My second favorite thing about mania were the playlists.

“You talk about Spotify more than anyone I have ever met. You should be paid for how often you casually drop that app into conversation. It’s free marketing.”

I was on a first date with a woman who looked and acted just like me and I wanted to peel my skin and run but I continued. We were both high and had been in psych hospitals and were hot and were reviewing our psychosis. There is no reality.

“I still use Spotify all of the time.”

She was giggling and telling me just got out of a relationship with an older man that she met right after her psychosis and realized she actually loved women. This is an illusion.

“I haven’t fully recovered.”

She nodded and continued to smoke her vape. I wanted to tear her clothes off and have hours of sex with her but did not value her as a person. She was incredibly crazy. It was the most misogynistic thought I ever had.

“I’ll call you.”

That was the first time I ghosted a woman. I felt my dick grow. I should have fucked her to see what it would be like to fuck myself but I was pretty used to that already. I walked home with my earbuds in and let the wave of dissociation begin. An old favorite: electronic, repetitive and I was back in the same harrowing fairy tale. Moving like a slow squall, I let the synthesis approach and blow me. Grounded, it couldn’t move me but further along in the walk towards home.  Getting used to things requires wading in freezing water for a bit. Three stories at once, usually, or vacillating between two to land on a new neutral. I walked like that; in and out of all worlds and still able to say “excuse me” and pass people, offer time, directions, step out of the way of ant hills.

I had been hearing that in my head for years.
It would come so suddenly like that.
I was supposed to be monitoring how it felt when it listened to music.
Like everything I’ve ever loved coming back to me.
Adrenaline, crescendo, confusion, grandiosity, illusion. My heartbeat usually pulsed. I twisted the straw. My body hurt more from the music than anything. Electricity radiated around me, buzzing, was I losing my hearing? I became frightened of electricity all the while spinning my spoon inside of it, directing it, moving it, asking it for favor. The music moved me to walk for miles.

I was humbled by the strangeness of my life. And out loud, I said

“Ok! Where?! God damn!”

And I smiled at a child that had witnessed this.  I made amends. i smiled the entire walk home at any other passing child to show them I was completely aware of my surroundings and there are safe spaces left in this world after all. 

“The story about the playlists”

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