Dancin’ with myself.

When there’s no one else inside, on a crowded lonely night, I cross my arms and hold my hands to my shoulders, propping the rest of my body. Then I revolve once, twice, three times, faster and faster like a carnival merry-go-round that’s gathering power to take the passengers on a ride. A circular ride that goes and goes and seems like it’s spinning for miles and miles, almost so much that I half expect to step off and be somewhere else, somewhere completely different—not a stale carnival at eleven at night that’s dying with each turned off sign and closed down booth. But it never goes anywhere. I never go anywhere. No matter how much I spin and spin.

But I spin. Because it creates a blur, like a constantly rotating kaleidoscope except it’s me looking out at the world through a changing vision, not the world at me. Lucy with kaleidoscope eyes. Maybe that’s what they meant. I just figure if I spin and spin my eyes will never focus on a face. They’ll never stop to see the scowls, the stares, the gauging, probing, eyes, or even the eyes of a predator. So many faces I don’t have to see. They’re still there but they’re cut up into triangles and dots and a blur of fluorescent lights. Then all of a sudden I don’t see them. Just the wind chasing me as I dance and my hands reached out, catching on short clouds of vision.

woman doing ballet dance on side walk in grayscale photo
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But sometime I’m going to stop spinning. Sometime the dizziness is going to become even more than I can stomach and it’s going to turn to a nausea, an overflow from my core and the pits of everything I am and there’s going to have to be a purging, a heaving, until I find myself sprawled across brown blades of what used to be grass. And I’ll wait here because some of the faces will be waiting to pounce, vultures trying to be sure I won’t put up a fight—and some of the faces will be just in too much of a hurry or too preoccupied with maintaining the right degree of scowling, or off banging their gavels elsewhere. So I’ll lay here until I can do otherwise. And when that time comes, when air stops fleeing my lungs, I’ll stand and start dancing with myself. Me, myself, and Atlas.

This is another throwback I wrote about seven years ago when bored. It is ironic that the last word here is Atlas.

Somewhere in between.

“What is it with you and… plaid?”

“Like my shirts?”

“Like every day.”

“I don’t know it makes me feel… ruggedly fashionable.”

She laughed. “Don’t you mean raggedly?”

“Very funny.”

“I mean I like plaid,” she said, pinching the shoulder of his button-up, “But every day is just overkill man.”

“Yeah yeah yeah.”

“You look like Ireland exploded.”

He laid back, his arms behind his head and stared into the sky. “Do you ever think about it?”

“About what?”

“The stars.”

“Well I think they’re there and you can see them at night. That’s about the extent of it. I kind of try not to think much about the stars right now because of where it got me to begin with. I mean not that I don’t love to be here,” she said shrugging her shoulders and gesturing about her, “with you trying to figure this all out but there are things I miss about before. Things I’m missing out on by sitting here.”

Missing things, that wasn’t one of his current troubles. Propping himself up on an elbow, he looked over at her as she paced from unsteady rock to unsteady rock, “Like what?”

She sighed. “Like… my mom for one. She’s so, so graceful and calm, a lot of things I’m not. She has it all put together and she knows everything that needs knowing. If she was in my place, things would be so much further along. And she has this way, of just softening the blow to the harshest things. I love being with her. It makes me feel like a better person just by sitting beside her. She has a real way of drawing the best out of you.” She dropped a peddle into a small puddle and watched the water ripple. “And I miss school. That’s weird but learning is kind of my thing. I like sitting in different classes like mythology and then science and trying to fuse the two together in my head. Even though there is no logical or true connection, I just like toying around with it. By the time we get back it will be summer. I’ll be a year behind school and it will have been like I failed.”

“And what if we fail?”

She connected eyes with him for a second as if wondering the same then shook her head. “I haven’t– I don’t have that figured out. I guess I’m just trying not to fail.”

“Good plan.”

They sat a few minutes in silence and then she laid down beside him, hands behind her head, moonlight blushing her cheeks silver. He looked over for a minute, a bit bewildered then chalked it up to all of the other things about her he didn’t quite understand. “So what was your question about the stars? What do you think about them?”

“I just wonder. Those constellations all tell the tale of stories past, right? Stories we have actually come across since we started. And if these stories happened, then they had to have been added to the stars afterwards, right? Or maybe not because the fates seem to know everything to begin with, prophecies trick us will telling everything, so maybe there is already a constellation before the tale ever seems to unravel.”

“Maybe.”

“And, well, what I’m wondering is,” he paused, knitting his eyebrows together, unable to pull out his exact question in the way it was framed in his mind, a complex web of thoughts to be rooted into a simple line of words.”

“Whether or not you have a constellation and whether or not it’s up there?”

“Yes, as cocky as that might sound.”

“It’s not cocky but it’s definitely interesting. But either way I don’t think it’s a question you should be troubling yourself with. Knowing won’t change anything, and if it could, you wouldn’t know until after. At worst it could give you a terrible dread and at best possible a confidence which might prove dangerous. Be the one hero who ignores the prophecy. Don’t hear it or know it and you’ll focus on the issue at hand rather than trying to prove some prediction wrong.”

He laughed a bit more lightly than before. “That’s not the worst advice I’ve ever heard.”

“Of course not.” She jumped up, “Now I think we have a friend to find.”

This is something I wrote in a few separate entries seven years ago when I was playing around in the summer writing fiction before my senior year of college. I think this is the first entry and I played around with this idea for a while but for now, I am just posting the first entry.

Smoking Gun pointed at the Giant White Elephant in the Corner.

I’ve known for a while that I have a serious depression issue in spite of the fact that I am a college student and a person with a lot of things to be thankful for. But I still have these unpleasant bouts with blurry edges at the beginning and end as they bleed into and out of my life.

The point is, I have a depression issue and my stepdad, a cop, owns a whole lot of guns. We keep them in a safe and I stay away from it so it doesn’t really bother me. He and my mother recently married so he doesn’t really know my problem. Not to mention, I tend to keep things to myself so my mother doesn’t know all of it. Not knowing my issues, he was leaving to take the dog for a walk so he put a loaded gun in front of me on the coffee table.

Let me say that I have never hurt myself nor have I ever attempted to do so (well, per se). But acting and thinking are two different things. It’s kind of like a morbid curiosity that is also kind of like a rabid compulsion whenever I am depressed. Part of me, the part of me that is above water knows that that is incredibly stupid. But, as my professor pointed out on the first day of Abnormal Psych, “this is a very interesting and a very dark side of humanity.” So though I don’t exactly have a dark side, I have a bit of darkness to me, according to his definition. That I am okay with. But knowing I have it and actually having it aren’t the same thing.

So there is this loaded gun in front of me, which probably to be honest poses more of a danger to me than anyone who would walk in, which has a wood handle and a black barrel. Aside from that, I have no idea what it is. All I know is part of me looks at it and is scared to touch it and part of me is pulled to touch it, to lightly run my finger down the handle and circle. Part of me muses that hey, this could be over in just a few seconds. Like that, total darkness, quick as switching off a light. My stepdad is a cop so I know it doesn’t necessarily work that way but that is my thought process. The line between life and death is fairly thin, like a reaching of my hand across the coffee table.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no intentions of touching it. But the part of me that sometimes feels a little, how to describe it, funny, is drawn to that gun. I wouldn’t touch it for all the world but the more I stare at that black barrel, the more I feel it smoking.

gun metal barrel
Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on Pexels.com

In the still of the night.

You know what scares me most about the dark? It’s not soothing. It smothers you in defenselessness. The blackness slowly slips over your neighborhood, silencing the world around you and cutting your connections to others. It’s in the quiet of the night that all of the terrifying things happen. Granted things happen during the day. But it’s at night, when people slip in quietly, nonchalantly, and commit acts screaming with finality, that remain silent until people, waking up softly on their pillows, stumble into the streets to walk their dogs and get the mail, notice that shards of window glass are laying on the sidewalk and the wind is blowing aside the off-white, decaying curtain in the neighbor’s bedroom.

 

This is another throwback, written six years ago.

A Christmas Story.

This is something I wrote about six years ago. It is fictional but pretty closely based on personal experience. I can’t sleep and I’m knee-deep in academic writing so I thought this throw-back would be interesting.
Bum, bum, bum bum, bum, bum. My forehead stuck to the cold wood of the kitchen table as the dishwasher drummed on. Either something was broken or off track because it had been doing it the last few times we ran it.

Bum, bum, bum, bum. I allowed its steady, faithful rhythm to absorb me, constantly waiting for that next beat, enjoying having nothing to think about but just that noise and the discomfort of my position. I sat there for a good twenty minutes, alternating between eyes closed and staring at the dark and light grains immediately in front of me to the point where it began to seem as if that was all there was and I would never have anything to think about again.

“Hey, dumbass, mom is calling for you.”

Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum. That’s all I wanted to hear.

“LACEY.”

I looked up, a little dazed not out of flakiness but rather out of the unattractiveness of my present situation, a situation over which I had chosen the drumming of a dishwasher.

My older brother just rolled his eyes and looked at the kitchen door as he opened the fridge. He grabbed an open can of beer from the top shelf, took a long, loud swig from it, crushed the can, and burped. He opened the door to the basement where his room was and tossed the can in the trash on his way down, muttering, “Fucking nutcases.” He turned left into his bedroom, the one with mold on the ceiling and dirty, damp clothes all over the cold floor, and started blaring some shitty rock band that clung to a false sense of martyrdom.

I watched after him, no longer pacified by the dishwasher, its drumming beginning to taunt me to move on out of the kitchen and let it go about its business of cleaning what plates weren’t lying broken on the dirty, currently off-white linoleum.

There was a creak in the living room. I braced myself, looking at the door onto the patio. But it was the last week in December and I didn’t have my jacket. Oh well, I thought, sliding out of my chair, doing my best not to upset it or make any noise.

As I turned around the chair, I made eye contact with a figure in the living room. It wasn’t my mother. Judy, mom’s latest husband’s sister. Average looking, forty, never that friendly when things had been going well but civil. She, like the rest of them, had only ever been concerned with talking to their side of the family at holidays, parties, what have you. I’d always been kind of invisible so I wasn’t quite sure as if she’d bother to grace me with her attentions then.

She averted her eyes and then, as if changing her mind about ignoring me, gave me a half-hearted, half-interested wave.

“Hi Judy.”

“Hi.” She looked about her and began to fidget with the strap of a duffel bag she had set in front of her feet. “I’m just here to get some of Bill’s things, you know.”

“Yeah.”

“Well he’ll be expecting me.”

“Sure.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

I watched her attempt to slide out the door, banging all of the luggage and duffel bags into it as she tried to force through, obviously determined on only making one trip. I stood behind her as she left, pulling the screen door shut and staring at the red pickup parked along the road, next to our empty driveway. He was in it next to John, Judy’s conceited, haughty, falsely narcissistic, bigot of a husband. John was laughing. He’d just got his buddy back for Sunday night football or whatever day that showed. Why wouldn’t he be laughing? He wasn’t the one who had lost anything.

I wasn’t sure whether or not I expected some movie-style, slight, meaningful, silent, melodramatic wave, or something really cruel like a glare, like I was with her or against her and was definitely, determined by blood, with her. But nothing. He’d seen Judy walk out. He’d seen me behind her. And as soon as his clothes, his pictures, his guns, had banged their way out of the door, he was no longer concerned with what stood behind it.

I’d known this was coming for a while. It would have taken an idealistic idiot to not have seen it. I’d been around the block. I knew how the drill worked. But when things were good, when I was supposedly, like a daughter to him, I never would have expected that he would turn his back on me. Her, yes. She’d called him names. He’d called her names. But I was just in the middle, like I always was. Every marriage, every divorce. But the joke was on me because this was the first time I’d ever allowed myself to get emotionally invested. And for what? I thought back to the plates on the kitchen floor, broken, fractured, thrown across the room as a result of someone else’s fit of anger. Then left there because they were useless, no point of being picked up. Definitely, best to pretend they aren’t there, walk around them. Pick up everything that is yours and leave the shards for somebody else to figure out.

I wasn’t sure if it was vomit or a sob but whatever it was, creeping up my throat, I swallowed it and shut the door, standing in front of it and watching the red pick-up out of the window as it drove twenty yards down the street, turned right, and disappeared from sight. And that was that for Bill. Well for now at least. It was the calm before and after storm in a battery of upcoming bad weather. The divorce. The drama. The fear. It was all coming and quite frankly, I was tired.

“Oh good, Mom, Mom, he just left.” My mother came out of her bedroom clutching a white phone in one hand with the other on her hip. She was excited, hyped up on the drama and the misery. This was her show and it was opening night, her best historically. “Yeah. I know. That BASTARD. I KNEW it. I KNEW he would do this. And on Christmas. Ruined it. For me. For my kids.”

What Christmas?

“He even took some of their gifts back. Yes. Yes, Mom. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Judy said he bought them and she took them in a box with some of his other things.”

I let the news sink into me as yet another blow. Absorbing it, silently. Unable to even shrug my shoulders, probably because at least I had remembered my one rule, don’t get excited about anything in advance. Too much room for disappointment and hurt. If you don’t care, then it was nothing lost should it come apart.

“All because he had to go out and get drunk last night with John, that lying, cheating bastard. He hasn’t slept in the same room as his wife for the last few years and she’s been sleeping in the room with their sons so since he’s unhappy, he has to go take it out on everybody else. Smug, son of a BITCH.”

And she started crying. As her daughter, I probably should have turned around, stopped staring at the door, and comforted her. Clearly that’s why she knowingly came into the same room as me, crying. But I just couldn’t. My feet were rooted to the floor and I just couldn’t pretend to care anymore. I couldn’t care anymore. Too many times.

“Lacey, Lacey.”

She sat down on the couch with her head in her hands and rocked back and forth. “Take the phone, talk to your grandmother. Tell her, tell her what happened. I just can’t.”

She forced the phone at me. I could feel it touching the back of my hand and I let it rest there for a moment before I resigned, grabbing it and turning around to face the window.

“Hi Nana.”

“Hi baby.”

“How are you?”

“Your mother told me what happened already.”

“I figured.”

“Did he really shove her?”

“I-I don’t know.”

“She said you were sitting right there at the table.”

“I was.”

“So you didn’t see it?”

“I’m not sure what I saw. It just, it just happened.”

“Another man. Another abusive man. I told her he was having a breakdown and not to push it.”

“Yeah.”

“Ok well stay with your mother. Tell her I’m coming over there as soon as I can get dressed. I was making sauerkraut salad, the kind your grandfather likes, so I am going to put all this away and head over.”

“Okay. Love you.”

“I love you too. Bye-bye.”

I turned off the phone and put it on the stand, staring at the floor between us. She was curled up on the sofa, sobbing. “This was my last chance at happiness. My last. I thought I was done.”

I didn’t understand a lot of the things my mom did or said or when she nagged. But I understood this. I thought we were done too. I picked up some picture frames that had been swiped to the floor. The black one was face down, I picked it up. It was a picture of us at the amusement park last summer. There was a crack, right down the side, putting me on one side, separated from them on the other.

I left it there and walked into the kitchen, carefully picking up shards glass plate from the floor and tossing them into the trash. It smelled like spaghetti sauce from dinner and made me sick to my stomach. In spite of how careful I was being, I managed to cut my thumb. Wincing, I put it against my lips and then took it off, watching blood bubble up.

After getting rid of all the big pieces, I swept the rest up into a dustpan and threw them away. Backing up to examine the kitchen. Minus a few pieces of glass glistening as the light hit it, pieces I had missed and didn’t care to pick up, the kitchen looked fine. The dishwasher kept thumping faithfully along as if nothing had ever happened. Standing in the kitchen’s doorway, I could see my aunt’s van ambling down the street. She and my uncle Chad were probably coming in to look at the damage and for mom to give yet another recap. Normally, I would hang around but as soon as I heard the car doors slam, I slipped the back door, onto the patio, and climbed the railing. Standing on it, I climbed onto the lower part of the roof and sat down on the cold shingles, glad I had chosen to wear pajama pants instead of soccer shorts tonight.

The glass door did me the mercy of muffling most of the noise coming from the living room and the wind took care of the rest. Staring out into the grey sky, I noticed some white dropping across my field of vision. The first flurries of the winter. I guess it is Christmas, I thought. I let out a long sigh. I don’t know whether it was out of necessity or if it was because I wanted to see my breath hanging in the air. It was really cold. That wasn’t shocking given that it was December. But goose bumps weren’t enough to drive me back inside either.

A house sat with its back to our yard, a fence separating their yard from ours. They had kids too. A little younger than me. Six and eight I think. Their lights were on. Probably the dining room and kitchen as they were cooking Christmas Eve dinner. A little ham, fudge, waiting to break out the big stuff for tomorrow. There was probably Christmas music on and a tv playing all of the specials, probably A Charlie Brown Christmas, that was my favorite. Who was to say that their Christmas Eve wasn’t peacefully perfect? But then again, who is to say it was. I’d never seen a perfect one. Not in a while at least. Maybe they didn’t exist anymore. Maybe they never did. Maybe just being so young I was too naive and distracted by shiny red wrapping and big, red bows to notice all of the unpleasant things.

Maybe there was a moment, an age, when everything just changed, distorted, so that nothing could ever be completely happy or functional again. Peter Pan knew what he was doing when he left home.

Once upon a time…or a twitter post that turned into a blog entry.

Because how different are they sometimes, really?

Yesterday, I thought things were slowly turning around, like a semi backing up in an intersection–you know it’s been going the wrong way but at least now you have hopes of redirecting. I felt my depression letting go and washing off my skin like clumps of dirty sand. I ran 3 miles. They were rough but I ran them. I took a nice shower and I stretched. I forced myself to be social. I ate a decent meal instead of ice cream or nothing. I took a short nap and went to bed at a decent time. And then that semi that was backing up so beautifully, backed right into me, forcefully nudging me with its bumper. The red marks on my legs reacting to its strike warn me I’m about to get run over, but only partially, only enough to feel it and not be able to walk away but not enough to be worth recognizing. I hate it when depression fakes me into me, forcefully nudging me with its bumper. The red marks on my legs reacting to its strike warn me I’m about to get run over, but only partially, only enough to feel it and not be able to walk away but not enough to be worth recognizing. I hate it when depression fakes me out.

What lies do you hear?

It’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It comes out in our voices. It sounds like us. It comes from us. We believe what we are saying and we see evidence of it around us.

Depression can lead us to cognitively distort things but no matter how outlandish it sounds when we say it out loud to other people, these things are often indiscernible from truth. I tell myself lies all the time and honestly, it feels like a lie to call them lies. I kind of have to do a Peeta type of real or not real test where I picture a friend or family member similar to me and ask myself what I would think if I heard somebody else say the same thing to another person or herself. If I am okay hearing myself say it (to myself) but the idea of it being said to another person doesn’t sit well with me, I usually know it is a cognitive distortion. 

If logic was all it took to beat mental illness, then this wouldn’t be a discussion. I can academically know it is a cognitive distortion without believing it isn’t true.

With that being said, cognitive distortions are powerful things and I wonder if the people who dismiss mental illness because they can’t see it might see it more easily in the words we say to ourselves and maybe it would feel more real to them. Because it sure as hell feels real to me. With that being said, I have started recording the things I say to myself and I’m going to start posting them here and on my social media accounts.

An equal opportunist, I am also eager to hear and represent others’ experiences so if you notice any harsh lies you’re selling to yourself, feel free to comment them here and maybe they will get shared in one of my blog or social media posts.

Let me know if you have any questions and give yourself a break the next time you realize you’re being a little too mean to yourself.

Cotton Candy Cancer of the Brain.

You wouldn’t think the two would go together, would you? Well, in the wonderful world of depression, all things are possible. It’s like if you took Walt Disney’s most fantastic, imaginative, wonderful dreams, all ironically envisioned in the midst of the Great Depression, and got a little too relaxed, letting them blur together. Pinks and greys and blacks and blues and purples. Sticky like sugar but also like the moist, dirty feeling of waking up in a hot sweat where your nightmare follows you into your room and sits, waiting for you at the edge of your bed. A dream that you allowed yourself to stretch too long so that you ran out of joy and upon noticing the empty pockets, began filling them them with lethargy. You find the bubbles of curiosity you imagined as you walked through your dreams and they pop into puddles of doubt which stain the tips of your toes a dull, threatening grey and no matter how many times you wash them, the stains always remind you to feel just a little bit unclean, enough so that no shower leaves you entirely renewed.

Continue reading Cotton Candy Cancer of the Brain.

Lies I tell myself.

Whatever constellation of fucked up it is, whatever concoction of ADHD/PTSD/depression/anxiety, I’ve got–I don’t wear it like a badge of honor. It’s a branding somebody burned into my neck long before I saw it coming. And when my screwed up sets my life on fire, the branding burns like it did the day it came in. The world tells me it is invisible. I tell myself it is invisible, that it is in my head. It doesn’t exist, right? It doesn’t exist. I’m lazy, I tell myself. Once upon a time a doctor gave me a diagnosis, a label, and I ran away with it because it was easier to face than the demands of normal life. I am playing up my situation. Everybody has bad things happen to them. Most people have had traumatic experiences. I’m the only one I know who lives like fatally wounded animal, perpetually unable to engage in life like a decent adult.

I feel as if every day of my life is another day in the court of public opinion, and a simultaneous court where my own opinion of myself is weighed. I have become a master of “well, but,” “yes, and” “I wanted to, but.” Nothing is ever simple. Nothing is ever cut and dry and it is exhausting, I’d imagine, for those around me. But here is the thing, it’s exhausting for me too. That’s why people have suicidal ideation. Because when your condition is unbearable for you, the pain is scathing when you’re a curse on somebody else.

And when everything that makes you a problem to yourself and others isn’t visible, it’s as likely to be there as it is to not be there. Anybody can fake a mental illness, I tell myself. I browbeat myself incessantly using the stereotypes and words and stigmas society has toward mental illness. I try to get myself to change by saying monstrously mean things to myself. It’s nothing. And I’ve no excuse. I have to get my shit together because everybody else does. I have to stop procrastinating. I need to be more self-disciplined. And I genuinely believe all of these things about myself. I don’t seek help or ask forgiveness because I don’t believe I deserve it in the least and it would be both ludicrous and shameful to try to explain my behavior. All of this is in my head and all of it is my fault and my choosing. My theatrics.

The thing that I can’t explain away though, is that today, when trying to unscramble words on an app I use (something to distract my inner relentless critic), I had all of the letters for “decide” in front of me and I just needed to draw a line between them in the correct order. There is no reason this shouldn’t be a shamefully simple task. I have a BA in English language and literature, an MA in children’s literature, and will soon have an MA in educational leadership. I had a ninth grade reading comprehension in the fifth grade. I won several spelling bees growing up. I have been writing “decide” since I was in the first grade when my spelling and reading were so advanced my teacher took me off her curriculum and created a separate one with separate assignments for me. I say these things not because I am proud of them; if anything, they’re my shame because all of this information suggests that I should be more than capable of the things with which I sometimes struggle senselessly. The things I convince myself are happening because of barriers I’ve manufactured in my mind. All of those qualifications would lead one to think I had no trouble connecting the letters in the word “decide.”

full frame shot of text on wood
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And it took me about six tries in the course of three minutes to figure out that my answer on the game kept getting rejected because I was misspelling “decide.” It took me another minute and a half I’d guess to figure out how to actually spell it.

I don’t know. I don’t know what to do or what help to ask for because it took me three degrees and over five minutes to figure out how to spell a word which has been in my vocabulary for twenty-two years. The only thing that seems an absolute given is that even when these phases go, they come back sooner than they did the last time. Whether it is in my head, whether mental illness is a lie I tell myself, or whether it’s real, I honestly can’t begin to decide because I couldn’t even fucking spell the word “decide” an hour ago. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or in my mind. At least I can take comfort in the idea that this bond is forever.

couple engagement hands human
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Love is a funny thing.

When it gets too strong or too insular, it twists on itself and becomes something new entirely. When you cast it in the right light, in its right form, I’m not sure if I personally can tell the difference between love, poison, rage, resentment, aggression, fear, control, ego, any of that. I just finished Sharp Objects and it scares me how familiar I found it. Not hurting people of course (I can barely stomach the idea of hurting an ant crawling through the house because it squeezed under the door). More how easily family and love and what we learn about love within our families can turn ill. I think for people from Pleasantville lives, maybe, this sounds like rambling. Shows like Sharp Objects are just a taboo stumble down the forbidden trail of the darkest possibilities and our most animalistic inclinations. They’re fun who-dun-its that explore the complexity and ambiguity of familial and feminine relationships but it’s as much entertainment as the 5 o’clock news is stale and lifeless describing similar stories.

close up portrait of human eye
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

It’s like Alice’s rabbit hole, or whatever. You’re too young to know before you tumble down it and once you get to the bottom (if you weren’t born straight into it like some of us), you learn that all the rules square adults tell you are really fictional and if you embrace the lack of gravity and natural law and concrete judgment, it won’t turn your mind inside out. Except the rest of the world is rightside out and you can’t live in your rabbit hole forever. It will warp it but whose mind isn’t a little warped? Is there such a thing? Do we all come from this dysfunction or do some people really come from stock photographs? They just emerge one day and they look and seem entirely human. They don’t bleed. They cry rarely. They stress only at appropriate times. But they’re human, right? I’m not sure which one is folklore: those of use who grow up with Mary Poppins or those of us benevolently raised somewhat akin to that of Hansel and Gretel, if their stepmother had actually loved one but it’s complicated?

I digress and I’m not even sure I understand what I am trying to say. I’m indubitably a member of the involuntarily warped tribe that treads water in Wonderland. But at some point you have to come out as an adult, looking for food and rewards, carrots of one form or another. And then you emerge from this screwed up world which feels as normal to you as the chapped lines on your lips and you realize, among all of these picket fences and uniform houses with uniform driveways, as artificial and unnatural as the societal normal feels, you’re still turned inside out on yourself.