5 min learn
Of their September collection of journal-style entries, Divya Seth discusses feeding their cat, the wine evening remnants, and the customarily odd quirks of every attendee of a cocktail party. Learn extra of their earlier quick essays right here.
September 2nd, 2020
Good day! It’s me. I’m a surprisingly younger human and my gender is (redacted). I work very laborious to try to make some cash as a result of I’ve a child made principally out of gray fur and canned hen and she or he is so small and mushy that it could be outrageous to ask her to carry a job and pay for groceries. Hello, it’s me, and I used to be strolling round a museum in a grumpy temper as a result of issues didn’t go precisely how I wished them to and my defining characteristic is that I insist on keen the universe into submission. Sure, it’s me, and once I laid eyes on a chunk of artwork that was as soon as a big colourful tapestry, however is now simply 4 borders held collectively by strings of beads woven collectively, desperately trying to recreate the canvas that was as soon as there, I considered my household. You guessed it, me once more, and I’m questioning if I’m on a wall on this museum someplace, its recessed lighting placing my cheekbones on haunting show.
[Read More: April: Indoors, Safety, Monotony and Turning Inward]
September 12th, 2020
I awoke feeling like rubbish at this time. Just like the Metropolis stated, “it’s trash day!” and proceeded to take away my mind from my head as a result of at this time is the day to take the trash out. My empty little head stated, “This can be a bizarre feeling!” and proceeded to blow up into little sparks and stars towards the darkish inside my newly emptied cranium. I clarify away my present lightheadedness and the spots in my imaginative and prescient and the final utter lack of vitality from my normally-zoomy neurons as I roll away from the window in my mattress. “What’s fallacious with me?” I’ve to ask my sister to inform me the apparent. “Did you eat, drink water, and get sufficient relaxation final evening?” No, the solutions are all no, in fact. I wished her response to be far more severe: oh my, that is problematic, you haven’t been feverish lately, have you ever? That little cough, that sniffle, what was that? You look drained—fatigue could be a signal of an actual underlying problem…
My situation shouldn’t be severe, and I’m not even unwell, however it appears like I’m. I can repair my headache with some stale tortilla chips, a glass of water, and ibuprofen, however it doesn’t really feel like sufficient. There’s a Dorito chip for president. A stale tortilla chip isn’t that significantly better, however I eat it. I really feel unwell like a gradual pan-over in a great horror film, momentarily revealing a window ajar, or a stranger’s footprints in your house. You understand the implication. The calm heat of what was as soon as your wine evening is now an phantasm. In reality, it all the time was, and, chillingly, you simply didn’t discover. I really feel unwell, like watching the neighbors in a great Western shutter their doorways and home windows when hassle rolls into city. I really feel unwell like I’m watching them not watch—a refusal to witness. I’ve merely spent too lengthy inside the attention of this hurricane formed like a nation. As the attention shifts, I’ll the wall of the hurricane to whisk my physique up into its chaos, so I can know the explanation I really feel shaken, my head emptied.
September 16th, 2020
Nicely, we each know there’s simply a lot we don’t like about this place. We’ve been hoodwinked into attending a cocktail party neither of us supposed to return to—at the very least, not any additional than placing the invitation on our fridges—and, now that I’ve lain my issues down on a pile of coats sitting on what’s now The Coat Ottoman, I see that it’s a type of events the place everybody has fallen into a job. We’ve made eye contact from throughout the room as everyone else makes an attempt to make eye contact with us, if solely to plead, “Keep!” So I blink twice and look away, “Okay, high-quality.”
And, now I’m resignedly slicing up some cheese for the cheeseboard, and you might be strolling round providing to fill folks’s wine glasses, and I’ll be trustworthy, I don’t precisely know who this celebration is for, however I wish to sit down. I’m solely right here for the participation factors, it has turn out to be exceedingly clear. And, I admit that figuring out my manner round a celebration has by no means been my robust go well with—nonetheless, I can’t assist however discover the cacophony of preparation grating and complicated. Transfixed, smiling friends transfer swiftly to arrange and put together and put together, however I’ve caught no glimpse of the esteemed hosts.
What time will the celebration actually begin? What time does this finish? The longer I linger, the extra unsettling the questions. Once you look to me for solutions, I can solely return your stare. It takes me some time to note, however in these moments, at the very least, once you maintain my gaze, I really feel strikingly as if I exist. In reality, I greater than exist. After which one thing unusual occurs, and time begins to maneuver by way of me, and I see the evening flying by.
I see the friends, busy with being busy, change and gradual. Their footwear scuff, their garments fray, and their faces age. They by no means depart the celebration, and the hosts by no means present, in reality, the celebration by no means appears to occur, regardless that I’m afraid it was occurring the entire time. It’s with worry and bafflement that I let my cheese knife fall to the ground, and with its clatter on the tile, it’s the first time that you simply’ve all turned to have a look at me, to see me, with no calls for or queries. And, properly, now that you simply’re all staring, I’ll say out loud what I’m actually terrified each single individual right here is pondering: “What are we right here for?”
[Read More: February: Anxiety, an Astronaut, and Falguni’s Bowl cut]
September 18th, 2020
There are days when my silver rings really feel heavy round my thumbs. When my cool, clean rhodonite stone weighs down my palm, and I’m paralyzed. The best way smoke, inhaled, warms and overfills my lungs, assuring me that I not want air. The solar, filling my room, marking the partitions, arrives with the mild presence of nothing in any respect. And I lie, on my mattress of constellations. If I had two arms for gluing pressed flowers to glass, and two extra for typing and turning pages, and two extra for fiddling with my pores and skin and my hair, then possibly I’d be glad.
If I might shuffle between headspaces like I swipe by way of desktops one to 5, and if I might preserve totally different books and articles open and ready for me, beckoning, in each, then possibly I’d be joyful. If I didn’t cease earlier than I even began, if I didn’t need to lie right here and faux to do what I need to do in my head with a purpose to go do it, if I didn’t get too drained from the psychological journey I took to the grocery retailer to take the bodily journey there, then, possibly there can be meals in my pantry. However I’ve leftover Chipotle, and I’ll eat it. I don’t need to be, but right here I’m, being. I fantasize—if I merely allowed myself to waste away and decompose within the face of my opposition, my insurmountable hurdle, that’s, merely, dwelling, then possibly I wouldn’t be such a hypocrite. This Chipotle tastes too good for that although.
Divya Seth is a medical pupil in Harlem, NYC, who strives to in the future be a multi-faceted healer, working within the bodily, social, and emotional realms. She is dedicated to listening to and studying from intercourse employees, communities of colour, and queer folks, and lends her time to advocating for the protection of those communities by way of the American Medical Affiliation. She hopes that her writing has a extra private affect than coverage, and that it’ll encourage of us to query the established order, enact radical empathy, and dare to demand extra for themselves and for others.