thoughts unspooled and also irreparably tangled lol
"Bag of Bones" by Mitski
Fluorescent store lights, you shine through the night
Illuminate my pores and you tear me apart
Mercy on me, would you please spare me tonight?
I'm tired of this searching, would you let me let go?
And I can take a little bit more
Let's shake this poet out of the beast
Just a, just a little bit more
Let's shake this poet out of the beast
May 7, 2021 Friday 12:16 AM
I started this entry in my head so many times within these last 10-15 mins that, at this point, I'm not even looking forward to writing it so much as I am paying respects to whatever obsessive demon drives my need to write-write-write!
Beginnings went like this: something about how I would call it "Reading is the Worst (and other timeless truths)" and I spent a decent amount of time both laughing at my non-joke (obviously it's not a timeless truth), trying to make it funnier (what wry, self-aware thing can I write next to deepen the effect?) and then wondering if it will even be read as a joke by the 1 or 2 people in the entire world who will scan over my words and then move on to something more interesting (it's not funny—it's not even really a joke—can it be a joke if even I only have a ghost-laugh tightness in my lungs to show for it?)—and it was all going too rapidly for me to make sense, which brought me back to the main issue, which was that I needed to *write.*
Beginnings also went like this: being crazy as I am, Mitski's "Thursday Girl," was playing just a little too loud in loop in my head while my actual thoughts ran by, some of them chanting "Reading is the Worst and Other Timeless Truths" (this eventually morphed into "It's Mitski Season! And Other Timeless Truths" which then developed into a short background monologue on what the other timeless truths could possibly be), some of them having this dialogue about writing, debating whether I should actually invest my time in a diary entry or—or actually write something real. Because usually one or the other saps my energy. And yet, every time (including this time), I have the hubris to believe I'll be able to do both.
Beginnings: to ground you in the setting—this whole time, I cleaning the kitchen, which accounts for another level of thought that I have yet to acknowledge
(me, imagining myself living with roommates in Beijing, wondering if they'll judge me for the way I clean stovetops—I should watch or read a guide on how to clean everything properly. Most people don't look that sort of thing up, if they think they already know how, but I don't trust myself. Am I the type of person to read an article titled "How to Clean Everything"? Does it exist? Is it a blogpost or a short Netflix original series?).
Beginnings: close to the ground, sweeping, itching to get to the computer; but I can't, because I swear I can't go another day of seeing the stray garlic skins gather under the table like drift piles of dead leaves—is "drift pile" a real phrase? Did I make that up?
Beginnings: Maria walking through the kitchen tothe bathroom with her blanket pulled taut around her head, her eyes squinted all sleepy. She'd been asleep on the couch for like two hours.
"Going to bed?" I asked.
"Pee, then bed," she said.
"Gonna brush your teeth?" I asked.
"No, just pee," and she shut the door.
I proceeded to mantra-nize (there needs to be a verb) the following sentence, in my head, in wait for Maria to exit the bathroom: "Not for any particular reason, just asking." Was she in there wondering if I had just taken a dig at her breath? I hadn't. I haven't even smelled it. I dunno why I asked. I guess I was just wondering what it'd be like to be the kind of person who can go straight to bed. I always have to do a whole thing. Oil face wash, regular face wash, toner, acid, lotion... spot patches if necessary. Wash bangs if necessary. Floss, if I remember. Take my pills, then brush my teeth. Sometimes do a little face massage. It's a little tedious, but not in the right way. I'm not tired after. Just clean. I can't sleep so well if I'm not clean.
I decided I would just— ask her, once she left the bathroom. Not any of these complicated questions, because she wasn't conscious enough for that, but just: "Not for any particular reason, just making conversation," or some iteration of that. And she would be confused, I predicted, and I would explain to her that I was worried she thought I was implying something, and I felt comfortable with this weird mundane fantasy; it would be me, being vulnerable to an extent. Letting myself be unsure and unconfident (unconfident... is that a word? or is it "lacking confidence"?). I could fake it, but it doesn't make my crippling uncertainty ("uncertitude" my brain cries out, smiling—it's not a correction, just an alternative. I ask myself the ever-present questions: "Is that a word? Am I using it right? Is that the right grammatical construction?").
Yes. Because then I fake it, but I still feel it. And if people can't see it, it's not there. So it means something, to be able to voluntarily show it, right? It means something— does it?
(I'm thirsty but I can't get up for water, or my brain will vaporize with the need to be Worded, Ordered, Translated, Any other fucking way I could say it)
It doesn't turn out the way I want it to (and didn't I leave a thought behind? Unfinished? I'm going too fast but there seem to be some loose ends fluttering out behind me—I can't quite see what they lead back to— this is frustrating).
Maria comes out and I say, "Nothing in particular."
She squints and I coward-ize. "Hm?" she asks.
"Nothing," I laugh. Scrubbing at counter, spraying, scrubbing. This seems like a massive waste of paper towels. Is there a better way to do this? Am I doing this wrong?
Maria wouldn't let me off the hook until I explained what I was worried about. And I felt—well. It felt more awkward than I imagined it feeling, even though I know for certain that Maria did not feel awkward at all (just as she didn't register when I asked her if she was going to brush her teeth—and I *knew* she wouldn't have registered it, but I still couldn't just. Let the thought lie there).
The reality of it was... too tiny for words. A child's diary key turning in a poorly-made padlock. The reality of it is mushed now in memory, as if I accidentally rested the weight of my palm onto that corner of my memory. Must be— (must be! exclaims my brain, she's already speeding off without me with a thousand theories flinging off the sides into the dark oblivion of "almost-thought") must be that I have so much space for my own thoughts. Or if I can't accommodate my thoughts, I simply need to hide them in the images of myself moving around the kitchen.
That thought is swept up with a broom. And that one there, tossed with the soiled napkin at the trash, but—ah, it just missed. Should've crumpled it up more.
But then a moment comes, over which I don't have control. Maria comes out of the bathroom and real-time infiltrates my carefully controlled thought environment. She says things I can't remember anymore through the overwhelming avalanche of my own thoughts, and she made expressions that I didn't see through my own unfocused gaze, ostensibly fixed to a dirty countertop (but really, turned inward, rolled backwards and up and tugging hard on the muscle behind the brow bone).
It's clumsy, but I think I was embarrassed or something. I had performed the experiment and my results indicated that, no, looking to get verbal validation for my insecurities was not actually comforting. The idea of disrupting social flow by asking these awkward questions, even directing them at someone safe—it just made me feel worse.
The awkward is too tiny, the sliver gap between me and others— it's not the kind of thing I can write about. A dissonance so minute, like the shape of my eyeballs warping day by day—can't even tell. It actually distresses me, my inability to describe how I felt right then. How anything felt. I was so unbothered, but not completely, right? It keeps. Slipping away.
Beginnings: I've almost forgotten. I'm almost— there was some other thought here, and I kept it in the pantry. It was another beginning. What was it? ("Accoutrements," whispers my traitorous brain, savoring the word, because it's a cool fucking word).
Beginnings: there was a story, wasn't there? About— well, what was it about? I was having a story earlier today, too, wasn't I? Playing the piano, I felt the relationships between the chords, the fraught tensions. A mother in mourning, a boy taken advantage of, etc. etc. Is this a form of synethesia? Wake-dreaming. Am I going to have a psychotic break someday? I really hope not. I say "I hope not" because if I say it, then it's the mental equivalent of touching wood (sorry—knocking on wood. Nadiya says "touch wood" and we, as a household, have sort of adopted that from her). I don't really feel any hope or non-hope. I don't think it will happen. It's a stray bullet of a thought and it goes on past where my eye can make it out. Maybe it has lodged itself in a tree—like in that one weird criminal case—or maybe it lost enough velocity that it ended up slanting into the ground; for all I know, it never existed at all. I don't know where I am anymore.
Okay, we're done with the beginnings, and I'll ignore the itch of "unfinished."
I had my birthday (I'm 22). I graduated (I have a BA in Creative Writing). Both were nice occasions (I'm exhausted after following my thoughts so closely... god... this is going to be short but my future self will kill me if I don't at least try to document some of the more important events in my life rn...).
On my birthday, I had a headache, which I'd already been nursing for a couple weeks. We had planned to do our own bootleg version of the "Sci-Li Challenge," which is, according to the oral history provided by upperclassman before us, a game in which students take 1 shot for every floor of the Science Library (the Library has 14 floors, 1 for every number on the pH scale, lmao. Bc of course right? My dad thinks it's a hoot).
I think of the intimacies of hating oneself for trying too hard. But trying too hard in my particular brand. That is, constantly writing myself. That's right— That was another of my thoughts. Is that I was thinking so fast, but that it all kept writing itself as it was happening. Manifesting in language almost as soon as it manifested as anything, really. I could see it there, infantile and, you know, vaporous, an unrealized thought. Weird, hidden knowledge. The way I unlock it by coding it with words, like unraveling chromosomes. In many more ways, it is unlike chromosomes, though, huh? Because, like. Yanno. There's no permanent copy for my thoughts (god, I wish there were, but this is the closest we'll get). I wish I could remember where RNA comes into the mix here. Oh, wait—there's tRNA. But I don't remember what it transports. Whatever, I have a creative writing degree (!!!—although I've taken to just saying "literary arts" or, more of a lie, "literature," because it feels more respectable and I am fueled solely by shame).
Fuck—fuck anyway. Yes. Sci-li challenge.. I wasn't super looking forward to hanging out with my friends. I don't like being the center of attention (although I do like getting special treatment—it's a confusing balance to strike. All you have to know is that I spent the 7 days both before and after my birthday asking my roommates to do things for me because "it's my birthday week!" lol).
I let my friends know in advance that I might leave partway through our outing, because I had a headache (which I did, but I actually ended up leaving for different reasons). I made them promise to keep hanging out; I didn't want to ruin any fun, but I had already been starting to enter one of my isolationist moods (which I am still in—I literally do not need the stimulation of other people to keep myself entertained, as you can clearly tell from my deep-dive earlier). So yeah, I left partway through our outing, which is apparently when it started to get fun, lol. I called Caroline, though, and it was nice.
Speaking of her. Mom said Caroline's new medication made her not sleep for four days, made her energetic, "erratic," idk. It didn't rock my world or anything, but it did as any mention of mental illness does, and it sent me on a truncated spiral (I didn't really indulge it much and I don't plan to). Is Caroline manic? I am just—horribly desperate to know. Because if she's manic, then maybe— maybe we're closer to answers? And labels that make sense?
No. Ugh. It's just that, years and years ago—I think 8 years ago now, or 7—Caroline ended up in the hospital due to a problem with medication. She mixed it with alcohol and then went sort of crazy and cut herself open. She had pretty prominent scars (on the sides of her face, so pretty visible). I remember Ethan describing the way she looked as she was doing it. I have nothing left of his actual explanation, only the image it conjured: of her eyes glassy and a knife running easily down the space in front of her ear.
They put her in inpatient for a bit and she came out diagnosed bipolar. But it didn't actually seem like a relevant diagnosis, seemed more like they took one look at her brief psychotic break and another look at her family history (me having been diagnosed bipolar at the time) and were like, "Welp!"
She for sure has ADHD, which is what the medication was for. Idk— I wonder why that first break in reality happened. Whether it was just a dormant problem triggered by medication. And if this is the same thing. She's more sensitive than I am, I suppose. For me, it has almost always felt like medication is a dull tool. Even when I was on the 400 mg of Seroquel and I sometimes fell over (once I actually slipped down the stairs lol!! it really knocked me out), it felt like that was the only evidence I had of it. Then I acquired some voices, but I think that was just my ears falling asleep before my consciousness, in retrospect (still, my sister must've been scared when I came into her room crying about how I heard voices or whatever it is I said). And then I acquired withdrawal (couldn't sleep at night because my skin itched so fucking bad).
Yeah. Idk. I've always had to be on high doses of things. That said, with depression, you're not supposed to *feel* the medication. It's probably different with ADHD.
God, I hate myself right now lol. My line of thought is exhausting. I can't stop thinking.
Anyway, I think Caroline is probably fine. I know she's fine, that is. Of course she is— but I just. Want her to be happy and safe and not suffering. I feel like, as someone who just... I guess, I know how it feels to be stunted by your own fucked brain. And I wish something was helping her with that. I mean— I have the lamotrigine now. It still makes me cry sometimes, to know I'm not depressed. Like. I viscerally just— and it's not tears of happiness. It's tears of mourning, I don't know. I'm young, I know. I still feel like I lost so much time. In other moments, I'll be thankful for that. But in most moments, I still grapple with battered self-esteem and I just feel. ugh.
Not the point. I want Caroline to be happy. I want her brain to not be... yanking her around on a short string. Sometimes I remember I'm about to die. My mom's about to die. Tomorrow I'm crying at her funeral. Who'll be crying at mine? Will Caroline die first or will it be me? I don't— I don't really like those thoughts.
I'm very cold. My nipples have been rock hard this whole time in the most uncomfortable way. Rubbing against the inside of my t-shirt. My forehead hurts from frowning.
Earlier today, I was so nauseas and achey I thought I would pass out. Also, I had an interview.
Also, I'm almost done learning "Shock" by Yuko Ando on the piano (arrangement by Haru on youtube).
Also, I've probably listened to this Mitski song on loop like?? 15 or 16 times now? (I did some quick mental math to get that number).
Also, graduation was good! I got drunk for the first time in a while (after the fact). I felt like I looked nice. I felt—happy and proud (raging above the more negative feelings). My parents sent me flowers! I felt the weight of their love and neglect. I am, unfortunately, not the kind of person who knows how to forget. The flowers may or may not be dying—I should take care of them. I have too many should-thoughts.
My friend crush also texted me yesterday! :) We talked about Webtoons and it turns out, both of our favorite's is "Odd Girl Out"!!! (Friend crush is a girl from my lit workshop this semester; she was so fucking funny and cool. I may not have mentioned her here).
My Spanish is getting better!
I grind my teeth when I write.
I definitely do not have the energy to write fiction after writing this behemoth. Behemoth is a great word.
I sort of hate myself and am embarrassed that the above chunks of text ^^ are kind of actually how my thoughts are sometimes (the first part of this entry, that is). My computer is— she is trying her best to weather the speed of my typing alongside the maintenance of like 6 apps and waaaay more Chrome windows than is necessary.
I'm sifting for the thought that I lost. That's why I'm still listing things—a loose thought, loose change, the dream that I forgot is a large space in a library—no, a mansion—and she's vanishing around the corner.
Yes. Graduation was good. That's all. I don't know—I'm happy! I'm sort of afraid. But happy. Afraid. Happy.
whoever follows me on Spotify watching me listen to "Bag of Bones" for 1.5 hours straight— thinking to themselves, "Veronica, are you okay?!"
Try a new drinks recipe site