Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 69

Some days I understand what it might be to go insane. Consciously insane.

There are people who wander around NTU, at least one man and one woman, who walk around and talk at people. The man said hello hello hello hello good morning good morning to me once as I passed. I said good morning back because. Because. The woman I’ve seen around, shouting things at students as they walk past. I’d say something except I’m afraid and because I don’t know what to say.

I said this morning to Kelly that I’m not a good person. I’m not. I don’t say anything to the woman because of my fear of not being able to communicate. My fear of not getting through. My bone-deep shame. My horror. Maybe it would be good for her, just as long as someone pays attention, even if they don’t understand.

But not me. I do not simply wish to be heard. I do not simply wish to be seen. I want to be known and understood and to be penetrate. I want to seep into every inch of you, meld with you, till ever after.

I lie here. In my single room. In my single bed. And I try to hold on, to keep hold of that burgeoning scream.

See me. Love me. Witness me.

Being with someone simply because they’re there, a warm body in the cool nights, a fixed point to stare at in the dizzying rush of the world’s revolution. Being with someone because of skin hunger, because the need to be wanted, to be touched, to be desired, to be stared at with feral intent is more than the need for self-respect. Being with someone in that most basic of ways, using them, being used, and then waking up the next morning with devastating self-loathing to do it all again. Being with someone because maybe you don’t see me when you’re coming all over me, but I can pretend it’s because of ecstasy and not because of your impenetrable love for yourself over me. Being with someone because maybe you don’t hear me when you’re groaning out my name but at least it’s my name you’re saying, at least someone is saying my name with something akin to worship, akin to love, akin to actual tangible emotion. Being with someone because. Because.

I petted myself this morning as I came down from the dream that woke me screaming. A dream where a man held me down, covered my mouth with his, choked me with his tongue thrusting deep into my throat, and slowly strangled me to death.

What does it mean? You tell me.

I petted myself because there was no one else to do it for me. I petted myself because there was no one else around to understand. I soothed my heartbeat down until I could sleep again, exhausted from dreaming.

So believe me when I say, I understand what it’s like to curl under a threadbare blanket with someone, groveling for body heat, trying to warm myself enough to venture back out into the cold world in search of more. I understand that sometimes you never get to the point where you can brave the elements again. I understand that sometimes you take what’s given because you don’t know if there’s ever going to be anything else.

But it’s a lie.

It’s the lie of the lotus-eaters. It’s the lie of drinking sea water when you’re thirsty. It’s the lie I tell myself when I say that it’s better to be with a person who isn’t right for me than to be alone.

Some days it’s hard. Some days it’s easy. Today is harder than some. But still I believe, in the idea of being worth something better than simply scrabbling for scraps of someone’s affection.

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