Don’t let your cheek twitch. Yes, yes, I know it wants to, but don’t let it.
This is exciting! You might be setting foot on the campus of your future for the first time! In fact, the campus doesn’t look all that pretty… and the guys here look kind of weird, not handsome like you imagined… but that’s okay, this is still cool. This is still exciting!
Room 112, that’s where the magic will happen. If only we could find it. Around and around and around… I swear I’ve been down this corridor. Front desk, we meet again. Didn’t you hear? They changed the rooms. 112 doesn’t exist, it’s a typo.
Down the hall, hall down the, the hall down. Here we are!
Why thank you, I am welcome.
Is it just me or is this chair built weirdly? How do I exude leisure and confidence while in a chair that awkwardly leans backwards? I don’t know.
Maybe I should have realized that I would need to speak, need to tell them why I’m interested in joining this lovely and competitive school, but I didn’t. At least someone spoke before me.
The man was nice and he seemed to like my answer. Good job! You’re doing so well!
I will let you tell me a little bit about the course.
It’s fancy, yes, that’s why I’m here.
It’s revered, yes, that’s why I’m here.
It’s creative, interesting, professional, yes, yes, yes, that’s why I’m here.
It’s night courses.
Don’t let your cheek twitch. Don’t let the nice man see your face fall. Don’t let yourself acknowledge the disappointment coursing through your insufficient veins. Don’t let this inefficacy affect you. Don’t let your body’s inefficiency be a character in this conversation.
Don’t let your cheek twitch. And whatever you do, goddamit, don’t you dare cry. Tears are beneath your pain right now.
What? Oh, no, I don’t have any questions. Actually, just one: do you offer any daytime courses?
Have you heard of any places that do?
No, thank you, it was great meeting you.
You wish me health.
I wish me health too.
Cause wouldn’t health just be a great thing? Wouldn’t it just solve this all right here, right now? Wouldn’t it save me this pain, quite literally? Wouldn’t it spare me this turmoil of watching my independence quiver into a mere dream, of watching everything that excites me be cut down and vaporized, barred from me because I just can’t freaking do it?
It would. But it won’t. Because health is nothing but a rumor around here. My body believes it to be a fantasy, in fact. You should never hope to chase a fantasy, it tells me. Because this body of mine, it hates me. I’m looking down on it now, in fact, using it to type these words, but it’s using me, too. Using me to make me miserable. What it gains? I’m not sure.
I won’t be going there next year. I won’t be going anywhere. I will remain exactly where I am, writing about being sick and totally sick of it, treading water, paddling backwards and discovering that all my hopes are in the muddy puddle I keep treading in over, and over, and over.
Game over. Wave your dreams goodbye as they pass you in the car you could drive if you had anywhere to go.
The people around say: “It’s okay, there will be other courses. Something with daytime hours, something you can do.” The people in me say: “Believe them. Please, please, believe them! If you don’t, what will we do?”
I say: “Give me a chance to live my life for once. Give me my choices back. Give me freedom. Give me an interview I can be happy about.”
But whatever you do, in this life, don’t let your cheek twitch.
I have tried but I don’t fit into this box I’m living with. –The Box, Damien Rice