Friday, April 23, 2010

When It's Quiet in the Kitchen, My Mind Is Abuzz

Somewhere in the middle of my internet perusings, I realized I was home alone. I looked around, slowly taking in the scenes- vignettes of a temporarily abandoned life. Tape dispenser and sheet music, half-empty mug of milk; counter full of crepes and dishes; backpack, contents spilling out on the floor. They wait, perfectly still, silently anticipating the moment when life and object occupy time and space together. I felt out of place. Then loneliness occurred to me, matter-of-fact. Another vignette. I could sit, statuesque, patient. On hold. Solitary. Waiting for life to come my way.

I bothered Lou until she couldn't handle it. Minor panic attack. Unfocused, scattered thoughts then, suddenly, shallow breath, tunnel vision. No. Not now. I won't give in to my anxiety. And it was gone.

I know who I am. I know what I like to wear, what kind of music I like, my favorite color, what I can cook best, how to talk to people in sticky situations. I know what makes me happy. I have religion in my life. Things are about as stable as one can expect for a twenty-one-year-old college sophomore. But in these moments of absolute stillness, of being thoroughly aware of my situation, I feel lost inside myself. Disconnected. Isolated even from my best friends, from my own mind.

Popcorn- friendship food. It's hard to eat a whole bag alone, so this one took pity on me and left half of the kernels unpopped. Dysphoria, it transpires, isn't allergic to popcorn. It won't die easily.

There's something wrong. It might be me, or it might be my friends, or it might be me. I can't shake this feeling. I've changed. Last summer was bliss. Single, happy, doing everything right: church, school, travel, family. Scripture study- real study- every morning. Beauty in everything I saw. This year is the polar opposite. Nothing has changed except me. I can't feel what I used to. Not the same way. This is what happened: my emotions fancy themselves identical twins, and they've decided to try a swap. Anger for love, sorrow for ecstasy. Very funny, guys.

Maybe it's more like my chest is a blender, and the incessant churning is actually an emotional smoothie in the works.

I hate not being in control of myself.

I chose happiness, which responded with indifference.

My fingers are numb. Vignette: chilled green water, expectant paint brushes, hopeful paper plate, unfulfilled acrylic bottles, yellow towel. Jim Dale prattles on, unaware that I am barely listening.

Lost inside myself- life lives itself. I am a spectator. I watch it go by, watch its confidence (I am so unsure).

Look, I don't know what I'm saying anymore.


Recorded 3/27/10

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