Written (Mostly) on the Bus Ride Home
August 2, 2019 Friday 12:00 PM
I think (one of) the problem(s) is—I can’t just pretend I am normal. Or, I shouldn’t just pretend that I’m normal. If I do that, I end up doing what I did yesterday, which is that I stay up basically all night with a random guy (Trip) thinking that the only consequence will be I am tired. When the truth is, I should know very well that for whatever reason, my limbic system struggles very much with maintaining homeostasis in the face of any change. When I get 5 hours of instead of 7, I am probably 10x as sensitive as I normally am. I honestly think it runs on some kind of log scale, because it wasn’t like I was only 20x as emotional after getting no sleep yesterday—it was much worse than that.
Anyway, this isn’t to say I can’t be a regular person, it just means that I need to be more vigilant when it comes to the choices I make. This makes me so angry sometimes. Right now, however… I don’t know. I don’t feel mad. I just feel ashamed, that I didn’t bother taking care of myself in the first place. Ashamed that my fuckin’ self-worth is so trash that I would do this for the purpose of spending time with a guy that kind of sucks. It just… I feel so dirty, haha.
I am going to talk through the process and consequences involved in Wednesday night’s stupid decision to go to Trip’s house at midnight to watch Beetlejuice. On Tuesday, I went on another “date” with Trip. These dates, btw, are pretty much entirely the same. I go to his house (which, by the way, costs around $30 there and back—that’s stupid, but I will talk through my reasoning for spending this money on a guy in a hot second, bear with me) and we sit in his basement watching stuff or listening to music and talking and then eventually making out on the couch, at which point he says, “Bed?” and I say sure and his hand inevitably wanders to my pants and I am either OK with it to a point or I am like, “No.” On this particular Tuesday, however, no making out occurred. For one thing, it was very hot. Mostly all he did was tease me, though. Like, he kept licking the back of my knees and generally getting me flustered and confused. And flirting heavily. He said a weird thing, like, “I’m only like this with you,” and I was like time to file this away for later consideration. We only kissed when I was leaving. He got up and hugged me; I nibbled his collarbone and he tipped my face up. Only, this was weirdly the best kiss we’ve had. Maybe it was because he was less aggressive? There was less open mouth? It just felt good; I wasn’t even thinking about it. Which is crazy, because most of the time when I kiss people, I am, like, analyzing it as it is happening, and shifting focus to my hands and how they’re moving, etc. This was just… natural.
I was so confused that I cried on the way home. So then I thought I had a crush on him, and I thought that for the next 24 hours, approximately. Which is part of why I was so desperate to hang out with him the next day. It just took up so much of my brain space. I could barely sleep after that date. On Wednesday, during the day, Matt (my roommate) had a bit of a moment where he told me he felt like I wasn’t paying enough attention to him. We’ve been talking about making a music video for one of his songs, and he’s already got an idea worked out (I found out, actually, that it’d been in the works for a while). I loooove the crossover between music and visuals (which is a big part of why I work as a videographer for a multimedia music company in the first place lmao), so I of course agreed. However, days before this, a guy that I will call Messy actually asked me to help produce a feature film, and I was like, “yeah,” so I’d also been doing that. On top of that, I picked up extra hours this week to make up for the time I’ll be missing while at home for my doctor’s appointments. I don’t even know if I mentioned that—I’m currently headed back to New York to see my parents, go to the doctor, and do a licensing course. The main reason is the doc’s appt., because last month and the month before I was suffering from a lot of headaches. Plus I need to renew my Lexapro prescription and I don’t have a psychiatrist so a gen. care person is gonna have to do, even if she kind of doesn’t know what she’s talking about, haha.
Point being, I was busy as fuck this week. Matt felt neglected and vulnerable, because he’d shared so much creative stuff with me in an effort to collaborate, and I’d been prioritizing other things. Ultimately, I don’t think it is entirely my fault (which he acknowledged while he was sharing his feelings—I admired him for being very communicative and sort of rational, considering how he felt… I mean, is there such a thing as emotional rationality? I am used to separating the two ideas because of my dad, but there are so many people I’ve met in college that have the ability to be logical while incorporating feelings, so idk anymore). I could have been a lot more vocal about my enthusiasm, though, and I told him as much; and I left work earlier than I was supposed to that day so I could go home and we could work on his (our) stuff. I also bought him some food, because the night before when I came home crying about Trip, he had bought me fucking mozzarella sticks. I think he might be the best person in the world—him and Maria and Liv. And my sister. And my parents. Wow <3
So we went out location scouting by Seekonk river and the interstate in East Providence. It was sooo fun. We just got a gimbal together, so it was nice to get some experience on that. We had to use his somewhat shitty Nikon D3100 DSLR (the photos it produces look pretty good, but fuck, the 1080p video is BAD—maybe it’s just the lens we’re using. It doesn’t seem to mount correctly, constant shivering and distorting against the body of the camera). I walked straight into a fire hydrant at some point while holding the gimbal; I almost fell face-first, but my instinct was to save the equipment, which was about a cm from hitting the sidewalk—I corrected myself by god DAMN my knees got fucked. I have this awful purple-blue bruise on my left knee; the epicenter is all spotty with broken capillaries, haha. But I’ve always been kind of obsessed with pain, so even though it really hurt and put my brain out of commission for about 30 seconds, I very much value the produced injury. I kept poking at the knotted flesh and shit, probably made it much worse than it needed to be. I like when I’m hurt, though. Like when I sliced my finger open last month, I just kept messing with it because I wanted it to last. I want to be hurt all the time. I’m not sure why.
Even though I had a lot of fun with Matt, I kept thinking about Trip periodically, wanting to text him. I was so distracted the whole day, thinking about that kiss. Literally the best kiss of my life, but to be perfectly frank, the bar for that is so, so, so, so low. I’d say before that, best kiss was movie theater guy from last April. I mostly qualify my favorite kisses by how well it interferes with my relentless thought process. So yeah, eventually I had to text him and we ended up making the impulsive decision to hang out (lucky he paid for my Lyft. Although if he hadn’t I wouldn’t have gone, haha).
He kept saying weird things, though. And we were making out and then he said something else, like, “Can we do this? Can friends do this?” asking me if I had feelings basically. It pissed me off, partly because I kind of thought I did have feelings for him, but who cares??? I already knew that he was unacceptable boyfriend material because he thinks he’s a sociopath and is otherwise very sketchy. We had already talked about it. Anyway, that distracted me and “hands were going places,” as he put it, so I stopped him and said, “Hold on, I’m dissociating.” I used that term not for accuracy but for communication purposes. I, of course, was not actually dissociating, as far as I know; I was just receding so deeply into my own brain that if he kept going I would have been too anxious to enjoy anything. Then, somehow, I started crying! I don’t fucking know what happened but it was embarrassing. I made up an excuse about trauma because I’m a bad person. He asked me if it was what he asked, and I said that it certainly didn’t help but I felt bad before that—partial truths. I did feel weird before I came, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened at all. I’m typically not that impulsive unless I’m emotional for whatever reason and I’m seeking a way to quell it. I didn’t say any of this, even when earlier he had asked me what my plan was— “Were you just gonna come here, watch a movie, and leave?” I said I hadn’t really thought that far, which was somewhat true. I figured one of a few things would happen; mostly I wanted to kiss him again to figure out how I really felt.
He was OK about it. I called a Lyft, but he got me to miss it by proposing I just stick around with him until he had to leave for work at 6 AM. We cuddled and kissed and bullshit like that. I should have gone home, honestly, but I was hoping I could undo the awkwardness I’d just created, which kind of happened. We made out for a while and eventually I was comfortable again.
He was kissing my neck, and he said it was hot when I twitched, which I hadn’t really noticed I was doing. It felt good, haha. And he took of my pants and fingered me for, like, a while. I don’t even know. I was once again surprised (and relieved) by how fucking good it felt. It doesn’t even feel like that when I finger myself—feels good, sure, but not particularly exciting or effective, even though I’m pretty sure I do it with a little more purpose and skill than Trip. I felt it in my whole body, though. I was shaking. Everything was buzzing and tingling, especially in my head. Just thinking about it kind of makes me wet, even though I sort of hate Trip a little, haha.
He stopped for a bit to take off all of my clothes, and all of his. I was only wearing two items of clothing, and him one, so I mean, haha. When he leaned back down he said, “so beautiful,” and it sounded like the fakest shit I’d ever heard I quite literally rolled my eyes; luckily he didn’t see. It sounded like a fucking FanFiction line. It sounded like a thing he’d heard that girls liked to hear. It did not sound genuine at all. But whatever, at the very least I knew he found me sexually attractive, and I was still shaking and tingly even though he hadn’t been touching me for a hot minute, sooo. It wasn’t my priority. I still hate it, though. The grossest shit I’ve ever heard, haha.
Yeah, so, he couldn’t even touch my clit because it was way too sensitive. It fucking hurt whenever he tried. So he just fingered me and kissed my neck. I felt like if he kept going for a few minutes I would’ve cum. However, I think he thought I came when I said, “need to bite,” and bit his shoulder. But as it was, I was too overwhelmed to argue when he stopped. I feel a bit bad, I didn’t do anything for him. But I kind of hate him. Hated him, at that point. Still. We almost had sex, but he didn’t have a condom. I kind of wanted to have sex anyway, but luckily I had the mantra in my head, “No sex without a condom.” Oh my goooddd, I wish he had had a condom. Idk yet if I’m going to see him again (if I want to).
We went to sleep naked at around 3:30 AM. But neither of us actually slept very much. A song by Ariana Grande started playing, and I said, “Ah, it’s Ariana,” and he started crying, haha. Sorry that’s not funny. It’s just, I guess Ariana is his ex’s name (ex by 10 months) and he was reminded of shit. He said, “A year ago I had everything I wanted and now I have nothing. I destroyed everything.” Because within a week in October, he and his girlfriend broke up, his car broke down, and he got kicked out of his parent’s house. Apparently he has to see his ex-girlfriend and his ex-friend, who are dating each other, every time he goes into work. I tried to have empathy, I really did. But here is a boy who tries to give me life advice, and who talks to articulately about his own life and problems, as if talking and doing psychedelics is the same as practice. He said he thinks he’s too smart for therapy. He followed that by saying he didn’t want to sound like a dick or anything.
The worst part is he sounds just like some parts of me. There were times when I thought I was too smart for therapy as well, to put it simplistically. Like when I did DBT in the hospital. Or even for years after that, struggling to explain the way I could simultaneously feel something and experience something out of my control even while aware. When I found Lancelot, things started to get a lot better, though. My last episode of depression was pretty bad, in the sense that it felt, once again, completely out of my control. And I have been angry about that. But Lancelot still thinks I’ve grown, in that I wasn’t feeding the depression as much as I used to. We still have work to do, though.
Anyway, therapy… ugh. Sure, Trip is self-aware and pretty smart. But the point of therapy is not to just hand you some coping mechanisms and kick you out. It’s supposed to do that, yeah, but it’s also supposed to help you change the actual processes of your thought patterns. You literally CAN’T be too smart or too self-aware for that, because the point is not to get it to a certain level but to shift it from one thing to another. I might be smart, but my thought patterns can be really shitty sometimes and I’ve had to learn how to change some of them.
As observant and self-aware as I have realized Trip is, I think he really fucking lacks perspective. And he assumes everyone has even less perspective than he does. So it was hard to feel bad for him when he was crying. I imagine it was the same on his end, when I was crying. Eventually he stopped and we went to sleep. He woke me up by kissing me, which I half-heartedly returned. I should have said no, but I didn’t want to alienate him. Which is odd, considering my thoughts towards him up to this point. I can’t just kiss someone for diplomacy’s sake, that’s so disrespectful. But I did and I’m not sure how to go about it differently in the future as of yet???
So one thing I gathered from the night before: he’s definitely not over his ex, lmao. He got dressed. Apologized for his “breakdown,” as he called it. The ride home was awkward. He had to come with me to Providence to go to the train station; his work is in Boston. I was dropped off first and he gave me the tightest smile I’ve ever seen. I slept a couple more hours and went to work. I tried to lay sort of low, but I suck at hiding my feelings, literally everyone could tell something was wrong.
Melvin even asked, like in the middle of a sentence, “Are you okay, Veronica?” It pisses me off, how nice and observant he is sometimes. I said I was fine. Later in the day, however, Messy was hanging out at the station and he started asking me about Sandwich (long story, but essentially I told him about this particularly offensive nickname Sandwich used to have for me). Not only that, but he drew a couple of other people into the conversation, even though I hadn’t meant for them to know. Was that my fault for telling Messy? A little, yeah. So they were all judging me, asking me why I’d been friends with a guy like Sandwich. I didn’t want to explain my low fucking self-esteem in high school, my desperation to please anyone I admired, my need for validation, etc. That stuff is too fucking heavy. And I was exhausted. So I told them to leave it alone. Messy tried to keep asking about it, but I got pissed off and he stopped. I was so close to tears. This was as I was offloading footage from a session we’d just done for a national artist; suddenly everyone was in the room. I was overwhelmed by the noise, and the questions, and the shame from the day before, and the shame as being confronted about Sandwich. I could barely concentrate. Melvin asked me if I was okay again and I pushed out a slightly agitated, “Yes,” which definitely sounded fake and I hated myself for not being a better liar.
Then he asked to see his footage and I was so scrambled I couldn’t find it. He said my name in a certain way and when I glanced over I saw him making eye-contact with his friend and smiling a little—they were laughing at how weird I was being. They were going to make fun of me later, because that’s what they do to people. I should know. I work with both of them every single day. They criticize everyone and everything and make a joke out of it. They’re funny, don’t get me wrong. But always at someone’s expense. Of course I don’t want to be the butt of the joke again. They remind me of Sandwich, and of Ethan, and of all the fucking people I’ve loved in the past; they always make me lose who I am because I want so badly to be liked by them, to feel validated even as they roast me. So I sort of hate them for that. Melvin asked me, why I hadn’t slept the night before. I was surprised, because I don’t know how he knew that, unless he was listening when I had told Messy I was tired and hadn’t slept much; but Melvin didn’t seem like he’d been paying attention at that time (I am frequently aware of who is or could be listening in a room most of the time). He was talking to his friend. I had said it earlier to another co-worker who asked me if I was OK, but again, he had been outside that room and in addition was talking to someone else. Maybe I was that fucking obvious.
Anyway, Melvin then leaned over to take the mouse so I didn’t have to keep struggling. I felt something bad coming on so I said, “I’ll be right back,” in a watery voice and I went to the bathroom. I cried in there for about five minutes, and spent another twenty-five trying to calm the fuck down. From outside the door, Melvin yelled my name and I was like, “yeah?” (proud of myself for how calm it sounded) and he said he offloaded the rest of the footage for me. I wondered what sort of shit they were saying behind my back and I said thanks. I bet they were gonna say, “she ran out to take a shit.” I am OK with that. Worse is if they talk about how watery I sounded, how frazzled I was, and make fun of my mannerisms at that time. Ha-ha funny, an incompetent person. They’re gonna say, “How did she even become video director?” because they’ve said the exact same shit about every single leader before this. I was pissed off and anxious and sad about all of this. Of course I can’t be the chill girl who pulled an all nighter with a guy, I have to be the anxious girl who cried at her date’s house and then spent the rest of the night regretting everything and will now cry if you step on her toe.
I went to the multimedia lab later to work on some editing. Everyone else had left, because I was just doing extra hours. Messy came by to talk about his project, asked me if I was crying, at which point I immediately burst into tears again. Great! He got me napkins when I asked and rubbed my back a little and told me to stop trying to do work for a few minutes. I felt so embarrassed, god damn it. He was mostly okay about it and managed to get me back into a joking mood in a few minutes. I couldn’t breathe, I was making those ugly noises when your lungs override any control. It was bordering on the beginnings of a panic attack.
After that I went home; got a calzone with pepperoni, olives, and ricotta—delicious depression food. Then I passed out at about 7 PM and woke up an hour or so later, panicking about missing the bus home. But then I realized it was still the same day so I went back to sleep and woke up again at 7 AM this morning. Took a shower, packed my shit, did some dishes, looked at the new DSLM Matt and I bought (more on that eventually). I got a 20oz bucket of iced coffee from Blue State and then called a Lyft to the bus station. And now I’m probably about ½ of the way home (it is 1:22 and the bus left at around 10:30 AM). I sent Messy some test shots from the Nikon on the gimbal and from a handheld shot using the Black Magic DSLM. Black Magics are mirrorless cameras, right? I keep forgetting. Anyway. On the bus, I’ve been listening to music, thinking about writing an essay comparing a CSH song and a Modest Mouse song. I might do that after I pee.
Trip hasn’t texted me; I keep wondering if I should text him. I’m kind of indifferent and right now I feel really ugly. But excited that parts of sex are actually fun for me!!! That’s so cool! I can engage in a human activity!!! Wowiez.
OK well. I’m going to listen to music and work on my writing. Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I feel a lot better. I have a lot more to think about, but for now I just want to chill—give myself space.
“IFHY” by Tyler, the Creator
August 3, 2019 Saturday 10:39 PM
I didn’t want to write about it, but I saw Adrian today. I was at the outdoors farmer’s market downtown with my parents and in the 30 minutes before everyone packed up it had just started raining; my parents were getting cucumbers and peppers and I was bored standing around with my too-expensive mint iced tea ($4 for that 20oz of bullshit—although, to be fair, the coffee shop by my apt definitely charges more for the same amount of cold black coffee). I started wandering down the street towards where they sell the sunflowers. To the right, I saw this man taking a photo of two others; they were standing against a storefront, smiling. The woman was Asian and I was under the impression they were a family, although I can’t remember what any of the others looked like. I saw this weird pottery that appeared to be on display as if for sale, but there was no one around to mind it.
And when I turned back ahead of me I saw Adrian with his whole family and he was already looking at me. I swung straight into the eye contact so there was no denying it. He gave a tight smile and a wave, and I returned it and then took a long gulp from my iced tea. His mom followed his gaze and found me and I gave another slanted smile with my eyes just to the right of her, and I don’t know what she said. I stood at the end of the street by the sunflowers for a minute, my stomach hurt. I went back to my parents and they asked me what my friend’s name was. I said he wasn’t my friend. And then I said Adrian. And my dad told me that they hadn’t stopped to talk; said they were in a hurry (I scoffed and said, yeah, right. Thinking that they would’ve have made time for someone they wanted to talk to. But they don’t like me so by extension they don’t like my parents). He had “lied by omission,” not mentioning that I was around. I kind of loved my dad for the gesture.
I didn’t want to write about this, but it has been bothering me all day, even though things have been good and I saw my sister and we ate Korean food. And I saw her new apartment that she got with her boyfriend, and it is in a nice location, and as a surprise she bought me this basket of non-perishable Asian cooking goods from the market in Albany—soba, soba noodles, sesame oil, fish oil, fish crackers, etc. It was so thoughtful. She was sick but she still made the time to hang out with us; even though she could barely get out a sentence before coughing for, like, a minute. Also, her boyfriend bought peach Soju for the table and it was so good! Ahhhh!!!
The thing is, though, I wanted to see Adrian. I know I did. Before we went to the market, I had the thought, that I’d like to see the people I don’t see anymore. But not to interact with them, just to see what they’re like and what they’re doing. And I thought particularly of Adrian; I wanted to see him. I’m not sure why. I don’t want to talk to him at all. It felt more like—like I wanted to see him hurting. I wanted him to beg me to talk to him. I wanted him to confront me with all his manipulation. But I didn’t get any of that and I felt kind of bad afterwards. I guess I just want some fucking closure. I liked Adrian so much. I have good memories with him. But I have to remind myself, the bad outweighed the good… by a lot. Being the person I am—low self-esteem, lots of self-doubt—it is a bad idea to be around him. Because he might not intend to manipulate, but that’s what he does, and in the end I get taken advantage of while being accused of having taken advantage. And then I end up like I did after the Halloween party that night; on the bus home to Providence, crying my eyes out, asking myself why the hell I felt so ashamed.
As always, I want someone to tell me it wasn’t my fault. But of course I do. My ultimate fantasy is to be held down and taken care of, without the expectation of anything in return—less than that, actually, without the thought that I might even be capable of returning everything. I want to be treated as inert, haha.
Anyway, it’s all fine. The cats are getting big. I’ve started reading House of Leaves. I watched Hereditary last night. Nothing feels particularly bad. I keep thinking about Trip, and whether I should text him. I haven’t decided. I have to get up early tomorrow for a driver’s thing, idk, so I’ll go to bed now. I feel less bothered by the Adrian thing now, so I guess writing was a good call.