PART-TIME MANIA, Jessica Gleason

Part-Time Mania
by Jessica Gleason

 Sometimes when I’m driving, I feel like I can jump off a building and survive—I’m the happiest I’ve ever felt, the most devastatingly beautiful thing I have ever been. I’m confident. I’m sex. I’m what you dream about, what you want to touch. It’s me, raw, but also crazy.

And, I know I’m crazy. I whisper it to myself as I’m driving. I whisper it, even though no one is listening. I don’t know why. But, I feel perfect. I feel like the best version of myself. I am bold and daring and reckless. I’m dangerous.

I want to fuck something chiseled, handsome, manly. I want kind eyes and a rough beard. I want nimble fingers and strong thighs. And, it’s tough for me to resist. I’m usually very good at lines, but not when I feel invincible.

And, I used to call you. You were always my first line of defense. I knew you were full-time crazy, with or without your medication. I knew you understood the intimidation of powerful moods, though yours swung the other way to the darker place. You’d talk to me and tell me that I was the things I felt.

You’d tell me I was crazy first—but also beautiful and confident and sexy. You’d say that my danger ran under the surface most days, humming along, but never emerging. You’d tell me that I was perfect—the best me—bold and daring, but less than reckless.

And, I haven’t felt this mania since you died. Today it played out in sequence. Driving. Crazy. Elated. Whispering. But, I was lost. You weren’t there. I didn’t know what to do, and the crazy lingered a bit longer than usual and I cried. I needed you and you weren’t there, and it sunk in that you’d never be there again. I have pictures of your face. I have recordings of your voice. I can play your videos, but I won’t ever have that human contact again.

I’m not sure how to fucking get by without you. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to do it. The selfish part of me is angry. The irrational part of me thinks that maybe you’ll come back. The childish part of me remembers the nights when you were at your blackest—and I never understood how you’d get there being what you were, a perfect face-perfect voice-unfiltered talent, but when you’d fall into me I’d hold you. I’d take you to bed and rock you until you were sleeping, and I resent having done it—if only for a minute.

I loved you. Some days I was in love with you. The idea of you still lingers and I love it more than I love living people. Then, suddenly, I’m crazy again but for different reasons.

You can’t love a dead man. He will never love you back.

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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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