Collective Unrest

 

I Know the Answer

March 13, 2019

*TW for suicide and depression

 

A pretty girl I hardly know asks me if I’m doing okay.
Not too fast:
No. Yea. I’m doing good.
We briefly talk after about dinosaurs,
about the oxymoronic expression Good Road Rage, and then I go.

I head just up the street and discreetly commandeer patio furniture from a restaurant
I have zero plans to buy food from while I wait for the girl I’m figuring out a relationship with.

As I sit there, I think about Dinosaur Girl and her question to me:
Are you okay?
Yea.
Good. I saw your writing (you popped up on my feed of People
I Might Know) and I didn’t…I saw your writing—I wasn’t sure. I’m glad you’re okay.

I think about how fast we lie.
Are you doing okay.
Not too fast:
No. Yea. I’m doing good.
Are you okay.
Think about it—
I don’t have to, I know the answer before the question’s asked.

Celebrities are committing suicide and people are surprised that
PR team equipped public figures who seem to have their shit together
suddenly no longer exist.

I think back to my morning: on CNN,
Anderson Cooper tributes Anthony Bourdain.
40 seconds in, Cooper vaguely connects Bourdain’s
death to the late Kate Spade by way of Suicide Contagion (some experts say).
I hear this and can’t stop thinking about its implication. Suicide Contagion.
Interest piqued, perplexed, panicked, I stop watching and lay in bed; start my day; step in the bathroom. Shower on, I feel the warmth in a distant way; wander in.

Are you doing okay.
Think about it . . .
I’m doing Numb pretty well lately.
Blatantly, I feel like a soaked pillow.
Like I’m upside down in the middle of an ocean;
the top of my head—brow to crown’s—underneath the swell.

Before I left the coffee shop, Dinosaur Girl said that I was leaking.
What?
Your tea. It’s leaking. Do you need another lid?
It’s okay.
Here.
Okay. Thank you.
Smiling.
You’re still leaking.
It’s fine, I have new shoes.
Are you really gonna let it drip?
It’s not too bad. They’re boots.
(the soles are already wearing through)

Suicide Contagion: should I be worried?

I know the answer before the question’s asked.

The worst part about not entertaining self-slaughter as an option
is having to deal with the self-slaughter thoughts themselves.
Having to muscle through them. If wading through depression was an exercise,
I’d be shredded, bro.

I’ve stopped taking the blue pills and joke quickly
how happy I am they’re not those Little Blue Pills.

(laugh here)

I’ve become dickish lately. More so, maybe. I don’t know.
I look up side-effects for these blues, hoping that “increased harshness” is listed.
Instead, a medication to treat sadness, anxiety lists increased nervousness, weakness.

I’m lifting my arms like they themselves are dumbbells.
Instagram People boast about arm day, leg day —
when’s it gonna become okay to talk about body day?

Are you okay?
No, yeah, I’m doing good.
Are you leaking?
What?
Your tea, it’s leaking. Do you want another cup?
It’s okay, I put alotta honey in.
Is it just too full?
Probably. Yea.
You’re just gonna let it drip?
It’s still sweet enough.

Are you okay?
No. Yea. I’m good.
Should I be worried.
Smiling.
No.
Yea.
I’m doing good.

Are you okay?
Think about it.
I don’t have to.
I know the answer before the question’s asked.

 

Josh is a playwright, poet, and actor. He lives in Los Angeles. He likes short bios.

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