So here it is again – the loneliest hour. The hour where you fear you will not see the dawn, but the hour that you know when you do see it with its fingers plucking off your blankets one by one, and its nails scratching at your tired eyes and its light creeping through the cracks in the curtain, where “the sun will come out tomorrow” is a threat from a song that should be a promise, when the real song in your head is the one from that musical about felines. The one song in the production that is sad. The one song that represents someone’s one chance at living the life she wants to lead. The one who yearns to stay up until she rises with the sun.
I am still waiting for daylight that I don’t dread. Waiting to not be the most alive when everyone else is the most asleep, wanting to believe that sleep really does have the answers, wanting to believe that the long, slow, slide into a nervous breakdown can be stopped before you go flying off the end headfirst and your face hits the mulch chips and there are splinters, so many splinters, and they will leave scars.
The song running through my head tonight is not the hopeful notes of someone who believes that tomorrow will be better. Speaking of which, Hollywood, QUIT RUINING MY CHILDHOOD WITH YOUR BAD REMAKES. Quevenzhane Wallace? She’s cute. That’s plausible. But Cameron Diaz? NO NO NO GOD NO MAKE. IT. STOP. It’s like the difference between Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Johnny Depp. What makes the neurosis scary is not just flat out crazy or someone playacting at meanness. It’s the glimpses of not-crazy, the glimpses that life could have been different, that the potential for something was there and that’s what is trying to be killed with isolation or alcohol: the good things, not the bad ones. The bad ones are easier to believe. The bad thoughts are the ones that leave the deepest scars. The people that have fucked up my head the most are the ones that I thought would be the most helpful, starting with my dad and ending…well, I don’t know. I feel so old and so dead but some of my family members, even the ones with the worst habits, have lived a very, very long time. I could die tomorrow, I could die in a year, or ten or fifty, and I sometimes wonder if this uncertainty about everything is what fuels my darkest thoughts. I feel like my brain almost would rather NOT know the future, it would rather decide its own future. Or lack of one. The song in my head tonight is the alternate lyrics of the sad song in a mostly happy, disjointed, musical:
Memory, turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin
Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
* * *
Sunlight, through the trees in summer
Like a flower as the dawn is breaking
The memory is fading
I am tired of these thoughts, these dark and putrid pockets in my head that are timed to open just as they really need to be closing.
I remember singing this song in voice lessons in high school, and my voice teacher asking me why I identified with the lyrics – “I can smile at the old days, I was beautiful then” – when I wasn’t even 18. And I don’t remember if I told her why. But I have always had the dark side, the side that looks back at the pictures in junior high when maybe I really wasn’t nearly as fat as I thought I was, maybe I could have been thinner, prettier, more confident, more popular, more whatever. And even at 16, I remember thinking it was too late for me to be beautiful.
Maybe I’m just weird because I remember the bad things in my life so much more than the good. I can relive every awkward or painful moment, every uncomfortable silence, every time the perfect comeback entered my head after the tears had started to fall, every kiss from every man that never really meant it, not the way I did, every harsh word about my hair or my voice or my face or my body or my mind or my talent or my freckles. And those are the memories on repeat tonight and every night, the ones that start to creep in around the time I drive home from the place where I have to put on my normal face and that have gathered up a full head of steam by the time I brush my teeth or try to find a book to read.
I don’t know how to talk anymore.
I don’t know how to really connect anymore. I am spending so much energy trying to hold the core together that I can’t pay attention to the little pieces that are flying off in the wind, the happy things that blow away one at a time. I feel like what was once a girl with a little hope for a sunrise is now pretty sure that not only will the sun be hidden behind a cloud forever, that she can scream and scream and scream but everyone stopped listening a long time ago because the scream was one long, lonely cry of wolf.
People have tried to save me, but the wolf blocks the path. Sometimes she sleeps, and people can get closer. But then she wakes up in a bundle of snarling teeth and flying fur and no matter how much anyone wants to save the girl, they have to save themselves first. Put their masks on before assisting the passenger who needs it.
Please let the magic lamp work. Please reset my clock so I don’t have to go find some night job or move across the world (and I wonder, would that work? Moving somewhere halfway around the planet so my clock is on the right schedule?).
Please. The cabin is losing pressure and there’s not much air left. The wolf has guarded her prey for a long time and fed on the scraps the people fed her in an attempt to distract her from her quarry, but scraps are not enough anymore.
Song of the Day: “Mad World” – Tears for Fears
Today’s Time Waster: Melodramatic bursts of self-awareness.
What I’m Craving: Just for a little while, to be something that the world considers normal, so that being weird can be a choice rather than an absolute.