It happens every semester, a bi-annual tradition that I would rather do without. But predictability does not always bring with it reassurance, a sense of comfort, to know ‘Ah yes, this is familiar. This is good’.
I begin to fidget, my lips curl and draw tight. I snap. My Mum has never taken my shit, and for that I admire her. ‘What’s your problem?’. And my shoulders begin to shake, my lips are undone.
I’m not fucking meant to be here.
And you will not understand, because you at least are meant to be here, or there, however you choose to look at it. You make it seem oh-so-fucking-effortless. I would ask you to pardon my French, but we both know that I don’t speak French either, and instead it would stand to serve as yet another reminder of my inauthenticity.
It’s always Week 6. Half a dozen of half a semester, six pretty little cracked shells all lined in a row. My joints, blood and bone are dropped one by one upon the kitchen tiles, and someone swears at the mess. Soon I will drop my incomplete assignment papers in the muddied yolk, and make a bi annual scrambled plate.
I fail to warm the bones of my seat in class, and another absence is noted. I try to make it to hospital appointments, and another ‘Failed to Attend’ is noted. I try to reschedule each of the former, and splutter out my apologies.
‘I’m sorry I couldn’t make it, I had hospital’.
‘I’m sorry I couldn’t make it, I had uni’.
And no matter how I play my cards, someone is always invariably pissed off at my failure to show. Each believes that their time and effort was more warranted than the other, and each reminds me that they weren’t upset. They were just disappointed.
I try to finish the assignments that I cannot even begin, my brain so dirtied with pretty little white tablets that are really great at keeping me alive, and ensuring that I’m not able to actually do anything with my life. So instead I try to go without the pretty little white tablets, and am soon handed a pretty little white hospital gown, my flesh in protest at my own protests. The doctors ask me if I have been doing anything differently as they plaster electrodes to my chest, and I tell them the truth.
‘No. I was just trying to do things differently’.
So tomorrow I will apply for yet another bi-annual extension, and swallow more pretty little white pills. I will pretend that I can read the words upon my screen, and burst into tears once more when even I cannot escape the fact that I am an imposter. And as always, I will wait for everyone else to realise what I already know.
That I am not meant to be here.
And by next week, I will be back to knowing I am meant to be here.