“It hasn’t been a year since you bought it, should Macbooks break this easily?”
“Can I not go to class?”
“Didn’t you say makeup work takes more time than class?”
“Just today. I am not able to solve even the smallest problem.”
“Math? Hah, NO. Life problems. Like refreshing my AV when I’m stuck in class because of the internet connection. Or dealing with the feeling when the professor says we have a minute left for the reflection poll. I don’t want to try to keep the conversation going in a breakout group so others won’t see me as lazy. I don’t even have the energy to find my other sock.”
Just for today, can I give up?
She closed the door behind her, kneeled in front of the bed, and put her head on the sheets. She had two choices; to cry her heart out or vomit her feelings away like a cat getting out a furball. It had to get out somehow; it had been boiling inside for months now. Although vomiting is quite fast, it smells bad, and it is pretty ugly. She chose to cry; crying does leave you time to think through your next step; it was just the beginning of the day, and she had a lot to do. Like sending emails, adapting in a pandemic, doing dishes and pre-class work problems she was never going to use. Such was life as created as a concept. C’est la vie.
“You’re waiting for the fall break too? I think we all need it. I need it. These have been… quite some, *sigh*, tough times,” says the professor. Three students miss the same class, students who are usually intense in the best way, hyperattentive students. She reaches out because she’s curious.
Student 1 replies: “I feel depressed because I had nausea and had acidity the whole time.”
Student 2 replies: “I DIED SORRY”
“Yes. I was about to enter class when I had a really bad panic attack. Fuck, I’m so mad at myself.”
“I recommend you watch Emily in Paris. That’s what I did yesterday when I gave up for the day and missed physics class. I binge-watched Emily in Paris.”
Student 3 asked: “What do I do if I don’t feel like getting out of bed?”
“You stay in bed.”
Even new MacBooks break.
What is it exactly she felt when she broke?
It was a feeling of pure sadness without any reason behind it. Being afraid that everything and everything will hurt and kill you, including your own breath, while getting triggered by the sound of your own thoughts. The world is not so physical anymore. It deteriorates into this loud scream that whispers in pain, and your own body’s flesh is sickened by you. You’re afraid that even the smallest move you make will set the bomb off, leaving you in a state of being stabbed to death but never dying. Your chest overheats and breathes the feeling of mint, and then it falls down to your stomach. The mind is out there, a deserter of the body, too afraid and disgusted to come back to the madness party. The eyes always look calm, probably because they’re unplugged. You melt, taking with you everything you touch, transforming like lava. But then you don’t want to be a liquid anymore, you’re terrified you’re going to evaporate without ever being found.
She is doing two pieces of makeup work today for the classes she missed because of the anxiety. In the class recordings she hears:
Missed class 1 professor:
“I feel as if there was no Fall break people would just be pushing and pushing. So it’s good we have Fall break. You use it as an excuse for being this tired. At least something to help us do that. Thanks, Fall.”
Missed class 2 professor:
“How are you all?”
Student: “Could be worse.”
Nature gives us a pandemic, and adults leave us to tackle the destruction of global warming. Remember, they don’t believe you know what responsibility is until you have your own kids. They, parents, have always had it worse at school – they’ve walked for miles in the snow. You are just a young person away in a foreign country, with only 3 hours of sleep, eating bread and bananas for a week now because the city is in lockdown. Oh, you also walk for miles through dangerous and foreign neighborhoods so you can save up from paying transport. And a war might break out in the neighboring country pretty soon. How can you possibly know what responsibility is?
Can I give up just for a day?
“Don’t be a drama queen, just to do it. Others have it worse. People are dying of starvation; people have incurable diseases. People are living in war, and orphans are suffering alone. You’re physically healthy, so you have to push yourself.”
It’s not us.
It’s the world, not us, who’s at fault.
I think it’s hella brave to realize what you’re going through and choose to address it instead of making it worse. You give up for a day. You sit with it,
you talk to it,
you pat it on the back.
How dare the World steal that from us?