This is Probably Wrong
by Delaney Sweet
One time I punched a TV screen and broke my hand because I was talking and no one was listening and all I’ve ever wanted was for someone to listen. Dogs must be angels because when you look into their eyes all you see is love and adoration and no human in all the world has ever looked at another human that way, I can’t wait to die and be a dog. The Midwest is a disease that replaces your brain with a tornado so that all you can do is think and think and think until eventually, you move back to Kansas or Missouri or even Iowa and you get swept up in a tornado and then your body and your mind are swirling and swirling, you become soft serve ice cream. I wonder if my mom looked at my crib and watched me cry and asked herself why she had a kid and I kept crying, and she started crying too. She probably just wanted someone to help her.
It is very scary to look in the mirror and realize that this is the exact opposite of you. That facing forward, looking back at you, is a creature that you inhabit but will never know. Do waiters ever think that what you’re ordering is fucked up. Or when all the customers leave and it’s just the waiters and the kitchen staff and maybe a bartender, do they think about what you ordered, the girl with the brown hair who came into the restaurant by herself, while everyone else dined with other people, but you alone ordered the duck, savory and beautiful. An act of self-love. Maybe the waiter will have what she’s having, maybe he will enact self-love in the same way. Last week I saw a pigeon eating a bag of Doritos and I thought about how lucky that pigeon was that it can eat whatever it wants. I haven’t tasted sand in a long time. I burned a comic book store to the ground.
My greatest fear is someone asking me how I’m doing, and then I look at them, and they look at me, and it’s the first time in weeks that I’ve looked anyone in the eye, and they realize how very very sad this is, and they’re a little scared and I am too, I pretend like I don’t hear them and they say it again, but I, of course, just tell them I’m fine. I wonder if people tell us to stay hydrated so that we drown from the inside. Being handsome must be a curse because whenever a handsome person looks at me I assume they’re looking past, or I’m drooling, or perhaps bleeding, but I can’t be the only one who thinks that handsome people can’t possibly register my existence so handsome people are always getting looked past by less handsome people but maybe they don’t even know if they’re handsome. All compliments are just lies.
Book reports are interesting because you have to say what something is about rather than how it made you feel, even if you don’t remember the protagonist's name or even where they were but when you’re done with the book you’re crying crying crying you would get an F on your book report because you couldn’t remember a damn thing. I would be a really bad astronaut because I wouldn’t be so focused on the ship, or how to eat powdered spaghetti, I would be looking out the window, nose smushed to the sub-zero pane. “Oh god” I would think or say or probably yell. It would be so dark there couldn’t be anything else. One time a teacher told me that I wouldn’t get anywhere in life because of my personality. I shouldn’t say, teacher, I should say, professor, because that’s what she was so I guess she knew a little bit more than I did but I didn’t suspect that she was psychic. How small do you have to be before someone tells you they’re proud of you? I will never own a microscope.
I wish it was the 1950’s and I got into a cab and someone else with a top hat got in the same cab and he would be like “where ya going sweetheart” and I’d be like “not sure, just got stood up so my schedule seems all clear” or something dumb like that and then I would get out of the cab at my apartment and then later that evening I would have a random delivery from Bergdorf Goodman and it would be a black gown with just an address and it would be signed “ -- R” and then I would go meet R at a gala and we would dance the night away and he would kiss me under a street lamp. I would have acquired a fur shawl by that point because it’s chilly. This would be the beginning of a great romance. I often feel like I am in a tet-a-tet with everyone who has ever looked at me and mostly, especially, Pomeranians. If a couple is too hot I often wonder what they talk about, or if they are content in their mutual blandness, their wedding will likely be exquisite, I will not be invited. It is so scary to want another human being, I would much rather want a shirt or a really good piece of fried chicken. How long before love is extinct?
Slow walking is a symptom of having nowhere to be, though the argument could be presented that they are taking life in slowly and enjoying their surroundings. If you have somewhere to be it is nearly impossible to enjoy one’s surroundings; it is movement without heart. The person I hate most in the whole world is the girl who works at my pharmacy. She never has my prescriptions ready and is always judgy about the quantity and asking me dumb questions like, “oh did you want the Lamictal too?” and I’m like yeah no shit I want the Lamictal it being my prescription. I have more sympathy for Ted Bundy than her. Ted Bundy never stood between me and my antipsychotics. Once, I was late for a flight there was one man who wouldn’t let me through the security line and then I saw that he was wearing a MAGA hat so I pushed him aside and then I started sobbing on the plane and I was seated next to a man with a MAGA hat on and he was so nice to me even though I was sobbing and snotting everywhere, but at the end of the day I hate these men the same. My grandma says “warsh” instead of “wash” and no one knows why.
There is a direct correlation between people who own birds as pets and people who were horse girls growing up. Old men eating ice cream cones are the saddest strata of people because they are at the point in their lives that they just want to be happy so they’re going to town on an ice cream cone and they could die the next day and have lived a good life because of that ice cream cone. Infinite Jest is a primer for men to realize they’re not ready for commitment so they start dating seventeen Jessicas at once. At the end of the day it’s just all such stupid nonsense and I don’t know why I spend so much time thinking about how everyone else fucks up because I’m actively fucking up right now and more and moreso as I type this sentence and my $60 acrylic nails type on my $1000 Macbook and literally we’re all going to die so soon and even though I know all of this I can’t stop thinking about the girl I saw on the train earlier whose jeans were so ill-fitting and how if she just bought a pair of jeans that worked for her body type maybe she would feel better about herself and lead a happier life. I am a bad person.
The more that people start to die and more secrets come up, and the more it fucks up your family for the better. There are so many reasons why we should never have children, but I want to look upon something that I made and be happy about it. I want to make something that will feel love, too much love, so much that they eventually burst and then I’ll die too. Every home needs a garden, which is why there are barely any homes in New York City only places to live. I wonder what it’s like to be the exact perfect temperature.
I put a little microphone on the cockroach trap in our kitchen because I want to know what they think of the new table I got. I’m not sure if lakes or oceans are scarier, but lakes trap the scary and the oceans let the scary swim around. I’m not sure where ponds fall into all of this. The rain is when the scary falls right on you. Snakes must be so pissed that so many people are afraid of them. A female moose in heat is the most dangerous animal on the planet, once again confirming my theory that women will destroy everything. Once while I was on a hike with friends in Estes Park my friend started to shit her pants because she had taken a Plan B before the hike and while she was shitting herself a bear came out of the trees and into the landing right before us and we all started to run away even my friend who was actively shitting and I know that was probably wrong but that would have made an already insane story even crazier, but ultimately I am so happy my shitty friend is still alive. I was watching a rabbit from the window in my house and then a hawk swooped down, put its talons into the bunny’s back and flew away with it. I wondered what else would be taken from me.
Sometimes when my thoughts start to get away from me I make my brain go back through everything I said in the last thirty seconds until it is a rehearsed speech the way that I would talk to someone I had only met a few times, and who wasn’t privy to my absolute madness. There are always too many things going on. I don’t know why people were surprised when Tr*mp won the presidency, this is an awful place to live. I should go to Venice before it is completely underwater, I’ve always wanted to go for no reason other than that I really want to and think I should be afforded the opportunity. There is nothing more decadent than a bowl of cereal.
There was a package open in the hallway of my apartment, it was a care package from someone’s parent, filled with snacks and treats and love. It was in the hallway because it had been torn open, its contents detritus to petty theft the love had escaped, I hope that person is doing all right. I’m so sorry.
I think what is so absolutely fucking terrifying about writing is everything. Even that sentence, that charade is nothing. Nothing but fear and loathing. I never read Hunter S. Thompson, but I wonder if this is what he was talking about. There is something in my hand. I phoned Freud but he said he was busy. I am most interested in what makes me sad. I often wonder if therapy will make me a better writer. I know that, had the pain remained unspoken, maybe I could have been something great. I am too tightly wound to be the voice of a generation. What is the opposite of sober? All of this means nothing at all.
About the Author
Delaney Sweet is an MFA candidate living in New York City.