my mum took this out of the crooked rib issue she showed to her work colleagues in case they thought i was schizophrenic. lovely! i think it is a funny story, but who am i to say?
Me and my gals…
Don’t worry, be happy.
Smile, it might never happen.
All these illusive phrases. None of them allusive to me.
It’s funny the way it goes. I leave a building miserable, and then a good song electronically hits my ears and I am cheered once more. Chipper. Then a run in with a car and it is misery me.
I get told I seem nervous.
‘More than I’ve seen you for years.’
I wonder. I ask my mum, she says no, but she doesn’t like to notice these things.
Thoughts chase into my head to fuel a panic. PANIC! Rationality gets into a fight with her.
‘Fuck of!’ she says. ‘Smile, ’coz it might never happen.’
‘No, you fuck off!’ PANIC replies. ‘It has happened you fool.’
But Rationality knows that PANIC is lying, because nothing has actually happened. But today I’m believing her, because it sure feels like something has.
Such days aren’t good. Because I know that Rationality is whispering ‘silly you. Nothing that bad today, just bad sleep and work.’ And yet and yet, can’t shake the itch in my back saying ‘Oh lordy, like that isn’t enough! On top of everything anyway!’
But what is everything anyway? That’s the question I want to know the answer to. Because it can’t be like this forever, for all.
It seems that even when I’m not angry any longer or sad about happenings any longer, when things have been relegated to the BIG BLACK BOX called boldly “PAST” residues remain and I think think think about it. They find me as I sort jeans and smile at rich women, shouting ‘what about this and what about that’, as PANIC tells Rationality to get the hell away, so I can’t concentrate on the numbers in the till and the lines in my mouth, until I dizzy fall.
But I never really fall down. That’s the difference between me, and crazy people. Oh yes. And Rationality praises the stoicism behind my glazed eyes.
‘Puh,’ puffs PANIC. ‘Don’t see what’s so praiseworthy about glassy pretence.’
‘Fuck off’ says Rationality.
‘You fuck off,’ replies PANIC.
‘You fuck off,’ I say, under my breath, but loud enough for a customer to hear. ‘Sorry,’ I smile sweet. ‘Talking to myself.’
She laughs that it is ‘the first sign of madness.’
‘So’s spending all that money on shit,’ I think. And looking for hair on your palms.
People are stupid about madness.
‘I used to close my eyes when I walked down the street,’ a friend pronounced airily, as proof she was, as she preferred to call it, “mad”. Well honey, I used to think yellow was an evil colour, but I wasn’t mad, just a kid. And talking to yourself isn’t mad.
It’s a stupid word anyway. Too glamorous for what it is. A word for depressed artists. Zelda Fitzgerald would never have said she was ‘mentally diseased.’
But back to PANIC and Rationality.
‘You’re so immature,’ taunts Rationality. ‘You know it isn’t real.’
Today I am on PANIC’s side. She seems to be getting it in the neck.
‘I’m immature!’ she shouts back. ‘You think you’re so great, but you’re cold, a cold hearted bitch!’
Hmm, that was a bit harsh. Now I don’t know who to listen to.
‘That’ll be one hundred and forty nine pounds fifty,’ I say politely, meanwhile telling them to hush, I need to concentrate.
‘Oh take a pill,’ replies Rationality.
I giggle. How eighties.
‘Maybe that’s the problem,’ PANIC shouts. ‘You making us take pills.’
‘You know it’s for the best,’ she replies haughtily. ‘You must be sensible about these things. Stop with your paranoid unrealities.’
I’m getting more than a little pissed off with Rationality saying that nothing in my head is real, and I tell her so.
‘You never listen to me,’ she sulks. ‘Always taking PANIC’s side.’
‘Maybe because I talk more sense,’ she retorts proudly.
Jeesssuuus. Keeping these girls happy is harder than trying to work out the answers.
‘Sorry,’ they mumble, humble.
I don’t really mind. But it can be distracting. We need answers!
Rationality hasn’t learnt her lesson.
‘There are no answers because it isn’t real,’ she pronounces loftily.
‘Bollocks,’ PANIC comes back in, in equally proud tones. ‘If something feels real, then of course it is real.’
But what is or isn’t real? And why?
‘What you’re feeling,’ sighs Rationality. She always sighs when she thinks I haven’t been paying attention.
I sigh back. ‘I don’t know.’
THAT wasn’t a good answer, because now she thinks she’s right.
‘Of course you don’t know!’ she cries, triumphant. ‘How can you know a chemical imbalance!’
‘Oh fuck off,’ me and PANIC chorus.
She sulks again.
Listening to the girls has done no good whatsoever. So I begin to ignore.
Maybe Rationality is right. This whirring and spinning in the tern feather grey of my brain does suggest chemicals unbalancing. But then again, they are thoughts, and thoughts are something. They have to be something. Dizzying speeds of photos of moments, speeded up films and dialogues and monologues and noise noise noise never drowning quiet.
Oh dear. How teenage angsty of me.