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One of the fears that has taunted me ever since I can remember is, What if you’re suppose to be a nobody? What if you’re not good enough? Maybe you’re suppose to be nothing. Maybe I’m meant to struggle, to be constantly running the stationary treadmill, getting smaller and smaller, producing nothing other than my own exhaustion and disappointment. In this scenario my feet never stop moving but nothing is actually going forward. In theory my muscles are getting stronger so that’s progression. At least I’d be forever thin. Glass half-full. But who needs muscles if there’s no fight to win?

Today is dark.

In the back of my head is this constant thought that if I believe something negative, it will become true. I remember first thinking this when I was in catholic school and fearing that god could see my thoughts, know my thoughts and his personification created the power for these negative thoughts to become psychically manifested. If I think it, it’ll happen. If I accidentally imagine this place blowing up, it will. As an adult this has turned into, If I think I’m a nobody, If I think I could be nothing – I am nothing. I am meant to be nothing. I don’t want that to be true but I think it could be. I think that could be my lot.

For a second the world proved me wrong. It was gonna be great. It worked out for a minute. Then two weeks later it screamed psych.

First thought: I wish I hung out with people who did heroin.

I rode the subway for a while. I just wanted to be underground. Inaccessible. Gone. I picked my favorite type of seat. The kind in the corner where two out of four of your sides could be barricaded. I kept my eyes clamped while they lazily leaked. I let myself peek out once and found a beautiful French woman starring. We locked eyes for a bit and then I shut mine again.

What if it’s true? What if you’re suppose to be nothing? Look at the facts. You’ve been nothing much longer than you’ve been something. You actually know how to be nothing far better than you know how to be something. You might be good at it.

I’m not eating anything because I’m so fucking full.

We got into a bar fight this past weekend. There was just fight in the air. I might be my highest functioning in a crisis. It just clears me. I know what to do, I’m completely self-assured. I’ll leave none of my men behind. I got out with a small mark by my eye that I was proud of.

The first time I had a black eye I was late to realize. I was hit the night before but there was no mark. While walking around school the next day Timmy Stedman said to me: “Whadyou fight your sister last night?” I laughed it off and checked the bathroom mirror. Shiner. In that moment I was struck with the utter clarity that I was forever different. Something psychically changed. I would never walk the same. Or stand with the same posture of naivety. I had this permanent sign written to the world that said, “Someone treated me like this and so can you.”

My sister and I had a very strict, self-induced, Saturday morning routine. One of the things we did religiously was watch Power Rangers. I was Red Ranger, she was Yellow. During the commercials we’d take the t-shirts we were wearing and while leaving our arms in the sleeves, grab the bottom rim and pull it over your heads, leaving a type of stretched-cotton-topless-cardigan to remain. Whoever did this quickest got the first hit. We would fight to the death – crying, sweating, flailing. Then the show would come back on and we’d fly back to our seats in silence. Catch your breath till the next commercial break.

– JT

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