Bullshit bullshit and more bullshit

So I have something called chronic sinusitis. It’s basically like having a cold, except it’s a cold that doesn’t go away for months and months. In fact, it’s been almost six months now, with no signs of it miraculously healing. I’m dirt poor and saving for a house at the moment, so a trip to the doctor to possibly get treated (which by the way, could take months…) isn’t exactly in the cards for me.

And in slightly better news, since this bout with sickness and my uncle’s death a few days ago have made me absolutely paranoid, I sucked it up and went down to Planned Parenthood to get STD screenings. It feels like I’ve been sick since the dawn of time, even before this whole nasal cavity thing. Now, granted, that was probably do to constant, extreme physical/mental distress, but who really fucking knows, and since I have been exposed to several people with STDs (not sexually; I’m not a slut…yet), I thought it would be good to rule that part out and make sure I’m not spreading some unfortunate crotch disease to my partner or parents. How would I have contracted such a thing? I really don’t know. I’ve been tattooed, could have possibly come into contact with infected blood—but the chances are very minimal. In fact they didn’t want to give me the extra Hepatitis C test, but I demanded it (and paid extra) anyway. The good news: I am not HIV positive. The bad news: I have to wait two weeks for the other tests to come back (there’s about 4 in all).

And in more bad news, I have to go back for more stuff as well, though thankfully, since I am unemployed, this part will be free—apparently it doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping around with everyone spreading communicable diseases, but it DOES matter if you’re going around not using birth control.  I’ll get the usual lovely round of prodding and staring (as if the Q-tip in the bathroom and the little directions chart weren’t enough…). I’m not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. Mostly I’m worried they’re going to judge me because of my chest tattoo, or because I’m scarred from the tops of my knees to the tops of my thighs with what can’t be mistaken with anything other than what they are: self-inflicted wounds. But hafuckingzzah. Life goes on.

Also, I got an order from someone and I fucked it up. I spent $40 in supplies that I can’t use or return. Did I mention I was short on cash? Anyway, I may have it sorted out now, and I have my fingers crossed that what I ordered this time will be the correct size. If it isn’t, I well and truly am fucked, and I might have to cry about it.

I’m not going to lie; I’m worried. But I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it? As long as I hadn’t given something to somebody, then it wouldn’t matter half so much. I just don’t want my stupid mistakes to be given to someone else to deal with. I just keep thinking about all the times I’ve bled and when someone else could have come into contact with it. The times are many. What if they didn’t wash their hands and then ate food or something? What if when I shared a drink with someone, I had that bloody lip like I get sometimes when I’m stressed and I bite until it bleeds? I’ve left blood around the rims of my glasses before. I would think I would be smart enough to notice if I was sharing something with someone, but if it can be as microscopic as a pin-prick… I don’t even know. But the likelihood is hopefully extremely low. They’re always on about blood to blood contact, not blood to mouth contact. But if you can get things from unprotected oral sex, why couldn’t you get it from accidentally ingesting someone’s blood? And how do I know I didn’t get something from having open wounds on my lip? They even mentioned using someone’s toothbrush, which I haven’t, but still… It sounds paranoid, yeah, I get it, but three people in my family have had Hepatitis C. I’m more worried about the tattoos than anything. I went to a good tattooist, but you really don’t know, and I should have been more nosy, I should have asked. If there is anything I got, it’s my own fault, I know that. I just hope my paranoia is unfounded.

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A more sudden death

They said he had a few months, and then the other day there’s this call that he had a stroke. They had him on life support and then they pulled it a day later. Just like that. Gone.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think or feel. I’m so numb I couldn’t cry. There was just this strange hollow feeling. I’m so accepting of death, and truthfully I find it a little frightening. It’s not really human to be this way, not when it concerns people you care about. No one understands it; they think I’m just cold. I can’t blame them. What must it look like? What must it seem like when you give someone this horrible news and they just stare back at you and say “okay” and go about their day?

I’m no stranger to death. I’ve always dealt with it the same, and the older I get, the less I understand it. I never grieve. I don’t know if it builds up or if it passes away, just like the people. Where does it go? Or is it not there at all? There’s this awful guilt, this knowledge that something is wrong. Even animals can grieve, so what does that make me?

It’s a train of thought I don’t want to follow too far. You cross those tracks and follow them long enough, something always shows on the horizon. I guess I don’t want to know what that is. I’d rather not know, I’d rather not think about it. I’d rather not feel like a monster anymore than I have to, as selfish as that makes me. People grieve differently, they say, but there’s nothing in that observation that implies not feeling anything at all, is there?

I can cover up everything else, but I can’t fake pain that I don’t have. It feels clumsy and awkward as much as I have tried. I’m the best liar, I’m the ultimate deceiver, but I can’t bring about the one emotion that follows me the most.

Dream within a dream or the plant of death

I don’t dream often. Nightmares can’t find me because I learned when I was very young how to outsmart them. I don’t even have to leave them anymore because it’s always easier to build on what is already there—manipulate it, rather than shut it down in its entirety.

I feel like I have had this dream before, but I don’t know whether or not to trust that feeling. I walk around with a perpetual sense of deja vu that I can’t really shake. I see things, and I somehow know that I have seen them before. Sometimes I flirt with the idea that those dreams we can’t remember are actually dreams of the future. Maybe, somewhere, we already know what can come to pass, and with this foresight we alter our choices, change our ultimate decisions.

There is little reality to this dream, but it was so vivid that I lost my sense of what was logical and sane, and what wasn’t.

I’m in this place that is both dark and light. Everything  is lush and green, and the air smells sweet like it does here in the summer. There’s a morning dew settled on the grass and the sky is clear and blue. There’s a house with large windows that let in the morning sunlight. The floors are hardwood, and the ambience is warm and inviting. Somehow, my family is here. I wander the halls, searching for them.

I find my mother making dinner. I can’t stop thinking about what I saw earlier—the plant. I know she has used it before, and I want more than anything for its properties to be true. I ask her if she has seen the dead. She stops what she is doing and looks over at me. She tells me that the plant is dangerous, that I should stay away. The dead have almost taken her away before, and she fears they will steal me.

I tell her that I have a plan, that it will be different for me. We talk for awhile, she tells me what has happened before. Then she pulls a bag from one of the drawers and hands it to me. Its contents are a deep green. They are small, insignificant-looking little leaves. They lead to the dead, she says, and strangely enough I believe her. She warns me to wait for her, to not try them alone, but I’m certain it will be different for me, that my barriers and doors that I use in my mind in waking life will shut them out. They won’t drag me down, I tell her.

I wander outside. I don’t tell anyone what I am about to do. I walk through the woods, enjoying the light, before my curiosity can no longer be held at bay. I tear off a corner of one of the leaves and place it on my tongue. I chew it to pulp and swallow. Minutes pass, with no results. I take a larger portion this time, and within seconds, the world begins to dim. It’s as though a filter has been switched on, letting  in only the ugly light. The sun has gone away, and my vision is beginning to blur. The trees have  become bent and ominous, and where there was once light, the darkness is creeping in from all around. I stumble, feeling cold and alone. Someone is shouting at me, but I can’t understand what they are saying.

There are no dead here, I realize. Only sorrow and pain. I know I am searching for someone, someone important, someone I needed to talk to, but I am all alone.

When I come to, my mother is there. She is angry at me for going off alone to speak to them. I don’t have the heart to tell her that there was no one there. She says she and my father are getting a divorce, and although it surprises me, it doesn’t make me upset. I tell her to do what feels right, what make  her happy. I can’t stop thinking about the plant, and how the dead failed to materialize.

I try it again. I take more and more, hoping for a different outcome, but it seems that the more I ingest, the more the startling loneliness strangles me in its grasp. We’re all dead, I think, laughing to myself, lost in my haze. The world is twisted and rotted, but it seems more real that way.

I can’t see the dead, I realize. I’m different from those who can. I am not so special as I had tried to convince myself, and this person I wanted to see, does not wish to see me. It’s over, I think to myself. I laugh and laugh, even as the woods go exceptionally dark, and I feel that all too familiar discontent and hate and self loathing bearing down on me, forcing their way into my very being.

This is what I am, I think to myself. I am not so special.

Departure Plan

Everything is so strange right now. I’ve been trying to make sense of it, but for fear of returning to my old ways, I feel as though the best course of action is to carry on, and try not to stop and remember that there isn’t a reason why. I could say I’m not depressed, but it wouldn’t be true; I’m simply in a different state of mind. There’s this odd indifference that seems to be worsening. I have no real concerns for anything—I’m just moving along because I know if I stop and look back, there will be nothing there that I see as worthwhile.

I’ve wasted a lot of time, but I can tolerate things now better than I could previously. That’s a start, I guess. I’m doing things I never thought I’d try, and even though the voice inside tells me it’s not going to last, I’m not going to back away. I’ve been spending a lot of money, and I strangely don’t care. There are things I want, things to make me more comfortable, and I realize now that those comforts are all I have. There’s companionship and all of that, but it makes no impact on that void that has always been.

There’s something hollow and cut-off inside of me. It makes me so cold sometimes, so cold that I can’t cry, that I can’ feel anything at all. It’s a bliss compared to that old pain, but people don’t understand it. They can’t understand the way I can block off things, or the way that crashing waves can just slide on passed me without even getting my clothes wet. They don’t know what it is to be a person who doesn’t understand some of the basic emotions.

It’s so bad now that I almost can’t write. My characters come out cold and cruel because I can’t remember what they are supposed to feel or think, I just know the beautiful grey nothingness, and what it means to be this inhuman, monstrous thing. But god, what it is to live in a world with no emotional pain. It takes a smashing blow to even begin to crack the veneer. And even then, there’s this sick satisfaction because I know it won’t last long. My emotions—the few that there are—are so fleeting that they are nothing more than blinks in my existence. 

I’ve been trying to fake it, to seem normal, but the concern over people ‘discovering’ me is waning. I make flat, half-hearted attempts, because in my core I don’t care. Let them hate, let them think I’m some kind of freak. Haven’t they always anyway? 

I’m nearly 23, and I realize now that I don’t care where life takes me. I don’t want to go to college, I have no interest in having a particular vocation. All I know is that regardless of my situation I plan to take and get what I want. There is nothing in my way but people, people who will fold at your slightest insistence, and I’m seeing that now. I’m seeing the power I have always had but been too withdrawn and shy to use.

You have to be forceful, and you have to learn to not care, and I am learning. I’m putting myself out there. I’ve been letting people have a go at me, letting them laugh, letting them criticize, and the more I do, the less and less their words seem to matter. I want what I want, and their desires don’t make a shit bit of fucking difference. They can tear down my art, or the things I write. Let them. It hasn’t been stopping me, not like it used to. The smallest criticism and I would tear up a drawing, or not finish a story. I was doing things for them, and now I want to do things for me. I want to make what I like, write about what interests me, not what’s going to win the popularity contest.

I’ve been saying this for so long, but now it’s truly sinking in. I am actually getting it. I am believing it, and it’s changing me. I never thought I’d develop a thicker skin, but here it is, and I know that not long from now it will be impenetrable. There’s nothing wrong with fading into selfishness. What is it they say? You have to love and take care of yourself, put your needs first, before you can take care of others? Well, I am starting to believe it.

I’ve made so many stupid choices, but I can see now. I’m going to go where I want to go, and I’m not going to be held back anymore. And let them scoff. No one has to like me. Even the nastiest people can get what they want, so long as they are willing to fight for it.