2 Years (An Album-Long Single)

Some words can only be said through screams, ululating until the throat is raw and saliva bubbles with blood. Some words can only be said through reliving a violence many have felt, are just beginning to talk about, but still don’t understand. Some words cannot even be said because no amount of vocabulary, or syllables strung into sentences, can make emotions make sense.

Three years ago, my life’s order of events plummeted me into what I believed would be my grave — a hole I never thought I would be able to climb out of.

It began with a professor at my college discriminating against me because of my disabilities and handing me an F because I didn’t ‘look disabled’. I was to finish the course in an independent study, which meant she should have given me an incomplete because I didn’t fail, I just didn’t finish. Then, a family member physically assaulted me six months later, leaving me with a concussion and the inability to walk. This was three days before I was to return to college for my last semester. I was in so much pain that I had to drop out. And no, I never did get my degree. The final straw was being raped by two local bartenders on three separate occasions. They used my seizures to their advantage, and raped someone who could not fight back.

All throughout those first two years, my best friend and her family betrayed me, I lost a job offer to someone who was nowhere near as qualified, my grandmother passed away after months of decay, I fell ill and bedridden with non-epileptic psychogenic seizures which fully isolated me from the surrounding world, my other grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease took a harsh downturn, I was abused for two nights in a local emergency room, and I had all of my basic freedoms, such as bathing myself, stripped away from me.

For several months, I believed I was dying. For several months, some of the largest parts of me were dying. I lived in fear that I’d pass without creating my greatest work, or any work. Despite the seizures, I created as much as I could out of fear, praying and hoping that something in my notes, my poems, or in my stories could be that work. I wrote articles from my bed as I watched the world collapse around me.

Yet, I’m still here. I can still remember that fear of death looming over me as I was trapped in bed, shaking through holding a pen and surrounded by the journals and books I’d sleep with. They were my only friends, my only company, and my only hope. It felt as though I had landed myself amongst one of my stories I’d written, called, “Starve”. In it, Alice finds herself trapped and isolated from the outside world, books her only friend. Her family says she’s ill, but is she? It’s just another one of those stories I never thought I'd relate to. I guess it’s funny how I relate more now to a character I invented at fifteen. Thistle, which you can find on Etsy, is a collection filled with this short story, several flash fiction tales, and one longer story.

Because of the state I was in, I left both doors from the outside world into the apartment unlocked. There had been many times when family needed to get in but weren’t able to. Since I was bedridden, there was no way to unlock the doors when they came, so they were kept unlocked.

Many other things happened. Most of them don’t even make sense, and will probably never make sense, no matter how much or how long I search for answers. That used to bother me much more than it does now. Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to accept all of it, but that will most likely be on my deathbed once I’ve used up all of my lives.

Until then, this song which I like to think of as both a single and an album, exists to depict the lowest points in my life. It exists, and is designed, to tell the story starting from just before my admittance to a psych ward to the depression and flashbacks of now.

It’s one single because it tells one story. It’s one album because it tells and shows the many events that complete that story. It’s one song because it’s thirty-six minutes of everything I need to say but can’t find the words for.

“2 Years”, along with other EPs and singles, can be found in the Marmosetic Amphitheater. Remember: the best ways to support my artistic endeavors are to spread the word and take the art home with you through downloading it, reading it, listening to it, or viewing it in a frame on your wall.

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Helena Ortiz

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