It’s a regular Wednesday today. Well, almost. It’s been a week now, that I walk to next metro station over instead of the one closer to me when going to and from work. They say walking is good for your health. I have not noticed any difference just yet, but I do like walking rather than driving a car or a metro or a bus or anything else for that matter. And I do not like running either: why would I run unless I am in a hurry and scared to death?
Walking is a different thing. It somehow calms me and yet accelerates me. Imagine my thoughts as cars. Normally they move as if in a rush hour in busy center with lots of smaller streets branching out here and there, often being left behind by what’s going on “outside”. When walking, though – it’s like a highway. Wide highway. With next to no cars. 200 kmph? Pfff – try 300 if you can handle it.
But it’s not only about speed. How to put it?.. It’s about traction? No. About control. You are alone on this road, and you go at whatever speed you need for yourself, not the speed enforced by some slowpoke before you. Even if I need to wait for a green light to cross the road. I mean in the real world, not in the metaphor. Sorry for confusion.
Either way, it’s regular Wednesday and I am walking to the next station over. I’ve covered roughly three fourths of the commute now, Slipknot’s “Scissors” is playing in my wireless headphones. Suddenly I feel a razor blade cutting my right eye.
It nearly stops me. In fact, I do slow down a bit. I cover my right eye, even though I know this is not real. Sensation is too strong, though, too vivid. I even feel the texture of the blade, as this singular second is getting replayed in my mind. You know that simultaneous smoothness and roughness of the wider side of the blade when you hold it with your fingers. I know that my eye would not feel it, it should not be anatomically possible, unless the cut is being done extremely slow, but it’s there.
As well as blood. Warm sticky liquid pouring down my cheekbone and check itself, one droplet passing near the tip of mouth, down the jaw and down the neck, where it stops. It’s not that much blood as it may sound, though: it’s just hypersensitivity at the face of life-threatening situation. Situation, that is not real.
It’s just in my head. I have no idea where it came from, but I already know, that it won’t go away the same way. It will linger. It will be played on loop for a very long time, thankfully not for eternity. I hope. Please?
This happens sometimes. A random image, feeling or thought, that enters my mind, practically violating it. Usually, it’s something gruesome, something… Abnormal, I’d say. At least, not something you’d normally face in real life, unless there is some extreme situation, like a building caving in. I do not know, why these images come to me, perhaps I’m just sick in the head. Although my psychiatrist did not say of anything that could indicate this: just some anxiety and depression, possibly mood swings on bipolar range, but nothing serious. Nothing that could not be managed.
Meanwhile, I get into metro and the thought of the blade cutting my eye subsides. I read some manga while in metro, and then there is work after that and that keeps my mind busy. Until I get walking again. Then this thought is the only car on the highway. The only way to stop this is to “realize” this thought. Or find something that “explains” why it came to me. Like, turn it into premonition, but it’s not always possible.
If I was a bit more… Cuckoo, I would probably just take the razor and slash my eye. In such moments I understand perfectly what it’s like for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, how it can literally ruin lives, if not taken a hold of. Just a little push on the nerve, just a little bit of extra agitation and you can play a pirate on next Halloween. And this just something very minor. People can get way more severe compulsions… Like, to kill other people.
It has never happened to me even in deepest episodes of depression. Somehow, I am always just a tiny bit, just a hair away from danger. What helps me further subdue such compulsions is writing them down in one way or another. Take the episode, that popped in my head and flesh it out. Ground it. Make it real. Make it hyper real. Live through it.
Problem with this razor-in-the-eye thing is… There is no “episode”. Someone comes up to you on the street and slashes you like that? Without scraping your nose even? No, too unlikely: this cut was precise. Self-harm? I’ve already written some pieces down related to it and this does not feel like one, either, although it would be possible to cut only the eye in this case. But in straight horizontal line? I do not either “feel” or “see” it, pardon the pun.
I start thinking, maybe I could ask the people?..
And it clicks. Just pretending, how I write in social media something along the lines of: “How would you make a story go, if only thing you knew was, that there is an episode when a razor blade cuts right eye?” – makes this feeling fade a bit. People would say something like “are you ok?”, “are you hurt?”, “you, sick, you!” and stuff like that. That could work.
But I never do post anything like that. Just… Never comes to it. Call it procrastination, call it laziness, call whatever you want. It is what it is, what can I say? I’m not going to defend myself here. It’s just my curse and this car simply broke somewhere on the highway. Perhaps it needs a pickup truck to help it along.
And it does come.
Weeks later I see a dream. I can barely make sense of it, besides, that I am at a co-worker’s flat, that looks extremely like my own. For some reason, I am there with my mother. Long dead one. When she died, I saw her in quite a few of my dreams, and usually she was not that happy with me for some reason. It did not help the depression, that I had to fight, taking one of my “episodes” so close to ending with manicure scissors in my own throat.
The only feeling, that helped me then was… Do not know how to say this… Well, I felt pathetic. Just pathetic. Weak and powerless. I wanted to change. I wanted my death to hold so meaning, no matter how small and insignificant. I think it was soon after that, that I’ve stopped seeing her. And here she is again.
After I wake up, I can’t remember what she told me, if anything, but I remember, that closer to the end, there was realization that it is a dream, and I need to grab the details of it. But the feeling of my own real body, akin to sleep paralysis, was dragging me away from the dream, ending with painful: “Ёбихина мать!”
No idea, what it means, but considering I woke up with Seether’s “Let you down” in my head, I presume, someone was not happy with what I am doing. Or what I am not doing. Who knows? Perhaps, it’s time to return to that razor-in-the-eye. Bleed it out. Sit on my knees and let the blood wash away the tears of powerlessness, that I feel once again.
To be honest, I am afraid. I’ve always been. What if I choose a wrong path? What if I should be doing something else entirely? What if I expose myself too much? What if I become a laughingstock again? What if I dive too deep into an “episode” and won’t be able to swim up and will suffocate in my real depression? Objectively, there is no one out there, who would help me, who would hold my hand, be my lifeline. But perhaps… Perhaps, that’s the point?
As I said, it’s a curse. I do not know what will happen, how bad it will get, but I do need to move forward somehow, because I do not like the razor in my own eye. Letter, after letter, after letter. Words, sentences, places, worlds. Perhaps I need to create them. Perhaps, if I do not, someone good will not be born or will die too soon to make a change. Perhaps, I need to find courage to bend my own brackets, for someone else to be able to as well.
So, I sit down, my fingers over the keyboard… Close my eyes… Breath in, breath out… Calm myself. The hardest thing is to start, so let’s to that. Let’s see, what we can create and bleed ourselves to death, if it demands it.