Sad girls and their sad books with their sad, perfect loneliness that made you wish for it so much you couldn’t wait to reach out and just touch it.
Writing this in my notes app in a stupidly vulnerable-feeling way to write a blog post. Something much less planned, like we’re speaking on different sides of the tracks. You, the reader, on the side with the dirt kicking up when the train goes by, and the leather boots covered in dust and it’s all very gray-brown and ugly. You can barely even hear me! All of this would be very poorly planned out if it weren’t for the fact it just isn’t true. There is no pages document, no carefully selected fitted margins or font spacing — just me in my notes app on my iPhone. I’ve tried writing for ages. I got really into it when I was fourteen years old. I’m eighteen now. That doesn’t seem like a very long time in hindsight but I guess for me it’s truly been ages, but it only really feels like something physical when I touch my old words and instead of just touching blank, white pages, I see timelines and monitored heartbeats that go up and down and up and down and then flat and then miraculously pick back up again. At times I might have even called myself a writer. I think at this point I just want to be referred to as a learner.
I graduated from my high school on May 28, 2023. It was a morning ceremony, please try to think of a very weird spring wedding. The bride in this scenario is me, of course. She didn’t brush her hair, and she bought the dress the night before. It fit really weirdly, too loose, and she couldn’t lift her arms very high because her armpits would show and she was very terrified her deodorant wasn’t working. Everyone’s stomach kind of hurts a little bit, it’s cold but the percentage of moistness is just enough to convince everyone not to wear a jacket. My little hat kept falling off. I keep wanting to refer to the three hours as a “moment” but I don’t think that does it much justice as it’s more of a very frail, annoying documentary than a moment. Maybe I just want to call it a moment because of the way I couldn’t feel the beat of a heart in my chest. There was no second guessing I was always so privy to, just doing.
There was something I had a knack for throughout all of high school that I didn’t realize brought me a lot of pain until I thought for more than twelve minutes about why I liked it so much only to come to the conclusion I couldn’t really like something I had never known how to live without unless by the fate of the universe pulling us apart: Loneliness.
Unfortunately for the universe, there was absolutely no telling the moment I’d close my fists on her. There was always a sapling of hope drizzled into the palm of my hand, a yearning for my sick body that I’d always see because she would always be there to show it to me. You wouldn’t turn away something made perfectly for you, would you? There was no growth without her. There was no growth, period. So I adapted, overcame, whatever. There was much movement, a prolonging of limbs and bones and guts and what not, but not much physical displacement. I stayed in the same spot throughout the seasons. I watched my luscious green yard fade into the cooler seasons as the numbers on the scale dropped and I absolutely adored every second of it. There was no other life made for me. The door knob turned, clicked into place, and the sound felt so familiar to my ears that it almost mimicked the sound of a glove sliding onto the most delicately, form-fitting hand. I hit my funny bone on the desk. Over and over again.
So, there I was: I wake up everyday, alone. I find something to eat alone. I pour the cereal, and then the milk, and then I eat it. Alone. Sounds of wetness and filth and the thickness of air pass through my nostrils. In the background of my kitchen there is a T.V., briefly covering the latest homicide two counties over in a voice that is so monotone it feels uncanny. I get dressed by myself. I go to town, alone. I like to sing in the car. I find a book about other lonely people. Shark eat shark. It’s a patronizing silence. Like a yelp I shove down, there was something so unmercifully deserved that lead me here. Sleep on the floor. No pillow. Spine on hardwood floors, wash your mouth out with soap, get the wicker switch — but now you will drive to the same school everyday and turn your phone off at 8:30 P.M. Merely sitting and stomaching a painful quietness that I have grown far too familiar with to be uncomfortable by. I get my drink to go. There was something brief coming over me in the ordering process. A year and a half ago a girl I was friends with told me she liked that one the best. I don’t go to the bakery anymore. The scones mock me, laugh in my face like children. I throw my straw away. When I get home I plan a pity day under the guise of self-care. I ask myself when it stops prioritizing a healthy mindset and starts being something that traps me in an 8x8 box.
The honest answer to that question is I don’t know. The honest answer to that question is that it never was.
There was just too much treadmill running and not enough advancement. So I began to write. Sloppy poetry on Bible-quote filled journals, I wrote outlines for short stories that never saw the light of day. My essays were straight to the point yet very messy, unshaven bits and pieces from a life so painfully stuck on the first page. There was no soul there. My writing material was pathetically dreary. Sad girls and their sad books with their sad, perfect loneliness that made you wish for it so much you couldn’t wait to reach out and just touch it.
I used to read a lot about how artists always hated when people assumed their best work came from their suffering. I used to hate the idea until the reality of it became like a fresh spring only for my eyes. There was nothing so fulfilling about my self-pity. Those artists were right and I was so painfully wrong, what I had once believed to be true about myself and my work came from nothing but the rush of emotions I had felt when doing it. The only feeling I had known was dread for a very long time. It was like a rush to the head to be able to dig my hands into that sinking feeling, something so rustic and ugly like picturing the image of my body from a satellite, grainy and unnatural and oh, so hunched. So tortured.
There was, and sometimes still is, something so beautiful about this image to me. Halfway, the sad-girl-artist trope peeking through midway through my most vulnerable moments that makes me feel as if my art is only worth trying to understand if I make the puncture and patch the same damn wound where everybody can see it. There is nobody there. I can do it all by myself. Look at this mess I made. Look at the way I clean it up.
They would love her. Honesty, spill your guts out, what more is there to offer?
There was no real inspiration coming from the pain I inflicted upon myself, only the drawn out consequences from the spicket I’d planted very violently into my head. I was running myself dry and I had no idea! Nobody wanted to tell me! I had lived my life in so many disgustingly fast ways and I didn’t even stop to think that, for a minute, the beat of my heart didn’t need to fade. I drew the words out of me like blood. Oversharing and overshading, I tried to change the stories to spare my soul but only ended up mixing the wires. There was no confidentiality. I was bare bones.
But my loneliness wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t very inspiring either. Akin to extreme hunger, it was like gritted teeth. There was a disgusting ache in all parts of my body that felt like television static. My eyes hurt. But I loved to be alone. I loved to wrap myself in my own arm, lay my head on my own pillow, sing my own songs, dream my own dreams. I rubbed my fingertips together and traced each divot in my knuckle until it came back to me. I repeated my ideas like a mantra, I sang my own shadow back to me until my eyes hurt from the blue light. They would kill themselves if they knew. They would devour me. It would all finally be worth something.
It took a very long time for me to try and squeeze my art into something that wasn’t just Brain Concentrate. Often times, in essays of this nature, I see a lot of general oversharing with no incentive. You gain nothing from handing your body to others on a silver platter. There is no pleasing, only pleading, and it never seemed to satisfy anyone but especially myself. There will always be more to put out, to lengthen, to wrap around the Earth like intestines, and sooner or later you just run out of emotion.
I plug my computer charger into the slit.
There was nothing more that I wanted than to be devoured. To have someone read my words and finally get it, to sink their teeth into my skin and have it leave a mark that said I see you, I see you, over and over until the battery dies. Scattered bits and pieces of manic diary entries put on Pages documents that received poor ratings, viewings, there are no worthwhile connections built on rocky passages and reworked nine-word phrases that have managed to lose all meaning come dawn. I am connected to everyone else through a bridge made of popsicle sticks, and the air quality becomes foggy halfway across the journey. My eyes hurt and my throat hurts, too. So does yours.