"29 #Strafford APTS" by Bon Iver
womb, an empty robe, enough
You're rolling up, you're holding it, you're fabric now
November 4, 2019 Monday 3:48 PM
Today I believe in ghosts.
I had a dream last night, that I sat at a long table with my family and we ate seafood to celebrate my graduation. And then I was in a summer home and everyone had become ghosts, I saw them flickering past doorways and their faces were slack. I had to be quiet, or I'd risk their gaze and they didn't recognize me, but instead were very hostile in some abstract way—in which they'd speak to me and I'd become the person they were speaking to; I'd become their husband or mother and I'd experience whatever onslaught of guilt they deserved, attempting to contort away from it, they were sightless, "imageless," just speaking at me the horrible things they needed to speak, the content of which I can't remember. I just remember doing literal backflips away from this featureless girl.
I'm having an incredibly level of anxiety just thinking about this; my stomach is smoldering. I can feel the way my esophagus descends into the body; the very edges of it, all the burning rings. At some point there was this cacophony, of crows descending to the summer home, and I watched as a couple flew straight into the window and killed themselves (a breach of my horror trope knowledge, I'm sure), and then I tried to escape, but in the process I had to leave the house very briefly to go through this semi-enclosed courtyard, and a crow fell from the sky and struck me in the space between the top of my foot and the lower front of my shin. It hurt so bad, I tore the crow's body away from the spot and I could see its oily black wings, all matted; it writhed in my hands, and then bit at my hands. My hand and foot were both covered in blood. I rushed back inside the way I came, I had to force the door closed against an onslaught of falling or diving crows, I can't remember—if they targeted me, or simply stopped flying and rained down with exceedingly specific directionality.
(I've been reading a lot of Petersburg, which is why my language sounds so weird—I don't normally use words like this; it sounds like I'm writing from somewhere else, or through some other language, it doesn't seem right; in a way, it might be more suited to the task of conveying the sort of nauseating horror of my dream, since it was most definitely probably inspired by Petersburg's haunting prose.)
There was a man. I can't remember anything about him except that he was nondescript white and extremely massive. Not fat—just, massive. Broad shoulders, very tall, and wearing black (maybe an overcoat). He didn't have a face or a voice, although I'm sure we spoke. He stood to the right of me when Stephanie came in, looking like a mother. I realized suddenly that I was in a mutual acquaintances' summer home.
Stephanie treated me with the most trivial disgust. She rolled her eyes and told me I was not supposed to be there. I collapsed onto the ground and started screaming. All I could say was, "Get out, get out, get out!!!!!" That's all I could think to say. I was so ashamed of myself, and my display. I begged the man to make her leave. I was contorting on the ground, struggling to grasp myself and the floor. Stephanie was still regarding me with the same, you know... trivial disgust. Saying something along the lines of, oh, quit your crying.
The dream faded into something else. I kept falling asleep. At once point, Greg and Nadiya were in a room in the summer house, only that room was actually Maria's dorm, but she wasn't there. And I felt so happy, I asked them to stay so I could fall asleep. I crawled into the sheetless bed (the night before I saw Nadiya's sheetless bed while she was doing laundry) and I pulled the blanket over me and I woke up.
I am fearful for some reason—deeply paranoid, and sensitive. This has been the case since approximately last Wednesday. I wonder if Melville was the trigger, and then I feel annoyed, because I swear to god, if that's what sliced me apart at the knees—right above, so I'm just a little girl stumbling on bendless nubs... it just seems so trivial. Not necessarily shallow, but compared to other things which have tipped me over the edge, just absolutely a gust of wind or something. Who fucking cares? Who cares? I barely care. Maybe it was just the natural decay of my contentedness. Maybe it was just time for my childishness to come back, I don't know. I hope. I want it to happen without me, rather than know it was my own lackless, my own fucking—————it is like, I have no capacity for the stressors in my life. It takes only so much for me to jettison off into some depths inside myself, walk through a mirror into my eyes.
I feel the remnants of some words sticking to me. I want to shake them off, they feel—different. My pinkies are freezing cold. I'm not tired, but I'm tired. Tired-not-tired. Fine-not-fine. Mostly annoyed. Gonna have to pretend to be a normal person for the next few days.
I had this thought the other day, while I was watching Greg talk, that he has a very pretty-ugly face. Or a face that I trust and adore in a sort of way. It is doughy and white and bearded with dark brown hair, and his eyes are equally as dark and kind of small, and when he smiles his cheeks get a little pink. It's nice. I can see why Nadiya is attracted to him. He reminds me of my Polish professor, the one who teaches "The Russian Novel." I don't want to talk about this anymore. He has a wonderful face, I want him to take care of me. I want him to take care of me. God, haha. Just... God.
I wrote—I started writing. Oh, yes, I remember. I have some memory. Ah. I was watching Buzzfeed Unsolved's newest episode, where the guy Ryan things they've caught an FBA (full body apparition); and as usual, the other guy, Shane, is like, "no," and normally I'm also like, "no," but since my dream last night I thought, "yes." And it was funny because I've never, never thought that, but my dreams leaked out and I believe in ghosts today, I believe she is there; and I don't know what it means, I don't know what I'm looking at, but I do know that sometimes it feels my dreams are prophecies, because they are so vivid—and I try very hard not to believe that, but I do, have this immutable faith in whatever stories I've made up in my head. I suppose that is my pathology, always has been, is an inability to parse between the internal and external, the truth and not-truth, that sort of thing... unless this is all meaningless, and I'm doing the thing I do, where I say what should follow based on intuition and not real belief. So let's stop at a pathology: a preoccupation with making up stories and then getting so obsessed with them that I forget about everything else. And that goes for my dreams, too.
Like, in this most recent dream, I remembered another dream I had before this where I was in a boat-house and all the walls were windows and the floors were mahogany, and the couches were these neutral-warm colored things, geometric things covered in leather and without armrests—the whole room looked un-occupied, un-lived, I did not like it.
And I had yet another dream, where we (I don't remember who "we" is) were swimming to a sodden pole in the ocean, like the kinds of pillars that hold up piers; only the pole was standalone and very, very tall; it had a metal ladder on the side, and you were to climb up and jump back down into the ocean, and there were these networks of stacked piers all around us, weird colorful steam ships slashing regularly at the water, that sort of thing. Something was wrong, I was scared to jump from the top of the pole, I thought it'd be like hitting pavement.
It's peculiar, how when I don't feel quite "myself" (an easy, if inaccurate, way to put it), I'll think about minutiae for hours. I had lots of meetings for the Video Dept. yesterday, and every time I interacted with someone I had some sort of bruise in my brain. Leftover cycling thought like caught in an eddy, in my stupid hotdog water brain, my little moist meat-bits all dissociating, suspending and cycling, from the main mass, looking underwater like they'd be soft and dry to touch, the way the texture frays————
I left the meeting at around 6 PM feeling all toothed down, bodiless, or missing the outer bits; I felt really bad about saying certain things certain ways, even though I am not sure they even came across badly but the mere possibility that they DID, and that people SAW me speak that way, and felt I was callous, is enough to give me anxiety, but its sourceless and stupid and I don't want to pay it attention. Haha. I went to grad center and I saw Melville which made it worse. I didn't want to see another—just—floating thing—going about it, not-caring——but I had to be there, we didn't speak except to say hi and bye, and I was disappointed when he left. When I went running later, at around 9:30, I kept thinking he was around the corner or something in that green flannel shirt he was wearing.
I've been reading so much I feel half-conscious. Generally, I think there should be a good amount of production while one is inputting a bunch of reading material, but there's just so MUCH reading that I haven't had time. I want to roll my skin down like socks. I like the books. I like Petersburg and I like The Intuitionist, a lot. It's just also, a lot. I'm not really tired. I went to see the psychiatrist. She told me to start rating my daily moods and hours of sleep. I asked her, if it was okay, if my scale changes—because I was thinking, what is mediocre to me one day is excellent the next. But I don't know if she understood because she said yes, which does not feel very quantitative to me, except that it is a number... which might as well be arbitrary... it is vaguely within the realm of what I mean...
But, oh well. I've been OK. I was freaking out the day I saw her. I wanted to have a panic attack. I have been frustrated with this. I don't want to be ~panicking,~ it's dumb. But then, I'm being childish. It doesn't matter what I want; I'm panicked, is the point. This is fine-not-fine. I'm so worried about my relationships with others. Does Marie hate me or is she just depressed? Depressed... but relationships are not static, and every day we don't see each other we drift apart. Trust me, I've seen it, I've *been* it, I don't want that to keep happening!!! But I can't bring myself to prevent it either, I can only fear it privately. The sun is changing outside; sky is a darker blue. It's getting close to 5, which is when work starts... I am fine-not-fine, is what I had been saying. Tracking my moods, which have been solid, ricocheting between 3 and 5, never below, maybe a bit above, I dunno. I'm not concerned, but I really am. The nightmares, for example, are a thing. Diego said I seemed stressed. Everything he said seemed to stress me out.
I said, "No, you're not stressing me out."
And he said, "I think I am."
And I said, "Ugh! No!...This conversation is stressing me out..."
And he laughed, which I appreciated.
My eyeballs feel weird. I feel—burning. I am so scared of something. I think it's just some dream drift, maybe.
Maybe I'm just—I'm definitely just stressed. School has been hard. Balancing school and work is always a task. But now trying to balance those two things and social relationships is very hurtful. I keep thinking people must be so angry at my coldness... or disappointed in me, to be precise... which is a terrible thing, to believe someone is feeling about you... I'm telling myself stories again, and this is why I'm having nightmares. I want my heart to feel different. I admit, I've been running partly because I feel satisfied at the pain I can cause myself. It does not exhaust the endless energy, which circulates in my head and knees but somehow never enters my eyes.
I'm definitely stressed. I need to take a deep breath... and be okay with imperfection. Messing up in class, etc. Submitting a mediocre long-form story. Getting a 70 on a midterm. Flinging a half-baked paper at my deeply literate professor, knowing I am """"supposed""" to be """some kind"""" of """Writer.""""""
Yes. All is fine. Yes-less, all-less is fine-less. This—incomplete...—here's where I put into practice, my contentedness with in-'s and im-'s... I suppose.