[365 DAYS OF REHAB POP] DAY 5: Molly Nilsson – Not Today Satan + Katy Perry- This Is How We Do (Jonty Kennedy Remix)
HERE WE ARE, TRYING TO
CLEAR OUR HEARTS OF FEAR
SURE IT’S EASY TO SIT AROUND HATING
INSTEAD OF PULLING YOUR LOVED ONES NEAR
STEP 2: NEGATIVE THOUGHTS DESTROY ONLY MYSELF
(WE USE THE WOMEN IN RECOVERY PROGRAM)
Last Monday, Molly Nilsson maneuvered my mind 17 years of steps back into the 1990s. Her music made my lips mouth the words made popular by Bianca Del Rio ‘not today satan’; but my hand was re-making middle school memories with those made mainstream by Martin Lawrence, talk to the hand. And I’d never thought how those two phrases were same same, but not different–until I saw in my sight my arm swing up with sarcastic swag and my palm punch the air with a stop sign. And it was such a little pushback against the pain, Nilsson’s 3 words and Lawrence’s 4; but, man, it was momentous to me. I stopped in the middle of the 7/11 and made the space all about me to shake my ass to a mightily unsexy yay me dance. In November I made the decision to stop moving in time because I thought I wouldn’t want to be anymore if the world kept smacking me in the face a minute more. And I’ve knelt there in the same spot in a vertical fetal position since. Swung my hands over my face like a sheet you throw on a kitchen table you won’t sit at until you have someone to share tomato soup and stories with again. Said those words and suddenly I wasn’t 70% hidden anymore. I could shout and the sound would shoot out in a cone in front of me. When I had the airway again, I made the most of it: spoke words, didn’t let the seconds slip away. Been since July since I let my mouth make the words, announce my power.
137 days in 2016 I didn’t talk even 10 syllables. I took up ASL and took a break from my voicebox because two words added to two words kept taking on 85 different meanings like my larynx was a lazy as hell motherfucker.. Was a louse. lackadaisical as fuck with my lexicon. Even though I knew I’d labored over every little phoneme I was gonna let slip. I was starting to take it real personal that every two minutes I’d take a look at your face, her face, all the faces and they’d be like ‘uh, wtf, man. why’d you tell me that? I feel like everything you say these days is 3 plus 3 equals cotton candy. Every ten words is tripping its balls off on ten tonnes of TMI. And besides, that’s not what I asked anyways.” They were right. I’d turned talking into quantum theory and fuck me if I I could do more than tear up and eat the pages of a physics book beyond 10th grade. I was taking each thought and tearing off 20% to throw on my tongue. I hoped 12% tumbled past my teeth to you. To say 21% would be to tell you even a tiny bit of the trouble I was badly tripping, dislocating my heart through today, tomorrow, all the Thursdays. And every day was a Thursday, 1095 days in a row. I told stories about my life to fill the void of details so that you’d think I’m funny, maybe human. The tales were always true and always of the caliber that’d make your mom blush and that wasn’t cool, but I wanted to be remembered. Maybe then, you’d ask about my Thursday.
WHEN IN DOUBT, DO THE BRAVE THING
AND TELL ALL THE DEVILS, NO CHANCE IN HELL
I bumbled the cliffnotes, abridged version of what was going on because no one had noticed I wasn’t being me for half a year anyways. And that one time I practiced for 6 hours to really bear all the badness, you picked up your phone to check an Instagram alert. Next 6 minutes you needed to note how next level it was that Martin Garrix had hearted one of your filtered versions of reality. Nice, like I’m happy for you; but I needed you. And I know now it was the moment when pushback became too painful. Didn’t have the nerves to say ‘not today satan‘. I couldn’t hold up my hand to stay stop, listen, please. I was breaking down, had to hold my arms over my bones to keep my rib from slipping out my shirt onto the sidewalk while you held up one arm to selfie your side profile. You said goodbye and I threw a napkin down my throat, said my vocal chords were summer furniture but winter was coming. You didn’t get it.
Spoke only in ASL for 6 months after that. I only knew around 500 signs, so anything emotional I said was 2nd grade, 17 second shitty cry fit at best. I swung my arms around only when someone needed to sell me something. I stuck around in my head like senor solo macho because it was safe. Until I saw one day that the sadness had never stopped coming in.It was sloshing around half a millimeter from the top of my skull. I needed to be saved, but I’d stopped speaking so long. Had no shield, my hands just sighed when I said to slap back at the world. No one was gonna hear me shouting from inside my skull, so I stopped swimming.
IT’S NO BIG DEAL
THIS IS NO BIG DEAL
THIS IS HOW WE DO
Seventy percent of rehabilitation was getting to the point where I can say not today satan with a sorta smile. The other 30% is learning how to to chill the fuck out with anthemic music that doesn’t tell me how to feel, like this remix of Katy Perry. Remixes like this one are how I see the world, we all have the same bones or same song structure, but how we interpret the seventeen million ways to use those pieces makes our world. So, like Perry’s original, maybe your original reality sucks: remix it different.
CALCULATE THE COST OF CARING ABOUT YOU
USING ROBERT PLUTCHIK’S EMOTION WHEEL
[EDITED FOR THE AUTISTIC COS EVERYONE FEELS]: