writing: in her head

In her head, there were wild bright things. She sat in her van with her hand dangling over the wheel and her pale blue eyes raw from crying. She sat there for a long time, Mr. Brightside flickering against the radio static. It was indie alt-rock station; listening to music that wasn’t strictly mainstream made her feel rebellious and edgy. Really, she was just another millennial sitting in a stopped car in a Starbucks parking lot, having her clockwork Thursday a.m. existential crisis. In two hours she had her pilates, and then she was meeting up with friends at an organic juice shop. Then she had to go home and watch t.v. for two hours and eat a gallon of ice cream, just so she could post the instragram picture with #miserableatbest. She knew her friends would not understand the music reference and that made it even worse. She wished she had stayed close with her friends from high school, because they would have laughed at the little things she did as unspoken references to her 2005 glory days. The way she screeched at the g-note; the band merch shoved in the back of her closet; the myspace account she snuck onto from time to time, just so she could cringe at the old pictures and how terrible her bangs had looked back then. She had been socially brilliant at college, somehow. She met all kinds of new people. Now she drove this kind of car and wore these kinds of shoes and told people she listened to rap, because somehow that was an acceptable kind of middle-class whiteness. Now she sat alone in her car and cried. Of course she had done that before, in high school, but that had been different. She remembered that depression as a sort of purity, because at least she hadn’t been faking it. She never drank Starbucks then, either, not as some sort of statement, just because she was flat broke and she spent every extra cent on her music and the occasional manga. Now it was some sort of organic soy mocha that she always drank; she didn’t remember the name, because there was always a friend with her to name the order. She couldn’t do things by herself anymore. First there were the college friends, and then there was this last boyfriend, who was almost a hipster and cooked her exotic kale dishes and had 2 million followers for modeling flannel shirts online. He and the friends said they had saved her, that she would be so much worse off right now if she had followed the highschool friends. She didn’t know. But he had hit her when she talked about the one guy she dated in her junior year, the lead singer in this terrible grunge band. She laughed about it now; she even told the boyfriend she used to find eyeliner on boys attractive. He told her she was better than that.

She stared for a long time at her nails on the steering wheel. She wished they were painted black.

In her head there were things quickly dimming. She put the car into drive, but then gave up and let it roll backwards into the highway.

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