anxiety

In an effort to clear my head before sleep, an uncharacteristically uncryptic set of words. 

Today was difficult. Most of the last few days, difficult. 

Ridiculous, really. Here, these tasks, not back-breaking. Illness that could be so much worse. The sense of shame I feel in response to my own weakness is, perhaps, my most debilitating weakness. 

I realize you have a cold, but you can write a fucking email without letting panic crawl up all your limbs.

I realize you have a difficult combination of ambition and sloth, but you can live your life without spending quite so much of it berating yourself for not doing more. 

A migraine lay me low in the bed of a man I adore, and I felt briefly the sickly sweet temptation of the give-up girl I have at moments been. Let me just lie here for days, set down all the things that keep me running so frantically from place to place. But no. That is not my style, not for years. And while beds are more appealing with men in them, a great deal of the allure is in those who will eventually have places to be, who expect the same of me, because the world is full of things to throw yourself into.

I am in such a better place generally, the last month or so, than I have been in ages. I have mostly disentangled myself from the thick pitch of one of the worst depressive episodes I’d had in years. But my anxiety this week has been at points almost intolerable. 

It is perhaps the various minor stresses of graduate school, when I’m itching to only focus on my project–when that doesn’t terrify me to the point of paralysis–and feel so ready to be out of school again. It is also the desire to immediately make plans for a future that is not quite close enough for me to do so, a few too many steps in the way between, a few more questions to be answered. There’s a part of me that wants to run away back to Los Angeles immediately and be on vacation forever. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time. 

There are of course exceptional moments: pride or at least relief in the face of completed tasks, laughing until I cry with my best friend, drinking and dancing and beautiful sounds, dressing like a fool, free drugs and dumb jokes and your body and how could days really be that bad when I’ve seen your cum glinting in the winter sunlight and you smile that dumb way I really like after you’ve said something clever and I have some friends that are really really great and for five minutes I’m not flat broke and I get to make art a lot and fuck it’s not even that cold out?

I guess what I am saying is I need to get my shit a little more together without beating myself up. I guess what I’m saying is that’s hard for me. I need constant reassurance and snacks, like a little nervous dog when I want to be a majestic wolf-summoning witch woman. 

I guess really what I’m saying is that I need to lay off the extra-caffeinated Starbucks, because it gives me panic attacks that make me feel aggressively inadequate, and yes I know exactly how not punk rock that sounds. 

anxiety dreams.

Amanda and I have just moved into a new place, the top floor of a huge beautiful old building, it’s in a weird part of town but I’ve never had so much space and that’s thrilling. We finish moving in at 10pm on a Friday night, and are waffling as to whether that’s too late to invite everyone over for a housewarming. I’m being especially indecisive, and seeing that behavior in myself irritates me.

You answer my text from earlier in the day and say: hey, sid, it’s been fun, you’re rad and we’ve had a great run of it, but icymi I’m moving to New York in the morning.

I ask why, attempting to sound calm, and you respond: there’s this girl there who makes me feel like I’m on fire

I ask if I can see you tonight before you go, and run out of the house to meet you in a bar I’ve never been to before. At first I can’t find you, and run into Andres, who wants to roll my cigarettes even though he doesn’t smoke. I find you, and we are about to head outside for cigarettes and talking, and as I get my things I think about what I could possibly say:

I am completely and utterly in love with you, and the only demand I want to make of you is that you be here with me, that you not suddenly disappear, that your presence in my life continues to bring me joy and confirm that you too really and truly give a shit. 

I wake up before I hit the door, my Saturday morning hangover creeping over me, rubbing regret against my temples. I want to get back to sleep to know what happens.

I want to know what look happens to your face when I tell you exactly all the dumb romantic shit you make me feel, how I want to sell everything I own and live in a van with you, how I want to get drunk with you forever, how all the emotions I have about you make me want to have weirder and weirder sex, how you make me want to write a hundred books and learn how to give a tattoo in someone’s living room. 

I do not get to say these things, or see your reaction. I go back to sleep and am rushing to get to a performance venue, where I am underprepared for an elaborate routine. I am running late and take a cab, but as we approach the venue (a gigantic school), he starts asking me questions and speeds past our destination. He locks the doors, he is going to kidnap and rape me, but I somehow get my door unlocked and open while we fly down a busy street. I jump out, onto the dirty grass on the side of the road. He swerves to try and hit me, repeatedly, but eventually gives up. I get his license plate–some strange vanity plate that’s a pun on Jordan Almonds–and as night falls I walk back to the school, calling 911. 

The man on the line at 911 doesn’t believe me, or doesn’t care, and refuses to send any police officers to me, or medical staff to see if I’m okay after my jump from a fast-moving vehicle. I give up, and navigate through a massive crowd of children leaving the school and adults entering it, and finally get backstage.

It’s extremely dark, and Cassandra and Josh are waiting there for me. I realize I have forgotten all my props, in addition to not quite knowing the plan, which involves fake, black-light-glowing milk coming from my breasts in some kind of Madonna (Ciccone) and Child type deal in the midst of an elaborate dance number. I am freaked out and devastated and bleeding, but I start looking around for what we have to work with to make this show go on.