Stream of Consciousness (2007)

I don’t like the color red.  It reminds me of blood.  I hate the smell of blood, it makes me really nauseous.  One time in seventh grade we had to dissect an inchworm and it was really disgusting.  We were supposed to be really careful not to break the giant blood vessel, but of course I did, because I’m very uncoordinated with a knife.  In eighth grade tech ed I used the knife upside down the whole semester and didn’t even realize it.  Tech ed wasn’t really a whole lot of fun.  One time the knife went through my finger and it didn’t even bleed.  Normally I bleed at everything too.  My fingers bleed a lot.  My friend Taylor carries around a whole box of Band-Aids just because I bleed all the time.  I’m not sure why, it’s kind of a subconscious thing, and I hate the smell of blood and the taste of blood and it makes me sick but yet it happens all the time.  I think it’s because I don’t like it that I bleed all the time.  This kind of makes sense if you know what I’m talking about.  Taylor’s really nice about the Band-Aids.  She usually carries ones with Disney princesses and monkeys in hats.  One time a girl at camp gave me a Spiderman Band-Aid, and it was really exciting because I had blisters on my heels so I wore Spiderman on them.  I get blisters on my heels all the time.  You’d think that would be a lesson to me to wear socks but of course I don’t.  There are permanent scars on there now.  They’re kind of purple-colored.  The only other scars I have on my body are from the chicken pox and they’re all on my face, and you can only see them when I cry.  I had the chicken pox really bad.  They were all over me, even inside my mouth.  I don’t remember it though, because I was two.  I had them on my second birthday, so I couldn’t have a party with all my friends, not that I really remember who my friends were either.  I know there were lots of kids my age on my street and that three of us were born in the same week.  It was me, Rebecca, and Trevor.  Rebecca moved to Ireland and I never heard from her again.  It was kind of upsetting actually, because we were friends from the second we came out of the hospital.  Not by choice, but we were.  That was when I lived in Michigan in a tiny little house.  When my brother was born, we had to move out of the house, and we moved into a bigger house.  I remember that house because my room was upstairs and the kitchen was downstairs.  I think I always feel like that’s the way that a house is supposed to be, and it doesn’t seem right that almost everything in my house is on the same floor.  I don’t really like it very much.  My house isn’t that bad though, I mean, it’s pretty small but it’s okay.  The problem is that wherever you go in my house, someone else is always there.  I can never be by myself really.  My brother comes in all the time to watch football or something and I have to leave and I don’t really know where else to go because if I go in the dining room my mom’s cooking and if I go into my bedroom my parents will yell at me for being antisocial.  I’m not really that antisocial, I just keep to myself a lot.  I’m pretty self-sufficient, I think.  I don’t really need other people most of the time; I’m good at being by myself.  Which is weird because I’m not an only child or anything which is usually where people get that gene, but I’m just a weird kid, I guess.  It’s hard because a lot of the time people need me and I don’t know what to give them because I don’t know what it feels like to really need someone.  I always wondered if that had to do with my family.  We all kind of shut ourselves down a lot of the time.  Maybe that’s why I started acting; it gave me an excuse to feel something for a change.  It’s really different than normal.  I can cry all the time and lash out and get mad.  It’s definitely not how I usually act.  I don’t really know why I don’t.  I guess that’s just the way I am.  Like how I can’t play piano without tilting my head to the side.  My teacher used to get really mad at me and yell that it wasn’t going to look good in concert, but my piano playing turned out okay with my head tilted so why mess with it?  It’s not like tilting your head hurts your piano playing.  You can still read the music and hit the notes and do everything you have to do, just with your head going sideways.  Is that really wrong?  I don’t think so.  My brother’s better at the piano than me.  That’s why I quit when I was in fifth grade, because my brother was in second grade and he was already ahead of me in the books.  I guess he’s just a better pianist than me, but I don’t like being second best, so I quit.  It bothers me less now that he’s better than me, mostly because there’s a reason for it, because he played for so many more years than I did.  I get frustrated with myself when I can’t play things right, like last week at my lesson I had this piece I’d been playing perfectly all week at home and all of a sudden I got to my lesson and I screwed it up really bad, and ever since then I’ve never been able to play it right anymore.  I’m probably going to have that piece forever because my ability to play it is just gone.  I don’t know if it’s psychological or what, but I definitely can’t play it anymore.  I really wish I could do what my dad does and just sit down at the piano and be able to play anything I put in front of me.  My dad didn’t even take lessons except one year in college, and he’s still phenomenal.  I think my whole family is filled with prodigies except for me.  My mom is a really good guitar player and my dad and my brother both play the trombone and the piano.  I try to play the piano but I’m not that good.  It’s a really strange thing how different I am from them.  They can mostly play sports too and I’m very uncoordinated.  I can’t even catch a ball when you throw it at me.  I don’t know why, I just can’t.  It makes for a very difficult gym class because everyone makes fun of me.  I can’t do anything everyone else can do, so I don’t even try because I’m afraid I’ll look stupid.  I look stupid doing a lot of things, so I should be over it by now, but I’m not.  I guess everyone’s afraid of looking stupid.  I wish I weren’t, because if I weren’t afraid of looking stupid I would do all sorts of things.  I guess in some respects I must not be, because I let myself get up on stage and be whatever part I’m supposed to be.  I’m kind of nervous about The Crucible.  I’ve never had a lead part in anything before, and what if I screw up?  I probably will, and then everyone will laugh at me, and I’ll have to sit there and not get cast for the rest of my life.  I hope people give me second chances at stuff like that.  It’s really hard when people don’t, because then I feel like people are judging me, which is not very much fun.  I hate that, but I do it.  It’s very hypocritical.  I don’t like it.  At Jesus camp in fifth grade we sang a song about hypocrites and how they’re terrible and they should die.  I love Jesus camp most of the time, except when they’re telling me I should die.  I’m going to work at one next summer.  The applications are going to be up on Friday and I’m really excited about it.  I’m going to go on as soon as they’re up and print one out and start filling it out.  I love filling out forms.  Everyone always looks at me funny and walks away when I say that, but something about the structure of it, the fact that there’s one answer you can put down, is satisfying.  Like when they ask for your name.  It’s not like I can put down whatever I feel like, I don’t have to make an opinion on anything, I just have one name, and that’s the name I put down.  It doesn’t require much thought.  I probably like filling out forms for the same reason I like math.  Math is always comforting.  It’s weird.  Another thing people look at me funny for.  When I’m really stressed out, doing math calms me down.  There are no “what ifs” in math, there are no “what do you thinks” in math, nothing like that.  There is one way to do the problem and one answer that comes out of it.  I like the uniformity of it, the fact that the answer is always the same no matter how many people do it.  2+2 is always 4.  That’s calming.  But I like having my opinions on things sometimes.  Everyone always thinks it’s weird that I might major in math and I might major in English, because they’re complete opposites.  But I like them both.  I also might major in theater, but I’m afraid to because I’m a wimp and I’m afraid I’ll fail.  I need to have some self-confidence I know, but I’m not one of those people that valiantly tries and tries again.  I mean I want to be one of those people, but I’m just not.  I get discouraged really easily most of the time and it takes a lot to get me up when I think I’m going to fail.  And sometimes I don’t even want to try again.  And if I majored in theater there would be lots and lots of failures and I’m not sure I can handle that.  I can’t even handle failing at a piano piece, how could I handle failing an audition in New York or something?  I don’t know.  I don’t even like New York that much.  I’m supposed to like big cities since I like theater but I don’t.  They make me nervous, they’re all noisy and busy and there are sketchy people everywhere vending drugs and following people.  I don’t think I could handle living in that environment because I’d be afraid all the time that someone was going to murder me in my sleep or something.  I have lots of irrational fears, and getting murdered happens to be one of those.  My phobias aren’t even normal things like heights and spiders.  I am afraid of heights.  Not spiders.  But I’m also afraid of having an allergic reaction to food, and falling out of a car while it’s moving, and swallowing glass.  My dad always laughs at me because when I was little I used to say that I was afraid I was going to pick a piece of glass up off the sidewalk and eat it, but he doesn’t understand that I really was afraid of it, and I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat or anything for a few days.  In seventh grade I was afraid to eat for three months and I lost eleven pounds.  It was scary and everyone thought I had an eating disorder but I didn’t, I just was afraid to eat.  After that I never had anything really bad again except for now I’m afraid sometimes of having an allergic reaction to food.  On Friday I thought I was because the side of my face swelled up like a balloon, but it turns out I had a salivary stone in my perodit gland.  It really hurt to eat and I had to drink lots of lemonade and eat sour candy and try to explode it by pressing really hard.  It did eventually deflate but then I went to the doctor and she said it was infected and now I’m on antibiotics.  I don’t mind though, because the pills are a really pretty blue color, like an aqua-y teal-y blue.  Up until last year I couldn’t even swallow pills because I was afraid I was going to choke on them, but now I can, and my antibiotics right now are huge and I can still swallow them, so I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come.



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