t is having a psychotic break
t is having a psychotic break
My ex boyfriend T showed up at my parents’ house, dissociated and confused, wearing helmut lang shoes and asking where I was and when I was coming back. I guess he wanted to see me. I wish I could have seen him with my own eyes. Third party observers rarely tell you what really happened, but that's just because they don't understand what happened. My dad said he wished he had recorded it. So here’s what really happened.
T and I dated for a bit over a year. I met him through my roommates. We both liked fashion and we both needed someone to love us. When we were together, I taught him how to take care of himself. Eat good food, use nice soap, and go to the dentist. Basics that he knew nothing about. It was maternal in a way, which made me not want to have sex with him sometimes. Sometimes I wondered if he had a mommy kink. When he broke up with me I found God, angelicism and started eating meat again after 12 years. Our relationship was soft, easy, divinely guided. After we broke up, I knew there would never really be an end, even though I knew it was right. God told him to break up with me, and I told God how much I loved him for it. I moved to Italy, mostly because I had already planned on it, but now it had the added benefit of giving me a decisive break where I couldn't make excuses to walk past his house and see if his light was on. We had just started speaking again a week earlier after a few months with no contact as I felt I was ready to be friends again and I really missed him. As soon as that line was opened it became a rhizomatic breeding ground for complete obsession, degradation and possession. He didn't know what he wanted. Still doesnt. And then he went a little crazy.
The night before T showed up at my parent’s home, I couldn't sleep. I was sitting at my window looking over the river, listening to the rain falling softly and realizing that I was in a dream. Everything was magic and it was realism that I couldn't wrap my head around. At that moment I didn't believe in God and I felt guilty for it. If only I believed in the realism of magicality then I could believe in the reality of a magical all powerful benevolent God. I could feel a connective thread between dimensions but I had no idea how to reach him. I could feel him pulling at it, pulling me towards him while I sat, hands shaking, pulling my hair out as if I could toss the strands down like Rapunzel for him to climb. My heart was casting a spell for safe travels amidst the hyperactive drumming. I needed to relax but I didn't want to. The streetcar outside dinged its little bell and I was back. The rain started pouring and I started crying.
I prayed my rosary with fervor but I kept messing up the lines. I like to keep the beads close to my mouth so that the God inside of it can hear me whispering about him. I don't like the idea of God being above me. God is a little guy inside of everything. God is a midget. I believed in him again all of a sudden. I knew he was with me, and I knew he was trying to help, even though I questioned his efficacy, even though I questioned his reality.
I drank the rest of the bottle of wine I had told myself I would only drink half of while sitting in my bed. I desperately wanted another cigarette. I had just spent the last one wondering whether God was real and I wanted another to celebrate his annunciation into corporeality. It was around 3 am and nothing was open at this point so I had to sit still and be drunk and not move. Dimensions are thin lines and you must balance on them carefully.
I kept thinking of T. I was moving a lot, tossing and turning, trying to go to sleep, trying to ensure I was on the right timeline so I would dream of him and see him one more time. When he texted me I thought he had replied to the wrong person; it didn't make any sense. He said "gratz on the promotion ((((((:". I don't have a job.
I felt angry. Who was it that he meant to reply to? Who was it that he wasn't ignoring? We had been talking non stop for the past week but he hadn’t been answering me ever since he tried meth for the first time the night before. I had a feeling he never really threw it out after he tried it like he said he did, but he told me he was going to stick to just drinking for the next while and I wanted to believe him because I didn't want him to be a liar. Why hadn’t he answered my happy earth day text? Had he decided he didn’t love me anymore after all? Later he told me he had traveled to a dimension filled with women; a sapphic hyperborea for straight girls who want to raise a family and wear designer clothes. He said he saw my future and it was better than I could ever have imagined it. He wanted to live in that dimension and start a polygamist girls cult that would use his money and sperm to take over the world.
Sometimes I don't think that we're a very good match but then whenever I think about being matched with him I get all happy and my heart skips and when your heart skips you know that means something is real. Like when you pinch yourself to see if you're really dreaming. Like how I pinched myself when I looked out the window, smoking my little cigarette, trying to possess God. Like how the streetcar bell dinged. Like how you wouldn’t believe in polygamy until its the only way to be with someone you love.
I finally fell asleep when the sun was coming up. I tried to stay awake to see it so that my insomnia would at least be worthwhile, but I can only sleep when I'm trying not to. I had a dream that he was the streetcar driver. He kept escorting people off when it was their stop. He smiled timidly at me as if he was asking for praise, like he wanted me to tell him he was doing a good job, that he was a good boy. He reached out to touch my face and ran his hand through my hair so softly it felt like he was made of cotton candy fluff. I was standing with my head against the glass window looking at the streets of Toronto in the summertime when the tram made a sharp turn that felt like the swirling teacup rides at the Centerville Island amusement park that I went to when I was a kid. Or the tilt a whirl. I felt like gravity was squishing my face so far into the glass that it was going through it, like my cheek was transcending the barrier and I was almost in the real world, there was just this one last, mystifying, dephemeralizing barrier. It felt amazing. I smiled, I was so happy.
When we stopped turning I seperated my body from the now fogged up glass and stepped ethereally, gracefully, like I wasn't on a moving tram, towards a group of girls who are in my classes. I asked if any of them wanted to go get a drink because I was feeling really happy and like I could really use a drink. They didn't want to. I saw one of those girls on the street the next day. I felt like she remembered the dream too. The way she smiled at me, guiltily, as if she felt bad.
I woke up at 1130 and immediately went to the cafe downstairs to get a pack of lucky strikes and a cappuccino. I was going to sit on the patio and smoke but it was extremely cold and windy and the seats were still wet so I went back to my room. I smoked and drank my little cappuccino and tried to decide if I was still dreaming or not. If I had actually made it to the dimension that I had gotten lost in. If his presence in my bedroom was a sign of magic or reality or insanity or all three.
I read some of Marguerite Porete’s The Mirror of Simple Souls. She said that love needs to come before rationality if you want to be the best christian. If you want to be completely connected to God you have to accept that you know nothing and everything at the same time. He will give you the knowledge that you need and the will to not desire more. He will give you the Love that you need to overcome rationality and be free in guidance. I agree with her.
My mom called me around 2. There's a 5 hour time difference between us, so it's 9 am there, which is around the timestate that I felt like I was existing in; still groggy from waking up a few hours prior, trying to decide what I'm going to do, if I'll get out of bed today. Usually my mother doesn't just call without texting first unless something is wrong, so I didn't answer. I listened to her shaky voice on the voicemail telling me to call her back as soon as I could. I immediately knew it was about T, she wouldn't be so elusive otherwise. I hoped it was about him. I called her back. She said he had showed up on the front steps and knocked on the door a few moments ago. She said he came in to talk. He was well dressed but looked like he hadn't showered in a week. She said he congratulated me on my promotion and asked when I was coming back. He seemed to be under the impression that I was coming back from studying and that we were going to live together. He said his father shot his mother and that someone had brainwashed him. I don't know how long they talked, but apparently he didn't say anything rational the entire time, so I guess that means he was acting out of Love.
My dad drove him home, which I guess was a good idea because my mother felt unsafe. Her first husband went schizo mode, so I think she was triggered by what she described as his eerily relaxed manner and the fact that he was evading all of her questions. She said he talked and looked like he was in a trance. Or a dream.
But he wasn't going to go back home even if my dad walked him to the door. He was clearly on a mission. On the ride, he told my dad that I wanted him to be a gamer and asked if he had ever watched me play The Sims. He said he wanted to move to Texas. He asked if I still wanted to be with him. When he got out he looked my dad in the face and asked where they had taken me. Then he walked down the street in the opposite direction of his house.
My mom told me not to contact him because it would only worsen his mental state. I wasn’t sure if she was right, but I wanted her to be. I went to get drinks with a friend to see if reality still existed. We were on our third gin and tonic, talking like girls do when we drink and decide we’re soulmates, when I got three copy pasted messages from his roommates saying that T was throwing furniture around the apartment and yelling about wanting someone to “just die already”. I hadn’t spoken with his roommates since I decided I wasn’t queer, so to hear from them now meant that he was going to be my problem to solve, even on the other side of the world. I guess there was no possibility of escape. Not like I wanted it. I tried to call him but his phone was off.
I ended up finding his mothers number from the website of the company she works for but I could only call when they opened the next day at 8:30am. I spent the rest of the night drinking and ripping my nails apart in anticipation, trying to reconcile being a snitch and being in love. I called at 8:31, so as not to seem too worrisome. She was surprised I called, but not that he was having a break; it’s happened before. She told me she would go get him. I felt guilty. I didn’t want to be the one to wake him up. I didn’t want to wake up either. I didn’t want to break the connection when I knew that if I could drive myself a little further off the deep end that I'd be there with him like I was the night before. That I would believe him. I didn't want to be the girl that made him sane, I wanted to be the girl to push him to the brink. He knew I wasn't in the real world those nights. He knew because he was there with me. We were in the same dream, we were in the same streetcar. And now I had destroyed it.
I wish I had stayed smooshed up against that glass wall, spiraling towards hyperreality and hyper deterritorialization along the tram line circuitry. I want to be in psychosis with you. I want to be on the astral planes following simian lines riding the streetcar like it's a roller coaster, giving each other whiplash, giving each other lashings, giving each other kisses all over our faces so that we know that we continue to own every cell as it regenerates. I remember what it was like, when we drank and talked for the week after I became a real person. I miss it. I'm not a real person anymore and neither are you. Now we can exist in our dreams like we were supposed to. Remember a few nights ago when we talked on the phone for hours and I said goodnight and you said sweet dreams? "Baby, you're a dream and I hope I never wake up", is something cute we could have said to each other as we reached the last stop of our tram line, getting off at the parking lot of the non denominational church behind the car dealership in the outskirts of Milan, Texas where I found God. And we would have been heaven minded, looking towards the future, knowing it will never be done on earth as it is in dreamland. They could never do it like they do it in dreamland.
T is living with his mom now and says he's in love with another girl who he hasnt kissed yet but knows he's going to marry. He said he’s still in love with me. He said I make him feel sane. I wish he had the same effect on me. Sometimes I feel it was all intentional, like he was trying to self induce schizophrenia. I don’t know if I’m meant to live in dreamland or realand at this point. When I’m particularly sleep deprived or high I can transport myself back to the streetcar that’s permanently stationed on the first beam of morning light that breaks its way into my room. The same time the first irl streetcar of the day rolls past my window with that little bell that brings me back right when I’m on the precipice. Like the streetcar really is named desire and that stupid little bell is delivering me from it. Sobering and sanitizing and stripping me down to reality as I sit by my window and smoke and watch the sunrise, waiting for it, aching for it to tell me that everything I'm experiencing is normal and I have nothing to fear. That whichever portal I decide to travel through, that stupid bell will be there.
Sanna is a fashion student based in Italy. Her work has been featured nowhere and she has no digital footprint so don't look her up.