phantom / step inside my brain.
It’s never over. Not really. Not when you stay down there as long as I did, not when you’ve lived in the netherworld longer than you’ve lived in this material one, where things are very bright and large and make such strange noises. You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad.
It is the distance of marred memory, of a twisted and shape-shifting past. When people talk about their childhood, their adolescence, their college days, I laugh along and try not to think: that was when I was throwing up in my elementary school bathroom, that was when I was sleeping with strangers to show off the sharp tips of my bones, that was when I lost sight of my soul and died.
And it is the distance of the present, as well—the distance that lies between people in general because of the different lives we have lived. I don’t know who I would be, now, if I had not lived the life I have, and so I cannot alter my need for distance—nor can I lessen the low and omnipresent pain that that distance creates. The entirety of my life is overshadowed by one singular and near-fatal obsession. I go to great lengths now to compensate for a life of sadness and madness and a slow dance with death. When I leave my house, I put on a face and a dress and a smile and wave my hands about and talk brightly and am terribly open and seem to have conquered my monsters with great aplomb.
Perhaps, in some ways, that’s true. But I often feel as though they have conquered me. As I write this, I am only twenty-three. I do not feel twenty-three. I feel old.
- marya hornbacher
stale baguettes dipped in tea remind me of Paris.
so glad I moved.
pop music can be useful.
I’ve been ignoring this big lump in my throat
I shouldn’t be crying
Tears were for the weaker days
I’m stronger now, or so I say
But something’s missing
Whatever it is
It feels like it’s laughing at me
Through the glass of a two-sided mirror
There’s no one to call because I’m just playing games with them all
The more I swear I’m happy, the more that I’m feeling alone
Because I spent every hour just going through the motions
I can’t even get the emotions to come out
Dry as a bone, but I just want to shout