Skribent: Joanna Herskovits


The days went on. I was in Bakersfield, California and I wanted to die. A foggy town I had no relationship with whatsoever and the first place I ever tried cocaine. Write - not so much. Feel everything. She remained silent in the phone for 44 seconds and when I asked her if she was still there she replied - yes, I am just feeling things. “You coward cockroach”, I thought to myself.

She stole things for me to show her affection. Liquor, jewellery, dresses and books. Always from Wall Mart, never from the small businesses. A thief with high moral. I was broke and false with a confused sense of right and wrong so I appreciated the gesture but got pissed when she proposed how I should sleep with more women before I settled with my boyfriend. I did not date during that year which made me highly productive and quite ugly for obvious reasons. When I told her about my misery she always started crying heavily. Sometimes in the weekends we took the train into the city, it cost 8 dollars-ish and was almost always not worth it. The weekends were the worst part because the rain was always hanging in the clouds even on days when there were no clouds.

On the driveway outside of her house there was a car that leads to the desert, but she was not allowed to use it. The claustrophobic had not been pronounced since she had not yet understood it, but she found a lot of friends online. Outcasts and weirdos and she listened to all of their stories carefully. Sometimes they wanted to meet up but she often said no out of pure indifference. It required pretty juicy stories for her to take the risk to sneak out of the rat hole but she did feel deep empathy for them all. Once she lurked out and took the Greyhound bus all the way down to Fresno to meet up with a woman who did not feel whole. They drove around stoned all evening and by the end of the night they ended up at a Taqueria where the waiters had caps that said ”Taco Inn”, but this one girl wore a cap that said ”Princess”. She managed to flirt with Princess for some free food but by the third refill she said no. They shared the weed she still had left and at dawn she had to take the bus back to the Valley.

She was surprised that her vision had changed. Running around last semester, she dismissed it all as ugly. But now, not quite sure what created the change, it was as if she entered the most beautiful scene she had ever seen in the world. The foggy mountains, the beige color scheme. Wet. Mellow. Even the telephone lines were a wonder to her. How could something look so clear, so crispy and intriguing? Feeling like she was standing on top of the world being part of this place put her in a position that scared her. One year before she went to the doctor.  The puke green walls and the plastic flowers made the coffee taste even more sad and after a forty five minutes questionnaire and a doctor’s quick glance at her kindly lying answers she got a note with a bipolar diagnose and a prescription for a medicine that had ”no side effects at all”. She threw the paper in the trash but the humiliation she kept with her. Strong feelings of joy, beauty and excitement scares her ever since. Even having a creative stream of thoughts makes her wonder. What if they were right.

Even now when you write to me I am not quite sure what to say. Some people cannot travel in time and space if you know what I mean. I am putting flowers in your mouth. Roses and camomile.