Three point five years ago, I was doing laundry daily. My son was almost a year old. I was using cloth nappies. Mainly for my conscience. My sacral chakra was not having its time of day.
I remember standing in the basement, the little guy strapped to my back, hanging the laundry. Bend down, lift up. Bend down, hang up. Ow. The silence deafening. The head drooping.
Every day, there was something. Every day, my heart pulsing, swollen, hurting in my throat. Is this how it’s supposed to be? Feeling like that wrung out, thinning piece of white cloth, slapped…
You walked into the classroom and I was instantly peeved. Who does he think he is? Why is he smiling? How does he have friends already? What’s he laughing about all the time? The more energy I wasted hating you for no reason, the less I had left to focus on more important things. School, all my extracurricular music, anything but you.
Remember when you were young?
You shone like the sun
Shine on, you crazy diamond
Now there’s a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky
Shine on, you crazy diamond
My youth was spent in…
It’s ten-twenty PM. You just had a nice, good, full-body cry for no good reason on the bathroom floor. The kind that makes you feel your abs. Your mind knows what this is about, it’s just some old shit getting swept up to the surface so you can feel it one last time. Let it go, this is a good thing. The heaving hurts a little bit. You think about all the crying you’ve done since your son was conceived — four years ago. You think about how its quality has evolved. It’s visceral now. Guttural. It comes from a…
74 half-finished drafts waiting for completion. Even more fragments of stories waiting to be threaded into their true purpose, or anything at all. I don’t know if this is a lot or comparatively little, it doesn’t matter. I can’t concentrate. My mind is scurrying between tasks and stories and levels of thought of equal magnitude like a sad puppy on coke. Lost, looking for home.
I ate two bags of chips. They were small bags of chips, but I was watching a movie while I ate. …
It feels like the ultimate sin and sign at once, to be a millennial and publish this piece. Who am I to complain? I had an upper-middle-class upbringing. I currently live rent-free in my late grandparents’ home, with an en-suite bathroom at that.
Yes, even writing about me, about this, my personal, ultimately self-made jail, is so icky I want to barf into my… you know what? I don’t have any “millennial things” to puke into. Because I am broke as fuck. My account hasn’t shown a positive balance in months: I’m twenty-eight years old and I have never earned…
I’m a 28-year-old single mother on welfare. My kid is turning three soon and a spot in kindergarten is nowhere in sight.
In Germany, this is just the way it is, and has been for years: if parents don’t bust their asses leeching up to twenty different facilities when or even before the child is born, they can basically kiss all hopes of preschool goodbye.
I knew this. At least, I was aware. But I didn’t do what they said I should. I thought I’d rely on my previous “experience” in “just kinda winging it when the time comes”.
My mother is an avid believer in homeopathy. I grew up almost entirely unmedicated, with glucose-based Arnica tablets and Belladonna globules standing in for real pills.
These two, I recall, she employed for anything and everything. Grazed knee? Arnica. Flu? Belladonna. Nosebleed? Arnica. Scarlet fever? Belladonna. I can’t say they worked, can’t say they didn’t.
I’ve since come to view homeopathy with a critical eye, seeing its benefits mostly in the fact that I can soothe my kid with a fake sugar tablet when he’s suffered “grave” injuries.
But one aspect my mother used to stress about it has been…
At 16, my youngest brother could not tell a slight simmer from a decent boil.
I had asked him to cook some pasta. A straightforward task:
Fill a large-ish pot, around one quart capacity, with water, a sliver more than halfway. Set it on the stove. Switch on the heat. All the way. Put a lid on the pot. Make sure you have a nice, good container of salt at the ready.
Open your packet of pasta to spare yourself the stress of trying and trying to open it with your bare hands and giving up and looking for scissors…
Every month as if for the first time, the arrival of your period zaps away the carpet from beneath your feet.
You did see it coming. You waited, even yearned for it. PMS can be harsher on your emotional life than the actual five to seven days of bleeding. There are two or three days a scant week before the cramping commences during which life is inexplicably intolerable. This is the cue to check your period tracking app, and — yes! — without fail, that sudden need to murder something is duly heralding the impending shedding of your uterine lining.
I’ve quaked myself into a standstill.
For two months, I worked around the clock in a fit of autistic mania. Just as “doing stuff” and shouting over thirty people energizes neurotypicals, I am an engine running on the perfect placement of glyphs on a page.
My child, at first, benefitted from my frenzy. Our mornings and afternoons were filled with the contentment I breathed out. My brain welcoming the chance to digest my mind’s laboring throughout a period of real-world work: cooking, cleaning, building-block-subway-building. Intermittent working!
But the energy built. Higher, then to a level that had me staying up…