Saturday, February 25, 2006

So I'm going to start taking lithium.

Maybe it'll help.

Maybe it won't.

We'll see.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A little gender theory

It's four o' clock in the morning. Have I studied? No, not really.

I spent an hour on the treadmill today; when I got my gait just right, I could read my Neurobiology notes at the same time. I have a test on Monday.
Falling...slowly...back...in.
But by now this is all so boring, so mundane. In the mirror I can see my vertebrae slowly emerging...
and it's at once exhilarating and terrifying.

A kid (allegedly) got stabbed on the Cornell campus a few nights ago. What's alleged, though? Alleged that he was stabbed, or alleged that a young man named Poffenbarger did the stabbing? It (allegedly) happened right down the street from my house, in fact; I can see the crime scene from the front porch. There's talk that it was racially motivated; that the assailant got drunk and was thrown out of a frat party for using racial slurs (and he must have been pretty disruptive, because it's not easy to get kicked out of a frat party...at least the few I've been to). He kept it up as he walked across West Campus, and at some point a visiting student (who just happened to be African-American) ended up getting stabbed. And as interesting as the race issue is--I am not playing it down in the slightest--there's also the general underlying issue of displaced, free-floating male aggression.
Not all men are this way, but our culture perpetuates the myth that a real man's man occupies his time with monosyllabic activities like: eat. drink. fuck. sleep. play. The advertisers and patriarchal society force feed men messages just like they prey on women. What should we eat?, men ask. Red meat, of course. Drink? Beer. Or maybe Gatorade after a game; just make sure you stay away from wine, as sybarism is the leading cause of homosexuality (besides actual anal sex and the catchall category "Living in California.") Fuck? Women. As many women as possible, whether they actually want it or not (of course they want it...who wouldn't want to be with The Man?) . Sleep in your Calvin Klein boxer-briefs, next to the woman who's passed out next to you but whose name you don't quite remember because DAMN you were drunk last night. And play--football, baseball, basketball, Grand Theft Auto. And celebrate the fact that you are the pawn of the American Advertising Association.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I need you to know
I'm not through the night
Some days I'm still fighting to walk towards the light...

My psychiatrist couldn't see me today; her son is sick. "Sick family member," the woman at the front desk told me, but as I've seen her and her kid several times (single mother, or so I've gathered through various intelligence reports) I'm guessing it's her son.

SO, although she came in for an 'emergency' appointment, she couldn't see me. Poor 'emergency' appointment. They called an ambulance for him. I hope his next 72 hours under observation in Caguya Medical Center's psych ward aren't too horrendous. He (yes, he..."We need to call an ambulance for him," my psychiatrist said to the woman at the front desk...maybe I should be a spy, as good as I am at gathering information in supposedly confidential settings) also taught me a valuable lesson. If you're going to kill yourself, don't tell anyone about it. Just do it, or don't, but don't talk about it or you're asking for a one-way ticket in a Bangs ambulance out of Gannett (and, most likely, an all-expense paid trip to the land of Medical Leave). Some night, in your room, when the moon is waning and you feel like you have to leave once and for all, just...go.

Saw the nurse practitioner instead. Useless. I sat for literally five minutes staring at my hands and not saying anything. Severe. Recurring. Major. Depression. And she asked me all the usual questions, and a few tears fell silently down my cheeks, and she said that she can't change my medication because Dr. M. won't authorize it, and I said "Awesome," and after we scheduled another appointment, I left. And beneath the crippling, paralyzing, staggering sadness a bit of anger struggled to the surface. And as I left the health center, I spit on the steps outside the front door (old Gypsy...sorry, Romani...cursing method, not that I necessarily believe in such things) and thought, vehemently, Fuck them all. Let them spend a day with me, in bed or curled up in the fetal position on the floor. Fuck them all severely and unremittingly, like this black mood has been doing to me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Poetic interlude. All poems by ME.

Things my mother told me
I.
First, people can tell
when you’re not wearing a bra.
And they’ll think things about you,
not good things either, and you’ll be sorry
you didn’t listen to your mother.
And so I spent most of seventh grade
wondering who exactly would be staring
so intently at my incipient breasts,
and it turned out to be my father,
which of course was hard on all of us.




II.
Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking,
and don’t get in a car with anyone
who’s drunk.
Good advice, really,
and I followed it primarily because
in high school
I wasn’t cool enough to have friends
who drank, and it turns out I’m allergic
to alcohol myself. My mother doesn’t know
but I think she’d be happy to hear it.
III.
Mothers always know.
This is something I didn’t believe
for years but has now been proven
empirically.
When I got my first period,
my first kiss, when I knew
(knew what? You know). Luckily her powers of clairvoyance
are tempered by distance,
which is good now that I’m away at college
and am with increasing frequency doing things
I would prefer she never knew about,
kissing quiet girls in library stacks
and turning their pages with my dripping hands.


Seudat Havra’ah
(The Meal of Consolation)

for Beth
My tongue is split. I cannot eat.
-Sylvia Plath
There are no words–
only egg and lentil,
too thick with meaning to swallow,
a heavy consolation.
I haven’t seen my own face
in days and we just covered the mirrors
this morning,
another erasure.
And still you draw me near to you--
a gesture which is nourishment enough--
and press life to my lips
one split pea at a time,
pregnant with more
than the death I imagine,
waiting to rend the veil
and be reborn.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


More song lyrics...what does it mean when your words dry up and leave you to rely on the words of others, like a verbal vampire? I stumbled upon these on a website devoted to eating disorders, and especially now, especially today, they make so much sense. They're from the song "Courage" by this kick-ass band Superchick.

I told another lie today
and I got through the day
No one saw through my games
I know the right words to say--
"I'm not feeling well,"
"I ate before I came..."
Then someone tells me how good I look
and for a moment I feel happy
But when I'm alone, no one hears me cry...

I need you to know
I'm not through the night
Some days I'm still fighting to walk towards the light
I need you to know
That we'll be OK
Somehow we'll make it through another day...

I don't know the first time I felt unbeautiful
The day I chose not to eat
What I do know is how I've changed my life forever
I know I should know better
There are days when I'm OK
And for a moment, for a moment I find hope
There are days when I'm not OK
And I need your help
So I'm letting go...


Well, I have an Organic Chemistry prelim on Thursday that I should be studying for, so I suppose I'll do that now...I have a good feeling about this exam. I feel like I've really mastered all the material, but I guess we'll see how I feel at 9:00 Thursday evening. I really need to eat. I really need to be running on all six (or is it eight now?) cylinders for this test...so that when the time comes for me to apply to med school (I've already begun Cornell's pre-application process, which seems more convoluted and fiddly than the actual medical school applications themselves...I'm trying not to think about that too much, because when I do I invariably hyperventilate).
Ciao, Bella.