1:37

It starts.

At 1:37 am it starts,

A tightness in my chest that starts like a bulb.

It spreads crawling, winding all over me until

Chest, shoulders, upper arms, neck.

I can’t draw breath.

But, I know what I must do!

I stagger bleary-eyed to my computer

Why didn’t I just go to bed!

My mind screams at me

Tight, Tighter, Tighten

It’s over my clothes now,

Into my seams

The only way to rid my self of this poison…

I bleed it out,

The cold knife slips into to a well-worn vein.

On the keyboard,

Splattered on the walls,

The light from the screen is tainted.

Showing lifeless blue through scarlet life

I am free.

Bloodlet from creativity

Maybe now I can turn over

Maybe now I can get some sleep.

Permanence

I have a weird thing about writing in notebooks. It’s weird I can put pixel to pixel but, pen to paper seems too permanent. I have tens of unfinished notebooks and none of them are filled. I don’t know what about it screams like once you finish it you can’t get it back… I mean I can go out and buy a new notebook but, it always feels like my words aren’t good enough for the page. Like I’m taking this space up from someone else.

I was cleaning up some of my old stuff and I found a few notebooks I hadn’t gotten to more than halfway with. Honestly, that’s a whole lot for me I mean halfway? Me?! but, it was a shock to me that none of my old childhood notebooks were even full. Did I even know back then that imposter syndrome would hit me so hard?

It’s crazy looking back on the things that I thought were important. The things that I wrote down. What girls I liked back then, my idea for Black Widowman, (This was of course before I: Knew that Black Widow existed and B. Before I knew what a widow was. So please don’t judge me too harshly.) scrawn ideas that flit through my ADHD mind while I was definitely thinking of other things except for school work.

I think besides just the imposter syndrome I have trouble taking up space. I have trouble just existing in my fullness. I have become unapologetic in the parts of my personality that’s not toxic but, I still feel like I don’t deserve the space I take up.

It’s a sobering kind of thought, really. I mean I don’t understand the people who can. Do they just decide one day that the space they take up is their own? Or is it a more gradual thing? Am I being polite or just subservient? I know it’s something I have to change about myself but, I don’t really know how so I’m just sitting here. Trying to fill this old notebook I got from an ex.

 

Essential

I’m going slowly insane. I mean I’m glad I’ve got my job but, the amount of people who don’t seem to care about the pandemic makes me want to pull my hair out. I just don’t know what needs to be done so that people won’t come into my store with their entire families… It all just makes me want to scream. Why don’t they care about being sick?

It’s not enough that they don’t care about themselves but when we walk away because they’re too close they follow us like it’s no big deal. They squeeze in behind us and reach over us like we’re mannequins. I’m so tired of it. If we get infected in a great enough number the store closes.

We had our first confirmed case at the store this week. There’s no telling who could have been infected it’s made a huge change at work. People who were unworried before are now wearing masks and gloves and actually staying away from each other. Things we were always supposed to be doing but, we foolishly thought we were safe.

My friends range from essential to laid off and they’re all worried about me. Somehow that’s not really the attention I like. I feel bad for those that lost their jobs and I feel lucky to have mine but, somehow the apocalypse isn’t great for my mental health. Who would have thought?

Sorry about being late on the book but, you already know the score. Things are looking a bit better for me right now and I think I need this way too much not put my all in. Thanks for being patient I won’t make you guys wait too much longer.

Famous Last Words (Looking for Alaska review)

I remember when I first read Looking for Alaska. It wasn’t the first time my heart had broken from a book but, it was one that would be with me for a long time. I decided to pick up Looking for Alaska again before the show came out and I’m so glad I did. I don’t usually read books multiple times but, something about Alaska got me to read everything John Green ever published. Something about his writing about way too smart teens and overly elegant speech patterns made me secretly want to be a character in his books. They were perfect. Damaged just enough to be lovable. Using big words and perfectly exposing introspective ideals that even if they don’t fit perfectly they convey so much more about the character. You can tell this made me sound not only extremely pretentious but, incredibly annoying. (I apologize to everyone who knew me back then and a few who know me now.)

I fell in love with his characters and I think so far Paper Towns is my favorite by far. Margo Roth Spiegelman is awesome because no one writes about even fluffy women as if they’re desirable. She’s intelligent, daring, and just the person to get me out of my shell like she did for Quentin. Looking back that might have been a bit pathetic. It’s about putting people on pedestals a bit like Looking For Alaska. It’s definitely something I needed to hear when I was growing up.

The thing I like now about John Green’s writing is that the love interest is always a person. They have things they have wants and needs and an entire life without the MC in it. Which brings me to Alaska Young (Kristine Forseth). In the book, she was flirty and mysterious and we never got a look into who she was. Pudge (Charlie Plummer)thought she was perfect and so did we. Everyone’s perfect Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Returning to the book this last week, I felt bad for Alaska. Knowing what happens to her and really listening to her this time though she broke my heart. Not because of her sudden exit from our lives but, that she was really and truly failed by the people around her. She asked for help with every breath and no stopped to even ask her if she was okay. I remember being like that when I was really going through depression badly. Literally telling anyone who would listen about the pain I was in. I knew I wasn’t faking it well enough for people not to notice but, no one stepped in when there was time to spare for them to save her. Her boyfriend Jake also must have had a terrible time in the book but, we never see what he went through even though they were still together and he’s on a phone call with her only an hour before she dies.

The show takes what is about a six hour audio book to read and blows it up into a full television series. It takes away a bunch of the mystery showing scenes that are completely from Alaska’s point of view and really show us in more ways than one what she was really going through. I think they were trying to make her a more three-dimensional character but, I feel it took a little away from the latter half of the book. It’s only two episodes which encompass the mystery that is Alaska young and kind of ends in an anti-climatic breeze. Maybe it’s not about why she died instead, about the person who died and the spot they used to take up in their lives.

Thank you Tanya Lao for probably the only good picture of these two.

Chip (Denny Love) to me was way more impactful to me in the show. Whereas in the book even though the things he got Pudge to do were engaging Colonel himself wasn’t. We understand he’s mad at the rich people for being rich and being assholes we don’t really get to much more of him than that. He’s angry and he holds grudges. In one of the best additions to the story, we get the Cottilion scene. For the first time, we actually see Chip as a multi-faceted individual. He tells his friends there is a truce during the debutant ball and it’s about Sara (Landry Bender). And it was so heartbreaking watching him come to her rescue for him to be shot down so publicly. I knew I was invested in the show seeing them sitting in the downpour of the sprinklers. And she knows and understands him so well at that moment… It was such a beautiful scene between the two of them. It just hurt to watch them inevitably break up. And watching her get together with Longwell felt like such a betrayal to the audience as well.

One of the major problems I have with this adaptation is the way they handled Takumi (Jay Lee). I think Jay Lee’s performance is spot on my problem I guess is how his character doesn’t really get his moment to shine. In the show, it’s only hinted that he may have feelings for Alaska. In the book, when it comes to light, he says one of the most impactful lines of the book it really frames the whole thing differently. “You don’t have a monopoly on Alaska.” He basically tells Miles he doesn’t own grief. Her memory doesn’t live and die with him. That really hit me ten or so years ago and it was kinda sad not having this scene in the show. It really repositions the book and shows how there’s a bunch more going on in scenes that we didn’t see. Takumi keeping his last memory of her to himself was also a good character moment.

The final character I want to highlight is Mr. Hyde (Ron Cephas Jones). If I’m being frank I don’t know how to talk about him. His backstory is so sweet it makes my heart full and every time he came around I’d hang on his every word. He has always been the wise man in the book but, even more, now he has already to some degree walked all their paths and feels a bit of his own regret that he couldn’t save Alaska.  In the miniseries, it’s shown even more how much it pains him to write her question on the board and what it means to see it there.

There’s probably a lot more I want to say about Looking for Alaska. It’s definitely a book I’m gonna keep with me for a long time. I love stories about mental health because I feel that talking about things always makes the burden a little lighter. Like in the book, we all have our crosses to bear but, I think talking about them can put a new perspective on them. Quoting one of my favorite games… “The world ends with you.”