When I was a small child my Dad would keep this fantastic collection of fossil sea shells in a drawer that were so rare and old and hand picked through years and years of hard work. I used to give them as small gifts to girls in my class so they would befriend me. I am so ashamed of it now, the same way I gave room for discontent through offering this materiality transported in years into what I do now: splurge to please people. Spend the last dime if a guy asks me out so I can pay for my drinks if he doesn’t. Buy a new dress if I hit a party where I really WANT to be. Cook for guests just to get pleasure from their happiness. Have unprotected sex just not to be casually rejected.
I have been looking at life through an upscale lens. Always seized for the bigger depiction of beauty, love, fear, for all the stories we are told and taught. A perfect education of media consumption. The perfect buyer, who goes through shops of expensive lingerie and shoes or grows lethargic facing an old, glittery, sequin dress in a London vintage shop where Manic Street Preachers plays in the back room. I’ve traced funnels wondering whether I have stopped following one road or the road has abandoned me. Whether God has left me. I trimmed my way into meeting people’s needs while surging for a way to please. Always to please others.
That winter I would walk on the streets and at night gaze into the traffic lights. I used to drink wine. A drinker starts at home. No bottle got me drunk any longer. Just like water, easing the way to breathe better. I don’t know why I stopped writing. Watching movie after movie at home on a Saturday night. Feeling disgraced. Started taking long baths in mandarin oil. I thought it was because of the cold, but no, it was just a changing habit. Living like there’s no tomorrow when there are only blurred out lines of tomorrow. Monotonous monologues of the mind.
I deeply missed the moment when you sleep with a man and he will call you the following day to ask you out. More than that I only miss the moment when you sleep with a man and you don’t have to go back home or let him go back home because he insists to stay with you for more than 48 hours and just keep on having sex, talking, watching crappy news, drinking wine, eating in or going out to some mainstream place – but that wouldn’t matter any more because it would be as much fun as a high school crush – only that you’re nowhere and it’s now.
When I was 22 and making visions of my future married life in America with my then fiancé, Lily Allen broke the charts with this song “22” that wrote When she was 22 the future looked bright, she’s barely 30 now and she’s out every nite/Cause All she wants is a boyfriend, she gets one night stands/She’s thinking how did I get here/I’m doing all that I can / She’s got an alright job but not a career/Whenever she thinks about it gets her to tears”. I’ve been replaying these lyrics in my head for years now and felt like heading there with every passing month. Dreams of going away, moving further, leaving the country, seizing a dream, working harder, being kinder – they are fading like thin air in the daily I don’t know-s.
I mind people say around – just focus on your life and have faith – but where is there to go when one has lost faith? What is faith? How to live carelessly? Why am I obsessed with love? Why have I drawn my life panel according to finding it? I cannot even take care of a cat. I’ve never dealt with kids. My life milestones were I don’t knows and shuns whenever I have to take responsibility. I am lazy. I like having money and I can never keep my mouth or my pockets shut. I go after men in a rage of a hunt and still get deceived by them dismissing me.
I thought I haven’t always been like this – a girl who can’t wait – but I have. Ironically, up to that point, all my life had been a row of waits.
I had the certitude I was going crazy for years.
Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year. I did not imagine my life moving forward in a satisfactory way. I looked at traffic lights and expected to be enlightened. I looked at stars and trees. I looked at clouds. I couldn’t look at people any more.
I thought about disappearing at all costs. Going away from this world,. From this place, looking for life some place else. Leaving no trace of me where I am now. Starting new some place where no one knows. But is there life some place else?
The last day of that year I woke up late at 4 and spent the entire evening feeling depressed. I masturbated eleven times and ironically this resumes what I wrote in an article about Christmas anxieties.
There was something very brutal about the fatigue that had taken its toll on me. I had to be going home but I kept postponing it. For the first time in my life i was overwhelmed and completely disarmed in front of the idea that I am poor and that the future is so uncertain it makes no difference whether to fight or flight. I thought about meaningless and reluctantly gave up hope that night.
I watched a film about a seventeen year old girl who decided to be an escort out of curiosity.
I don’t know what deep chord may it have struck – for a brief couple of hours I thought about doing it. How would that even be? I googled everything I wanted to know all my life so I had no embarrassment in googling this too. As I assumed the information did not offer me any kind of solace. I thought – in a logical way – this would sort my issue with meeting men and my issue with earning a living.
I don’t even think any more it’s bizarre having such thoughts right before you pick yourself up, get dressed, feed a friend’s cat and leave home to meet your parents. Some people have light dancing around them, I never had that and if so I have lost it.
I had been thinking about quitting life for months at that point. I struggled with it every day. It was so not time efficient and, you see, the thing is, I did want want to live. I did want to make the best of my stay here. So I told myself this: You must live to tell. You must speak out your gut, drill in the land of your memory, dig out the stories in your inner landscape. Like Rainer Maria Rilke would put it, you ought to let everything happen to you – beauty and terror. You ought to dive fast through the depths of your despair and float vividly like branches in running water. This is your gift. It shall not be wasted. It cannot be shut down. Your gift is a living thing, so write it. And let it live.
I closed the door and slowly removed detached myself from this world. The air was soft, and breezy, with small snow flakes falling over me like some Edward Scissor Hands was spreading solace over the universe. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.