It's 8 am. My partner wakes me up, looming over my body, half dressed for work.
"it's 8 am."
I am confused why I am being told this, "Okay. Do you gotta go soon? “
"I have today off."
"You have Thursday off."
My partner checks their phone. It's Thursday, as suspected.
I crashed at my partner’s place last night since the previous four days I've been apartment sitting for a friend, and needed some time away from the place--In the apartment lives a cat named Dignan, he drinks demon juice, and has no concept of object permanence. He constantly needs to check that I'm still alive every 3 hours, but he especially loves to do so in the middle of the night by meowing in my face. When this cat is not checking on me, he is busy puncturing holes in my skin. I still like him, I just wanted some space before he gives me my next set of holes.
8:11-9:06. I start to get dressed after my partner darts out to work and suddenly catch sight of myself in the mirror. This weird sensation hits me and I just look at myself for awhile, like something out of a bad movie. I realize that even after the shit year I've had I think I'm beginning to love myself. When the hell did that happen? I take a selfie to frame the moment.
9:07-10:02: the twelve minute walk to the bus station consists of me bumbling through construction that is seemingly I definitely occurring on my partners street. I type out the mess of feelings I am holding in my chest, and post it onto my Instagram with my underwear selfie. Here's an excerpt;
"I keep thinking about that Lizzo quote where she decides to love herself as a means of survival. These past 12 months have made living near impossible… Hating myself has been second nature, in fact, when everything in your life gives you permission to do so, it is easy. Yesterday, I woke up and realized, inch by inch, very fucking slowly, I no longer despised myself or my body...I realized, without knowing it, that there was no choice, I couldn't hate my body (and its many failures) anymore, there are too many people out there doing that for me. Despite all imperfections, I love myself, I love my friends, I love to write, I love my new job and coworkers, I love my family, I love my body, I love my art, I love my brain, I love myself. I genuinely wish that this feeling stays, because I'll fight for it. And I genuinely hope that if you are struggling right now to love yourself, know that the decision is not easy, it takes practice, but everyone is deserving of it. You deserve to survive and love the person you spend your life with."
It's raining, but I don't feel bad about it, and I hop on a bus but I'm not even really sure if it's the right one. The bus driver is so kind and doesn't even make me pay when I almost forget to. I was too caught up talking to him that I forget about it until I'm seated. I insist a few more times and he refuses, and my heart is full. I head to my real home.
10:16: I know I'm supposed to write for my book today, but sometimes it's hard to write sad shit when you're feeling good. And let's be honest, my recent book idea, which is some collision of queer erotica meets monster girls, needs a particular mindset when approaching. Welp. Let's see how this goes.
11:00: I get distracted and end up reading Pokemon fanfiction. I don't particularly like any of it.
12:17-1:00: I remember that I took out Maus from the library, I get a few pages in before my mom swoops me into a conversation with her. Conversations with my mother can often last quite a long amount of time. My dad joins in when I'm done talking about cat sitting, and tells me a new story about a woman who kissed her dogs then lost her limbs. I think my dad doesn't want me to get a cat.
My mom and I walk to Starbucks just because I feel like getting out of the house. I tell her about my instagram post and she holds me tightly. It starts to rain on the way back, but my mom, who is always overprepared, has an umbrella on hand.
2:00: My mom drives my dad to his physiotherapy appointment, with me in the back. My dad’s ear crystals (?) are out of place and making him have vertigo for the past two days. He hasn't eaten in over 48 hours, which is very uncharacteristic of him.
Mom drops him off at his appointment, and shortly after drops me off at a subway station so I can go feed the demon cat.
While I occasionally write at my desk (pictured above), I write most of my poetry on the subway, this is my favourite place to write--I often write in bed or in vehicles in motion--such is the life of a chronically ill person. I feel like a fetus in the womb sometimes, stirred into consciousness. I try to parse out a poem about what's going on, my exhaustion with myself coming to the forefront...
"With one hand I point to Jerusalem
The other throbs
These past few months
I've doubted myself
Asked if the curse runs bloodward
Fibromyalgia seeths my hobbies
Seizes all means
Barks at my desk
I cracked the blood and
fresh from the cut
The way I filleted the worrisome
And pointed effort homebound
These past few months i became a martyr
Do figure eights around my bed
Flogging depths of myself
a hesitant prayer
Never loud enough
To hear me from my basement
I have hooks stabbed into my ceiling
From where the lanterns used to hang
Dribbled wax onto my
loosened my wisdom teeth
From my youth
Unscrewed the caps
And poured alcohol out
What is the word for girls who don't know if they were raped or not
Here you made my bed
And glamoured my crawl
From burning attic
To baptization by anatomy
What rounds these words
Unlike the previous
Is how I no longer write
In the cadence of your criticism
Nor the hum of your draining hair
I hope you will accept
This as an apology"
3:00 - 3:48: On the way to feed Demon Cat I meet a refugee from Bosnia, she looks younger than me. I buy her 5 whole salamis, cream cheese, and a big bottle of shampoo. As were parting ways she asks me what language my tattoo is in, I tell her Hebrew. She asks me if im Jewish, I say yes. She then says “oh” and looks very disappointed, but says for God to bless me and my family. So that’s good.
4:00-7:20: my friend says she'll be over at 4:30ish but ends up coming over almost an hour later. We talk about books we like, and gossip about the queer community. We meet a stray cat, and then make Sims of ourselves who live in a house with our roommate Keanu Reeves.
8:00-9:00: I have therapy. My therapist says I seem happier, it's been a week break since our last session. The week we didn't have a session I had a business trip where I was not happy.
Today, I tell her I don't want kids or to own property, at least I can't picture that for myself. She says that's okay. I tell her I can't imagine bringing someone into this political climate.
I also tell her I don't want to be sad anymore. In fact, this past year made me feel like I might die of sadness, so as a necessity to survive I have to make a conscious decision to love myself. I tell her I often think I made myself chronically ill, worried myself into sickness, maybe altered my wellbeing through sadness and self depreciating people. I think there are too many people out there, too many systems built telling me I should hate myself because I am sick, because I am queer, because I am intersex. Why do them a favor?
9:00-9:50: The cat is not a demon, in fact he lies beside me in bed after my late dinner and lets me pet the shit out of him. The terrifying sprite that haunts him is currently at bay, leaving us in a moment of solitude.
10:30: I almost fall asleep with the lights on until the cat meows at me aggressively. Alright. Goodnight.
Syd Lazarus believes in order to best understand them you should know they once cried over an episode of Rugrats. Being Disabled, Jewish, non-binary, queer, and a Pisces is reflective in their work is deeply. They have been published in print and online publications such as Shameless Mag, Trash Magazine, Lunch Ticket, and Bad Dog Review. They have had the privilege of attending the Banff Centre’s Spring Writing Retreat 2019 and are super thrilled have their first chapbook How to Lose Friends Without Really Trying coming out with Frog Hollow Press this October. Feel free to follow them on instagram or Twitter @yourmonstergf, they are always happy to make new friends or nemesis.