my hometown is poisioness...
it is home... but not one to be comfortable in.
a dark cloud of disapointment hangs over it, as the roads are covered in shattered green and brown bottles that had been leaked out to the very last drop of alcohol. it is surrounded by vultures that eagerly await their next victim taken...if you young its probably suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence or a speeding car.... if you old it is due to old age, sickness or sometimes the same as the young. however the young go before the old causing a rush of anxiety to curse through my veins.
dont get me wrong their are good to be remembered. like car shows, community functions, stage plays....
but the aim is always to get out of my hometown before it too sucks you in...
My name is Hanna
As a special investigator for the FBI, I have been involved in several deep-rooted cases. High profiles of murder suspects; some as low-life as you can imagine, and others, who, end up being the least suspected of the batch, but that’s where I come in, to separate the factual from the fantasy.
But there is one case I have been put in charge of that I cannot solve. This person takes each victim and doesn’t just kill them. The murder suspect actually takes certain parts of the body and cooks them and creates a meal.
What parts that aren’t used are burned, and the ashes are rid of as if placed in an urn and then distributed in a wind, over a lake, even poured over mountain caps, simply buried, or flushed down a toilet.
Ten years, twenty-seven arrests, twenty-seven convictions, and yet—and yet this one perp cannot be found. But I know why when no one else at the FBI, don’t.
It is me. Hanna Lector. And I so love a well done fava meal. Care to join me for dinner?
The Ruler and Her Assassin
You appear before me the night I am crowned, and I almost think it is a dream. But how can it be? In all my dreams you are young and sprightly, your laughter echoing from my memories, and your sadness from the depths of my soul. This person before me right now is but a husk of the young girl I knew.
"Queen," you address me. Not by my name, but by title. And just like that, I know that the child I had loved all my life was dead.
It seems such a long time, doesn't it? We've both changed a lot since then.
I've no way to prove it, but I like to think it was today. A day lost in the summer, indistinguishable from the sea of checked boxes on an old, decaying calendar. Indistinguishable, not because it was uneventful, but because every other day was just as plump and colored by adventure. Tell me, were the days longer back then, or does nostalgia paint a halcyon? Perhaps it's just that I've relived those moments so many times that it begins to feel longer than a day.
It could have been any day. It might as well have been today.
We were the daughters of youth, you and I. There were none livelier than us. You, a whirlwind of movement, all laughter and scraped knees, unable to keep still for even a second. Me, with all my schemes and ideas that took us to the ends of the earth, the farthest reaches of space, and back home just in time for dinner. We would go to the Burgundy Wood everyday. You loved the trees. I remember you hopping from branch to branch like a sparrow, your hair a golden halo lit by the sun, and your eyes somehow brighter.
The Wood was your domain. There was nowhere I could hide that you would not find, no place I could run without you tailing after. That's how you won every game of hide-and-seek. Not to mention tag, you cheater.
You'd have caught me by then. I wouldn't last three seconds with you in pursuit.
And I'd be in your arms again, squirming, pouting, laughing. You were always the athletic one, muscles firm even in childhood. This should have made me jealous, but I wasn't. I felt...
The Wood was your kingdom, and so my sanctuary. I was never afraid of the looming trees and thick foliage, even as the sun began to set and the land began to thrum with the life of night. I never feared it, because it was yours. And you would never have let anything happen to me.
And so I was just as devastated as you, my Queen, when the City cut our Wood down.
Progress, they said. Advancement. Words that meant nothing to homeless children. I lived in a mansion by the sea, and you in the floor above your father's bakery. But the Burgundy Wood was the home that we made together. And, as it would turn out, the first of many that we would lose together.
You weren't the type to cry when sad. You still aren't. Instead, I watched you wilt and grey as the sorrow you fought so hard to keep inside corrupted you from within. I put my grief aside to comfort you. "We'll build our own kingdom!" I said, my arms wrapped tight around your shoulders. "One the City can't touch. A better kingdom, just for us!"
You snorted, and it sounded wet. You put on a brittle smile, for me. "You'll be the ruler then," you said in an attempt at light-heartedness, "and I'll be your assassin."
I laugh hard enough for the tears I've been holding back to stream down. "Does that mean you'll kill for me, or that you'll kill me?" I asked.
You narrow your eyes, teasing. "You'll just have to find out, wouldn't you?"
And just like that, I knew we were okay. I thought we were okay. But calendar boxes only last a day unchecked. And no matter how long a day felt to me back then, time had the uncanny habit of catching up. Summer came and passed. I was entered into the Academy to begin my training as a model citizen. And you...
The City took you as its own.
The Academy molded me into its image. I was it's pride, it's poster girl. I was the perfect citizen. Intelligent, courteous, and a noble at that.
Last I heard of you, your father had lost his bakery. He had succumbed to his vices and lost his honor, or so I was told. No one could ever be more specific. They didn't know what exactly befell the baker, let alone the fate of his daughter. I had pressed my father for as much information as I could. He was part of the City council. Surely, he would know such a thing.
My father wouldn't look me in the eye. "The Oracle took her in," he finally revealed in a slurred mutter. His face then blanches of all color, as if his whole spirit was breathed out in that single utterance. He scrambles off his seat, out of the dining hall. "Do not worry about your old playmate," he said, pausing at the threshold. "The City has her in its care."
Every Ruler had their own assassins. This was common knowledge. No Queen or King was ever seen without an entourage of burly men, armed to the teeth. But you were different.
You were not an entourage, for one. You were singular, not as muscled as most bodyguards, not even as tall as the average man. Could you really hold a candle to anyone sent to kill me?
I make the mistake of asking you this, when you first appear in my chambers at my inaugural night.
"No one sent to kill you will succeed under my watch. Your death is my prerogative." You say this mechanically. Your skin is pale in the moonlight, and your eyes are less expressive than a corpse's.
You are not the child I grew up with. You aren't even human. What did they do to you? Did the Oracle keep you in a dungeon, never to see the light of day until my coronation?
"I think you mean 'your life is under my protection,'" I scoff. The windows are bolted. How did you get in? "You make it sound like you're going to kill me."
You step towards me. Even if you are not as tall as a man, you have a few inches on me. It takes my all not to stumble back.
"Perhaps I'm not transparent enough," you say. "It is my job to keep you alive until the time is right for me to kill you."
"The City wills, and I enforce." Your eyes lock onto mine, and I've never seen anything so empty. "This is the curse of every Ruler. To deny me is to deny the City. If you have qualms, step down."
You retreat, making a path to lean against the bay window. You look bored, like you'd rather be anywhere else than here in my bedroom, threatening to kill me.
"What is this about? Tell me!" My voice shakes and my eyes find the door.
"If you leave me now, you leave your position. If you want to remain Queen, accept the law. You will rule, then I will kill you."
"Do you..." Do you have to? I want to ask. But I know the City has its secrets. You were one of them. It makes sense that they would only be revealed to me now, after I'd sworn myself into their nest, their web of laws and lies. 'Ruler' was just the name of their favorite puppet. And they like to change its costume every now and then.
What better apparel than the Academy's best and brightest?
Right. It isn't like I didn't have my suspicions. "When?" I ask instead.
You stare at me, hollow, lifeless. Maybe you are the puppet.
"Will you kill me when I am old?" I demand.
"Pray that I will," you drawl. "But not even I know when it will happen."
"Will you kill me when I displease you?" I throw the door one last look. I have worked too hard to let death get between me and my crown.
"No. It isn't about that," you say, straightening. "Nothing you can do will ever displease me enough to warrant murder."
"Then why must you kill me!"
Your eyes glint like evening stars. Cold. Distant. "That's just the way this story goes."
I shouldn't have worried about the quality of your protection. You had always been more athletic than me. Whatever training the Oracle put you through, it bested any entourage of bodyguards I could ever ask for.
I was a beloved leader, but not everyone agreed with the City. I was the face of their dissatisfaction, the new target of their rebellion.
None of them got within a meter close to me.
You were always there, guns blazing, sword drawn, fist pulled back and ready to swing. You never faltered.
It's already months into my reign, after you save me from a nasty bombing, that I first see you injured.
You're bandaging an arm in my cloakroom, and it slips out of my mouth. "I didn't know you could bleed."
Your face turns wry. "If I were a god, I wouldn't be in this service, my Queen." If you weren't so monotonous, I'd have sworn that was sarcasm.
"No?" I ask, but in my thoughtfulness, it ends up sounding like a statement. No. She does not want this, even now. Not for the first time, I wonder what they had done to you.
My Queen, I turn your words over in my head. Do you even remember my name?
You don't act like a stranger, but you aren't my friend. I don't know what to make of you. Of us.
In the years to come, you save my life more times than I can count.
"It's just a job," you say.
"You bleed to much for 'just a job,'" I snap. "Or maybe you're just bad at it!"
Another ambush had overwhelmed you. I waited at your bedside for days before you woke up. Me? There wasn't a scratch on me at all.
"I'll make a better kingdom," I grumble. "One the City can't touch. Just for us."
"I've heard this before," you say. Was that disappointment or fondness? You'd fallen back to sleep by then, so I hadn't asked.
The idea of a live-in assassin was something that put me at edge at first, but over the years, the domesticity had caught up to us.
The City was changing under my rule, but many didn't like that. Some of the tensions were a long time coming, taking root far before either of us was born. Roots can only bide so long in the soil before breaking the surface, rearing their head.
We stayed home, more often than not, in those later years.
Home. It had crept up on me. Home.
When was the last time we had one together?
I never brought our childhood up, but I could see glimpses of it. When you sit in a patch of sunlight and close your eyes. When you strip from your leather armor and don loose cottons. When you hum to yourself while watering the plants. When you always, always, always catch me, whether in the battlefield or from the library ladder.
It was nothing like the Burgundy Wood, ephemeral halcyon, idyllic and long gone. This was something new. This was something old. This was you and me, doing as history and choruses and broken records do. Despite the distance and the years that had separated us, despite the forces that tore us apart, here we were again, stubborn, inveterate, building a home together.
You had come to my chambers at my inaugural night, and here you are now, sprawled out on my bed even after I tell you 'You have your own bed!' for the hundredth time.
You're as beautiful as our Wood. Your hair aglow like the sun through rustling leaves, your presence as easy as a quiet breeze. I bask in it. Outside, I was the Ruler, wise and ever-vigilant. But in these quiet moments alone with you, I felt like no one. No sword in my hand, no burden of the crown. Only the effortless peace of your company.
Let's be no one together, I want to say. I never do. How foolish, after all, to feel safe with one's murderer. You're the sun on my skin as well as the nimbus curtain hanging over me. Always on the horizon.
"Will you regret it?" I say instead. What a conversation starter, my death. I bring it up all the time, as if I could die more than once. You indulge me either way.
"Why regret how the sun rises and sets when nothing will change its course? I will not regret what was always bound to happen." You're stretched out on my couch, the same drawl as when you were eleven.
"I will kill you because one day, you will be killed. And I will not let anyone else have that honor." You're pulling a blade from the terrorist's corpse. There's blood on your cheek.
"I will kill you, because who else is more deserving than I?" You're in my bed and your hand is at my throat. I think, perhaps this is it. Then your hand travels lower, and lower, and—
We'll build our own kingdom.
I wanted to. There was nothing I wanted more than to build something with you.
I wanted to give you all the strawberries that would make your eyes widen in delight. I wanted to give you a bed stuffed with the world's softest feathers to hear your contented sigh. I wanted to hide you from the years we spent apart so you'll never have to wake up in the middle of the night and say nothing's wrong.
I wanted to give you back your Wood.
I wanted to take everything the world could offer and put it in your hands. It's yours, it's yours, it's all yours.
But to hell with what I wanted.
You weren't mine.
You were the City's.
The City wasn't the city. The law wasn't the people. I wonder if I could have done anything to change the course of history. But I suppose one can only fan the flames so long before it sets fire to the house. The underground forces keeping the kingdom in line had fanned enough flames.
This isn't personal. This is revolution.
They're on their way here now, the people. I can hear them, screaming, crying, wailing. The nobles have been slaughtered, the guards, overthrown. I can't say I didn't see this coming.
You've barricaded us in my chambers. You're the best warrior in the kingdom, but there are thousands of them, each willing to die to get to their purpose.
The purpose is me.
Fish eats shark. Ant eats grasshopper. There's no escape from this.
That's just the way this story goes.
You look at me. You're always so calm in a crisis, always assessing, hand a second away from a concealed weapon. But now, I can see it on your face.
There's only one way out.
Your voice does not tremble, but I know you like I know the house I grew up in, the land I reign over, the mattress we share. You are afraid.
"I will kill you," you say, "because I don't want you to go through killing yourself."
The look in your eyes say you're trying to believe it. You're upset, you're in denial, you want to scream, to throw something, to back out. I know you won't.
I take your face in my hands. You're as beautiful as our Wood. The City had taken it too, had altered it, enslaved it. The City ravaged our childhood, devoured our future.
I tangle my fingers in your hair. The burning chaos outside catches on it like a dying sun. Your eyes glisten like evening stars, harbingers of the long, freezing night ahead. I cannot look away, not even as you lift your pistol, hand eerily steady. You're mesmerizing.
Of all the things I've lost, you're the only one that's found its way back to me. My life begins and ends with you. I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Hey now," you say. The breeze is in your voice. Cool, quiet, calm. Leaves tremble in the undertone. "On the count of three, it will be over, yeah?"
I nod. My thumb grazes your bottom lip.
"Do you regret it?" I ask as the cold metal of the pistol presses the bottom of my chin.
"What does that change?" Your eyes, evening stars, rising tides, don't meet mine.
"Do you regret it?"
I press our foreheads together until finally, finally you look at me.
You weren't the type to cry when sad. You still aren't.
Your eyes search mine like all the other times we lay together. How could I ever think them empty? There is so much brimming in them, I could drown.
You brush my cheek with the back of your fingers. "I'll be with you soon."
I clutch your hand and laugh. I'd give anything up for you. This kingdom, this world, this life.
"You were my Queen first," I whisper against your lips.
You put on a brittle smile, for me.
When love turns gory...
TW: murder, suicide (razor blades), mentions of blood
It's no wonder John Milton named the capital of Hell "Pandæmonium" — I can see that now. I had planned meticulously over the past week on how to rid myself of her, it's like the universe knew it was coming. After the birth of Giovanni, she had started losing it. About a month after his birth, she started crying every day and sleeping less. She started to be possessive of Giovanni, too. A month or so after that, it was clear she was depressed. She was also angry. She just couldn't connect with Giovanni in the way she wanted to. I guess she had this whole ideal scenario envisioned where she and the baby were inseparable. Her fault, I guess. It hurt to see this loving and affectionate person become distant. But, it wasn't only her feelings that were changing either. As this went on, I lost love for her. Soon, I became infuriated with her. She kept the baby from me because, "He loves me, he's just reluctant to show it. Trust me." I would stand in silence, getting angry. It'd been a while since I was able to spend time with my baby. She would notice my facial expression change and cry, "I'm serious, Philippe. He loves me!" Her insecurity was eating her up. One day, I went to comfort her while she was having an episode when I saw her wrist. Multiple scars were lined across. I mentioned it would be good to see a doctor, as it became increasingly obvious she had a severe form of postpartum depression. Turns out, that was the most wrong thing I could've said because her episode became worse.
I got fed up real fast. I was helpless. Then, it clicked. How did I not notice it before? The universe was giving me the answer all along. It would be hard, but I knew what I had to do. I already had a great excuse, but I didn't have a way to get her where I wanted her. I couldn't use aconite, it would show up in her toxicology results. I couldn't slip anything into her food either, for the same reasons. Somehow, I needed to paralyze her without poison. Then it came to me. A quick encounter. I had been gifted in the field of anatomy — to many people's surprise. I knew the quickest way would be the brachial artery, but it was too deep and would take a while to cut and do the job. Without a paralytic, it would be impossible to accomplish. But, a quick and powerful slash across her carotid artery would do the trick. It would be fast and efficient, completing the job in almost the same time. All I had to do was set the stage.
I told her I was preparing a dinner for us, to which she refused. I told her it was for our anniversary — when we first met. Everything was falling into place. But, it was easy. Too easy. It was suspicious, but I shook it off.
Soon, the day came. I made us spaghetti arrabbiata with an arugula salad on the side, her favourites. We ate in silence, except for when she complimented my food. After dinner, I asked if we could talk. She wasn't up to the idea, of course. I told her it would be quick and she reluctantly agreed. I told her how sorry I felt for her and how she didn't seem to be able to connect with Giovanni. "I don't need your pity," she said. "But he's my baby too," I said. I could see the tears start to well up in her eyes. "Don't cry," I pleaded, "I have a proposal. Take care of yourself. Go run a bath and relax. I think we still have some bath salts, which could be a nice touch. While you're in there, I can watch Giovanni. I know you don't like it, but it might just help you relax. You haven't done much of that since you became obsessed with the baby." She was fuming, but she saw the desperation in my eyes. "Okay."
I could hear the bathwater start to run. I went up to the nursery to set Giovanni in his crib. When I laid him down, I whispered, "I'm sorry, Gio. But, it's for the best. Your mom wants to keep you for herself and I can't have that. I just love you too much. Have you seen her? She's not okay enough to provide for you. I am. Don't worry, daddy has a plan. You wouldn't notice if she was gone. You don't care. Why would you? All mommy does is take you with her and lock herself in the room with you. You must hate it. Hate her. And it's okay. I do too. That's why I'm doing this — so she can leave us alone and let us spend time together. She will never take you away again." I put his blanket over him and walked towards the bathroom.
Call me diligent, ultracareful, psychotic even, but can you blame me for wanting to get away with it? Simply put, I needed her gone and somewhere to place the blame. And what better way to do it than to blame it on herself? Clearly, she was struggling with her mental health. I can say she was trying to better herself — or so it seemed. After being suspicious of her stay in the bathroom, I walked in to find her dead. Call the police, and go on from there. The thing is, I had to time it perfectly. Nothing can go wrong. She needs to be dead for a reasonable time, forty-five minutes at least. Anything over an hour would make it seem suspicious. If I needed to, she could be left out a little longer, but she can’t be left to the point of rigor mortis. Then, I’d be screwed. I also needed an alibi — which was going to be the hard part. I decided to be washing dishes. I would, and then watch television while Giovanni was sleeping. Soon, I’d walk back up and notice she wasn't out. I get worried, walk in and see her dead body. People knew she was struggling, so it would be a reasonable story. I never hurt her — though I wanted to sometimes. Nobody would be the wiser.
She was already in the bath when I walked in. "Philippe, didn't you say this was my relaxing time?" I did. Her eternal relaxation. I walked closer. "Philippe, get out." I made it to the edge of the tub. I went in for a final kiss. "Fine. One kiss then you're out." She tilted her head towards me and closed her eyes. Perfect, I thought. I took out a small razor blade I had picked up from the bathroom sink counter. I brought her head in closer, and with the blade, slit deeply and quickly across the side of her neck. "Philippe!" she cried out in agony. I stepped away, but she leaned over the edge of the tub, letting the blood onto the floor.
Fuck. This is complete chaos. My personal pandæmonium, if you will. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. I gently move her head into the tub and let her blood infuse the water. I quickly go and open the cabinet under the sink and take out the bleach. I pour it into a bucket we have in there and I eyeball around a quarter cup. I add about 60-ish ounces and dip a spare cloth in there. Somehow, she had managed to let out a lot more blood than expected when she was leaning against the edge. I clean to the best of my abilities. After cleaning, I plop her arm on the edge, to make it seem more realistic. And then I remember. "Shit!" The razor blade. How did I forget? I took plastic bags from the cabinet and wrapped them around my hands. I moved her right arm and placed the blade in her right hand. If they ask, I'll say I used it to shave earlier. I switch out the old blade from my razor and set it aside to throw it away elsewhere. I clean up and get out of there. I shove the razor blade into the bags that I placed on my hand and shoved those into our regular trash. Suddenly, I hear my name. "Philippe!" It's her, but how is that possible? I killed her. "Philippe!" I close my eyes. I must be going insane, I think. "Philippe?"
I opened my eyes, afraid of what I would see.
It's her. What in the world? "Philippe, are you okay? You're the one who suggested this dinner." I must have been imagining the whole thing. I quickly snapped into reality, and responded, "You're right. I'm sorry. I lost my train of thought." She got up. "I said, I am going to take your advice." "What advice?" I questioned. "To take a bath and relax. Hopefully, it helps with Giovanni." I was confused. Did she seem open to the idea? No, it couldn't be. This is just a ruse to get closer and then suddenly take Gio away from me. I can't fall for her tricks.
She walked upstairs and I could hear the bathwater start to run. I go place Giovanni in his crib, and tell him everything will be okay. "Daddy's here." I place his blanket over him and walk into the bathroom. She's already in the bath when I walk in. I make a stop at the sink, and pick up a razor blade. She doesn't notice it. "Philippe, didn't you say this was my relaxing time?" I did. "You're right." She gives me a look. "So," she says, "Why are you still here?" "I'm sorry, Eleanor." I walk closer to her. "So very sorry." I lean in for a kiss, and I bring her head in...
this is where i’m at right now
Sitting at work, sleepy, unmotivated, and feeling the 60 pounds I've gained since my Dad died. This does not feel ideal.
I am struggling to commit to anything that isn't immediately rewarding and I am hating myself for it. Adulthood isn't easy, neither is grief, neither are relationships, nor is faith nor health.
Life ain't easy, it seems.
I've never really seen life the way I do right now, never been so confused, felt so trapped and limitless at the same time.
It's a trip, man.
From 2018-2019 I had seen 3 different therapists, one who laughed at me in session, one who didn't seem to listen, and one that I just found boring. I wanted a place to wax poetic about my pain, seemingly so I could go home feeling worse, which at the time seemed like getting better. I spent my college days (which admittedly are not far behind me) smoked out of my mind and intellectually stimulated the whole time. I miss the lack of responsibility and the self importance that I felt at the time was justified. My mind was all over the place and my body was lazy (for most of it), and I really thought I was gonna do something world changing.
In my sophomore year I thought one day that I had woken up in a different, hostile universe because my laptop password inexplicably changed. I still don't know why.
In my Junior year I spent 3 days in the hospital over a still unexplained inability to walk due to a pain in my hip. That year, my Dad got married and moved into a new home.
I remember spending 12 hours a day 4 days a week for 4 years alone on campus, with hours between classes that I spent alone. I would pray and beg God for someone to come and talk to me.
I'd go home, get high and go to bed. Party on the weekends with friends, spend all my money on food and weed and cedar point tickets.
I felt alone and worthless, intelligent and important. I reveled in my cynicism, loved each fucked up thought that I had, wrote them down, cherished them, hated them.
Near the end I started writing suicide notes.
I'd run the race, nonstop through a miserable high school experience (that I cannot look back on without bias and self loathing), a seemingly even more miserable college experience that included and a completely FUCKED 2019, fit with a brand-new benzo addiction, funerals, toxic sex, paranoid delusions, intern abuse, 100 pounds lost, and a half hearted suicide attempt that had me holding a boxcutter to my wrist for 45 minutes in the backroom at the hardware store I worked at before pitifully dropping it and getting back to work.
2019 ended with the whispers of a new respiratory virus that was spreading rapidly throughout China.
This led me to a 6 month recurring acid trip that began in March of 2020.
With my "third eye" now opened and an illicit poison irregularly fucking with my perception I came into a new relationship (that I am still thankfully happy in), internal and worldly exploration, Alan Watts, daily 30 minute meditation, journaling, amazing exercise, deep thoughts, great vacations, quarantine lockdown, and recent college graduation complete with a brand new professional job that I quickly came to resent.
2020 was a great year for me, and just when I thought I was out, life pulled me right the fuck back in.
Dad died on May 7th 2021, it'll be 6 months this week.
He went into the hospital with COVID in April and that was the last time I saw him awake.
The last conversation I remember having with my father was him asking why I wasn't calling him in the hospital.
7 months ago, he was alive, joking, laughing, working, cooking, and playing guitar and missed Easter dinner because he was under the weather. I went out of town to Petosky the week he went into the hospital. Two weeks later, I left work early in a panic after a phone call told me "I better get down there quick to say goodbye", a chaplain prayed over his body, I stared and felt angry with this man and his bank-rolled sympathies. He made it that day.
6 months ago, my Dad was put on a ventilator so "his lungs could rest", hours later he turned critical, I left work early again. I slept in my car in the hospital parking lot for days with the rest of my family waiting for news of recovery, addicted to any update on his O2 levels and the % of oxygen the ventilator was giving him.
One week into May, I watched my Dad die after being taken off a ventilator. A week after that I spoke at his funeral, looked through his google searches, spent time with my family, went back to work after a month off and spent a weekend in Miami with my love.
5 months ago, I got a huge promotion at work and a salary and started attending bible study and spent a great weekend in Tennessee with my family for my Brother's birthday.
4 months ago, I moved out of my parent's house and moved into a 1 bedroom with my dog spending 30 days alone with her inside only leaving for groceries, and did something on my birthday that I don't remember in this moment.
3 months ago, I drove and spent a weekend in Boston on my own, got shitfaced, got a tattoo, bought a 50 dollar poster, ate a dumpling as big as my fist.
2 months ago my girlfriend moved in, I spent a miserable weekend in New Hampshire taking care of a sick aunt and uncle, and my new job began, I drank every day.
Last month Norm Macdonald died, and my Dad's wife changed the locks on the house. That's about all I remember.
This week started November, it's getting cold and it snowed 2 days ago.
I am looking at myself and my world with fear. I'm having frequent nightmares, insecurities at work and in my relationships, my memories are spotty, and I am experiencing frequent dissociative panic episodes. I'm trying to stay sober and quit smoking. I just took a week off work because I couldn't get out of bed before 11:00. I'm overweight, my joints hurt, every day feels exactly the same, I get lost in my thoughts and time passes without me. I struggle
I feel sick, often lonely, weak, sad, angry, hateful, disgusting, selfish, lazy, manipulated,
Except for right now. Right now I'm at my desk, just finished a group session with some of my favorite students, I'm halfway through the workday, looking forward to taking my dog on a walk and a shit ton of dishes to clean at home, dinner to make, tomorrow's Friday, that's good.
day by day, man.
it really sucks
it really sucks when the person you always leaned on,
the person you always went to for a problem,
the person you loved dearly,
starts to hurt you.
he gets mad over the simplest things and he takes it out on you.
take for example,
a bad mark on a test or exam.
he gets upset and he hits you for it.
just one bad mark.
"you're such a disappointment" he said.
he said it so many times you're starting to believe it
i dont know what to do at this point,, so i felt like writing it out.
Freewrite: “Back to Basics - a Declaration” (2021)
TW: Trauma; Truth.
I may tangent a bit, hope you don't mind; it's simultaneously simple yet complex. Anyway, I've been sexually assaulted before but this last occurrence two years ago (2019) by Raze* really fucked me up. I think because it physically hurt. I had tried various times and ways to forget over the course of 2021 but not many routes came in the form of a pen. I am now generally in a place where I don't want to keep reiterating my trauma but also in a season of willingness to express at will if you will. Like, I could detail how it stung to see the sun rays vying to shine through nearly-shut blinds - but the memory simmers my heart and causes my brain to buzz. I am in such a self-care mode that nothing else matters almost to the point of suicidality - but not quite. No, no, not that, but instead something"solitudinous". Ah, language! I have receipts for days and asses that could be flambéd in the fiery torches of persecution - yet this (for now) feels enough. To intentionally make people squirm, wonder what's up my sleeve, a card of mine, a tell on theirs? *insert evil cackle* I know so much and care with a heart that never brittles - but we do break. It's just, I've been making bloody mosaics most of my life. I like to stare into the reflection and figure out what truth lives there. Life holds enough lies - why should I harbor any? Frankly, I'd be dead were it not for God, and Godless were it not for ghosts, and hell, ghostless if it were not for [inner] sight. But maybe I ramble! Simply, people have missed me but I have too. I lost a lot from that aforementioned incident and as is the "game of life", I gained a lot more sense. Funny how that works. Must it be the burn that teaches child fire? Must learning always necessitate a bruise first? Wisdom says, "That's up to you." Selah. “Accountability” is a pussy-wettening word, there I said it. Owning your stuff is sexy! Like if *blows a whistle* and you get harassed out of a job if your *blows another whistle* but there's digital evidence of what was said or done. When people own their shit, there's no need to drop dirt - because you would've already been bold enough to "8-Mile" your own truth, no matter how shitty/"abusery"/incompetent. Anyway, I find my loss of me...a journey! Yes, it's brought me "here". It helped me flee to Mexico and party with peacocks. It gave me NYC ecstasy then an immediate turkey-revelation after DMX passed. It gave me Georgian sunrises and Bronx lightning-storm photography. I fought self-harm relapse more rounds than I would have granted myself years past. I've thrown out the pot then grew a license to pot, LOL. I hated me, then hated everyone, and now just have God. I cannot simplify that note enough. I learned religion ain't *blows whistle* but much holds merit, even what we don't comprehend. Debate teams should be mandated worldwide. Perhaps just my experience, I found it to be a sturdy way of learning how to "argue" cohesively, building listening skills, empathy, and overall confidence in one's self and stance. It's not enough to believe in You - you have to understand your faults and where your opponent holds validity too, even though you strongly advocate for (or are negating) your side. It's such beautiful art that brought me an ironic level of peace. It taught me how to truly hear people. The issue I encountered was losing my stance to the sympathy of an understood middle-ground. I was soon lost in what someone I recently read coined this confusion as "the empathy spiral". Ah, the power of a label; it summed it in a way I couldn't properly discern before. It describes that moment when I'm stuck in seeing how everyone's right to a degree. How many degrees? How long do I stick to my 1-degree of rightness found within a person when they're displaying 99 boiling degrees of demonism? I used to be praised for conviction but I dead forgot what that is or resembles. I questioned myself to a point of belittling my own self-trust (and respect). Yet wisely I’ve been to myself because I’ve learned well enough to contain my destruction - note: “contain” not “suppress”. It has worked. I’ve hugged myself and said more genuine compliments than every friend who has spoken any only to recant them through vanishing and neglect. I’ve held myself in fits of panic with more consoling than any ER gurney straps could have ever managed. Black, unheard girl with dark thoughts misunderstood as “maturity”. I told my mom the other day (today’s Saturday) that often I fantasize about my own death just to keep from doing it. Truly such a milestone, non-sardonically! That too in itself is also an achievement. Being kind to myself has probably been the greatest victory. Oh, it’s still imperfect as FUCK, BUT I’m doing more gentility than grave-digging. I gotta call, “Progress!” when I see it. :) That said:
I’m still losing my shit!!!
But that’s why I am writing, a coping skill I haven’t done with this much focused and [un]guided attention since...Heaven knows. The situation is I feel on the brink daily but I’m getting creative (arguably desperate LOL) with how I step back inside. When the good coping works, like taking a walk for example, it’s everything right in my world. When it doesn't? I stay wherever I call home, screaming into the shadows alone. The difference between Then and Now is that I’m less caring of whether people hear me. A’se. My Sagi “I don’t give a.f.,” energy has finally emerged. It wasn’t in one fell swoop, however, I see it more palpably unwavering. Thank the Lordt. I’m talking about everything: the abuse, the rapes, the career saboteurs, the escapes; my healing, my relearning, my self-love education, and more - all’it. In different ways, just like I’m used to but the seed had to be replanted. It all blooms from the root of this ink. They tried to shut me up and for a while, they had, but haHA, baby! Paper is a microphone that turns whispers into war cries - and since I’m still here, I choose the winners’ side. The battle is won when one goes back to basics.
*names changed, for now.
*blows whistle* = censored, for now.
I was the weird one of the bunch.
The one they’d tease, the one they’d scare,
The one who would close her eyes
To see how nature unravels.
They never tried to understand
Why butterflies sat on my hand,
Why flowers bloomed as I gently blew,
And why for me time moved so slow.
I never thought I looked like much,
With curly hair, freckled pinched nose,
But what always stood out
Was the distinct air that I wore.
My Mum would kiss away my tears,
Patting the unruly clump of hair.
A velvety voice would ease my fears
And whisper sweet nothings in the air.
“I’ve never seen a witch as bewitching
As the lovely witch which you are.”
It was a lie, it was a scented dream,
It was all that lay in between,
From the first moment they left me bruised,
Until I rose above the abuse.
Words are magical spells when infused
With love, with care, with understanding,
That soothes the soul and mends the wounds,
Leaving a crippled hero standing.
Now, I’m the witch who shares the magic...
My mom says I'm not allowed to carve pumpkins,
apparently our family is cursed.
My older brother doesn't like to listen,
or maybe his hearings the worst.
Because I saw him that night out in the barn,
sacrificing the pumpkin for fun.
He had carved out a Jack O' Lantern,
put it on, then pulled out a gun.
I know he didn't see me,
he probably thought I was in bed.
Then he headed to the house
with that scary Jack O' Lantern head.
I heard two shots and was to scared to move,
I silently cried as the cool air blew.
And after a few moments of eerie silence
One more shot rang true.
So I'm sorry,
but I can't carve a pumpkin with you.
My families cursed you see
and the curse will take what's due.