I don’t know what standards I have at this point. It is just one after another, first Daniel then Rachel. Daniel was the first real relationship I got myself into, and Rachel was a sort of rebound-short-fling I guess. Really, I convinced myself I was in love. I was only being helpful towards her. I wanted to be loved; I liked that warm feeling, similar to a cup of warm chocolate milk on Christmas eve--comfortable.
And now, with a warm felt blanket wrapped tightly around me, the difference between this one-man strait jacket and a warm embrace is frightening.
Even homework is a welcomed distraction. Although, as much as I have, the pile dwindles after mindless scribbling. Soon, I’m staring at the ceiling while a que of youtube videos play in the background.
I’m in my junior year of high school. It is supposed to be the most challenging school year of high school, but I’ve opted towards Running Start, a program which allows high school students to enroll in their local community college to earn high school and college credits for their classes. I have no AP classes, and have only four classes at a time compared to my friends who take seven classes at a time.
I have all the time in the world, yet somehow it feels like my world is squeezing me tighter and tighter. And I have nowhere to breathe.
“You really need to get out of your house,” Laura exclaims, “you’re lethargic. Take a break from quarantine, and enjoy fresh air, quality me time, don't think about Daniel or grades for a change.”
“Really? I thought that maybe I should take more classes? Maybe I have a condition that needs me to live under stress, maybe it’s a requirement for me,” I shrug, moving the phone over to my left shoulder.
“Are you doing something right now?” Laura hurriedly asked, “you can call me back later, I’m free the whole day.”
“No, I’m shopping, don’t worry,” I rolled my eyes, “I’m not calling and driving, I got my license like what, a week ago? Even I'm not that ambitious.”
“Just checking,” she said, “if you died, I don’t want ‘because of Laura’ written on the death report."
“Aw, thanks, you're a sweetheart," I answer sarcastically, "Anything up with you? Still living with your relative-”
“My brother, yes. But I’ve started working!” She squeals, “and I just got my first paycheck, you wanna go out to eat sometime next weekend?”
“Sure, sure, dinner Sunday?” I chuckled as I push four boxes of Corn Flakes into the cart.
“Uhh, I have to check my schedule… 6pm? I’ll pick you up around 6:20?”
“Works for me.”
Laura Burns. We became friends in middle school, and she moved to Leavensworth, a city an hour away just this year. She's the craziest friend I've ever had: doing meth, partying, having sex, and sexting. She's sixteen but acts like a twenty year old. I haven't met up with her since she helped me clean my room last summer. We didn't hangout much before because she was homeschooled and I still had seven class periods to spiral into depression for. Now, we are closer than ever despite haven only facetimed since a year ago last summer. It is a strange circumstance, but desperate times calls for desperate measures... or so the government has said about covid.
In a time where people are all falling and drowning in a ditch, I'm in a mood where I can stand upright and watch them. It is sometimes mood lifting. When I was on suicide watch, every moment of every day I thought of dying. It was hard to imagine anything past the next few hours and now everyone else gets to feel about the same way? Some people would call it Karma. I just stand still. And watch. Every moment, every day, I watch their time slowing down to my speed. Comforting, knowing other people have the capability of feeling the same weight and desperation.
Before quarentine, I would say "Imagine diving into the ocean, no sound, just bubbles, and when I start to suffocate, the way to the surface seems further and further away. My vision gets blurry with tears, and my lungs are trying to break out of my ribcage, out of my skin. I am dying. My brain wires to my consciousness, yet I can only visualize myself sinking, and light dwindles from this far down in the sea." Now, at least when I say something, people do not disregard me as a drama queen. They regard me as weird. And I can take 'weird'.
I get it, I once used gum wrapper and tape as an envelope seal because I thought the different material was fun. I talk about my emotions, and most of the times it is out of proportions to the significance of the event. I am different. I cut my hair to a boy's length, and my clothes are all baggy or jackets. I'm definitely not the embodiment of a runway model. I'll say I'm sort of a loner, but this does not disqualify me from society.
I have to believe that.