Issue #54

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tweeting [in2 a void]

I.

do you ever notice how you sometimes don’t notice that things are getting Bad until the sun goes down? (idek what those words mean)

- [09:55:17 PM]

I don’t journal my mental breakdowns; I tweet them.

When I can’t manage to get up from the bed even for long enough to turn the lights off, or when I’ve been there so long that the day has descended to darkness without having turned them on in the first place, it’s the light of my phone screen that illuminates my face, cutting harsh lines across my pupils and the bridge of my nose. My hands might tremble, but the pads of my fingers are steady as I hit the nonexistent buttons I’ve memorized by touch, more familiar than my own body. I let the letters fall into place and then I gently tap the blue rounded square and then it’s out there, throbbing like a papercut behind the glass.

 

II.

i keep telling myself things have changed, that i’m feeling better, but then i always end up writing the same sad shit here 1 way or another

- [11:24:06 PM]

Sometimes it helps to have a record; other times, it just seems like a mockery. But most of the time, it feels like a shout into the void.

Then again, isn’t that the case for all coping mechanisms?

I have three separate accounts and three separate audiences, each carefully curated. My main account is for humor: it’s where I put pasta discourse and cat photos and dry complaints about people who walk too slowly in the middle of the sidewalk. This is the authentic me, the idiosyncratic me who doesn’t always know when to shut up and always has a string of emoji at the ready. I have my dream twitter, for recording nonsensical fragments of sleep that are only occasionally interesting (although when they’re good, they’re so good--like that time last month when Donald Trump tasted my spaghetti Pomodoro and said he’d never had pasta with tomatoes before but was sure that this version was very authentic). And then I have my locked account.

 

III.

brain: hoe don't do it

me: [turns on my sad playlist]
brain: oh my god

- [01:41:22 AM]

Media is a good distraction and it is also a very, very good magnifying glass.

We can find anything on the internet nowadays. Books, essays, political forums, recipes for soup. If you hear a great song in the car on the way to work but can only remember the first couple of words, bam, Google has your back. So, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that we find ways to use and abuse this labyrinth of sensation.

Maybe this is still better--maybe there is something redeeming in the fact that teenagers can drown their angst in illegal video game torrents rather than the contents of a vodka bottle, or worse. I tell myself this as I tap mindlessly and plug in my headphones: it could be worse. I don’t collect sharp things anymore, but I do compile hours upon hours of the most jagged words I can find and let them soak into my numb brain until I can’t remember ever not feeling them deep within the pink folds. Am I faking it, or just becoming what has always been underneath the surface?

 

IV.

(i'm trying very very very hard not to be sad today, plz send good vibes)

- [04:54:12 PM]

Even when no one is watching, it can be nice to imagine that someone could be watching.

They’ve added a new feature this year. If you click on a specific tweet of yours, you can choose to view the analytics of your followers’ interactions with it: how many times it’s been viewed, how many times someone has followed the link to either like or reply or retweet. Of course, I installed it right away in my settings; social media has instilled in me a need for immediate gratification. Do people care about me? Do they read my words and just keep scrolling? Do I need to feel guilty for taking up their time with this nonsense, or should I feel relieved (and disappointed) that they never saw it to begin with?

 

V.

some things you do just to see / how bad they'll make you feel

- [07:19:20 PM]

Honestly, I don’t think this is for me anymore. Or if it is, it’s for a twisted version of me that only comes out late at night when all the good habits I’ve been trying to keep up somehow manage to slip away. When the lines start to sting again.

I don’t harbor any notion that the anthropologists of the future will look back upon our social media feeds with even a fraction of the interest we invest on an hourly basis. These bundles of 280 characters are stacked on top of one another, underneath my fingertips, until they are so cheap that they mean nothing. But that doesn’t stop me from falling asleep with my phone underneath my pillow, silent mode but notifications turned on, a reminder of the futility of white noise.

Flowers, Fruit and a Flamingo