Monday, April 04, 2005

Dear Bell Jar,

Hi there. It's been a while, my old friend, and yet I am honestly amazed at how it feels like no time at all has passed since we saw each other last. I've had a few visits with your cousins in recent months, but during a bout of vicious wallowing Saturday night I realized that you'd come to town again. You've got me firmly by the shoulders, and though I'd really like to kick you in the shins and run away I know from experience that you'll just kick back even harder.
Now that I know it's you I see that it's probably likely that you've been standing behind me for weeks now, wearing a mask and waiting to jump out and yell 'Boo!' You know that I've been drinking too much and reading too little lately, and you've been giggling up your sleeve at how I've been feeling rejected and inappropriate and so, so stupid. You think it's funny because you think it's your doing, but I've got news for you.
I'm on to your game. You and I, we've gone around and around like this for many years. We've called each other names and we've beaten each other up and I have done ridiculous things in your name. You've caught onto my neck with your fingernails and I've let you stay there because if nothing else you were a feeling that was familiar. But no more of this. You can stay as long as you like, because I know I can't get rid of you that easily, but I don't have to pretend to listen anymore.
Oh sure, I know that until you leave I'll have more hours and days where I feel useless and unattractive and dumber than most rocks. I'm not going to fool myself into believing that I'm cleverer than you. But I can fill my time in ways that you can't understand. I can wall myself in with work, and with friends, and with long walks around my city. I can hunker down and wait for you to get bored and go.
Because the thing is, I'll always win in the end.


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