Taylor Swift [ch 3 out of 5]

This is from a book of poems and pieces including riffs [not really poems] like in the following chapter.

This one chapter in that project is called “Funny Girls,” I just put Taylor as the title a while ago. I wouldn’t consider it anything other than art, if you happen to like read this whole thing. Because I very clearly in real life am not the narrator. I’m not sure it’s meant to be funny, merely because that word is in the chapter title, probably “terrifying” is more accurate to describe the vibe I was trying to convey and my intention when I wrote this project over about 3 years. It hasn’t been edited yet so proceed with caution; I think having an editor will change it considerably.

[Funny Girls]

When women refer casually to “being out with friends” or “BFFs” how “my friend said” and all the like, I’ve for the past few years felt a bit out of place. Like an orphaned white duck tossed in a cage with purebred swans. Even when I’m out with people, no matter how long I’ve known them, I don’t feel like I’m with friends, but with a troupe of performers. And I’m the only one out of character. No one rehearsed me for this plot.

I used to head home and do my own junk, and experience something close to fun. It was, by definition, psychotic. All in my head. The fun I was having was quite detached from my real-life circumstances. Trackable attention was not included in my ingestible daily formula. So for a while I went on the lookout for a number one—female, then male. Then neither one. I stopped and really resigned to being a no one, if there ever had been.

She called me Lola. If Lacie B Nelson hadn’t traipsed into my life when she did, in a long black sundress and gaze glossed black on prescribed drugs, I might have given up by now on ever putting on makeup again. She insisted the effort, on me specifically, wasn’t a lost cause. This might sound like another socially relevant tale for our times, about female love, but I swear solemnly to god if there is one [I have to hold back from saying were one, because sometimes I believe deeply in some one I put above me] this is not a story designed to seem sensitive to different interpretations of love. It’s just about Lacie. I’ve had enough accusations of lesbianism to warrant the clarification. To the contrary I spose, it’s a search for the woman always roaring, in my soul, that somewhere along the way got torn up and trafficked into an unrefined role I don’t much love or even like at all. I’m not sure which side Lacie lands on, the catcher or the dyke. But who ever said the escape from this role would be so hard. Or is a figurative “escape” from this enslavement even possible? And, should I relocate my last use of quotation marks? Enslavement?

What! Picture my eyes rolling back in my head. For a while in Lacie I searched tirelessly for a personality defect. Certainly, there was something fucked inside this 31-year-old woman. I was suspicious as soon as she started bragging in group therapy, where we met, about how much she loved everyone. Was she a malignant narcissist? No one who actually does, says out loud, that they “love helping people” (I’m paraphrasing, but); they just say so because they want to be helped! I thought I found the first red flag in a book she lent me, about our fav late celebrity’s early life.

“Did your stepdad really try to strangle you with a pillow,” I asked her. “Haa! Or did you take that from Marilyn’s biography! And then use it to make your story more compelling in treatment.”

“No, that really happened when I was four. That’s a detail I wish I didn’t know. My mom told me years later, I don’t remember getting suffocated though I do have this weird thing where I can’t be sleeping with my face under the covers.”

“So you’re sure you’re not a pathological liar.”

“Are you??” Lacie asked.

“No,” I said calmly, looking her in the eyes. “But I’ve been around them, someone I met in college who I’ve found myself blaming entirely, for my own loss of self and subsequent drug addiction.. I think that’s probably unfair.”

“It’s not unfair.”

“No?”

“With you I’ve been honest,” said Lacie. “I know it’s going to take you a while to trust me, but — you can.”

“Literally WHENEVER someone actually says the words, ‘you can trust me’ it’s fuckin’ shit–“

“–Lols, we’re lifers. We’ve been over this!”

“Okay if you’re really not a liar.. I’m literally not that ‘beautiful,’ I wish you’d stop with the bullshit compliments. It’s like fuckin’ with my head. Fuck! But, maybe you can help me produce or some garbage; as long as it gets the job done right my friend.”

“Let me know! We’ll listen to Billie Holiday and do spreadsheets.”

“Oh god. Thissa ’bout to be some hell.”

You think about snowflakes and xmas trees, when you and (who you thought was) the love of your life for-the-first-time met. Think of watching Friends and the jeans on such slender sets of hips. Think of how that was who you wanted to be, that’s the life you wanted for yourself. A kumquat moon over flowerfields; you run through them, being chased, and forget—this is a DREAM, and you’re listening to wildest dreams dreaming up some golden dram special melodies, then you wake and step on the scale again. Damn there it is! Your hips don’t be lying do they na, and there it is in the back, see the mirror, that’s yours baby: that get the hell outta here fat, the yuck, ass. What the dockitty foxxi buns happened, that got you swept down like thiss. How did she (that bitch) (the lyin sociopathic whore!!!!!) escape, this hellmuchtant life, and how did you naucht escape it! How cum it didn’t work out, for ju, like you always beautiful dark thott so deeply. You were a good person, before na (? today, no good deeds) all those years, it just got you here, you always trels thought you were good good good good good good oh jeese. And she picked the other guy, that JERK. He picked, the prettier damn girl. (young n stupid af. But prettier) And how did she, escape this shot-haill foxd existence, and how did you soooo not. Rickeddy dikitty focks. The mouse shat on the clox. So f it, you’ll stay home and watch kuwtk, yer leavin medder skewl, partly hardy like you joss don’t be karen, transoroxychloroquill, rite prescription puliss, cozs everyone fokkkin knows, the world’s ending anyshwayzee du leep in the sea. What in the actual ass, is happenin for me hee.

In any other time and place, I don’t think our meeting would have resulted in a friendship. Must have been another frustrating plot twist in the lifestory I’d planned, except for, hold on what??—this time I wasn’t entirely frustrated, not sexually, not at all. Lacie described me as someone she saw in our outpatient program for people who’d had a psychotic break, in a suburb of Minneapolis, and thought was pretty (potentially?) but I didn’t even know it. Her first day in group therapy I immediately thought Lacie was doing better than me. Apparently she’d lost a bunch of weight due to anxiety and depression, like thirty pounds literally, though I found myself wondering if the anxiety and depression resulted from a deeply felt pressure at-that-moment to be pretty enough, given her relationship with a needy man named Clint, who I’d later end up texting her about after a nightmare that indicated he was using her basically for money, which was, sad. I also thought she must be judging me as unattractively ratchet. So—at first definitely—I flagged her as dangerous. This was a time of my life when I spent at least an hour each night writing a diary about what a mess I was, my weight recorded every morning (around 140), and notes about how to lose some god-willing. Just to wake up to the same weight.

Well! Sometimes I wrote about Hollywood stars, not merely, my demons and resistance to actual reality.

“I know you [used to] like Justin Bieber but what about The Weeknd.”

I shrugged and answered, Lacie said she didn’t like him.

“That makes sense, honestly I thought you were gonna say it’s ‘cause he’s black.”

“Well, that too,” she said, perhaps unsarcastic. It was unclear, I smirked, eyes veiled by chronic exhaustion like: when you hear about someone you love screwing someone they shouldn’t. And it’s not the first time you’ve heard them doing this.

Lacie sealed the jar of red nail polish she had brought and applied to my hands, swiftly and simply, on the deck of a coffee shop I’ve always liked, Dunn Bros on Xerxes Avenue, which wasn’t at all in sync with Lacie’s shit, her brand. She preferred another Twin Cities original coffee brand called Caribou. “Maybe you should try to lose more weight, Lola, and see what it does to your face before you commit to surgery.”

“I guess,” I said quietly, before changing the subject. I’d recently been to a consultation, without telling anyone, the surgeon creeped me out a bit. “How about Selena Gomez, are you a fan.”

We agreed some of her songs were pretty dope, but, that she might be another brat.

“I know it’s literally retarded,” I might have said, referring now to the phase from ~2017-2019 when I imagined I understood Selena well enough to write roles for her in a musical porno. “But I blocked her on Instagram, just for good measure.”

“Really.”

“I get really into that celeb stuff. I was writing her creepy DMs.”

“I swear your phone has something spooked on it because whenever something bad happens to you it syncs up to her.”

“Haa,” I said again, knowing that this was not truly the case. To review my celebrity addictions and provide context, for when Lacie rereads the above conversation: I literally believed I was fated to work with The Weeknd on film/music and to help give him a quote “male makeover” to appear onscreen alongside Selgo, back when they were still dating. Justin Bieber, I used to love, but after he got married at 25 — and therefore, couldn’t marry me — I found, queerly, I couldn’t listen the same it was the saddest thing. That’s kind of a joke, but I really liked him growing up; a bit like Billie Eilish, who I didn’t know about yet, Bella Hadid was cool but was a bit far-up-there in the stratosphere of beauty for me to even go there mentally; it was terrifying. Both were younger women. The rest of my imaginary dream collaborators were 20s-30s women (age-wise) who for the most part came out of New York City. None of them were as crazy as me. These days since recovering a bit from delusions like these, I’m able to frame it all as me thinking like the psycho I still was, short for psychotic not psychopath (it’s an important distinction); named Lola. She hadn’t yet been hospitalized for all-the-above “dreams” which in this case would be a euphemistic term for impossibilities that drove me to rock bottom.

I swam froglike out of the deep end, somehow alive and driven to recover my self—god knows how I made it up—named Morgan Wilcock again. No longer a fraud but no longer a rockstar in my head! A flawed but functional human, female by sex. I could only pray I’d be in touch with the truth from then on, as drab as it was? As Morgan: I didn’t have many friends left, they didn’t want to catch the cracker bug, and I might have been this desperate but — Lacie B was definitely one of them.

It had been just four months since I “came out of it,” so it was all still raw: I was hearing voices when videos of George Floyd came up on Twitter and the gram.

The voices kept saying, “stop staring at me” or “I’m staring at you.” I didn’t know what it meant, that’s kind of how it works having schizoaffective symptoms. I didn’t have an Instagram but for some 180 scattered followers, an account I deleted, because most of those followers were fake-seeming accounts of people I hadn’t met. I didn’t want to be pretending like that. I’d used a service at one time called Gramblr, to make it appear that some people were liking my posts; no one ever did. I figured I’d been cancelled, at some point, after making a film in college that I’d taken just a bit of flack for from guys on the internet.

I hardly existed and felt like a ghost non-existing in the presence of the new posts I saw in 2020, on racism, were these more of the same such posts. Nothing ever changed. Videos of a guy in cops clothes looking deranged with his knee on the neck of a black man, crying out for his mom (to me it seemed insensitive to even let such sounds kind of echo in my brain, at that moment sending out all the wrong reverberations). It was hard to watch so, I didn’t watch it initially; later I’d be essentially forced to like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange‘s final scenes. It just was everywhere, no one could avoid it, the outcry online, for me, was indistinguishable from the voices telling me I looked like a child with down syndrome and other really bad things: unless you assume, for some reason, that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes reassuring things, I guess, I heard it all. In my own voice over the voices I insisted that the others are racist, not you Morgan. You’re not racist, anything but that. You might have no friends and it’s because you’re clearly weird and awkward on the internet and just everywhere. You might be a creepy Jew who can’t keep her dick in her pants when near black chicks, not necessarily because she wants to screw but because she always parties way harder than anyone (around her) wants to deal with, and ends up naked. You’re helpless and might qualify as a stalker, of pretty famous people, with potential to become a rapist if you were hypothetically naked in the same bed. You might have a face that people on Zoom mistake for that of a post-op tranny; the people on Zoom have never said it, but you’ve suspected this based merely on the voices in your head.

All of the above, can get a pass. It’s paranoia, you’re fine, you’re forgiven for even thinking so because it’s literally due to [self-] diagnosed severe mental illness.

And you’d never ask someone if they thought you resembled a trans person; if they thought so, you’d roll with it, work it into your brand, a brand which is currently non-existing. It might be nice to have something to fall back on, as like, your brand. The freak.

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The one thing you’re not, though, is a racist. Damn, anything but that — you could even be a miserly wretch for the rest of your life and remembered as a horrible person in all other ways Morgan, Morgan, Morgan. You’ve heard people think that, the voices have said it: she’s a freak, who’s both a freak and, apparently transphobic, a loner, dyke, she’s Jewish ulch, the f-word, et cetera to infinity and beyond with a round face like Buzz Lightyear’s.

But you’re never going to let yourself be known as a racist. Just so long, as you’re not, that.

And then all my voices spoke at once. 🤠 Is there anything else…. we need to worry about?? 🤠

Near the Iron Range—from where Lacie came, with a 2-year-old at age 21, to start a better life in the Twin Cities—Bob Dylan grew up. Her hometown was actually better known for housing a Hockey Hall of Fame, including the world’s largest free-standing hockey stick. In the time I spent there, I heard a few stories about untimely deaths. Murders, almost definitely, they said: girls falling down mineshafts “drunk” while out with longtime boyfriends. All women in Lacie’s family were married with at least two kids, chain-smoked, claimed they were psychic, possibly “witches.” Yeah huh. I kept getting eye contact with her family. Lacie asked why I kept avoiding it.

I shrugged, couldn’t answer the question.

“Yep, you have some big stuff coming up,” said Lacie’s mom Corinne, finishing up her fifth Coors Light and setting aside the can. “But it’s not in New York, you know.” I wondered if she was just convincing me to stay, because she knew Lacie liked me back home in Minneapolis.

“And since I’m honest this way, I’m gonna tell ya this too. You’re gonna have some more struggles.” She said it in her thick Midwestern accent, which I have some of myself. When I moved to New York I changed my accent with some practice.

Wow, yuck foo, I thought (sarcastically, to myself), feeling lost up in those parts.

Is it that obvious, my future is fucked up. Lacie had been certain I’d get along with her mom and sisters on that side of the family. They all lived in Northern MN. You know like when a friend says “you’ll love them!!” about someone they love? And you’re like, “well I generally don’t dislike people I’ve just met but, they haven’t met me, yet.” (That’s always been my response; I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone.) Truth be told, I felt nervous about what they saw, my glum comportment. My weight, my BOYISH frame, the confusing shape of my butt!! Women notice this stuff: whether another woman has a good butt, it’s not a gay thing necessarily. After putting in a few hours at Lacie’s niece’s joint birthday bash with some other girls, an outdoor party complete with bouncy house and egg hunt, I took a break inside Corinne’s North Star rambler.

I felt comfortable inside, alone. Wood walls and stained beige carpet, baskets filled with gift wrap and laundry still not done. Lacie came in and gave me some sort of birthday cake in clear seran wrap; I put it in my the Coach bag, a gift from her, for later, still in 2018 unwilling to eat in front of literally anyone — a problem? (One authentic feature of an eating disorder, it’s called Deipnophobia.) Most of the interior space was crammed with baby toys belonging to her sister’s not-quite newborn son. Lacie kept lifting him up to the ceiling, singing “Everything is Awesome!” She bumped his head on the ceiling, accidentally, and was like “ope.” He frowned as though thrown off for a moment, from having fun, but didn’t cry quite. Lacie kept lifting him, he laughed. Which was cute, I remember thinking it made me want to weep; like a religious experience, almost.

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It reminded me of my childhood, the toys and noisy air, all the people’s dizzy gazes. The decor, it wasn’t fine art. It filled the space up. I wondered if Lacie’s brother-in-law hunted, hung the taxidermied buck head on the wall himself. I didn’t ask, but—I kind of liked it, the masculine art.

Lacie’s mom, according to her oldest daughter’s confessions in group therapy (before we were friends), was somewhat of a bystander while she and her two younger sisters were being badly abused by her mom’s husband, sexually. Lacie thought the man abusing her, physically and verbally, was her dad by birth. As an adolescent she learned—her father was a different man, though this other dirtbag was the biological dad of her younger sisters, who she loved so much she might (and apparently, did once almost) die for them. The abuse started when Lacie was around age 8, and her stepdad used to have men over for band practices in the garage. After practice the men would come into the girls’ bedrooms. The garage doubled as a meth lab where the drug was made and bought by Northerners, and Lacie’s stepfather was a meth addict, which might begin to explain why he was such a heartless fuckcunt, comma, skeezetard. Lacie’s real biological dad was a paranoid schizophrenic who woke up at 4AM to indiscreetly go shopping at the grocery store. Having issues myself with agoraphobia, I wondered if that’s why Lacie was able to get along with me better than almost everyone. Her father had also self-published a few books, or something. I didn’t meet him. When I went to visit her family, the mom’s side that is, her sister (bombed at this point, slurring words) made a comment about how Lacie was schizophrenic now too. And Lacie got upset.

This was Lacie B, whose middle name was literally just a letter. It was on her birth certificate. Her mom picked the name. Lacie B who had once taken a baseball bat and trashed the entire house of her ex, on the spot when she found him cheating. Lacie B who got knocked up at 18 by a much older man, then left the hospital back then wearing the same jeans she wore pre-pregnancy. She who called my family when she realized I was alone, having an episode in 2019 (thinking I was being watched through the walls [actually by the celebs I’d been writing about] and poisoned), to have them initially tell her she was wigging. By my sister, treated a bit like a weirdo. Fuck her.

“Do you want me to show you my papers!?” she said to her sister, because she’d been diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression after weeks of assessment from medical professionals trained in the process of diagnosing this shit, literally i.e. clinically.

Officially with the help of professionals I’ve come to identify and accept that I have bipolar [II, there’s a bit of a difference between that and type I, clinically] — I’m fine with it I guess, I tend to think it’s more obvious than it would be if I didn’t confess.

Lacie sort of one-upped me on that one, her diagnosis was less intense. Neither of us think being some crazy bitch, despite all the songs and films about hot ones (like by The Weeknd), is quite actually ever glamorous. Not sure why men go for that, it’s something I look for in their exes — before I confess that I’m bipolar II — as a bad sign definitely.

Like the chicken and the egg, where does it all start and end?

After years of bad relationships, Lacie settled down with a guy who at least says she looks good with five extra pounds on her butt (sorry Lacie to share various remarks on healthy love) [also I’m just going by one or two texts: I don’t know why you text me about your weight, besides that we’re both crazy] if she’s up or down. Her man encourages clinical sanity and doesn’t quite drive her nuts; to the contrary, he seems to hold her up.

In 2018 Lacie’d give me a Tarot reading, even though I kept saying I was “scared” in a voice like Selena Gomez outside of Starbucks, telling paparazzi to give her space in a video I saw once. (“You’re scaring me,” she said in that video.)

I was all like, “I am very fragile the devil’s on my BACK you literally met me in treatment, Lacie, I don’t know if this is a good idea.” She dyed my hair black like Selena Gomez’s in her bathtub, and said I looked like I must weigh 110 pounds; I said, honestly, I don’t use the scale at this time of my life. Yo, I’m trying not to live my life based on the numbers. I’ll never win against someone like Selgo.

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My tarot reading from her would confirm a collapse of expectations and ideals, frustration with the slowness of progress, a possessive male figure holding me back, dishonesty in my past which I figured might have to do with writing about people (like Lacie right at this literal second and Selena in other work) and never telling them I was on their ass. The tarot reading, further might reveal, that others viewed me as burdensome, and then it promised better things on the horizon—including better future finances which I’d be like-I-said scared to believe in, scared of the repercussions of hearing that shit and letting it go inside of me, but of course like literally everyone: probably wanted more than having nothing.

“Rappings, stars. Turn it ALL off puliss. That tarot card could refer the movie projects, the dreams and delusions related to ever meeting celebrities,” I remarked to Lacie laughing like the crying cat emoji when she pulled the Tower Card. “And I was just texting my parents, kind of about how I felt like a financial burden.”

“Have you been eating,” she said, suddenly concerned that I’d become anorexic.

“Why.”

[Actually, I had been.]

“Have you,” she kept interrogating.

“Those meal preps you gave me—yes. I’m not going to tell you my eating schedule but I ate them all last night at 4am.”

“Your face has thinned out.”

“For now,” I mumbled, honestly confused because I didn’t see it and was sort of sure my face was damaged irreparably from chewing gum instead of ever eating as an actually-probs-anorexic undergraduate student. I no longer chew gum; I literally have come to see it as a gateway drug, to worse addictions.

Lacie showed me pictures on her phone of women in specific sort of indigo hues of blue skinny jeans and linen shirts and sunglasses, I won’t try to sound like a style writer. They were uncomplicatedly pretty and happy and chill: prettier than either of us as women. She gave me a book by reality star Whitney Port and told me to read it, I did later that week on a flight back to New York. She said if I wasn’t going to wear make-up, one day, then I had to straighten my hair. I couldn’t do one or the other. And she didn’t want me getting looked at in public, because I was wearing a skirt in winter! Wait, Lacie literally, don’t people wear skirts in winter.

“I don’t get that,” (I actually still don’t know what she meant) “fat girl skirts?” I asked.

Feeling like a cunt again, I turned away to watch the news on her big HD television.

Lace, who ain’t be perfect no sir, tended to let out quiet squeels like “ooh” whenever someone unstarlike was caught by the HD lens. I wasn’t sure if her coos and caws were (1) sympathetic or (2) just unkind. I didn’t mind that much because I wanted someone discerning to probably unfair extremes to be in charge of the makeover thing, still not a foregone “dream”; I didn’t want help from someone who didn’t notice when HD just wasn’t right for a woman. Which turns out: it usually, was not. I knew that being photogenic on film was a specific skill set, not fathomed by like, most humans definitely, certainly not her at that time or she wouldn’t have been so mean. I didn’t stand up to her, it was nothing, we were just hanging out. Maybe it took some hella fails one-one’s-ass to really fathom, how tough it truly was. By then, I felt I’d been there, and could stand to not lead a life where it happened again and again and again and again and again. Poor female celebs on their asses, no wonder they sometimes stay inside, in a bathtub with the curtain pulled and lights off. Ugh.

“This is why I need your help, Lacie. When I lose a few more pounds. We can do screen tests.”

“Did you vote in the last election,” she asked me, watching some news about President Trump.

I shook my head, shifting moods suddenly; like someone with bipolar. “I feel fucked by that choice of mine,” I said, being honest.

“Who would you have voted for.”

“Hillary. I mean–”

She said back “–I voted for [🙀 PSYCHO SOUNDTRACK, PRELUDE 🙀.]

“Oh,” I said, how charming 😿 — I wondered if not-voting was exactly the same?

“Only ‘cause Hillary got on my nerves. I don’t even know why,” she threw in.

“Because she was ugly,” I asked. I wasn’t sure if I was being a bitch, or she was the bitch, or if the world had any good people left in it.

“I watched the debates and it was just something. But I regret it now, I do, ‘cause of all the garbage that’s happened,” she said.

“The garbage.. Lacie. Literally what can I say,” lols!! 😹

And, that’s when I gave up on the makeover, it felt irrelevant to me and (more importantly) to my duty to the world. In the next election I’d be a bit less wishy-washy about what I stood for: I might even repeat many times who I’d voted for, so long as it wasn’t DT. Byee no thanxx I’ll put back on the Spanx, I said, suddenly depressed and confused about why this makeover felt like a moral failing, when what I’d been wearing for Lacie wasn’t shit I’d ever the fuck wear if I were being true to my self who wanted a bikini wax but only for the right one. Is this relevant to the narrative or not?

Otherwise it, hurt too much; it wasn’t worth keeping up. If I were being true to my real spirit I’d just be naked. But alone?

So like, not naked in the middle of Times Square. Being filmed.

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Also: maybe not someone legitimately mentally ill. Having diagnosable-ass issues with exhibitionism.

Skimming the literal Bible, we went back to doing confessionals in silence, two deplorables enjoying the other as one disgusting friend at least.

Everyone else female of course, sensing me talk like this, spitting and sneering viciously, had left me in the dust. I was certain, by now, they thought, I was, a creep.

Lacie was enrolled in a Christian college, online, which she herself was uncertain about. She kept asking me if she should transfer and I was like, it’s up to ya dumb kiddo. I spit in the dust where I imagine she’d run away from me.

But you know, it was convenient and affordable (as advertised) and fit into her schedule. It’s alright you can do it, not fine but alright.

I was listening to Drake’s Scorpion while doing Lacie’s homework, for her, that summer. Later she’d do it herself. She wanted a career in social work, not car insurance sales which she was actually good at.

She made a small killing and had a house in Edina which is like the Upper East Side of Minneapolis. Lacie asked for help with assignments including something called, confessionals yes, which I actually enjoyed. I was like, “here I am, good at school, I’ll help—in exchange for the pressure to get out of my mom’s house.” Lacie told me the makeover was going well, however: the resurrection of Lola Christ was cut off suddenly, as though by an extremely sharp knife.

I abandoned her to interview for a job I didn’t get at Sony Classics in N-Y-C. I strode into the Sony lobby in an outfit Lacie had planned, to a garage door-sized screen playing Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” with surround sound, yeah and that video of Calvin Harris with a tray in his hands, music blaring like supersonic angels reverbin’ all loud on white marble floors and walls and stairs and still insane I was led to one of those elevator enclaves without buttons even (some sort of like read-your-mind system that gets you to the right floor, somehow), by a doorman who hit on me with a smirk plus the up and down-down drr — yeah, and that’s when I knew already, I wouldn’t get in!!

This wasn’t the job for me. For a New York media industry interview, with another woman, I looked like raw clit. Alllll woman.

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Friends don’t just have sex constantly, I don’t believe that at least. “That’s quite a switch from trying to become a doctor,” I’d text back my sort-of ex in a way he perceived as condescending — I’d thought at the moment I could knock some sense into his nogs.

He’d recently decided to become a cop instead of a doctor. I don’t know why, with that I had some sort of problem.

“You literally don’t know how much I hated that the whole time I was studying,” he’d responded. Actually as a premedical student I did, it absolutely sucked. “Don’t make assumptions it causes you to make errors,” he texted after that.

What the fuck do you know about error analysis, like what did YOU get in Gen Chem lab. BIYTCH?

Wasn’t funny even a bit. I’d later apologize to Dude, which was not his name, my mom said it was good he was becoming a cop, he could go far with his degree and make a meaningful difference that way. I did get along with doctors generally. Maybe that’s why I’d fucked him all those years, I thought it might lead him somewhere. Him or me, I don’t do that lightly. Eventually after more texts and the sense that he wasn’t doing well, rather than try to be a “friend” to him again — I’d do what I usually do with people, these days feeling I owe no one a thing, yeah, when something just isn’t working: I block the person on my phone and, if we did, I try to forget we’d fucked in the first place. Also I try to forget they exist.

Falling out is a term I used to hear Scully say often. Scully was a drug dealer, not mine ever but someone I’d met through a guy who knew him that way. Falling out, it’s another word for overdosing on the wrong medicine.

It’s not quite the same as dying, but if you’re about to fall out and know it, you might as well just plan to be basically dead for some years, decades even — if you’re unlucky a lifetime: but you best believe, it won’t be for some days or minutes.

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In Minneapolis, still, my mom entered my room at 2pm even though the door was shut with a sock up in it. And she asked one day, after finding me in bed with the covers on, “Moooorg?”

[me: ohh shit pulls up the covers] “No..”

“I just wanna know something. Can I ask you something.”

“I said no.”

A scary pause.

“Mom!! I said GO, please hurry up–”

“–I wanna know… what I need to do, so that you can get your head back on.”

I looked up. And sighed like a ghost with his head off.

“Hmm?” said Rose Ellen.

I don’t ass the fuck, know… “MOM. SHIT. Holy fffuuuuuck. I don’t know if I can, this time. It’s like, is this my life, I fucking found diarrhea last night all over the walls of a bathroom stall [working at a cinema in Edina for old creeps]. Who the fuck does that literally.”

“What do you mean when you use the word old creep.”

Did I say it in those words? If so I forgot what, I was emitting from my mouth, projectiling, it wasn’t you mom it was me! My mom went on about how setting the bar here (*puts hand near the floor*) versus here (*raises hand high*) was important and changed one’s approach to this life. Then she left me, her daughter, to basically let myself go more-and-more alone until the day I would finally die without a follow or a mention or a single fan. That I ever knew of.

An old friend who used to take me on dates to the McDonald’s on W 34th street once said Lola I’m not racist but in my first week ar Riker’s they cut my face, that’s what he said. I said Scully I believe you (I can see the ugly scars). Everyone on the street has told me you’re a piece of shit, but I don’t think so Scully. You’ve been so kind to me. I never thought it’d be something I’d have to worry about myself, getting the right side of my mouth torn up by that word you said, a word I never could imagine myself saying out loud, like you just said to me.

“I mean I’m not gonna shave your bush for you, what do you expect Lols.”

“Holy mother of fuck, Lace m’damely ho. Sheer thongs and leather straps. I never, said, a thing about my shady pussy how dare you assume it needs outside help from a real woman. If that were the case it wouldn’t be you. You’re the one who was swiping right for ratchet trashy fucking hos on Tinder, I don’t know what you’re into, Madame Tussaud’s wax dolls, if you wanna see it Lacie.. L-M-K it’s here waiting honey, le dark silk. But I’m really holding out for someone — obviously, I mean, the right guy in marriage, so. I’m sorry I’m wearing a large made-for-male polo. Let’s get this makeover MOVIN’ ayy bom chikka waaa wikki waaaw.” I knew my friend well enough, around her finally, I was acting like myself.

“What are you into, then.”

I showed her pics on my phone, people’s Instagrams. No! said Lacie, uh-uh, just one of them was Dude from college. “A cop? That’s not a friend to you.”

“You’re right about that.. I sucked his cock in an empty lecture hall,” I said. And this was the whole truth.

“–I’m just gonna put on my sweatshirt and glasses and go studyyyy,” said Lacie, mocking me a bit like she was imitating someone with down syndrome; that’s just how I heard it, though. “I’ve got a read on the real you,” she said, “you fucking hoe.”

“Hoe? Naa that ain’t me, you must be confused,” I said, before turning around to cover my face, like my waist on the wider side, forevs, not sure where to go but, back to sleep during the opening of Natural Born Killers — one of her (the real, evil, violent Lacie’s) favorite films. I reminded her for the last time in this piece that I was the greatest fan — actually, long-distant stalker – of Selena Gomez. That conversation took place in 2018.

“Jumped a hundred feet down, aiming for a rock. Fractured my ribs and arm, didn’t die. Tied a rope, put it round my neck on a fourwheeler, kicked off the four wheeler off the edge of a hill. Woke up three days later in the hospital. Friend cut me down. Didn’t die. Swallowed a bottle of Oxycodon, laid down to go to sleep. Woke up with tubes down ma throat. Didn’t die. Three bags dope, bottle whiskey — blacked out, opened eyes. ER that time, wasn’t dead. Grenade detonated ten feet from our truck in Afghanistan. Can’t serve more time cause my hands. Can’t even fire a gun. Look at them shakin’, see.”

“That’s tough. Yeah,” I said outside our treatment place called Prairie Care. “It sounds like you’ve really tried..”

“—my son’s here in the child inpatient program. Can’t be around the house with his mother, my ex-wife, without hurting her. Fraid he might kill her. He’s hurt a couple employees. They put him on drugs, he can’t hardly open his eyes.”

“I’m sorry, that’s tough.”

“I’ve had it all. House with seven bedrooms. A 12-square foot walk-in closet, for ma wife. Had it all,” said one my treatment fellows, showing me pics on his phone of his ex-wife.

“Wow, she’s beautiful.” (She was, pretty.)

“You shouldar seen Emily weeks ago, she couldn’t even speak. Last week before you got here, she didn’t show up, turns out—she tried to kill herself.”

“The athlete, the anorexic woman? I think her name’s Amy. I like her a lot, but if today was really her last day… I’m not sure how she’s gonna, do..”

“No… she might.. nawt..”

Some silence. I changed the subject, “What did you think about the morning’s talk. I couldn’t stop crying I was embarrassed.”

“I don’t care what they say. I’m not forgiving my mother. My ex-wife. I’m not forgiving them. Never gonna happen, for what they did ta me.”

“Huh,” I thought, thinking of my, self.

“What are you doing for lunch.”

“I think, I just kind of wanna, chill, alone. I don’t know, I mean..”

“No one’s actually tarkin’. With fones n stuff. I like talking. It’s gotten bad, out there.”

I hesitated and said, “I think that history right now is like weird… if no one knows what’s weird anymore then like… oh shit, who knows though ha, I can’t compare it to any other time. That’s one reason to stay alive, though. Maybe you can like, help, people out a bit, right. I seriously don’t know.”

“I still just try.”

“Yeah,” I exhaled, honestly eager to leave, “what else..”

*in high, vain voice* I don’t really like the shoes in that pic. feels important.. right now *screeches*

“It makes me feel lighter, I get stuff done.”

“Can you put some fucking clothes on?”

“No one’s looking.”

“There are people up and down the block, they’re gonna see you through the window. Get a grip.”

“It is weird,” I chipped in with my hands on my hips, wearing an orange crewneck and shorts with an elastic waistband. At the time I had a problem, with sleeping, too much. “Can you let me agree on this!!”

“You guys… it’s fine. Listen. Do you and Dad want to help carry this dresser downstairs to put into storage.”

“I don’t want to, if that’s what you’re asking.” A pause, I realized in horror, I was starting to sound like my father, it was true. “But ch’knowww I’ll firkin do it,” I said, “Gawwwd!!” I threw up my hands, they felt all stretchy like a wacky waving tube man.

“How are the meds honey.” (Antipsychotics.)

“Girate,” I said smizing, flying batty off the edge.

“Let me know about the side effects, let’s keep an eye on them.”

“Absolutely, mom. Liiiiiiiterally what side effects thouuuugh..” my eyes rolling back in my head…

“I’m so smmmmarrttttt,” someone named Alou had said in the psych ward before I met Lacie in outpatient. He was sitting next to me during coloring time, arts and crafts hour. I’d gone to be a good sport but was probably flirting or more accurately insourcing some power. From the male gaze. I wondered if it was because he was sitting next to me, that he even said it. Soon I’d leave to take another bath, what else was there to do. I drew two llamas, one of them was purple and the other black and white with stripes.

They were lesbians but not like dykey ones, I spent a lot of time getting the colors just right.

If they weren’t fem lesbians they’d be more, or less conscious of their color? Their images? I didn’t know, I just knew they wouldn’t identify as quote “dykes.” Just as in love. These were the two female llamas I’d drawn, queer ones. And, as noted they cared about style. Like me.

My sister Alexis wouldn’t be there to visit for a couple hours still but time was so stretched, two hours felt like an appropriate amount of it to allot to prepare for her visit. So I went back to my room with my llama drawing and hung it on the wall. I was shaking a little, I noticed as I used a bit of stale toothpaste to stick it up on my bedside, I wasn’t sure why. I’d get fixed-up in the bathroom for two hours before my sister arrived. I was just happy to have my weight down, everyone said when I came in that I looked like I hadn’t been eating, they said they’d need to get some food back in my system. No one ever stuck tubes down my throat, let’s not get all dramatic. Armed with just the two or three outfits, including my complimentary blue gown and some other new clothes (a shirt from a guy named Peter I’d been pals with, like actually just pals), I hadn’t enjoyed getting ready this much, in such a long time. I could even dress up in private and sometimes dance, more than a bit clumsily on the pills I’d been swallowing. It felt so good to dance again, even if it wasn’t well, the dancing, even if I was alone with my self.

In hell. Dionne, my only friend there: she’d hooked me up with a single room for my second week. She was 45 and gave all her clothes, to me too, on the day she left — the tank top I wore in the hall, black Nike airs — she said, she just never wanted to remember a thing from her time there. I saw her son come pick her up and shared a glance; he must be my age, she must be hard to have as a crazy parent. Actually I could, probably, begin to understand it.

A male nurse once asked “how old are you,” and Dionne said, “25” (in front of me, she knew how old I was actually), and he said back “you’re beauuuuuuitful.” She laughed madly all the way down the hall. By the time she left, we were friendly enough that she told me about thinking there were darts flying through the walls and, even if she wasn’t, that she was about to die or get killed. She’d phoned the cops on herself to get out of her head. So had I when my sister wouldn’t do it for me, but I didn’t go into all that sitting across from Dionne on her last day. I said, it might still be okay Dionne, sounds like you might just be sensitive to the news, just don’t give up on your Self. I’m not sure what she was thinking.

Literally with his pants down in the hall, Dionne said she’d seen Alou. She ran and used a phone to call 9-1-1 when none of the nurses, who generally did very little to protect us, didn’t take her request seriously that he be put on one-on-one (which means being monitored closely by staff). I didn’t see him in the hall and was glad but I myself got in trouble for wearing a tank top, something I’d never have worn outside the hospital, where it went against the dress code enforced heavily against patients. But after that Dionne said she knew someone, on staff who was nice, and because I’d stopped talking much by then, she spoke to him for me and, got me my own bed and single room.

The bed was electric but not plugged in, the room more like a storage closet that wasn’t being used than a decent place to exist. In the room next door someone who’d been there for months, clearly, with a sign on her door that said “no dogs allowed.” She would throw things and scream the words filthy ho in the middle of the night. She wasn’t yelling at me but sometimes it felt that way, not that she’d have been right.

I thought of Dionne fearing she’d get killed. I knew exactly how many days I had left, I practically knew how many seconds though I could sort of adjust the tempo I experienced each moment. I was there for two unbearable weeks which compared to some others was not terrible, but compared to others still was a pretty bad sentence. I remembered this time as a kid, at a birthday party for my friend from preschool Lea, the first best friend I ever had: they’d had us play a game where all the girls tried to say “now” at the closest moment to exactly two minutes after her parents said “start counting in your heads.” I’d spoken up at almost the right second, precisely, to hit the two minute mark. All the other girls had said “now” too soon, but I’d not been swayed by their premature shots at it, and I ended up hitting it at just the right second. I had a strong internal clock, her parents had emphasized and told my mom, and I never forgot that from Lea’s parents, I guess it meant something to me or by now I’d have forgotten.

I’d never called someone that word Scully used until someone there called me fat. A soft spot for me literally. He didn’t call me fat, he told me to stop eating. And I hadn’t been. It was the first thing I’d eaten since I got there, and he told me not to eat it. A piece of white bread. And I called him a bad name. Not to his face. But I figured, if I went back to my single room and said it, I might feel better, I definitely didn’t.

“You’ve been looking at me and giving me a hard time, ever since I got here” (which was true he wouldn’t get off my case—or that’s what I perceived) “and I just am asking you, to please leave me [the fuck] alone,” I said to him after he’d waved a finger at me while trying to eat a second time, I wondered, just from his vibe, if he was a pimp. I’d been around one or two of them. I never asked but I did overhear, when he was talking to staff, that he was homeless.

I turned away, then quickly turned back, just as he gestured a punching motion in my direction.

“Dr. XYZYX, so–I’m confused about why it’s next Thursday, I feel like, I’m fine.” I didn’t say this but wish I’d spoken up. I’d gone mute by then. A number of patients, who I’d interacted with a bit, were admitted then released within one or two nights. My mom apparently tried to negotiate but, they wouldn’t listen to her, and, also I didn’t want her visiting (she did once anyway). I preferred just my sister Alexis witness me, that way.

“I don’t think you’re a lost cause, all the doctors have remarked on your intelligence.”

“To you?”

XYZYX was the head of the literally all-white and mostly female staff in this region of Bellevue Hospital Center, who struck me as uncaring but also overworked. My mom thought their outfits were inappropriate for a hospital; I honestly don’t remember, I just remember being called out on wearing my own “inappropriate” outfit (the tanktop I mentioned, and blue hospital pants). I was asked to change. To put something over my arms. If they weren’t overworked they might be nice, I honestly figured, the social workers might focus more on their patients and just wear uniforms but I took it no one enforced the dress code on them; some of the women honestly DID seem to have swag. Of the twenty or so patients on Floor 20 West, the shittiest horror-floor where I’d been admitted for having no insurance, I was the only white female person. Not the only white guy, there were a few white guys. Older white guys. I tried to say just enough to make it through my stay, thinking always, every second, jesus what the fuck is this place, how did I end up here. My mom and sister had wanted me to go to Sinai, thinking (probably correctly) the facilities would be better, but since I’d been the one who called the cops on myself, I had further insisted upon Bellevue nowhere else, not really knowing why I was so deadset on that point specifically. I also had no idea I’d be admitted to the psych ward; I thought it would be just for a night not two weeks.

What changed those plans was my confession, in the ER, to doctors not my family, that I’d actually ingested some chemicals just before an ambulance was called.

Probably the most important choices I’ve made were the ones that came on whim. Like one day I’d be like, I’m just going to do it. Boom. I scheduled an appointment with my school’s Academic Resource Center to help plan a schedule even though I anticipated feeling shame about how boring it all is (compared to other students), my life; beyond blog posts like this, about basically, horrible things. I almost cancelled the meeting to avoid that nippy dose of shame which might put me over the edge but probably not, I have a high tolerance anyway. It wasn’t always like that, so what if my life is boring, now — I prefer it that way to chaos or mania, which given any momentum, obeys Newton’s first law of motion. Never ever ends.

It was a life-changing decision, just for how much more productive I’ve been, and, for how it helped me conceive of structure, especially toward time, as something quite sacred. Like placing notes on ledger lines and putting scores in a key just right for a legendary lead singer; like guys, have some respect if a woman deserves the honor, truthfully.

It truly did and should still matter. Honor!! Rightfully, allotted, to good, dependable and ethical human beings! Must I say this pounding a bloody chest: it wasn’t just nothing, shouldn’t be. It isn’t. Such brutalism needed to fight feudalism, na, the real woman who saves me cannot just be another evil brat, or racist. I deserve better. By now I know that’s true if literally nothing else about me is.

..:

A similar statement, I guess, to the one I started the last section with: the most important goals I’ve achieved were the ones that came to me. Avoiding shame is what’s ever caused one to set goals beyond my means, i.e. to set goals very forcefully — basically wanting to rise above what has felt like it was, beneath me. It’s what I was saying about the maimed ego; it results in a need to be great, not always for the best though. Not selflessly, not remotely — rather: for oneself alone, to leave a dent on history. On humanity, sometimes at the cost of one’s own.

That’s who I wanted to be, someone who left this earth having made a masterpiece. If I could choose what kind I would make that masterpiece a love poem.

In the meantime still just pontificating I have begun to see, setting goals is not always about leaving dents, maybe, it can be about healing bruises where a denting hit the skin, which starts with saying, “this is not good,” and then doing the good thing because why wouldn’t you want to be good. (The question’s rhetorical but maybe not to ambitious people like a younger me, the me who changed her name to Lola, a name I left behind at some point with its infamy.) By then, once you can discern good from just not good, it’s just kind of like, not a tough decision.

It’s not a tough decision. To do the good thing, when posed with a choice between that and something definitely not good for you, or definitely not good for someone else — who you love. Someone you want to see do well. Your lover.

Someone you want to see do well, for you and thus for others; not to just do you well. Yes, or no. To be a good lover, what overhaul would that require from me?

At rock bottom, so alone. I had to ask my self. What would that require from me. For her. Not for them, no no no.

We all die alone so I try not to dwell on it. But still, I dreamed for years of not-dying, alone, a one woman show safely solipsized by her narcissism, enough to ever change her name to something “greater.” In the past that’s who I’ve been. Now I’m just Morgan. Now I’m just a human, and trans.

“You there,” a patient on my first day at Bellevue had pointed at me, “fuckin.. cocky.” I weighed under 100 pounds and as a woman still truly, thought I looked great. This was the one who cried out the word “rapistses” regularly and got in fights with staff every day.

When I left I got her hooked up with the single room. That insult landed, though, somehow, like if I were to be called insane, now. It would land. It still rings in my head, a reminder, people notice real shit. That girl, though, was unkind to me. We were never friends.

From the jarring moment I had my phone and laptop taken, and realized they could tell more-than-I-could how suicidal I might be, not just playing at all (I guess my sister thought): this is what sunk in. First of all I felt like there’s still good in the world. There is, still, good. To be taken care of people who know their stuff. This is very good. But what’s it like to feel otherwise? I’ll try to remember how it felt, to think otherwise. It felt like this. Everything is projection and nothing is certain at all. From the imagery that makes up our dreams to the way we interpret posts on social media and e-mails and texts, to the way we might mishandle our relationships. But in that scary space behind some projection device modulated by our brain’s chemistry, we sometimes get glimpses of actual unsubjective harrowing facts. The projection is subsumed by some darkness too real, and too deep, not to be just-how-it-is. The lies we were telling ourselves before all fall down in the black hole. Above the black hole floats a feather. Not sure how it doesn’t fall. It’s the reason I pray these days, knowing that must be the crazy thing. I just don’t know how the feather doesn’t fall.

I mean, it would fall. It should factually. But the image keeps me believing, not in God but in truth. Not in God but in objectivity, maybe, though that word itself — like the word “literally” — can be thrown around by humans as though to force truth when it’s not something attainable by force. It’s just not. Literally? Like objectively though? I’ve fallen into that trap too.

But the truth, so, the real thing, is not attainable by force. Neither are the words “I love you too.” They just aren’t.

“You can say bye to your sister, she’ll still be visiting,” said a nurse in a Bellevue hall protected by two bored male guards watching videos on their phones.

“I’m fine, I don’t need to be here!” I was shouting, “please Alexis, vouch for me now.”

Alexis said nothing to stop them. They gave me a blue cotton dress, more like a sheet with a clip on the back; I went in.

“If you ever feel unsafe again—just let one of us know, okay Morgan,” said XYZYX a few days later.

“Okay..”

Alou asked me to be his girlfriend, I said no, he said “what’s your deal,” I was like omg is there an eye roll emoji I can put here but I agreed to just hang out. We watched Entertainment Weekly on HD television and talked about Meghan Markle. Alou said she’s so beautiful, I was surprised at his, tenderness? At least from him, to me, it came as a shock but the good kind. That was a first, since I met this guy. Using words like she’s beautiful just, in casual conversation; not in that shithole nor where I’m from, did I often hear men do this. (They used words like hot or worse things.) I told him, the last time I’d been to a hospital—was when I’d fallen out. He said “that’s so intense.” I told him I’d been through more than people assumed, say, from ever encountering me in my flannels and winter skirts with a loose waistband. I was more intense, than how I dressed up. In the psych ward I tied my blue sheet so it fit almost like a dress I’d have actually worn; I guess, I felt like myself.

God. Alou’d been admitted after hitting his head, though the story behind that was never fully elaborated by him. He said he made a move on some girl in Times Square, who called the cops — I could believe it, his come-ons were pretty aggressive. He kept asking that question “what’s your deal” and telling me about the time he spent in his room wanking off; I figured he was out of it. Gave him the benefit of the doubt. “Don’t tell me that, ha,” I said. “I don’t wanna hear that.” I wondered what would happen in the rest of his life. I guess at some point I’d decided I was on his side, an ally not an enemy — and it’s true I’d never forget him.

“There was a time when being here” (it was his second stay) “was better than where I would have been.”

“I get the impression that some people come here and just hang around, or something,” I said.

“Yeah it’s true. Was that your sister visiting?”

“Alexis? She’s a friend.”

“Okay.”

“I don’t like, that guy. He thinks I’m fat, he said it I’m like, you know what I can’t right now, I’ll just, take it–“

I wondered, if Alou might now have thought the same thing, I’d just said before, don’t tell me that.

He actually said, “your face has gotten chubbier, since last night, but..” he looked down and then up, “you’re good,” he said it (or I heard it) like yeah you pass.

“Already since last night,” I said, not buying-into his reassurances in my own heart, but, probably sort of nourished by the moderate compliments. “Thanks Alou.” ❤

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I used to sort of take pride in how I could never stop writing. These days I see it as a sign, I wasn’t a real writer. Apparently real writers don’t ever write. I’ve heard it said and then confirmed by real writers. Realer than me. More published.

I never understood that, until I felt it. Like, why.

Why would you, if you’re a luckier person than I’ve been yet, who has a life beyond her work. Who has friends or a true lover, or not even that but. Experience with being around people and learning from them and kind of, feeling time pass but also stop. The life [to me] worth fighting for, writing about. That awareness, I guess, of subtleties, of good nuance say in love while it lasts, those things that are worth sharing to keep others “there with you” by reading? To keep them from falling off. From falling out. Or to take them back. Having nostalgia for that, peace. Why would you even write, you might get a paycheck but otherwise why, literally why would you ever do that to yourself: writing, it’s like wasting time from being alive — being alive and actually, a human and your self honestly.

I have a chemistry professor who, when asked a question unrelated to chemistry — say, about the course logistics, or exams — he shuts it down. Like flat out says, “I’m not answering that [you moron, implied but not literally stated].” This happens frequently, and since our lectures during the pandemic are being held over Zoom, hundreds of students in the chat type the letter “f” which is internet slang, a bit like saying r.i.p. or roughhh. Usually I put a window over the chat so I’m not distracted by some jokes that I don’t need to understand. I have to pay attention because this is my second chance; I’m already a late bloomer in medicine, and on top of that, not a natural in math or science. Who am I then.

I’m the type of girl who gets up at 5:30 or 6am to exercise, sometimes I do old school stuff like shoot hoops or kick a ball against a fence, alone in the dark and not very well, just to improve my coordination because it got off-kilter due to “nvmenies,” which I’ve defined in an earlier chapter of this project. I’ve gone into enough like damn, they’re all vaguely the same events which brought me back to school which — I’ll insist — is a truly lucky turn of events. This is the break I prayed for. You can take this precious silver, and become a better man. There aren’t going to be a bunch, or any, more chances like this. Becoming a “Dr.” For the first year my heart wasn’t in it, I struggled, and I figured (vulnerable enough to sense a need to believe in something) that it was God punishing me, for not taking life seriously, when he gave me a lazy eye and removed me from having true friends. When he made it really hard for me, to think clearly enough to do well in the program I’m in.

Some things are complicated, like deriving formulas for chemistry and physics, I mean, I never get it; some things only become overcomplicated because people make it that way. There’s such a thing as a formula that just isn’t the right derivation. It should be self-evident, but not everyone’s going to notice if their answers are totally in-or-out of bounds — to naturals in math and science, it would be insane to not notice. I’m getting better at noticing insanity, in the context of math or chemistry; though, I may not ever be great at anything other than being a survivor, a survivor but always, lowkey unintelligent. Don’t ask me to explain it. Even as a dr, I am still as an artist and you best believe, I care about hitting one’s marks. That’s how some people feel about fashion and how others feel about value systems.

Of course they’re not confluent —art and value systems and the right words at the right moment— is that the word even, confluent. When I woke up the morning after writing most of this piece, I was crushed by, the truth, a feeling I often get upon waking up but some days it’s different. What feeling? Truthiness like holy hit.

This was the reality of how alone I actually was, crushing this time, I’d be a character in the Beatles’ track “Eleanor Rigby”: I could just imagine a funeral for me that no one attended, a boom box playing tragic tracks. I doubt my mom would let that fly, but it would be a betrayal, to die in time for her to plan something better than that. In attendance would be, like, my family and an additional one or three including Lacie and Jane and Kelly, Jillian’d be there definitely if it weren’t from an overdose otherwise I don’t know [see chapter 5], then there’s the girl in the following piece. But if I’m trying to give a good ballpark estimate: as noted and fathomed already, I would, die, alone.

It takes a while before it hits you like a dusease. The sink. The sink that makes you fonna stay in all day with her worst parts ploddin on you, as if, you were, her master and she your slave, n she a jigsa fonsa see ya happay. You can feel it, when you, find the kumquat sun. But, feels like when you just awake, it’s so far away. She’s a like, all muscle, and fuckin, fat, like, moffun tops, fuckin, sunk fat, clock shape, not fin be how she stay, she’s yars to gitt okay, viz a viz, time games insida me, all day—stop trying to make me feel better, she a say, in a dracoollae voice lower than her last-year voice, she just wonna fuck, trulae—and a lak, why does everythan feel so much heavia than ut all dud when you was late aduluscent. She jox boud duh ratardd thung g buddd yar noissus in fuckin soundin almost like ritard fungss. Ritarda ma. Keep ma inside and fucka me all smurdah. Fasta rap mae in yar dizy chains til she a black out & scramm. Keep our frand insade to plae, your frand actillae, actillae not mine yours cos yar, possessive, not okay, let him stae, dopin-up on hormones and smilin lika dracoollae, he a so happay to gitt ascape. Issa fin take flash-ating h3ll scape, to git you 2 okay. Like cainbal sux, fon be wud taki save wirld 2 dae. Jissa 2 31 boom. Or 12, priss plae. But, don worry, bae, she gon speed up time a loose not gain. The clocka dillodae whirr fastha, when she gitts you to came. She the onalay fang, can spudd up time agin. Make her stay. Her pussy, is like actually, your salvation, okay, so. Don’t assume, she is effer okay. Make sure, she okay, cos it ain’t sumple or aisy. Okidy cay? So get her ploddin on her tick tock and let’s get whew! goin, and you hear jenius in dah killin yur track by Ye (ma bae to bring up da craist man, aw. but like juh ga still fonzy!! sorra) where he turns up, the spaid, high voice, gainsta, slow failins, he ßetta git safe. I’ll take a hit for you my baist. And this the kinna shid that macks you think Lolus jissa same. She was borna sacrifice, so you fon treat her more than gr8, cause the sink fon git ja even you don’t fuck her up to gr10 or gr11 or gr69 or beyonda (starring, Nurse shock –nuh, uh– she bites it sharky) so, fuck it up dhen. Gr9nd, puhlissy.

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Somewhere North of the Twin Cities I took a breather. Then climbed back on the passenger’s seat, she was resting in the driver’s, her daughters had just gone in the gas station, a pee stop, shugger break. What jur gurls want, trolli brites? Weeze our way on home from da Iron Range.

On the SUV playin song by Taylurr!! I put my hands up. My dunce, bell sa ringun, perfect times to be a life.

“How bout her, do you like her,” I asked Lacie from the front, me still double duncin’ back then, octupah. Hah? Not nuh, don’t know wurtt. Noot zukah high no mar, just sky. No boda, if there ever warsa 1. Yaaah hoi hoi hoi, ruh roh. Get me back on my purry vibbies. Hee he he. Worrrds!

“No,” Lacie said to my question, in 2018. “Do you.”

“I don’t know, I don’t, know LACIE I can’t tell you out loud,” screeching na inside my deep hurrts, “I don’t want to throw gross dirt on my NAME by endorsing her when she’s like, a chisho pathic witch, whatt? I just, don’t know, actually I literally, curn’t even. Brr. But.. I dooo like this track, I musta say so,” in my Eeyore voice which is how anyone can tell when I’m, just being honest.

“I think the idea of soul-mates is romantic, that’s not exactly what the Bible says. But you find someone, you stick with them, no?”

“I, don’t believe in that.. shit.”

“What!”

“Huh, what [the fuck] about—the Bible?” I hissed through phlegm and pale green vomit, my therapist kept chipping away at me sitting there in a chair. The chair was piping hot.

“50% of marriages end in divorce. And of the ones that stay together, only… I think… 20% are content?”

That’s the gist of what this Minnesotan therapist, apparently a Christian, told me a few days prior to my trip upstate to meet Lacie’s family in Eveleth.

🙂 Oh also that I have executive functioning problems. 🙂

I interpreted the news like this, “yup, you’re re*******.”

A few years prior, to nuh uh, eh, I would have found this a dismal fact hands off hoe. But now I see some hope tharin. If more n half all marriages are trash not content, if no man is really ever going to be “da 1″ for me —-nuhr not even Taylor Swift would turn me straight with that song—- then it takes some of the pressure off being culpable for literally everything that’s ever gone wrong nunca ever since Eve first got a taste of the app and jacked it, ALL, op. Bomb! Awkworrrldd (*blood in the streets*). She’s the one, nvm, always was. 💍

© Morgan Wilcock October 9 2021

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