Trigger Warning!
This world is a fucked-up, traumatizing, and hateful place. I live in this world, and so my words, experiences, and thoughts are birthed from within it. Further, it should come to no surprise that this blog will detail many of these fucked-up things in graphic detail. Fortunately, resilience is what I do, and I try my hardest to ferment inspiration from the darkest parts of my life. It's time to confront, it's time to resist, and of course... it's time to win.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Assort. Notebook

I once had a girlfriend. We had dated for about a year and a half. We had even lived together for about a Year. There was many problems within the relationship. The main one was that she was very abusive and manipulative. But I was also guilty of trying way too hard to "fix" her. We were not equals. It stopped working, regardless of what hope and comfort desired. One day she was yelling at me. I yelled back. It was the first and last time I have ever yelled in an intimate relationship.

That same day, I asked her to move out. She had many places to go. I did not. So she left that day devastated.

It had all been tough, but even after a couple days had past, I still had not cried. Then while picking up some food at a horrible pizza chain, yes the corporate one that offers large pizzas for $5, I had the sudden need to use the restroom.

They did not have one so, I had to walk across the parking lot to the large and offensive Wal-Mart. As I entered the store, I looked above at all the fluorescent lights and black clouds hovering on every isle. Those black domes tend to hang over your head like the worst Charlie Brown clouds. Restricting your movements, your actions, damn them. But today was not one of those days. I was there to use the restroom, not to find an isle clear of clouded views. Today, there was a truce between me and the disgusting giant. After defecating, I made my way back out the store. There was one huge display just as you were leaving the store. It had school supplies on sale, so it must have been the beginning of the school year, or more importantly then end of summer. The end of freedom. The end of growth.

I couldn't help but to notice a large white price tag that stated "low prices, always" and underneath it hung a huge 8 cent. The sign next to it said 12 cents. It was for a large pink Eraser. The one on the other side said 15 cents. It was for one of those pencil sharpeners with a plastic cover to keep the shavings together. Then my eyes made it back to the 8 cent sign. It took me a while before it came clear. When it finally made sense, I stood there shocked.

Under the sign was a crate full of stacks. Stacks that were made of paper. Paper that was binded together with metal spirals. Metal spiral bounded with machine precession, 100 sheets, college rule: one subject, notebooks. Thousands of them. You could even have a choice of five or six generic colored covers. You could buy as many as you needed. A sign with red print stated "no limit."

I looked back at the neighboring signs. They all had limits. You could only buy 2 sharpeners or 5 erasers or 4 packs of pencils or 6 packs of ballpoint pens. Under each price and was a small description. I thought, "this must be a mistake." I glanced once more at the 8 cent sign. No Mistake. Underneath the price it clearly said "Assort. Notebooks." I stood there for another minute before walking out into the nonredeemable late summer sun. The smell of salt and ocean-decay was rampant in the air.

That walk across that parking lot seemed so damn long. It was longer than that awkward moment leading up to the first kiss with each new partner. It was longer than those tingling moments after that same first kiss. I couldn't breathe. I was choked up. I was having a hard time seeing straight. My heart was beating hard and then, it started to hurt.

I made it back to my friends car. He asked me some non-unique standardized question. I stayed quiet for quite a while, and then it happened. Tears started making their way to a great decent. The same tears that made the decision a couple days before that a broken heart wasn't worth their time. They clocked in and got busy. That night they would surely work overtime.

I took some time to verbalize to my friend what was going on. I think I just kept saying "8 cents, 8 cents... what the fuck" That night still reminds me of the most dreaded feelings. There was a mixture of feelings that night. I stopped being an adult.

I was a kid who had a broken heart. The girl I lost my virginity to had been consumed in self-destructive behaviors. The culture I was brought up in was killing the natural world I loved. This girl I loved had finally lost a horrific battle to Aneroxia-Nervosa. The forest I visited regularly as a kid, survived a huge summertime fire, but not the timber sale that soon followed.

The destruction became too much. It became an 8 cent College Rule, Single Subject notebook. 100 pages to never be filled up, not even in the most engaging ecology college class. It became a profit margin of 4 percent X 1 billion notebooks. A profit that can only be measured in the thousands, not even in the millions. It became notebooks without any recycled symbol in sight, because it became cheaper to produce that way. It became the death of a single forty to fifty foot tall fir, cedar, pine, or poplar tree just to make 100 pointless notebooks. It became more than that. It became four billion dead trees a year, slaughtered and pulped into paper. Papers turned into teachers, as teachers turn papers into pass or fail, ignoring altogether that this culture has already failed.

It has failed a young girl who only wanted to love herself, but could not see past the ugly that was so brutally painted on her every time she turned a corner in this culture.
It has failed a young forest just as it began recovery from the last time it was clearcut, creating more scars that will never heal as it's ancient flesh of top soil is ripped away during the frequent early spring rains.
It has failed me as it is dedicated to destroying everything, everything I love.

Those future humans and non humans are not going to want to hear the "back in my day" stories.
They will hate us for gas only costing a dollar.
They will hate us for letting it only go up to 5 dollars.
They will not understand why value menus at fast food chains were such a good thing.
They will never forgive us for converting once living trees into dead and bleached 100 sheet, college rule: one subject, notebooks only to end up selling them for 8 cents a piece.
8 fucking cents.

I'm sorry is not good enough anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

consider the phrase "lost my virginity"

did you really lose it? or did you give it to someone who meant something to you? did it get taken away from you when you weren't ready, or did you share it with someone?

some of us had our virginity taken away from us through abuse and rape. when someone asks when an abuse/rape victim when they "lost their virginity"- what should they say? when they were 2 years old? when they were drugged at a party? when they were scared and hurt and forced to?

but what about when they have a chance to chose who they have their first sexual encounter with- isn't that they're real first time?

some of us had the chance to chose who we gave our virginity to, and those of us who had the opportunity to chose are lucky and shouldn't ever consider it a loss when they "lost their virginity" but when they gave it to someone, shared it with someone.

consider the phrase "lost my virginity"

what did you lose? what did you gain?

this isn't a critique on word choice of something you wrote, but me challenging a viewpoint of your life.

i gave my virginity to someone i cared for and who cared for me in return. i never lost it. you can never lose your virginity- even those who had it taken away from them can still give their virginity to someone when they are ready to.

-sandra c.