You know that sensation you get when you’re feeling disconnected, neglected, and lonely? Yeah, that one. A defiance, to all of it. I am here and you are not yet it seems like only I feel this negativity in myself. It threatens to consume me until I am nothing but a void. It ebbs and pushes like the annoying rhythmic pattern of waves, ceaselessly crashing and crashing and crashing onto the shore that is my heart. It pulls on me so much that I actually start to push back at it, snarling at it to try again if it dares. Because I am disconnected, neglected, and lonely, I maniacally laugh at its continuous pounding. I am becoming defensive now, casting out my own line of provocation, yet simultaneously and ironically fighting it all the while. You’re ignoring me now, aren’t you? (He really isn’t.) Well, I can too.
He doesn’t think my problems are rooted in my anxiety, insecurities, fears, and anger. He doesn’t want to be the one to comfort me anymore because it’ll only make me bad again. He doesn’t know what to say when I feel like the whole world is against me. He doesn’t touch me when I think I am disgusting and ugly. He doesn’t believe that I will ever hurt myself. He doesn’t like it when I’m unhappy and he wants me to smile more. He withdraws into himself when I try to reach out (I don’t want to perpetuate this cycle) so then I cry more because he was the one I thought I could count on to hold me when I was already feeling like shit. So now I must be wrong. I must not be allowed to feel this way. My problems don’t mean anything. They shouldn’t reach into the depths of me. Because, as he said, it’s all just surface level.
“But what is our purpose in life?”
The pterodactyl’s reply came promptly, solemnly. “To bring delight to children who eat us.”
“I look like a stegosaurus…”
“Yes, yes, yes – and yet ‘we’re all made of chicken breast and bread crumbs.’ You’ve said this before!”
“Well, it begs the question: did the chicken come before us or did the egg?”
“…either way you say it, we were never first.”
The nugget dinosaurs slump even further into ketchup. They are minuscule philosophers, waiting on a white dinner plate with no choice but to accept their fate.
I stumbled across a blog with a “100 Word Flash Fiction” challenge and I figured that since I already wrote around 200 words per post, it would certainly be up my alley – and I was right! I’ll jot some down from time to time. They’re definitely more lighthearted compared to what I usually write… I sincerely hope someone will notice the play of words for the title.
When you cry so much, your tears start to mean nothing. There is a certain sadness—a weary emptiness—to them, something that wasn’t there before. Before, they had been full of broken promises, failed attempts, and heart-shattering revelations. They made sense when you cried and they understood you when you tried. When you cry all the time now—when singular teardrops start to cascade in ceaseless rivulets, running down your cheekbones—you begin to feel numb to yourself and to everyone else. You’ve cried so much that it doesn’t make sense anymore. Scientifically, these tears should make you feel whole again—they should make you feel more at peace with yourself. But when you cry all the time, you start to wonder if your feelings were ever valid to begin with.
First thing's first. I am sorry that I am unapologetic. When I ask for your opinion, I truly wish to know your deepest desires and guilty obsessions. I am constantly overwhelmed by the foolish and the trivial barraging on my thoughts— threatening me, taunting me to give in. When I call for you to "figure this out" (right now, please) I am insecure with my feelings because I am aware that I shouldn't feel this way anymore. I am impatient, and brazenly so, that I don't just play with fire; I seem to intentionally harm myself so that the flames are sure to caress me with its singeing fingertips— and then I still do it again anyways. I become restless yet hopeful that my ragged and torn intuition will eventually guide me down the right path, but I still feel anxious about what happens next. When I say these wretched things to you, rambling and wreaking havoc, I surely must be "asking for it"— I know, I feel the same way too— because I prod, pick, scratch at all of the "little things" that really shouldn't matter. It makes perfect sense that I start to question myself and even my own self worth because I am still compelled to yell, argue, talk until my voice is so hoarse and so deep with residual emotion and with the final exaltation of resolution. Yet somehow, whenever I need/want (both are one and the same to me now) to speak, no one is willing to be sensitive. Instead, they say they are sorry but I know they are only being apologetic for me.
There truly is a sense of clarity and calm in the middle of all the brooding, scratching, amplifying throes. It is that small speck of rational thought—the true breadth of the situation not the one that you quickly imagined—that tiny cusp of infinite possibilities converging to reveal the honest spectacle of that reality. It is when you realize that you actually compartmentalize a lot of what you experience and process in your life that the whole world—your world—starts to shift on what seems to be a marginal angle, but is really of the consequential sort. That your boxes of life—family, academics, work, friends, relationships, and all in between—are all meant to overlap, mingle, meld into each other —like the molten wax suspended in lava lamp—before it can separate again into more suitable shapes congruent with the current version of yourself. You truly find yourself appreciating the fluidity of the mind to accept and forgive all of your sharp edges, each side being smoothed out over and over again into something more merciful than before.
So this is what it feels like—seeing yourself in the mirror crystal clearly. It’s too clear now. I am too emotional. Too dependent. I need it all the time. I want it all the time. But I already get it all the time. This is what it feels like to see your whole world fall away to the bare skeleton that it actually is—it’s not clean, white, pristine—no, there’s still shiny, crimson ligaments and tendrils dangling, dripping off the bony structures. It feels as if you’re slowly stripping away your skin before reaching underneath to pick off the rest of the musculature bits. And I can’t see clearly now. Everything is too blurry, tinged in distortion and conflict. So much of me does not want to believe that what I am discovering is true. A part of me wills it to retreat back and ignore it. Why did I have to find out now? I was lying to myself this entire time. This whole time. This whole time I was the fake, the liar—the thing that I hate most.