I can hear it.

It’s not a soft, slow motion exhale. It’s not a crashing thud followed by rumbling. It’s not fizzing or popping. It’s not cracking or flooding.

No gushing, no rushing, nothing fevered. Nothing too alarming. Nothing too jarring. No broken glass. No toppled street hydrant. No speeding train. At least not right away.

A wet bulb. That’s how I start.

My brain is a healthy, wet bulb that glistens with residue. With water and earth, it’s slick to touch and twinkles when you twist it in your fingers. You can barely hear me grow.

My brain is a bulb slowly wrestled from the soil. Earnest but broken roots trail from my base and I am squeaky damp in the sunlight. I anchor myself between thumb and forefinger and rub my wet, slick skin like a worry stone. The moisture sighs under my nails.

But soon I strike, faster and faster. I can’t escape as I rub my skull in concentric circles. I start to erase myself with determined rhythm. Massaged away by precise, persistent touching.

I can’t stop.

You can hear my roots starting to wail. They flake off in stringy dirt clumps as I continue to shed layers of thin white skin.

I start sloughing off cells and sweet water. My bulb crushed under my anxious thumbprint, peeled apart piece by piece, my mind dripping on to the floor. The droplets methodically boring holes in my brain, becoming ravenous torrents until I run dry and my head is left barren.

I am nothing but the vibrations of madness. A leftover echo of raw fingers with nothing left to tease. From silent murmurs to angry cascades you see me transform. Healthy, quiet wetness until my brain battens down the hatches and all I do is watch as I thunder and wring myself dry.

Rip my roots right from the soaked earth.

I stab stubby fingers into my skull, a bulb smashed between greedy hands. I’m pulp and gristle. Gagged and rattled. I’m tired and tortured. Pulverized into merciless pieces.

A brain once protected under the soil now exposed and ridiculed. I scorch and salt the pink jelly congealed behind my eyes. It sounds like resigned crying.

To me crazy isn’t a weed, it’s my next breath. It’s my life. I lose it again and again. Yet somehow I still smile noiselessly as dry dust cracks in the corners of my lips.

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