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Dear Insanity, Cordially Me
Hi. You’re back again I can see. Well, I guess I knew it was only a matter of time. Do you think your visit could be short this time? Homecoming is coming soon, and I would really like a date for that. You know how things get harder when you’re around. It’s not that I don’t appreciate you for who you are, but you complicate things. I don’t know why, I just seem to change when you’re around.
It’s not that you’re inherently bad.
Maybe you’re just bad for me?
We’ve had some darn good times though. Remember that one time when we spent six hours on the raft on my lake and just stared at the sun? I was pretty burnt after that. I mean, I don’t think lobster can begin to describe how red I was. I was exhausted too. But you…somehow, you were stronger, more awake, and more alive than ever. It was a little shocking, but I guess typical of you. You tend to be that way. Sneaking up and popping out at me when I least expect it. Well, at least you’re good at something. I can’t even say that.
Yeah, that day was fun. We were all alone except for those cows rolling around the field, and there were some deer in the back timber. I think my mom was in the cabin with my auntie, maybe my sister was in the tube. All I really remember is lying on the green raft and looking at the clouds. We thought a lot that day. Life is a big thing to ponder. It took a lot to stop myself from sliding off that raft, into the cool, muddy green water.
I love water. I love the way it feels. The way it slips around my body, in my body, cooling, warming, soothing or hurting, in a second you can adjust to anything. The way it makes me float, so I feel like I’m 20 pounds instead of the 200 I think I am. Actually, you think I’m 200 pounds. I don’t know what I think. But you definitely love to make fun of my weight.
But I didn’t fall off the raft, right? At least not until I realized the sun was pink and low in the sky, and the water had turned dark. Then I just rolled off and paddled my way back to the grass and the dock and dried off.
That was a good day.
Yeah, we have some good times. And really, you’re not all bad. I mean that! I just would prefer if your visits were maybe a little shorter. Maybe if you just came at night. Maybe when I’m alone? Not at school, or in public, or where people can see me change. I don’t know how they can always tell. Apparently my eyes are expressive. That’s what they say, anyway. They can tell I’m changing, but they can never see that you’re there too. I don’t know why they don’t notice you like I do. You basically take over every sense I have.
I remember once you snuck up on me in the grocery store. You really took me by surprise there. I was minding my own business, buying some bananas when all of a sudden, there you were! I was so taken aback by your presence that I spent probably a good fifteen minutes just zoning out, staring at the huge TV above the fruit stand. I had so many chores to do for my family that day, but I wasted almost all the afternoon staring at a special for yams. I’m sure people around me were staring, but I was so focused on you that I never even noticed. After I bought the groceries I went home and cleaned the house, I made dinner, and I tried to do my homework, and you stuck around for every bit of it. It didn’t matter how boring or disgusting a task I had to do, you were so determined stop me from doing it. I’ve never encountered anything quite as persistent as you.
When did we even become so close? I can remember a time in my life when you weren’t around. Not necessarily a better time, but things were different. I know you were there for me when my sister moved in with my dad, a year after he left my mom. You helped me pack up her clothes. We folded everything perfectly and stacked it in boxes first by season, then by color. This was your idea, of course. And then when my sister tried to kill herself, it was you who rode to her apartment with me and held my hand in the emergency room.
I remember though, whenever you and I were together I had so many fights with my old friends. I don’t know if you and I weren’t getting along, and I took my anger out on them. It’s possible that I was just so close to you that I began to neglect them. I still feel awful about everything that happened with them. The tears that slid down pink cheeks into the field the summer before high school, the curses that stained the pillows at my lake-house. I wish I could take them all away. But if they can’t understand our relationship, that’s their problem, isn’t it?
Oh friend, your visit should have been expected. Don’t worry. The bed will be made and the sheets changed. The scale is out of hiding and I’m almost out of pills. Don’t worry; I’ll have set a place for you at dinner, even though we both know I won’t eat any. And you’ll be devouring that. No plate, no knife, no fork necessary.
I know I complain about you coming. I know I b**** and moan a bit. I’m sorry that I talk about you behind your back. You know that gossiping is my worst habit. I’m trying to stop, I promise! Yes, yes, some people know more about you than you would like, I know. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you. I know I complain. But I do suppose there is a place in my heart for you. There always will be, dear friend. I could never shut you out.
Just wondering, but do you ever consider me? I mean, I love when you visit, but do you visit when it’s convenient for you? Or just when it’s least convenient for me? It appears that you come as I pray you don’t, and leave as you please, regardless of my asking you nicely to leave or even forcibly kicking you out. You always manage to find your way back in. How do you do it? Are you a magician? Or are we just best friends? I don’t really have any friends, let alone a best friend. Is that you? Or are you the reason why? You know me so well. You know my every move, my every thought, my every desire and insecurity. You must be my best friend. No one has ever understood that part of me.
Maybe we belong together.
You’re special. When you’re around I don’t feel the need to look good. I don’t feel the need to match my clothes, to do my hair, to look in the mirror. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. It could easily be both.
Imagine me on my knees, because that’s what I’m doing right now. My hands are clasped together tightly. Please, please, just leave me alone. At least for a little while. Homecoming is in a week. And so is my birthday. I would really like to have a date. Maybe I could even spend my birthday with someone, other than you, this year. My last birthday was awful. And honestly, I would love to make some new friends. I’m just not sure if that is possible if you’re hanging around all the time. They might be intimidated by our bond. Or maybe they’re jealous. I’m not saying never come back, I’m not saying we can’t be buddies. I’m just asking you for a little space.
All my love,