Invisible Disability
By T. E. Hieatt

I am dependent and helpless as a pivot
without the door and the frame
A bag of Ultex Jazz IIIs hang
A Schecter Hellraiser Deluxe sits
A pad of paper and pens and
moments stuffed in boxes
materials in storage
a brain on the shelf
a mind in a closet

It's somewhere down there
Let me keep looking
It's those bits and bytes
I take in

And I worry about the size
of my abdomen
When the trigger points in the
back are bad
I cannot operate the ab muscles
and the guts fall out to gravity
the organs pull and pull and the
rest of my body becomes a broken door
holding on by a rusted pivot
it's ludicrous
so I paint myself in wishes and dreams
and apply rouge to arouse the suspicion
of color and life in my thoughts

If I drop out of college again
it may be the best decision of my life
Windir is blaring in my ear canals
and swimming abrasive harmonies
inject the antidote into my position
Like a fuck
and a screwball without balls or the ability to screw

If I go to the disability office at school and say
hey, I am too damaged to keep up
they might be like, ok, we'll work things out
you can catch up
we will give you special consideration
since you have special considerations
and I'll say thank you politely with a forced smile
and I will walk down one flight of stairs to
building 10, 3rd floor, and as people eat pizza
I will throw myself off the edge right to the bottom of the next floor, and they will think oh my god,
and the campus police will be called, and I will experience pain like no other. It will be the truest of all pain. I will have something broken and be unable to move. I may be paralyzed. I may have to spend a year in physical therapy, and a lifetime in mental therapy, and they might give me medications to stop me compulsively throwing myself off of things.

Or should I just smile forced and walk away to math class and pretend to stay awake and learn about Gaussian systems and try to take it in and stand with 1000 other people someday in a ridiculous outfit so they can hand me an embossed paper, stamped with the seal of their approval, and then I will throw myself off the stage and they will all gasp in shock and I will laugh because I have the paper. I have it. And I will die in a sea of capped faces and the glare of auditorium sodium lights where sometimes they play basketball games. My parents will cry and my mom will faint while sobbing. Dad will be appropriate about the matter, consulting with the authorities and following the chain of command. Jess will rush to my side and have a flash of concerned anger in his eye, deeply sigh, and ask "What did you do that for?" David will say, "Oh, Jesus Christ," and stare in disbelief while becoming overwhelmed with emotion and the urge to run away.

Or perhaps I could skip the disability office and take whatever grade comes. Forgetting all I've missed and go for passing. Then I could stand there in that sea of capped faces and feel like the best most intelligent underachiever in the world.

Someone wrote in a psychedelic mushroom forum that one should only go to the psychiatric hospital if they are suicidal or homicidal.

But no, I believe in mental anarchy. Just another system of equations to make those mental variables fit, those places. Anti-psychotics and permanent brain damage. Take your risperdal. Eat your lunchtime mac and cheese. Six hour therapy sessions. Maybe it's not so bad. But I'd rather be in an institution in Sweden, where they are truly philanthropic and encourage the art out of you. Just like that one guy who is schizophrenic and makes electronic music. I can't remember his name.

I've walked by the open math book for two weeks and I've sat down and I've tried to work on problems and every time I do I feel like I am losing my mind, and I think of David at school and it pisses me off that I can't just get by and go and be with him, but I'd rather be here in my coffin where I can sort out my spaces and figure it out so I can start the whole cycle over again, but not by choice really.

I'll go to the disability office and tell them I have lost my mind, that I need to be admitted to a special ward for special mental considerations, because I don't care about treating my physical pain anymore because nothing works, since it's a part-time job like my old doctor said. She's right. I quit. So the disability officer of special justice will refer me to a counselor who will refer me to a behavioral correction center for outpatient therapy but then they will say, oh, she's worse than we thought, we should admit her for a long time. And I will begin again in a new coffin. I will request Sweden and I will be put on a coffin boat since I don't like to fly. And I will throw up at the waves and dance and fuck the sailors on my way to Sweden and I will throw myself off the side, even though I am shackled to the deck. Wait, no... And then I will smartly hang myself off the side. And the beginning of "The Beginning" by Windir is playing now, and it is lovely, and should be the song playing as I bounce around hanging by a chain. I will look out at the distance and the waves and the shores unseen and imagine fisherman in boats and women sweeping things.

I could just go to class and sleep.

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T. E. Hieatt is a graduate of history who loves conquering limitations by kicking at the walls between her writing, music, art, and entrepreneurship.

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