#Essay: Manic by Ayodolapo

I can feel them. Crawling on my leg, they slither up my body. I can feel them in my blood. Then they’re gone. Hands lightly brush my arms. I feel the air ceasing. They’re trying to get in so I struggle. Do something. Do something. Don’t let them in. I struggle and struggle. Then it flashes through my eyes. A vision. What’s that in my hands? It’s blurry and I can’t tell. I’m sitting on the toilet bowl, bawling my eyes out. I’m in pain. Excruciating pain. I strike my chest with it. Once. Twice. I start to get hysterical and I do it over and over again. Faster this time. There’s blood everywhere. God knows what else. But I don’t stop. I’m striking and striking.

Do something. Do something. Don’t let them in. I struggle and struggle. Don’t let them in.
I had closed my eyes and my nose but not my ears. They slithered into my head through my ears. First thing they did, as always was to laugh. Call my name. Ajoke. Ajoke. Laughter. Again.
Maybe that’s why I hate that name. That’s what they call me. Some days, they whisper my name. Some days, they scream. Some days, they scream, fight and bite.

Hit your head on the wall. Pull your hair out. Prick yourself. You’re worthless. No one loves you. Kill yourself. No one will notice anyway. Slut. Fucking slut. You deserve it. Dumb bitch.

I try to shut them out. But how do you shut voices coming from your own head? How do you get them out? How do I shut them out completely?
They lit a match. It burns slowly with an intensity. I smell it. Pungent. It smells like death. Decaying flesh. Decomposed flesh. It’s my brain melting. My mind. I’mslipping. So I struggle because I’m supposed to be a fighter. Right? That’s what everyone says. There’s a rope and I’m holding on to it for dear life. But my palms are sweaty and I can feel myself falling. Further into the abyss.
I lose my grip and I’m falling. It feels endless. 20 years go by and I’m still falling. My heart in my mouth. The air drained out of me. I’m falling. I’m falling. Nothing.

I become nothing. But that’s a hard concept for my mind to grasp. Who am I? Where am I? Am I even real? We’ll give you answers they say. They all talk at once and my head feels like a ticking bomb. I’m on fire. I can feel my legs burning. So tell me why I don’t see a fire when I look down? My legs are on fire I scream. Help! Please make it stop. Nobody hears. Maybe it’s because the words never left my lips.

My lips. Do I have lips? I’m afraid to confirm because what if I truly have no lips? 10. 9. 8. 7.
I can see the time bomb in my head. I don’t know how I can see it but it’s there. Right in front of me. It’s a black hole with a floating digital clock. When it detonates, I’ll be blown into tiny little pieces. Mama said not to die. Maybe I should figure out a way to defuse it. I close my eyes, (has it been open all along?) and focus.

Where’s the rope? It’s dark and there are shadows lurking. I stay by the walls as I search. Searching for the rope that leads to logic. Slow and easy. Reminding myself to breathe. You’ve done this before. You can do it again. I hope.
Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe.

I feel their hands brush me as I search. Their voices sliding down my skin. Staining me. I think of washing them off. I always do. Hours on end in the shower, wiping, washing, scrubbing. The smell never leaves though. It follows me around. The smell of rotting corpse. Rotting flesh.
Focus. The rope. You can do this. Focus.
Who am I kidding? They are right. As always. I’m a loser and I deserve to die. I deserve to die. I deserve death. Over and over again. Like a broken record in my head. Die. Die. Die. Make everyone happy and die. Do everyone a favor and die. End everyone’s misery and die. Die. Die.

I can’t see them but I see the smile on their faces. I feel it. I feel them move. In my body, my veins. Slightly. Then violently. I sway like I’m demon possessed. Dancing to their rhythm. Sway, praying they make it quick. I sway. Left. Then right. I sway.
I open my eyes and they’re gone. I lay in bed half dead and drained. With no will. To live. To fight. Planning my funeral.

Feature Art by VOFO’s Art.

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