Exercise “does” deplete stores of glucose, glycogen and fats from the body’s tissues, but these fuels are “restored” when a person eats, “said” Michael Jonesco, a sports medicine and orthopedics “specialist” at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
-For reasons unknown, a woman decided to hurl an insult at her daughter. The daughter crumbled before me, completely shattered by the words her mother chose. I never knew how powerful the phrase “nasty grape” could be until this moment.
-I have found that we are stocking prom-style dresses for young girls, so that when big sister is getting fancied up, they can join in the fun. Few concepts this pure have ever existed.
-I followed a trail of CDs through the store, ranging from G-Eazy in the boys section to Queen and Prince in girls. After this, the trail went cold. This being said, I will pursue this case until my dying day. I will not rest until I have my answers.
-I would like to personally and sincerely thank the parent who left a half-empty juice pouch strewn across a shelf of clothing. Were it not for you, mysterious caretaker, I would never have such a solid grasp on the extent of the evils of man.
-As tends to happen, another shift in softlines has exposed me to the greatest clothing line ever composed: Dr. Seuss for toddlers. If anyone with the proper capabilities is reading this, I am fully prepared to give four feet of my height to make this my wardrobe.
-What I heard: stampeding zebras coming my way. What I saw: a mother-daughter pair in ill-fitting flip-flops. What I felt: disappointed.
-I found a shirt in the infants department sporting a solar system centered around a pup in a spaceship. To top it all off and cement it as a tangible vision of my soul, the entire thing was glow-in-the-dark. I am once again wishing to lose three-quarters of my height.
-A child discovered the magnificent wonders of paying with cash. Upon realizing that if you hand a cashier money, you will be given back your purchase AND more money, this youngster’s life has been irrevocably changed for the better.
-A man came through my lane, his arms full of joy and happiness. In one, a sweet newborn rested; upon the other, a tattoo reading “4:20.”
Mom, my depression is a shape shifter.
One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear,
The next, it’s the bear.
On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone.
I call the bad days: “the Dark Days.”
Mom says, “Try lighting candles.”
When I see a candle, I see the flesh of a church, the flicker of a flame,
Sparks of a memory younger than noon.
I am standing beside her open casket.
It is the moment I learn every person I ever come to know will someday die.
Besides Mom, I’m not afraid of the dark.
Perhaps, that’s part of the problem.
Mom says, “I thought the problem was that you can’t get out of bed.”
Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house, inside of my head.
Mom says, “Where did anxiety come from?”
Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out-of-town depression felt obligated to bring to the party.
Mom, I am the party.
Only I am a party I don’t want to be at.
Mom says, “Why don’t you try going to actual parties, see your friends?”
Sure, I make plans. I make plans but I don’t want to go.
I make plans because I know I should want to go. I know sometimes I would have wanted to go.
It’s just not that fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun, Mom.
You see, Mom, each night insomnia sweeps me up in his arms dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light.
Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.
Mom says, “Try counting sheep.”
But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake;
So I go for walks; but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists.
They ring in my ears like clumsy church bells reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in.
Mom says, “Happy is a decision.”
But my happy is as hollow as a pin pricked egg.
My happy is a high fever that will break.
Mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing and then flat-out asks me if I am afraid of dying.
I am afraid of living.
Mom, I am lonely.
I think I learned that when Dad left how to turn the anger into lonely —
The lonely into busy;
So when I tell you, “I’ve been super busy lately,” I mean I’ve been falling asleep watching Sports Center on the couch
To avoid confronting the empty side of my bed.
But my depression always drags me back to my bed
Until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city,
My mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from biting down on themselves.
The hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with echoes of a heartbeat,
But I am a careless tourist here.
I will never truly know everywhere I have been.
Mom still doesn’t understand.
Mom! Can’t you see that neither can I?
“Explaining My Depression to My Mother: A Conversation” by Sabrina Benaim
“Wha- Ow!” You scowled as you bumped into the wall yet again, reaching up to rub at the sore spot on your forehead. You would very much prefer to not sport a painful looking purple bruise right on the center of your head. “You know, the point of blindfolding me is so that you help me not bump into things.” You muttered under your breath, blindly waving your arms around in an attempt to locate your dork of a boyfriend.
“Whoops, my bad. But I promise this is all going to be worth it!” Harry chirped, taking your hand and dragging you into the bedroom in one move. (You nearly crashed into the drawer but you didn’t even bother telling Harry about it.) “Okay, ready?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Harry was usually always up to something, so him blindfolding you and pulling you up and down the house was nothing out of the ordinary. “But will this take long? Because I have some textbooks that are calling my name downstairs and I really need to get some work done.”
“This’ll only take a second.” You flinched when you were suddenly introduced by a harsh ray of light, making you squint and stumble back a little before your eyes finally adjusted to the lighting. “Ta-da!” Now, you were fully aware that there was some sort of surprise Harry was revealing to you, but the only problem was that you didn’t exactly know what the surprise was.
“Oh…” You trailed off, eyes darting around the room desperately searching for something unfamiliar. Nope, nothing. “I love it…!” You smiled sheepishly, Harry looking at you expectantly. “I really love it…?”
“Look at the bed!” Harry padded over to the bed, gesturing to it wildly as if the surprise was super obvious.
“I do love beds.” You hummed, still not knowing what exactly the surprise was. “Did you change the sheets like I asked?”
“Well, yeah, of course I did. Actually, I changed the sheets to these silky ones so now everything’s super soft and- The point is, I bought a new bed because you broke the last one.”
“I didn’t break-” You stammered, feelings your cheeks heat up at his statement. “We broke it.” Long story short, you and Harry may have gotten a little wild the last time you… You know.
“You broke it. Which is why this new bed has a much more sturdy frame and is guaranteed to probably not snap under continuous pressure. I tested it out myself by bouncing on it relentlessly.”
“I’m sure that was fun for you.” You snorted, watching as Harry walked over to shut the door behind you.
“And now…” Harry trailed off, walking back to the bed before tugging at the corner of the blanket and dropping it gently, a shit-eating grin plastered on his face. “It’s your turn to test it out by bouncing on me relentlessly.”
Jake English likes to fight, and likes the Brobot.
TW: Physicality, Discussion of Physical combat
So, like. It’s long past time I wrote about my favorite character in this webcomic.
Jake English is the best and most interesting character in Homestuck, and it’s pretty tragic that barely anybody knows it. This is partly due to Jake’s narrative and personality being one of the most understated and subtle in the comic, but it’s also due to a Fandom Narrative building up around him that unfortunately paves over a lot of Jake’s most unique and interesting character traits.
Let’s try and rediscover this diamond in the rough as we wait for the game that will largely center around an alternate version of him, yeah? Here, I’m going to debunk some pretty common misconceptions about Jake, what he likes, and what he dislikes.
Brawls, Wrestling–Scrums and Whatnot. And the Brobot.
Let’s put it plainly: Jake English likes fights. A lot of the discourse surrounding Jake’s relationship with the Brobot seems to ignore this, or implies that the Brobot, like, Ruined Fighting for him somehow because it was outside of what he initially envisioned when Dirk sent it:
A point commonly further backed up with this quote Jake gives Jane:
There’s a few issues with this interpretation. Jake’s initial negative reaction is his very first encounter with the Brobot, and his quote with Jane is one he delivers as a passing remark. And by simply comparing Jake’s actions before and after the Brobot is sent, we can tell Jake really wouldn’t rather deal with the monsters.
Before the Brobot is sent, when Jake is 13, he explicitly avoids going outside:
Which is easy to link to being afraid of the monsters, since Jake complains about them himself…
And has no problem going outside three years later, after the Brobot is sent. To some extent, this can be put down to Jake’s increased experience and competence. But…
That clearly doesn’t account for the entire shift, since Jake does indeed need the Brobot to save him. I’ll come back to that later, but really, we don’t even need to do all this backwards story introspection to decide what Jake Really Feels. It would be easier to just listen to the guy himself.
So yes, Jake complains about the Brobot to Jane in one passing remark…while he’s still dancing around the tangled web of his relationships with Jane, Dirk, and Roxy. A period of time when Jake, by his own admission, is thinking very much about what other people think and not entirely being honest with the people around him.
What does Jake say when he is being honest, though? What does he tell John in his letter, which Jake wrote when he was 16, after 3 years of dealing with the Brobot?
What does he tell Caliborn–who’s opinion he doesn’t care about–after entering the session, after 6 months of dating Dirk?
And what does he tell Jane about the Brobot when he’s actually being honest with her–which he’ll CONTINUE to do for six months, complaining about all of Dirk’s myriad issues and shortcomings as a romantic partner…without ever once bringing up the specter of physical fear or discomfort?
Wait, hang on. Let’s zoom in on that one, that one’s important:
Woah. Is that Jake conceptually linking the Brobot…to the thing he was most consistently excited about for the entire comic? Interesting. Wild. What could it mean. It would almost imply that after spending three years with the thing, he doesn’t really hate the experience of having it in his life.
Again, Jake is no stranger to complaining about Dirk over the course of their session–he complains to Jane endlessly about him, as well as to Erisol and even Caliborn a little. (Though never Roxy, hmm…I wonder why…(I know why and I’ll get to it in another post.))
But he never really complains about fighting or about the Brobot in general, and his general attitude towards fights seems to be changed absolutely not at all whatsoever–right up to [S] Credits.
And he ultimate views Dirk as a figure of comfort and safety, so much so that he trusts Dirk with protecting him even more than he trusts Grandma or his own powers–after all, even after Brain Ghost Dirk tells him that he wouldn’t need him if he unlocked his hope potential, Jake still chooses to simply make Brain Ghost Dirk real rather than doing anything on his own when he wants to feel safe:
So yeah, I find the idea that Jake was bothered by the Brobot on any meaningful level pretty hard to square with the avalanche of counterevidence that is in the canon. The Brobot was an imperfect gift, but Jake still ultimately enjoyed it.
Jake English likes to fight. Plain and simple. This is weird to a lot of people, and that’s fine, but it’s not actually that uncommon.
There’s plenty of sports that center around fighting or come with the risk of physical harm, like boxing, martial arts, etc. I’m a longtime fencer, and I genuinely liked going without protective padding and getting bruised from the sword impacts. Physicality appeals to some people.
Jake’s love for fighting established, feel free to join me tomorrow and we’ll take on a smaller issue. A tighter one.
I’ve written an obnoxious amount about Dirk, but seeing how quickly I was able to put that Dirk post out, I decided I’d like to use the next couple days to put out similar smaller posts about the other Alphas–Jake, Roxy, and Jane, In that order.
I’ve got at least two more posts of Jake in me before we move on to Roxy, and I should be putting out at least one of these posts a day–the next one’s already pretty much written, so I may post it early in the day tomorrow.
Hopefully, by doing this I can help people understand just how tangled and complicated the tangles of mutual hurt and mutual love are in this group of friends, and why I love this severely underrated group of Homestuck characters.
If you enjoyed this post and think others like it would be interesting to you, well–stay tuned. If you have a counterargument or you disagree with this post, feel free to respond and I’ll do my best to get back to you. I enjoy testing my ideas so long as we’re all nice about it.