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
Drinking movie suggestion: Heathers -- great dark teenage angsty comedy
Benedictions and Maledictions