly this is not unique to this weekend. The decor has donned this hue since Valentine's day.
I think we just get excited for holidays because not much else goes on.
This weekend however is the weekend that everything happens.
The green holiday
Spring break starts
A friend and all of his visitors got arrested
Most importantly: E. is here!
Sorry for the rushed words- happens too often.
The rest of my week will be dedicated to sleep.
Like many people, I am lonely. I may be surrounded by people 20/7 (that's right) but this sense of self-hatred that I've built up won't let me accept them as company.
No one takes me seriously anymore- I've broken too many bonds. Many personal details of mine have surfaced- I have nothing to which I can cling on. I treat people like dolls- why should they accept me?
Normally when I get to this point I crave a fresh start, but I don't need that. I just need a fresh face- someone to trust, someone to trust me.
, she sighs.
She does not know where her life is going.
The people around her seem to have at least a sense of direction but for her all she sees is a brick wall.
Perhaps the people around her are as lost as she, but that thought is not comforting.
She only wants solid ground.
No amount of media or baseball (her guilty pleasures) could ever fill the void left by uncertainty.
- perhaps not alone- attempting to lessen the void but it remains.
She feels she will be forever trapped inside her cripplingly low self-esteem.
I opened my heart to this screen but then my pinky made it to the backspace key. The browser loaded an old page. Now those words will never be seen by another eye.
I was explaining that even though today has been great for the introvert in me (because I have been alone and that is a rare occurrence) that the absence of physical people is making me feel low.
For some reason it's triggering that note in my head that says the people you love now will not be there forever.
What if I never find someone who'll stay?
First off- I want to apologize for my miniature existential crisis spurts that I've typed up the past few days.
I need not live in the past nor the future,
Secondly- Tonight was fun. I was surrounded by couples and surprisingly it did not bother me.
Couples never bother me but I figured that since I have been feeling so low/solo that I might don a bitter attitude when surrounded by them.
Maybe I'll feel different when I crawl into bed with no one to cuddle?
Here's to the now! Here's to these conjured words!
She picks up a pen. Its light weight feels like a brick in her hand. She puts it back and searches for a pencil. At least this way the eraser makes her thoughts feel less permanent.
She finds her journal in the deepest depths of her closet.
When she opens the cover the spine cracks as if it hadn't been given to her 5 Christmases ago.
She draws a sharp breath.
I can do this,
her hand scribbles.
Diary makes this moment feel too personal.
She throws the journal across the room.
Words procure her vulnerability.
I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy.
I will not be a Negative Nancy.
I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy. I will not be a Negative Nancy.
The timing of my mental daslkfj is impeccable. Like
You had to choose
week to glaze my eyes over and stare them into that hopeless void?
I feel like a doll still in the box watching children pick their treat.
Once in a while a hand will graze my box when reaching for my neighbor.
Sometimes the grazing hand accidentally knocks me off the shelf in excitement.
No one wants a worn box- even if the product inside is the same.
Soon enough my product's appeal will subside and I'll find myself in an antiques shop- unopened.
The Ramen is shoved down her throat as she waits for someone, a specific someone, to reach out to her. Her phone makes no sound but she checks it anyway just in case.
The palm tree wallpaper stares back at her.
What's going on? Why doesn't he talk to me? Does he hate me now?
He stares at his empty inbox and chuckles to himself. He pictures her frustrated face. He knows she is testing him and he doesn't appreciate it. He wants her to realize that if she wants something she needs to ask for it and not expect.
Her palm cups her chin.
The table supports her weight through her elbow.
Her vision blurs the computer screen.
The beat bobs her head to an Imagine dragons tune.
A passerby would recognize her zoned out state,
but there is no one to pass by her
at least not that she is aware.
Inside her vacant mind lie esoteric viewpoints- Obscure ideas for her future, possible explanations for reality, fresh ideas for screenplays.
These thoughts burn inside her brain.
Likely to never break through. She wonders what contorted ideas of others have never surfaced.
Through her puffy red eyes she watches her daughter retrieve the bottle of bleach from the laundry room closet.
Oh, Mandy. The one whose closet blends with her raven hair and contrasts with her blinding skin. When did it all go wrong for you?
She glances at the wedding picture on the mantle- the five of them in a family portrait. It was the first time Mandy's eyes resembled those of a raccoon.
Her eyes trace the outline of the man who is holding her.
How quickly he entered her life is just as surprising as how quicky he exited.
Her eyes flutter open. The headache brought on by her sorrow must have slipped her into a deep sleep. The sun is just starting to peak again through the windows.
She props herself up to greet Mandy.
The girl exiting Mandy's room's hair is swept away from her face- a style Mandy would never sport. Not to mention that the girl dons a white lace dress- a color Mandy would never wear.
It's okay mom. I can breathe. I'm no longer afraid.
She notices her daughter's eyes glare at a photo of her late husband.
Apparently I'm turning into a bitch.
Multiple people have called me out on it.
I think it's stress. The spaces in my filter are widening from all the b.s. that is trying to push through it.
I would write more specifically about what is bothering me but who knows whose eyes these words will reach.
Nothing I ever do is private anymore and that is a stress that is taking a toll on me.
Oooh, she's with a guy? Tell me more!
Oooh, her computer is open? Let me use it!
Oooh, get out! I need my personal space!
Once again she is found hunched over her laptop. The way her back arcs hints that she'll be one of those old ladies whose cane and chin will be measured at the same elevation.
Her palms appear to be glued to the keyboard. Her fingertips reach to form words that form sentences that form outlines, essays, emails, resumes, articles, screenplays, 100 word blurbs, and pleads for help.
Every once in a while her right hand will unstick itself and deliver to her lips a liquid whose flavor resembles water more so than the peach-green tea that the box promised.
She is amazed. baffled! confused? dumbfounded!
Sure, it is not the first time a song has triggered a memory of him, but this song has no ties to him.
It used to be that songs from their 3AM rendez-vous would bring to her mind images of car rides, dark knights and large fries-- but that's how it used to be.
This time the imagery was of a tender side-- a side she does not remember.
Is she imagining that he was a decent guy that she strung along or was she right that he was attempting to use her?
Either way-- that was the old her. A her she never did and never will understand.
She'll never be perfect. (perfection does not exist)
She'll again make decisions that only warrant a scratch to the head as explanation.
This month is over-- the worst of the year thus far.
She worries that all that she attempts to take on will overwhelm her.
She hopes that she'll finally be able to gain a freedom that many 4/5 her age already have.
She has questions that many hesitate to answer:
Does the stress ever go away?
Is this all it is?
The Tip Jar