Secret songs of brawny longing. Yawning through lunch, Coreena is pinched by her hidden journal which reminds her to wake the fuck up and be nOrMaL for a minute grrrrrrrrr she strains inside herself, growling, managing factors which are documented by doctors, her captors. Grrrrrrrrrr she eats her lunch, triumphant.*
The girls say it is winter their arthritis hands have been scribbling they love it they love it they love it the grind of their bones into bread to break later at tables at tea. She says are you mad or is it me? We’re angry we’re angry we’re angry.**
*This is not necessarily an anecdote referencing my “anorexic” food-abstaining-leaning friends, all our eating was monitored heavily, three times a day, for however long you were there. Visits and trips off campus were truly utopian/quotidian (Munoz p. 9) experiences. A cup of shitty gas station coffee and a 360 degree view of any view beyond that campuscompound… You have no idea what it did for me.
A mantra of our doctors/captors was “Hold your own reality”. Hahahaha. So for us, the girls, my friends and sisters in our underground therapy group, we lived in a dialectic of “holding their own reality” vs. “holding our own reality”. During coerced-I mean, guided meditations we would go wherever we wanted! Sometimes resistance was imagining myself smoking the cig I snuck or was planning to sneak on my last or next visit. Sometimes resistance was just saying “Ok, semi-oppressive meditation guide, I will join you on the beach in our minds. And I will make fun of you later with my friends, we definitely will make fun of how I swear it sounded like you were gonna say something racist the more exotic your descriptions of the beach became.
**“The utopian is an impulse we see in everyday life. This impulse is to be glimpsed as something that is extra to the everyday transaction of hetero-normative capitalism,” (Munoz p. 22). Here I am just calling attention to the idea that for Mad people, some of our Quotidian, everyday, reclaimable experiences are compulsions. Compulsive writing is an act of resistance. We are well-documented bodies and now we’re taking notes. And drawing dozens of cigarettes in our journals.