karaoke ex machina
I need to know that I matter, I tell myself, as if reciting a self-help exercise, though it’s self fulfilling prophecy. I am matter. I do matter. I just want one unique person to tell me that I do. Then, I then make sure that person cannot tell me that I do, and then I tell myself “I need to know that I matter,” because I need to be the unique one that believes I matter.
I find myself screaming with so much rage at myself. It is a self-improvement exercise.
Why are self-help and self-improvement always at odds inside me?
I’m afraid people will not agree with how my emotions govern my actions, but I am petrified that I have not ever behaved with honesty in my life. I’m sorry this is getting so emo. I’m almost done, I promise.
This is the first complete week in which I did not sob relentlessly every day. Just the occasional crying like a normal citizen of the 21st century. I think I can finally count down the days to when I will no longer be overwhelmed with love and grief. Perhaps I can hold my own heart in my hands and talk to myself like I would anyone else who has come to me with a broken arm.
I sprained my hand wrestling the U-lock out from the spoke of my bike wheel after riding it through the night, exhausted. Something about this mundane activity causes so much anxiety for me. My hand lets me know I’ve never done it right. You’re always 100% of the time going to get this wrong, Anne. Keep biking.
Last night I went to a dinner party for jazz experts. Aspects of the conversation reminded me of why I keep leaving the scene—nothing makes me feel less relevant than being told what to pay attention to. It’s enviable to be so removed from the desperate need to matter, but I was not there. By the time I find my role in the universe, I am dispossessed of the need to stay in it.
Except Sudan was there. Having a buddy in these circumstances is so important. He and I showed up knowing this would be a peculiar party, so we prepared a couple jokes just for ourselves. He told me with what enthusiasm he reads my Twitter mantra—Hold my heart in your hands—and that he was tempted to reply with a My Chemical Romance clip. He gave me a comedy record because he thought I could use comic relief, and I gave him a Marine Serre sack full of dried oranges and mushrooms. The dinner party all admired the joke record before going around telling memorized jokes about wives and people of different races entering bars, talking to doctors, asking questions, being surprised by the answers. I love a good joke. I’m gonna sing My Chemical Romance till my throat bleeds next time I’m at karaoke.
My favorite part of karaoke is the fact that a secondary use for the machine and the media is much more interesting than the primary. I hope and pray with all my heart that the second life of all of my heartbreak is more interesting to you than it ever was for me.