The Voice Inside My Head | Teen Ink

The Voice Inside My Head

March 5, 2014
By MaiaKoryn GOLD, Playa Del Carmen, Other
MaiaKoryn GOLD, Playa Del Carmen, Other
10 articles 64 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? -Frida Kahlo


Her poppy-sleepy eyes lulled in the gradience of the broadening horizon, and Maia's drugged breathing became terse, impending consciousness leading to the reality of her mind, I suppose. From my vantage point on the lumpy mattress, I nursed fleeting images of her waking up in a different room, in different circumstances, three, four years into the future. I was aware, privately, of her peculiarities. This was a self-induced, uncontrollable roller coaster of internal struggle, one that she was, perhaps, too cowardly to admit to anyone but herself- alone- in the form of other dramas she forged if only to prove to herself that she was sane. To the world outside her head, Maia appeared as if she was experiencing the curses wrought upon a so-called pretty, witty, and talented female mature beyond her years.

There were days when Maia would shuffle into the kitchen at five am to find me half-asleep, hunched over the geometrical glow of my laptop at the circular Formica kitchen table, and bleary-eyed, I'd watch her make herself tea and settle down next to me as if I was looking into some picture-show that wasn't actually my life. I don't know why she woke up before the monkeys began their howling on these solemn mornings, or why she was so attracted to tea, but I took it upon myself not to ask questions. I'd be a hypocrite, and we each had own own private demons.

It became emphatically apparent to me that Maia was sick, most certainly at the stoic periods of days or weeks when I would stutter up from my pen and ink at the burning aroma of hot coffee spreading across the tabletop to find Maia glazed over and staring queerly at the open dunes in the distance. Or at the fly s*** splattered across the yellowing plastic chairs; at a certain blue paint-stain that had an uncanny resemblance to a peeled banana on the concrete veranda floor. I was most startled by these spells because I knew I was the one who had brought them about. She was a bird wrung out in chains, pecking at the irons until they fell off, but by that time she had pecked her wings off and no longer had the ability to fly.

Boys? Oh, surely. There were many boys she toyed with, almost out of necessity, to keep her mind and emotions focused to a pinpoint, but there was only one she deeply cared for, and it was through him she channeled all her insanity, because it was revealed to her that he was insane, too. Personally, I hated this boy, and whether it was out of jealousy or the fact that he smoked pot, I did not know. And he was much too old, not quite my age, but so intensely, itchingly close that it disgusted me to the point of sickness to think of him. The pot was another matter. I can't say I felt an inch of remorse when he left the country for a university, Maia the soldier's wife drowning in his wake and holding hands with his ghost. With Julian her absentminded distraction became dangerously slow, sensual, and dependent like so many ghosts, zombies, and vampires that haunted Maia's mind and the peyote of sexual desires her lover evoked. Julian's sudden absence weakened Maia's resolve, and day by day, I observed her slip into a tormented solitude, excited by brief periods of surging, powerful anger.

It was not long after I had decided against the publication of a certain account I had chronicled that Frida arrived, battered and bruised, from some mysterious chicken fight in the wild. She was mewing helplessly astride the thick coil of the hose directly across from the bougainvillea Maia was nurturing in a green thumb effort, and I couldn't bear to let the unlucky coo-coo-too fledgling despair a minute longer. I hustled her into the kitchen and methodically began the task of setting the small bird at ease. Maia was uncharacteristically less enthralled than me when she saw the creature, crass and matter-of-fact, lifting its wing gently to reveal a leg shrunken and distorted as if it was ravaged by polio. "Frida," Maia surmised, walking out of the kitchen long before I looked back up to find myself alone in the blue kitchen with a dying bird and the homely echoes of Yves Montand to drown in the cave of the house.

Frida, the bird that is -not her namesake Frida Kahlo, who was a doctor's nightmare herself- grew to be quite large, and I often let her wander the bright, breezy rooms unattended, for she was as pleased with the iridescent ambience of the artists' den as I was. But it was not a month after Frida appeared in our lives that Maia and I left the solitary abode for the typical two months' reprieve to join a group of artist friends for an extended party/exhibition out of town, leaving the bird to her devices; the gardener acting as a nanny every other day. It was not until we returned to the house that we found the "gardener" had ransacked the house in our absence and chained up Frida to the table on the veranda- Frida who lay tousled and torpid on the glass, brown blood crusted over the leg she had tried to peck off in an attempt to break free of the chains, unable to get food or water. The fowl had broke her bounds- that was obvious- but the so-called polio that had rendered her wings useless and the act of pecking off her legs to escape the chains had made Frida immobile, so in the act of securing her freedom, the bird had brought about her doom. It was the perfect storm, and Maia watched side-long as I dropped the lifeless body into the bottom of the big black trash bag, thudding wetly.

Following Frida's death, our radio hummed with news of the execution of the Rosenburgs, an imminent occurrence that entailed Maia and I hunched together at the Formica table, all-ears for updates on the case. I recall many red-cheeked nights, elbows scrunched up against the radio and butts slightly out of seats as the newscast implored us to report any person who committed an act of espionage. The old box crackled to a low hum as I reduced the volume and leaned back in my chair. Maia, flushed and locked on the story as a schoolgirl, slowly came back to the clean-swept kitchen from the tragically dramatic world of the Rosenburgs and poured me another glass of wine. During this time, Maia was revived from a lull in her art; perhaps the impending execution had something to do with it, on account of the darkly graphic canvases she produced. There was crumpled ink scribbles of "Ethel" strewn across her once tidy workroom. Large pieces of plastic with stagnant globs of black paint caught drips from a floor to ceiling sized canvas, drenched in shadows and small sparks of blue which I perceived to be the electric chair. And the artist? A madly crazed passion of the depths of her black abyss pervaded our household until the place practically smelled of her dank visions. I was horrified, because it looked as Maia had finally woken up from her lethargic loneliness, but she had rolled up from the wrong side of the bed.

Antipathy towards Maia was my sole diversion from the world. My evolution to this state was inevitable, and yet, I knew that inklings of my aversion had always been riding my coattails. Maia knew to avoid me as she became more aware of my ignorance of her, and we rarely spoke. I smoked beside my typewriter on the veranda, squinting into the rising sun alone, for Maia never woke early to enjoy these mornings with me anymore, yet I endeavored onward, tea-less. I grew sick of the solitary weeks as they crawled by; the only sign of my housemate was the numbers of the tear-off calendar mysteriously disappearing with the progression of each day. I no longer cooked supper for her, and my own diet grew grey and lifeless; limp lumps of indistinguishable mush when I remembered to eat.

Then one morning I woke before the sun rose and petered out onto the doorstep to watch the sun rise, but it never came. I slunk through the wide, empty rooms of the house- the once peacock blues, scrumptious mauves, and cheerful yellows of decor and face-color sighed flatly in shades of grey- dormant colors as they were, save for the sharply angled shadows that hinted a break in the wall. Wallowing, I scuffled into the bedroom and found it empty, as I knew I would. Maia was gone. The voice inside my head, a subsequent, conscientious person of inverted schizophrenia, had dropped me like a cold hotcake onto the kitchen floor. She had been the light of me, the two of us molted together, however separate in my mind, made up the balance of our personality, and had, over the years, confessed to me my insanity through the normalcies we built. I suppose we been unstable for longer than I would like to admit, our hatred for our better half growing more and more unbearable with each passing day. It is quite obvious to me that the more we hated, the less Maia was part of me.

I sunk to the floor methodically, an act of urban rationality, and self-resolution, the world instantly was a little interior of pale mirrors without the purposeful direction of my old friend. The house, I realized- or maybe I knew it all along, was a reflection of my life with her; the vibrant halls only alive with emotional smears, only touching the world when Maia was there to bring the colors through the funnel of her aspirations and creativity. In her absence, the house was solely me: an uninspired shrine for hermits and chagrin decay, almost never faltering from the beaten path of absorbed self-pity, or some uncontainable sadness that rests in its foundations. Meanwhile, the sands shifted infinitely in the granite yard. Temple to the washed-out bedroom floor, legs scrambled in a fetal position, I reached Heaven-ward, languidly grasping for the bottle of sleeping pills perched on the nightstand.



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