Thoughts on writing: Skeleton King

Writing in the abstract has always come easily to me. When focusing on ideas rather than memory, I write storms: that is, when I’m in the right mood and willing. Truth is easy to write in nonfiction. Your quill is dripping with it. And the abstract is a beautiful surface to work with. My one problem is: I get attached. I hate to edit and change the abstract. I hate to change words that flow like rivers and sentences that end like waterfalls.

I’ll admit. I’m a bit attached to the truth in the way it presents itself first, but with fiction the truth becomes more sly, more fickle to present. What does someone notice about someone when they first meet them? Is it that their eyeliner is applied asymmetrically or that their eyes are the color of the door to their childhood home. Or is it that they keep sneaking looks at the clock, tapping their wrist as if it would speed up time. Perception is a tricky substance, and we slide between something aiming at realistic and a little cheesy. Then again life is cheesy sometimes. A guy once told me he wanted to meet me ever since he saw me: he remembered my blue eyes from the first day he saw me. But I don’t know that that’s something I’d write. I prefer the slow build. Friendships that start a little romantic and blossom.

That is… when I write romance at all. Sometimes what I need is friendships or adventure. Sometimes the stories wrap themselves in philosophy and twist my pen into a political instrument. And sometimes I write about love. Or twisted love. Or family. My pen seems to find itself indiscriminate when it comes to genres, although my eyes are much more particular.

Yet either way I miss the ease of writing before I felt nervous to do so. Before perfectionism took the reins and drove the horses to death. And so stagnant I sit on a mountain of ideas like a skeleton King. Each idea lacking the flesh to push it forward, rolling around like a cloud waiting to drop rain at any second.

I want to be a writer, but I can’t fight the skeleton war.

The Wolf

Summer before the freshman year of high school: I don’t make the highschool soccer team. I start sobbing the moment I find out, and when I get home I immediately head to the basement where I sit in the dark for almost a week. When I emerge from the basement, I am not the same person. A part of me never left the basement.

Summer before sophomore year: Again I don’t make the high school soccer team. Except this time I put in a lot more work, over 3 hours every single day. And I still don’t make it. Again I’m sobbing. Except this time I hate myself even more. And I’ve lost my optimism. Apparently I’m so screwed up that hard work can’t even make me succeed. 

November of my freshman year in college: 

1.Trump is elected. The amount of people who are scared to live in America is astounding, and I am one of them. I cry more in one week than I ever have before. I’m looking at colleges in Canada. I no longer feel a connection here.

2. One of my close friends tells me that if I keep getting offended by things(such as sexism, racism, and ableism) people will only think of me as a complainer and won’t like me. And I realize I can’t be friends with her anymore. Other previous subtle bigotry comes back to me. I don’t know how to end this friendship without hurting another mutual friend in the process.

3. Two of my friends like me romantically. They keep persuing me even though I’ve mentioned before that I was only interested in platonic friendship with them. Now I have to hurt them by telling them I don’t like them. Why would they put me in this position?

4. I missed registration for my honors college classes meaning that instead of taking classes that excited me, I’m stuck with classes I’m ambiguous about. Which wouldn’t sound too bad, except that I’m already burned out from never doing things that interest me anymore.

5. I missed peer tutoring by oversleeping and made somebody wait an hour for me. Plus my Calculus test is on Tuesday.

6. Two of my friends just dropped out of school, one which completely blindsided me.

7. I had to cancel my Counseling appointment to make up a lab. Little did I know, this would be the week I would need it the most.

8. I have so much homework, one being calc homework that last time took me 20 hours to finish half of it. 

9. I am performing a show as part of my honors college. Participation is mandatory and it takes at least 6 hours out of each day. How am I supposed to do my homework?

10. I play an elderly person in the production, and the elderly makeup makes me feel so bad about myself. I look in the mirror and I see everything I hate about myself. My facial structure has changed since I got to college, and I gained 10 pounds even though there have been too many days when I’ve only eaten 1 meal that day. I’m out of shape, and even walking hurts.

11. I’m not sleeping. How could I ever sleep again?

12. My asthma is acting up.

Things that have gone right this week:

1. I don’t have to take Calc 2. I almost cried from relief.

2. I get to take biology next trimester.

3. I drew something I’m proud of, even though it’s just a sketch.

4. I finished my mural for the Diwali festival. It turned out great, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity, especially considering I’m not an art major.

5. I accidently missed Wednesday peer tutoring, but my peer tutor was sick, so she cancelled which I only saw in retrospect.

6. I got to talk to my best friend who I’ve talked to once in the past two years.

7. Because my friend dropped out, I get to see him over Thanksgiving break..

Despite the good things that have happened:

This is one of the worst three weeks of my life. I’m scared and numb. There have been parts where I’ve barely been responsive. I’ve been crying so often. I can’t stand to be around most of my friends. I’m so depressed I can’t even function. And I think there is a good chance that I have bipolar disorder. How am I going to get everything done when I can’t even spend an hour with other people before shutting down? And I can’t spend 5 minutes with most people before THEY shut ME down. I don’t know if I can do this, but I don’t know how to quit either. I can’t imagine taking a semester off, but I don’t know how much more I can take.

Clarity and Change

I don’t know how to feel. All I want to do is lay down on my floor, curled into myself, crying. So I did that, but it became boring. No one ever take about how boring sadness is. I want to do things, but I don’t want to do things. I want to change, but stagnancy rests in my veins. Change bites at my heels, but I can’t change. I want to SO bad, but I can’t. Everywhere advice has started resonating with me. I know I need a change. I know I need TO change, but my efforts have gone nowhere. Why can’t I take control of my life?

Asexuality

It’s isolating.

In case you wondered why there is a community, it’s because it’s isolating. 

You just want to talk about it with someone, but they couldn’t care less. They just move on, treat your identity like an admission that you like to swim or that you’re allergic to strawberries. 

On one hand it’s nice-not to be defined by your orientation. It’s nice for it to be treated as normal, but on the other hand, I can’t talk about how it affects my life. 

It means that there is a chance I will never get to experience a romantic relationship in the same way as other people.

No it’s okay. You’ll find someone.

It means that I’m afraid that people will treat me differently once they find out.

Well screw them.

Well maybe I don’t want to limit my human connections to the socially educated. Maybe I don’t want to discount people because of their sometimes well meaning ignorance.

It means that people make assumptions.

Well, what does it matter what they think?

Well some people will discourage other people from connecting with me romantically because they assume I’m not into that sort of thing. Some people will be confused when I’m excitable and flirty and ship everything. Some people will be surprised by my humanness-think of me as subhuman. Cold, emotionless, be less likely to rent an apartment out to me, be less likely to be my friend if the studies are true. Or superhuman, somehow able to resist human impulses, the perfect modum of control.

Don’t you want that? To be thought of as superhuman?

I know enough to know that I am not better than anyone. And this isn’t where I would want to be.

Shouldn’t you be proud?

I am proud, but I’m afraid.

Reflection in the time of violets

I can see the sleepness nights stretched across my brow and hanging like stars beneath the ocean moon of my eyes. The corn rows of my eyebrows still young, questioning everything. The corners of my mouth hanging with concern. Little doe spots sprinkling across the ridges of my nose and the plains of my cheeks. Hair splaying out like wispy sunbursts across the expanse of my wintery and weathered skin, beaten by the winds of change and Moonfull nights and a different sky than the one I’ve lived under. The stars ever so slightly angled differently that throws my life askew, toppling and rippling and hoping for replete.
I see amber in your eyes and gold running through your veins. A thousand lion skins stretch from your smiles and your touch, the warmth of the summer sun. Golden hearths contain your joy. My summer heat, confusion as the air grows cooler, as you step away for minutes or hours what once seemed clear is muddled, the stirring of bottommuck sand from the depths of the deep to cover the clarity of the brook.
Two of you, two so different yet two lion hearts and summer skies. Two Great confusions lighting my wintery way. And one from the darkness of distance ghosting warmth across my cheekbones. I don’t know how to feel. Yet I feel.

Surrealism

Everything feels so different in the morning. The heavy handed grip of night is released, and we’re left with a surreal calmness and tranquility. I live for mornings. It’s the only calm I get.
The sky is a pearly grey with dew drops hanging in her stormy eyes. The trees sway, great founts of water shaking off their grand ferns. There is a quiet to it. A peace.
Yesterday’s tears are in the sky. They’re in the trees. But they’re no longer in my eyes.

The Fissure of Pain

A thousand thoughts run through my head tonight: grades, success, romance, and most prevalently protection. It pounds in my ears and has no solace. My arms and legs stretch to cover all of the broken who surround me. And I try to think not of how I am stitched together, but rather how to stitch us all together. I have an arm around a shoulder, hand touching past to the next person. My other hand lightly touches the person on the other side, and my foot reaches all the way across to rest on the foot of the last group member. A thousand explosions are going off, fission into our problems, and the whole time I try to stay inside myself as much as I am reaching out to other people.
It started during a game, laughter coloring our connections, but yet two, distracted by things the rest of us didn’t see. Until one member leaves and our fawn points out something that we had neglected to notice. I feel sick and shock. Usually I am the first to notice an edge to someone’s character and a darkness in their thoughts. Usually I am attuned to the room in a way most people would dismiss, but it’s as if there is an energy plane where everyone’s expressions, vocal inflection, and body language lay. That room is usually where I haunt, and where the feeling of everything haunts me. Yet I failed to notice the notes being passed. And when my friend asks are you okay, my other friend starts to sob. I crawl over as if a fire was lit beneath me. Desperately I press up against my friend, hoping that somehow the physical contact will slow the torrents of her soul. I curse, which I never do. I try to convey how much I care, and yet we all feel at a loss, unable to help her: she who is caught in the net of emotionally abusive parents who have told her that she is a burden. And she hadn’t told us. Instead she told the friend who left who in turn told her he was considering committing suicide.
Waves crash over us. Questions fly like arrows in war, and everything is blurry and bleak and muted. My friend of action took my hand and we walked towards the RA’s office. Outside the door I curse for the second time, tears welling in my eyes and I hug her as if she was my anchor to reality. Perhaps she was. The RA goes to talk with the suicidal friend, and it leaves us together, a group of five, many broken.
Pain fissures out. Pain always fissures out. My other friend, a mere passenger to this conversation, is triggered by the recent suicide of one of their closest friends, while still one cries about their burden. Hence the strange circle we are now in. Tonight everyone needs the comfort of physical reassurance. As my friend relives his best friend’s suicide, I slide my foot across his and apply pressure. It’s strange, but I feel it’s at some level comforting.
I could talk. I could say I’ve considered suicide, that I used to pray I would get hit by a car so that it would end and no one would know my struggles. I could say that so many of my friend’s have left me, and I wouldn’t even know if they’re still alive. I could say I’ve been terrified of losing people, that every joke about killing themself shot ice through my veins. I could say that I’m triggered by mentions of suicide, that I feel the pain of it so strongly that I could just explode. But I say nothing. Because I won’t commit suicide. I have bigger aspirations, bigger hope. And I fight for life. And I say nothing because I’ve never been great at admitting my deepmost struggles. Instead I sit and try and breathe life into my friends. “Stay,” I whisper. Stay.