Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Chapter 12 of what? This is just a scrap of my diary.
In that story about the ocelots I am the daughter. It is my inner child whom I have taken to the museum despite that old discomfort. How many times did I walk through those revolving glass doors prepared to shield myself, averting my eyes so that too much wouldn’t stick into me from the atmosphere? I went into the museum as one goes into battle. Into school, too. Into Whole Foods Market, restaurants, into the bus, into my own apartment, in which I had built a fort. Or rather, allowed a fort to accumulate. Buildup, sediment, padding against the hell that surrounded me. Something organic, in form if not in content. I even claimed it as an art piece for class once and was mocked, but that bitter tale is for later. To proceed with the current bitter tale, yes, I went to the park more than a hundred times, sat and stared at the cold lake among the scraggly leafless trees. Cried at the sight of a squirrel. Avoided human eye contact there, too. Nothing felt very safe in Chicago; my body was no home. I was bloated like balloons floating away from each other held together by a weak sense that I must go on; by the cozy knowledge, unshared, of the importance of my own creativity. - ; . by the peace that lay in there beneath the screeching anxiety. Trying out this punctuation poetry thing; wild and imprecise; open to comments and concerns.
*twinkly music interlude*
Today I live in an incredibly beautiful place with waterfalls and mountaintops that take my breath away, or, I should say, that return my breath to me, that remind me of what it means to be human, of the meaning of the word Earth, and that clarify what in the heavens it was that held me together back then. But…. no one, no one pair of human eyes looks back at me with what I seek… home, bandwidth for my intensity, heartfuls of curiosity that are melting away, defiantly though unevenly, the stickiness of illusion.
Have you figured out that I have a problem and am a judgmental piece of shit yet?
I haven't. My boundaries are drawn so fucking high up that I can't even look people in the eyes anyway. Am I afraid? Shit, I mean look around. Will I always use all these bad words? No, I don't think so. I miss when I was little and could just weave around adults legs and no one questioned me and I didn't feel like I had to put on a name tag and walk upright like an urban monument.
*angsty music interlude*
It's not anybody's fault that I keep sniffing out people's colonized souls so I can get high on the pain of "empathizing" with them, like, oh, here, let me just feel each and every festering hole that the mass of non-degradable trash you’ve swallowed has been cleaving into the inside walls of your body. Yes, I’ll just be right here, zooming into the toxic sludge that's eating up your heart while you chill out in your chosen numbness. Oh no, go on, I’ll just be writhing in pain for you while you remain all drugged out in whatever it is you're into. My own pain can wait. In fact, your pain, and my obsession with it, is my personal drug of choice. It has the added benefit of making me feel morally superior!
Evidently this so-called "I'm such a sensitive empath" bullshit has been some self-mutilating asshole behavior on my part. Apologies, okay?
I am not asking for any more information about boundaries or inner work. *faint angsty music* Let me just figure out how to actually be properly alone at the foot of this mountain to which I dragged myself for a reason. I don’t even see people walk by, just dogs. And car headlights in the distance creepily backlighting the trees. How many times have I not shuddered like Michael K in Coetzee’s novel as he questions his sanity after the goat episode, for actions that at the time had seemed so essential and aligned? “He had a feeling that he was losing his grip on why he had come all these hundreds of miles, and had to pace about with his hands on his face before he felt better again.” Granted his circumstance is more dire than mine in terms of immediate physical survival. But the parallels are there. Increasingly senseless bureaucracies and limitations on freedom, a pilgrimage to nature, an ensuing struggle… getting out of a cage, but also dragging another cage with me as I awkwardly shuffle out into paradise. A sophisticated trap, I like to think, rather than to consider myself a brute. I’ll just be clear: I am addicted to information about boundaries and inner work, to the online world with its infinite possibility for connection. Isn’t it incredible? Mesmerizing, promising? I’ve been helping to animate whatever it is that slurps and festers in those Doldrums. Or Dictionopolis. Or Digitopolis. The Numbers Mine. The Kingdom of Wisdom. Castle in the Air. All the Phantom Tollbooth location names seem to sarcastically suit the sticky fucking assimilative hellscape that is social media. It's just a spiritual Times Square. One can literally go shopping there, or gamble one's soul for a chance to win a glitching pile of gorgeous crap. Spirituality for me used to be in books and retreats by gurus whose PR teams posted long, occasional videos. Now social media is buzzing with information from people who appear to be right there. This also means that the information shifts and varies widely, even within each profile, since it’s a single human on an actually sincere search, at least on some important level, as opposed to sleek wide mainstream platforms mounted with airbrushed talking guru heads who shock and hypnotize with their recycled platitudes. But what an unstable flux I got myself into this time. The ultra-holographic territory of Instagram. Ta-da! The magic show continues! Do not miss out! Zing bing bada bing! It's dizzying. So much energy moving through me and around me, like a zillion wasps that I keep trying to focus my eyes on all at once. They pretend to be magic mysterious little lightning bugs leading me to a secret garden but they're bloodfuckingsucking mosquitos. Or not, but here I am, giving a flying fuck.
Do I want to "figure things out" more than I want peace? I'm grateful that question is finally coming into focus.