Packing Boxes

Packing Boxes

“So that’s your sister?” asks Dee in a quiet voice.
“The one you risked your life for?”
The twins nod politely in that automatic way that people do when they don’t want to say something insulting.
“Your family any better?” I ask.
Dee and Dum look at each other, assessing.
“Nah,” says Dee.
“Not really,” says Dum at the same time.”
― Susan EeWorld After

I believe that family is one of the greatest mysteries in life. For some it is a hierarchical gathering for mutual benefit and survival. For others it is an oversized table filled with warmth, understanding and an obscene amount of food. Personally, I find it as somewhere in the grey area. I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone if I said I grew up and exist in what is an unhealthy family. It is one of things I hint at/largely complain about in my writing. Believe it or not, I do try my best to not directly write about it. The key word being try. It’s part of the mystery to me why the idea of “family” can be so lodged into us. I can rationalize it with a conservative and traditional upbringing, a tendency to over-empathize with loyalty bonds and a warped ecosystem created from a mutual destructive social order. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why the fact that I would do anything for them exists in me. Even now, as I sit in this tiny 24 Hour Dunkin Donuts- mooching off of free wifi, coffee and a large comfortable booth to relax in so I can get through this one night- I feel the heart pain of loving my family. I know I’ve been kicked out of my mom’s house for the millionth time, I know my issues with my grandparent’s force me from relying on them, I know I’m a horrible cat mother for leaving my two cats alone at night, but there is still that tiniest part of me that stays a nauseating rosy pink. Earlier today, I found myself sitting on the floor leaning against the wall of my house. One of my knees were facing up the ceiling and the other was laid out in front of me. My hands had fallen dead in the center of my lap and I was wailing. I was wailing at the top of my lungs. It was exactly like a movie or a manga. Something, I am not proud of. This may be surprising to you, but I don’t cry about my own personal problems very often. Not anymore. I had made the conscious decision at thirteen years old to not be the one who sits in their room’s corner and cries all the time. I was more of a fun of punching a bag too hard, or staring aimlessly into the corner. The result is that when I do cry it is messy like this. I exhibit the awful and overwhelming colors of angst, rejection, and void of emotions. It is unbearable to live through or to watch. The worst part of the moment is this whole process I continually go through in my head. It’s this endless morbid stream of consciousness. My thoughts first go to shooting myself in the head. Then I quickly realize that it is not an option, because it would leave behind too much of a mess. The thought of someone having to walk in on that and clean it seems to be disheartening. If the whole goal of killing yourself is to remove yourself of existence how can you leave a mess like that behind. It’s unclean and horribly rude. The thought then becomes the idea of death by pills. It doesn’t seem that painful, so I am certainly not torturing myself. The problem with that is I cannot swallow pills very well. I always get the tiny ones stuck at the base of my neck and have to eat them with food. It is pretty painful as it is. Having to take that many at that slow of rate seems like it would mess up the whole process. I would either fail or cause an even bigger mess. Jumping off a bridge, hanging, starvation…all the conventional methods seem to leave me with a huge amount of feelings about messes, cowardice and pointlessness. My next idea is using all of my money to fly to Japan and get lost in Aokigahara (this started before it became a popularized topic in America and a move was made about it). I mean it seemed like it wouldn’t be that much of a mess. It was literally a secluded forest where people gathered to die. It’s not like I needed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, and the place still had a lot of the spirituality signs I creepily couldn’t overcome. It wouldn’t be so bad to be a vengeful ghost or to be spirited away by the Tengu. At the very least, it would be its own kind of adventure. Then I quickly realize that with my complete fear of ghosts I would never even allow myself to get to the parking lot in front of the forest. Then I begin to wonder about becoming an alcoholic or should I start to cut myself. The problem with alcohol is in the States I’m not old enough to buy alcohol. It’s not like I know anyone who would buy it for me. Besides, my mother was a teacher. I couldn’t do something that could get her to loose her licenses. It wasn’t appealing enough to me. Then there was the idea to cut myself. Although, I am an ample prescriber to physical pain to block out emotional, I can never get over my aversion into cutting into flesh. Many a times I have in the past run my hand in hot water, pressed a sharp object into my skin or even worked out to the point of being unable to stand and having torn up skin on my hands or knees. Yet, I could never physically run a sharp object across my skin. The idea of it made me want to vomit. By the end of this entire transition from point A to point B I feel crappy. Maybe I wasn’t the coward my mom thought I was. Maybe I was something even worse. I couldn’t even have suicidal thoughts right. And it wasn’t even because I wanted to live. It was because I wanted to die, but I had no desire to kill myself. It was such an oxymoron. By this point the wailing stops and my head slumps forward and no emotion exists in me. I try to fill my head with logical steps I need to fix the situation, but I tell myself to be honest about you being only able to follow through with a quarter of the things you should do. Then I try to give myself back emotion by thinking about all the little moments of growth I did. Which fails, because they are often little. The innate desire in me to jump leaps and bounds always makes this method useless. Finally, the process ends with me standing up, sitting down on the floor, putting my head phones on, swaddling in an oversized blanket and zoning out to alternative music. I literally zone out for about an hour. When I finally resurface all I do is stand up and walk up stairs and try to get on with my daily work. The problem with tonight is I didn’t end it there. I grabbed the leftover boxes from when we were supposed to move and just started packing up my life. Half of my stiff fit in six boxes. I texted my mom and told her if she really wanted me to move out and not pay for university it was fine. I would sleep out of the house tonight and have everything out tomorrow. I lugged half of my childhood life down the stairs and into my mom’s beaten up herbie. By the time I got in the car the song Not Gonna Die came on. It gave me back my first step of emotion. The weird mixture of feeling free and being anxious. In the car I gained back even more emotion when the song Kings came on. I remembered everything that made me who I was: pride. I texted my grandparents and told them I was going to impose on them  by storing my stuff in their attic. Some touching country music on the ride over and the realization that I can apply for a student loan at fair Canadian rates vs. American rates I may be able to eventually walk the path of independency. All it would take is me stopping the half assed I will do it slowly plan I had committed too. So now, after all of that I sit at this Dunkin Donuts. Listening to a new OneOkRock song, reviewing a financial plan for living in Canada alone, and wondering if maybe one day I can be the type of person who overcomes everything and gets to give a pretty motivational speech at a convention. The only thought that persists in my mind is the curiosity on wether my biggest sin is my pride, or the amount I give myself to those I care for….

I.L. Knight


Not Gonna Die- Skillet

Kings- Tribe Society

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