Things have a bad habit of stopping and/or running out. And I have a bad habit of initiating private; self-induced panic attacks when the given hour of termination approaches.
When I was a wee lass back in California; circa 1996; my parents presented me with a hideous pair of white sneakers chunkier than Rocky Dennis’s face. The soles enveloped stripper-pink lights that beamed upon contact with the ground. I was thrilled! Afraid to abuse whatever seemingly magical mechanism enabled such a vibrantly female flash of fluorescence; I tucked them away in my closet; right next to my new Malibu Barbie; saving them for the right day. One year later they sat untouched in the same spot near Malibu; whose perky plastic corpse lay motionless after being burned and mutilated beyond recognition. I never once took a step in my Rocky Dennis strip club shoes. And by the time I rediscovered them with full intention of strapping them on and lighting up 84 Sabra Avenue with my harsh; awkward waddle; the batteries were dead.
I cried; cradling my now uselessly heavy sneakers in the fetal position; for a good 3 and a half minutes.
14 years later I am still plagued with the attenuating inability to accept the perishable nature of most things I’m surrounded by. My phone battery. The gas in my car. The number of hours left on a vacation. The number of minutes left before the one you covet returns to where they think they belong. The french fries on my plate. The toilet paper by my knee. The years I have left with my mother.
It’s a beautifully sunny day in this bustling sauna of a city. I am blissfully happy to be exactly where I am; and deeply terrified it will all be over too soon.
Seriously. You’re not fooling anyone.
Psych 202 says we can prevent catastrophization in a process called cognitive restructuring.
Now that’s all swell and grand. But how the fuck does one restructure one’s cognitive state? Upon googling it I was horrified to find endless stress management websites offering friendly tips and step by step ways to cure the crazy. There were even pictures of happy; healthy looking men and women in their early 30′s; reeking of stock-photo-smiles and politically correct diversity. As someone who pioneered this particular branch of crazy; I must say I am a little offended that my problem has been reduced to some shitty 7 phase worksheet. I have found that no amount of distraction; rationalization; intoxication; or any delectable combination of the three; is sufficient to subdue the raging storm that is my obsessive tendency.
But I’m an open minded girl. Let’s give it a try from the perspective of a starving orphan.
- Write down the situation that triggered the negative thoughts: My parents are dead and I have no food and nowhere to sleep. Also; no bathroom to defecate in.
- Identify the moods that you felt in the situation: I had a strong urge to breakdance. But otherwise; just despondence and despair and debilitating pain.
- Write down the Automatic Thoughts that you experienced when you felt the mood: Where’s mommy? Where’s daddy? Where’s dinner? What an awful day! I suppose I’ll crawl into a gutter and perish now.
- Identify the evidence that supports these Hot Thoughts: Mommy and Daddy’s corpses lie blue and lifeless under the car that ran them over. And the closest thing to dinner is Daddy’s discarded; tire track-ridden shoe.
- Identify the evidence that does not support the Hot Thoughts: …Shoes can be tasty when seasoned properly?
- Now, identify fair, balanced thoughts about the situation: I’m a starving orphan who’s going to die. How is this helping.
- Finally, observe your mood now and think about what you are going to do: Hang myself with Daddy’s shoelaces.
Verdict: Fuck this.
Funnily enough… I’m having quite a nice morning. My obsession was quelled as soon as I woke up. I love this city.
because i just woke up next to one of my favorite people in the world; and there are pancakes on the way
and because we all have our own leather highways and tributaries in the palms of our hands
and the soles of our feet :)
I spilled beer on my keyboard and will hence use the semicolon as a substitute.
What a bizarre affair this is.
And the first post. A fickle; strange being. All who come across it will judge. They will not take into consideration the endless brilliant ideas and work I have waiting in store for the second; third; fourth; or possibly even fifth post; if I am somehow able to commit long enough. It is thus tempting to saturate the first post with things I’m particularly proud of while maintaining the illusion of nonchalance. The masses mistake my best work for my mediocre work; and feel impressed enough to later return to my largely pointless little niche in the Internet.
It seems simple enough; but my plan is riddled with flaws. How silly would it be for a fundamentally incompetent 19-year-old to emerge from oblivion wielding a collection of work meant to hold the attention and admiration of complete strangers? On that note; what if there are no strangers? The effort and thought put into a this is nothing short of embarrassing with nobody there to read it.
And yet—cue the dramatics—emerge from oblivion I shall; wielding my work and bearing the words in my heart in this odd hybrid canvas of public eyes and private thoughts. I feel an introduction is necessary; to whom it may concern. I like to make things; I like changing things that have already been made. I am irrevocably Lebanese. I like bruises and sounds and human beings. I can’t wait to die and see what happens after this adventure. My name is Lara Nasser and I am very pleased to meet you.