[EN] Dear Al – a short story about fear

Dear Al(len)(,)

 

 

 

Myra writes letters to Allen Ginsberg three evenings a week.

Myra intially started writing Allen letters the evenings she felt a little sad. But Myra noticed that she would always feel a little sad, therefore not only was it draining to occupy her evenings by conscientiously writing to her favorite dead, graceful and amazingly beautiful author, but her words and pleas would also become repetitive. Myra was sure that Allen would easily get bored with her clumsily elaborated insecurity.

So Myra decided it would be fair to settle down to three evenings a week.

At around 8 o’ clock on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Myra sits down at her desk (she used to write in bed, but chose the desk in order to avoid her father admonishing  her ”soon-to-be-crooked” back), carefully places a cup filled with hot chocolate next to her right hand, (as her mother would refuse to prepare coffee after 6) and smoothes a pile of paper-thin sheets.

Myra writes the first half of her letters in capitals. The more personal she gets, the smaller she writes, as if she would find comfort in spilling her fears only is she would, afterwards, punsihingly have to squeeze her eyes to read what she wrote about her shadow-self.

Capital letters are for what her friends have been doing, for what her mother has been yelling, for the new songs she has been listening to, for that new scattered poem she wrote that she doesn’t like at all, for the drawing she found on the internet that seemed to resemble herself (as she has never found her self to be similar to anyone else’s before, even though she had been a pro at associating others’ features). Capital letters are for the new place she found yesterday, which was called Antourage, a smoky little hub that made her remember her ex-lover, therefore she cringed and rolled her eyes, and she ordered a chocolate mousse, as he hated chocolate. It made her remember with satisfaction one day of the first week she met him, a day they spent with some friends at a pub called Journey, and he smeared his lips while eating a tiny cake made of vanilla, with very milky-white syrup on top. Capital letters are for the disgust she felt, that made her feel guilty then, but that she now finds extremely exquisite, actually. Capital letters are for the new pictures his friend took of her, that she actually liked, without feeling forced to add retouches on photoshop to her too-pink, too—chubby cheeks. Capital letters are or the dullness school holds, for the dullness half of her teachers breathe into her. Capital letters are for today’s incident, when her Language Teacher dismissed Clockwork Orange and said she didn’t read today’s modernists, such as Chuck Palahniuk and Bukowski. Capital letters are for the way she and her friends shook their heads in unison.

Capital letters are for how small and isignificant she felt last week, when she arrived to school earlier than usual, after a tearful fight with her mom, and her eyes were still puffy and wet and her hair was all tousled because she hadn’t had time to brush it, because her mother’s palm had been too bony and  too painful, and she ran to the staircase and wanted to sit there and eat the chocolate cake the same mother packed her, but there were already some other girls there, giggling and raising their eyebrows at her, girls that had time to do their make-up, girls that didn’t have three pimples on their chin (because she pressed her face to her rabbit’s dirty fur a little bit too much), girls that had their eyeliner on, girls that surely quickly noticed that she had been gaining weight, as she had been stuffing herself the last week and a half due to stress. Myra muttered a soft ”hi” and ran to the bathroom, where she watched herself clench her jaw in the mirror, pinch her wrist to advert her  crying, open her backpack, fumble around.

Capital letters are for how carefully she applied her make-up then.

And small letters are for her fear of the absolute. Small letters are for her terrifying fear of self-sufficiency, of ignorance. Her fear of death, oblivion, that makes her skin tingle and her thoughts hurt.

Myra is afraid to admit it in capitals, but she fears. Myra fears a lot of things. She started fearing pain when she felt the purest kind of pain – the one caused by loss. She lost dogs and rabbits and people. She lost people to suicide and family members to diseases she cannot write without flinching anymore. She lost acquintances to a fire that mercilessly burnt down a club in her town, leaving mothers childless and friends friendless.

And then she started fearing she would see her friends wither and she would fade into a lonely oblivion that would tear her apart from the insides out, that would make her limbs and mind burn.

Myra writes all of these in the tiniest letters.

Tiny letters are, as well, for Myra’s greatest scare.

Myra’s greatest scare is a consequence of her belief. She believes in a Creator, in a vast Energy of Duality that is the Ultimate, Loving Maker, and believes humans can break into millions of atoms that would float into the sky and throughout the universe, bouncing on planets and inhaling goodness, helping through the power of morality, through virtues.

And Myra’s greatest scare is that the immensity of grief, paired with her incapacity of comprehending and accepting the possible limits of life, led her to falsely build a strong, inexistent faith in a Higher Power. Myra is terrified that, out of her fear of nothingness, she convinced herself that humans are meant to transform themselves into awakened multidimensional beings, thus, achieving illumination, thus, being able to transcend among the five dimensions, thus, achieveing the inner-peace she longs for so much, thus, giving up suffering [and escaping samsara], thus, finally being able to accept one’s self, thus, reuniting in a beautiful parallel, REAL world with her lost animals, her lost pets, her lost people and maybe she would even meet David Bowie or Lou Reed or Mick Jagger or even Alan Rickman or Aldous Huxley AND Terence McKenna and

Myra’s greatest isn’t a consequence of her belief. Myra’s greatest scare comes from doubt. Myra doubts what she believes in.

Myra is really scared, but Myra also had good days.

In her good days, she writes in medium-sized letters about how the existence of nothingness is okay. Nothingness is extremely okay because it doesn’t change her moral views. Myra would only have to finish high-school, escape her mother’s claws, let time stick them back together with love (as Myra truly believed that the connection she had with her mother was stronger than the ones perfect children had with their parents, as none of them repressed their moments of occasional, impossible to avoid, hatred), flirt with literature and jump at Placebo concerts, and retreat in life’s greatest delicacies. It would be alright because, whether existent or not, a Maker, a Creator or the power or emphatic love would focus on the same set of values.

And in good days, Myra brings herself to ask, in capital letters, AL, WHEN YOU VISITED PERU AND WHEN YOU SIPPED A SHAMAN’S AYAHUASCA, DID YOU KNOW  THAT YOU WERE NOT ALONE?

Al never answers, but Myra believes that, whether Al hadn’t killed himself after Peru, then maybe they were not alone. Though it doesn’t really matter in good days, because, in good days, she can embrace anything that pops along the way, as she sometimes wonders if she should always do.

But her good days are rare.

Usually, Myra is simply scared and stuck.

 

DEAR AL,

TODAY, I FELT PRETTY UNEASY. I WENT TO SCHOOL AND HELPED VIRA WITH HER BOYFRIEND PROBLEMS. VIRA WANTS TO THROW A PARTY TWO WEEKS FROM NOW AND SHE WANTS US TO DANCE TO DISCO HOUSE MUSIC AND DRINK AND MAYBE, Y’KNOW, MAYBE WHAT YOU AND BILL WERE DOING COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. BUT I DON’T LIKE DISCO HOUSE MUSIC, YOU KNOW THAT, AL, I DON’T KNOW IF I SHOULD GO, BUT HER FRIEND, THEO, IS ALSO GOING TO COME AND THEO MEDITATES. AND, AL, YOU KNOW THAT ONE OF MY GREATEST PAIN IS THAT I CANNOT CLEAR MY MIND ENOUGH TO LAUNCH MYSELF INTO ANY KIND OF MEDITATION OR PRAYER OR WORSHIP. BESIDES. YOU KNOW.

THAT REMINDS ME. DO YOU KNOW THAT INTERVIEW WITH MR. DAVID BOWIE FROM AROUND 1973 IN WHICH AN UNITERESTED INTERVIEWER ASKS HIM WHETHER HE INDULGES HIMSELF IN ANY KIND OF WORSHIPPING?

  1. BOWIE ANSWERS THAT HE WORSHIPS LIFE. AND THAT HE LOVES LIFE QUITE A LOT.

I TRY TO BE LIKE THAT, TOO! IS DAVID WITH YOU, AL?

CAN YOU TELL HIM HE’S AWESOME AND REALLY FULL OF SPICY SHINY GLITTER?

ANYWAYS, TODAY MARIA TOLD ME THAT SHE THINKS WE ARE THE NEXT BEAT GENERATION. I LAUGHED AND ASKED WHY AND SHE SAID THAT WE JUST ARE. THEN COLLIN TOLD HER THAT WE CANNOT BE THE NEXT BEAT GENERATION BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT.

but, al, i think we do. we’re stuck in an on-going capitalism that kills us, one by one, that dulls our beings. we forget to feel, you know?

on that note, i don’t blame technology, you know. technology is pretty awesome. makes our lives easier, livable, longer. but the extreme focus on money kills me, al. and the painful lack of tolerance. was it always like this?

today, our sociology teacher called introverts ”autistic” and i gasped and launched myself into a long, fierce debate with him, as i felt extremely hurt, al. i’m an introvert. but i am fluid, actually – i believe all of us are. i am no stranger to self-promoting and i can be open, but i do not and do not want to feel completely at ease with extremely big groups of people. and i like my silence. i like to choose the people i want to connect with.

but, al, to hear a professor call us, introverts, autistic? how could he not treat a mental disease with respect? i do not understand. it hurt me so much. a colleague of mine turned at me and tilted her neck and threw me a smug smile, knowing i was breaking inside.

and i was. i was attacked so many times for my quiet nature. i know i should not change and do not want to change, but i feel so ashamed anytime somebody tells me i will not succeed in life due to my silence. i may fail in life, of course, (especially if success strictly refers to earning and gaining money), but it will not be due to my silence.

i think i might be quite pathetic.

al, you know what i don’t know about you?

are you an introvert or an extrovert? from what i’ve read, i just know you were really kind.

lots of love and in hope we will meet some day,

myra

(p.s you’re like so easy to talk to, al, really. i think you know more about me than any of my friends do.)

 

Ilustrație – Maria Mălcică

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