Brilliant and Bright: A Portrait of Hypomania

M Yashna
M Yashna

In the morning I have great and impossible aspirations. The first rush of caffeine hits and I am teeming, an overflowing bouquet of ideas, flowers pushing up and out of vases. Today is the day. I know it; I feel it in the swell of my chest, in the palpitations of my heart. My brain flips through flash-card scenarios: I will organize all the poems I’ve written since college and publish a chapbook. I will write a new song, the best I’ve ever written, record it, and upload it to rave reviews. My art will universalize and meld all evasive abstraction into concrete hot hard truth. It will be perfect. Of course, of course. My creativity is awe-inspiring and endless. The world is in love with me.

My thoughts are fast fragments, skipping on tiptoes from stone to stone across a shallow river. The Adderall kicks in and I am brilliant, suddenly, and it’s relief like coming home, back to that beautiful place I am always aching for, back to the sun spinning, where the colors have tastes and textures, where you can sing at the top of your voice. I arrive, eyes blindingly bright, donned in layers of swirling sequined skirts, long twisted locks and shimmering veil cascading behind me. I bow to the sun, full of grace. Revered and blessed.

My throat could burst any second. Every word screams in my head, wanting out. With my friends, flirting in the summer dark, I am in love with all of them. We talk for hours, fusing our delicate swarming souls. This is liquor-shot elation, dangerous and full of electric tempt, uncertainty building up and up and up. I could say anything at any moment. Uncontrollable but never relinquishing control. My heart jumps and spits a rhythm propelling me forever forward. I keep a never-ending coil of smoke unfurling, for the taste, for the burn. I always inhale like hell, no regard for health or sickness, life or death, for the going or the ending of the going.

I wake up early to write and make art. In the mornings I slide from poem to poem, raw and real, reality receding, all else out of focus. I close my eyes and let the sun seep through my eyelids, watching the dance of vector circles in my mind, overlapping to infinity. Sitting at the desk, I strain my muscles into perfect posture, and breathe in, grasping for a deep breath. I write a new masterpiece every day. Fist to the gut, my words knock out your wind. I drive my point so hard it shatters. You are devastated and trembling in my wake.

I let the brilliant come. It permeates the room until each thing is a part of me; we buzz and rattle all together. The brilliant bleeds from my fingertips. Every key I hit is the pinprick of a needle, and I type desperate, brutal. Blood runs into every crevice, seeping past the edges, staining all the pages. My fingers are sticky and hot, burning bright with this unrelenting red. I revel in it, how alive I really am: look at me, look at my wounds, look how well the engine of my heart churns and spits and goes.

I hold up my hands to admire the big fat droplets, balling up and breaking, dripping down in tiny trails. This is my art, this is my truth. I take it to the absolute end, until there is nothing left but the relentless body, the reddest red I have ever seen, the only proof I exist. I press my hand against the bones in my chest. I hold it there to feel the pulsing. TC mark

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