Aug 14

things i don't know

i ate a peach today. 
the fuzz was rough and prickly
and i hated the feel of it on my lips and tongue. 
the hair on my arms stood on end with every bite
a nervous system in silent protest
but the taste was okay and i needed food
so i ate it. 
later i told my mother how unpleasant it felt to eat that peach and she said,
it's good for you to expand your sensory horizons

and i said nothing
because i didn't know what i was supposed to say. 
like i like to think i do the things i do
and avoid the things i avoid because it honestly helps me
like i know i get dizzy in crowds
and certain textures of food literally trigger my gag reflex 
and i take those seriously because they're physical reactions to things that others don't have physical reactions to
but like
what if i'm just sensitive because i never go in crowds or eat gooey and chalky foods? 
like what if i'm literally making a fuss because i'm not used to things
departing from my neutral? 
sometimes i think i'm too self aware
it's like there's a me in my head who takes me seriously
who tells me that i'm right all the time
and a me in my head who criticizes and questions everything
and encourages me not to do whatever i plan on it
and sometimes one of them is right and sometimes the other is
and i never know which.
sometimes i'm afraid that i'm manipulative
without even meaning to be.
that there's someone in there
who silently edits the stories i tell
to cut out the bits that might not reflect me the way i want
and i can't stop wondering that.
whenever i think someone is being unfair,
when a friendship is uneven and i can feel the emotional toll
i go on in an attempt to express the inequalities
and what it's doing to me
led by the me who takes me seriously
but all the while the critical me sits in the background taking notes and going, 
hmm. i'm noticing definite undertones of
'never my fault' in there. 
now hear me out, 
is it possible that you're just an asshole

and i don't know. 
maybe i am. 
i feel like i can't even say that without expecting people to jump and tell me no, 
i'm not. 
but how am i supposed to know if they actually think that
or if they're just saying that because they're supposed to? 
but i'm just saying it because i never really 
say it. 
maybe i'm an asshole. 
i don't know where i draw the line. 
i don't know if i was right to say
this friendship is very emotionally taxing for me because we only ever talk about your problems
and you can't handle me talking about any of mine
so i'd like a few boundaries
and a little distance
because it's not fair to ask you to change
but being around you is exhausting right now,

or if i should have apologized first for my part in the way it ended up. 
i don't know if i should go over every interaction in my head
and find a way to spin it so that it was my fault
because it's not like i'm completely not at fault
because nobody is that innocent. 
i don't even know if i'm painting myself, 
even to myself, 
as that innocent or if i just have to think i am because that way i can be sure
i've properly overthought the situation. 
just like i don't know
if people don't call me out on things because i don't generally do things that warrant calling out
or if it's because i surround myself with people who wouldn't mention it
even if they thought i was being an asshole
and i don't know if anybody else feels that way
because these are thoughts i have a hard time putting into words
and you don't really ask people anyway. 
i feel like even if someone gave me a completely clear, unbiased summary of who i am
if it was mostly positive i wouldn't believe it was unbiased
but i don't even know if it would be mostly positive
because while i think i'm a fairly interesting person most of the time--
i mean, i live in my head so i have to--
i don't know if other people do and if they don't
then i kind of just force my hostile quirkiness on them in some kind of uneven shambles of a friendship. 
but i also wouldn't believe people even if they said nice things about me--
like when people read my work and like it, 
can't believe that they're not just saying that because they're obliged to
like as hard as i try and as much as i rationally tell myself otherwise, 
and it's not even that my self esteem is that low because i feel mostly okay 
about myself. 
i don't fear the judgement of others 
because i don't care about most of their opinions, i just
believe the nice things people say about me 
ironically, because i'm too absorbed in myself
and not knowing if i'm an asshole. 
which i guess makes me a hypocrite
for needing distance in a friendship with someone who couldn't get out
of her own way
since i'm in my own way constantly. 
i just don't know. 
i'll probably never know. 
i don't know if most people view me as a piece of work. 
i don't know if some people will and that's just something i have to live with while others won't. 
i don't know if it's normal or not. 
i don't know if it's reasonable to not eat peaches,
or avocados or yogurt or smoothies or chalky egg yolks or provolone or the slimy inside bits of pickles
because my body rebels against their texture. 
i mostly need to feel like i am in control
so i stay in a world where i am
without people, without objectionable foods, without difficult situations
almost entirely without me because i am what confuses me so much
but the moment i venture outside i realize
how little i know. 
even now if i think of the skin of that peach
my toes curl on their own in a silent no
and i wonder if the solution is to just
eat another peach until the reaction passes. 

jesus christ so there ended up being a lot of different threads of confusion and soul-searching in here. i hadn't posted in a while and i honestly don't even know what got me thinking about this but the things i've written lately have been a little low on the blatant existential crisis so here this is. partly born out of knowing i have to go back to school soon.