Where’s the line between living and existing? Merely inhaling the presence of the Earth doesn’t deem me worthy of what’s down the stairs. You can either step, tumble, or maybe even fly, but what’s the other option? Watch as I disintegrate into the floorboards as if I’m alive but under her.
Ignorance is bliss.
What deems a body lifeless? Is it death, or is it life? The term “life” proves itself a homonym, but who am I to challenge life itself?
the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter
the feeling of purgatory
It seems as though I’m soon to find a purpose.
January 2nd, 2019-
“Everett, A.M. meds.”
Ah yes, my life where I force pills down my throat in order to please a corrupted system. It seems keeping me trapped within this hospital allows her to live a good life, but where’s my utopia? Every day, I sink deeper into the sickening tile floors but inch closer to the exit sign.
If only I could grasp the knob and lock it with my mind, unpicking each pin with my cerebrum and twisting it open with my cerebellum. “LOCK THE DOOR!” I refuse to say out loud to the tall woman, but my facial expressions say it for me. Can you hear it? Maybe you can, although I fear your intrusive tendencies. Perhaps I should lock you out too.
You aren’t worthy of holding my brain, but neither is the man taking my wrist in his hands and stealing my soul to count my “hallucinations.”
Ceiling. The same popcorn ceiling and concrete walls every morning as I open my eyes as if it’s mimicking the blandness in my mind. The sound of white noise fills my mind even in the loudest room; I’m alone with myself. My brain cannot be squashed, unlike my frigid bones as they hit the concrete. As they smash into the Earth and my face remains still, she’s still. Sometimes I fear my popcorn ceiling will suffocate me one day. My mother thinks I’m fit for this life, but who dares to believe the mentally stable. Have I made her life almost as sunken as my own? She doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to get me out, although there’s only one year until I’m no longer her problem. Being a 17 year old boy comes with baggage, as I’m trapped in the mind of someone immortal. After my excellent performance, I’ll finally be able to get back to you. But before then, let’s backtrack.
Let’s begin with the day I found you: August 23rd, 2018.
My windows have begun to fog. The humidity due to tape on my vents and towel under my door have made themselves culprits. Beyond the fog, a petite young woman with swarthy, silky skin lays in my new neighbor’s backyard. I can’t help but stare as she removes her robe and sunbathes. My mind wanders to the thought of being in the presence of the girl, but my social anxiety slices those thoughts with a knife. The act of viewing isn’t forbidden; I suppose a telescope wouldn’t hurt.
4 hours of labor pass, and I conclude moving my bed frame into the room with a window next to our neighbor’s house, I can finally see outside the clear windows—her window’s approximately 26 ft from mine, close enough to merely observe her every move.
September 14th, 2018: the first day of school.
I’ve spent 552 hours on you, creating a calendar of when you were home, keeping track of your outfits, what time of day you shower, who comes into your room… who comes into your room. In late August, my heart burned. A tall, blonde creature entered your chamber; why not me? You don’t have any siblings, nor do you have any platonic male friends, at least not any listed. He’s stayed around ever since; every day after school, he brings you home and stays; the vulgar things I’ve seen since are unspeakable. I’ve been failing because of it, skipping my online classes to wait for you, to watch you betray me, us. It has to come to an end. I need to prepare—my first walk outside since the doctor’s office last June. The fresh air is nice, but the thought of being seen by you isn’t. The speed walk to my car, untouched in months, and the speed drive to the barbershop was nerve-wracking nonetheless, but necessary for what I have planned.
October 4th, 2018:
His strawberry blonde locks would suit my dolls well, watching as it flows back and forth… nourished, silky hair. As he enters his car and begins his usual route, I follow far behind him, reading and memorizing my well-thought-out plan. He doesn’t seem to see me park in front of his neighbors and wait approximately 4 minutes and 38 seconds. Home alone, vulnerable, and he left the door open… he obviously hasn’t experienced this before. While sharpening my knife, the thought of ruining his complexion with it and saving her brought the same smile to my face that I currently have, watching his blood drip onto the hardwood floor. I don’t care if I’m caught, she can come down with me, and we can finally be together, us.
Love is hot; rage is scorching.
December 19th, 2018:
Over the past few months, merely beginning to go outside has not led us to meet, but I’m not complaining. When you’re as vulnerable as a piece of cotton off a golden cotton plant, swaying in a field of others just like yourself, I have to look out for you, as you’re softer than the others. But now is the time I make my move. I’ve waited, observed; noted; anticipated; watched your every move, but to lay my eyes upon you while we’re less than 6 feet apart is a blessing I’m yet to be blessed with. The closer Christmas gets, the more presents lay under our tree, from crafts I’ve made myself, photos all the way from September, and diamond rings I’ve worked ever so hard to afford, for you, us.
December 25th, 2018:
Your window is cold to touch, but the cold never bothered me when it had to do with getting closer to you. I throw the presents, which were straining my back, onto your clothing-filled bedroom floor and leave my wax-sealed note on your desk with your name in lustrous red letters. Butterflies run through my stomach as I exit and enter my car. The hideout may be lengthy, but my brain yells at me, begging for patience. As I place a stern hold on my steering wheel, my legs begin to tremble, but before I know it, I’ve arrived at my destination. Where? Too close, but it’ll do until New Years.
January 1st, 2019:
Your prickly bush wasn’t exactly my ideal bedroom, but being in your presence was worth the stitches. After two years of viewing, I could never forget the day you graced me. Your exposed collarbones‒you technically begged me to be fascinated by you; you wanted this. So why did you do what you did? The thoughts of your Burberry scent and bouncy, yet silky hair lived vicariously in my head, leaving me distracted by the fact I was in plain sight. You haven’t always been a fan of my flirtatious tendencies, but I know you need me. I can hear the screaming and terrors in your house; your father is not the best. Let me be that for you; no amount of restraining orders have held me back from being your savior. Even during my time in the ward, I’ve been planning what I’d do for you when I get out. You need to be brought home and kept safe from the terrors. I can do this for you.
“Hello?” your beautiful voice shakes as you walk towards me. Fuck.
As your flashlight shined in my eyes, I wished to pull you closer, but it was too late. Your substandard father pulled me closer instead, leading to my downfall. I fought in court for days; how can you not see my love for you? The dripping blood on my shoes was enough to charge me for 1st-degree murder and, the unwanted pursuit of another person, stalking. Is it stalking if we’re in love? You should be thanking me right now, not sending me to a mental hospital. The terror in your eyes is unnecessary.
I’ll save you from the terror. I’ve been in the psych ward for a whopping three months now. But I’m better; I’m ready. I’ll fix this; I’ll fix myself for you. Even if that means downing three bottles of my bottled confinements.