Summer Bite

Today I want to go on a roadtrip. Driving to class this morning, I put the window down and yelled about how it’s a beautiful day. My Boyfriend agreed.

The air felt fresh and the sun just a little too hot, hinting at the bite of summer.

The Morning Agreement is that my Boyfriend gets the Aux cord on the way to school. Whatever song he was playing, I felt like my father would’ve liked it.

“I miss my dad today,” I said. And he squeezed my leg.

So I want to go on a roadtrip:

To the house where my Father died. I wonder if it is still half-empty with things that no longer smell of him. I wonder if the pool room has been overrun by spiders and lizards. I wonder if there are still CDs lying around, a drawer full of koozies, an ashtray in every room, a pair of my stepmom’s glasses in every drawer. The green-clothed chair with wooden arms. I wonder if it will still feel empty when I walk through the door. I wonder if the house has been condemned.

To the gas station we frequented as kids. We would take late night drives to it for cigarettes (for my father) and ice cream (for me, my sister, and my father). He would never have shoes on, my dad, and he’d peek through the window panes of the building, “If it’s the right lady, she won’t care. But if it’s the one who doesn’t like me, we’ll have to go back so I can grab some shoes.” And we’d giggle.

To Duffy’s. I’d beg for a burger from Duffy’s every time I saw my dad. The fries are delicious.

To the Chase bank our dog Buddy got loose by once. We had two dogs–Buddy and Angel–and somehow Buddy had escaped off his leashed. It was late at night. We called for him and laughed.

Today I want to drive to the beach, or to a lake. I want to feel water on my toes, hear it run along land. Today I want my brain to stop feel like it’s running too slow. I want to each oranges from my grandmother’s backyard. Today I want summer.

Normally I do not remember good things when I remember my dad.

Today I remembered. Today I wanted. Today I missed.

-HH

A Bad Day

He has flaws, but his are manageable. The things that are wrong with you will never be fixed.

Everything about you is fucked up. You can’t do anything right. Your body is disgusting. You have no follow through. You are fat and ugly because you are lazy. You are stupid. You have no worth.

Your ex was right. You are hard to love. You are crazy.

The second he sees that, he’s going to leave. He’s going to realize that he deserves so much better than you. You deserve to be alone.

You’re never going to get anywhere.

Everyone hates you.

You deserve it.

You deserve it.

You deserve it.

Inhale.

It’s all true. Accept it. Let it be true.

Exhale.

Keep breathing.

-HH

Dear Valentine,

I am not someone who holds back. All the things you’re supposed to say on this day, I have said before. And my face is an open book, so even what I don’t say you can (and do) still read.

I’m sorry that all I have are more words–that I cannot give you things so that you know how true my words are. I hope maybe you know anyway.

You are my best friend. You are my favorite person to talk to. Your weird matches my weird. These are all things you know already.

You are more than I ever could’ve asked for. More than I ever thought I deserved. Your respect and love for me are almost overwhelming, because they are things I have never experienced before. You validate the things I already know of myself.

You are quick-witted. You’re hil-ar-ious. Your smile lights up my world. You’re thoughtful. You’re a terrible singer. And you always get the words wrong. You are nothing at all like what I expected love to be like.

I tell you this all the time, but I hope you know how true it is: you make me feel lucky.

You make me feel worthy.

You make me feel in ways I never thought I would.

I have never been happier.

Thank you.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

-HH

Used Up and Hollowed Out

Sunday  morning I woke up knowing a Bad Day was on the horizon. I thought it was that day; I woke up already thinking about the seemingly never ending list of things I felt needed to be completed that day.

I think maybe my Bad Day was today, instead.

The constant low-grade state of anxiety I live in is manageable. And when it gets overwhelming, it usually feels like a freight train in my ears. I can deal with this in two ways: complete everything on the list that’s pushing buttons that’s sending the train into my head or turn the system off completely. In other words, I’m extremely productive, or I sleep.

Yesterday I was extremely productive, so I thought today I would wake up feeling ready to take on the world.

But today, instead, a Bad Day, feels exhaustive. I wrote out of my list of things To Do After Class:

  • oil change
  • read and respond to an assignment for Education Philosophy
  • read for History
  • attend an event for my frat at 7
  • attend an event for my frat at 8
  • kiss my boyfriend in front of the Bell Tower in order to start Valentine’s Day off right

And it doesn’t seem that awful. Half of those things even seem enjoyable. But my body, and brain, can barely get past the oil change. I’m sitting outside my last class of the day, now, and my brain doesn’t even feel ready for that.

I had three tests last week. I have two tests this week. I’m in a constant state of concern about…well, everything.

My brain is shutting down. Nothing about me feels capable anymore. I spent all weekend supposedly relaxing–playing video games, eating, doing no hard thinking. But somehow I still feel exhausted, used up, a hollow form of myself.

But I will complete my To Do list. I will go to bed when I am tired. I will go to class tomorrow.

I will Rinse and Repeat until my brain actually feels Clean.

-HH