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May 23, 2015 | Dispatches

Letter to the Editor

Sara McGrath

Letter to the Editor photo

Last week my horoscope told me I would feel lacking in energy and lose every ounce of my motivation. The horoscope said to rest. So, you know, I've been resting.

I've been taking what feels like a giant amount of vitamins for approximately three days, which is a long time for me to do anything very consistently. One of the vitamins is called Skullcap. It’s an herbal supplement that is supposed to help with anxiety. I like to think of it as a little hat I wear on my head that everyone compliments me on and says how I can “really pull it off”. There's also one for adrenal health, and something called holy basil root, which has something to do with balance. I’m choosing to interpret it as the metaphysical kind. I had a roommate who was a manager of Whole Body, the section of Whole Foods with vitamins and lotion. He would always get a ton of samples. I stole them all when he moved out. It’s fine, they were unopened for months.

Oh actually no I remember now, the supplements didn’t belong to him but his coworker, who lived with us for a short time. He had to leave to go to a mental hospital. He was also married, which we weren't aware of until right before he left, when his wife hit him in the head with a wine bottle at the beach, or something.

He hated me, but I don’t think a lot of people do. Once, though, I had a troll. He sent me a lot of messages on my Tumblr, alternating between vaguely complimentary pleas for my attention and vulgar & aggressive insults, both with a tone that alluded to an interpretation of my personal life in a way that I hoped was not reflective of the general public’s perception.

For example: “Would you like me if I wore a cardigan and glasses?”

and then “I bet you really like Lena Dunham and actually think of her as yourself.”

and then “I BET YOU HAVE NICE PERKY TITS.” Which I was tempted to reply with, “um duhhhhh!!!!!”

I took matters into my own hands and installed a software to track activity and IP addresses. I confronted him, but not in a mean way, just an 'here's an invaluable lesson' kind of way, which is my favorite form of confrontation.

I hate the feeling of cobwebs on my face or hands and I hate the way ants feel crawling on me, though I’ve just started to accept that I live with ants. I don’t try to get rid of them unless it’s a long march leading to an infestation, like when they invaded a sugar scrub I made with coconut oil I left in the shower, the jar’s metal top slightly unscrewed. I sprayed them with Windex and wiped them away. I like the look and feel of lizards and frogs, though. I do not like snakes. There was an ant on the mirror and I thought it was something on my face (I didn’t have my glasses on). I looked at it crawling, ants always seem so panicked, then I squished it with my finger. I killed another bug today, I think it was a mosquito, a fat mosquito, like it had been out for a while and came in through my bathroom window, all drunk on blood. I wonder how many people on my block will wake up itchy tomorrow.

Today I read an article on Vice that might as well have been titled 'I Know Cigarettes Are Bad For Me But I’m Going To Smoke Them Anyways.' The guy went to three different doctors and asked, essentially, “is it okay if I just have one?” They all said, "no, don’t smoke, don’t even go near a plume of tobacco smoke or a room where people might be smoking, or have just finished smoking. Don’t go near it." He concludes, “Well, I’m just going to have one, when I feel like it.”

I wish I was a hamster sometimes. Like, for the water dispenser.

I just remembered the whiskey in the cabinet, someone left it here, I’m wondering if I’m like the Vice guy, but with alcohol. Okay, I decided that I’m not, because it’s only when I feel like it. There’s a feeling in my stomach akin to hunger, but I read somewhere most initial hunger pangs mean you’re thirsty. Perhaps that was from the same book that gave me the idea to eat celery for breakfast for a week. Who am I kidding, I lasted way less than a week. I mean celery, for breakfast?

I wanted to 'work on stuff' today but took a nap and did the dishes and languished around my apartment, texting my friends to inform them of my agony. I read the local news from my hometown. The police blotter is my favorite. There was a man in a gorilla suit scaring children, and a drunk wandering the streets. These were two different stories. I took a walk to the store. I sent my boyfriend a picture of me in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, about to go to the store, and I wrote: "I hope nobody sees me I look like a maniac". He said I didn't, I was just wearing sweatpants.

There are these cats in my neighborhood who scream like banshees and gang up on the other cats. One of the mean cats is white and another one of the mean cats is and white with black spots. The cat they usually mess with the most is small and black.

I saw two cats fighting on the way to the store, but they were not the black/white/black cats, they were these other cats. One was orange and fluffy and one I couldn't see because the orange one was pinning him down (like a maniac) and they were going at it. They looked like they could have lunged at me and eaten my entire face, I swear. I took a video of the cats and sent one to my boyfriend and one to my friend Shannon. 

Before I left the house I was looking up pictures of Greek goddess statues because I feel like that's my body type. Like the ones with the tummies protruding. Now that I think about it they are kind of languishing.

I bought spinach and wine at the grocery store. When I got back, my neighbors were standing below in the parking lot with a giant couch, their hands on their hips, staring up at the stairs of our building. I offered to help which I hoped they wouldn’t take me up on. I was supposed to bring the spinach and wine to my friend’s house and I only came home to grab a sweater, in case it got cold. My friend and I had plans to cook a chicken and eat it. I was grateful for their decline as they could probably see the lack of commitment and general terror on my face, a usual reaction once I’m confronted with someone else’s responsibility.

I ordered Vietnamese food and watched half an epiode of Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami. I turned it off because I like Kendall and Kim better. I left the blue screen on the TV because it’s pretty. On my phone I looked up “lamp color of blue TV screen.”

I got a bunch of photos developed yesterday and one whole roll belonged my ex boyfriend. It was almost all pictures of his girlfriend before me. I flipped through them casually, like an old National Geographic at the dentist. My heart beat at a normal pace. If I had discovered these two years ago I would have gone insane, like I had come upon a treasure trove. The mysteries of my heart would truly be solved if I had one whole roll of this mysterious girl to look at from different angles, posing, and sometimes from behind. She’s very striking and so unlike me. Most photos of me capture my face very tense, mid-laugh, mouth pursed awkwardly, one eye closed. Or I smile too big, my cheeks huge, big teeth protruding. I Googled her once and found a mug shot from the week before. She got arrested stealing at a Duane Reade in Portland. I shoplift all the time but I’ve never been caught.

I love the word specious: superficially plausible but actually wrong; misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive.

A therapist told me once that 'crazy’ thoughts you know are wrong and irrational are analogous to seeing a crazy person walking down the street, talking to themselves and maybe yelling. You don’t gag them to shut them up. You just let them pass. Sometimes I feel like I’m just toiling, like my life is just a little loading symbol, a little spinning wheel, you know? So many tabs open. I don’t know, whatever.

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