8 - no frasier

[we can hear the ocean in the background. it’s constant–a beat, keeping us grounded.]

TERESA:

Here’s the funny thing:

I remember two entire selves. And they’re not too different–I’m the same person that I was, obviously, obviously, but–

Part of me is living in some weird almost teen dystopia but not quite novel, and I’m not sure how to get that part of me out of it. Which is terrible, because I hate most teen dystopia novels.

That was a joke. I hope–I’m pretty sure that one comes across as a joke? I have trouble with tone, sometimes, you guys know this about me. I’m working on it, I promise. I do.

So. Hey. It’s Teresa again. Miss me? No, you haven’t, because I talk to all six of you all the time. Because, hey, gotta stick together, right? I hope this notification isn’t surprising. It shouldn’t be.

I was talking to Angie about this. I’ve been talking to Angie about this a lot, and she said, why not talk about it and record it and put it in the folder? And I said, you know I don’t want to push this deeper, and she said, but we have to, and I said–

I said, you’re right. I gave in, like that.

So. Here I am! Back at it again. She says the rest of you will do it too. I hope she’s not kidding, because, uh. I need some solidarity, y’know?

[uncomfy laugh]

So. How have my two months been. Loaded question that I’m asking myself, there. Gotta throw some softballs before that. Tell me about yourself–I’m a young person with a lot to handle. Where do you see yourself in five years? Probably still here, but working for the paper or something. What’s one thing you’re weak in? Sometimes, I’m too insightful. You get the gist. But.

How have my last two months been? That’s harder. So. Let’s get into it. Let’s do that. Let’s just dive on in and–I’m not stalling. I promise. I’m just. Thinking of phrasing. Thus, stalling, but my point stands. I am doing this for me. This is a recovery process.

How am I?

I managed to keep passing all of my classes. So that’s cool. Trying to bring my grades back up to what they were pre-everything, but that doesn’t seem like it’s possible. Which everyone tells me is okay. And I know that it’s okay, I do, it’s just–I’ve worked so hard my whole life, and that something out of my control ruins that is hard to grasp. Hard to accept. I know that my family’s not happy, but they have Jay to be proud of, cuz he’s got a girlfriend and a scholarship and a future and everything, so. Whatever.

I haven’t really spoken to my parents much, since what happened. I don’t think they really noticed that I was gone, even, which–Like. They said they thought I was too busy to call or text or–

Angie said that you guys said I was staying at AJ’s place. Maybe it’s better that way? I don’t know. I really don’t!

Okay, so imagine the stand-up set. The typical my-parents-are-crazy-one. I’m on stage, yeah, mic, stool, bottle of water, and I’m giving exposition on my relationship with my family. This is not a tight five. This is maybe a tight twenty-three. At best.

But I detail this, like, long and complicated relationship with my family and with religion and how I’m somehow the black sheep here, in this family with, like, so much else to ostracize each other for, and I end it with, and they don’t even know that I lived in a parallel universe for a few weeks leading to a great deal of trauma and maybe even a minor identity crisis! Laugh break, applause, maybe a few jeers and a snarky exchange with a heckler, etcetera. Thank you, thank you, Violet Beach, I’ll be here til I die because I feel obligated to stay here forever because I’m afraid of cities and also change. I will not sign autographs, but I will take selfies. Our next act tonight is…You get it. I’m done with this bit, I’m way too invested in this character, this, this stand-up person. She seems fun. And honest, which I admire in a woman. Maybe that’s why she went into stand-up.

Should I try stand-up? No, no, I’m not that asshole. I’m the improv asshole, not the stand-up asshole. Or is that the same type of person? I was never really sure.

Hm.

The terrible thing about all of this is that I almost miss the hell-world. Something felt right about it. Something—I dunno. Drew me in. Made me want to stay, in my moments of lucidity. I talked to Mae about it and she said that she didn’t know why, but, yeah, that’s what it’s like, in those moments when you should be craving escape.

Wisdom saving throws constantly, I said, offhand, because, like, word association, we had a session the night previously, etcetera, all that–it was dumb, and Charlotte told me that I was not allowed to infect her girlfriend with my nerd shit. I said, Charlotte, you literally play, and she flipped me off and dragged Mae out of the room before I could finish making fun of her,  which is totally unfair. Mostly because I needed answers, but also because making fun of Charlotte Cranor-Liu is a goldmine of comedy. I love her like the sister I never had.

The sister I do have considers me a disgrace, so, like, yeah. That’s also been my two months. I won’t go deep into that.

I’m nineteen tomorrow. That’s cool. That—should feel more important than it does. I hate birthdays. Like I said. Hate change, so the change of a number that I use to define myself is never super exciting.

It’s spring break, too, which means that I should be having fun right now, but instead, I’m over here on a beach at 4:37 AM, laptop and mic in my lap. And the sky is black verging on orange verging on pink verging on blue, which still feels so innately wrong, even though it shouldn’t.

I’m thinking about getting an alternative lifestyle haircut, like, to signify that I’m a new person, or something. That’s what people do, right? Shave their head and dye it red to symbolize new beginnings. I kinda wanted an alternative lifestyle haircut in high school, but I was afraid of how people’d react. I don’t really–I don’t really get why I cared so much, now.

But then, there’s the whole deciding thing and the change thing, which, like, has been addressed maybe seventeen times in the last forty seconds. So I’ll chill on reiterating, but. That’s the kicker. That’s where I get stuck.

I’ve changed. I don’t want to have changed, but I have. I might as well embrace it, y’know? There’s no going back from where we ended up. The point of no return was January first.

Sometimes we still get those static interruptions. Mae’s told us what they’re all about, and I’m not–I’m not afraid anymore. They’re just people tryin’ to reach out, y’know? Trying to make sure we don’t get trapped like they’ve been trapped. Trying to get untrapped themselves. That’s–kind of them. I wish we could help, but we can’t, and that’s–

I’ve been trying to become a morning person, but I’m clearly failing, because I lost my point entirely. Don’t know where to go next.

But that’s it, yeah? That’s–that’s just how it’s been. I just.

I just worry. That’s all I do anymore, which is cool and which is great and which is just the best. 

I worry about Mae. I–I see a lot of myself in her. Charlotte, don’t be insulted, but.

She must feel lonely. I wanted to relate to her about my experiences in her, uh. Her home, I guess, but–it’s different when you’ve lived there for your whole life, and when you’re the only one who got out safe. And then, for it all to just–

Because we know that they’re trying to take us, too. Like, I don’t think we discuss that threat enough, but there are evil people–like, legitimately evil people, like, comic book-ass villains who want to abduct us into a parallel universe that is so, so–

Different. Andy and his crew–I refuse to call them by any, like, threatening title, cuz that’s corny, but–Andy and his faux-hippie crew made themselves a world that I can’t even fathom. And I lived there! I’m a writer, I should know how to describe it, but I can’t. I hate that! I hate it so much. I wish that I could draw–other me can draw, but she’s never lucid enough to do shit for me that I need her to do. She’s just–she’s so shocked by the world around her, y’know? Hell Yeah Look At The Moon, and all that.

My Netflix history is also super ruined, because she watches Fraiser at 2AM. They don’t have Fraiser over there.

Oh, yeah, and sometimes my alternative self takes over my body and we have a sort of Jeykll and Jeykll but from an alternative universe situation going on. Should have started with that. Benji and Angie already know, so I kind of assume that all of you do. It’s not bad. She just wants to, like, live her life, and I respect that. So. Uh. Yeah. She’s chill. Be nice to her. She will not clarify that it’s her if you meet her, so, just, like, maybe be really nice to me all the time.

I guess. I don’t know. Maybe just be your normal asshole selves to her? That’s normal and also I love that about you folks, so. It’s probably for the best that you’re just normal to her.

Who knows. This is so beyond me, at this point, like–I used to be on top. I used to have it all together. I really thought that I could, like, make something of myself, and–ugh. Ugh. Ugh! It’s–

It’s out of my hands, y’know? I don’t control my fate, or whatever. I don’t even believe in fate, but–I guess I have to, now. Or something. It’s a lot. A whole lot.

I don’t know where I see myself in five years. I had a quick answer for that, earlier, but it’s not softball. I was–I was wrong about that. I–I said that I feel obligated to stay here, and–I do. I really do. It’s beautiful here, rent’s not bad, we have a newspaper that I think is somewhere close to hiring me, and we don’t have too much tourism.

And we have a boardwalk and everything. And an alternate version of everything that has people coming out of it who want us gone. Which, admittedly? Kinda cool.

But it’s almost five AM and I’m staring at the ocean, and I’m thinking–and forgive me for the cliché, there’s gotta be so much more out there for me, right? I just wanna live my life, too. I wanna find my own moon to stare at, find my Fraiser, find–something to be excited about and live for that’s normal.


Gross. Forget that. I won’t edit it out of the file, but I’ll try to, like, edit it out of your brains. Because that’s bad. It really–

[there is a long interference, something resembling static, with musical notes in between. the notes resemble the theme song, but don’t quite form a coherent tune.]

I really do love just–waves. They’re so–neat. I’ve read about them, I’ve seen, like, videos of them, but–

They’re so good to look at.

I’m on the beach, my computer’s in my lap, and, uh, clearly, I’m recording something. Because I record my feelings, here. Uh How am I feeling?

Okay. I’m feeling okay. It’s early morning, and I’m on the beach, and I’m here, so that’s–cool. That’s really cool.

But, also, other me, I can’t–I can’t watch stuff on the beach, and other me, you know I’m almost done with season 2 of Fraiser. Please, other me, let me watch Fraiser. I need to understand if these characters are going to have arcs or not, y’know?

I don’t think that they are. But I like it, so it’s okay.

Just–I’m so ready for everything to get better soon, y’know? I think–I think I can figure out a way to make this work. Both I’s, not just I as in me, singular. Possession and occasional, uh–abduction. Accidentally. Isn’t the best way to get this done. So I’m on the verge of something. On the verge of a solution, and I swear to God, I’m gonna–

I think that a change is gonna come soon.

And holy shit, am I ready for it.