Authors: Penelope Crowe
I cut my birds flight feathers today. She can’t fly as well now and she needs me to get from place to place. She can still flutter around without hurting herself—but she relies on me as her transportation. Maybe this is what my husband did to me. Or I did to myself. Maybe I am crippled now and I can no longer do anything on my own and I need him for everything, even though I do not want to be anywhere near him, and I’d rather be doing anything else than what I am doing.
Wake up, pee, drink water, get dressed, drink Coke, take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, let the dog out, feed the dog, sweep the kitchen, take a shower, talk to my friend on the phone, draw, check the computer, go to the shrink if it’s Monday, think how retarded I am, walk the dog…get it? I can’t do much more because I am sick. Whatever. Sometimes I take college classes and I pretend I like them. I don’t like anything. I liked watching porn for a while but that got old really fast. Sometimes I like to draw. Most of the time it hurts my brain and I am lonely. I like to watch movies—two hours without me.
I’ve decided it would be easier to follow the trail of breadcrumbs through the woods—rain or shine—just to have someone tell me where to go. I’d be able to hear the birds as I wander…I’d be able to see the trees as it gets dark…I’d be able to follow someone’s trail to help me arrive at the house and it least it would not be my fault when I get shoved into the oven—or someone else does. I would be grateful when the door shuts and I don’t have to hear it or feel it anymore ever again.
Oh…you’re not happy—I don’t care. Oh…you cannot take care of yourself—it’s no longer my fault. I can stop trying to grow up into the person I will never be. I will no longer have to look at other people who are smiling and happy and pretend I am happy so I don’t disturb or not be the kind of person they want to be around or invite me over and regret or have nothing, nothing, nothing, to look forward to. To be flat-lining every second of my life and have no one to tell because I really do have everything I could ever want.
I could withhold food from the pets and slowly watch them starve. I could clean out the closets and find tiny crosses hidden under the paper on the shelves. I could go see houses that I could buy, but have no real motivation because it would be too much trouble to move. I actually want ice cream, but I can’t eat it anymore. When I was young I would lie in bed and feel that a string was being pulled through my fingers and I could not grab it hard enough to hold onto it. Somehow I could feel it in my blood cells and everything vibrated and changed and I had to clench my jaw to prevent myself from screaming. My fingers felt too big for my hands. I wonder if that was the beginning of psychosis.
My mother wore bobby pins in her hair and one fell on the floor. Some water spilled on it and it left a blackish-teal mark on the hardwood that was beautiful because it ruined something. My mattress was on the floor and I used to play with the spring on the bottom of my sister’s crib. I could spin the spring and it would go so fast around the metal rod that it would hover in mid-air for a few seconds and I knew that if I spun it fast enough the world would stop for a minute and everything would be fine.
Today I don’t feel like killing myself as much as I have the past week. I still do not want to do anything. I do not want to have a conversation because it is too much trouble to think.
If Lyme is a bio-weapon, it is perfect. It might not be as awe-inspiring as the flash and burn of bombs or as quick-acting as anthrax—but even though you survive, you will never be the same.
You have become the walking dead like the brain-eating tribe in New Guinea that gets Kuru. Maybe it is worse than being a zombie because the world still expects you to go about your business because you do not have blood oozing from your pores or staring bone-white eyes. But you have worms in your brain and you are responding to their needs and wants. They thrive on sugar and you have an almost irresistible urge for cake and sweets. They come to life in the spring—their offspring hatch again in your brain and you see sparkling lights as you are driving and you have to pull over because you can’t see through them. You feel dull, like you have had a hangover for months and months and then you want to kill yourself because you don’t even have enough energy to blow dry your hair or take care of your son or let the dog out in the middle of the night.
Some days are better than others. Some days you don’t just want to kill yourself—you want to kill somebody else. Maybe they seem so happy and they are giving
advice on being happy. Really? That’s what I should do? I should work out and eat better? Okay, I’ll try that—for the 7,000 time, I’ll try that, because that is what happens—you relapse and there is nothing you can do about it. Do everything right and God will love you because you worship him. So you do everything right and you obey him. It is so far from the truth it makes me cry.
Like I said before—he doesn’t give a fuck about you. And if he is picking his favorites and blessing them with big cars and health and beautiful children and forsaking others, then he is an asshole. They don’t deserve things any more than you do, or I do, or maybe I should say we don’t deserve these things any less. I would be very happy with a brain I could control a little. I could pray and pray for that and absolutely nothing would happen. Like when my friend was sixteen and getting sicker and sicker day by day and I prayed harder and harder day by day.
Please let her get better.
I read somewhere that the word hope is just as bad as any of the other four-letter words. According to this article, having hope was tantamount to digging your own grave because you are hoping and hoping and waiting and watching the world go by, but the hope is the thing that is giving you inertia and preventing you from moving. So when you lose the hope and actually get off your ass and do something—that is when the good things start to happen.
But what if you actually lose hope? I lost it and now I have one day that fades into the next. There are days where I know I am impotent to do anything good, where no one is really happy to see me and the time just bleeds into night and then into the next day. And it hurts to smile more than it hurts to be alone. I also read that if you force yourself to smile then your body releases endorphins which make you begin to feel much better. What if your body forgot how to produce endorphins and the only way you can get them is by eating the cookies the worms want and then you get so fat that you can’t get up off the chair? That would be par for the course. Or maybe you can take one of the endless drugs on the market.
Slightly depressed? Here you go—this could work in conjunction with your
anti-depressant. But just be careful and go to your doctor if you feel weak, or shaky, your eyes turn yellow, or if you start to pee blood and your thoughts of suicide and murder worsen. Please stop taking the product immediately if you develop leukemia or tuberculosis or your skin bubbles and bleeds and your eyes pop out. Okay. I’ll make sure I stop if I get cancer.
You don’t need to suffer from depression anymore!
A is for Apple—a fruity red treat
B’s for Bipolar—and thoughts of red meat
C is for Cavern—the one your friend fell in
D is for Devil— the hell that you dwell in
E is for Everest—and all those who died there
F is for Fame—what they want when they try there
G is for Gasp—you can’t get enough air
H is for Heaven—don’t think you’ll go there
I is for Incest—in love with your brother
J is for Jerk-off—hands under the cover
K is for Killer—the one that awaits you
L is for Lover—your married one hates you
M is for Mary—who I hate less than God
N is for Nothing—no lightning or rod
O is for Oven—for roasting for basting
P is for Poison—use it all, no sense wasting
Q is for Queen—what I am of the world
S is for Snake—who’s my King and is curled
Round the T in the Totem that sits in my garden
Cursing U and your children and watching them harden
Into Vicious and Wandering X-cons with no souls
And You open a Zoo filled with ferrets and trolls.
I have collected pens since I was little. Magic Markers—partially because of the beautiful colors and partially because of the name. Some of them were scented to match their color. Pencils that felt good when you held them in your hand. Pencils that felt good when you wrote with them at a certain angle. The mechanical pencils all my friends in school wanted. A set of four retractable and spring-loaded pens in girl colors—pink, purple, light-blue and light-green. They had gold swirls on the outside—I won them in third grade during an auction in class—I spent a dollar—which was a lot.
I stole a gigantic pen the size of my forearm out of a girl’s desk and put it in my locker in the tin foil box, but she found out it was missing and I eventually gave it back. I have an Agatha Christie pen that is black with a white gold snake with ruby eyes for a clip. I asked for it for my birthday. I watched my grandfather steal a pack of felt-tipped pens from the corner store for me—I did not say anything. I have traded pens I got to sign the check at a restaurant with a pen that I had in my purse because I liked the pen in the check folder better.
An old silver pen I own writes on its own if I hold it a certain way. I will leave a penny on the ground if I see one but I will pick up a pen. I ask what kind of pen someone is using and say that I like it very much with the hopes they will give it to me. Green ink does not feel good to write with. Some kids at school bought the awesome multi-colored pens that had several retractable tips. Usually they were blue, black, green and red.
Bad habits are just easy habits. Biting your fingernails is simple—they are attached to you. When you stop a bad habit, it gets replaced with another. Nail biting changes to hair twirling, or eating too much, or collecting cats. And overeating feels good too. So, let’s say you stop
your visible bad habits. You don’t chew the skin on your fingers, you don’t snack all day, you quit smoking and you don’t pull out your eyelashes or pop your zits. So now what…you look so good because you lost weight and your hands are healing—but now you watch porn. How fun! It’s harmless. Or you start tapping your feet because you are a nervous wreck all the time. Maybe you start yelling at your husband and kids, or feeling depressed. So you have to find
kind of replacement. And oh dear, you will…
My boyfriend was in jail and he took pills to keep himself awake at night so he would not get raped. He only had to go on the weekends and he figured he could stay awake for a few nights at a time. He made a small slit in the tongue of his sneaker and hid the drugs there that he would have to take to prevent sleep. I never loved him and I wrote letters to him that said I loved him and he poured soda in my lap while we were driving because I disagreed with him and I made him get out of my car.
I hope he is dead.
I did not tell anyone at work that I was dating a co-worker. I liked it to be a secret, and I did not care very much when one of my friends thought it was terrible that I’d kept this from her. Before I dated him, I liked him and I wanted to fuck him. I had the room right next to him at the company Christmas party and I listened to him fucking his girlfriend through the wall. It sounded like they had an alright time—but it would not have sounded that way if I was fucking him.
If he was fucking me he would have been far more interested. He may have even made some noise or said something like, “You like that, do you like that?” The headboard would band against the wall, and the person in my room would get hit by the picture hanging over their head. They would have to bang on the wall and say
, or maybe quietly listen.
He would kiss me all night long and tell me he loved me with his mouth pressed really close to my ear, and he would bite me and it would hurt and then I would cry out and he would kiss where it hurt. He would ask if I was thirsty and after I fell asleep he would cover me because I would fall asleep naked and he would know that eventually I would get cold. He would not be hungry for days because he loved me so much. He would pray for me before he went to sleep at night and he would never kiss another.
How many pieces of jewelry with birthstones do you have? Take them all out and put one on at night right before you go to sleep, because all gems have a life in them and if you wear the wrong one and it could hurt you. Wear it to bed and remember your dreams. If you do not have a dream you are fine, unless someone tells you that you were sleepwalking or you screamed in your sleep—then that is not the stone for you.