Content Warning: single use of the word "rape."
Five stages of Blankness.
“I belong to the Blank generation. I can take it or leave it each time.”
the starry-eyed version of denial
It started with that reassurance. Of course the mindset was reversed, and the blankness was more about resistance and standing out, rather than creating my own identity. Not creating, more like recreating it over and over again. Then dismantling it, digging up its grave burying it alive — waiting for another blossom.
Finding is always refinding, Freud said something of the sort.
I will forever be recreating what I have said before, I will forever be waiting for that one spark, allowing me to stand up and Do Things. But that’s fine, that’s how it should be, nothing should be done without a spark. Right?
When I was nine years old, I went on a trip to Spain with my parents. I vividly remember being strangled by small streets and lights in the dark, and people people people— but I hadn’t noticed that, as I was a full-fledged person myself back then, living in relation to myself. People did not bother me. I wanted a shiny new thing, as daddy’s little girl, I wanted a necklace. So I grabbed one with a B on it. They had no A’s, and I guess I just wanted to make myself confused.
It turned out to be prophetic. Ten years later, in the same starry Barcelona, by myself this time. The necklace was long forgotten, but its mark on my burning chest has been screaming B L A-A-A N K out into the world; just me, myself, and a chip on my chest.
It makes sense, you know. If I say blank, you don’t know if I mean that as a word or a lack thereof. Do you type it in, or do you leave it vapid, empty, curious? I created a no-name name. Now I’m making one person confused, I’m making another frustrated, and I’m taking their minds off the fact that I don’t know any of it myself.
So I smile internally. I know what’s in store for me, I believe in the traces of footsteps I leave behind. I march forward, brainwashed by the conviction that my blankness makes me immune to the diseases of the modern world, and to my own weaknesses.
the virtual world or vlogging vultures
You can’t write when you’re lonely, but that’s precisely the time when you should.
I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. We can’t. The square-shaped images, displaying the debauchery of what I’m tempted to judge as depravity. Those square-shaped images do not belong to me, even though I could create my life, control it, present it, debaucher your mind by persecuting mine. Please, make it stop.
Stop having fun outside of my room. Out of all places specifically designed for fun and enjoyment, do not occupy the space 5 metres away from the wall from the blank from the wall among the blanks on the plank upon which there is a toilet bowl, which I specifically use for my own fun and non-enjoyment.
One may look at my fun as what it is or what it is not, but in reality it is both. It is whatever I want it to be. I may look at it as a descent towards madness, I may look at it as a filler, artificial sustenance. You may look at it as a game of infantile illusions and insolent theft of attention spans. I may look at it as companionship, a haven so desperately needed in this egocentric mindset of mine. You may look at it as a disease of our times. I may agree with you. You may disagree with that. But you can’t control me.
My throat does hurt a lot, though.
I glue my hand onto the wooden door, imagining there is a parallel hand on the other side. My senses do not deceive, I smell red wine and muffled voices, I can almost touch the ecstasy of youth and vivacity. I can almost touch them, out there in the corridor, but not quite.
I have still got my pre-planned 2 minutes 31 seconds of time-wasting, so I poison my eyes with more of those square-shaped images. They are drinking wine, they are sitting on the floor of the corridor, as apparently there is a certain allure in barricading the no man’s land of student halls.
I’ve never felt more lonely.
Except that I always have.
people are poisonous
I thought my past didn’t have as much power over me anymore. I paid for a rebirth, I changed my home, I tried being social for a week, maybe two. It didn’t work, I got sick of everyone around me, but at least it cleansed me from the delirious desire for inclusion. In between hash teas, Monopoly, and coconut rums, I caught a glimpse of myself, the real one.
But the past keeps catching up with me. In the whirlwind of London, dropping out of one institution and getting into another, forcing myself out of one physique and sweating towards another, plodding from café to café, I thought I ran away from everything holding me back. But there is something I can never run away from—people.
People from my past and people from my present keep intermingling in the waves of my apocalyptic mind. I walk out of my room, I look right, left, it’s all clear, so I march out knowing that I’m safe, invisible. I take the bus, I take the subway, I walk and walk and walk—
and here comes a ghost from the past. Before I know it, I mechanically, automatically, instinctively turn my head, so violently as if I wanted to make myself invisible. She doesn’t see me. But I do, and I’m ashamed.
What’s the solution? Blankness. I can take it or leave it each time.
In rehabilitation from human interaction, I don’t even dare look shopkeepers and baristas in the eye. I start using self-checkout, although I used to be afraid of the self-imposed self-sufficiency. I dread the inevitable moment when the machine stops working and the mechanical, anonymous Someone is coming to help you burns itself into my ears.
My twelve-step program consists of always being at least twelve steps away from another person, if I can help it. It consists of labyrinths on the sidewalk, the most solitary spot in the subway, the most spacious seat in a cafe.
But this Isolation Protection Program is also about daring to be around people and outside of people at the same time. It consists of daring to eat in public. It consists of not having to wear sunglasses at all times, of risking people having access to your soul. It consists of daring to show up, to get out of the house, to never really deal with any sort of human interaction, but being around transactions of such sort nonetheless.
This is my blankness. It’s being and nothingness, it’s peace within conflict, it is one exhausting battle after another without ever winning the actual war.
But at least I don’t have to talk to anyone.
the daze of a thousand yawns
A state of superconsciousness, a result of one’s inability to relinquish control and be unconscious, a result of either neurosis or having too much on one’s mind — or both — is a topic not talked about enough. I believe it to be a fascinating phenomenon, occurring in spite of our desire for a Morrison-esque slip into unconsciousness. It leaves us ungrateful, irritable, desperate, though it gives us much more than a common, everyday state of consciousness ever could.
I’m lying in my bed, unable to fall asleep. Except for my softened physique trampled underfoot in between the softness of the cushions, I don’t see or hear or feel anything. Yet my senses are sharpened. A pack of melatonin is situated on my bedside table, waiting to be exploited, next to a mug with a fowl on it exclaiming “Fuck you all.” I got it in Paris. Yes, fuck you all who are not letting me sleep, who are not letting me stop thinking for a single minute. A human being needs sleep, and a prolonged state of superconsciousness leaves you straight-up melted-down confused.
Not today, not tomorrow. I will not not exist for even a minute. My blankness is trampled under the heart-hard-headed awareness of being alive at the wrong place and the wrong time. The more blank I appear under my black & white sheets, the more visible my mind gets. Thoughts beget thoughts.
With all the pressure of the night upon me — Sleep! — there’s nothing left but honesty. I am lazy, and frightened. Too lazy to face my fears, too frightened of my own lethargy. It’s nighttime. I could be on stage, I could be wasted, I could waste away some more, I could call my mother and tell her the truth, I could call that girl from school and tell her another lie, I could do anything I want. Yet I am confined to these four edges of the bed, tossing and turning my head around, trying not to face my abandonment of everything I used to stand for. I am not doing anything, I am not going anywhere.
I’m trapped in the truth. I want to get out and run, but I’m afraid of people. I want to devour, but I’m afraid of my body. I want to tell the truth, but I’m afraid of its plainness.
So I will continue on, fooling people into believing that I am in fact smart, curious and ambitious, that I am in fact passionate enough to lose my head and throw my intensity out to the world, that I am in fact a human being whose blankness has a nice color to it —the color of a chameleon, the color of a rainbow. I’m rained on by the storm and I’m grown like a flower, with roots manipulated by thorns.
I’d rather stay in bed, with my eyes high and mighty, in a state of utter supersupersuperconsciousness, lying still and being everywhere, screaming into the mouth of the moon, ploughing my tears into the pillow, looking for an outlet and excuse to — what? To finally start trying in life. I seem to only try at night. Maybe I don’t want to try, maybe half-assing life is what I’m destined to do.
my gift of self is raped
In half a year, I went from a chubby, aspiring singer, wearing band t-shirts and leather jackets — too ashamed of femininity — to an underfed, wannabe writer, cloaked in a coat, who managed to secure a place at one of the best universities in the world (and didn’t take it, which seems like another privilege). Since “people change,” I wanted to believe that their entire realm of thinking and mode of existing could change also, and so my issues could progress and ignite a more mature meaning in my starving stomach. But, blank as I was, blank I remain. Gone from blank to Blank, at least now I’m in control of my subservience.
This time around, I know myself, I know my blankness. I’ve experienced it inside and out, front to back, I got chewed over and spat out. I still think I’m playing a part, a part of someone who wants to live. I used to await death at every corner, but this time I’m planning the future by not planning it, leaving it blank. Expecting it nonetheless.
This time around I’m not certain of anything.
I don’t know if I believe in my dreams anymore.
I don’t know if I’m still longing for music.
I don’t know if my abstinence from people will make me crazy in the end.
I don’t know if neglecting my body means I am digging my grave at this very moment.
But I do know that I have control over my blankness, and that I can leave it blank.
No one has the power over my life if I leave it blank.