I am bad, sad, mad. I am not happy. I am not fine. I am bad, sad, mad. I was the same way yesterday, and the day before that. I will probably be like this tomorrow, but maybe not next week. Who knows?
I am bad. There is a boy in one of my classes which meets once a week, and each time he speaks, my organs curl into and onto and over themselves, and my body becomes a ball of hibernating snakes, vibrating venom. And when this boy speaks, I spit, “I hate this. I hate this. I hate this” into my desk, just audibly enough for the people next to me to hear.
I am sad. I want to cry, again, for the third time today. I wish I could twist my sadness into something more poetic. After all, three is a Biblical number, maybe there’s a greater significance. But I’m just writing this at night, while I stare out across Center City in the distance, and it’s dark, but I can’t see the moon, and there’s a cavern in my chest or maybe it’s a vortex, because my best friend feels infinitely far away and unreachable. I wish it were more poetic, but it’s not.
I am mad. I am so fucking angry. There’s a tornado of bees inside of my lungs and I can’t breathe, but every time I open my mouth, a torrent of chaos threatens to pour out. My body is constantly in motion because of all these bees I’ve accidentally swallowed. I’m allergic to bees. Help me, please.
I am bad. I am not going to respond to your text, although I know you love me. I can’t write anymore. My fingers have been chomped off by the invisible monsters who terrorize me and I am bleeding out.
I’m lying. I retain ownership of all of my fingers. My blood is safe in my veins, but I still won’t text you back.
I am sad. I cried today, alone in my office. That is how I know my sadness isn’t poetic or tragically beautiful. My tears are the wasted, mundane, commonplace tears of a tired intern. Today at work I made copies on the heavy industrial machine in the back room where no one goes besides me, and occasionally the man who stands too close to me. The hot paper I made copies on smelled like tea, and I briefly thought about how much paper is in our cheap, Lipton tea bags, used as filler. We poisoned our tea with too much paper, you and me. And we knew what we were doing, we put the paper in ourselves.
I am mad, like the British definition, the noun meaning mentally ill or insane. You can’t poison tea with paper. We’d all be dead if that were true. Littering tea is a stupid metaphor for what we did anyway. Littering is not as permanent as the mistakes we made, the mistakes you made with me.
I am bad, as in not good, not well. I think my soul is sick. Is that poetry?
I am sad, but my explanations for why are all exhausted, as are my descriptions.
I am mad. I am furious. It is your fault.
I am bad. Don’t tell my mother. She’ll be disappointed.
I am sad.
I am mad. I am banging my head and my fists through tabletops and I am screaming until my throat is so dry that cobwebs cover my vocal chords.
Storm clouds and angry words, I am choking and drowning on the same body of water.
I am afraid.
I do not know what these feelings are; I do not know what to do with them. They jiggle around inside the cardboard box that you shoved into my chest when you did not know how to help me and you packaged up my feelings neatly with duct tape and left them alone. They want out.
You, shadowy figure who shaped me, and then let people play tug-of-war with my arms and legs while you refereed. It took me too long to realize that you were standing there, letting this happen.
You shaped me and I love you for that, but I hate everyone else. I don’t think that is ok. Please tell me if that is ok.
And now you’re gone, and I don’t know what remains and I am afraid to open the cardboard box we let go untouched in my chest, mutually, even though you were the one who put it there.
It is weird.