From the way you hold my gaze, like you’re reaching past my eyes in an attempt to decipher my soul, like you and I – one with the infinitesimal waltz of the evening stars – are falling into a gyre we’ll never find our way out of, I should have figured that I am the girl in the hypothetical situation you have calmly laid in-front of us. You’re picking your fingernails, choosing the least damaging words to tell a truth I’ve craved for weeks. You’re shaking because you’ve seen me crumble more times than one and you’re afraid I’ll finally, inevitably break. I should have known that I would sit in this exact spot weeks later – that when people ask if I’m ok, I won’t tell them I feel like I’m dying or that I go to bed hoping I never wake up again. Instead, I’ll nod. And I’ll tell them in carefully rehearsed lines that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl sitting alone for hours on end, clutching a pen like she’s barely managing to clutch onto life.
But now, in this sporadic instance of the present we’re circumnavigating, I’m talking louder than usual and you’re staring at me with your eyebrows furrowed – you clearly don’t know what to do in these situations. So, I pull you up from your seat. I navigate you through the crowd of people pulleying forward with a common anxiety because maybe, I’m trying to convince myself that I can navigate through anything – that I can navigate through this.
When I hear his voice, we are standing underneath the angst of dim, flickering lights. In brief sentences, he says he has no idea what I’m talking about, “you’re letting people come between us.” Grief sedated by silence, the beast within me scurries awake. Maybe you see her too because you’re completely still, peering at me like I’ve gone insane. I let you know I’m fine, aggressively enough to make you realize I’m not. “I’m fine,” I repeat.
That night, I digress into an internal form of anarchy. Like all my inhibitions are scurrying from the depths of my sanity, my humanity is experiencing a diaspora. Everything around me quickens. I digress into nothingness … and then, I feel everything. Over and over and over and over again I die, then live, then die, then live, then die again. Between each of those moments I realize I have nobody.
On the fourth day, I lay in bed and repeat the same thing I do every other moment when I think it might finally be the end- I stare at the ceiling, I play Frank Ocean and I count. By the time I get to fifty I’m not breathing anymore. But, Frank is. And Frank’s ballads are waltzing on the angst-filled walls. And Frank lives. And so, grief sedated by the impending alienation of self, I live …
-“et tu, Brute?” // I’m scurrying from a gyre I never thought I’d find my way out of
Dug from my drafts of October 2018