1. The shame I felt in Kindergarten when there was no toilet paper so I had to wipe my butt with the stiff, glossy cover of a National Geographic featuring grey elephants.
Can you say papercuts?!?!
2. That horrible echoing pulse, like the banging heartbeat of a broken piano, that I would hear when I woke up in the middle of the night in my old house.
I still don’t know what was making it.
3. The acute nausea I felt every time the commercial for “Perfection” came on.
“Pop Goes Perfection!” Remember it?
No, you don’t. Not like I remember it.
4. That summer I spent three entire months doing nothing but rolling balls of green modeling clay and throwing them at the window where they would stick and leave shadows of changing length on the floor while I listened to Harry Potter audiobooks.
I would occasionally make a batch of ultra-concentrated iced tea out of like 30 lipton tea bags.
I also would take apart things in my room and clean their parts and then reassemble them.
5. My fear of my dad.
6. My inexplicable disgust towards the red squirrel in The Sword In The Stone who tries to force herself upon Arthur in his squirrel form.
That whole scene disturbed me very profoundly, as did my reaction to it.
I remember being vindictively pleased at the the red squirrel’s hurt confusion right after Arthur becomes a human again. It was an unfamiliar sort of dull sadism that felt very foreign and unwelcome to me.
7. The specific, awful, intrusive thoughts—normally reserved for nighttime terror—that would stir sometimes during my 8th grade English class.
We all had ‘em! But I had mine, specifically, and you didn’t have those ones.
8. My love of my dad.
9. The confusing mix of Kafkaesque body-horror and gender confusion that I felt in second grade while reading “Marvin Redpost: Is He A Girl?”
I stole the book because of how much it fucked with me.
10. The ambivalence I felt when I was nearly electrocuted to death by a frayed wire.
I got over it and finished painting the wall.