مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Intro to Equilibrium.

First of all, I need to give credit where credit is due.
"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia" --E. L. Doctorow.

He's right, you know.
It makes a perfect title for a blog probably no one else will read.
I don't care.
Putting text on a screen makes me feel like someone's listening.

I like to write.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've always been writing something. I used to write fiction, before I figured out that the reason it always sucked was because I really don't understand other people. This pseudomisanthropic bias had an annoying way of distorting any character I tried to breathe a believable life into. I'd valiantly try and create a persona other than my own, and ended up failing dismally because I didn't care what these people "thought" or "said." It was all me, and I couldn't get away from me, no matter how hard I tried to use "somebody else" as a paper human shield.

I think this led to my OCD destructive phase.
I still retain some of these tendencies. I don't think many of you have ever experienced anything like it.
Imagine having an insatiable need to destroy your thoughts.
As a child, I couldn't control this.
There were just so many of them-- firing all together, hyperactively bouncing around and colliding with each other inside my cramped cranium that I didn't think I could take it anymore.
So I started to destroy things.
The main goal was to leave no evidence.
I'd furiously scribble my thoughts (always in pen) onto an innocent piece of (always lined) paper for pages and pages, not stopping until I felt my mind was at some exhausted kind of Equilibrium. I was never satisfied, just satiated for the moment, like drawing vial after vial of thick, crimson blood from a polycythemic.
Then came the destruction.
I would painstakingly rip the papers, line by tiny line, across and then down. I would then pick up every tiny scrap and make sure every illegible letter was torn exactly in half. If I thought the letter I'd ripped was still readable, I would rip it into thirds or sometimes fourths. Sifting through the minute scraps would take hours, but when I was finished, I'd knew I'd feel Equilibrium, the epitome of my ten-year-old existence. I was left with a mound of minuscule paper pieces, each containing a straight line that used to be part of a letter. A curve might give something away, so if I suspected anything, I'd rip it again. I was too much of an egotist to realize that there would be no one on this earth who would care enough about what I thought to spend enough time piecing the scraps together so they could decipher the hated words my shrieking mind had bled onto a piece of notebook paper.
This meticulous tearing process wasn't enough for me, though. I wanted destruction.
I'd scoop up every one of the tiny pieces of paper and put them into a Ziploc bag. Then, I'd fill the bag with water, making sure every line of ink on every little scrap had run, allowing for complete and utter dissolution. After this, I’d throw the Ziploc into the big garbage can outside, making sure it was shaken to the very bottom so no one would see it.
The things I thought, the things I wrote were worse than blaspheme to the rational part of my intelligent brain.
This was destruction.
This was Equilibrium.
This was me when I was ten.

Soon, though, this wasn't enough.
I took to stealing lighters from my parents' "secret" hiding spot above the fireplace to burn the pieces before I soaked them.
I took to burning other things, too.
I took to sewing the burned, soaked pieces inside carefully manufactured slits in my stuffed animals (dental floss makes for a strong, unnoticeable thread that's easy to get your hands on, if you're curious).
Soon, though, this wasn't enough.
I needed something more.
When I was eleven, I decided I wanted to kill myself.
I was very methodical about the whole process.
I remember weighing my options and logically coming to the conclusion that it was not worth it.
Not even Equilibrium was enough to keep me around.
I bought a jumprope and learned to tie a perfect hangman's knot.

I'm not destructive any more.

I am OCD, though, in a way. Every letter I write on a piece of paper must be closed. There can be no breaks in the lines for my letters, and if there are, I pick up on it immediately and something in the back of my brain goes absolutely haywire. I honestly cannot concentrate on anything else but A BREAK, A BREAK, A BREAK, and I have to go back and examine every single letter I've written to find it. When I find it, I must close it in and make the new line flow perfectly with the old one. I will sometimes spend precious note-taking minutes concentrating on one tiny letter because I can't make it absolutely perfect. Sometimes the lines don't agree. Sometimes they overlap. All of this is abominable. I can't move on until I'm satiated.

This feels good. I've almost reached Equilibrium just getting this out there.
Expect to hear more whenever my thoughts start to overflow, because I don't tear/burn/drown/kill things anymore.
It's just not socially acceptable.
Then again, neither am I.