Monologue #2 (2015)

I said my worst fear was invisibility. People laughed.

It’s a moment when you’re thinking too deep, too far, and you hear voices like a buzz and actions like some dramatic slow-motion action scene, so that even the act of passing over a pen is given a surreal significance. It’s a moment when your body slows, freezes, and you can’t control a thing. It’s a moment when whatever tethers you to the ‘here’ and ‘now’ that everyone else experiences lapses, when you find yourself on a different plane on a different space looking at your friends as if they’re aliens even though you know its you. It’s when their eyes trace over you without acknowledging that anything is wrong at all.

And then it snaps back, you snap back.

And it feels like that time you dove down to touch the floor of the pool and rose up gasping from the water, lungs burning, panic rising, and you sucked in air that was sweet despite the sharp taste of chlorine. So you sit there, trying not to panic at what was probably nothing. It has to, just has to, be nothing. Because it can’t be that thing again.

I can’t be invisible again.

I said my worst fear was invisibility. People laughed.


I said my worst fear was invisibility. People laughed.

It’s a mental glimpse back over a shoulder, a reassessment of myself after someone asks ‘are you okay?’. Am I OK? Am I smiling right, is my face lined up in the way that everyone else’s face is? Am I happy today?

It’s a setting of limits. I can only swim in the 5’ section of my mind, and no further down. I can’t think about death or injustice or the fact that people die for no reason—no, I can’t think it. I have set aside certain memories that are shut to me. I can’t remember what happened that summer that my boyfriend and I broke up. I can’t remember the details of my freshman spring. It’s not a lock, it’s a wall, a barrier, a ‘DANGER’ sign and a thousand strands of barbed wire. I can’t think about the fact that I can’t remember.

It’s the knowledge that I can turn invisible at any moment. I could break the boundaries I put on myself, I could think too deep and too sadly, I could stumble across that scarred border and grasp things I shouldn’t. It could happen at any time. At any minute, any second, I could fade into the background of a conversation. I could feel that thing that tethers me slipping. I could fall, cartwheeling, panicking, into the hideous depths of my mind.

It’s the knowledge that if I do, people’s eyes will slide over me like I exist in a different plane. That even when I grab someone’s shoulders and yank them towards me, beg them to see me, their eyes will look away. I’ll tell myself I’m invisible because I don’t want to think that they choose not to see my sadness.

I said my worst fear is invisibility. People laughed.


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