Miss Honey

"Matilda had never once stopped to think about where Miss Honey might be living. She had always regarded her purely as a teacher, a person who turned up out of nowhere and taught at school and then went away again. Do any of us children, she wondered, ever stop to ask ourselves where our teachers go when school is over for the day? Do we wonder if they live alone, or if there is a mother at home or a sister or a husband? ‘Do you live all by yourself, Miss Honey?’ she asked. ‘Yes,’ Miss Honey said. ‘Very much so.’"—Roald Dahl, Matilda
It’s only in his mind that you exist. You, there, appearing when he needs you, when he has something to say to you, something to give you, or is in need of your help. But what about the countless hours when you don’t exist in his mind, where do you go? Are you frozen in time, only to awake when someone else calls upon you, or are you there thinking and saying and needing others into existence, yourself? He wants so very badly for you to exist all of the time, for you to never be lonely, or feel unseen or overlooked. So long as you want the same for him, that is. Beyond the restraints of his love, is there hope for you to exist to him? Will he share you once you exist to the entire world all of the time? When he alone can no longer will you into being? Truth? Love? His emptiness would rather you remain starving for his happiness. Another Miss Honey, smothered by selfishness.

Drama Queen


"Giving of myself versus selfishness. I am a powerful and competent person."
That’s what I wrote — two lines — over three days. And now I’m writing a suicide note because I’m tired. I won’t kill myself tonight, because I’m lazy. And I won’t “relapse” because who has the energy. I won’t do anything because what’s the use? Inaction is... whatever.

I want to be alone, only in that I want to hide and have people come and find me. I want to feel like someone cares, but make no mistake: You searching doesn’t mean I care about you. I care selectively, sometimes based on things that you don’t control. Male or female, you are a nice person but you’re not pretty so I don’t like you as much as I would if you were pretty. I run away, you stop looking, and I react with feelings of loneliness because no one’s chasing after me telling me to put the gun down.

I am normal in that I don’t like what I do every day. People don’t like life. Life is living and to afford living we must work, and work is hard, but it grants us the ability to snatch something fun from the ether. Candy... days off... fun. From the ether. I give you my life, you give me a reason to live. It’s a good racket when it works for ya.

But things stop adding up around there. I don’t like work, so I stop working. Then I feel guilty because I can’t put my nose to the grindstone and suffer through the same set of circumstances that no fewer than one billion other people on this planet would die for.

Talking through my thoughts today it dawned on me that I’m getting worse at maintaining any sense of commitment within the context of this cycle. Commitment to myself or the task at hand. I start working, then grow tired of it. But over the last five or six years, the distance between hating work and quitting has become disconcertingly slim.

Let’s say that I go out on a limb and try hard to get a job again. One that pays fine and is fine. Again, we work because of the abilities it grants us. Also, on another level, work gives us satisfaction. It helps us say “Dammit, I tried today, and I didn’t give up. I came in, did my best, and by Gawd, I’m gonna do it again tomorrow, too.” Which is fine. But the fight isn’t there. The resolve has dimmed to a point where only darkness remains. The switch is broken.

I know the answers. If I were given the task of pulling someone else out of this hole, I’d know where to start, what to say, and maybe how to move forward. But nothing means anything when the answers are hollow. They work sometimes, and other times they even ring true. And? Where do we go from here, allowing the cycle’s ups and downs to dictate whether today is a “mental health day” or if we can actually get something done. Dammit.

I leave, I lose. You leave, I lose. I stay, I avoid losing for a while... how long though? Long enough to have a few more laughs, take a few more adventures down the same paths? Being scared to try is pathetic, but no more pathetic than insisting on remaining within a comfort zone to avoid the unknown. Good or bad, I’m fucked. We all are.

But what happens in the afterlife is unknown, as much so as what happens in this world or what the meaning of your own existence might be. We are all here to figure that out. Or we’re here for no reason. I want what I have until the thrill of having won is over. The stuffed animal at the amusement park looks brilliant and seems worth every last penny of the fifty dollars you spent trying to win it. But once you have it, it’s just a toy. It’s not a great toy, and certainly not something you’d have wanted if it weren’t given to you as an option. It was there. You lusted after it. And now you’re ready to move on.

Abandon toys? Women? Internet? Society? Then all I have is me, and my mind, which is a returning visitor that I already fear is visiting too frequently, the way things presently stand. I just want to turn off the guilt of living. None of us asked to be here, but some of us deal better with the consequences of being lied to our entire lives. What a drama queen.

Her

The moment You escape the womb the struggle begins over who’s more important, You or Her. You grip to self-importance and fight to pull away from Her only to later take comfort in a series of others. That is, until one too many self-spoiled relationships justifies a brushstroke so careless that it dehumanizes an entire gender. The You remains blind until an impotent rage awakens with the recognition of this unintentionally dismissive internal mechanism. It’s a slow transition, but You try to change. You start to feel new. You do. But even under the guidance of compassion, some form of conflict remains.

Sometimes You are wrong. Sometimes You are right. Sometimes You learn by walking through mud. Sometimes You learn by walking away. Her place in your life changes, just as the Her does, herself. And Her names and faces are all eventually forgotten until there is again only one and the tension is reduced back to an extension of its initial form. The uncertainty returns, only this time it appears as a question: Will the nervous anticipation over who will take care of Her when I’m gone ever be outweighed by the selfish fear over who will take care of me when I am finally alone?

Danielle

She looks up from her hymnal long just enough to lose her place. No one’s listening anyways, she tells herself, before gently closing the book and returning it to its home. Her voice is beautiful. As she stands there, the chorus echoes throughout the sanctuary, alive with song toasting the trinity. The organ’s massive pipes tower over the congregation. She looks to her left — her parents — and to her right — familiar faces — and wonders how did I get here? How did this become the thing I do? How did this become what I’m supposed to be? The music returns to silence and the pews creak and moan. Attention returns to the altar. Reinforced consequences leave her tense with fear. Her guilt is heavy. She’s doing the best she can.