Thursday, November 16, 2006

You Hadn't Felt A Thing

Given my long history with freshman composition essays, I know what forms of self-abuse are in fashion -- for years, I got body image papers, girls starving themselves, living on four to eight hundred calorie a day diets, binging, purging, everything you can imagine and then some. The details would break your heart -- vomiting into dixie cups while doing leg-lifts, eating only one apple every other day, outlining body parts in magic marker that they didn't like. I'd seen more than enough as a gymnast (eating disorder central), but it still made me sad. Then there was a fairly dramatic shift into what some therapists refer to as delicate self-cutting, a form of mutilation that includes but is not limited to cutting yourself with razor-blades, broken glass, knives. You can also branch out -- burning yourself with curling irons, hitting yourself, tearing your hair out. Somewhere between the Clinton administration and the Bush one, things had changed and not for the better. Heroin replaced ecstasy as the drug of choice, at least in my limited sample group, and I wasn't even through with the semester.

I can't say that I'm shocked, though -- self-destruction has its allure. Where I come from, people would jump off big rocks into Possum Kingdom Lake and see if they'd survive. They would do massive amounts of crystal meth out of boredom. I can do whatever the fuck I want to myself, you think. One of my friends had an evil-looking contraption his grandfather made. You'd hang onto it while the electric voltage kept going up. The point was to see how much pain you could stand. When you're being shocked, your muscles tighten, and you can't release even if you wanted to. Which you wouldn't, of course. You'd keep going until someone turned the damn thing off, and you'd try and pretend that it didn't hurt at all and that you hadn't felt a thing, something I know a little bit about, at least enough to turn in for one of my own assignments, had I the desire.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"My bucket's got a hole/ And Hank can't buy no beer." Hank Williams

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Heathers -- great dark teenage angsty comedy

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Thursday!


Readers are leaders said...

When asked why she and her husband engaged in many forms of highly self-destructive behavior, Zelda Fitzgerald said: "We don't believe in conservation."

Sean Connery said...

Shocking, simply shocking.

Harpo's four-eyed brother said...

You have neither elaphantine nor serpentine toenails, and the polish is quite attractive. Even Grouchie seems bowled over by how alluring you are in brown, Michelle. An excellent boudoir pic.

IP said...

The brown dress is sweet. I hope the Grouch is getting enough rest and nutrients. He's one lucky Froggie.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've seen my share of mutilators in the prison system. As for electric shocks, a corrections officer gave me his fake lighter to light. It was hooked to a battery. I couldn't let go of it soon enough.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, what a lovely view and charming post, as always. I never did try any of the harder drugs. An occasional sampling of marijuana was always nice for relaxation, though. Now I always prefer a little top shelf champagne (it's legal). The quality makes a noticable difference the next day and there are no hangovers. To you and your smashing blog, Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I've always been wary of my Creative Nonfiction writing professors. They see all the rough drafts, the unbridled, unchecked emotion on the page, and it makes you wonder just how much these professors know about anybody in the English program. I guess I've traded a few secrets for some training in the craft of writing. Probably worth it.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing I could physically do to my body would hurt more than what I have at times felt and thought about myself.

Looking dynamite in brown BTW. Brown is making a small comeback. Microsoft's Zune comes in brown as opposed to the iPod white thats been so popular lately.

The Walking Man said...

heroin sweet killer of reality
maker of dreams and soother of those things that make one cut.

personally I preffered LSD, and other varieties of hallucenogenics but what speaks stronger to the generation that raised the generation that is growing up than their favorite choice of drugs.

We chemacalize our children starting with Ritilin and what do we expect them to grow up thinking? Drugs are a bad thing?

I just read Aghani heroin production is up so prepare for another onslaught.

But at the same time we have taught ourselves not to give a shit about someone elses problems, and heroin is usually someone elses problem at least it was until it migrated out of the Black core citys.

You know what i like about this blog Michelle? There are more comments on your damn clothes than of any substance of your words and that is one of the things that make me a grateful college drop out.

Oh yeah by the by creative non fiction leads to creative fiction you just have to learn to lie well and that starts with the truth.

The most torturoous thing i remember a kid doing when i was young was he was bent over lighting a fart and his tighty whitey's caught afire. I think that was the beginning of self mutilation or at least getting rid of pubic hair.

Anonymous said...

wow. I can't believe the things you know. Isn't it amazing how students can just open up to you in your writing classes?