Separate yourself from the truth and it never happened.
Tall wooden chopsticks sifted through the white bean sprouts in her soup, at this point no longer looking for leftover noodles in the broth but rather wasting the time away. A quick beep brought her attention to her phone, which lay comfortably on the table, to her right. The text message said nothing pertinent to her current state of mind. Her eyes moved back from the screen of the phone to the soup and she contemplated finishing the orange thai tea in front of her. ‘She calls herself “happii” doesn’t she?’ the girl’s thoughts returning to the content’s of the text message. Such a seemingly innocent thing, that with a grain of time formulated much deeper thoughts in her mind.
Quickly she pulled out her small pocket moleskine, appropriately covered in the black cahier material. Sifting through her big blue purse for the pen did not come easily but after touching around for its shape she grabbed it and pulled it out. She didn’t recognize the pen, but that didn’t matter. Clicking the top she began to write furiously all her thoughts. The girl knew, without getting the thoughts down as quickly as possible that in an instant they’d disappear, become so insignificant… and her thoughts would turn into nothing more but a short ramble of nonsensical words.
“To call yourself as such you really must be very happy inside and glad for the cards life has dealt you. And just how in control are you of what cards you get?” These basic words introduced the unpleasant train of thought to come in a second. She sighed, sipping some of the thai tea. It felt cold in her mouth and on her tongue where earlier the warmth of the soup had warmed over her body. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to finish the cold drink, but she sipped on anyway, tempted very much by its exotic flavor. And she heard the wind howl cruelly outside, a cold chill running down her spine.
She looked to the other seat across her in the booth and the sudden realization that she was the only one eating alone suddenly hit her. This was why she had taken her time initially. Meals were consumed by mindless chatter and silly jokes, but without any of these she needed to preoccupy herself with those strange thoughts that filled her mind perpetually.
Ink flowed again onto the pages of the small notebook: “And I think back to my former self… the girl I was in 9th grade… and I can’t help but wonder if at any point my personality can revert back to that girl.” She had no need to elaborate the ‘who she was’ bit because of course she knew. She knew the optimism of her youth, or at least of that year. And the conversation she once had with Valerie came to mind. And how she had let Eric read it. Even he had marked it as important. It was. The conversation had taken place during December of 10th grade and it’d been epic. The thoughts were coming forth from the woodwork and none of them were going on paper. She felt a strong need to capture these in concrete words.
“The moment 10th grade began – the beginning of the end for me – everything changed. My environment changed. My personality changed. My friends changed… no longer did I have the ability to talk to and hang out with the people I thought would mean the most and define the rest of my high-school experience. =/ There’s no reason to reminisce… those days are long past.
“I was what – 11 or 12? When I first got taken to the mental hospital.” With a single paragraph break she’d gone from 9th and 10th grade directly down to 7th. “The harsh truth of it is hitting me pretty hard right now and… I can remember fragments of it. Twice. My mother took me there twice. Each time it was for about 3 days.”
A short phone conversation and exchanging of money for the meal later, she continued, this time not in the comforts of the restaurant but in the dry coldness of the outside world. Biting her lower lip she wondered why she hadn’t just stayed inside a while longer. Surely no one would have minded but she’d been in there long enough and she needed a change of scenery. The parking lot was dimly lit. For no reason whatsoever besides the cold weather did she want to go back to her apartment. So she did the only other reasonable thing to do: she found a place to sit and write. The cold felt wholly painful and her hands stiff.
“It may have been the first time or the second time… I don’t know… but I got strapped to a gurney. There was no fight left in my body at that point and no reason for it, but I cannot for the life of me recall what exactly caused the argument between my mother and I. It could have been as simple as me not wanting to do my chores. So badly I want to cry right now. Yes damnit I happen to be in public. =/ There’s never any undoing of the past and those arguments have caused my mother and I to be distant now.
“The rows of beds in which we all slept. And I remember talking to them, listening to their stories all the while marking my superiority by telling myself how wildly different I was in comparison to them. No, now I realize not so different after all. We just made different mistakes but we are the same.
“And the shower. The tiles were entirely blue. It was down the hall and as my memory recalls it – it was a door, like opening a closet but inside was simply that shower room. And the questions they asked me. The pills they gave me. And the stares and disbelief. Did I shut down my mind? Specifics have always been blurry territory for me.”
Frozen hands closed the notebook. Clicking the pen shut and throwing these items back into her purse, that bright blue fashion item, the only thought she could think of now was: ‘Who can I call? I want to cry to someone that won’t judge me. Someone who will listen. Someone who doesn’t care about my past because I’m passed that… I’m someone else now, but someone that will still listen.’
And sure enough a name came to mind. Dismissing the name was easy. There was no way in hell she would ever call him. The feeling of heartbreak and loss rose in her chest. More and more she wanted to cry now, but it’d be a waste if no one heard it. There is no consulation in crying alone. A new name came to mind. No, she hadn’t talked to him in a while and the last thing she wanted to do was call back after all that time – and cry. Another name. No. That call from earlier, she’d told her friend she would call back, but she didn’t want to talk to her anymore. A few more deep breaths. ‘Remember, you’re in public. There’s no crying allowed.’
And now the moment is gone.
-Stolen from the moleskine diaries.