Stream of Consciousness (2)

She won’t relax, she won’t sit down, she scrubs and wipes and dusts and won’t stop. No matter what we say she won’t stop. She sits and smokes she breathes heavy and she won’t stop. I’m thinking a lot about my body and how it’s situated in this big wide world with its thorny plants that poke into your socks. I have two small scratches on my ankle, red and stinging, from where I climbed with you. It was nice it was freedom, and then I came back home and doused it in thoughts. I don’t want to care anymore. I don’t have to prove to myself that my own face has a good thing. That it’s better than yours or good enough for yours. I don’t want to think about any of that. I want to enjoy you. I want to forget that I have a body. Oh gosh, I want to forget.

It’s stupid it’s all just thinking and staring in the mirror too long. I want to go back to sleep. It’s too early. I need to skip to pink skies, I need to skip and burn my throat with ketchup and lay down and check your name again. I miss you already, I think I can still smell you and hear you and the feeling of your arm is still inside my cupped hand. We laughed.

So here is me forgetting. I am vowing to forget. I am vowing to allow myself to look stupid. I am vowing to run in the street at midnight and not care and not care. I just want to not care.

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Phantom

When I was sitting with my legs under me in the grass, covered in a shiver with the wind at my neck, I was at first confused. How did it find me? And how could it have overcome me so quickly, and quietly? I put the heel of my palm to my head and rubbed it furiously. There was a voiceless, unbelieving sob (my own) as I asked—

How?

And then as it all gathered, I began to remember. He had been planning this for days. He had been there. I remember. I should have known.

Perhaps I did.

I remember the green glow at the edge of the window, and as I lay in the dark I felt lulled by it. It was like a lighthouse, fading, and I was meant to close my eyes before it had a chance to swing back again. I was meant to. I would have outsmarted it. I would have evaded it.

And then in the evening, when I was with the others, I tore and aligned twigs in straight rows as they spoke of their nights, nights they kept in lockets at their breasts. I pulled up my collar. I could not speak.

In the morning when I woke and went to fetch the water, I found myself led far from the path of the house. I was down a divergence on ground that has since been grown with green, and the blades of grass gave shocked, silent gasps as I broke their spines. The sky was gray like ash and I could see its glow from behind a tree. It throbbed, and I placed the water down and walked towards it—all on my own, too. It took me by the waist.

It was not pleasant and yet not unpleasant. I did not push it off, and when it lined my jaw with its green fingers I let it. It did not last, but it happened more than once so it must have taken a while. 

And then it lifted off of me, swirled high into the tree and watched me lying on the floor, with my arm over my eyes and my heels in the dirt and a scream in my throat. I took the water pail and lunged it at the tree, but it splattered back and made mud at my feet and on my hem.

I breathed heavy and hot. The sky rumbled. There would be rain.

I walked away, determined and pulling my hair back and up and tying it with a steadfast flick of my ribbon. I made my way back down the path, walking around the grasses and trying to ignore the corpses of the blades I had crushed. The clouds rolled. I went home and, in my fever of determination, fell fast asleep with my hand against my cheek.

I woke normally at first, stirring in the dark of the clouds. Still no rain. But I could smell it. I meant to sit up — really I did. I meant to sit up and retie my hair and go fetch fresh water for my face, but there was a whispering at my back, and from the corner of my eye I could see the glow behind me. It was pulling at my ribbon, my hair was falling out. I turned to face it.

Its glow was frightening and endlessly moving, like sick steam. It wrapped around my waist and I breathed it in, until it reached the end of my lungs. It was still swirling when I turned around again and bit the edge of my pillow. My chest was burning.

“Be gone, be gone—”

But it would not go unless I made it. So I swung myself out of bed and faced it.

“Come with me.”

It listened. It always listens when you want something from it. It will give you anything you want. I led it through the house, and had to keep down my cries as it moved around the furniture and shadowed the flower vase by the window. When we reached the front door, I turned to it.

“I’ve had enough.”

It was sometimes soft, and it placed a hand on my cheek. I held my breath and turned away from it. Then I waited until full darkness had returned to the house and I could hear only the pounding of my heart.

Soft twinkles started on the window pane. The flowers shivered.

I closed my eyes, slowly, and waited for the thunder. When it came the twinkling became excited, and my chest softened. I walked towards the window and pulled it open. Chilled wind and water came in. I slipped my body out, just until the waist, and lay with my face upwards. It was uncomfortable, but the water ran down my cheeks and broke on my lashes and slipped down my hair and chest. It tickled on its way down my collar and onto my stomach. I let it wash me.

Tell Me the Good Stuff First

I read something the other day that said “people who mock positivity don’t realize how hard it is”. I really felt that, because I know first-hand how impossible it can feel to try and rewire your brain. Negative thinking is a spiral. I’ve been there. I’ve reached rock bottom plenty of times, and the trudge back up always begins with the realization that my thinking patterns are largely to blame.

It’s not always our fault. Sometimes things really do suck. I don’t like having an anxiety disorder. I don’t like having piles of work to do for uni. I don’t like that there’s a war happening across the sea from where I live. I don’t like any of that. But I have to live with it. I have to cope. And I do that – or try to do that – by changing what’s within my reach, staring with my thoughts.

My little brother is prone to negative thinking, too. He comes home from school most days dragging his backpack behind him. Everyday is a bad day. The kids in his class are loud. They throw pencils. They’re aggressive. I feel with him. Kids can be awful, and I would never want my brother to bottle things up and not tell me if he was truly going through something. But the other day I decided to try something new.  When he came home from school, I asked him, “How was your day? Tell me the good stuff first.” He struggled a bit, but in the end he did actually manage to come up with something. It’s not much, but one good moment is better than no good moment (and sometimes one moment is really all you get). Anyways, the point of me asking him the question the way that I did, was to try and get him to acknowledge that good moments do actually happen sometimes – which is a start, if anything.

I’ll admit, though, I’m lazy with it. That was the first and last time I ever asked him to “tell me the good stuff first”, and that’s because positivty is hard. For me to even ask him something like that, I myself need to be in a positive state of mind. But I want to try harder. And I think you should, too. Honestly, I think we’ll all be better off that way.

So, here’s a good moment that happened today: my sister and I sat in the kitchen eating really sweet cereal and laughing at Buzzfeed Unsolved.

There. Your turn.

 

Sunday Stream of Consciousness

If there was a day of the week that had to be a pocket, it’d be Sunday. It’s a time pocket. A thought pocket. A dream pocket. Today I laid in bed for hours and thought of a thousand things. I traveled west and east. I laid my head on so many things. A palm. A chest. A lie. Listen, there goes his voice. When did I fall in love? The girl is supposed to be the object of dreams. I’m supposed to be his dream, but he’s mine. I don’t know if i’m his. Aramis. He’s a dream thing. He’s worthy. And so is he.

Life is coming up fast, but events come in trickles and I open my mouth wide like a drying fish. Bad simile. Ugly image. Not everything has to be pretty. I don’t have to always be pretty.

I keep trying to bring him in. Maybe he’s already in. He sounds like he is. He moves like he is. He’s all business. I want to be his business. But I’m afraid he’ll leave. I’m afraid I’m doing too much. I don’t want to come off strong. He thinks I’m brave. I’m not brave. I’m afraid. I’m thrown into action by paranoia. I don’t want to lose this god-given thing. And it’s god-given because I asked for it. I always ask for it, at the end of every prayer, on my knees, I say your name and say it quietly. I don’t want people to hear your letters falling on my teeth. You’re a secret and you’re lovely. Don’t leave me please.

I hate that I used the word. Stream of consciousness. Gross.

Am I really taking up so much of your mind, he asks. I kind of stumble. Yes, you are. I didn’t say it. I love so hard. I really love too hard.

Violin, cello, green leaf. Glass clattering. Slave-girl. Leaving. Sunday, sunday, sunday. So close to the edge. I restocked my meds. I have forgotten the meaning of the edge.

Will anything ever be enough?

Too Happy

Hush, put your heart to rest
do not lie awake and watch the window for his silhouette
do not think of him taking your hand
or the motion of his chest
that shuddering moonlit canopy:
you will not gaze up into it
or be swept by the rush of warm, summer breath
my god, I know it aches
and travels up and through your nightdress
too happy thoughts.

And do not think of that Neverland, your twinkling dream
do not think of being “mother”
not even to an ant
do not think of him as “father”
not even to that ant
not yet, not yet.

Wendy, darling, put your heart to rest
lest you frighten him
lest he leave you nothing but a shadow
and a cold, abandoned thimble.