Inspired by an evening of comfortable melancholy and Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place".
I was so caught up in my self-indulgent nihilism that I didn’t care my computer had been stolen. Instead, I vacantly wandered back and fourth between two places it could have been until I found it beneath the piles of clothes that make my carpet obsolete.
I realized that I could never hate Hemmingway, because I would always seek a clean, well-lighted place, and my no-longer drunkenness and six-inch whore-red platform heels just added to the atmosphere of melancholy. The plotlessness droned to the point that I resigned to open a blank document in full screen mode and began to fill the white nothingness on black nothingness with something that I am not quite sure meant nothing. When Hemingway said write drunk, edit sober, this ain’t what he meant.
Then again, I feel like I have permanently lost sobriety. When I entered this kingdom fucking come filled with promise this August, I was awkward and fear-struck and stuck in my body and in the ever-swirling tornado in my mind. When I got as drunk as I have ever been in October, I wondered during the hangover if my brain would ever be the same. I spent that afternoon wandering the dying, browning, and reddening campus picking flowers.
It came back fully the next few days, but I didn’t notice its presence until I decided to once again break its bars and become a single-night fugitive from its grips. There was a night in a Pibly with PBR and rum and weird YouTube and contemporary Irish poetry, and apparently this guy is a sadist. If someone had told me that then I might have expressly stated my masochistic tendencies and invited him to hurt me badly in the hopes of beating the last inhibitions from my brain, even though traumas don’t respond to threats. More likely, I would have sat there and imagined him beating the last inhibitions from my brain, and battered my drunk self for being wimpy. I’m fairly certain there were two shots, two beers, two hits of a joint, and a Rockstar but I know for sure the next morning hurt like hell.
After that it was the pop dance and I probably didn’t have more than six shots of what I think was vermouth in what I think had been a gin bottle from what I know was a metal water bottle with black and white flowers on it in shots every ten minutes chased by water followed by maybe three more after dancing. I wore my six-inch whore-red platform heels for three hours straight and I jumped, danced, and walked in them and by the time I went to bed I couldn’t unbend my toes. As a kid, I was always mad that Barbie’s feet weren’t shaped for real shoes, and yet mine were stuck in that position.
I guess along the way, I might have killed enough brain cells that I’ve learned to forget on cue. Many a suicidal night mixed with a subconscious sense of self-preservation may be another reason for this. But this last Saturday and this one, I showed up at the dance sober and I still jumped and moved my hips and spun and forgot just a little bit.
After tonight’s dance I went up to smoke a cigarette and then I smoked two and then an upperclassman passed out because she’d had way too much vodka and I advised her friends to take her inside and they acted like it was a novel idea and they did. And I soberly stumbled in six-inch whore-red platform heels back to the student union from the bitter march snow en route to the dorm. There were sort of friends, or at least I think and wonder and hope they’re friends, and the really cool chick I want most to like me was talking about how she was drunk and I said I was sober and she gave me a 5 ounce flask to finish. It had maybe 3 ounces of vodka (?) left tops, and I went to the bathroom and stood in the stall and drank it in four swigs. I sat down next to her on the floor of the snack bar couch area and listened. There were nine but soon we were eight then seven, then six. We told stories, and I sometimes didn’t wonder whether I was intruding.
The moon was three. Not because I was drunk because I really didn’t have all that much, but because the slats in the wooden blinds were such that it split the light. The brightest looked like the light that comes when you’re leaving a movie theater. The second was a moon full of legible detail like a negative on a light box. And the third was a quiet, underexposed pencil sketch. I got some water and I noticed that I loved the feeling of walking in those six-inch whore-red platform heels while tipsy. I took off my corset, and I’m fairly sure that the boy across from me could see my nipples. I sat on the green armchair and put my six-inch whore-red platform heels up and crossed my legs. I felt a little bit like Ke$ha.
We talked about sex. The girl with whom I am platonically infatuated talked about weird almost sex followed by the “perfect first time” that’s almost always bullshit, but I believe her. I talked about a boy over two years my superior tying me up over the teacher’s desk in a middle school classroom and my earring scraping up the desk and leaving scratch marks while he looked at cartoons of prettier, bustier women being fucked by fucking tentacles. Because I’m not good enough (though I never said that part).
The fiery bodhisattva sat in the half lotus position on the strange half-ottoman half-table in the middle and imparted her wisdom in the form of funny and sad anecdotes animated by ridiculous gestures and voices. Occasionally the automatic lights would go out, but then someone would get up and they would turn back on and we would sit.
Eventually it was four, and I was suddenly acutely aware that I was the only freshman in this group. The idea that I was unwanted generally wafted in and out of my unconsciousness, but as they all wandered back to their various rooms in Hill House, leaning on each other, I alone was Kendrick bound. The bodhisattva forgot her flowerpot, and I caught her before she left.
I knew at that point I would return to my room and write about the heels and the three moons, but my story had no plot. A consistent problem with my stories, I write what I know, and it seems that my life has no plot. I stopped in the basement, considering vending machine retail therapy, but I found I only had $20s.
When I stepped outside in my six-inch whore-red platform heels the moon wasn’t full, and I couldn’t tell if it was waxing or waning. It was, however, missing just God’s thumbnail, and I started thinking about nothingness.
I found my own clean, well-lighted place tonight. I preferred the civilized amount of drunk that I became and have since sobered up from to the insanity of dancing with a tight corset in which I couldn’t breathe but had to be tighter so I’d be skinny. When the motion-sensitive lights would turn out the darkness was okay too. Well-lighted-ness is blind.
Tonight was a nice break from trying to be the kinkiest, to drink the most, to be the most royally fucked human being I can possibly become in hopes that I become something. I’m not the kinkiest, and I can’t handle all that much liquor, and sometimes I just want to spend four and a half slightly tipsy hours on the floor of the student union with people who seem not to hate me and not feel like an outsider, which I succeeded in for maybe half that time.
I guess the best I can convince myself in my present Nada’s Prayer is that I am not the only one who is nothing. I am not alone in being empty, in feeling as though I am a made in china deformed Barbie doll for a God who prefers to play with G. I. Joe. I suppose I seek comfort in the idea that if I am nothing, perhaps others are nothing too.
And now that I’ve reached Emily Dickinson, it’s obviously time for bed. Since writing more will do nothing to impede the im pending panic attack that is “tomorrow”, I suppose sleep is the best coping method. Thanks for reading this. I hope I don’t sound dumb and make you think I’m dumb and then hate me. Knowing that’s an overreaction, I’m trying to remember that everyone is equal in the eyes of Nada.