Anthropologist/writer Antropologė/rašytoja
Anthropologist/writer Antropologė/rašytoja

Solveiga Zibaite

me

See? – There is victory in death!

I have mountains of lists. Lists of things that he, whoever he is, likes about me. The things that he tells his friends when they ask: so what‘s so special about her? The lovely thing is, these are the things I don‘t even like about myself, or I hadn‘t noticed before I started thinking about myself through his eyes. This is a lovely thing, because there is nothing attractive about a woman who is aware that she is desirable. But the way she has to turn the light on and off eight times everytime she leaves the flat, the way she stares at you vacantly because she hasn‘t eaten a few days for a special event, they‘re lovely because she doesn‘ t know what a special kind of prey they make her.

I walk around in my dressing gown and I brush my teeth and I imagine how he secretly takes a picture of me and posts it on Instagram. Under the picture he would write: mine. Very sparingly, but this still would remind his followers that the miracles of life reside in small things and mundane acts. That its worth stopping for a moment looking around and seeing… me. So non-chalantly charming and not even aware of it. And the next day I would see the picture and would be like: baby: you‘re so bad, I was not wearing makeup. But that wouldn‘t even matter anyway because I wouldn‘t need makeup in an ideal world.
But you‘re back to reality. Sitting in your room, talking to yourself, rehearsing all of your answers to hypothetical situations, in which you are obviously more beautiful and smarter than here. Preparing a performance, aren‘t you? Imagining like there‘s an omnipresent eye, looking at you and evaluating you. Cause you like being in the centre of attention, I can tell. But you‘re fucking alone. Rehearsing, never living. You get a similar feeling of your delusion when you walk through a cemetery that no one you kow is buried in. You think of a joke. You laugh and you turn to an imaginary companion who‘s there to hear the joke and your eyes meet the gravestone of a mother of four children who died before 40. You feel guilty you‘re a living breathing piece of shit.

Most people, when presented with a question of when they feel alive, give quite inspiring and uplifting answers, like when I jump with a parachute, when I‘m in love. Bla bla bla. It is indecent to expect anything else, really. Well stretch your imagination, suspend you belief for amoment. After a period of not eating, but for some reasons fatter than ever before, you‘re feeling ravenous. You open the freezer, bake all the pizzas, all the Polish dumplings and just swallow. Don‘t chew, just swallow and then you need to correct this mistake – you‘ve already achieved so much – you don‘t want it to go to waste. And there it is – that moment – when you‘re puking and a piece of pineapple or peperonni, hits you in the eye. This is the moment when you feel your whole entity – the one that is is crouching and slouching and shivering from the cold marble of the bathroom and you think – what the fuck is this all about. You feel bad, you feel bad because you feel alive and you need to do something about it. Or not

But these moments of clarity re silenced soon enough. They punctuate the otherwise unreal living. Everytime I do something that terrifies me, let’s say, go on a plane, cant feel the bottom of the pool for a split second, every single moment after survival seems to become a tiny bit blurrier than before. It is as if I’ve actually died during a plane crash, or drowned and the future that I am experiencing is only hipotehtical. Like a thought experiment – as if someone was curious how my life would have turned out if that unfortunate accident would not have taken place. And that someone somehow, maybe because they have an exclusive VIP membership – can access the simulation of my life. Truly, I never recover. As soon as I experience another plane ride, the colours become even more subdued, shapes even more abstract. I feel, like the colours of my life will never be as bright as they once were, which to be honest I can’t even recall. The sensation of vitality is leaving me with every public speech, every unsuccessful attempt at flirting, every mispronounced English word. Nothing is simple, nothing is automatic – everything requires effort. I wonder if anyone can tell how much effort is required of me to simply attempt to be human everyday? To play tetris with my groceries, buy tickets to the right movie, simply stand up without falling over in a slapstick fashion. My life does not seem real to me, only in the moments of total shame and disgust, and yet it will end. This is not just a long tutorial.

And when I die, please don’t burn me. Do an open casket, put me in my best dress and look at me. I always imagine that I’ll die when I’m very old, but I guess youth would only add to the fascination. I want people to say: ‘wow she has really kept her figure’, ‘her skin is taut and there’s almost no hyperpigmentation, must be the spf she wore every day it paid of, she makes a beautiful corpse’. Please, admire me. Afterall, the fact that I will have retained a decent amount of muscle mass and a low(ish) percentage of fat is due to my strict fitness regime and my trained aversion to sugar. And the smoothness, the sheen of my donated organs at my age is also my achievement and I would be proud of it. Without them filling my stomach cavity I will have reached my goal weight. And if you cinch my waist with a belt, my dream waist-to-hip ratio will be right in front of your eyes and I will finally be able to wear all the dresses I never dared to wear in life.
See? – There is victory in death!

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Published on January 28, 2018