“Going through some boxes from the basement, and came across this.”
Typically when a young adult hears this from their father, they except to see some shitty Picasso-esque macaroni portrait, or ditalini maracas, or that tri-color ridged tube noodle necklace that you puked on in Kindergarten. (Seriously, why the fuck was everything made of out pasta?) But clearly I don’t fit the “typical” mold. No, my antiquated elementary school crafts were a bit more… disturbing.
“The monster caught my puppy then the puppy got on fire.”
My first reaction was appalled laughter. Clearly 5 year old me had some fucking issues. Then it started to sink in that this was actually really solid evidence towards a slew of early onset mental issues. I mean, that dog doesn’t even seem to be bothered by the fact that he’s literally burning to death. Now, I’m no stranger to nightmarish thoughts but this is disturbing even by my standards.
To my knowledge, I have never had a dog that “got on fire” after being captured by a monster. Despite my uncanny repression abilities, I think that’s something that would stick with me. It seems like the only thing to have stuck with me over all these years though is an underlying sense of discord in my life, seeping into the deepest, darkest corners of my mind. And in a way, I’m kind of glad.
It’s not that realizing I’ve pretty much been fucked up forever gives me the right to use it as an excuse, as a “maybe she’s born with it- maybe it’s debilitating mental illness; so whatever, fuck you, I do what I want” deal. Au contraire, my dear reader. Instead it has come as an incredibly liberating realization. I’ve been fucked up since as long as macaroni records have documented, and I’m.still.fucking.here. There has been no singular traumatic incident that’s made me the way I am today. All those “major events” I thought were responsible for the negative turns my life has taken were just me retracing tinier footprints in Ground Zero. The only significance they have in my life is that which I allow them.
It’s felt, in recent years, that whenever I’m doing “better”, life finds a way to remind me of darker days past. It’s as if I’m constantly having reminders of all the reasons I’ll never be happy shoved down my throat, until I’m suffocating on self-pity. What if, I ask myself while analyzing a photo of someone named “Josh” getting ran over by a car while what appears to be a people-faced chupacabra runs happily to the scene (presumably to devour the remains), it’s not meant to be a reminder. What if it’s a sign? What if it’s life’s way of saying, Hey! You are the dog that is getting on fire, and you’re giving that damned monster the match!
It struck me, when a nightmare I thought was long put to rest came creeping back into my life by means of an unwarranted attempt at correspondence. As if I was pulling out that vomit-stained pasta necklace itself out of my inbox, I stared in disbelief, a bitter revulsion stirring up inside me. Because up until now, I had always, without hesitation, given the monster that match. I let it watch me burn, my inability to simply let go, to quit analyzing the greater reasoning for all this the only catalyst needed to set my world aflame. And just like the dog in my drawing, I stood there- blissfully unaware.
What a concept- to simply live in the present and accept what darkness has come and gone as merely specks of dust on the canvas. As a five year old and in the two decades to have followed, it was virtually blank, each blemish a screaming eyesore. But each day that passes brings with it another brush stroke, another splash of color. Soon enough even the most trained eye won’t be able to spot those pitiable errors. Nor would one bother to search, what with such a beautiful scene before them. Colored with every wonderful imperfection that runs through my veins, this life I’ve lived since forever- it’ll be my macaroni masterpiece. One that any parent would be proud to display on their fridge…
Seriously though, who the fuck is Josh???