He was supposed to take my memories when he brought me here, the seelie knight, who had been commanded to escort me home with a simple “take it away, it’s too old now and it bores me” from the noble who had kept me for the past while. I traded him my singing voice for them though, and now where once sweet music poured from my lips only hoarse and untuned notes fall out without any of the tempo or melody they had before. Now I think I made a bad trade. It might have been better, if I didn’t remember, or remembered something else entirely.
I stare at the boy next to me in the circle, I was asked to join this circle as a way to make me feel part of something, part of a circle. They call the circle a support group for abducted children. Children who were abducted and got away, that is, I don’t think there’s a support group for those currently abducted. Their abductors wouldn’t allow them to attend, I suppose. The boy is speaking about the man who touched him, speaking of the horrible way he loved that man, because he was a child, and he had to love someone. Are his memories true? Or is he like me? Did a faerie take him away, and replace the memories from Under the Hill with these tragedies? Why? Did he commit some crime? I cannot say.
I am fascinated by the girl who sits next to the girl directly across from me in the circle. She tells us to call her Angie. She wears ratty clothes, not the sort of poor chic that seems to be an underlying trend, with jackets made of patches and ribbed cloth sold at malls, but real grunge. The tears in her sleeves reveal razor scars, her hair is short, she wants to look tough, she wants people to cross the street to get away from her when they see her coming. She is not tough. She is nervous, always nervous, always afraid, though she hides it well. None of these things are too interesting to me, those things I can see anywhere, but I thought context would be important so that the fact that she’s a pathological liar would not be the only thing you knew about her.
She is a pathological liar.
Her lies fascinate me.
After group chat, I take her aside and we talk, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for hours, and I watch her fabricate thousands of untruths, from tiny white ones to huge fantastical ones as bright and colorful as her life has never been. Some days, I believe everything she says and some days I question each word, trying to figure out her secret.
It’s a strange thing, I was taken before I really knew my name, and each faerie that’s kept me (I was a pet for them) called me something different. Do I even have a true name? I’ve been Jane Doe since I showed up, stumbling barefoot and confused into a police station moments after midnight (at least the knight knew to leave me near a place of authority), so I’ve been introducing myself as Roe, like the deer. They ran my DNA through the missing children’s database (I didn’t understand what that was at first, was shocked at how closely humans had approximated magic with computers), but there was no match. I told them I didn’t know how long ago I’d been abducted, and suggested that it might have been before the database was made. They laughed and said I was eighteen, and DNA technology had been around much longer than me. I tried to explain that time was different where I had been kept, but they simply patted me on my head and told me they were sure that it seemed that way to me at the time.
They stared at me worriedly when one of them brought me a McDonald’s Happy Meal, and I asked what she wanted for it. She told me nothing. No one here ever asks for anything besides courtesy in return for their food, but old habits are hard to break. Even now, in my foster home, I cannot help insisting that my hosts confirm that this food is a gift freely given. They asked me to help them cook and I broke down in tears because there was a cast iron skillet on the stove (“Please don’t make me, iron burns, iron burns, and it gets under your skin and makes you go grey and lifeless like a flower severed from its roots, plea-please, please don’t make me”). It took them an hour to convince me that they weren’t trying to force me to poison myself, and the food burned (“I said I would help you, you asked me to cook and I agreed, but, but please don’t make me, it burns, it’ll burn me!” “It’s alright darling, you don’t have to cook if you don’t want to.” “But I said I would! It was an oath!” “We’re sorry, we wouldn’t have asked if we’d known it would upset you, you can help some other way if you like.” “You… absolve me of my oath?” “Yes, of course we do darling!”).
I am more comfortable with iron now, I am not one of the Fair Folk, after all, it will not harm me. Correction, a blade of iron would harm me, but not because it was made of iron. It does, however, mess with my glamor.
It is a difficult thing, growing up bathed in magic and yet to have none of your own. A pixie once spoke of how she envied my hair, and I said, on impulse, “do you want it?” So a trade was made. She gave me the ability to change my appearance, and she walked away with my hair. I expected my hair to grow back after a time though… it did not. With my glamor I can have the appearance of having whatever hair I please, and sometimes I change it daily, but when I sleep or when iron is near my bare head is revealed. It is assumed by my hosts and everyone around me that I have many wigs, I have told them I do not, but they don’t believe in magic, so they insist on believing this instead.
I hide when I hear thunder, duck into a bathroom and put everything on backward and inside out if I’m in public, or simply sit quiet if I’m home. The first time I did this, it shook me to my core when someone told me “You know, your shirt is on backward.” I started to panic, until I realized that I could see myself too. It was a revelation, discovering that there was something humans could see that the Good Neighbors couldn’t.
It still boggles my mind how much people throw away, tears and menstrual blood caught on napkins, or gifts from that one aunt that they held onto for so long for the sentimental value but can’t keep now because they have to move into a smaller apartment, or the shirt they can’t wear anymore because it smells like their ex. They could trade these items to faeries for so many things, and yet they simply throw them away. What a waste.
My hosts insisted I should have a proper education, and after three years of homeschooling (to get me caught up) I applied to attend the local state college. There I found more people who fascinate me the way Angie does. There’s Lisa, who fights for animal rights, and Kyle, the leader of the Gay Straight Alliance group, and Riley, who’s going into the Peace Corps next year because they want to help the world. I ask them all the time why they do what they do, what they expect to get back, and they tell me that ideally they’ll make the world a better place, and that will pay them back eventually, but that they don’t do it for what they’ll get back, they do it because it’s right. I don’t understand. There’s Cheyenne, who always gets into intense political debates with other people over dinner in the cafeteria, and she believes so intensely about things that don’t even affect her, and she fights for them, and she tells me she does this because it’s right, and I don’t understand. I’ve never met anyone who cared about anything other than themselves Under the Hill. Faeries can’t lie, they can’t go back on their word, they honor their deals and make sure you honor them too, they repay debts and ensure they’re repaid in turn, they amuse themselves playing or squabbling over power, but they do not do things for free. They don’t care about things for free. They don’t defend the innocent, protect the weak, or forgive the ignorant. The culture shock coming here is bewildering.
If I could I’d honor my debts, leave a pile of gold at the doorstep of everyone who’s done me a kindness, but I have not the magic to do so. The drainage ponds hold no sirens, the falling snow has no frolicking pixies between its flakes, there is no magic for me to use here… or is there?
Perhaps I can’t call upon the magic Under the Hill, perhaps I can’t summon gold or make deals with darklings, but I can find magic here, I’ve seen others do it. I’ve seen a moon so beautiful it sends shivers down your spine captured by a little lense-box and put onto thick shiny paper. I’ve seen songs and stories written with such emotion that it moves those who hear them to tears, to laughter, to dancing, to life. I’ve seen kitchen witches cure colds with hot chicken soup, and I’ve seen holy men ward off tricksters they can’t even see with the power of their belief.
Perhaps I can find a way to create my own magic, and do what other people seem to strive to do to repay their debts. Perhaps I can make the world a better place, and learn the magic of humanity. And as for the places where magic does live? Where the boundary between worlds is thin and the drainage ponds and snowflakes carry faerie magic within? …I think I’ll be staying far away, for my part. I might still have a lot to learn, but I think I like it better here.
• rolls in on his scooter at like 2 in the morning every night, probably always waking you up
• you’d think he was all badass, going to parties and staying out and everything…but he babysits dogs when their owners are away
• and he’d tell you that one morning when you found him trying to get in your apartment bc he mistook it for his “are you sleepwalking lmao”
• probably offers to cook you breakfast on the weekends if you’re not busy
• bonus if you actually had a dog, he’ll give you discount and you’d have the pleasure of watching him being all cute and kissy with your pup
• has knocked at least 17 times on your door, asking if you had any Ramen
• even if you’re like “no……same answer as the last 16 times” he’s still like “ok well I have some, wanna come over?”
• but it’s so fun flirting with him tbh he’s hilarious plus he always has expensive ice cream in his fridge that he’s willing to share if you came over
• one time you found him flirting with your other neighbor when you came down the stairs “gasp, we’re you just hitting on timothy…I thought we had something special”
• has a new hairstyle every time you see him
• introduces himself on like the first day of moving in, with a box of cookies and the whole shebang
• way too cheerful and loud in the mornings but his energy rubs off on you and you can’t help but smile when you pass him in the hallway or the elevator
• offers to go jogging with you on weekday mornings and have a late brunch
• sometimes he comes over without any warning and makes himself a cup of tea while you’re cooking
• has all the latest gossip on everyone in the building/street so you’re always scandalized
• you probably heard about him before you even met him
• “oh my gosh I heard he’s such a player tho” “did u see him blowing kisses at my dog???” “He looks like the type of guy to pour his milk before the cereal” look he’s just a dork
• you always see him carrying brown paper bags for his groceries
• retro 70s/80s music can heard from his door every Monday morning but you should probably not ask
• has way too many plants and cacti in his apartment…..if you’re ever lucky to get invited inside to see
• people would think he’s some sort of celebrity when he moved in next to you
• always wearing blacked out shades and long pea coat even when it’s like 90 degrees at night
• won’t even spare you a glance unless you’re carrying a new issue of his favorite magazine or you just smelled really nice “is that the new dior?”
• once you have the privilege to step inside his abode, it’s like yall are besties and he’s sharing his favorite non-gluten recipes with you
• gives everyone a stank look if if they stepped on his ‘welcome, bitch’ mat with their dusty shoes
• does he even have hair on his head, why he always wearing a snapback ??????
• brings his homies over every other night and it’s so loud, you can see like 3 or 4 more people sneaking in his door every few minutes
• when you decide to finally give him a piece of your mind, he’s like “bro come turn up its lit!!!! I got jello shots :’)))”
• yeah ngl his parties are always lit and he plays the best music plus no one has any complaints bc they’re always at his place anyway
• friends with the local pizza shop and has free deliveries if the manager is invited
• an upstanding citizen, you’ve even seen him helping old people cross the street and save a fat pigeon from being run over by some kid’s skateboard
• usually has his face buried in a book when the elevator is crowded, but you can bet he’s listening on everyone’s conversations
• one time you caught him looking at your texts with your friend and it was just full of memes
• that’s when he introduced himself…..I mean he kinda had to bc he couldn’t stop snorting at your sense of humor
• has like 10 stray cats and cool lizards in his place “please don’t tell the landowner, I just couldn’t help myself :(”
Delusions can be categorized in various ways. The following are not mutually exclusive categories; for example, a delusion may be both bizarre and systematized.
Bizarre delusions-are absurd and factually not possible. They may involve newly discovered gods or supernatural/space creatures.
feelings that one is dying, is already dead or does not exist (cotard delusion)
feelings of different people being a single person (fregoli delusion)
feeling like one’s reflection in a mirror is some other person (mirrored-self delusion)
feeling that family, partners, friends and / or pets have been replaced by identical fakes (capgras delusion)
feeling like the world only exists inside one’s head (solipsism delusion)
feeling that one is living in a reality TV show (Truman show delusion)
feeling like one has an identical doppelgänger with a different (usually malicious) personality and life (subjective doubles delusion)
feeling like other people swap identities with each other without changing appearance (intermetamorphosis delusion)
feeling like doesn’t belong to one’s body or doesn’t own parts of one’s body (somatoparaphrenia delusion)
feeling like a person, place, object, or body part has been duplicated or transported somewhere else (reduplicative paramnesia delusion)
Grandiose delusions-are beliefs that the individual has exceptional beauty, intelligence or influence.
feeling that one is a god or deity
feeling that one has magical powers i.e. mind reading, control over the weather etc
feeling that one is indestructible or unimaginably strong
feeling that another person or other people (usually celebrities) are in love with oneself
Persecutory (or paranoid) delusions- include that the individual is being harassed, threatened, watched or bugged. They often involve spies, bikies, God, Satan or neighbors.
feeling that one is constantly being followed / stalked
feeling that one is secretly being spied on by family, partners, friends, others, pets and / or inanimate objects
feelings of fear over being kidnapped. Usually by a stranger.
feeling that one is constantly being watched (by unknown entities or known entities)
feeling that one is being ridiculed by family, partners, friends and / or others
feeling that one is being spied on or monitored by the government, FBI etc.
feeling that family members, partners, friends, others, pets and / or inanimate objects are secretly conspiring to kill oneself
feeling like is being or will be poisoned by others
Delusions of reference- are the belief that the everyday actions of others are premeditated and made with special reference to the patient. Commonly patients complain about being talked about on television or the radio. Patients may believe that music played or words spoken on television have been specifically chosen to identify or annoy them. People crossing the street or coughing may be interpreted as making purposeful actions, performed to indicate something to, or about, the patient.
Delusions of control- involve the belief that others are controlling the patient’s thoughts, feelings or actions.
Nihilistic delusions-are the belief that part of the individual or the external world does not exist, or that the individual is dead (Cotard syndrome). Financially comfortable individuals may believe they are destitute, in spite of bank statements to the contrary. Patients who believe they have no head or are dead, are unable to explain how that could be possible, but still hold the belief.
Somatic delusions- are false beliefs about the body. These may be bizarre or non-bizarre. A bizarre example is when the individual believes his nose is made of gold. A nonbizarre example is when the individual believes he has cancer of the rectum, in spite of negative reports from a competent doctor who has examined the rectum.
Delusions of infestation/parasitosis- are not uncommon in dermatological clinics (Hylwa et al, 2011).
Delusions of guilt - that the individual is guilty of purposefully or non-purposefully damaging themselves, other individuals or important property. Individuals may believe they are guilty of causing the cancer of the lady who lives next door, or a drought in Central Africa.
Delusions of jealousy - the belief that the partner is being unfaithful, and may involve checking the partner’s underclothes for stains or foreign pubic hairs.
Erotic delusions (erotomania) - the belief of the patient that another person is in love with him/her (de Clerambault syndrome). This (among others) may be a motivation for stalking, and lead to contact with the unwelcoming central figure of the delusion.
Systematized delusions- are united by a single theme. They are often highly detailed and may remain unchanged for years.
Non-systematized delusions- may change in content and level of concern, from day to day or even from minute to minute.
LGBTQ Traffic Light People Cross Street Toward Eternal Bliss, Presumably
are these the cutest traffic lights in the world? i mean, probably. they will be installed through August to signify Stockholm Pride.
“We want to show that we’re an LGBT-friendly city – and show that even in tough traffic! We stand for one Stockholm for all,” the city’s deputy mayor and head of Stockholm’s traffic division Daniel Helldén explained to The Local.
not-so-secretly a spy, pretends to be past her emo phase- is actually still really emo, speaks 458379803854 languages, lowkey ninja, super chill, the older sister, drives with the windows down, straight up eats ice cubes for no reason, listens to emo music in her room, quiet in a loud sort of way, her laugh is actual magic, wears too much black to be considered healthy, always just a little bit angry, really bad at being the designated driver (always ends up being the most drunk), always up for a good party, cats are her spirit animal, deepest desire is to be a crazy cat lady, knows how to hold her licquor freakishly well, turns 21 every year, cooler than everybody else
eats cheetos like oxygen, little sister/middle child, hair is always perfect, can eat all the junk food she wants without gaining any weight, can kill you with his ninja hands, smells really nice, somehow knows everybody's secrets, good listener, smiles a lot, just really wants to fall in love one day, the popular cheerleader that everybody actually likes, listens to indie music, never not fabulous, wants to have a ton of kids, brings home strays without telling anyone, always the first to volunteer to take care of the class pet
that weird neighbor kid that's just always around, nicknamed "the baking grandma" because of the inexplicable way she has of always having baked goods on hand, "Garcia's the name, and witty comebacks are my game", perfect ray of sunshine, an actual human rainbow, everybody has to have at least one pefectly peculiar nickname, will kill you with her ninja-hugs, has a gigantically beautiful sparkling smile, bright pink lipstick, wears too many colors at once, really good at helping you through a breakup, butterscotches in her purse, might be a grandma, computer nerd, can beat anybody at video games, afraid of guns, tries to be tough but doesn't know how, would wear pure glitter if she could, doesn't have a favorite color because if she chose then she would feel bad for all the other colors (it's actually pink)
the undeniable dad, loves everybody equally, shows people love without words, you know you're in trouble when he gives you one of his famous "hotch glares", only really laughs when he's with the people he loves, his smile will make your knees weak, likes to spoon, strong and silent type, always wears suits for no reason, works too much, secretly a sinnamon bun, will kill you if you mess with the people he loves, cares too much, the proud dad, shows up to ALL recitals and shows, equally passionate and compassionate, crazy good at his job, nobody knows his secrets, secretly amazing at throwing surprise parties, can not bake to save his life, his smile is like the moon and the stars combined, tries to make dad jokes and fails
king of the dorks, the precious little brother, must be protected at all costs, obsessed with Halloween, plans Halloween an actual year ahead of time, drinks coffee through an IV, book worm, facts, books make him feel safe, refuses to play video games, thinks he's tough but is actually a precious cinnamon bun, owns too many sweaters, purple is definitely his favorite color, apologizes too much, drinks a lot of water, lost count of the number of PhDs he has a long time ago, awkward, never knows what to say, bad social skills, social anxiety, chess tournaments make him happy, eats a lot of cake, owns a scooter
the amazing big brother, looks out for everyone else before himself, kicks the bullies in the nuts, burgers and fries all the time, captain of the football team but also organizes fundraisers for the needy, likes working out, shovels neighbors' sidewalks/ mows neighbors' lawns without asking, loves and appreciates dogs, lowkey believes that cats are the anti-christ, helps old people cross the street, grocery store runs are always his job, goes on long bike rides just to think
aka Captain Sass, the weird uncle, nosy but he's rich so it's okay, DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO STAY IN HIS LANE, always offers to babysit but he has no idea how children work, has so many stories that just can't be true but actually are, thinks he's cool and hip- might actually be but tbd still, somehow knows all, shows up at random times, can cook REALLY REALLY WELL, super Italian, thrives on pasta
crazy bird guy that lives across the street, makes pecan squares that he thinks are amazing but actually aren't, secretly paints in his basement (like Bob Ross-level paintings), people watches from his front window, awkward pats on the back, doesn't always understand social cues, throws A+ garage sales, yells at other people for not raking the leaves off their lawn in the fall, raises chickens without telling anyone
can stab you with a knife, a gun, a chainsaw, and a machete all at the same time, mean older sister, WILL call you on your shit, thinks about death too much, everybody is afraid of her, skipped the emo phase, somehow came out of the womb a traumatized adult, 100% feminist, steals your food when you're not looking, doesn't like hugs, says it like it is, wears a lot of necklaces, confusing, has a thing for a guy in a uniform
has a lot of friends, seems really badass until she starts gushing about baby animals, volunteers at animal shelters, sorority sister, infinitely loyal, loves everybody until she hates them, knows how to appreciate the simple things, 5'2" of rage and fury and love, pure emotion, loves to cuddle, sometimes people confuse her, just wants to make the world a better place, hates vegetables but eats them anyway, drinks a lot of chocolate milk
reads a lot, blue is her favorite color, went to college earlier than normal, a beautiful nerd, a rare species, deserves the world but gets a cup of coffee instead, underestimated, knows how and when to pull out the sass, ends up being the babysitter on all occasions, more mature than she should be, extremely level-headed, knows how to read between the lines really well, accepts everything thrown her way, underappreciated, needs to be told she's loved more often, breakfast is her favorite meal of the day, makes a lot of sandwiches for no reason at all
the cousin that everybody always forgets about, gets left behind on family outings and everybody has to go back to get her- she's strangely okay with it, just wants some kettle corn or cotton candy, puts ketchup on everything, shows up at colleges she's never been to just to party, okay with anything as long as she has a say, will talk to anybody, likes getting to know people, would totally speed-date, likes to watch old stand-up comedy and slam poetry videos on YouTube
won't admit that she's the mom, proud of all her children, owns 8 million sweatshirts from her alma mater that she constantly wears, kinda lonely but will never admit it, hates cooking with a passion, loves wine a little too much, seriously appreciates a good towel, would sell her soul for a massage
I believe in this breed. I believe that’s there’s a really ridiculous and unwarranted stigma that’s attached to both pit bulls and pit bull owners. I think it’s nonsense. …There are a lot of causes to get behind in the world, but I think that breed-specific prejudices can lead to problems that are as mundane as simply people crossing the street when they see a pit bull, to people being kicked out of their apartments or being separated from their family pets because of the breed of the dog, which has nothing to do with the dog’s behavior or the level of responsibility of the owner.
pretty objectively art school is HARD and there is a lot of work involved. my school particularly has 6 hour studio classes and 3 hour academic classes that you have to take, so if you miss a single class youre actually missing out on a lot and its difficult to upkeep sometimes! especially the first year when youre forced to take classes youre not interested in:
additionally its really expensive and the looming threat of debt is ever-choking however the community is amazing: everyone here is here to learn art and be ARTISTS, and i have learned so much from my peers and teachers. everyone understands what being an artist is like and everyone is for the most part very kind and supportive. the friends i have made here are the best friends i will ever make in my life.
you will always see people crossing the street and up stairs with pounds of artwork in their arms. so many people have depression or anxiety disorder ( including ME) but since so many people have it i’ve found that usually teachers are extremely understanding which is a refreshing relief from high school. once a car caught fire here and a lot of people passed it uncertainly like….. is this? performance art? because sometimes you really just cant tell. there are tons of galleries and art events to go to and we never sleep, i cannot stress that enough, we ALWAYS have something due tomorrow or in three hours. it’s even WORSE for animation majors and i NEVER SEE THEM.
that was a lot of words, but yeah i like art school. i sincerely suffered in academics and im relieved and blessed to be in a place doing art and everything i want to be doing. its a place i feel like i really fit into and even though im CONSTANTLY working, i’m happy to do it??
-tyler goes to bars just to drive drunk girls back home safely
-he works out and gets all beefy so he can protect girls from being assaulted while they’re partying
-wins 50 stuffed toys at theme parks just to give them out to little kids
-he learns American Sign Language just in case he meets fans who use it
-he helps old people cross the street
-helps out at soup kitchens and often gives out food to the homeless with teamiplier
-let’s kids ride on his shoulders and view the world at a different perspective
-sponsors animals at shelters and families in third world countries
-is a volunteer singer at charity drives
-conducts free piano lessons for the kids in his neighbourhood so they can have another passion in life