I stopped listening to that Mae song. I watched fireworks on the Fourth of July offshore by myself. But maybe that was the point of the song, after all. What a tease. I started having a hard time sleeping again, but it was worse than my insomnia from high school. Ironically, the song I moved on to was just a different Mae song, “The Sun and the Moon.” It was the only thing in my life that could ever feel quiet enough. It was the only thing that felt hopeful without the farce of assuming; simply stating Painted skies, I’ve seen so many that cannot compare to your ocean eyes, the pictures you took that cover your room…
Remember that it is like almost drowning for the first time—heartbreak. It’s a veil torn. You realize that just because you were born in fluid, that doesn’t mean you can breathe it, that doesn’t make you deserve the ability to swim. Even though the sunny sky makes the ocean spray so bright—remember, it is heartbreaking to almost drown for the first time.
Remember also that it is difficult to ask for help when you’re already in the process of drowning.
Once I wrote a story of a girl who got so bad she tried to bleed out at the feet of the ocean, but she was rescued by a lover. That is the way I wrote things in high school. Call it curiosity, call it imagination, call it under-the-influence of the pituitary gland. But there was something lingering in my DNA, something related to whatever it was that gave me the reason to sit in an armchair across from a psychiatrist at nine years old.
And I think it found me again, dehydrated, a year shy of 21. Those university years—there seemed to be so much transition, so much compression, so many car accidents, so much dying. I was still making up stories, but now my imagination was educated enough to leave the rescuing lover out of it. Now they were places I would wander into during the expanse of my waking hours. I called them my daydream terrors. Suffice to say I would never come out unscathed.