Water and Oil

by <3, UWCM
February 17th, 2023
Illustration by Katherine Martinez

Four minutes and thirteen seconds. That’s exactly how long I stared at my own reflection, only to realize that it’s the third day that I haven’t taken off my mascara. Last night was fun, I befriended the drugs and the alcohol once again, and drove off into the loud obnoxious music with flashing lights in the same bar I’ve been going to with my best friends. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ting! The sound of the Instagram DM rings once again, I open my eyes barely reading the message. Another party at 12am. My head is spinning into a thousand grueling spirals, but I’ve already taken my 4th advil. 

My mind immediately switches to last Wednesday. Oh yeah, I was at the library for six hours, accompanied by my wire headphones and calming music, studying for my math test. I was drinking my 0.99 cent Jumbo coffee, trying to stay awake in order to understand logarithms and how to use my goddamn GDC. Ting! Another notification from ManageBac for English A Lang and Lit about my Paper 1 due in two weeks. My head is spinning into a thousand grueling spirals, but I’ve already taken my 4th advil. 

Two irreconcilable weekly occurrences simultaneously coexisting, never meeting one another. Never in the same room. Like a light switch, one second everything is limpid as if the sun is hugging you then the other second it’s a doltish emptiness filled with the absence of words. Yet I wonder, who am I? The one when I go back, easily influenced by the behavior of my friends, which consists of jumping from one place to another till my body doesn’t feel like mine, and my head is so light I feel like I’m flying? Or the one who deliberately chooses to stay in on a Saturday night, preparing for the week in my bullet journal with 4 different highlight colors and never ending to do lists? Which one is lying? 

Part of me believes that neither are lying, nor telling the truth, it’s the past and the future colliding recklessly into each other like water and oil. There, but never mixed.