The Week After I Graduated in No Specific Order

I’m not picky.

The Week After I Graduated in No Specific Order
Photo by Vasily Koloda / Unsplash

by Nivi Nimmagadda

I.  I ate the tteokbokki she left in the back of the fridge and
  threw up. Not because expiry dates cease to exist or because it was the first
  sign of sinuses shooting pain into eyes, lasering through hardened air
  but because I’m five days clean after six hundred forty-three days clean
  swollen shut & thighs rewinding the blood & blowing up DNA until we’re
  Speak about the talking to talk about what the speaking did
  Talk to fuck the man sitting on mirrored sheets, circle the rotational ringing
  I ate her tteokbokki, chewing till incisors retract into gums & sink under
  floorboards Even though she left and her mattress was gone and her chair was   gone and her light-absorbing wardrobe was gone. She packed herself up in a
  boringly named Kia
  and left. I was here in an emptied apartment, eating her tteokbokki as revenge
  for never noticing

II.  I am staring at the card aisle in Target, there’s a girl and a boy with their
  mom picking out a Mother’s Day card
  I don’t have this luxury, my mother is halfway across the world and thinks I’m
  sexless so I pick a Graduation Day card
  It reads [image of ramen - chicken flavor] + [image of solo cup and pong ball]
  = [image of graduation cap]
  “That’s funny, your cousin would like that” my friend reads over my shoulder
  Speed-reading each card, deeming the ones worthy of being a second choice.
  She picks a Mother’s Day card
  that yells “Mom” “MOM!” “MA” “MUM” “MOOOM” “mom” “mom mom
  mom” “MOMMM” I read over her shoulder “that’s funny”
  I mean my inability to feel like a daughter

III. Scrabble Points at the Moxy Atlanta Midtown:

  7 - RUSH
  5 - GOAD
  19 - QUIVER
  10 - TODAY
  7 - WAND
  7- CUNT
  14 - FALSE
  12 - WEED
  3 - OAT

IV.   I’m picked up to loosen stripped bolts. I’m picked up to balance my toes on
  my father’s fingers. I’m not picky. I choose, no, pick jorts that conspire against   me. I pick out a wedgie. I’m picked not for my finger strength or because I   knew what an Allen wrench is before looking it up on Amazon. I am picking up   a mattress that makes so much of me feel easy, letting me be difficult and I
  feel like
my friend yells Atlas
i yell you’re an idiot
my friend yells syphilis
i yell that’s an std
my friend yells Sisyphus
i yell
what is a conversation with
out miscommunication

I eat Chick-Fil-A sauce on the mattress
I drop Chick-Fil-A sauce on the mattress
I lick the Chick-Fil-A sauce off the mattress
I cluck cluck cluck on the mattress.

If one were to, say, have a dance battle
atop this mattress, the fleas would win so
I lay on a mattress, packaged into a Honda CRV and I feel like I’m at the end of the world. I felt as though I’d be picked.

V.  “____ was
  here! Or was
  she? The confusion
  on this singular question
  lead to multiple world wars.
  We still look to our great
  thinkers to determine the
  answer to this greatest of
  questions… but was it even
  a question? or a statement.”

VI.  when my friend committed suicide i was told to say
  she died by suicide because committing sounds like a crime
  and when i committed to controlling the blood flow in eyes
  i died. and when i blew my nose today to clear my sinuses
  i bled a little through my nose and my sinuses refilled
  and when she died at 16 she stayed 16. now i am
  21 and she could replace me. in this taco bell drive-thru

  i fucked the guy who i made cha cha
  real smooth with me to royals. in the name of the lord, i committed
  a crime in the name of fixating. on the little, i remember
  when i was a kid i slept in a fetal position to prove
  i could shrink-wrap my spine. to deserve less than existence
  when i was really depressed at 16 my mom prodded at me
  i was fed green grapes i peeled the skin off with my front
  teeth until each grape was naked & stripped & covered in spit
  when i was really depressed at 20 my roommate left
  yoghurt & cheerios & water outside my door. while i
  watched six seasons of Bojack Horseman, i found that
  obsessions revive themselves in the name of commitment.
  i cannot respond to piety. i cannot swear
  in a way that causes pain i do not know how.
  to be a cunt in the right ways is to pretend
  that giving in means to release together.

VII. We found time and time again we could
VIII. contort a corpse to trip the light and
IX. it only required me crossing
X. “think about dead grandfather” off the to-do list

Nivi Nimmagadda is an Indian American writer from Durham. She holds a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University (and never fails to mention that she also double majored in Creative Writing). She is currently obsessed with Starbucks cake pops and collecting college dad hats (so far she has Duke, UMass Amherst, and Emory). She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @nivinimm.