Stories

Confession – Sam Machell

alright listen, right, it’s times like this where i really doubt, and i mean significantly doubt, like the extent to which i exist. ive just drank enough coffee to almost shit myself and my ass crack is sweating. each fart is a balancing act. it’s pretty early, there’s birds behind me in the tree outside the window tweeting. palm tree. residential area. probably brought in by good old Drake himself from the freer lands. the only thing i can focus on is how much i need to shit. i can rely on that, as silly as it is. Because basically, alright, this is the main point im gonna make ok, i figured it all out: it seems to me that my consciousness is a disembodied entity, right:: That there’s a significant difference between the ‘me’ inhabiting my body in a space and the ‘me’ inhabiting myself in my thoughts/words. This probably doesn’t make sense im still stoned from last night. Like so,, this is why i always,, ok… this is embarrassing, bear with me. Whenever there’s a free moment or just like, on my own,,, if im on my own, right, whenever, the thing im most likely to do when im doing nothing or doing something passive, is fiddle with my dick. It’s a reflex. I hope other guys do this too so i dont just come across like a weirdo or a perv. My absent-minded general routine is: im sitting, watching something, reading, thinking, and all the while Im always reaching down and giving my dick a little squeeze through my pants/trousers, like gripping it gently, poking it, prodding it around till i give myself a boner. This is only when im by myself, but tbh it’s such a habit now that ive accidentally done it in front of other people like my flatmate and my parents but hopefully i think it’s always been subtle enough that they didnt notice. I usually wont masturbate, ill just let the boner cool down, go back to flaccid, then do it again. It’s like an act of earthing. Dyou know what i mean? When you spend a lot of your time on your own and in your own thoughts,, is that i feel less and less like a real person, and this act of centering myself, like calibration,,, grounding,,,, forcing a visible and tactile response that i can count on and predict brings me back into my body,, when it all gets too tornadic. Same with my need to shit. Like my thoughts are really in no way connected to anything in the physical,, there’s this dissonance. They happen too fast to corroborate. Is corroborate the right word? Like you know when you’re having a discussion with someone, and there’s a lull in the flow of chat, and you and the other person stare off into space, and then the other person comes out with some totally random non sequential observation.,,, and it doesn’t seem random to them, because in their head the steps in logic are pretty clear, but irl the thought chain happened in the space of, what, like 20 seconds or something. It’s two different worlds happening at different rates. I just reached down to see how the wetness was doing and it’s pretty bad. The sweats i mean. So who am i? capital i. Am i more the thoughts that no one sees that dictate my behaviour and sort of define my Being,, or am i this weird sweaty meat clump, with a sweaty crack that’s sweating so much even my pyjamas are a bit damp? I can hear traffic. Some louder birdsong. Cars sound different depending on how close they are, and there’s a special rumble and slowness that will signify a car turning onto my road, which ive had to learn how to get good at identifying because the doorbell is pretty quiet, and if ive ordered food i cant be not hearing the doorbell. Hunger is a good example actually. Like how do you know youre hungry? Well you feel it in your body i guess, like in your stomach. But i dont know like most of the time my experience of hunger is more like an experience of boredom, or routine, or knowing that something has to be done. And actually, when i was in a real rough spot, real depressed, in that catatonic inward state where i would spend days in bed, not eating, whatever, i think that was maybe like,,, that describes like losing connection with your physical presence. Like the signals i was receiving, from, like my stomach through my nerves to my brain, was either not transmitting – not coming through – or was ignored by my brain. If my brain can either consciously or unconsciously block out physical signals, it suggests i think that my brain self is more powerful and therefore maybe more pure and True than my physical one. I dont know i used to be a religious person, like spiritual, but im pretty disconnected from that now. Look im doing it right now. I just swapped out of this tab into twitter and started touching my dick. I did it again for fucks sake. I never have supplies in the house for breakfast and always spend the morning hungry. I dont know why i do that. I was,,, this one time, i was in traffic on the way home to visit my family, and the,,, it was really piled up bad. A caravan had rolled and the entire thing got shattered. Like, the shell of the thing was wood, and splintered and sprayed over all three lanes in both directions, and all the family’s furniture and crockery and whatever it was all sprayed everywhere and broken. Big clean up job. So i was in this jam for hours and to my,, i was in the left lane,, to my right there was,,, i can still picture this now,, there was a couple, young couple, in a little like Focus or something, and at some point in the jam i saw the girl dip down and the guy close his eyes and smile. And i thought no one actually did road head tbh but here we are so i got real shocked, and,,, What better time is there for road head than gridlock i guess. It was pretty crazy to see like i dont think id seen a sex act in real life before like outside of porn, and tbh, i wanted to masturbate, but behind me to the right there was this big lorry, and the driver, when i looked behind me, up in his cab watching down made total direct eye contact with me like he was ready for me, and every time i looked, he was watching,,, so i didnt masturbate and it really took all the restraint in the world to not touch my dick tbh for those hours. And i was in this traffic jam for so long. I’d been driving for a while anyway and was already bored of my music and podcasts and jeez it was so hot that day i wouldnt have wanted to masturbate anyway, it wouldve killed me. I just swapped out of the tab again ffs. Honestly i think i spend more time with my eyes out of focus, looking through things like rather than at them, than i do like actually taking the world in. and it got to the point of boredom where i started to pick at my wrist. Had it for years on my wrist, this ganglion cyst, lumpy fluid build up thing on my left wrist. Sometimes it swells up worse than others. When it’s at it most bulbous i can grip it and move it around slightly underneath my skin. It doesn’t hurt like in any kind of stinging stabby way, more sort of aches after extended periods of sliding it. Sorry. Im looking at the carpet to the left of my laptop that im typing this on,,,,we have mice again and im acutely aware of the stretch of room they always run across which is just, in front, left of my laptop. Im sitting on the sofa in the front room, facing down the hall to the kitchen,, that’s where they run. My right eye is twitching. Like, i pick at my lip also, my lower lip,,, which is pretty puffy and prominent and hangs down and out a bit which means the skin gets really dry and chapped, and i pick at the skin a lot,, or people who pick at the skin around their finger nails and get hang nails even tho they know that’s what’s gonna happen and it’s gonna hurt. I knew i was gonna hurt myself if i kept moving that cyst around but i did it anyway i was so bored. It’s like,, the invisible self, the mind/soul i suppose if you wanna call it that, is so restless being trapped within this gross sack of aches and leaks that it just needs any kind of stimulation, no matter what,, and, yknow, people smoke. I smoke. I know smoking is bad for me. it’s shouted at me enough by the packets’ horrifying stock images and warning text and like,, ‘scientifically proven world’s most disgusting’ shade of newborn turd brown the packets are. Everyone knows this but people still smoke. It doesn’t matter if we know that like, we’re destroying our body or anything because the body is far more abstract than the mind, yknow. Youve gotta tell me if im sounding way stoned and incoherent. I need to piss now too now that the need to shit has kinda died away. Let me feel,,, yeah it’s dried a bit too now. And also youve gotta tell me if this stuff is way obvious or patronising to hear, its like,, im trying to voice this all for the first time so it’s a bit messy. But what is a yawn if not a way for your body to be like yo listen to me i need some attention. Ok the need to shit has come back in a major way ill brb.

I think ive worked out how to phrase this better so like,, your body is essentially a vehicle, right, through which and with which you perceive everything outside you, aka everything that is capital R Real. But, i have tinnitus, right?, Shit ok so like more background,,, i have this hereditary issue with my ears where they produce way too much ear wax, and so once a month i have to put in these ear drops, either olive oil drops which soften the wax or this harsher thing called Otex that corrodes the wax if its soft enough, and when its in there it sounds really bizarre and spacey and bubbly right on the eardrum. But basically i didnt read the packet properly one time and used too much and it’s done some sort of thing to my hearing permanently where now i have tinnitus constantly humming. So this is totally caused by a physical phenomena, to do with my body, and it impacts my perception forever. Like there isn’t really a whine constantly happening in the world, i just perceive one, right. Same with when the wax gets too bad and everything sounds like it’s flooded and underwater. It’s not really all underwater. Right? I cant even tell you Im so fucking hungry right now my stomach is screaming. And yknow as well like when you get ill and everything smells kinda like hospitally disinfectant stuff, right, and it’s all abstract and mutable and not at all trustworthy. Like when youre ill the world feels far more hostile just because of how twistedly youre taking everything in. Oh shit no this is a better example actually, like when you’re ill and you can’t really taste anything. Like food all just feels grey and pulpy. That doesn’t mean that the food just doesn’t taste of anything anymore, it just means your body is lying to you.. right. So like what this means is there’s a war, right, between the body and the mind then. And when im on my own, no one can see my body, i can look up at the ceiling and all i can see of my body is maybe some hair in front of my eyes,,, but i can just, i can move that, there, and then all i see…,,, sorry i’ll let you go soon i just need to work this out,, all i can see now right now is the sides of my nose. My left eye sees the left of my nose, in the right of my vision,,, My right eye sees the right side of my nose in the left of my vision,, And together these twin noses straddle everything i see. Like unconsciously i am constantly filtering out the awareness of my disgusting beak. I wasn’t aware how big my nose was till secondary school where i got bullied for it pretty relentlessly, and now i can’t see anything without seeing my nose poking into frame. But this is as far as i can go to not see my body without closing my eyes I guess. And if i could eat i wouldn’t be hungry and then my hunger wouldn’t be gnawing at my mind like this. So this must be my purest form right, and..,,, fuck sorry ,,,, i just went on twitter again. Ive lost my train of thought aaaand i just squeezed my dick ffs. You promise youll tell me if this is incoherent? So is this way of accessing the true self really at its core, like, a quest for disembodiment?? I dont know.. its hard to talk about this stuff, like i want to try to vocalise what im thinking but im sure someone has already said it far more cohesively before. I would say to ask the transcendentalists but i dont understand how meditation can get us the way there, because every time ive tried to meditate all i can think about is like, how im hungry, or about the ringing in my ear, or my ganglion and its passive aching. Oh! The ganglion! Yeah so i was in the car and moving this ganglion around because i was so bored. And the more i moved it the more it started to ache and sting, but it was just total gridlock like people were standing on their car roofs kind of gridlock.. And at this point i tried playing a podcast but like any and all sound was kinda grating me and unbearable because id been in the car so long already blasting music the whole time. So focusing intently on the pain felt like the only way of dealing with the boredom,, and so i didn’t stop even when the skin broke. Last time anything this grim happened it was in my A level english lit exam, and im,,, it was a closed book exam aka the most fucking pointless thing ive ever heard of,, and there i am scribbly, by hand ofc again like archaic pen and paper shit, as fast as i can and the ganglion is swelling up because of all the fluids being produced by my wrist, truly being put through the paces here, and it kept swelling and i was aware of it, this lump, creeping into my vision which was angled mostly down at the paper, but also looking up pretty frequently at the clock. So my awareness was split: the passing of time, counting down to like completion – the awareness of everyone around me scribbling and scratching – me writing – my cyst encroaching. And it went crack,, like a loud crack like a glowstick,, and the bulging receded because clearly inside my hand i’d broken the seal, and all my fingers swolled up where the fluid must be leaking to. But blessedly i was so focused on finishing the exam and getting down all my regurgitated ideas about King Lear that it was sort of just a thing that was happening and it didn’t disturb me till after it was over. I swear this is the truth. This,,, but in the car it was on the surface, the skin broke, and the fluid,, like kinda semen looking, mostly clear but milky fluid came out, as well as the blood of course. I remember this part the most clearly: turning around in this state of pain and fugue and seeing the lorry driver looking straight up at the roof of his cab unblinking, his whole body vibrating slightly, with his mouth open and his tongue flicking about like a worm. And so, right, im finally getting to my point now sorry about this: My body is not me and im actually like pretty detached from it in a weird way. Pretty disturbing isnt it, when i focus on it like this. Look at how it healed. Man i wish i had some food it’s still like three hours till lunch time. So like this is all,,,, what am i? Is the main question. I guess i am the words i say, right. Thought is probably best approximated as language, right, but language at this kinda pure and unfiltered zenith at the speed of light where you’re like reading but in two dimensions, yknow. Which is maybe why people talk to themselves. Because if im not speaking i am not existing because my thoughts are not made physical or real. When i speak a thought, that thought is made True. because it’s out there vibrating about, totally precise and finite and not up for interpretation, yknow. Like,,, but this is,, ok this is the Truth now. This means that when im alone, by myself, i dont really exist at all, because my thoughts aren’t real or physical or perceived by anyone apart from myself, which we’ve already discussed is an uncertain thing anyway. Right. Like I literally do not know who i am anymore i cant recognise myself im so divorced from my body. When i look in the mirror i just see like a car or something with this flurry of thought like a storm inside, panicking. I really distinctly remember the first time i saw my nose as gigantic. It was a photo of me at age like 10 or something, where my face was in profile. I was out with my family and my dad’s brothers at a gastropub kinda place, and id been caught candidly eating a hot wing or something with my weird puffy lips puckered up and out with red sauce all over them highlighting their bulbousness, and my beak poking out even beyond that. And this was truly the first time i ever saw my face in profile,, and i said to my granny who was looking at the photo with me, Why does this picture make my nose look so big?, and she said like something along the lines of, It just looks that way to everyone, or like more like, This is how other people see you. That was real horror, that interaction. But still it took further corroboration from other people before it became part of my inherent knowledge of myself. It took the bullying for that to happen really. When your own reflection becomes sullied. So,,,, anyway,, sorry. This is what i’ve been trying to get at the whole time i think.,,, right?, and this does make sense doesn’t it? I know you have to go now. But listen, right, this is it,, this is my point, ok, this is i think why im addicted to Twitter.