I always get a sense of aftershock from reading a book to its end. If comparable, it feels sort of like an internal shell shocked soldier returning from war. Is that what they mean when they say reading develops your empathy? Like taking your mind to a different dimension and living different lives.
It doesn’t matter any who, apart from the deft switch such a thought takes turns into darker corners of your mind. I’m not trying to be poetic. It’s just hard to describe sometimes.
I realized suddenly today while walking around the city that I do not want to be stared at. Now whether or not people are really staring is objective – they also say we all suffer a huge case of narcissism – so we’ll just let that be. But whenever I do happen to catch the odd glance from an old man, or the apparent perplexed stare of a non-descriptive guy, I feel the instinct to remain invisible.
Of course, my face remains eternally blank to this gesture. It’s all on the inside.
So maybe reading a book titled ” A boy who could see demons ” until 2am in the morning isn’t psychologically recommended. Most certainly if your imagination is going to go rampant like mine. But I still invariably catch myself hesitant in approaching the windowsill, even to turn on the bedside lamp. Maybe I’m still the little girl that’s afraid of the dark.
Another sad confession of sorts is that, earlier this evening, while I was so strolling about in the city, I had the greatest inspiration to write something great. Or so we would tell ourselves always. Us writers knows. But I tell you I did. And it was resemblance to the recent Wally Lamb book I picked out. The way the characters’ dialogue into their thoughts showed no noticeable care to whether their jagged pieces of language made sense to their audience. They were their own world. And it had been stunning in my mind – the running lyrics of a folk fantasy, the deterioration of intellectual psyche, the possible reflection of whether the things I have weathered beneath my benign facial features actual might still bother me.
Sometimes the odd thought flits across the mind, something remnant of bad self esteem, or an evil sense of self portrayal. Once again, however, these mortal English words seem not enough to enlighten the visceral state of these comments. Nonetheless, it is only within a few blocks that I am crossing another intersection and I wondered to myself, What was that thought again? I’m..bad? No..there’s no discernible argument. It isn’t a plausible statement. And I really did scold myself in my head of this while remaining intact the impenetrable fortress of a callous upfront.
I wonder if people can see these flitting thoughts come across my face. Maybe the slightest hardness in my jaw when I tilt my face upwards in defiance against the mystical powers in my mind. I had noticed a young man glance side ways while we passed. Had I appeared haughty in that moment that he so turned away?
And it is all these nonsense thoughts that I had groped towards even showering at 9 am this morning. I had thought, sometimes, perhaps we love to keep reading just to hear the sound of the voice in our heads. Is it narcissism then? Except now, it sounds like spiraling insanity. But the entirety of the conversation is taken out of context because I have already forgotten and I wonder again if that’s what it means to read a book. To surface from fiction and seemingly shed the dead weight of all its characters turmoils, left with only a sense of nausea and nostalgia at once. More accurately, the loss sense of missing the whole big idea – the shebob people always talked about while they asked us to write out our thoughts against the title page in grade school before we ever got to reading the book. Like who the fuck cares.
Sometimes I shock myself with these volatile tendencies. Was I always this violent? Is it a closet temperament I have gotten a good noose on my whole life? My heels are still clicking against the pavement when my muscles inherently tense to the imaginary scene of kick boxing. Smashing. Bam. No, something more defiant than that. It is the sound of my harsh breath, the release of sweet tension and supposed endorphin at the expression of anger. The alternative high from settling exhaustion and pumping adrenaline. I crave the imaginary carnage, the shock…Dirty, bad, inhumane, taboo. I always find myself collapsing into a sob afterwards. Like I had emptied myself. Or maybe it’s a purge. That’s only sometimes – other times, all at once, I am fighting these imaginary bad guys and I sometimes stab them, or I shoot em. Sometimes I get stabbed instead and it splits down inside my head the time when I withhold the sobs or whether I scream with the brutality of the world’s end.
I catch myself standing in the subway station, growing beads of sweat across my entire face. I feel it. I am thirsty. My foundation presses heavily and I can just feel it sliding off my face as if I had put on a gallon rather than a respectable amount. God, I just want a nice iced drink. Except my stomach feels bloated and hard when I press up against it and I imagine a story where a 12 year old suspects her pregnancy.
I wonder if any of this is real. Or how real it could be. When I returned home tonight, I remembered how frightened I had gotten myself over the insane possibility that while my shadow passed through underneath the street’s trees, it would melt its black conscience and leave the walking body behind. I’d keep walking, but the essence of self would be trapped within the dark.
Scary shit, I’d say. My last thought tonight while I tentatively stalked around the house to turn off the lights one by one, retreating closer and closer to my bedroom had been the beginning of story telling. Had writers in the past try to defy these maddening scenarios as well? Was that where the first story began? Were they indicative of certain mania? A manifestation of sorts. My own first story told by was while gripped tightly between my grandmother’s arms and sheets. It was always predictable each night, but she spoke of a humble figure named God, and there were always evil deeds being done by the likes of humans. Or were they demons?
I had fallen asleep to that.