Rye Meetings

Monologue

I burned myself a few weeks back. The burn was on my forearm. It was small and linear, because I met the side of a cookie sheet. I was making cookies. Not homemade cookies, just some pre-made dough you pull out of the fridge.

Usually, I don’t think twice about burns. I only noticed it when I realized a nearby scar from my senior year had just about faded into my regular complexion.

Scars take a while to fade on my skin, but I don’t really care about marks on my body. I tried to cut my wrists when I was younger — being a suicidal teenager and all. But I could never do it. I’d start, and then I’d get freaked out about the sensation. At that point in my life, I didn’t want help. I wanted people to know I hated myself with a passion. I wanted people to know I felt repulsive. And I still feel the same way now, repulsive. Medication dulls that feeling, though. Medication enables me to feel a lot more than just hate (or at least make it easier to feel something, anything positive), even if hate is an underlying emotion.

The mark from my senior year is the one time I successfully did mark myself for people to see. In short, I felt stupid, numb, and worthless. So I took the end of a wooden pencil where the eraser gone — only the metal ring was left on the end. I took that end of the pencil and started scraping the skin on my forearm. It wasn’t until my friend noticed and grabbed my hands that I stopped. By then I had already scraped off enough skin to show the pink of my flesh.

It could’ve been a larger mark — it only took up a couple of centimeters. And it might’ve been a larger mark, but I didn’t really care about that then. I only noticed the size of the scar now because my burn was half that size and in the opposite direction.

Years later, part of me still wants to burn and mark myself on purpose. Part of me always wants a distinguished scar or scab there on my forearm. But doing that now, no attention will come of it. Adults generally keep to themselves. I’m no teenager under the microscope with teachers watching my every move, making note of success and social deviance.

I guess it’s enough now to know and accept that that feeling will always reside within me. The majority of my being sees little point in marking myself like that.

That’s progress.

. . .

''...How do I look?''

— Faded by Homeshake

#ContentWarning #Personal #Music #Monologue

It's one thing to enjoy a song, and then it's another to hear that same song again and have everything click.

It's an odd serendipitous feeling of being exposed and recognized by a higher something — to be called out by a voice (you quite often) don't know personally.

It's never a slow realization.

It's always a faint tap on my shoulder. And as I turn around to see who or what tapped my shoulder, I get punched by the spiteful being that got my attention.

And it growls,                   “Don't you dare look back.”

And, at that moment, I understand that if I look back, I'll get punched again.

Sometimes I listen to them, let the music sink in, and stay in the moment. But sometimes I run toward what got me to turn around in the first place. Haphazardly staggering to connect the dots of my past into a story that so happens to parallel what I'm listening to.

I want to know — how did they know that this was the right time to get my attention?

But before I get too close to this creature, they vanish. And their laugh echoes all around.

I looked back.

Part of me is satisfied to connect dots in my life, even if for a second. But there is another part of me that is left uncomfortable and gnawed at.

Why can't I look back?

The only possible reason I've come to is this: There is a horrible, cruel, spiteful part of me is self-aware of my entire life's story, every possible outcome, choice. And that part just wants to see me struggle and suffer in trying to make sense of its sudden attention.

Because why entertain the idiot?

#Music #Personal #Monologue

This little boy came into my store with tears yelping how he couldn't find his dad. I forgot what I was doing before that, what I was supposed to be doing. But as soon as I heard his cries, nothing else mattered to me at that moment.

I was able to comfort him somewhat, we did some breathing exercises, but he was pretty hysterical the whole time. He tried to get me to call his dad, so I ran to get our wireless store phone. I gave him the phone, which in retrospect, wasn't the best idea, but he tried to remember and key in his dad's phone number anyway. He got frustrated, saying he couldn't remember and handed the phone back to me. He murmured how his dad could already be gone and tried to run out of the store and I had to stop him. I'd like to think the place I work at isn't prone to child abduction, but getting an Amber alert that morning didn't really keep me at ease.

At the store entrance, I lightly held him by his shoulders and kneeled to his level. I asked him his name, and through sobs, he told me. I told him mine. I said everything is going to be alright. I hugged him and patted his back. I told him that we'd find his dad. The boy stopped crying suddenly, and quite serendipitously, I turned around to find his father outside of the store's entrance. He wasn't even facing his kid. His back was to him, only his face was craned to his son with an unforgiving look and flared nostrils.

Part of me felt happy to see him reunited. But part of me wanted to be with him longer and have him calm down and maybe make him smile. I think he was wearing a Spiderman t-shirt. I wanted to ask him what he thought about Spiderman. I wanted to show him we had cool spiderweb shoes and a Spiderman backpack. Did he want to be Spiderboy or his own new superhero?

I remember my parents giving me that look when I was that age and even into my adolescence. I would always feel so unwanted. But even though I felt like shit, I felt better seeing them because they were home to me.

The boy didn't say bye to me — which is fine. His father said thank you. But I didn't want a thank you from either of them. I wanted to know that this man would be a loving father.

I wonder if this kid will remember me when he's older, or if he'll wake up tomorrow morning and forget my name and the breathing exercise we practiced.

I hope he's okay. I hope he'll be okay.

#Monologue

My sister was a huge One Direction fan. She had posters all on her walls and had various branded merch from them. She had a fanpage on Tumblr too I think.

I would hear her gushing about Harry, Zayn, Nial, Louie, and Liam, and it made me feel weird. Those dudes didn't care about her. They might, but they weren't aware of her singular existence. I understand that it's pretty much a norm to have a celebrity crush or fantasies as a tween. But I always wondered if she saw them what would she actually do? Act like she knew them? Because she didn't. That would alienate them further and keep them from being “friends.” But maybe she wanted an idol.

But maybe she wanted friends more. Friends telling her she was pretty and at the same time, allowing her to be her goofy, fun little self. Generally, people want that. And that's why some baby-faced boys made kids squeal “What Makes You Beautiful,” they fit that image and they and/or their agents catered to it.

I have artists I'm deep fans of. I have artists and authors who've kept me from dying, and I'm thankful for that. I'd like to think they're authentic because the experiences I've had by consuming their content are authentic to me. But they are not an active part of that experience. They're a catalyst sure. But at the end of the day, I'm projecting my own personal meaning onto their work.

Honestly, I would probably freak out a little bit to see one of my favorite artists in person. And a part of me would want to take a selfie or something with them. But they don't owe that to me. They don't owe that to anyone.

At that wonderful summer school I went to, one of my teachers told us, “Someone can say they love you, but you'll never know if they really love you.” That fucked me up when I first heard it.

Now I'm a huge believer in the saying: “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” I do think a degree of expectation or assumption is required to live in this reality. To just know that particular actions communicate dedication like love and so forth. That's how we develop relationships and understand others. But there never seems to be a clear line. And that's what makes assuming go round, I suppose.

This video by Renegade Cut had me thinking about all this.

I'm still thinking about this video and will continue thinking about it for a while. So this is all very rambly as I'm processing that still.

But yeah, parasocial relationships...

#Monologue #Personal #Philosophy? #Sociology? #Psychology?

You shouldn’t be ashamed of growing up.

I do this thing every few years where I scrounge the internet (of what I can control) to see if any horribly cringeworthy artifacts of my tweendom remain. I’ve gotten rid of almost everything and saved everything I needed to.

I’ve made amends with most of that, though. Nothing will be as cringy as me reviewing hentai. And trying to start a damn meme page on Facebook when that was cool. God, I’ve come a long way from that. I am forever thankful for that.

But even now, I want to smack myself when I see how I phrased something not even a week ago.

I’ve already accepted not being cool. I think that’s Step One™ to living with any kind of self-esteem shit for a lot of people.

(Accepting that you’re not cool or you’re not anything of note naturally is a better alternative than actively hating yourself, my teachers helped me understand that.)

But I guess now it’s more that I should be ashamed that I wasn’t that smart already. Smart enough to not phrase something a certain way or react a certain way. I’m not a child anymore in the eyes of most. But I guess I feel silly being self-aware but also not being self-aware enough to stop the little blunders and stumbles I’ve made, make, and will to make. It feels wasted on me. It’s sort of a paradox.

I wonder if our ancestors knew we’d struggle with our blessing/curse of conscience and made the deal anyway. But I know this pain and the ability to feel it is better than being docile. I wonder if they knew that too, or if they even understood anything about the deal they were making.

#Personal #Monologue

Dimlite – Sun-Sized Twinkles

During my freshman and sophomore years of high school, one of my favorite ways to digest music was to listen to BBC's Radio 1 Essential Mixes. I'd find an artist that sounded interesting, or who I vaguely knew of, and listened to their two-hour set. I'd be doing my schoolwork, going on a walk, staring at the wall, and these would play in the background.

I remembered these mixes this weekend while I was cleaning, and was curious if they'd still strike the same chord with me as it did then. I put on Flying Lotus' mix. I actually didn't finish the mix, because I remembered how much I love this song.

This song touches the part of my soul that always has a raincloud over it. This song is sad, dark, and lonely. But the loneliness it evokes is also very peaceful at times, in a sort of reductive, insular way. It makes me understand that I'm not so much trapped in life as I am someone that tests the bounds of what living is. I can be trapped in my illness, in this vessel that was forced on me or I can make the most of this mass of particles that is “me” since there is nothing else I can truly claim or control.

I'm not really one for strictly categorizing music by genre, but I think this would be considered part of the noise genre? I've never been able to get into noise music from everything I've heard, but music that toes the line of noise? I'm all about that — Extracting beauty out of chaos, but still honoring its chaotic nature.

I've looked nearly everywhere I could think of for lyrics to this song. I'm able to understand a little bit of what's sung. I like knowing the lyrics to the songs I listen to on repeat because it helps me understand the emotion behind it and frame it in the context of my life better. I don't like guessing the lyrics, it almost feels like guessing the meaning to a poem — even though that's what makes music and poetry fun sometimes.

Since no other place I've found has the lyrics for this song, I'm going to post what I am able to decipher, as I decipher it here. Hopefully, this provides some clarity to those looking for it. Over time, if I realize I heard something wrong or understand what was sung better, I'll edit these lyrics below.

Anyways, this is what I've always been able to decipher. And without the name of the song I doubt I would've figured it out:

Blinded by twinkles, the size of the sun They're smiling-sized twinkles, my soul's on the run

#Music #SongFeature #Monologue

I'm currently developing a system of gods and goddesses to flesh out my tarot-inspired universe. I'm working out their creation story and how humans became part of the mix. I just realized all of these gods and goddesses are pretty nice or rational, except for one.

I'm going to work on nixing that to make a more... realistic universe? This is all in the third person, so being semi-objective about it won't be that difficult. And while I don't want this universe to read like propaganda, I also don't want it to be “God's an assface” every second.

Even though my mom sprinkled in bits of Satan-fearing in me through periods of devout Catholicism and Illuminati documentaries, I was raised to understand God as an ultimately benevolent being. By the time I was almost done with middle school, though, it was cool to be an Atheist™. But the polarizing, “If you go to church, you're an idiot,” was not my jam. So I floated for a while between a spectrum of Christianity and Agnosticism until recently.

For a few months I felt, I hate to say born-again because of the connotations, but I felt like a Christian. I went to church with one of my co-workers. It was actually really fucking chill and not stuffy. People were our age mainly, but there were older people there too. There was music, and while it was a little cheesy, it wasn't something I couldn't bob my head to. I really enjoyed it. I've honestly debated on going back, even now. I marked myself as an attendee to a virtual gathering at one point amidst all this shit. But I really don't think I'm Christian. So I'd feel guilty just being among these people that for all I know sincerely believe. So I chickened out.

I know that I do believe in a god. But I don't believe Jesus was a real dude that could walk on water. I believed that when I was a kid. I don't expect Jesus to come back, do the things, and take all the “good” Christians to heaven. For me, religion isn't any of that. And maybe that's 'cause I've had to live with mental illness. I'm fucked in this world, already stressing over hypotheticals when I don't watch myself. Why worry about this new set of hypotheticals that I have to be taught?

I like the idea of church. Getting together with people, surrendering yourself to a higher being that may or may not exist. Discussing the literature that got you there and your understanding of said literature. But when you bring power and control into it, with humans amongst themselves not with God, then it gets messy. Everything between humans gets chaotic, and I think if there is a god, they made religion particularly sticky because humans will never understand the nature of a god. Therefore humans feel the need to emulate God to understand anything. It's a curse of sorts.

And spirituality + religion gets really twisted and disturbing when it comes to that idea – that idea of control and power being centered on focal points, focal people. Fuck that.

Spirituality might just be something I have to practice on my own, which is alright. I guess.

As I'm writing this, I realize how cynical I've become. It burns a bit. I often see myself as an idealist. But there are some things that I've decided to not waste my energy and hope on. Part of growing up, I guess. I also realize I'm not entirely sure how I want to go forth with my gods and goddesses and their morality. Ergo, this entry.

I don't want my understanding of the world to spoil my intent in creating this universe. I want to create something that's separate from me, even though it will still have bits of me in it. To be able to sift through the shitwater in my head, and shape that filtered crap into a universe, a story, that's more distinguished than its shitty origins — That's a gorgeous concept.

#Monologue #Writing #Worldbuilding

“Daddy, I have a cool idea for a story.”

“What is it?”

“So you know how people live in shacks and it's just one room?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I want to write a story about a homeless girl who can't find a place to stay, so she finds an empty garbage can, cleans it, and makes a home out of it with electricity and everything! She has friends, and she goes to see them but each time she sees them she's a little bit different and that's 'cause the garbage can is eating her soul, and she's transforming into garbage.”

“That's... very dark, sweetie.”

“Dark?”

“It's very... macabre.”

“Maca... what?”

“Y'know, like relating to death.”

“Oh...”

I stopped walking with him and looked at my feet. Thinking about what was wrong with what I said. I looked up and around and saw a few other people near us eyeing me through their peripheral. I was 10 or so and lost sense of my “inside voice” when I was excited. I guess I couldn't talk about my stories in the grocery store anymore.

Not too long after this, he gave me my first MP3 player and a pair of earphones. It was an all-black ZEN X-Fi Style. I used that thing every day and night until it broke.

I have a wide array of artists that I've come to listen to since my MP3 days, but I rarely really listen to the whole gamut of genres I like within a short period. Rather, I go through cycles with each genre or artists, spending days to months listening to songs and albums on repeat and discovering new ones. I've circled back to the Pixies recently. I was listening to Ed Is Dead, actually. Earlier today, it clicked in my head that their songs have a tendency to be pretty morbid or wild. I've always understood that about them, but I had never thought about this in the context of my transition into adolescence.

I'd like to think my father was conscious in steering me toward the Pixies. Even though I wouldn't understand some lyrics and themes in their music until I was much older, I'd like to think he nudged me toward them in hopes I'd identify with their storytelling and morbid imagery.

I'd like to give my dad the benefit of the doubt too because I often think back to when I told him I was suicidal for the first time. It had to be at least the third mental breakdown of my sophomore year. I missed the bus home because I fell apart not being able to complete all of an assignment on time because for a reason I can't recall. Because of this, he had to pick me up and leave work early. I know he'd be upset because he didn't like us interrupting his workday. He was a single dad with four kids and a dog to support. I was scared he'd be angry.

I sat talking out all my feelings with my school's high school counselor in her office. I did my late work while she called my dad to pick me up. She wanted to talk with him about my frequent breakdowns. I was not part of their talk.

The walk to his car was quiet, and it was quiet for most of the ride home.

“Dad, I want to die,” I whispered. My head was against the window, but in my peripheral, I could see him turn his head slightly toward me.

“Sweetie, what you're feeling — all teenagers go through this. You'll be okay.”

I wanted to say, “But dad...” and tell him I'd felt this way for a long time since I was little little and playing with dolls. But no parent wants to hear that. But maybe he was right. I was 14. Maybe all this would go away, eventually.

The optimist in me wants to believe that every suicidal person gets to a point eventually of, “Suicide is not an option.” But that's not how people work.

I'd like to think he consciously raised me to seek solace in music. But even if he didn't, who knows where I'd be without the Pixies. I can't say that I've ever listened to any of their songs while I was on the brink of trying to decide my fate, but they are featured one way or another throughout the soundtrack of my life. They are the unmoving pillar of my music foundation.

I remember talking with someone a few years back. I think it might've been a co-worker or a regular customer; I don't remember exactly. We were talking music. I'm not one of those people that's huge into music history and culture, seeing as how I never really fit into any group or culture anyway.

We were talking about alt-rock bands in 80s and 90s. I mentioned my love for the Pixies. The person I was talking with didn't really care for them. I wasn't offended, but me being curious, I asked why.

“I just don't. They're weird.” “Everyone's weird.” “Yeah, but they're weird.”

I remember raising and scrunching my eyebrows, trying to understand what they really meant. I shrugged it off, and we started talking about something else. I still tried to pin down what they thought was weird in my head.

Suffice to say, I get it now. . . .

“Cease to resist, giving my goodbye Drive my car into the ocean You think I'm dead, but I sail away On a wave of mutilation”

#Monologue #Personal #Music

I've never come so close to killing myself before. I had the means to do so tonight. Well, I've had the means to do so for a while, probably ever since I started wearing cinched clothing. But I never realized I had the means until this afternoon.

It almost feels like suicide would be the expected ending in my narrative. If my life up to now were a book, I'm certain that most readers would shrug at this ending. “I could see it coming from Chapter 4,” they would say. The part of my soul that's sensitive and pessimistic, wants to give into this ending.

I always thought the way I'd end up dying (if by suicide) was either through carbon monoxide, hanging, or a chemical concoction of sorts. I suppose what I tried tonight isn't too far off from hanging, but there was no hanging involved.

I experimented with several objects, getting close, but still able to take a breath even if I had to struggle to take it. Then I found the right setting. I felt my face get tingly, the music fade, and my vision start to blur. A part of me felt incredibly victorious that after so many years of inner turmoil, I'd found my own way out.

But then I became concerned with the nature of asphyxiation. Is death from asphyxia certain? With carbon monoxide, the levels have to be just high enough, and your oxygen source restricted just enough. I know with pills, it's always a gamble — death is never guaranteed. Even with hanging, I know it can take more than five minutes to slip into unconsciousness, depending on the circumstances.

With asphyxiation, you can lose consciousness and die within five minutes. I've never been that close.

It was odd. I didn't want to die die in that moment. I just wanted people to really know that I want to die. While I hate people looking at me for a lot of reasons, I want someone to look at me.

I want someone to look at my neck and know: “This person was serious about death.” I think that's all I've ever wanted. For someone to look at my face and not necessarily understand what I've been through, but understand living is not natural for me.

The object is inside my nightstand. Right now truthfully, I feel numb just from the fact that death is literally beside me. All my life is now is a decision. My plan is there. My death has become simple — if I take this route.

It's calming.

#Personal #Monologue

“So, I’ll have to work next week.” “...” “If I have to work, I have to work. But I don’t want to get you sick.” “I don’t want to get sick either. I don’t want you to get sick.” “I don’t know what to do... Do you want me to stay with a friend for the time being?” “I... I didn’t even think about that.” “It’s just a thought,” I shrugged half-heartedly. “But it won’t matter if I can’t get insurance.”

I pissed my partner off with this suggestion. Like silent-treatment-level pissed off.

I prefer to talk out whatever is bothering me, and I want to do that candidly with anyone I upset. I understand things can get heated, and things may be said that are hurtful, but that’s the point of talking things out.

Now, I think I understand he didn’t want to attack my view on work, dedication, and sacrifice.

School was the centerpiece of my life until I graduated high school. After that, I had to find another centerpiece because schooling in the U.S. is expensive. So that became work when I moved out at 19. I sacrificed much of my sanity and wellbeing for the sake of being a good student. I can’t say I’ve changed much in that regard, except that I’m older and have a better understanding of what a healthy and sustainable life is.

I realize that he probably was hurt that I wanted to sacrifice my health for a paycheck. And I was willing to sacrifice our time together for me to make money without getting him sick.

I should probably care more about my wellbeing than I currently do. I should probably value my life more than I currently do. Such is the journey of a 20-something.

Until last month, I was insured through my family’s insurance plan. Because of Covid-19, my family does not have that insurance anymore.

Fortunately, my current supply of medication will last me through the first week of August. But if anything were to happen between now and then, I’d have to pay full price for medical services and medication. That’s not the kind of money a 21-year-old has to spend comfortably. I’m proud that I’ve put the majority of my stimulus money in my savings. Still, that money will quickly disappear when my medication runs out and when I feel the need to see a therapist.

I can’t live without my medication. I don’t ever want to revert back into that creature. That nervous, self-loathing mouse who struggled to conform with every breath they took. They’re still there, they’ll always be there. That’s the nature of medication, to make you the optimal version of yourself to survive in this world. I understand some people choose not to take medication for that very reason. I understand some people look down on others for taking medication and advocating for it. I don’t want to be me at my core. I’ve been that and I never want to again.

My first day back to work is tomorrow and I work for a nonessential store in a hotspot for disease. I have to talk with my boss about insurance. I have a feeling they will not provide insurance even though losing insurance through my parents is a qualifying event. I hope I’m wrong. But even if I am, I doubt my boss will let me shelter-in-place. I hope I’m wrong about that too. Luckily I have a job on the horizon I could be able to secure as a replacement for this one. I'm not 100% sure that I will get that job, but it’s better than no prospect.

Right now, it hurts to know that I’ll have to be assertive about my wellbeing. And that this assertiveness may conflict with what people, I’ve come to care for, want for themselves and their goals in life. It hurts that my boss might make an excuse or make it difficult for me to get coverage.

This whole situation gives me the same vibe as when I left home. It was so scary. I’m glad I did it in the end.

Maybe this will be the same.

#Personal #Monologue #Covid19