I can't write this damn paper. The words are not coming to me. The words have not been coming for a while. I can't remember when it started. Stopped, rather. Halted. Ceased. I feel splintered and empty with a thousand glaring holes that I cannot fill because the words are not coming. I feel it like a heavy load on my shoulder, the weight like the devil or maybe like Heaven pressing hard on my chest and if I can't have language then I'd rather be numb. It scares me. I am terrified of loss even as it occurs and I can't let it but can't stop it. Loss of control and loss of words and I am in Hell.
I can't write this paper.
My thoughts won't organize. Maybe it's lack of sleep. I don't want to sleep. I want to sleep the rest of my life away. Easy. I don't do things the easy way ever. I want easy. Instant gratification. Sleep is a waste of time. I trade one form of escape for another. Sleep ends too quickly. At least when I'm awake I can feel time move past me as slowly as I care to let it and that is much better than not feeling time at all. I escape for longer that way. I don't know if I should be ashamed it's through a show most of the time. Watching someone else's life, imagined, because I don't know how to live my own. If I was further west it'd be plastered against mountain sides, adrenaline pumping with fear and awe and the only good kind of loss that is seldom reachable because it takes a climb of faith and breathlessness. I find myself in the fiction of a character and latch on, fixate, fixate, Freud said that's where things go wrong and wrong is interesting and I create wrong because I can and there's more control. Normalcy lacks control.
Why do I strive for both? I can't have either. I can't write this, it is contrived, it is all formula and why can't my words come easily like they used to (when I thought my writing was something I could be proud of), why can't they tumble from my mouth (fingers) like vomit, putrid and violent and burning? The absence burns worse. Formulaic formulaic formulaic does it matter that I steal from those I can't help but compare myself to? I compete. Proof of my humanity, because competition is the basis of our existence and its significance highlights my insanity sometimes. I must be best. I am never best. William Faulkner, are you proud of yourself? Are you proud to know? You knew Quentin. I knew, still know, Quentin. He lives in me. Did you do it on purpose? I want to be unique. I want to fade into the background. Paradox is sick beautiful natural machinery in me, in you, do you know that I embellish it all with big words that sound pretty so pretty because I strive for beauty but beauty is out of reach because God made beauty, God is perfect and I am not perfect. Eloquent prose is smoke to me. It smells good (my favorite, burning smoldering wood and embers) and stings my eyes brilliantly and I can never grab it. Ethereal like too many things I try to wrap my head around.
Control. To have, to have not. My life is a mess of haves and have nots, moments strung along through time because I can't let go. I replay in my head again and again different but the same never forgetting hanging there just above where my fingertips brush against the barrier because silly, you can't change it, you can never change it, it happened this way and it is in history now, in the books cemented like that and history repeats itself but not in the way I'd like it to, only in the way I make it because I persist in strange ways. Quentin. I hate your emotions. Can I be blank? Suspend me in time with my memories, retrograde and again again again cyclical. I am strong. Control. It's too bad. My life is made up of fixations and past moments, what has happened and what will not happen and what I will make happen but never what is happening. I am fascinated by my ability to grasp and not let go until the thing lets me go itself and then I step back (backwards always) and find the next thing and the next. What has happened and what will not happen and what I will decide happens but never what is happening. Fucked up is the best state of being and I want it but am not it; I Am Fucked Up but no one will ever know because I am supposed to be the strongest and the smartest and rationality is my favorite disease that I can't be cured of and I only like to say I Am Fucked Up but really I know myself pretty well and that I can recognize my moments of insanity and despair helps me and keeps me Not Fucked Up.
God, did You make me like this, or am I a product of my environment? Was it meant to be, fated, or did I create it all?
I pray too much. First it was too little none at all and now I can't stop and it's not even helping and it should be slashing my faith but persistent like usual the lack of response drives me to pray more. Maybe I like being let down just so I can say I was able to pick myself up without a scratch. Let down, not falling, not dropped, all about the word choice. Words fail me. I fail them more often but I don't like to admit it because it's my one (non)talent other than drinking myself into oblivion and forgetfulness, though that only extends til the night before, and past that it's all sorry bitter remembrance of such transience. God made transitory the world. Or not, maybe. History repeating itself. Not the same way. Transitory. I cannot hope to understand it when I don't understand why my thoughts come in the way they do, torrent-like but I am not a huge fan of the water. Give me mountains, not the sea. I am afraid of drowning, suffocation. This is ironic but my mind won't let me explore why, not now, not at the moment, and I feel not in control. Sometimes I like the not control. When it's my own doing, at least. So really there's no loss at all, just a different state that I created because that's what really matters. Drinking isn't a loss of control at all. I just realized this. I am happy about it. It comforts me that I never surrender, after all.
I am running on 11 hours of sleep in 3 days and that's really not that bad. I am not quite delirious enough yet to be as numb and shaky and hot cold burning blind as I need. Right now it's just hot cold and a little shaken up but not shaking. State of mind is a mess. I am behind. Always behind, and right now I am behind in the happening not only the happened and in the wake I am knocked down by heavy salted stinging waves of that which I cannot catch. Can I bow my head to the table against my arm and breathe and pray without thinking? This is not a paper. I can't write this damn paper. Are you reading this with pity? I don't want pity. It disgusts me, it is Weak with a goddamn capital W. I can handle myself. I am alive and breathing and generally happy. Happiest when. When. Behind. Again with the past. Can I go back? Never the same thing twice. I am a tape, recorded once, set on repeat and I spit out the same lines because I don't know a lot I only know a little (despite what I presume and project) and I will on autopilot say the same thing different ways same ways the way I like it to be said and you will get tired of hearing it because I am not as complex as I like to think I am.
I am easy to read. I want to be impossible to read. I read. I read when the words won't come. I drink them down best and hope to absorb them the way my blood absorbs the bitter liquid of my favorite worst nights but I never do. They don't stick. They flow through me and I can't grab them as they pass even though they are more than within reach inside me part of me and it is a terrible kind of frustration. Language holds me but I can't hold it. These words don't even mean anything as I write them. It's not tangible. It's not from my pencil. Typing destroys. Too. Quick. Mechanical. Like it's not really my own and my fingers might be moving faster than my mind and where's the control in that? Maybe that's why my writing is formulaic. Can't let go even when I want to, need to. The product would be better and I know it and I desire it, lust after it, but I just can't do it. Don't admit to failure. That is the very worst imaginable. I wish I was a child again. That Gabriel Garcia Marquez story, the children – child, prescribing meaning to the unknown, imagination wide and untamable and wonderful and spiraling. I want it back. I do not prescribe meaning, I take it, originality is myth in my mind and even that thought, I think I grabbed it from Palahniuk sophomore year and how long exactly have I been disillusioned because of others' disillusions? All I say has been said before. Thought before, written before, before before me and you could define my life with that one word, one word is all it ever takes.
This is frantic and I don't like it but I've been starting this paper and deleting time and again for the past week so I'll keep it but I won't like it and I won't be proud because it's disorderly and I want my formulaic writing to be fully tangible and I want to know what I'm saying again. I sound like chaos and psychosis. I am not. I am good, I am sane and I am logical and I understand things about myself that I cannot explain with these words that fucking fail me still now.
My dad likes to curse. He doesn't like it per se but he does it frequently, mostly when he's working. His office is in our basement, another room cut off by a door and he has a temper for his work and he swears. My sister is ten and knows every curse word. I think I only knew Damn when I was her age. It's funny. He thinks we can't hear. But he has a loud whisper. Funny. I love my dad. My dad and I are close. First song I ever heard was through his guitar and his tenor, Good Riddance, what a great song name. The idea of a band was intangible at the time. 'Green Day' sounded foreign. I was three, maybe two, already raised a diehard Broncos fan, Elway my hero. The Beatles were my lullaby. My dad gave me my love of music, my singing voice, the understanding that classic rock is golden and everything else is subpar. Here they come to snuff the rooster. I feel light and free and know bliss when my dad takes out his guitar and we sing the songs of my childhood. That is coming home even if my house was absent from the equation. I am just like my father. Less like my mother, and I think it makes her mad, a little bit. She is emotional, I am detached. My dad and I. We like to reread our favorite books over and over again and it never gets old, watch our favorite movies the same way. We take comfort in familiarity and do not transition well from one thing to the next. We fixate. My mother will never read a book twice, is never inclined to watch a movie again. My dad and I, a team. Sometimes I am jealous of the father-son thing he has with my brother until I remind myself that I am his daughter and it's funny because I am like him and Ben is like my mom and it all works in perfect order, we together as a family.
My mom does not know when to shut her mouth, and I like to get in the last word almost as much as she does. But I say only what I need to. She likes to hear the sound of her own voice. Many of her traits frustrate me. We get along very well more times than not. I am close with my family. Closer now than I used to be but that's because I began to let them in, let them be a part of my life. Family is everything. My mother is uptight and social and likes to talk. I am that way too. She thinks I inherit these things; I think it's learned behavior. We have very different opinions on principles and values and politics and God and religion in general and war and all these big somewhat intangible things, and what frustrates me most about her is that she often fails to back up her opinions with reason. Reason is necessary. But it's alright, it's who she is. The world is okay when we go shopping.
My brother is my best friend. We are two years apart and the moment he was born was the moment I decided he wouldn't be separated from me. I was the bossy older sister and he looked up to me and we had a great thing. Still do, though for a while it was a bit broken because I was figuring out who I was and he couldn't find the old me in there and I couldn't either and it was a mess, but I found my way back and it is good again and he told me he is 85 percent sure he wants to join the marines instead of going to college and I told him I'd support him and that he'll probably change his mind. Three years gives anyone a lot to think about. I'd be proud and terrified if he did it. He's smart. Not a waste of his intelligence, necessarily, and I find a certain glamour in the military, so much so that it pleases me more than I like to admit that my brother wants in. It's honorable, to me. But the marines are like America's punching bag and I will worry. I like worrying about him, and it's not altruistic at all.
Then there's my sister. Anna, sweet Anna. When I read that prompt to the class I think I made her sound incapable, inept, a bit. She's not. She's smart and she has friends and she's not retarded or anything, it's just ADD and she's just weird. Aren't we all. She infuriates me a lot of the time. I am not the nicest big sister. I am not the nicest, period. You, you who are reading this, you may or may not remember from that prompt that I was horrible to her for the first three years of her life. You may or may not remember that she gives me life, even if it's by probing the sore spots of my temper until I give into raw emotion and explode and she sasses back and it's just the natural order of things and I think our good moments eclipse the bad ones. She's adorable. I am jealous of her hair. Her innocence. I want to always protect her from the world. We are so different. I can handle the ferocity of life, but she's so sensitive that I know I must shield her as much as possible. She will still feel the glancing blows but I will take the brunt of the hits because that's how I can take it and that's how she can take it and it's just right. I like being the protector for once, rather than the attacker, like I so often am. Combative but passive. It's a strange dangerous mix in me. Manipulation comes easy, I know, and I like it and I use it but not with her and maybe I'm not such a horrible person if I can save her. I want to always be close with her. Her and me and my brother. We'd as soon kill each other locked in a room as we would hug each other but that's how it is, and if you opened the door you'd see me standing between them futilely with their hands around each other's throats to feel the pulse they love and hate and I would feel it all and pretty much my siblings are awesome. My dog is affectionate and a bundle of fluff and I let him sleep on my bed when he's not supposed to cause he really loves it.
This looks like a lot of writing to me right now but you gave us a page requirement, which is such utter bullshit because I might not have that much to say (also bullshit) and I don't just want to fill up the pages because it's obligatory. I don't like it forced. I like it to flow. Smooth and easy and just right. My mom is talking on the phone and her voice is always way too loud when she's on the phone. She knows it and we make fun of her for it but right now it's shrill and this is the most I've written for this paper so far and I don't want her words to break the stream of my own because God knows this took a lot of time to come forth and I'm scared if it stops I won't be able to start it again and then the pages I turn in will be blank. Out of everyone in my family it's my dad we make fun of the most. Little idiosyncrasies, habits that somehow stand out more than the rest of ours. Especially in the airport. Comic relief. He takes it graciously and I feel a little bad but he's just fucking weird with these things and we have to laugh. We love to laugh, together. I have a very normal, functional family. I hear about the dysfunctional ones and I used to romanticize the problems but now I'm so glad I have a strong healthy relationship with my family. Thank you, God. Truly.
I romanticize a lot of things actually. I romanticize the south and its lazy quiet acquiescence to tradition, the bones sunken into the dirt, embedded in rest and stagnant resolve. I love mountains and the winter (and the clothes I can wear in cold weather) but something about the south draws me. Sometimes I'll see myself older but not old sitting on a porch with a pencil and notebook in Alabama in heat that hangs tired suspended like time. Texas, too. The south holds secrets. I do not know it, but I want to, I want a part of it. I don't know why. I don't think it'll add anything to this paper if I tried to figure out why, it only matters that I want it. The old west is magic to me. Visit Wyoming. You haven't lived until you've been to Wyoming, and you haven't experienced God until you've left civilization with only your horse and your body and your mind and the world falls away under endless sky and rolling muted green hills of sage against sun-baked earth and you understand why you're here and it's amazing. If you asked me that question, that one, If you could have existed during any time, I might answer something majestic and violent and luxurious like Ancient Rome, but really, thinking deeper, beneath the surface, I think I'd prefer the old west, cowboys galore. I think that says something about what I want for the future, too; I recently decided to go pre-med because surgeons make a lot of money and really, I do like to buy things, but then I'll step back and know that I'd rather read books and teach English and write even if I'm not making much money. I need time. And I think I lack the motivation to take all those science classes, which interest me in concept but not so much in practice. Disease is cool, but I don't care about freaking neurons and how they react to other chemical things.
This is a ridiculous self paper. There is no format to this at all. Literally. I'm not even typing in Word right now. It's Notepad. I chose that on purpose too. This is one long paragraph. I haven't gone back and hit Enter yet, mostly because it's just my thoughts as they come and I can't bring myself to separate them when they do not come separate at all but immovably interwoven. I probably shouldn't keep talking about the paper like I'm not writing it, like I'm discussing it third person with someone else when really you're going to be reading this. I bet you've never read a self paper like this. Or maybe you have, and I'm just being overly presumptuous of my individuality amongst your many many students. I'm not supposed to talk to you through this. I'm not really. I haven't written in this form in a long time, if ever. Usually the flow is better; usually I'm grasping for bigger words that sound beautiful like apostasy and cacology which means a bad choice of words and I really like it. Apostasy, the changing of sides. I like that too. The meaning makes them more beautiful, but when I write them I sound arrogant and superior and I'm pretty narcissistic sometimes so I know that the general public might have to look up the definitions and that makes me feel better about myself and my writing and worse at the same time. This whole assignment is a nod to narcissism. It encourages our egotistical sides that we mostly don't show because society frowns upon it because we're all supposed to be equal or at least act like we're equal even if we're not.
I love acting cocky. Love it. I am confident. I don't lose because I don't enter situations in which it is even a possibility. That could make me a coward, or it just means I'm smart. Prudent, regarding myself and my nature. I wonder how many pages on Word this will fill. I don't like having a quota. I don't like that it's a handout A; I want effort to be necessary, I want to deserve the grade. If I believe in anything, it is responsibility and integrity and the difference between what is deserved and what is not deserved. I don't know what I deserve. This is one place where God comes into my life strong and fast and very real. Heaven and Hell comfort me because they mean justice and I like that there is someone who decides that for me, that there is someone I can work to please or not please, to fail or not fail. I like that if I sin and do not feel guilty, I deserve Hell. They are not tangible but the thought is. I'm not sure if I fully believe in their existence yet but I don't look that deep into myself and at least as far down as I'm willing to look, I do.
Religion has been a tidal wave. Slowly gradually rising up through waxes and wanes until one climactic rise and then a crash and then the aftermath of taking a breath of shocked winded relief, a WhatJustHappenedIDon'tKnowButIFeelBetter
Church is quiet. I find it funny that my worst thoughts always come out in church when I don't want them to, and I tell myself that God knows all my thoughts anyway so it shouldn't matter when they're at the front of my mind, but I'm always a little ashamed at the fact that they're more prominent in such a holy place. God probably laughs at my worrying. Half the time I'm praying absentmindedly for inanities that God has nothing to do with. I'm not fully sure if I believe in a master plan, but either way, the little things he doesn't account for, because I believe in a soul and therefore in free will, to a certain extent. God gave us brains, or he allowed us to evolve with brains, or whatever, and there's got to be a reason for that. If we were just machines designed to serve fate then there would be no need for thought, no need for guys like Nietzsche to make me question everything only so that I can come to a sort-of non-conclusion but an understanding all the same. I still think that liking Nietzsche and his words doesn't necessarily mean I can't also like God and the Bible. I am a superhuman, I can reconcile these things. That's the point. Reconciliation of our paradoxes, or at least the happy coexistence. We are a situational species, and my favorite colors are black and white. My love of reason makes me wish for absolutes, and yet I will too advocate for relatives. My objectivity allows for that in strange ways, since you'd think it'd be subjectivity-- I don't know. My objectivity pisses off my mom, since I'll always point out the other side of things and she's so righteous with her morals and opinions and I just like that I can put myself in any position and understand it and respect it. I am not spontaneous. I used to think I was, since I am outgoing and talk a lot and without much inhibition, which you should well know. Then I realized that I plan everything. I think before I do anything, then act once I decide that whatever I do or say is worth the various consequences that could result; basically, I am reckless despite my rationality. I'm not sure what to think of this trait in me, but I think I like it. It makes me feel brave.
I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
Chris McCandless found the right words. There's a reason I love Into the Wild so much. I think it's funny this is what I've ended up doing on a Friday night, writing not drinking when usually I would prefer the latter. I'm just glad I can find any words at all for this. I feel like maybe I should change the format of this. I want to tell a story, and this is not a story, this is just my mind in words, unbridled. I've discovered things don't so much fall together as crash into each other chaotically until they've sufficiently mixed into one raging torrent - the universe's innate way of somehow, under any circumstance, creating order from total disorder. I drink. A lot. Never alone, and never enough to puke, but, but. It's not a problem but it's also a problem and I don't need help for it, I don't need it - doesn't mean I can't like it, rejoice in the feeling. Much of my life can be summed up through my experiences with alcohol. I like having the hindsight and I have few regrets, but that I relish in the blur of it all must say something. Maybe my favorite colors aren't black and white, not really, maybe it's when they mix, maybe it's the gray. The instances fade together into one. I can describe it as one, yet separate.
I don't know how to talk about drinking. Sober, not sober, maybe the state of in between. I can divide my life into those three categories, though the tale might be disjointed and a little chaotic. There would be the clean cuts; purposefully drunk, vodka or whisky or tequila in hand, a PBR to chase or swallow down after the mixed drinks, and then purposefully sober, no hint of anything that might tamper with my head's ability to perceive and judge, lack of sleep included. The in betweens would be harder, fragmented because the standards are strange and my own and I don't really know on what degree scale I'd be measuring this all anyway. When am I buzzed, and when am I drunk? Usually it's only the latter. I skip the whole buzzed stage entirely, down my drink like I've got ten minutes to live and need the feeling to hit me all at once. I am a trained assassin of the flat-coke-plus-cheap-vodka concoction, barely know what buzzed even means, can't remember being at that point ever, in fact, and so I know even if I've been there, it wasn't worth remembering. So many times it happens too fast. I think I'd like to describe my life through rock songs. Maybe I like all the colors better when they blur together in a mess until the color is gone and there's only a muddy gray, dirty like what I'll have to clean up later or in the morning and I am not talking about vomit because I never let myself physically puke.
I am walking on a thin white line: picture a road, a highway, late at night and there's no one there at first and it's in the middle of nowhere of somewhere like Ohio or Iowa and if I step off this line onto one side or the other a car coming so fast will hit me either from the front or behind. The difference will be between headlights blinding me from all and headlights lighting my way before, in both scenarios, the slam. It's pretty essential I don't trip off the line, so let me be clear: I do not have a drinking problem. I cannot talk about myself without talking about alcohol and I think that could be common with a lot of people my age. The stupid things I do while under the influence are as much a part of me as the things I do when I'm fully aware because, hey, I believe in that thing called responsibility, but a jagged separation doesn't connote a problem. I said it to you already, I believe. I'm young and I have as many things to escape from as you might. And I am an expert at grounding myself, by now. My happiest moments have been sober. They so far eclipse everything else in my life that sometimes I worry I'll never find my way back to that zenith, but then I look ahead of where I stand and see that because I have experienced such happiness I know how to be happy, and that is a good thing to know.
Wyoming. It was all sober, all dry sun and thin air at ten thousand feet up and sweeping views that steal my breath from above and people I cannot replace or mimic or ever throw together in the same way again. When I talk about drinking, I must talk about the opposite state of being as well for this, this thing to be complete, and that was Wyoming. My college essay was a piece of shit. Maybe the worst thing I've written in the past year (excluding this) and I'm a little ashamed to have my name on it, all official-like. I am not sure I could truly find the words for my three-and-a-half weeks removed from all known civilization, but it is my personal Heaven. If I died tomorrow or in a minute or possibly even in ten years (barring any new experiences) I believe that I'd see sage and horses and Ben and Dawson, Julia, Desiree, Louise, Will, all of them eventually in one place again and even though we couldn't relive we'd create new, untouchable. Sometimes when I think back to August I get little empty pangs of loss in my chest because if that was the happiest I've ever been, well, it's not re-creatable, and it's true that any happiness I'd known prior couldn't hold a damn candle to what I felt then. But then there's this hope that for all my realism I can't eradicate and I also know that the only place to go is up.
The second happiest I've ever been -- it's several moments into one, and all involve music; my dad playing his guitar, the Black Crowes song blasting from my headphones drowning out the world, a concert in the hot summer, singing on stage for my parents, harmonizing random notes with my sister in her room those times when I babysit her and have to put her to bed, my brother sharing one song with me that turns into twenty plus a great conversation. The in betweens within the in between.
The third happiest I've ever been, I was drunk. Doesn't have to be a single time either. There are few singulars with me, it's mostly plurals. With one comes another, something like that. My coherence is possibly waning right now. I don't like to sleep anymore. An in between. I have the escape of television, see, which allows for many fixations. For a moment here I've got to talk about Supernatural because my life when I'm outside of school is 85 percent composed of that show; helps that one of the two main characters is just like me, just like Quentin, helps that they're brothers and it's my favorite kind of relationship to explore, so fascinating because I can never know it and the unknown draws me in. I must figure out everything in this world. The show is just these brothers and Heaven and Hell and faith and fucking guns and violence and pure familial loyalty and it's really quite beautiful, for an escape. Romance on television is rather overrated once you've seen this show, almost hard to stomach because it just doesn't compare. Tangential. Watching Supernatural equates roughly to being drunk and according to my mother (who starts yelling about obsession when she finds me wasting darkness in front of our 45 inch wall mount in the den) might be more harmful to my state of mind, but I digress.
Drunk. I can blur the world, dizzy it with the tip of a cup and it's a salacious kind of power right there that I hold in my fingertips that grip the glass, in the arm that raises the hand, the mouth that opens and the throat that swallows. I could simplify it to an equation. What would Mr. Burns say? Reduction to the point of absurdity. Philosophy enters my head at usually the worst times. Drunk. My cheeks flush with heat god it's so hot down here it feels nice and my drinks start to taste better and better even as they become less diluted until it's straight up vodka and time no longer has any meaning what it's been an hour? feels like twenty and i didn't drink it all up THAT fast did i and this is where I find Quentin best of all because we both had a strange relationship with time, both wanted to strangle it, torture it, then leave it for dead on the side of the road like an animal, never to be seen again, and the very best part is when I stand up after a while of sitting down just tipping that glass toward me like a best friend and suddenly I sway. I could sway like that forever. Was that a play on words? I could stay like that forever. Probably not.
Everyone suddenly looks different but the same, kind of like in my dreams where I know it's them, I know who you all are but your faces might be interchangeable and either way it doesn't matter because my mind is imposing on the way your faces are, like how I see you in my subconscious. Suddenly. Things were funny but now they are hilarious. He says one thing on the stairs a couple weekends ago and god, we are dying laughing, choking on it and we're being too loud and we forget there's adults right over there in that room you fucking idiots so we get dragged downstairs and we are still laughing so so hard and this is a good kind of happiness too. But. Since last June it's all heightened in a slow rising wave that hasn't yet crashed, yet. I know to wait for the inevitable, or perhaps with enough time it will merely recede.
It started with a bad several months, this past June, and when school was finally over and it was the middle of the day and hot, I think I just honestly wanted to forget for a bit. Also forgot (didn't think) about the fact that my fourth grade teacher (like an aunt to me) was coming over for dinner that night, but I cannot always be expected to think selflessly – actually, can't really be expected to ever think selflessly, if expected is the word of interest. I come to your house earlier than everyone else and you grab your dad's whiskey and we start before a single other person gets there to take the edge of this whole thing. It's like one in the afternoon and you know the fuck what, it's been a long tiring confusing mistake of a fucking year. I know whiskey makes me puke, or at least, it happened once before, the first and, as of then, last time I puked. Drink it anyway because I want to get to a higher state of mind, and fast. People eventually straggle in and it's not many but enough and we get this fantastic idea to play vodka pong on the dining room table, with a ball of tinfoil to substitute the actual ping pong ball. Ingenious. We're the next Einsteins, swear it. Plural. I do pretty well (horrible) with that and many shots of vodka later I am sufficiently wasted.
The thing about me – I don't know about anyone else because after a certain point I'm too drunk to really notice what anyone else is doing – is that even once I'm drunk I want to keep going, something always in my hand or at my mouth. Fucking oral fixation, as Freud would explain it, which accounts for many many things in my life, to tell the truth. And then I'll reiterate that I don't have any lasting or worrying problems, I really don't. Anyway.
You find a bottle of white wine. I'm still hunting down and successfully locating the straggling remains of the vodka at this point so something as substantial as a full bottle of wine is perfect. Then my phone rings and it takes me a minute to figure out even what the damn sound is that's invading my slow-fast-heavy-blurry-gray thoughts. Pick you up around 5 okay? Okay dad sounds good see you then.
I am absolutely, ridiculously incredible at composing myself for my parents, you wouldn't even fucking believe it.
Honestly, they probably wouldn't let me go out as leniently as they do if they knew how drunk I get. I never show it when I come home, so they keep letting me leave. A few times lately I couldn't walk and my mom had some idea from what I remember but nothing too horrible. I just find my way to the stairs real quick and straight as I can make it and it's loud when I stumble but that is that and nothing gets mentioned in the morning. That's now, though, and this is supposed to be back in June, right, so, I'm just real good and absolutely gone when my dad shows up. Amazed I walk as well as I do to the car, considering I am talking but not fully sure I am stringing sentences together or even what words are coming from my mouth and I am either talking too much or too little but I do not know which extreme I'm taking. My dad doesn't know. I am so, so fucking drunk. So drunk. My fourth grade teacher is there when I get home and apparently I am coherent even though I don't hear anything I say or they say, not really, and I'm just shoveling food down cause it's the only thing that might soak up all this alcohol that I took down on an empty stomach (because it's so much quicker to feel that way, it's my routine) and I sit at dinner and finally, finally it begins to fade. Around nine-thirty, after she's gone and I'm watching something on tv, I feel my stomach turn on me at some urging from my liver and I am racing to my toilet two different times to retch horribly and throw up everything. My mom still thinks it was the food.
It was two months before Wyoming, such opposites on one list. I will skip over most of this year, leave out New Years except for the fact that me and Kiran, we don't remember the ride home, just the knowledge that she drove and we thought our expensive, Christmas-gift jackets were lost when they were just in the backseat and her dad laughed and called me an amateur when we walked in blind around two a.m. because I felt like puking. Probably the keg stand's doing, or the mix of that and hastily downed Goldschlager with Red Bull. Either way, the night came back in too-small pieces over the next week and I came away from it shaking my head but also kind of liking the mystery. Something shifted and after February break I returned with a strong desire to let loose because it had been pretty much since New Years that I'd been really bad and gone and I was stir crazy, I admit, from an entire week with my family and family friends with boys that are extra brothers to me so really just family altogether. It might not even have been until early March, I don't know for sure. First it was this one guy's house, band playing, and there were a lot of us there and I was getting a feel for everything again. When I came home my dad was still up but I didn't know, just got myself to my room like I was on a mission and fell dead asleep after clumsily discarding the clothes that smelled like cigarettes and spilled drink in exchange for comfortable clean ones.
I learned later that I had said too much. Way too much, and I heard it all on Monday from other people, felt the striking, choking disbelief that I had said those things to those people, couldn't accept that it had been me. I had to apologize awkwardly to two people caught in my convoluted maze of a web made of successive stumbles and sticky fingers. The school week was just enough to settle my stomach.
Next it was Ricky's house, who I'm much closer with and a really bad combination of things in the week leading up meant that I was going to dump a whole lot of burning delicious liquid into my mouth (again) and hope I could swallow it all. That's what happened. And Katie said I could kiss him even though they'd had a thing, so I did, and it was quicker than I was used to because he arrived pretty much when Katie was taking me and her home and he was entirely sober and I was just not. When I got home I made my way somehow to the den where my mom watched a show. She was engrossed, and I made a clean exit until it led me to the computer and clearly I still needed to drink my words away because they were coming instead of vomit. It started getting so that I didn't really remember at all in the morning, hazy and slow until maybe the next night if at all. The week following that Friday... empty. Empty stomach, primarily, because suddenly I could not keep down any food in school, at all, water was all and it wasn't even hungry nausea just plain old nausea and I liked how lightheaded I got by the end of the day. It was a state of in between. Not drunk in the slightest but not quite sober either, by some natural physical reaction to shock and humiliation and dread. That Friday was worse than the last.
The week was over, I felt better, but the relief wouldn't come until I drank it down in some tangible way and breathed out a sigh in the form of my body falling from the vertigo. Something was up with Katie, she hadn't offered to pick me up and it turned out she liked him, the one I'd kissed a week before, and I lied and told her I would never do anything if she liked him and she called me a good friend and didn't get it when I laughed. That's when I went to talk to him and got the rush I love from manipulation and power as he told me he didn't want her, he wanted me. I laughed some more. Always a cup in my hand. When I got home I could barely stand and my mom was in the kitchen and I didn't know what the fuck I was saying to her and the next morning all I remembered were my very worst moments. Toast and eggs in front of a television at seven thirty next morning helped my stomach but my mind was still unsettled. And the weekend after that I finished the stupid mean betraying thing I started, couldn't understand my sickness, that I'd promise something to a friend only to steal it from under her because I could, because I wanted the control and it wasn't about her or even him, it was about me. Selfishselfishselfish. My biggest flaw other than my pride. I wasn't so drunk when I finally got home, mostly because my mom had told me not to be since she was having a dinner party. Funny, since all her friends were as drunk as I was, maybe worse, when I got back. Mrs. Gerlin nearly knocked me over. Did you know that when I drunk text, I text Alyssa? It's messy. She saves some of them and we laugh and I get mortified when I see my horrendous typing, which could technically be pretty good but I don't typically care to correct my drunken mistakes. Another hellish week ahead since I am not in the habit of lying to people, ever, and keeping something from someone close to me felt extremely horribly wrong. I preach honesty and yet found it within myself to lie for a week straight, until the next Friday when things unraveled like they tend to do, especially when the liquid's flowing fast and strong around me and I always work to get swept up in it. And I still don't have any deep love for oceans of any kind, water or not.
That Friday was the worst yet. I drank with more purpose. Alyssa had to wrestle the cup out of my hand, the cup I'd refilled again again again Ricky pour me another. Okay tell me when. I never told him until the big red cup was more than half full with vodka and then I'd add coke to fill the rest and then I'd drain it fast as I could and then another became so many so much and the liver doth protest too much. And then I was crying. Let me tell you, I am a damn happy drunk. It's my fun time, my let-go time, my only answer to Wyoming so long ago in August, and people can attest to that. I have cried when drunk twice in my life. Both times Alyssa was there, which I am not quite sure what to make of. I couldn't stop. I never cry sober, I don't let myself. My mom has seen me cry once since I was a small small child and it was from the car accident and the trauma was enough that it brought out such a visceral uncontrolled reaction and I vowed never to let it happen again. It is the ultimate weakness and here I was and I couldn't stop it because god fucking dammit I'd had too much to drink, my own purpose turned on me, and I had no hope over my physical reactions anymore and I guess my mouth was moving with the stream of my tears and then Katie knew it all, and I don't know everything I said to Alyssa because she wrote some of it down but still won't tell me now. I know I yelled and my bitterness came out. Those kind of emotions are impossible for me unless I'm that deep under the clear stinging surface, and I hated being stripped down to this baser level of myself carried along by this current where there was absolutely no control, none, whatsoever, and it was funny in a horrible way because I could have been looking down at myself and I would have shaken my head in disgust, Nope, that is definitely not me. I stay pretty detached, me. This girl looks pathetic.
Katie had the good grace to drive me home. Alyssa came too, which I only found out on Monday when we talked, since I didn't even remember being in the car. He was worried about me. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find my room.
When I woke up my light was on and my clothes were the same and I tore my room apart for my phone before reluctantly accepting its absence. Ipod wasn't there either. Checked facebook, saw the message from Katie that she had my phone. I'd left it in her car. I did not remember anything of the night before until suddenly I did remember, two things, in flashes. First, that I'd told Katie. Then, that I'd cried. I waited for more information to come, pushed forth to the front of my mind from my memory, but nothing did, and as I made myself the routine toast and eggs with a glass of orange juice I resigned myself to the fact that I'd just have to hear it all from someone else. Somehow, I still liked the mystery. Once I decided I wasn't still drunk and that I was good to drive, I picked up my ipod and then my phone. The dark green roaring hum of the Durango around me calmed me and classic rock on the radio helped my head. Seeing Katie wasn't so bad because at the time I didn't know about anything else. We were both in shock, I think, and she probably hadn't been awake long enough to discern how mad at me she was. I couldn't focus on the texts I'd gotten the night before, some opened while I still had my phone and I just couldn't fucking remember any of it. The only thing I cared about was that I'd cried, in front of a few people, and it was the worst thing that had happened to me in a while.
It is strange that in a fairly long career of drinking, it has all culminated this spring into one muddled smudge of March and April all poorly mixed like some of my drinks. I had happened to ruin a friendship and my long streak of not crying in one night and I was not so proud of myself anymore for being able to handle myself when clearly sometimes I couldn't. Not throwing up didn't mean I was any better off, I wasn't some champion just because I didn't empty my guts into the sink later on. That was just before break. The time to clear my head was needed, although the stress never left and that's probably why I was reading Dostoevsky on the fucking beach and thoroughly enjoying it.
Do you know, it's 3:55 am right now, as I type this all like I am reliving it with all these pieced-together memories of mine and others'. Sleeping has halted. The state of being truly over-tired, wired but hot and cold at the same time with dry eyes, that is an in between, for me. It has become common in the last three weeks. I in part blame Supernatural, watching it late into the night. My productivity regarding school is at an all time low, but I can blame that on something else, too, senioritis, whatever the fuck that actually is. See how often I curse when it's dark turning light slowly. Blame, what is blame? God only knows. I'm turning into Alyssa, sleeping less and less and functioning but less and less, loss in rapid fire like from a gun with rounds, shells falling to the floor with sharp quick pings. The in betweens allow me peace of mind. I have to get up for church in four hours. I really need to pray, and I look forward to the cool wood of the pew and the familiar hymns and how I don't need to think but can just be. It is always a relief to go to church after I've been drinking, the weight lifted if only momentarily. Put the load right on me. Kiran scorns my Catholicism but it's okay; our friendship is stronger than I ever expected and it's surprisingly grounding, with its fundamental similarities and differences mashed into one mix of personality that fits us both.
Maybe I am merely drawn to that which warps time in such a way that it is different from what I am used to. When I'm drunk, time quickens and slows like an erratic pulse until I don't know what is fast and what is slow and what is stop. When I'm too tired to be tired, time fades and molds to whatever speed my mind goes. In Wyoming I was lost from time entirely, and when I watch tv, Supernatural in particular, I can measure time solely by the fast forward button, the stop, pause, and play, and I control it, can even rewind and replay and relive, and it seems as though that's all I've been trying to do my whole life. How many times have I mentioned Quentin? I dislike redundancy but I feel as though everything I've written has been just that, repetitious albeit worded differently. I don't know what more to write about. I wonder how much time I have left for it all.
You can lead a horse to water but faith is another matter.
I stopped separating my life into fantasy versus reality. It's not so clear cut as that because I’m always trying to bridge the gaps and anyway, Humbert showed me the two are endlessly entwined. Everything I think and see and sense becomes my reality, so it’s more how I choose to escape it that defines what is less reality than the rest. I don't know. It is so late, early, my eyes hurt and I won’t even be tired in the afternoon but I'll be tired on Monday. Seems to me that I've succeeded in circularly describing myself with artful tasteless words without coming to any conclusions, but are those necessary? 9600 words. That’s not all that much. I've written longer pieces that I like more, ones that I'll only ever show to one or two people, and ones I like less. More and less. Never this much. How do I learn to define based on what is rather than what is above or below, in front or behind? All of me, my entire existence, revolves around my inability to grasp the present, and I could not tell myself whether I was worse for the wear. That's what God is for. I hate my writing. I read too much to love my writing anymore. I want to write a novel I'm proud of, and it's impossible, I can tell you now. Ten years will find me not all that different from how I am now. Cynics don't change, nor do dreamers, and I am a bit of both.