This is a story about a girl whose body drips with fear, from the crown of her head to the blackened soles of her feet.
Or, to utilize a summarizing mechanism upon which I’ve leaned many a time,
“Believe in the you that believes in yourself” – this is the mantra I keep repeating in my head as I reach into the cooler for another beer. CLICK, then calm—the cold slides down my throat and I taste nothing, because it’s hard to taste anything when every other sense in your body is primed to escape as soon as the moment calls for it.
Over the course of the night, I’ve been ambushed several times already, sometimes by friends, sometimes not, but in every single case, as soon as their hands grab me at the arm or around the waist, my mind screams RUN, and then I go. It’s easier earlier in the night to play off this cat/mouse routine as a jest, but as my blood becomes more and more infused with the night’s debaucheries, this pretend panic becomes a little too real.
That said, I’ve been having a good time, and everybody I know here seems to be having a good time, and that’s all I really want, for my friends from different circles to get together and be friendly with each other, and my inner hostess is reveling in her accomplishments, although really, this was a joint effort by my house and my housemates have been doing the heavy lifting. All I’m doing is buzzing around from friend to friend. Joy is my honey. Bee metaphors aren’t that poetic.
But at this point in the night, I’m trying very hard not to hide in my room. It’s not that I have a real social anxiety, but rather that there are people here I know from school and band and living and work and I’m a very different person in each of those social settings, so to have all the shells stripped off and to lay my dizzyingly disoriented self in the open is a little strange. I can feel the delight, the confusion, the judgment, and as much as I want to say I don’t care, I do. These are my friends, or my would-be friends, or
And here’s where the panic really sets in.
I find myself cradling a bottle of peach schnapps (a habit I picked up from “The Virgin Suicides”) as time whiles away, and I want to apologize to everybody who sees me with it. No, I’m not normally like this. No, I’ll remember this night. No, no, I can see the mockery in your smile, in the tone of your voice. Just, let me have this moment. Let me pretend I’m the one you want.
Every time I tell somebody that I post this blog where everybody (or at least, anybody who’s interested) can see it, they always react in surprise. But how can you put yourself out there!, they exclaim, How can you write this stuff knowing that EVERYBODY can read it?
Firstly, no one reads. Secondly, those who do can read (and do read) stuff better than mine. Thirdly, there are things that I could never say that flow freely from me as soon as my hands hit the keyboard. On here, away from “real life,” my voice rings clear with unwieldy honesty.
It’s a writer’s curse (which is a word with a little too much weight, but whatever) to take to the written word so brutally, to wrench every letter from the mind and painstakingly place it into the physical plane. There are times when I stare at the computer blankly and wonder what, in all of the mighty universe, I could possibly write about, and there are times when it scares me how quickly I’m typing, as though my body can anticipate my words before I’ve even had the thoughts behind them.
And sometimes, I find that the only way I can make sense of what I’m feeling is when I literally write it out, regurgitate every excruciating moment in my head and then chart my recent history so I can play it back. It didn’t really happen until it hits the page. I don’t want to “paint a picture” when I see most brilliantly in words.
But people don’t want to read a thousand words. But fragmented colors and shapes are more intriguing than line after line of black text blazing from a white background. But I don’t care, I don’t care, not when it comes to this. There’s nothing inherently brave about putting things into words, but there’s nothing simple about it either, and as much as it gives me a little thrill to know that there are people who care about my words,
I’m writing for two people: me, and you. And to you: sorry ’bout the mess. I clean up well though, don’t I?
And to me:
SEE, WAS THAT SO FUCKING DIFFICULT?