The Swamp Monster

A swamp monster has taken over my life. It breathes loudly in my ear while I try to sleep and drips menacingly over my shoulder when I eat my meals. Strangely enough, I seem to be the only one able to see it.
Sometimes I tell people about it. Some of them, like my mother, seem to take it for granted that the monster exists, and sometimes I think that they almost see it themselves. No doubt they’re haunted by their own ghouls and demons, the kind that I can’t see.
Others seem to be truly oblivious to the existence of such beasts, and when I try to tell them about my monster, they sympathize politely while all the while their eyes flash with disbelief. I can see them exchanging looks over my head, wondering whether or not I should be committed, pitied, or simply humored.

My swamp monster isn’t malicious; that much is clear to me. It’s full of good intention, so much so that I invite him to come with me sometimes. Today, for instance, it’s been with me all day, every moment, and I even invited it to come along with me to see a movie with some girlfriends and stay the night with me. The swamp monster was shocked and flattered, and, to be honest, I think it was worried that I wasn’t sincere in my invitation. But I was. Because I know it means well and is lonely sometimes. So I tolerate it as often as I can.

My therapist thinks that I indulge it too much, though. Maybe he’s right. Still, I think that my swamp monster is pretty much here to stay, so getting used to it is probably a good thing. Maybe during the coming week I’ll be able to snatch some moments to myself, without it hovering over me like an oozing, pulsating, muddy puppy.

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People Are People Everywhere

There isn’t a truer sentence. Well, there are many sentences that are just as true or truer, I suppose, but I simply can’t think of any right now. This sentence, however, is one that is very much a motto that I must remember these days. I wander around the campus here and I meet people. I had some sort of fantasy that people in college were somehow different than people in the “real world.”

They’re not. I was sure that college was a place where people were growing up, and thus less prone to pettiness and smallness. I thought everyone would accept everyone, that there would be no cliques, that people wouldn’t judge on first appearances alone. Of course, that was the naive side of my brain that was believing all that. My cynical side, which is rather bigger, knew that college would be just as big a gathering place for those who judge other, who see themselves as being high above others, who disdain other opinions as the rest of the world. My cynical side was proved correct.

Having said that, I don’t wish you to believe that I’m suffering. The transition is hard, even though I’m still in the orientation and registration processes, but by keeping myself busy and on top of things, I manage to minimize the time in which I can feel homesick and sorry for myself.

I highly look forward to this weekend, a time which will hopefully be a little calmer. I hope that I’ll be able to resume my normal almost-every-day posting schedule then and also catch up on all the blogs I regularly read on here. I miss you all, believe me.

I apologize, as I always do, for the “diary”ishness of this entry – my only excuse is that I don’t have time to write something that requires much thought, and so instead I’m simply writing the thoughts that already occupy most of my head-space.

Repeat

Get cover note, then notarized copy, then graduation certificate, then transcript (“Ninth, tenth, eleventh, twlefth- ok.”), then letter (“This one is two letters… This is also with councillor recommendation.”), then graduation from honors program, then essays if needed, then stick it all in an envelope. Then repeat. And again, and again, and again.

Endless repeat of the same thing, endlessly dreary, endlessly pointless feeling. Only it was all done with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart, because I was almost done, so close to the ending of this long, intense, difficult, stressful period of applications to colleges. And now it’s done.

I cannot muster the strength to think about it anymore tonight. As it is, I feel my dreams will be full of addressing envelopes and struggeling with online applications. It doesn’t matter, though. It’s all behind me now. Tomrrow the applications will be sent and I won’t have to think about them until I begin to get my rejection and/or acceptance letters. I’ve done the best I could, and now, with a sigh of relief so loud and strong that I believe my screen was a bit buffeted, I shall climb into bed, read a book, and fall into an exhausted, pleased sleep.

Rosy Thoughts [Part II]

“Damn wind-chimes,” muttered Matt as he closed the door softly on his daughter’s sleeping form. She was genuinely asleep, finally, and Matt didn’t want the “chink-chink” of the dishes clinking against each other in the kitchen sink to wake her. He stood outside the closed door for a moment and sighed, then braced himself and walked into the kitchen.
A dark-haired woman, Laura, was standing at the sink, soap running through her fingers and steam fogging up part of her glasses as she bent over the sink and washed the few dishes that were in there. She heard Matt walk in, and her shoulders stiffened slightly. She wished he would move out already. Even though he slept on the couch, his presence in the house seemed to fill her every waking moment with an itch she couldn’t scratch without making it bleed.
“Coffee?” Matt offered quietly as switched on the electric kettle. Something in Laura seemed to break, and she turned off the water-tap.
“Yes, please.”
Matt reached into the cupboard and took out two mugs as Laura dried her hands on the dishtowel and sat down at the kitchen table, burying her face in her hands. They smelled lemony from the soap. She hated the smell of lemon. Stupid grocery store, she thought, why do they always run out of the good smelling soap?
“What are we going to do about her, Lor’?” Matt set a steaming mug of coffee in front of Laura and took the seat across from her, taking a long sip from his own, equally steaming mug. Laura’s shoulders stiffened and then slumped again as she picked up her mug. Her shoulders were aching, she was making that move so many times each day.
“I don’t know…” she murmured. “Do you think there’s something seriously wrong with her?”
“Um. Yes?! She’s been in bed for a week, goddammit! She’s hardly eating, she hardly responds to us! How can you be so calm about it?” Matt spoke barely above a whisper, still afraid to wake his daughter, but his tone was clearly one of a man who very much wanted to shout.
“Oh Matt, give me a break – she’s upset! It’s natural! She’s drawing attention to herself. I love her so much, and I’m worried about her too, you know, but I’m worried about how she’s going to be when the divorce is final more than I’m worried about her now.” Laura couldn’t bear to look at Matt. She felt somehow that his worry was an insult, as if he cared more for Rosy than she did. She knew the thought was ridiculous, and also knew that Matt was being disgustingly naïve, believing Rosy was really sick when Rosy was obviously sick at heart but not in body.
“I don’t want to leave while she’s like this. I can’t do it, Lor’,” Matt voice broke on the word ‘leave.’ He seemed on the verge of tears for a moment, but then he pulled himself together and looked at his still-wife-soon-to-be-ex-wife defiantly. “I won’t leave her. It’s not fair to her. It’s not fair to me. I don’t want to divorce her.”
“Matt!” Laura’s face turned red and she seemed to be close to yelling. Her voice was getting louder with every word. “We had an agreement! We cannot, I repeat, CANNOT keep living in the same house. All we’re doing is making Rosy more and more upset. She can hear us fighting, she can hear us talking to the lawyer, she can hear every damn word and THAT is why she’s hiding in her bed. We need to have some time apart or we will not be able to work this out for her!”
The two adults glared at each other for a moment. It was Matt who looked away first, taking another angry sip from his mug. This conversation would continue for a while, and he had no idea who would win the argument. Laura usually won, but Matt was determined in this. He could not leave Rosy when she was lying in bed like a little ghost of the bubbly twelve-year old girl he remembered from just a few weeks ago, before she had gotten wind of the divorce.

Rosy lay in bed all this time, truly asleep for the first time in days. Her hand was curled around the pillow and her dreams were of her childhood, when there weren’t any worries past which stuffed animal was missing an eye and how much the bruise from falling over hurt.

Hmm.

It is immensely satisfying to have a long, hard, stressful day and to come home at night and know that it’s almost done, and you’re still okay. There’s something so comforting about the knowledge that you can live with routine, really get into it and be fine, despite the fact that it’s difficult. It really makes you proud of yourself to know that you can look at the things you still have left to do in a day and be able to organize them rationally and logically without freaking out or hyperventilating.

I rarely experience this feeling, being the bundle of nerves, hormones and moods that I usually am. I normally cannot really shake off the annoyance or the bad mood that clings to me. But once in a while, there is this feeling of peace that settles over me despite knowing that the day is not quite done yet, that I still have things left untended to. Knowing that I still have yet more to do tomorrow and not freaking out about it is a rare things as well.

God, being a teenager is weird – it’ll be pretty sweet to be able to say one day that being in a good mood is the norm and that bad moods are rare and not quite as spur of the moment as they are today.