I stare at the ceiling, investigating, contemplating. In the deep crevices hidden within the material I hear tiny whispers, a slow slur of oversized vowels. I’ve always wondered whether memories store themselves in the actual places they occurred in, within the materials, the object. I wonder if my nail clippers remember piercing my skin, if they recall what it was like; my shaky fingers clutching the metal, misusing them in drawing patterns and images I had half planned and half not.

I step outside and let the foggy day swallow me. I cannot walk far today, as I am next in line. The cars fly past me like motorized insects as I dig my toes into the bottoms of my shoes, the sound sending my hands flailing around my head. Let them think me mad, I mutter to myself. Let them see the result of a few constitutional mishaps, the outcome of one too many affairs. I drink in the poisonous air as I stride past the huddled trees and crooked buildings, my hands slowly moving inside my pockets. She liked to blame people for making me sick. She liked it, adored the attention, the poor mother with the apathetic, self-harming daughter. I think about jumping in front of a car ten times within the next three yards. Sickness it is. Just sign the paper already.

Tomorrow seems too distant as I make my way back to my green little prison. It doesn’t matter that the door has no lock or that I have my books and my teddy bear. It doesn’t matter that I have one wall that is pink, that I have good air conditioning. I wallow within my sea of self-pity as I let my supposedly self-inflicted depression drip to the pages of my diary, making up half of my disease just to feel like a victim. Do what she said. Split up, make a character, bite your arm — do it now. You filthy self-consuming dog… Good girl. Good girl. There you go and fuck it up again. 

I watch the ceiling again and listen to it speak, imagining the black spot next to the fluorescent lamps to be moving again. The covers are too thin. They leave me cold, even in my long-sleeved t-shirt and my thick cotton leggings. I drag my earring along my arm until it’s nice and red, not a tear leaving my eye.


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