Not That.

I’m listening to “Love/Paranoia” by Tame Impala on repeat, drinking my second cup of, now cold, chamomile tea. My best friend sends me a picture of herself and I feel my eyes well up momentarily because her collarbones are visible and mine are not, her lips are full and mine are not, her skin is clear and mine are not, her eyes are pretty and mine are not, I am not any of that, I don’t have any of that. Another cigarette won’t make me feel any better but I want one anyway. My room is too hot. I don’t know how I’m going to fall asleep tonight–not without struggle, that’s for sure. Even the days that are okay aren’t really okay, you know? I’m so tired of being inside my own head, because it’s not a fun place to be. I need a new phone. I need a car that isn’t a piece of shit. I need new shoes but I can’t any in my size because I was “blessed” with abnormally large feet. It’s even hard for me to find men’s shoes. I just want a pair of oxfords, for fuck’s sake. Something is wrong with my right hip. I’m not that old yet. I would rate my depression at a 7 out of 10 right now, and my anxiety maybe a 5. A wavering 5. I want to win the lottery. I want to be discovered. Or shot dead. There’s so much of that happening, but not to me, because I’m not that lucky.

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Alyssa & John

Alyssa is 19 but she looks like she’s 15. She’s tiny, especially compared to my nearly-six-foot stature. I might even be more than a foot taller than her. She is not pretty. Her hair, while a fine shade of strawberry-blonde, is always unstyled and frizzy. Her eyes bug out from their sockets and she accentuates this by lining her eyes in silver glitter and coating her lashes in too much mascara, this being the only makeup she wears. However, she has a small waist, visible hips (no ass, though), and fairly large breasts, so it’s not totally baffling why so many men sleep with her, but it still leaves me a bit puzzled.

John is also 19 and once I discovered the ages of both he and Alyssa it all made so much more sense. The two years could be compared to twenty. I am living in a completely different world than them, though we attend the same school and some of the same classes and live in the same area, roughly. John is so clean-cut and handsome I thought there was a strong possibility of him being gay. He doesn’t dress all that great, but nicer than nearly every other undergrad student I see on campus. He always smells really good, and I say this with a bit of shame because he probably just uses Axe or Old Spice, nothing like Paco Rabanne 1 Million, my favorite cologne, which even I wear quite often. John is tall, actually taller than me, and has extremely blue eyes. It’s easy to see he is unable to grow a full beard or anything close to it yet. The skin of his jaw is smooth.

John and I have somewhat intelligent chit-chat. I was surprised that he’s an English major, but hey, whatever. We can easily discuss the books we’re reading in class or what books we like outside of school. He laughs at my morbid death-wish “jokes” and will lightly hit my arm as he laughs at me every so often. I have no idea what he and Alyssa talk about, all I know is, they’ve had sex multiple times. It made perfect sense. While he knows both Alyssa and I fairly equally, it makes sense that he would pursue her. It’s easy to tell that she’s, well, easy. Also, she has those visible birthing hips, while I do not. For some reason, the airheads always win.

I was mostly appalled that he was still having sex with her even after, during class, as we took turns reading aloud from Omeros, Alyssa did not know how to say the word “waif” (among others). My god. This girl is an English major and she can barely read. How does this not make John’s penis go immediately flaccid and shrink into his body?

One day, after John was being visibly moody and distant toward her, Alyssa said, “I swear, John is like, bipolar.” Well, first of all, sweetheart, lemme tell you something about “bipolar.” No, I didn’t say that. But another day she showed me a picture of John’s ex-girlfriend (Alyssa was upset because John had been texting his ex in class – dear god!), a very attractive dark-haired girl. I shrugged and said, “She’s pretty.” Immediately Alyssa declared that she was “cuter than her” to which I replied, “I just like brunettes.” She redeclared the same statement then went on to continue online-stalking him.

But a revelation! On Sunday night, wasted, John texted Alyssa that he “wanted to fuck her” and she said no. Aha! My dear audience, applaud! Applaud! Cheers to this young woman who stood her ground, who refuses to be put second by this boy who probably doesn’t even know how to eat pussy right! Cheers!

I haven’t heard much about the two of them lately. Alyssa told me that she made out with that guy at her work who’s always flirting with her. I can feel my brain cells combusting every time she opens her mouth. It’s like high school, but worse, because none of my friends in high school were ever this promiscuous. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I just can’t relate to the glitter eyeliner and the fawning over boys who know exactly what they’re doing and no you are not their girlfriend thing. Maybe there will be some more news on Friday. Maybe one day John will try to fuck me. It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Z

“You Have Talent”

I love the story I wrote for my fiction class. I can say that wholeheartedly. I actually regret submitting it to a SUNY literary magazine for possible publication because I honestly think it’s good enough to be published somewhere else. It’s not often I churn out a piece of prose I love this much.

I tried not to look at the critiques posted online, but couldn’t resist. There is one person in my class, much older than the rest of us, more insightful (I envy his ability in that regard), and not afraid to say what he has to say, though always in a professional manner. His critique was the one I was most “worried” about, however, what I saw from him was not what I expected:

Imagery: the cornerstone of this story, and a clear gift within the writer’s toolbox. It’s dripping from each moment. It’s not a catalogue of wandering vistas, but a series of interconnected tastes and memories that loop back on the word ‘shattered.’

You have talent. Which is a useless piece of datum, however praise has its own value. But because you’re a writer and I’m a writer let’s get down to it. I think you’re pulling punches. You could be quicker with the delivery of detail. I would bet a dollar that’s exactly what you want to do but hesitate because this class is an exercise in being critiqued more than an effort of true creation. Let the sweetness cut me, eliminate some words, get me to the flavor and get me there now. Because you have a story here that doesn’t quite get off the ground though it threatens to. Don’t worry, it’s basically the process all short-stories go through. On a rewrite, take Vonnegut’s advice: try to write as close to the end as you can.

I’d very much like to see revisions and additions to the story’s unfolding. And writer to writer, I could stand to learn a few things from your kinetic descriptions of objects.

Yes, it’s true, my story is teeming with imagery and vivid descriptions and detail. But now, I did not write it that way because of this class. What I want to do is what I did, and that’s that. I don’t appreciate my skill of writing imagery being praised while simultaneously being insulted. This critique screams, “You obviously can do better, so start writing for yourself, not the class.” I’m not writing for anyone but myself, and the fact that I won’t be able to tell this person that, defend my work and myself, is going to drive me insane. Critiques are difficult for every writer. But it’s even more difficult when someone makes an assumption about the way you write, or worse, “who” you’re writing for.

Also, I’m taking that “You have talent” shit as more of an insult than a compliment.

Z

It’s been thirteen days

since my last post and, once again, I am ashamed. But I’ve been feeling ashamed quite a lot lately.

Last night I started taking 900 mg of Lithium, the dosage I’ve been gradually working toward for a few months. It doesn’t seem to be helping (at least not on its own or with my Klonopin). Sure, I’ve been less suicidal than I was in July, but I still feel like pure shit. The last time I saw my psychiatrist I was very erratic and emotional and basically went on a tangent about how there’s no point to anything (which, if we’re being existential, there isn’t).

The most discouraging part about my depressed state lately is the fact that some good things have happened, I just don’t see them as good things.

After months and months of searching, I got a job at a department store. I should be excited. Instead, I’m worried about the whole thing. I’m worried about the fact that I only have one acceptable pair of shoes to wear and they’re falling apart (and buying new shoes isn’t much of an option, unless I buy men’s shoes, because my feet are a size 14 women’s. I actually like men’s shoes, but they don’t go with every outfit.), I’m worried about my lack of “appropriate” dress clothes, since I don’t weigh what I did a year ago and a third of what I own no longer fits, and I’m worried about not actually making money since the department store is about 11 miles from my house and college is about 30 miles away, and I may be doing all this driving in one day, which means a lot spent on gas. Most of all, I’m worried that I will despise the job because I’ll tell myself, This sucks, I don’t like this.

I’ve been casually talking to this girl I “met” via a shitty dating app. She’s very intelligent, very interesting, and also the total opposite of me. She’s spontaneous and adventurous, with a self-proclaimed “fuck it” attitude. I, on the other hand, do not possess any of those qualities. I’m fearful, cautious, and anxious. We, spontaneously, met up one night last week to watch a meteor shower. It was great. There was no awkwardness (the alcohol may have helped). The conversation flowed with ease. I also felt better about being seen only in the dark, since, well, I’m no prize. It ended a bit abruptly, but today I COURAGEOUSLY texted her asking if she’d like to do something this week, to which she said yes. The issue is, I have to figure out what we’re going to do. I know what I would want to do – go to an art gallery, a thrift store, get drinks, you know, safe and low-key activities. But I don’t know what she wants.

I’m not new to going on dates, but I am new to going on dates with someone I actually like.

Is it too early to say that? Probably. But I do, and that also dampens my spirits. Because I barely know this girl. She could be talking to five other people for all I know. But I’m intrigued by her and want to get to know her more and spend more time with her. And yet, I wonder, is it worth the risk? Is opening up worth the risk? Is allowing her to see me in daylight worth the risk?

I hate texting someone you’re trying to get to know better because it’s just that, you don’t know them. It seems like mind games. I’m trying to analyze what she’s actually saying. I’m trying to figure out if I’m being judged. I’m trying to figure out if she actually wants to go out again, or if she just doesn’t care. I just hate texting. I also hate “dates”. Sure, it’s easy to say, Just think of it as getting to know a new friend! But it’s not like that. This new “friend” could stop talking to me because I don’t have the right body, said the wrong thing, or don’t like the same movies as them. I don’t fucking know. Friendships don’t develop that way. This person is putting me under a microscope. Am I paranoid? You tell me, I really don’t know.

I don’t like being judged because I know I am inadequate. I know there’s someone better out there. Hell, they’re probably ten feet away, let’s be real. So I sit here and wonder over and over, Is it worth it? I want to love and be loved, but it probably won’t happen, so why bother trying?

Oh, and summer is almost over and it’s been total shit and I haven’t bought my books yet or notebooks or anything because I have no money.

I feel very alone.

Z

Fat People Are Still People

I’ve been binge-watching New Girl on Netflix (don’t judge me too harshly – I know it’s a terrible show, I’m just in a bad state of mind and want something stupid to kill time) and in the last episode I watched, there was a flashback scene to one of the male roommates, the currently-cut, working, sleeping-with-a-model Jewish frat boy, when he was fat. He was on the couch, making out with a girl, also fat. Of course, this scene was intended to be funny. Fat people are funny, right?

As someone who’s basically always been overweight, this portrayal of “fat people” on TV and in movies is quite aggravating. Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, even “Fat Monica” from Friends…the list of “fat characters” and “fat actresses” (and actors, but in particular, actresses, let’s be real) goes and on and on and there is one common factor: all of the characters are meant to be, pun intended, big fat jokes.

Fat people portrayed in the media are not portrayed like “thin” people or rather, “normal” people. “Normal” people and characters are allowed to have romantic and sexual feelings, have good and “normal” sex with other “normal” people, go on dates, have good jobs, and are treated fairly in the world, generally speaking. Fat people and characters, on the other hand, are not allowed to have romantic or sexual feelings – that would humanize them too much. A “normal” man going on a date with a “fat” girl? That’s a joke. Literally. It’s okay for the guy to fall in love with the nerdy girl, but never the fat girl. It’s okay for the girl to fall in love with the nerdy “nice” guy, but never the fat guy.

I know people have discussed this on the internet time and time again, but I actually never felt personally affected by it until today. Because I am insecure. And I am “fat”. And seeing these sad, inaccurate, hurtful portrayals of “fat” people in the media only fuels my own personal thinking that I AM NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ROMANTIC OR SEXUAL FEELINGS. And that’s wrong. It’s so, so wrong. But it seriously just makes my own argument stronger in my twisted, emotionally damaged, fat mind – why should someone ever take me seriously or love me or want to be with me and how dare I want someone or want to be loved or want to be taken seriously when I am fat?

Fat people are still people. We do have feelings. We do fall in love. We do want to be loved back, also. And I, among others, really need to learn that that is okay.

– Z

Unemployement Forever

I’m sitting on craigslist looking for jobs, and honestly, wanting to die.

That’s an exaggeration, but as I was scrolling through all the ads written in that stark blue font (why??), I just had the thought, I want to kill myself, in that very melodramatic way,

I hate this. I am one of those people who can’t manage to lock down a job. But let’s be honest here: I’ve been “fired” from two jobs (I’m using that loosely because for one of those jobs, I was recruited by another company, so technically I wasn’t fired by them, and the other one I actually voluntarily left because I royally fucked up), worked seasonally for 3 jobs, and quit 2 jobs. The longest job I had was working as a telemarketer for 7 months. Honestly, sometimes I wish I could go back to that job (and I could, actually, but I wouldn’t want to be under the same management) because I had good hours and made good money.

I just got done working the holiday season at Sephora. It was decent. The hours were wishy-washy, but I was surrounded by makeup and skincare (I own about 30 blushes and that’s all I’m ever going to say about my love of makeup), and I liked all my managers and most of my coworkers. I did feel out of place at times, but that was usually because I didn’t have a boyfriend or fiance or husband to talk about. Seriously, that was usually what was discussed. My managers chose not to keep me permanently, though. I had known there was a 50% chance of this happening, but I thought since I had been there since the very beginning in September and knew the ropes, got along with everyone, always did my best, was never late and only called in once in the span of 5 months, that I had a decent chance of staying. Nope. My manager told me an hour and half into my shift, which resulted in a teary-eyed me cashing out snarky women buying 20 dollar lipsticks. I apparently didn’t have enough “passion for the client” and I’m “impersonable”.

Those two statements alone made me realize why I’ll probably never succeed in a job until I actually graduate with a Master’s and can establish a career. I don’t seem passionate while interacting with most people because, well, Jesus, I’m standing behind a cash register and have the opportunity to talk with someone for about two minutes. I don’t form bonds quickly in my personal life, I can tell you right now I am not going to establish any kind of relationship with someone I have forced small talk with at work. It’s just not me. And I come across as “impersonable” because I’m shy and not confident and I’m quiet. I’m naturally not outgoing. But you can’t go up to your boss and say, Hey, I have these chronic diseases that make me emotionally unstable and really anxious so there are going to be times where I’m just unable to stand around smiling for eight hours, is that okay?

To wrap it up here, I’m just fed up. I’m fed up with being broke and jobless I can’t do it anymore (literally, financially, cannot do it anymore), but here I am yet again. It’s frustrating being unqualified for most things. I have a very small pool to wade in. It’s a miracle if I even get called for an interview.

I’m going to go have a cigarette and probably cry.

– Z