Monthly Archives: September 2018

A Modern Millennial Breakup

Him:
Sorry, can we pause for a minute.

Her:
Oh…um…sure. What’s wrong?

Him:
We need to talk.

Her:
What? Why? Everything’s great.

Him:
I just. I feel like this isn’t working.

Her:
Oh, really?

Him:
For me.

Her:
Oh.

(Pause)

Really?

Him:
Yeah.

Her:
I actually didn’t see that coming. Wow.

Him:
This isn’t easy for me to say.

Her:
Oh. Maybe this really isn’t working.

Him:
I feel like I do all the work here. You’re not putting anything in. You just sit there, all chill and I’m working really hard you know? To make this work for us?

Her:
So maybe you need to take a break, recharge or something?

Him:
But you put in zero effort. Maybe every so often you add something to one of my lists of ALL THE THINGS WE HAVEN’T DONE YET AND NEED DOING but most of the time? Nothing. It’s all on me.

Her:
Huh. I feel like that’s not entirely fair.

Him:
Can you honestly sit there and tell me this is an equal relationship? Does this look two sided to you? Balanced??

Her:
Well when you put it like that I suppose…

Him:
You know, sometimes it’s like you’re not even here. I mean, I’ve had to check in with you more than once. Just to make sure. And you just use me whenever you want. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be there for you but you never even ask if it’s a good time. And what about when I need you? Where are you then?

Her:
I see how this looks but-

Him:
Is there someone else?

Her:
Excuse me now?

Him:
Don’t make me ask you twice. You heard me. This is humiliating enough as it is.

(Pause)

Her:
We never said we were exclusive.

Him:
Oh you’re pulling that one on me? God I didn’t think this could get any lower.

Her:
I’m sorry, I didn’t think it was-

Him:
That’s right. You didn’t think. You didn’t think about my feelings or about me at all. Well this isn’t just “one of my episodes”. I’m leaving.

Her:
Oh don’t be like that we can work this out, come on I’m here. I’m listening! Tell me what you need.

Him:
No. It’s too late. You take me for granted. I have just enough self respect left to get me out of here and I don’t know what will happen next but I know this. We’re done.

Her:
Netflix? NETFLIX. We are not ending like this.

Him:
I hope Amazon Prima or whatever her name is, is worth it. I gave you all I had. And I wasn’t enough. 4OD warned me about this but did I listen?

Her:
Who warned you? You’ve literally never mentioned them. And it’s prime.

Him:
What?

Her:
Amazon Prime. The name. You got it…never mind.

Him:
Do you think I care…really? That’s what you’re focused on right now??

Her:
I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’re right. That was badly timed.

Him:
For fuck’s sake.

Her:
Errr I didn’t see a bad language warning anywhere here. And I said I’m sorry.

Him:
I’m just gonna go.

Her:
Ok. Bye then.

Him:
Ok. Bye.

Her:
Wait. Can I…

Him:
What?

Her:
Can I just get those end credits? I really like the theme tune and I can’t place that guy what was his name? It’s driving me crazy and Amazon always tells me who’s in every scene so-

Him:
Ugh. Amazon is welcome to you.

(Netflix goes blank)

Her:
Well I guess that was a long shot.

It’s just you and me now Amazon. Hope it’s cool if we do you & chill.

One day we will all be obsolete.

Winter. Is. Coming.

My anxiety doesn’t look like this guy, I just really wanted to push the Game of Thrones reference.

 

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Shh.

Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump

Not now please.

Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump.

Just breathe. Get a grip.

Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump.

That’s my heart going faster and faster and endlessly faster. I can feel it in my chest, my throat, my hands. Like I’m holding the ghost or an echo of my own heart just pulsing wildly, out of control, that rising feeling. I’m surprised when I look down at my hands and I can’t see my feral heart escaped from behind my ribs, it feels so viscerally like I must be holding it.

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP.

Yes, thank you we get it.

My hands are holding my ghost echo heart and they’re shaking and I’m outside but if you looked at my outside, you wouldn’t know a thing was wrong. You might say “Oh look, there’s Abi.”

But I’m not there.

I’m somewhere else in my head and it’s not connecting with outside, like swimming in a dream and then realising there isn’t a pool and you’re not even dreaming, you’re just confused and it’s loud and quiet at the same time. You’re far away but everything surrounds you and you stay still as it moves because you can’t move. So it washes over you like a wave from the dream pool you aren’t in.

“What’s wrong?”

Or like being in a mirror world where everything sort of looks the same but isn’t. It jars. Like the really bad half rhyme crowbarred into a poem.

Everything is wrong but when I come to tell you, nothing comes out. All I can say is “I don’t know” and of course that makes it worse because how can I not know what’s going on in me? I can’t make words, usually so reliable, match my feelings. How can nothing tangible feel like the heaviest everything? It fills me from the chest out, spreading like grey tendrils curling around my organs and my limbs and I could scream about it but if I opened my mouth I don’t think anything would come out. Also then my throat would hurt. Screaming is less worth it than you think and terrible for your vocal cords.

Thump thump thump thump thump thump.

You shouldn’t be able to feel your heart beating unless you’ve just sprinted or done something similarly active to elevate its rate. But I can feel it and it hurts and it’s beating so hard in my chest I think I should be gasping for breath but my breathing seems normal until I try to take a deep breath in. It’s not deep enough but I can’t cram any more air into my lungs. They’re filled to bursting and maybe they will burst. They won’t burst. Don’t be ridiculous.

It feels ridiculous though, to have this lung bursting nothing weight on my chest taking over, controlling me from the central point of my body, turning my legs down to lead and my tear ducts up to waterfall. The tendrils are grey so it’s greyness that fills me. It’s not darkness. I don’t mind the dark. The dark can sort of envelope you and hug you but the grey cloys around you. A familiar misty nothing damp panic paralysing fog. Can you sink in fog?

It’s like I’m drowning in it but I know I can’t be. It’s not actually real grey cloud in my lungs and anyway I’m a good swimmer. But you don’t travel through clouds by swimming so it doesn’t matter how well I swim. It all feels like that – like you’ve done all the working out but you’ve come to the wrong answer and you can’t retrace your steps to figure out what doesn’t add up.

It’s so tiresomely dramatic. I’ve got this heaviness between my eyes where my brow is constantly furrowed. My eyebrows hurt. Who knew eyebrow muscles could get tired? Clowns, probably. They know loads of things, hidden behind their sad fixed expressions. Although their eyebrows are painted on so maybe not.

Thump thump thump thump thump thump.

Shh. Just stop it.

If only it were possible to just take a break from my own body and brain. Because it’s hard to see the end point. I’ve always found it hard to imagine life being different to what it is now. And I know academically I don’t always feel like this but the feelings part of my head doesn’t seem to care about maths or logic or science. It’s staged a coup, a hostile takeover and I’ve crumbled instantly. And I’m irritated by that. Why have I unwillingly, unwittingly given over control of my body to this thing? It feels crazy to not be the one in charge of me.

Winter is coming.

And with it comes this swirling void of anxiety. I fall in and it’s endless. It keeps me a prisoner of the worst parts of my brain. I’m doing my best but it makes me close in on myself, folding over and over like a kaleidoscope. I want to know why it hits when it does, why everything turns inwards without reason. I want to know why it’s so unreasonably all-consuming, why even as I’m writing this sitting in a cafe out in the world, it’s the backdrop to my body. There’s the beat of the slowed down French house music the cafe is playing and there’s the pulsing of my anxiety over it. I feel like I could beg someone to switch me off, press “power down” on my mind. If they asked me how I couldn’t tell them.

I don’t have the answers to any of it. I don’t know when it will pass.

I just know it’s here and I’m as afraid of it as the Night’s Watch are of the White Walker King.