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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Johanna's LiveJournal:

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    Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
    12:47 am
    Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga has written an advice book, Love Italian Style, for people who want a marriage as hot and happy as the one she has with her husband Joe. Her entire ethos on the subject boils down to this sentence: "Husbands want their wives to submit; wives want our husbands to dominate."

    The amount of sexism, gender essentialism, and caveman logic within its pages is so appalling that it's difficult to believe that her book is anything but a cry for help.



    Read more...Collapse )

    Source 1
    Source 2 (Melissa's book!)

    Friday, September 30th, 2011
    10:55 pm
    She still saw the ghost of him in the familiar places, in their childhood haunts and sites of romantic interludes. A man with reddish hair and a scruffy beard would walk towards her with a gentle gleam in his eye and her heart would sink to her toes, and in the space of a minute she'd feel overwhelming joy and dread all at once. The longer the time passed that she didn't see him, the more fearful she became of an accidental meeting. Instead of an ex-boyfriend, he became more like a terrifying phantom that could show up at any time to ruin her delicately constructed happiness.

    Finally, one day, it happened, in the most sacred of places. She was browsing through the Psychology section of the bookstore in Glenwood, when she realized someone was watching her. Assuming it was another man invading her personal space, she tossed her ponytail flippantly and continued reading.
    Thursday, April 14th, 2011
    11:48 pm
    We are walking on a small path through a verdant garden. The flowers are fragrant and the area is heavily wooded. I am confused as to why we are together, but you skip ahead happily, speaking of our love and our future. I don't know how to tell you that I don't love you anymore. We reach the edge of the water, which is full of boats and lies beneath a high cliff, where some people are cliff diving. I finally admit to you that I don't love you anymore. You begin to scream that you will kill yourself, and I try to stop you, but you continue to pull away more and more violently. You run to the highest cliff, a cliff too high from which to jump, and you dive into the water. The water is as hard as brick it seems, and I hear the sound of bones breaking upon the brick. I jump from the dock into the water to try to reach you before you drown, and I can hear your sobs of pain. Doctors quickly reach you and you're taken to the hospital; you will be fine, but you have many broken bones. As I speak to the doctor, tears running down my face, he says I could have done more. I didn't have to tell you I didn't love you; I didn't have to stop loving you at all.
    Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
    3:42 am
    well well well
    well, an update seems in order.

    I know I say this constantly and regularly, but I honestly keep seeing myself as done with this whole "keep in touch" thing with X. I pushed for it, and he complied readily enough, but as I was driving to meet him, I felt that horrible stone feeling you get in your stomach when you're completely dreading something. I laughed at myself because I hadn't felt that way last time, and the situation was entirely more volatile-- a year had gone by, and NOW I felt dread? Partially I felt bad for lying to my mother about it, and generally was just wondering why the hell I was doing this in the first place.

    It's so odd to me that he barely bothers to put on clothes when he hasn't seen me for a year, yet I deliberate obsessively about what I'm going to wear. To be fair, the dress I had on today was just damn comfortable, especially for hot weather, but I hoped I looked all right, obviously. I suppose I don't have the same ability to induce anxiety as he does in me.

    It turned out all right, except the entire situation was making me antsy and nervous and generally uncomfortable. He talked endlessly and I was bored out of my fucking mind, and all I could think was I wanted to get home and get ready to go out with Shannon. I forgot how longwinded he could be, and no longer his girlfriend, I wasn't in the mood to humor him. For some reason I kept challenging myself to be attracted to him again, to fall back in love, but my vagina and my heart both staunchly refused. It was that horrible feeling of being on something of a date with a guy who you desperately want to be someone else. In my case, I wanted the pale 5'6" excuse for a fratboy to turn into a 6'3", gorgeous black man with ridiculous designer sunshades. Tastes change dramatically, it seems, in only two years.

    He asked personal question and I found myself sharing, but then a tight knot in my stomach afterwards made me realize-- this person, who had been closer to me than anyone else in the world, was little more than a stranger now. We had nothing in common except our past. He was not the person I wanted to share my dreams with, nor was he the person I wished to use to unburden myself. I felt a wall spring up between us, an inexplicable defense mechanism that had never been there before. The more I sat there, the more my leg shook with impatience-- or perhaps that was just the espresso I had.

    To top it off, Junior called in the middle of our tete-a-tete, and though I was dying to talk to him (as young lovers know, even the smallest pocket of time with your beloved's voice seems precious) I had to basically brush him off, hoping X wouldn't notice the sparkle in my eye or my heart in my throat when I saw Junior's caller ID on my phone. I tried not to be rude to X, but I just wanted it all to be over as soon as possible. It went on for another forty-five minutes.

    Oddly, I felt nothing more than apathy towards him, and yet, later, as I drove in the dark to Sinatra, I felt something horrible. Not regret, not longing, not even resentment, just something bad, like the aftertaste of a food that you know will make you gain five pounds. I constantly challenged myself to see him as a type of emotional litmus test, but after the confirmation that my heart has healed, my eyes are fixed on someone new (or, at this point really, old) and this repeated subjection to an ex-boyfriend is not only useless, but simply ridiculous.
    Monday, June 28th, 2010
    2:11 am
    hmmm
    it was a very good year for small town girls and warm summer nights.

    lord, i drove to the ends of the earth and back today. by the ends of the earth, i mean Queens, NY.

    damn, i was hoping for something wonderful and insightful to come out, but it won't. probably my menstrual cramps chasing my muse into hiding for the evening.

    lord.
    Monday, August 17th, 2009
    11:32 pm
    Things about me:

    1. I am vegan
    2. I am five lbs lighter
    3. I am totally completely in love



    WOOOOO
    Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
    10:37 pm
    catch me i'm falling

    i feel you, fate

    these little pills numb me

    until...

    until they don't
    Friday, June 5th, 2009
    10:06 pm
    if love were enough to sustain me

    i'd live forever

    as it is

    i will die.
    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
    8:58 pm
    what if

    little bird, you turn and fly away?

    what if the sun burns your precious little wings and you crash to the earth?

    hello, little bird, my name is Death.

    i'll hold you in my hand.

    i'll kiss your delicate feathery head.

    and then i'll take you, little bird, where the sun only shines but doesn't burn.

    how does that sound, my little bird?





    when? when? when? when? my brain screams to me. WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN?


    soon enough, i promise, little bird.

    soon enough i'll take you with me.
    Monday, May 18th, 2009
    8:55 pm
    dinner: tuna sushi roll, bag of baked Amy's pita chips
    290 + 190 = 480
    Chai latte = 200 cal
    total: 680 cal
    2:15 pm
    food

    last night a small piece of pizza (bad girl!)

    half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, salad with chickpeas and cottage cheese and oil and vinegar, two tablespoons plain yogurt with sprinkling of fruit loops (haha) and two sugar free iced teas
    Thursday, April 30th, 2009
    10:39 pm
    sigh
    these stupid nails for formal make it impossible to type properly

    such a shame when u have so many thoughts!!!

    for a moment i paused
    wont i reveal more, be more thankful

    and then i imagine the fear
    the paralyzing fear
    and the disbelief
    the honest conviction that i am a bad person, wrong, ugly, fat, unworthy of being loved

    as much as you might not have meant to do it, what's done is done

    it took months of my love telling me how beautiful and sweet i was before i could begin to believe it
    and holding me when i cried
    and understanding that i am broken but still full of smiles

    and my strength won't be undone

    by some little boy from new hampshire
    Monday, April 20th, 2009
    12:34 am
    i'm really in heaven right now. i can't stop thinking of him, dreaming of him... the way he holds me... makes me feel... complete utter happiness. he's perfection. handsome, sweet, funny, kind, brave, talented, and best of all, loving. he loves me and i love him and the world stops for one moment to smile at its accomplishment.
    Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
    9:15 pm
    There's a place for us,

    Somewhere a place for us.

    Peace and quiet and open air

    Wait for us

    Somewhere.



    There's a time for us,

    Some day a time for us,

    Time together with time spare,

    Time to learn, time to care,

    Some day!



    Somewhere.

    We'll find a new way of living,

    We'll find a way of forgiving

    Somewhere . . .



    There's a place for us,

    A time and place for us.

    Hold my hand and we're halfway there.

    Hold my hand and I'll take you there

    Somehow,

    Some day,

    Somewhere!


    Current Mood: depressed
    Friday, February 20th, 2009
    2:46 am
    I'll
    I'll grapple with you, pain.

    love letters to the past
    Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
    3:00 pm
    these are the things i want to tell you

    the reason i always bitch about not being able to sleep or being a light sleeper is because from about the age of five or basically since i can remember, my mom has been a huge alcoholic and she used to wander around barely able to walk from intoxication and sometimes she'd fall down and hurt herself and i kind of considered it my responsibility to make sure that it wouldn't happen, so i would lie awake at night for as long as i could to listen to hear if she was okay... i was always scared she'd fall down the stairs and hit her head and die, because my father used to tell my sister and i that it would probably happen someday.

    my father also used to beat my mom up at night sometimes, or threaten to if she wouldn't have sex with him; i only know this because i wasn't allowed to close my door at night. i would try to listen for every sound or hint that things were getting too bad; in sixth grade my mom was passed out from being drunk and my dad was screaming and beating her and i begged him to stop and i'm not saying he would have like, killed her or anything, but i always felt responsibility to interfere so that he wouldn't hurt her too badly. i used to be scared to go away to college because i had irrational fears that he would kill her if i weren't there to stop him from beating her so bad.

    every time i hear a noise at night every reflex i have is tensed and ready. my heart immediately starts pounding out of my chest and every muscle tenses. this is the fight or flight reaction.

    my dad didn't really beat up on me, he just used to kind of pull my hair when i was being bratty. that's one thing i didn't have to worry about, but he would threaten to hit me a lot, and i sometimes would have to run away to avoid a fist. this happened a lot in high school; he'd get pissed and lunge at me and i'd run outside to get away.

    my dad and i used to be incredibly close and he once literally called me his favorite in the family, and then seemingly out of no where in fifth grade he turned completely insane on me and would scream at me in my face for an hour at a time when my mom was out of the house and threatened to kill me unless i got straight A's. i was only ten so i believed he was going to kill me, especially since i'd seen him hurt my mom. i was terrified of being beaten to death, and so i decided that i would kill myself first before he could do it. i tried but my mom found me. i don't think she knew what was going on really, though.

    shortly after this weak attempt i started acting out in school and i eventually got in trouble for it. that was the most concrete time i can remember getting beaten up by my dad. oddly enough i was so pumped full of adrenaline at the time that i don't remember it hurting at all. he just came into the room screaming and i was ready for it, and i fell the ground as he grabbed me by the hair and started raining down the blows. then my mom came to the doorway and begged him to stop, and because he was used to being physically rough with her, he shoved her against the wall so hard the back of her head split open and she started to bleed. i ran to try to help her and my dad picked me up and threw me back across the room and locked the door. my mom cried and started to clean the blood off the carpet and asked me why i did this to her. for some reason i never forgot this day.

    my dad and i started getting alone better in middle school though i have to say i was pretty distant from my peers... i didn't really value friendship and thought that being alone was the better way to go. i never told anyone anything serious. i wish i had been kinder to some very wonderful people back in those days. fortunately i ended up staying friends with some of them, though.

    the summer of eighth grade is when my father's and my relationship deteriorated again. we got a new dog and he was a bit rambunctious, and my father's solution to this was beating the daylights out of the dog. i couldn't stand it and would either throw a fit or at times physically hold the dog to prevent him from being beaten. sometimes i'd go out and my father would tell me when i got home that the dog had been bad and he'd given him a good beating, good thing i wasn't there. i began to hate him.

    high school was basically a huge shitshow; too much to really begin to get into. i don't think i'll ever cram all the minute details of why things just went really wrong. my parents controlled every aspect of my life and i hid everything about me from them because they disapproved of everything-- my friends, my extracurriculars, my academic interests-- everything said to them that there was something wrong with me, that i was going down the wrong path in life. i'm sure i didn't help the situation, either, but basically it was a good four years of a lot of cursing, screaming, and mind games. the biggest argument was over the fact that i loved singing and practiced all the time, and my father was convinced that it was in the way of me doing well academically. i also had to quit basketball and lacrosse for the same reason. sophomore year got kind of unbearable; that was the most depressed year of high school i spent i guess.

    the worst day i can remember in high school isn't even that outrageous, it was just kind of my life personified at the moment; my boyfriend broke up with me the day before because he found out i cut, and then i had a soccer tournament somewhere two hours away the next day; i was at this time performing in the school musical, we had two shows, Friday and Saturday, and I'd been working on it all trimester; I went the soccer tournament but the game had gotten postponed, so that if I stayed to play the game, I'd miss my show (and subsequently fail the class)... My parents always deemed soccer a more "productive" activity than singing or performing, though, so when i said, oh, i guess i can't play today, my dad freaked out and cursed me off and insisted i stayed for the game... we were losing 6-0 by the half and my coach told me i should leave so i didn't miss my show... but my dad made me stay because singing was "worthless..." and a "waste of time..." ironically i made it back 15 minutes before the show started, so i guess it kind of worked out, it just sucked as a day.

    college got kind of worse as my parents threatened to visit on a regular basis to "check up" on me, and my mother went through a phase where she'd call me and leave messages about what a whore I was (it stemmed from the fact that she hated my boyfriend at the time... and i guess she thought i was being a slut for being so serious with a guy). my grandmother had been sick for months and she died around this time. i went home and my mother basically used the opportunity to call me a whore in a variety of ways for the entire weekend. it was a tough time. i was pretty lonely at school, too. my dad didn't really talk to me at all. i think he said about two words to me the whole year. my boyfriend of the time tried to talk to them to figure out why they were being so insane, and they basically just said that i was too stupid to figure out what was right for me so they felt they had to keep a tight grip. that they did.

    that summer things heightened really badly. i wasn't allowed to see friends they didn't approve of, i could barely see my boyfriend, and basically i was going insane. at one point my mother went through my phone when i left it home accidentally and found a bunch of stuff that pissed her off. besides the usual whore name-calling, she said that she didn't think i should go back to school because i couldn't be trusted and that i was never leaving the house without a chaperone again. i don't know if this was for real or not, but the things she said, my father said, and the years of everything just became too much. my entire life was still controlled by them and i couldn't take it. my mom kept saying over and over that if i didn't agree to these conditions then i was welcome to leave the house. so i left the house at 6 am the next day and went to philadelphia for the weekend. i told them in a note that i thought it was better we went our separate ways for now, since we couldn't seem to agree on how to conduct things. i came back to northern new jersey to make the commute to work. i stayed in my ex's sister's room in his house, but decided one night to sleep over my friend's house just to get away from his house for a little, cause it was overall kind of stressful. i found out that my parents had called the cops on me and said i was a missing person. at this time i was getting a semi-painful/extensive oral surgery done on my front teeth cause i had spaces, and i had an appointment i HAD to keep, otherwise i'd be fucked, and my mom was able to corner me there. i didn't go home for a good two weeks, though my mom would show up at the house i was staying or follow my bus from work home and make me talk to her. finally, my dad called me and told me that if i would agree to reconcile and come live back home, then they would continue to pay my tuition, no questions asked and things would be fine. i wished, rather than believed them. i went home and we lived in silence for about two weeks.

    back at school, i got a letter from the financial office that said that they'd received a letter from my father that said that after this year, i would be responsible for all future expenses, including tuition, room and board, etc. i was enraged and scared. i knew i couldn't say anything, because if i did, they might not pay the rest of this year, but i hated that i had to still go home for breaks and pretend everything was fine. i got two jobs and worked my ass off trying to save up. it was around this time i started getting really depressed, borderline suicidal at times. it was just a lot to handle. i had great friends and my life at college was pretty good, but i felt dead inside a lot of the time.

    shortly after, sometime after thanksgiving and before christmas, my dad hurt my mom pretty bad and she came to princeton asking me to help her. i found her a few apartments and tried to help her the best i could but she went back to him. i kind of broke after this point. i was depressed most of the time, and even though things were as "peaceful" as they'd really ever been, i started having nightmares and being unable to sleep properly. i was still always scared they wouldn't pay my tuition, and they didn't really agree to pay my extra charges and at times medical bills. this has kind of continued for a while. they are odd about money. they're very free about giving it when they're in a good mood with me, but when they're in a bad mood it's troublesome. i have always kind of have felt the tuition thing has hung over my head, cause they often threaten to take it away.


    i should also mention that i have a very odd relationship with sex because growing up and really until recently my father used to say extremely dirty/sexual things to me, sometimes about my mother, sometimes just in general, and it made me extremely uncomfortable and i wasn't sure how to handle it. i usually just left the room. it's part of why i absolutely HATE certain words, and for a while why i found anything sexual slightly repulsive. i'm kind of over that, but i still kind of treat myself with care as it were when it comes to sexual activity.

    i guess you know the rest from this point. vienna happened; i was already really depressed and then my boyfriend and i took a "break" which was really difficult for me, since he was one of the only people i was ever really able to talk about stuff with at the time. his family had also kind of "adopted" me so when we broke up i felt very alone. it was not the breakup itself but more that it was the straw that broke the camel's back. i had difficulty sleeping or eating most of the time i was there, and i spent most days thinking about suicide and how i would do it. i was able to distract myself with sight-seeing, walking, and hiking, which did make me feel somewhat better at times. i think i've told you the rest of this mostly; i cut myself once over the summer hoping it would "kill" me but it didn't, obviously.

    i got a lot better though once i got back to school, and i still struggle a lot but not in such a dire way. i guess there was something about being completely alone in a foreign country that made me so depressed. i know that these are all things i need to move on from, but it's difficult because i still have a lot of nightmares about the past, or just about my parents in general, and i sometimes feel like i'm just carrying too many things in my head and it's like i'll never get past them to see what happiness feels like. but as much as i have my times of depression/hopelessness, i do have times of genuine hope and excitement for the future. there are times when i nosedive very suddenly and for no explicable reason, but those times are getting less and less, fortunately. i hope that i can get past this time in my life. i do have a lot of blessings in my life, and if i can learn to let go of the past, i know i will be a better person for it.

    i know this all might scare you, but this explains a lot of who i am and where i come from. it's not that everything in my life is bad; it's just that this is the bad stuff that i'm sometimes too scared to talk about. the rest i can reveal slowly and in a natural progression.

    and i'm in love with you.
    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
    1:06 am
    I feel okay tonight.

    At least one night that I won't be crying myself to sleep.

    Oh well, every little bit counts, I suppose.
    Monday, February 2nd, 2009
    4:08 pm
    I want to get away from this life

    I need to get away from this life

    The problem is that I am myself and there are too many memories and pieces of pain that I don't know that I can ever erase

    my parents are one thing
    losing the person i thought was the love of my life is another
    realizing that i am being a dramatist is one thing
    feeling the pain just as real even if it is "fake" is another

    i need to be able to love, to be able to feel okay, i need to feel happy again
    it's been too long that i haven't felt happy to believe i will ever feel happy again

    i can't keep living feeling like this

    two roads

    one to future
    one to cessation

    i know everyone tells me i will be okay

    but i don't feel that way
    ever
    3:29 pm
    I wish I knew how to stop being so angry, so pessimistic, so everything that makes up me. X's mom sent me some things that had been sent to their house, and she left a note inside that was like "you can keep getting stuff sent here... don't hesitate to keep in touch especially if we can ever help with anything." NO, FUCK YOU. why would i want ANY reminder of the shit i went through with your son? i'm not part of your family anymore, your son saw to that, so stop pretending like i am.

    i am now me, Alexis Mary Madeline, watch me wander. my family is the few people who know me best. loneliness comes with the package, my friends.

    why is it that i don't want X back, I don't even love him, I don't even feel any sense of attraction or understanding why I dated him for as long as I did, why is it that it still hurts so fucking bad sometimes??

    i feel like i latch onto anything to explain my unhappiness, like X, but it's just THERE...

    warm weather, geese outside my window, opera on my playlist, these should equal happiness but i feel empty all the fucking time.
    Friday, January 30th, 2009
    9:15 pm
    There are too many bridges in Europe. I'd discovered that by the time I got to Prague, and felt that way forever afterwards. There are too many bridges. Didn't architects ever consider how everyone else feels? Bridges were a temptation to a person like me. Bridges provided ideas, escapes that I both feared and desired.

    Budapest had its share of bridges. I'd leaned over one my first day there as the traffic whipped by to my left, wondering what would kill me first-- the fall or the drowning. Drowning was my worst fear, but I wondered if maybe I'd hyped it up to more than it was. Maybe drowning was like breathing in a thick fog that put you to sleep the way an anesthetic did. I adjusted my backpack and pulled up. I didn't think I could handle falling off this bridge. It was too high, and if the impact didn't kill me, I'd flounder about in the water in pain for a good twenty minutes before the water killed me. Or worse, my jump would cause a commotion and a crew of Hungarian police would drag me out of the river alive.

    The sun was too damn bright that day. I'd forgotten my sunglasses and with my fair eyes, I felt as if every glance upwards was like being seared with a laser through my retina. I was squinting every five seconds, which meant I was going to get crow's feet. For some reason, I'd gotten kind of preoccupied with my appearance that summer. I'd never worn sunglasses consistently before, but now my face felt naked without them.

    For the next few hours, I wandered about before stumbling upon a folk festival. There were more than two dozen Hungarian children running about with ruddy cheeks and fair wispy locks of hair falling down their little backs. Some of them were digging in the mud and exclaiming that they'd found gold. A folk singer was on a makeshift stage with no sound equipment, singing in a language too far from English and German for me to make any sense of it.

    I watched with interest. This was my heritage, supposedly-- No one in my family could ever be very clear whether it was Germany, Austria, or Hungary that my grandmother's side came from, but my great-grandmother spoke fluent Hungarian and German, and was famous for her Hungarian goulash. I'd never really liked goulash, which disappointed my grandmother.

    My stomach grumbled involuntarily. I was surrounded by tastes and smells of Hungary, and my body had noticed. Someone was grilling the biggest hot dog I'd ever seen, and smoke was billowing out of huge skillets filled with onions, peppers, and bits of meat. I thought about eating, then thought better of it. I hadn't eaten properly since getting to Europe, and i wasn't about to risk ruining my trip to Budapest on a giant hot dog.

    I wandered for about an hour afterward, noting the different crafts I'd seen and which ones I thought would make good gifts. A leathermaker was selling riding crops and bridles-- I had no idea what I'd do with a bridle, but the crop would be good for my boyfriend-- or should I say ex-boyfriend. I wasn't sure anymore. We'd decided to take a "break" at the beginning of the summer, and had recently started talking again. Sometimes the talking felt more painful than the not talking had been. While I spent most of my time wandering across Europe alone, contemplating the pros and cons of suicide, he was out galavanting at his Ivy League college up in New Hampshire, and I'd recently discovered that he'd been sexual with a girl even though I told him that on this particular break, that kind of behavior was unacceptable.

    It made me furious. It made me wish I'd fucked Sam when I'd had the chance, or, at the very least, blew him. We'd kissed only a few days after my ex and I broke up, and even though Sam wanted to, I wouldn't let him take it any further. I thought that was the respectful thing to do. The word respect had seemed to vanish from my boyfriend's vocabulary. The things he'd said to me that summer... The things he'd done, the person he'd become... I shook my head. I couldn't stand thinking about it.

    I leaned against the stone wall overlooking the city. My ribs rubbed against the stone unexpectedly and I withdrew. I was growing too skinny, but at least my boyfriend-- my ex-boyfriend-- my boyfriend-- would be pleased. He'd told me the winter before I left for Europe that I was getting too fat. At the same time, I worried he'd be displeased with how flat-chested I'd become. I was still busty for a girl my size, but he'd always had an unrealistic view of how a woman should look. He seemed to think all women should look like porn stars, and he didn't believe me most of the time when I said they were mostly plastic.

    I found my feet traipsing back to the hostel, where I turned on my computer-- my curse and my blessing-- and sat down to write an email.

    Dear X,

    I'm sorry, but I can't do this anymore. I thought I wanted to try, but I don't. I wish you all the best of happiness in life. I love you.

    Love,
    Alexis

    The moment I sent it, I felt my insides twist. I had to get out of that room or I'd scratch at the walls, I'd throw my laptop against the floor in defiance of what I'd just written. I shoved my key in my pocket and left, not bothering to bring a map. I didn't even know where I was going. I just had to get out before I exploded into a bloody mess onto the walls around me.

    I walked for miles, tears streaming down my face. I tried to hide my sobs but it was difficult; I sat to read The Bell Jar in the park for a little while but it was impossible to be distracted. I watched and hated every single person I saw. A young family with two children were playing some kind of ball game in the park and I hated them. A woman with a fake tan and a tight top walked by, hand in hand with a man, and I hated them.

    I walked along the river, weeping into my tshirt and trying to forget that I'd ever written the email. Finally I came to Isabelle (?) Island. I accidentally passed the pedestrian bridge a couple of times, but finally I found my way on. There was music playing and dozens of people were walking, some socializing, some jogging, but all seemed better off than me. I hated them, I hated myself.

    I came upon a fountain that had the highest arc I'd ever seen. It was beautiful, but I felt unmoved. I wanted to be fascinated, but I couldn't. All I could think was about that email, what I'd said, what I'd done. Did I even mean it? I didn't know.

    I awoke the next morning, early. I felt oddly better. I bought a chocolate croissant and walked for another four hours before going back to the folk festival. Once inside, I decided to eat a full bowl of goulash. I stomached the entire thing and actually enjoyed it. I didn't hate everyone anymore; in fact, everyone seemed relatively tolerable. Even likable. A little girl ran by with a wooden bird caller in her mouth. I watched her blow into the It again and again. Then I felt myself smile.

    It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was me, I was myself, I existed and the world existed and if we both existed at once then maybe, somewhere, there was still hope.
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