Purity/Danger by Lizzy Yzzil
Recently I realized that I didn’t like music very much at all. Maybe I did actually like music in the past; it’s hard to know now what I have genuinely liked. The same can be said for my sexuality, food preferences, etc; It’s really hard to know. The moment I am confident about genuinely liking something, it negates some previous feeling I had about liking something. I have been told that I think in ‘black and white,’ and this is also a source of confusion. If I do think like this, which I am sure I don’t, I would not be able to see this quality in myself anyway, being unable to look outside of my current thought process–whatever that may be. It’s really hard to know.
Sometime in the past few weeks I was feeling very edgy, riding in the passenger seat of my boyfriend’s truck, and I said, “Please don’t put on any Dinosaur Jr.” Then he put on something else and I asked him to turn it off. I felt like I was a disappointment. Lately the only kind of noise I like to hear is background noise of people talking, which is best accomplished with television; public spaces often make me feel anxious. This includes movie theatres, which were typically places where I would retreat, alone, from others; also grocery stores, where I must routinely buy food to cook and eat.
Toward the end of the summer I went to pick up weed from my dealer. This was before I learned the code to his apartment complex so I parked my car outside of the nearest gate and walked through the gate as soon as it was summoned to open. I didn’t try to follow a car inside with my own because other cars would do that too, and it would always be too late. I imagined my car being crushed in between two metal gates, preferably in the exact middle of the car, leaving me unscathed. Other times I have imagined my car being crushed in such a way that it no longer resembles a car, and I no longer resemble myself, and am no longer myself–my ‘self’ being seemingly dependent on some sort of life-living.
I bought an eighth of weed and a gram of hash. While my dealer was weighing it all out in front of me I asked him about his girlfriend. Her picture was tucked into the corner of a framed lenticular image on his wall depicting a wolf howling on top of a mountain and a galaxy scene, respectively. He sighed and said he had just met her parents. After I took the baggies and gave him the money he walked me to the door. He wrapped his arms around me and held me. I looked down at the floor and slowly rested my hands on his back. He gripped my body for a few minutes and then let go, and I put the weed and hash in my pocket and left.
I don’t smoke weed (or hash) anymore. I don’t really drink alcohol anymore, except for the half a beer I drank yesterday. It was the two year anniversary of my being raped. I met my friend for lunch at this place with no indoor seating, even though it was very cold outside. He ordered a frozen mimosa and I ordered a beer, and when I took a sip, I felt instantly like I was laying down on a beach. It was a Mexican beer and it came with a lemon slice.
I ate a breakfast taco and my friend asked me, “What’s in that?” I ate another taco with meat that had been soaked or cooked in orange juice. The beer didn’t bring me anymore pleasure. “The first sip is the best,” I said, as my friend made the slurping sound and captured the last sips of his own drink through a straw. Afterwards we walked to the bar next door and he bought a shot of bourbon. We sat by a fire pit, mostly in silence. Periodically, my friend would say, “I don’t get it…I don’t get how so many people are…affected by this.” He said he thought maybe all his exes had been raped.
Two and a half years ago I was involved with someone with whom I agreed very much on the topic of relationships. We both felt that one should wake up every day and evaluate anew one’s attraction. This is the most positive memory I have of our relationship. The least positive memory I have of our relationship is wandering into the bathroom one morning to brush my teeth and watching him look at his own face in the mirror. He then turned the shower on, ducked his hair under the stream of water, and flipped it back dramatically. He mussed his wet, greasy hair with his hands until it looked acceptable to him. I stood at the doorway while he did this for about ten minutes, wondering if he had noticed me, and then he turned and smiled at me, like, “I did it!,” and I knew he had.
I don’t think I like music at all, but I hope this is temporary. The end of the year feels like the end of everything–like I may never see 2014, and if I do, I will have to relearn what year it is, to write on forms and checks; that in itself seems overwhelming. Every document I sign next year will somehow negate every document I signed this year. I can’t even find my passport or my social security card. Somewhere slips of paper and laminate, mostly black and white, float slowly to the ground, bearing my name.
Yesterday when I tried to light a bundle of sage, in an effort to cleanse my body, it kept going out. I wanted to be clean so badly. I want to no longer feel like matter out of place. My favorite sound now, other than rain hitting a roof, and cars driving through the rain, is probably the sound of the central heat turning on; but then eventually it gets too hot, and I wait anxiously for the heating cycle to end.
Lizzy Yzzil is a writer living in Austin. She is the writer of Poems Vol. 1 (Unfit, 2013).
© 2014, Metazen.