i just noticed the other day in the shower that i have been sucking in my stomach since i can remember. i had a great mother. she wasn’t the type to make me feel like shit for my appearance, though in certain outfits she might mention that it would look better on me if i “sucked it in.” she said this the same way she would ask me to iron my shirts, or comb my hair— not at all malicious, simply for the aesthetic. but i realized the other day in the shower that i suck in my stomach all of the time. i am a twenty-something so it’s been a long time of sucking in.
have you ever met someone who seemed to want to be around you but you kind of noticed that they seemed only to like a couple of things about you? with the exception of when these few things, they spend time with you pointing out things they don’t like as if they are being helpful? i.e. “you always do this” ”why do you always…” “i think it’s strange that you” “you shouldn’t _____” ”you should just do this.” how do you deal with those that? also, why do you think they spend time around you? are you ever tempted to simply say, “this is who i am, and your criticisms became less then productive weeks ago. you really just do not like who i am.” or do you say, “go fuck yourself. (that seems to be who you’re trying to make me, so perhaps that’s more to your liking anyway).” do you notice that this person will tell you all the flaws of those around him/her as if s/he has figured out what the perfect person is like and thus can call the actions and behaviours that s/he doesn’t understand of everyone around him/her “flaws”? do you ever find yourself wanting to scream at this person that s/he is also home to numerous imperfections, but restrain yourself for fear of giving him/her another action to critique? are you anything like me in that you tend to mirror those around you (to an extent) as to get along with them? impress them? keep up appearances? etc. if so, when you you encounter this type, do you take all of their critiques to heart and attempt to become what they want? if this is your case, do you then find that you have just created another flaw by being such a doormat? do you then feel like a puppet who is immobile without the help, direction, or force of another? do you run with this in the direction that the person who pointed out your initial flaws does, and count this as another flaw and hate yourself more for it, or do you take this moment to find a sense of independence from them and say, “i may be a follower of this critic, but i don’t find that to be a flaw”? do you see the strangeness of that statement? do you then see why i am losing my mind??? do you see why i sit in silence and only chuckle quietly, try to control my face, and say i have nothing to say when i am around that kind of person?
have you reached the point in your self-loathing that you genuinely cannot see why people spend time around you? if so, can you see how being around a person who calls up all of these flaws and self-reflective judgements is such a clusterfuck because you feel grateful for someone being around your horrible self, but notice that you are only finding that you think that you are more and more horrible?
how often do you think about cheating? in any form. do you think about you, yourself cheating on your partner? do you think about your partner cheating on you? do you think of what constitutes “cheating”? do you look around public places wondering who here is on a date with someone other than his/her partner? do you think one gender seems to cheat more often? have you ever been cheated on by your partner? do you know that or just have suspicions? have you ever cheated on your partner? do you think you really cheated or that what you did was not cheating and it wasn’t until you did the act that you realized the different perspectives with which you and your partner view cheating? do you sometimes think that pursuing any kind of romantic attachment to someone is pointless because one of you will inevitably be unfaithful to the other? do you think that love has anything to do with it? would you prefer someone honestly tell you that s/he cheated on you? or are you the type to live your life pretending nothing happened? do you think that someone who cheats will inevitably cheat again? has your experience with cheating/ers soured you on relationships forever? once you realized that you were soured on exclusive relationships, did you find that you were still a socially conditioned monogamist simply trying to be something different?
most memorable things people have said about you to you?
-you have no ambition. -you are difficult to know. -you’re a bitch. -you seemed curt in your messages. -you are rigid. -you are cold. -you’re a total babe. -you’re so negative. -your overly accommodating nature can be exhausting. -your eyes are brown, like poop. -you’re very thoughtful, unlike my daughter. -you are crazy. -you keep up with our conversation really well. -your stomach could be better.
with all of the support in the world going to those who create things out of books— the pages, spines, covers, etc.— there is always this part of me that feels a twinge of pain for seeing those pages torn from a book and placed under the glass top of the coffee table, or the covers of old books being gelded of their pages and painted over to be used as parts for a crafty box. it seems a little tragic.
stella:it's good to talk to you. it's been too long.
mera:i know! how are you? how is your life?
stella:not so amazing. i am still unemployed and i am markedly lonely. how are you doing?
mera:i'm doing okay. just trying to figure out what to do when i graduate. where to move, jobs, etc..
stella:that's a tough one. i wish i was a better example of the possibilities for a recent grad... but here i am simply spending my days coming up with reasons not to kill myself. oh yeah. i am wildly depressed, did i mention that? and i started smoking.