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April 10, 2021 Saturday 2:27 AM
There are sometimes things in the air, certain open smells—I don't know, a cast of light, or—I don't know, the wind at 30 mph coming through a crack in the car window. I don't know. Maria says there has been a shift in the energy of the world. We all had vivid dreams last night (in mine, I kept peeing uncontrollably, I had a dirty and smelly room—I couldn't smell it but other people could—and my best friend Kageyama, from Haikyuu, was in love with me, and cuddled my back in my smelly-ass room and gave me small smiles; which after I woke up, was kind of weird because Kageyama is angry and like 15 years old and a cartoon so.... gross?).
I saw a guy in the grocery store check out today that almost looked like Melvin. I haven't thought of him in awhile, and I doubt Melvin is anywhere near Providence since he graduated awhile ago, but I couldn't stop staring at this stranger. He didn't have the right nose, although I wasn't sure because it was obscured by a mask. The height was about right, and the narrow shoulders, but the shape of his chest—it was softer and Melvin was very thin. I spent awhile squinting at the chest and wondering if it had just changed—he was wearing a button-down, and I always imagine Melvin in button-downs for some reason. I think he wore them a lot maybe? I don't remember. I didn't spend enough time examining the hair, but it was dark. Maybe I should have looked at the eyes more.
The guy wasn't particularly paying attention to the rest of the environment beyond checking out because I was staring pretty hard and obviously, but he never once looked around. I wonder if I do that same thing. I feel as if I am always being watched, so I do make it a point to look around generally, but who knows—maybe I'm also very focused in check out, because it is a social situation, and those sorts of things stress me out a little.
Anyway, that was that. He left. I was with Nadiya and Maria and I soon forgot about the dude, except for a brief glance around the parking lot. Later in the night, I saw Melvin had posted a story on instagram. I don't check a lot of stories—I check my roommate from last year's story because she's a very cool and interesting person and puts all kind of fascinating stuff up, and I'll check my sisters because, you know, she's my sisters. Occasionally other peoples. Idk if Melvin posts a lot of stories, but if I see them, I'll usually look and this time was one of those times.
It was a video—hands only—of him playing a Chopin piece (a nocturne? I can't remember which one—I tried for a short time to figure it out, but I gave up, I just know I recognize the sound like I'd recognize the curl of a mouth; a fluttering piece, the curves of which I must've heard a hundred times in my headphones at libraries and at desks and maybe even on the record player that we keep in the living room). And there was some text, about how he thought he'd never be able to play the piece and he was like, "I want to know if anyone other than [insert some tagged person] can name this song!" which is why I tried to figure it out. I ended up instead listening to Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1 and I began reading it (I'm about 6 measures in—it's a four page piece).
I didn't watch the whole video of him playing, but I watched enough to be kind of angry. Because he has very nice and precise hands, which pissed me off a little. And I got up to practice because I was pissed off. Usually I only play piano for the fun of it, but part of it today was to prove myself or something. It's always a little less fun that way and I hope it fades.
I was chatting about it vaguely to Nadiya afterwards, although I didn't mention Melvin's name because I've already had conversations about him and it felt stupid to bring him up when he doesn't really matter. Like talking again and again about Stephanie or something—I was hurt, sometimes I'm still hurt, sometimes I can't figure out where the hurt comes from, but so what? Who cares? I've said it all before, so why say it again? (Why can't I stop saying it? Again and again and again and again—)
I told Nadiya I got angry after watching a video of someone playing a piece. Nadiya said, "Oh, cool. It's kind of like having an overbearing parent," and I was like, "Huh?" and she said, because usually overbearing parents force their kids into being better and better. But I just have it inside (yes, yes I do—but I have other people there, too, and I'm glad for that—glad for the part of me that pet my hair earlier today and said, "I know you're tired, you had a long day and you deserve to sleep." I didn't listen to her when she told me to close my eyes and rest, but I appreciate her all the same).
I said, "Yeah, but sometimes it sucks," because I get really envious of people who do something well, which makes it harder to appreciate the beauty of their art. It's a bit painful—because I can see the beauty, but it hurts too much to get as close as I'd like to. If it'd been a stranger, I'd've been up there with my nose to the glass, but being jealous as I am, seeing them living their lives the way I can't, I have to look away. But sometimes I don't have the choice—or more likely, I can't stop myself from indulging in that weird kind of self-sabotage. I have to look.
I'm working on it. It's insecurity. I'm also working on saying less out loud, being a little less confessional. It's slow-going.
I didn't say all of this to Nadiya, just some of it. I said I had to work harder to appreciate other peoples' stuff. She said, "Yeah, that must suck."
I had a realization in an instant, that I wasn't jealous of Melvin's playing piano—at least not completely. I was just remembering him with harbored hurt. I've been doing that a lot the past few days? I'm on my period, maybe that's why. I'm being nice to myself to try and compensate for my sensitivity, but the tiniest thing will bring up obscure memories tied to even more obscure pain.
Maria said the word "tugboat" while I was exiting the freeway and I had a flash-memory of one of my fiction workshops from sophomore year and how I got into this really excited conversation with Dan (my crush but also I sort of hated him, it's a whole thing) and we made up a character who lived on a boat. Anyways, I ended up being really embarrassed afterwards for how excited I got. I haven't thought about that in a very long time, but the memory surfaced along with a fresh shame, as if I was that same person coming out of that same instant. I groaned aloud and told Maria I had another one of those flashback memories.
She was like, "was it because I said the word tugboat?"
I laughed because it was absurd but, "yeah."
Beyond knowing I was weirdly hurt by the thought of Melvin— something I'm sewing into last night's bad dream and today's bad memories— I stopped thinking about it for a few hours. Just now, trying to get to sleep, though, it came up again.
I thought of how pretty he was (is?), and I thought of how I wrote about him (indirectly and not as the focus) in what LH called a "prose essay," last semester. LH liked that piece. Recently, he sent me another email complimenting my work and telling me I was talented, and this is another thing I've been agonizing over. I don't believe him. I desperately want him to keep saying these things to me.
The little whiny part of me that wishes I was beaten bloody on the ground so I could be held and bandaged up (shameful part of me, and much smaller now—smaller than the part of me that wants to be laughing and joking and the one who is never sad except for late-night confessionals in the dark while cuddling—still an indulgent thought, but less pathetic, haha): that old part in reprise, but, like, softer. I keep imagining the weird music in NGE and all those flashing colors and Asuka yelling something about how she wants mommy to love her??
Please keep complimenting me. You said "you must be tired of my compliments" (probably not serious lol—Idk, I don't know you that well), but I'm desperate for them. I don't know if I'm doing well or not. I just keep writing. Writing and writing and writing—dealing with serious and deep topics, you say... Sir, my main focus right now is a story about a GUY who munches on his BELOVED pet. How is it? That you're seeing the pain I keep in there? I'm trying to say with this story— that it's all very stupid, just as much as it is intense. The feeling, I guess, of being infinitely dense and unreachable. Not empty, right? Entirely solid and unilluminated. If you touch me, I will squirm until I can slip out of your grasp. Haha, I'm just joking around—haha, that's Veronica, she doesn't like being touched. I'm always worried that someone might be able to smell or taste me, and that they won't like it. If they hook their pinky into mine, I start wondering what they want from me? What it is I'm supposed to do?
I mean— it's not that serious. I'm frustrated because it really sounds like I'm angsting, but I promise I'm not. I keep thinking about how Maria touches me all the time and tries to hug me and ruffles my hair (annoying but also nice?) and compares me to a cat in my touch-moodiness. She says when I'm tired, I make these specific variations of grunts and she also knows what I am saying just by the lilts in my voice when I brush my teeth, answers in full sentences. She knows things like that and hooks her pinky in mine and I'll let it hold for a bit before I squirm away again and she'll say, "Noooo you hate me," lol.
I actually love that she's so physically affectionate. It's too bad I can't stand it—have a really hard time powering through the anxiety it gives me. But it's so nice that she keeps trying. Liv was the same way. Liv had to deal with a lot more, though—sometimes I'd go pissed off and quiet. I think I'm a bit better about that now.
My point is—sorry, I keep getting off track and saying things that don't sound right. I'm trying to lighten the mood I accidentally leadened with my stupid prose. But I'm in the same clinical and content mood I've been in this whole time. None of the bad stuff matters—the memories, the nightmares—it hurts and I feel shame and I feel the root of a migraine in my eye (I took at least 4 advil and 4 excedrine migraine pills today). But I don't really care? I don't really care. I can't focus that well—I don't care. Things are good and I love myself. I also love medication <3 when it works.
I didn't finish my line of thought. Self-interrupting. Point is: point is: point is: (I was wondering if I had some sort of Daddy Validation thing going on and that's why I wanted LH's approval. But nah, I think I just need validation in general to make up for my sewer system self-esteem).
Melvin. Didn't want me. What bothers me most isn't even that. It's that I keep thinking—and I'll never be able to confirm this—that he saw me as young. I remember this one time I told him I had a hard time sleeping and waking up, and he said something about how he used to be that way when he was at NYU and that I'd get past it. He probably didn't know this, but I had read an essay he published about how while attending NYU he was experiencing depression or something like that. Or maybe the culmination of a long depression.
I remember being bothered that Melvin would say something like that to me. The same way I'd get angry at Lancelot for trying to decipher me when I first began seeing him for therapy. As if he knew what I was thinking or what I had been through.
As if I were young. As if I haven't been living parallel-then-intersecting (then back, or both?) with mental illness. Like I didn't fucking know it was obvious that I was depressed and anxious and generally not in a good state (at the time, I had been something like 5 months into a really deep depression). Like I didn't know where it sourced or what my patterns were. I've been examining my states of mind for 10 fucking years. I'm not saying I'm a perfectly self-aware person, but the implication, not just of his words but also of his scoffs and half-laughs—
Well, I never knew him very well. I may've misinterpreted it. He sat very close to me early in our days working together one time when he was looking at an edit I was doing. As in, shoulder to shoulder. I could smell his cologne. And that was pretty much it for me. Gross. I spent the rest of the summer as a wounded animal casting yearning glances at this weird gangly man with a penchant for fart jokes, wishing i was the kind of person that could insert myself into his life. Or maybe entice him with my very obvious brokenness. Bleeding body, hug me tell me it's okay sort of desperation. Unhealthy shit, but fuel for a fantasy, yanno?
He'd do shit like that all the time, though. Tease me, be close and then not. I didn't understand his way of interacting with me and I still don't, but boys are confusing and I'm either bad at reading signals or they are very fickle. Something about me and my dark/self-deprecating jokes turns people off, maybe? Nah—it's something else. I've got worse qualities than that. But who cares. I've broken hearts here and there, so whether some end up pulling back from me is whatever. Out of my control, or maybe just a slightly unreasonable distance from my control.
Ugh. I remember he half-jogged to walk with me after class only to stare straight ahead and say very little to assist in the conversation. Man, what a bitch. Those were my thoughts at the time, too. I was always thinking he was such a little bitch boy asshole, but I liked him anyway because he was funny and cute and smart—all of which, combined, was annoying, but I accepted it. I even considered asking him on an actual date, but things sort of dissolved and it became too—fantastical.
It felt sometimes like he knew (or thought he knew) what I was thinking and would behave accordingly. To push me away when he thought I was getting to romantically attached, the way I'd do to Diego back when his crush made me really uncomfortable. I could see that being the case, which, super fair, yanno? Again, the rejection isn't it. It's part of it, for sure, but—he didn't even know me. That's what pisses me off. I'm not that sad, pathetic person—I might've thought that was who I was, but I'd been fighting my own moods for so long that it was hard to tell. Even then, instinctually, I knew, I'm a smiley person. Laughing and silly and stuff. I don't know. This is sort of stupid, haha.
I don't know him either. Really not fair for me to be having this one-sided and angry analysis with a largely empty data set.
All right, well. I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Every night before I fall asleep, I start writing in my head—usually about different things, though. I think yesterday, I wanted to write in here, have a conversation with myself about— about art. Or about gender? I don't know, I've been having so many ideas, an overactive and underused mind. But every time I tell myself I'll write it in the morning and then I don't. So I decided to write it this time.
It's exactly 3:27 AM.