the black hole inside me grows
so then maybe the world isn't flat after all
Trauma is an algorithm.
All an algorithm knows how to do is grow and grow and grow,
and sometimes what reaches the surface (the shape / embodied learnings) is so far removed from the source (inciting incident), that the source itself becomes a fuzzy memory an individual or small collective are forced to hold.
My stories became repeatable tales told in exquisite detail to all who would listen.
The original trauma my dad. He taught me absence and so I practiced yearning.
The original trauma my mom. She taught me isolation and so I practiced self-isolation.
The original original trauma my birth. It taught me death and so I practiced fiery preservation.
In 2020, silence became the practice.
Everyone knew about my pain, but it didn’t change the fact that I was being consumed from the inside out by a black hole the size of Mississippi.
In 2022, I beat depression and quit my meds.
We are in 2023 and I now realize, I didn’t beat depression but rather the universe of my life had just been transformed into a flatline. The world is flat indeed and this time I walked off the edge into —
Everytime someone walks into the wine shop where I work and the door swings abruptly open, I become energetically nauseous. It is not the nausea you get from food. It is nausea of the soul but no one seems to understand when I explain, plus it is the end of the month and I have not yet had my period?
Everytime someone walks into the wine shop where I work and the door swings abruptly open, I want to burst into tears because regardless of how I feel, I have to serve college students, alcoholics, and strangers who ignore me while my internal melody repeats “I don’t want to die but I feel so close to death,” 108 times in my mind like I’m fingering mala beads. The trick is to repeat it 108 times again, turning your brain in the opposite direction, and in the end, you’ll return back to flat earth, neither riding high nor hiding below.
Everytime I make it out of my wine shop alive, I encounter a handful of hungry shadows appearing out the corner of my eye, accompanying me on my nightly walks. They don’t like when you look twice.
“maybe, I am just on the brink of psychosis who knows.”
“Sounds like you’re just sick.”
Well, It is the end of the month and I have not yet had my period.
“As you read off the list of things you want to release and burn with the fire, we will all cheer and celebrate to help move the smoke and then clap to call you back so you don’t leave with the smoke.”
I read my list and someone else in the group is so moved they immediately start reading their list right after. I am neither clapped for nor welcomed back like everyone else. The black hole of their desire swallows me whole.
The next day I begin to hear and see hungry ghosts. The pigeons don’t seem to recognize me as human.
What if I am still stuck in the ether?
What if I lose myself so much and fly so high that the curves of the universe unfold below me transforming my flat plane of existence into . . .?
What does a black hole want anyway?
I do not even want to have a kid but I am obsessed with the fact that the only people who have outright told me they want to have a baby with me are two exes who are completely out of my life because they made feel so unsafe and despite forgiveness they now want nothing to do with me. I do not even want to have a kid but I am obsessed with the fact that too many people I meet seem to be anti-having kids and anti-kids. I do not even want to have a kid and I am obsessed with the idea of someone loving me forever even if there was not the promise of a kid holding us together. I do not even want to have a kid but one continues to appear in my dreams and I quite like them. I do not even want to have a kid but my period hasn’t come and I am not scared.
Walking to the sexual health clinic, I fumble for the haribo peaches in my bag. Sometimes sugar is enough to help me remember that the world is sexy and round-ish.
The at home pregnancy test came back negative but that doesn’t change the fact that my flatbush apartment could fit a crib… or another larger art desk with another chair for me to sit in isolation.
“Are you here because there is someone you do not trust?”
My response gifts me a needle in the arm. My head turns in the opposite direction as I breathe through the feeling of my vitality being taken away from me.
Next, I pee into a plastic cup and feel the black hole inside me grow.
I take the elevator down to the ground floor and mourn my sacred fluid left behind in a suspicious metal bin surrounded by the fluids of other trusting, semi-trusting, and non-trusting people.
Walking down the streets of midtown yearning for the pee I’ll never get back…
I call a lover on the phone and fall asleep mid-convo only to be awakened hours later by the blood running down my thigh. The black hole inside me grows and beams a signal to the great celestial ones beyond.