pp. 51–56

Am I, after the whole course of treatment, a

better person now? I’ve screwed up an unbelievable amount

of shit over the little blip of my lifetime. I’ve told friends they’re

bad people, have gotten into irrevocable arguments and

then completely forgotten the other person (just a cold and

polite hello on the street). I’ve excused my behavior with “I guess

we just weren’t a good fit”, “I needed a little spring cleaning in my life”,

“I was just feeling so bad, I’d just gotten sick, I went crazy,

it wasn’t me.”

And I still believe myself.

I called one a slut, another an obsessive

overthinker who can never just let go.

Constant excuses and tardy

sucking up. Luckily, I’ve got a couple of friends left

who still put up with me, and my girlfriend, of course, and family.

But am I better now? Or a person

at all?

I’m a robot with two possible replies: a) go fuck yourself,

b) I’m sorry. Usually, one follows the other or

vice-versa. I’m a vending machine of insults, voluntary

and involuntary, just insert a compliment or a wavering smile

and I’ll dump shit all over you. I’m a table leg who thinks

the table stands upon him alone.

And then, despising me despising myself (always myself,

myself), I try to cleanse myself in the sea,

“out in nature”, without managing to put an end to myself.

“Out in nature” is a joke, a deception.

But I always excuse myself (always myself, myself).

I’m sorry that I haven’t managed to put an end to myself.

I’m too strong and clever a shithead for that.

Everybody gon’ respect the shooter

but the one in front of the gun lives forever.

– Kendrik Lamar

Five days ago, I split my last pill, which I’d already

split once. I’m trying not to think about it.

I have to jiggle the handle multiple times whenever

I lock my front door, try it, and repeat to myself it

really is locked, though I still don’t believe it is.

On the way to the bus stop, I take off my backpack

again and again to open the outer pocket and touch

my wallet – yeah, got it, didn’t forget. Then, I check

the zippers a hundred times to make sure they’re closed.

I run back up to my fourth-floor apartment several times

to see if I left the stove on, even though I didn’t even

make breakfast that morning.

I don’t believe myself. I fret and shiver like a pale,

bullet-ridden corpse in a waiting room – on his

way to the other side of the gate. The waiting room

is a hallway, the walls marigold-orange.

In the few hours I manage to sleep, I have a recurring nightmare.

There’s a contraption shaped like an egg bowl that I’ve got

to lower my balls into. It has little spinning and whirring

razor blades that shave close to the skin and with the utmost

precision. Nothing bad happens, but sensing that the appliance

is just about to break and the blades will jab out and slice my balls

from my body with blood spraying everywhere is

incredibly excruciating enough. My underwear’s genital-supporting

touch feels more and more sickening

with every step.

I know I’ll have a new doctor someday, but

it’s like they’re at the far end of the universe. Through black matter,

through the oceans.

May your career be a famous one, Doctor.

Your bullet hit the mark. Or, who shot first?

In any case, I feel dead. Five days ago,

I split my last half-pill.

Five days ago, I split it – and I won’t believe,

even if I say it a thousand times to myself.

Before, my personality came in stages: 200, 100, 50, and 25 mg.

Now, I’m a big, level plateau.

A plain of chaos. I’m afraid of myself. Afraid he will

return. I make diary entries to keep him away.

His invitations to the top-floor balcony, his invitations from

below, from the street. If necessary, then I could still get into the

nine-story dorm on Narva Road, slipping in behind a

student as they flash their fob. They won’t

see me; I’ll be the color of the gray walls.

I am a shadow.

I feel like now, only the unthinkable is still

thinkable and reasonable. I dream of a new world, one

within and around me. A completely different world. The

structures of the present are no longer stable; they’re collapsing. I need

total escape. First, I must learn how to

not care about the present, how to believe in an

idea despite all the others – all doors –

being closed. I’m thinking up a new world!

If I could only sleep!

I suppose I knew what I was risking at the time, too, way

back at the very beginning, before the whole drug-fuss.

I kept myself going all night with coffee and Red Bull

and then the next day and the next day and

night, week, and month, just to finish that pointless

thesis. I sucked it out somehow, that A+,

and everything turned out okay.

Summer came but the agitation didn’t fade. For years, it’d

wound itself up and placed its naïve expectations

on white nights – now, now I’m myself!

And the funniest thing of all was that people kept telling me

how well I’d managed. Glowing praise was flung around

like hot shots at a dive bar, but it all just fostered

my doubts. Every gushing compliment screams:

“Don’t believe it! You don’t actually deserve it!

Something’s got to be wrong!”

And expectations are as high as the heavens,

the only ceiling for one who’s swinging on emotions

though nothing can be secured to it.

I felt empty in autumn, as if summer had never happened. Later,

Grandma and I talked about Grandpa; she saw him in me –

I “finally” had time to be home and chat with her.

Grandpa’d had those traits, too, nothing

sensible at all, the inception itself is faulty, written

into the bloodline! It’s that “hardworking” trait.

I just carry things forward, unconsciously adding

my own tinge that I’m unable to see. If I could,

then I’d probably be a parody of myself, but

would it also free me of that trait? I doubt it – the longest

and most unbroken line is one reflected between two mirrors.

There’s a boundary in my life, a wall between what was before

the collapse and what is after. And now, threatened by

the next, the wall is growing even bigger.

What was before is gradually blurring and I can’t

remember all the vivid details and incidents as

well as I could, say, a year ago. I try to recount

the same story over and over again, but it’s grayer and

duller every time. Even the time after

the event is now dimming. I read my old blog and

aside of it being incredibly embarrassing, I can

barely remember anything from it. Maybe this

will be kind of like an old, forgotten blog one day, too –

alien and embarrassing. I attempt to revive myself, to

remind myself of something through the lives of others – real

and fictional, no matter that they’re pretty much the same. I constantly

try to bind myself to something greater. Don’t we

all? Maybe not at such a young age. Things

pass, as always, but now, they don’t want

to stick anymore.

I remember being strictly apolitical. The newspapers were

ostensibly safer as well, the Russo-Georgian war did poke

something loose, but not as much as today’s agonizing,

constant pressure of young yokels’ boots –

I won’t let myself be stomped on, I won’t!

Life was closer to heaven somehow.

Oh, right – I do have one vivid recollection from right

before all the insanity: I’d just finished my thesis

and was heading out to the countryside, finally.

Jasmine was blossoming and its stupefying scent

mingled with warmth emanating from the fireplace.

That much is a definite: for me, there’s no summer without jasmine;

there simply must be jasmine. I sat alone for a very long time,

I think it was drizzling a little, until every last fleck of golden

ember extinguished. I thought the fallen twilight was like

the end of something, though long-awaited sleep didn’t

come that night and it startled me for good. Even that

has gotten kind of fuzzy.

I can make out gray patterns, mainly for how

to lose friends. Or doctors. It’s a surprisingly similar process.

Not that I have to do much to achieve it –

it suffices to be myself. A forgetter and a dreamer.

I suppose the two don’t really go together, which explains

the rift that divides and joins the gray patterns.

It’s hard to dream up something on the basis of what’s forgotten,

but yet, dreams about what doesn’t exist

are the most vivid.

I read the news, it’s chilly outside, I shouldn’t

think about it, something inside me knows I can

cope much better if I don’t remember it –

I dream of jasmine.