I take a drag off my cigarette.God, it tastes so fucking good.Why would I think that in my head?Why would I preface that statement with God, when I am not a believer?I look up and he is still looking at me.Still waiting for my answer.What was the question again?I can’t remember the question.I stare back at him, hoping he will say something and offer me some sort of clue as to what the question was. He doesn’t.He just keeps looking.Why do they always look at me like that?Like there’s some sort of question they’ve asked me that I can’t answer.Everyone always looks at me that way!It makes me anxious.It makes me want to run.My heart pounds, I can feel it pumping the blood through my valves, I hear the swooshing of it in my head; when they look at me that way.I want to scream at him, “STOP LOOKING AT ME!! I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO YOUR FUCKING QUESTION!!”But I don’t scream, I drop my head and take another drag off the cigarette.I try to formulate an answer in my head.How do I give an answer if I don’t know the question? I will have to ask, I have no other choice.Speak!I tell my mouth.Tell him you didn’t hear him, or that you didn’t understand.Which would be better? To tell him I didn’t hear him?How could I not hear him?We’re the only two in the room, and there’s no other sounds, except for the whirring of the blades of ceiling fan.The whirring, moving the air around the room, and it sounds like the swooshing of the blood in my head.Move the air, move the blood.So maybe I just tell him that I don’t understand, I don’t understand what he has asked me.Yes, yes, better.Better to tell him I don’t understand.I, um, I don’t really understand what you’re asking me.I tell him, without lifting my head. I watch the smoke rise from the end of the cigarette.I know it will float, flowing towards the ceiling fan, towards the spinning, the constant spinning, never stopping around and around like a merry-go-round.No, you must stop it, you must let me off, I can’t stand the constant spinning, it makes me sick to my stomach.I stick my foot out, trying to drag it in the sand to stop the spinning, the whirring, the swooshing of the blood, dear God just make it all stop. . . .
*I wrote this for this week’s prompt over on Tipsy Lit , “A Little Bit of Crazy”. The prompt was to write about insanity. I chose to just delve right in, and imagine myself inside insanity. Clinically, I don’t think I am insane, but there are certainly times in my life when I think I walk a very fine line; when I hang at the edge of that cliff, fearful I will lose my grip. Some days, I wonder if insanity is easier than living in this crazy, fucked up world trying to act “normal”. Anyway, this is just what I imagine it might be like—I have had this sort of tornado in my head before, swirling around, trying to think and pull my thoughts out of all the crap blowing around in my head. I took all the spaces out between the sentences for effect—I wish I could have taken all the spaces out between the words too, but it would’ve been near impossible to read then.
I rather liked this. It’s an interesting challenge, imagining insane. And it’s not without its risks. I wrote a short story a couple of weeks a go about a man who maims and cripples his wife for a totally imaginary transgression, and I ahd all manner of people comimng out of the woodwork telling me I was ‘sick.’ ‘It’s just a story.’
Are they individuals with no imagination, or sense of the macabre? Would they have said the same thing to Poe, or other writers? I think most individuals at one time or another, have thought about causing bodily harm to another human being, but probably wouldn’t admit it.
Like I put in my footnote, I might possibly dance around the edges of insanity. Surely I can’t be the only one.
I’m out there where the air’s thin too, sometimes.
Huh. You perfectly described a common event with the Narc and me. There would be background noise (maybe even a fan) and he would very quietly ask a question and then stare at me in exactly that way, expecting…something…and I rarely knew what.
Those moments did feel like insanity. You got it just right.
The thing is, whether you knew what he wanted or not, it would never be the “right” thing, because he would always make it into the “wrong” thing, or the “not good enough” thing. Fucking abusive men. . . .pretty sure I would like to shoot them down off their high horses.
Ah, if only I didn’t have such an aversion to jail time 🙂 I try to keep my bloody fantasies inside my head, not even writing them down any more.
I don’t believe I would be a model prisoner either, so best to stay on the up and up. lol
“Move the air, move the blood.” Ah, love that. And I think you’ve gotten a clear idea of what goes on in my head – social anxiety is a tough bitch to conquer.
I want more of this. I think stream of consciousness is an incredible way to plant the seed. Now make it grow, and tell me so I come back and read the rest. I’m intrigued by your narrator and what more of her life.
Thanks Ericka! Is the narrator me? I even had to wonder as I wrote it. Though I don’t suffer from social anxiety per se, I have often felt uncomfortable in social situations because I wanted to be accepted. I will work on exploring this further. Thanks for your encouragement.
Those prompts are a fun challenge. I may have to try one. Keep it up. Kind of a nice diversion from other things. 😉
Go check out Tipsy Lit. I am really enjoying it—not only the writing, but reading what the other writers come up with.
Will do. Thanks!
Well, this is a cold smack in the kisser. Did you see Silver Linings Playbook? My wife has a mentally unstable relative and Bradley Cooper spoke EXACTLY the way this guy speaks. Peppering his conversation with affirmations. It was creepy.
No, haven’t seen it. Did you forget I live in the sticks?? LOL. I just tried to get inside the character’s mind. I have had kind of cyclical thinking like this before though, but I always describe it as a tornado in my mind–happens when I am anxious. So maybe I am just slightly mad?? Wasn’t there some 70’s tune about that??
It’s hard to get inside the mind of someone you don’t know, or haven’t been, or fear you might be sometimes. I think we’re all a little crazy from time to time and it’s at moments like this that it comes out. But then, who gets to define ‘normal’ anyway? I think you’ve done an amazing job capturing the stream of consciousness that most people try to pretend never happened.
Thank you. I think most of the time people try to hide their reality, which maybe is what drives a sane person crazy; trying too hard to be someone they’re not. Thanks for reading and commenting.
I think you describe perfectly what an anxiety attack feels like (at least that’s what it feels like to me) and that is one form of insanity, let me tell ya.