On Inappropriate Laughter

There is a certain kind of laughter that I can always imitate quite well in person, but as sometimes happens, it’s hard to type out, but I’m sure you’ll know what I mean anyway.

If I know I shouldn’t be laughing, it’s going to sound like “Ohhh ho ho ho shiiiiiiit….. hah. Fuuuuuck”, which definitely has some cringe value and usually becomes funnier with time, but the gold standard in my opinion is when I or someone else laughs first, and then realises how fucked up that was.

I was bullied as a kid. To be fair, I was easy pickings: mixed-race, Mormon, super-nerdy (like, smugly correcting teachers and other students alike, precociously pedantic, hardly endearing), and such. Well, in my opinion, we were all bullied as children, however frequently or blatant, so when I go on about being made fun of as a kid, I’m not trying to steal the world’s smallest violin from anyone. It’s hard being a kid, and kids can be really fucking bad at relating to each other whilst navigating the technicolour maelstrom that is childhood for themselves because they’re only starting out socially. It’s OK, really, I get it.

At least, I feel like it’s OK now. Looking back, I now realise that I wasn’t always hated by the other kids at school, at least not 100% of the time. I talk to some of the people I went to school with, and they say they remember me as being witty and quick to defend myself verbally when I could. It’s hard to remember at first, but it gradually returns. I then realise I’ve been remembering myself in such a sad way – I wasn’t just some tool in a stupid shirt going on about why “I before E except after C” is mostly bullshit – I was in fact, a thinker and a quipper. Yes, awkward as hell, but that’s fine, because I had my moments, and they were good ones. I thank my friends for reminding me that I really wasn’t so bad, really, it’s such a relief.

Here are some recently reminisced-upon examples:

– in reply to a teacher who would NOT stop calling me ‘Irene’ after they realised how much it annoyed me at the time: “If you don’t know the difference between the letter L and the letter R, then don’t turn up tomorrow. What do you shave with; laser braids? You fucking muppet; grow up.”

– in reply to another kid who kept calling me “Island in the Sun”: “Hahahahaha. Fuck off before I give you a real nickname that actually rhymes and will catch on. You do not want your children getting ripped out for being Fartin’ Martin’s wee nugglets or whatever. I will blame all my trumps on you and ruin your life, bud.”

– the time I was sent outside for being less than a minute late, and then decided to try and attach a wall clock to my sweater (yes, imagine a five-foot-fucktard in pigtails, balancing on a plastic chair, grasping at blank parts of the wall until I got it… just) and talk like Flavor Flav for the rest of the day, becuase y’all muuuuhhhhhhfuckas needa know whaaaat time it is, yeeeeeuh. I also screamed “THE FLAV NEVER BEHAVES” through a window during an exam. So yeah, I learned what time detention was, yeeeeeuh.

– in reply to a student teacher who made a joke about how my middle name (Cecelia) sounds like a disease: “Oh, you’re making a funny joke! About chlamydia! Hey, nice! Not fucked up and creepy at all! I’m sure I can just go home and tell my dad about how a grown man inferred that I am somehow affiliated with STDs in front of the whole class, and everything will be fine. I’m sure that won’t fuck you up at all. And I’m sure it was all worth it, being the cool guy who rips out nerds like the cool kids do.”

– in reply to a student who decided to spread a weird rumour about me having head lice: “Me and lice are a bit like your mum and cock. She had it once, hated it, and gets reminded of it all the time, because of you. But don’t worry, she’s making lemonade out of lemons and I respect that.”

I remembered myself saying and doing some things, but not always the overall response. A lot of my… I don’t know… outbursts(?) were in front of large groups, but I was usually looking for a response from only one person, maybe two out of the whole group. I was looking for inappropriate laughs, looking back, I know I was.

I’m not sure when it happened, but I remember having this weird thought that if I could make people laugh, it meant that I was worth something. Something good, something joyful. I felt a little bit loved when the whole class or maybe just some of them would laugh, but I was looking to make the bully/bad guy laugh most of all. I’m sure it would have been nice to make everyone laugh and have the bully go cry in the bathroom, but I was reaching further than that. And, more than a few times, I succeeded. Looking someone in the eye as they laugh against their own will at something I said about them gives me a feeling I’m not too good at describing, but it feels like a victory of some kind, and I feel comforted when I know for sure that this has contributed to the character of the person I am today, in a way I’ll never be ashamed of.

I will always look for that knowing laugh that me and some of the so-called mean or tough kids shared. I feel like they were misunderstood like me, just with more friends. Anyway, I wanted that special kind of uncontrollable laughter that unintentionally cuts all the tension created by the unsaid and unfair and uncontrollable things that happen to us all. It was my way of saying: You think the ‘audience’ loves you? Well, they love me now. They really love neither of us. You know it, and you love me, if only for a second, for knowing it too. Take my humanity, you bitch, you already gave me yours. It’s OK; we’re OK now.

So yeah, give me your worst. You’ll never give any kind of shit I haven’t given myself. Even if I seem miserable for the longest time, I’ll eventually make you fucking laugh so hard that we’ll all forget how ugly this was, if I get the chance to. Seems rather appropriate to me, like your mum and cock. If she doesn’t take it so hard, she’ll have a better time, bloody oath does she love the wang though, oh my god, make her stop, [inappropriate hand gestures, pretending to choke on ghost dick at a glory hole disguised as a lemonade stall], your mama’s outta control, haha.

Woman’s Day: Five Parts

The Fight

A familiar place, familiar faces, and a familiar feeling. 
The family home. 

Smooth justification, sudden declaration,
It’s normal if it happens often enough.
Sucky baby’s got it tough.
Never complains about it enough.
Minor altercation.
Minor inbound, heading for station.


The Flight

Face red; thoughts blue, turning black.
Arm dead; officer who?
Take me back.
Stockholm, hold the phone.
Please?


The Fit

I DID WHAT ANYONE ELSE WOULD DO YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA I’M JUST A KID THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE SURE IT NEVER GETS THIS BAD BUT I MEAN IT’S NOT THAT BAD REALLY PLEASE CAN YOU TELL THEM IT’S OK AND I’M OK AND IT’S GOING TO BE OK MY ARM HURTS BUT NOT AS MUCH AND NOBODY HAS TO KNOW APART FROM YOU GUYS PLEASE I WANNA GO TO BED THIS IS A SCHOOL NIGHT AND WHEN YOU FALL ASLEEP ALL THE TIME PEOPLE START ASKING QUESTIONS MY UNIFORM IS AT HOME MY BOOKS AND SHIT ALL MY SHIT IS AT HOME I CAN’T BREATHE I HAVE MISSED SO MUCH CLASS ALREADY AND I’M STARTING TO FAIL THINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER FUCK I CANNOT BREATHE TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME IF YOU WANT TO HELP ME THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT WHY ARE YOU BEING LIKE THIS PLEASE STOP IGNORING ME EVERYBODY IGNORES ME I UNDERSTAND I AM INSANE AND ANNOYING AND DRAMATIC AND SHIT I’M SORRY I’M DONE BEING A BIG IDIOT AND I WANT TO STOP I AM SO SORRY  PLEASE JUST TAKE ME HOME.
PLEASE.

No. Calm down. 

FUCKING WHAT THE FUCK SERIOUSLY CUNT FUCKING WHAT THE CUNTING FUCK I DO NOT NEED TO CALM DOWN.

silence

– more… uh… silence –

OK.
FINE.
SORRY.
TIRED.

Nearly there. Sit tight.

– SILENCE, SLEEP –


The Fallout

Pressed, processed, depressed, dejected.
This is why I don’t make my own lunch anymore. Who knows when I’ll get to eat it? Oh, god, who knows when I’ll next eat. I’m not hungry. I’m not. No.
Inky hands make me feel like an idiot housecat stuck in a storm drain.
Look around and down.
Not free, but no longer bound.

FUK DA PIGZ  – how original.
TANIA SUX COX 02X XXX XXXX– and has broken an angry person’s heart, maybe…? Or an oblique marketing strategy? Hmmm… Nobody’s allowed a phone in here, so this person has committed this to heart. And expects others to do it too? Really, dude?
DUMPEDIN – is that a play on Dunedin, or did someone become a biohazard? The Power of One. The Shawshank Redemption. Shit. I don’t want to touch anything in here. What’s worse, the bench or the floor? I’m going to be sick. Making this place even grosser. Fuck. Shit.
IHTFP – yeah, me too. But I think that’s the point of it.

“Could I please have something to read other than the walls? Pleeeeeeease?”


The Favour

“Sure, hang on.”

A magazine, “relieved” of its staples, comes through a panel in the door.

“You’re not allowed a pen, sorry. The crosswords might be missing anyway. Are you hungry?”

Fuck.

“Hello? Would you like something to eat?” 

“Thank you for this. Newer than the ones at the doctor’s. Better condition, too.”

– nervous laughter –

(in the background) OI CUNT WHO’D SHE SUCK TO GET A FUCKIN FEED OI PIG CUNT.

“Better go deal with this. Dunno what you kids like, but that’s a Woman’s Day. Better than nothing, eh?”


That’s a woman’s day.
It’s better than nothing.

A Thing that Happened

It’s no mystery or secret or surprise: I have been very miserable for a very long time.

It usually makes me feel better to comb through the minutiae of my problems by re-hashing things and writing them down, but only in the way that lancing an abscess would make someone feel better. Catharsis is one thing, but one can get very tired of the ruminating, the cutting, the squeezing, the purging. Of course it once helped, and it may help me again, however, the filth is already at the surface, where it hurts and pulsates and gets darker. I can almost feel my blood thickening as the air thins out and the skin grows taut.

Nothing becomes a thing, as the nobodies hiss their nothings in your ears…
…unless something distracts you. It’s very simple, almost annoyingly so. As such, anger and sadness can vanish like vapour as you decide what to do; as you tick and cross tiny boxes in your mind as quickly as they appear, the knots loosen.

Long story short: one minute, I wanted to start beating my own face with rolled-up three-year-old magazines whilst screaming annoying dipshit things like FUCK OFF SHADOW PEOPLE and OH NO I CAN HEAR MY BLOOD. Next minute, I’m laughing about a moment earlier in the morning when I was sitting with Youtube open on the laptop, and I heard my phone go off across the room, just to walk over there to check it and see that it was a Youtube notification alert.

Oh, the irony. Anyway, when was the last time I heard an icecream truck go past me? Been a while since that happened. I wonder if kids still play stuff like tic-tac-toe and hangman when they’re bored. My tongue feels thicker than it was yesterday. I bet it’d be really nice to hold a koala. If the koala hugged me back, I’d probably weep with joy and try to take it home. Their ears look so soft. Peter Griffin on ecstasy, squirming around on the lounge floor. Haha.

Anyway, that was a thing that happened.

Lighter Now, Tighter Yet

I will cross my heart on a star named David. 
I will mumble curses at the ceiling. 
I will pound holes in the pavement 
and wake up with another untold lie. 

As lightly as I can try and tread, 
crossing something is as good as breaking it. 
Lighter now, tighter yet. 

I’ll still lose my mind while trying to save it. 
I’ll still fumble with how I’m feeling. 
I’ll still take it as well as I gave it 
and make a new lover of severed ties. 

Despite the unsightly words said, 
dismissing something is as bad as forsaking it. 
Tighter now; it’s all I’ll get. 

It’s a missing part you’ve found after the fact. 
It’s not knowing when or how to act. 
It’s finding yourself back at the start 
with what’s broken and sticking it in your eye.

It’s a needling blindness
and an awkward meeting at square one.
It’s crazy glue and paper hearts
tossed aside; I hope to die. 

As tightly as I bind my broken head, 
I’ve misunderstood how far to take it. 
Lost and found, an erstwhile pet.

It’s a need for kindness
and an insane way of going about it.
I will bleed until I find
someone who loves me enough not to doubt it. 

Formes Frustes – Lighter Now (2016)

Mini Mansions & Brian Wilson – Any Emotions

 

Beautiful creature,
Head in the sand.
I stand at the altar;
Cry on command.

You could be happy,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

Negative Nancy,
High in demand.
The cards on the table;
I’ll show you my hand.

You could be angry,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

Down on the corner,
Nothing to lose.
Man out of order;
Just bad news.

You could be lonely,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

“But for all I aspire, I am really a liar…

…and I’m running out of things I can do.”

Those aren’t my words, but I truly mean them.

You know when you put on music because your head’s just brimming full of shit? And you wonder if you’ll be able to just let some of that shit go if you ram your head full of noise somehow? So you put your headphones on while telling yourself that you’re justified in doing this, because it’s better than storming out of a room with your fingers in your ears whilst shouting, “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU HAHAHAH SHUT UP WHO CARES” all in one breath. Yes. At least you wouldn’t do that, right?

Except today, the lyrics feel like they’re a bit louder. So you’re going through your device settings or whatever, to see if you selected a different equaliser, just in case. No, that isn’t it. OK, fine. You switch tracks to try and get the words – any words – out of your head, because fuck words right now.

But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.

STOP IT 

But… for… all… I… aspire…

NO

I am really a liar.


I know that it’s a symptom of mental illness to take things too personally, like this song is about me! personally. Not everyone is talking to me. Or about me. Thank goodness. I know this. But that thought seems not to matter when I need to remember it most. When I feel small, when I feel vulnerable, when I feel far too shitty for words, the rational thoughts are just… gone.

Of course, this gives way to the irrational stuff. Convincing myself that maybe I feel this shitty because I am shit. A shit person. Made of shit and full of shit. A shit person who does shit things for the shit of it. Who wastes their shitty time thinking about how shit everything is. What a shitlord. That’s me. I’m a shitlord. Not #1 Shitlord, though. I’m so shit that I’m #2.

And maybe I can’t pretend that music will chase away the shit that I’ve invited into my shitty life. Not today. Maybe I’m just a horrible liar who deserves to eat shit and die. All the things I’ve done are shit. Everything I do to hide my truly shitty nature just makes the whole thing shittier. Rotten. Stinking. Foul beyond belief, to anyone with a nose and half a brain.

I am a disgusting liar.

I am sick.

Twisted filth.

I must be stopped.

How do I even begin my daily routine of kidding myself? How have I been doing this for so long? And why can’t I just do it again today, like every other day? Have I finally reached my tipping point? Is this the point where I completely lose my mind because I finally see myself for who I am and can’t get away from it this time? Am I finally at critical mass, ready to pollute anything around me?

Or am I just

—–draft saved 08/03/2016—–



—–draft resumed 14/09/2016—–

in need of reminding that these awful moods are transient? Temporary. Not so brief, but also not so permanent.

When I’m happy, I am sometimes inclined to tell myself that it isn’t always going to be like this (yeah, I’m great at parties…). Yet, I can’t seem to do this when I’m sad. I guess this is why people have those Live, Love, Laugh signs in their houses, maybe? It’s why I want to write Lighten Up, Asshole on my mirror, definitely. I won’t, though.

Mental floss aside, I guess I’m just glad I don’t feel so miserable right now. I’m not at that level of neat-o, gang! excitement, but it’s nice to be able to cross the street with a sense of purpose, instead of contemplating just giving up and lying down in the middle. Almost anything’s better than that.

MBTI: TMI? Or not enough?

infp-personality-type-header

As I take another look at these results, I think of the part in ‘Religulous‘ when Bill Maher talks about having been ideologically vulnerable in the past:

When I was 17,
my first girlfriend dumped me,

  
and I was sad in a way
I'd never been sad.

  
You know,
your first dumping is the worst.

  
And at that point,
you're very vulnerable

  
to any sort of connection

  
with, you know--

  
I didn't get like Jesus-religious,

  
but I did think a force out there

  
was communicating to me
through song lyrics or--

  
numerology I was
very interested in for a while.

  
You said you were groping
for something at that time.

  
You know, you make up
an imaginary friend who loves you,

  
is sympathetic to you
and has a plan for you.

  
It's much more important.
He didn't have to love me, God,

  
He just had
to be working for me.

(script-o-rama.com [Religulous])

…and I try to tell myself that I’m not doing the same thing right now. I know I’m not imagining that every song has a message for me, or getting into numerology, but those are both things I’ve done in the past, whilst annoyingly depressed and immensely confused on many levels. Disappointingly, the so-called answers I found in those two things in particular were promptly replaced tenfold with doubts whenever I thought about them in depth.

Being someone who always wants an answer, no matter how stupid, I find myself asking a lot of stupid questions. I’ve always thought that the stupidest question is the one that goes unasked, but of course I’d say that. Despite this, I’m now shamelessly asking a lot of stupid questions, of myself and the world at large. I’m pretty sure the stupidest one is: why me? There’s no clear-cut answer to this question, and I know this. It just smacks of vagueness and some kind of victim complex. But I’ll still try to sniff something out, like a lethargic bloodhound who eats their own sick, just to throw it up again. I’m sure it’s just as frustrating and gross to be around.

And so, in the ever-shifting tide that is my sense of self, I’m grasping at these personality test results, in much the same way that I once cared about horoscopes or religious scripture or cartomancy. I happen to like the MBTI one most, as I’m sure a lot of people might do. I’m sure the other tests have their value, but probably only as entertainment. The basis this test has in Jungian theory allays any concerns of plausibility as far as I’m concerned. I might be wrong, but I’m far too much in need of self-knowledge and self-belief that I am willing to ignore that possibility, at least for now. One day, I’ll probably find myself going on about how reducing people to sixteen main personality types is a painfully errant and myopic thing to do, but today is not that day.

Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m reading through these statements and attaching too much meaning to them – like how someone would call themselves a Sassy Scorpio or a Laid-back Libra or something like that. Every time I find myself surprised at how on-the-nose my results are, I subsequently wonder if I’m not just giving into some kind of confirmation fallacy. Then, as I find myself reading about how “my type” leans heavily towards self-doubt, I start screaming inside. Choke down another paradox. Scream again.

Go outside. Be alone. Find somewhere quiet. Think.

Why am I giving myself so much shit over the fact that I want to believe in something? Honestly, why am I being so fucking mean to myself? If anyone else came to me with this problem, I’d hardly treat them like an idiot, not like how I do to myself. So, I think I’d better start treating myself a bit like a friend, and not some kind of annoying little douche who just needs to get over themselves and their own bullshit. What would I say to a friend, while being friendly?

> Hey, Ilene. I’m distraught and everything feels empty and pointless. I’m trying to believe in myself and it isn’t working. What do you believe in, that brings you comfort? Could you recommend something, please? – Friend

> hey, friend. shit, that’s heavy. not sure what to recommend, if anything. gotta ask though – what’s wrong? you’re clearly not feeling too good. wanna spill? – Ilene

And, much like Maher, I’ve made an imaginary friend. I’m not sure if they love me or are sympathetic to me, but they are working for me. It’s part of myself that I’ve assigned a voice to, if only for a short instance. And it makes me feel less like I’m a pile of hot garbage without leaning too hard on anyone else, so, almost tacitly, I’m in favour.

It just involves me being nicer to myself, in this moment. Let’s see how I go with that. If it goes badly, I’m sure I’ll move on to the five-factor model. Or red licorice. Or Futurism. Or something. Hopefully I won’t bully myself for it, but rather examine why I am so confused and tentatively idealistic.

Difficult, but a worthy task, I suppose.