I was with Robin the first time it happened. He was tall and strong and handsome –everything a young lesbian could ever want to disdain- and he carried me in his strong and handsome arms to the emergency room, where the nurses in charge of bandaging stab wounds and pulling bullets out of people’s flesh told me it was a panic attack. A panic attack. Panic is for the weak, I thought. Panic makes you cry, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to die, you know? Right there and then I wished it had been something serious. I wished for a brain tumor. A brain tumor would have been a great way not to waste everyone else’s time. Brain hemorrhage, and people would have been able to say I took after my grandfather, remember? The one who went to war. With nerves I always take after my father. The one who vomits before getting on an airplane.
If I had died in his arms, it would have granted me the attention I yearned for back in suburbia growing up. I used to watch movies where crazy women got crazy pills and did crazy things. I wished for something serious so I could take those pills but Ciudad Satélite is not California and the nineties are not the sixties and Plaza Satélite is not a psychiatric ward* and being an overweight lesbian is not being crazy. Being addicted to anything was ridiculous, as ridiculous as not having any friends and not having any money and what are you going to do are you going to get high in the kitchen with your grandmother and pass out and be taken to the hospital and are you going to make your mother cry? With what, did you score some weed or some x with the milkman who drove a pick up to your house with fresh milk for your chocolate and your sweet rolls? As ridiculous as that and not being in California. One had to have patience to get fucked up. Your time will come, as will everyone else’s.
(*Footnote: at least not officially)
And my time did come and I did get my pills and I did get to brag about being hammered on a school day and oh lord I can’t breathe, I need out of this classroom and out of this subway train and out of this body because my brain is going to disconnect any time soon and I don’t want to be around when it happens. I didn’t even call for this, life did. ‘Cause one of the things nobody tells you at school and at physical education and biology –certainly not at math- is that you don’t need any extra stimuli because life is horrible as it comes. There’s no running away from it as is, it will run up to you and beat the shit out of you and make your nose bleed whether you’re in your bed or atop of the Eiffel tower and specially atop of the Eiffel tower because everything is so small and the air is so cold and it’s impossible to grasp a perspective of reality because what the fuck are you doing on top of the Eiffel tower?
And now that I have it ‘cause I wanted it and I yearned for it and it is awesome, ‑and go tell your friends that you’re prescribed and driving yourself insane and it’s inevitable and out of your control- now that I have it and I belong on those movies I watched and all the cool kids are taking antidepressants, now I have it for myself and only myself because fuck if I want people to tell me “hang in there, it’s ok, you’ll get out of it” but what is out and what is in anyway? Out of where? Towards what? Below, under or above it?
Maybe what you wanted in the first place was to share something terrible with yourself, a bonding experience with yourself so you could pity yourself and help yourself or do nothing about yourself but just go through it and say darling, remember when this horrible thing happened to us? We could finally be left alone in silence and we could finally fall in love with each other, me and me, because we could finally think about us because there was no one else out there.
Or maybe cool kids take antidepressants.