My name is Constance Billowing Snow. These are my diaries. I started writing them, when I was only nine. They seemed to take on a life of their own as I grew closer to them, eventually writing down every meager thought which came to me on their blotched pages. It became like an addiction to see my thoughts, to feel and hold what was going on in my life. All of the events I lived through were spiraling away from me too fast. No one on the outside of the little bubble I lived in had any idea how I felt. On the outside I was fine, beautiful in fact. To all observers I was growing into a strikingly lovely young woman. But inside of me was a dark glitch that no one saw. Tears, shadowed terrors, which I kept hidden away from the world, demons that no one saw, comprised my secret. Now I am forcing myself, with every bit of strength attainable, to read and to understand the pages which I think must have kept me sane, for as long as they could, in hopes that I can relieve myself of the knuckle-hard glitch that I have carried around with me, some kind of awful monster, silencing the talents that I might have shared, the personality that I've suppressed, any small facet that is of me from the world . . . I do not even recognize myself.
I don't seem to have the ability to introduce myself to others by answering two or three easy questions posed. What are my interests and hobbies? What do I like to do for fun? Someone might ask me who my best friends are, even, and I could not give a quick answer. These questions are so mundane, such routine things that one deals with rather than happily takes part in, at least to my mind. One does not stop to analyze them. Therefore, I make them more complicated, becoming their authority rather than whoever asks the questions, forcing them into something they were not originally created for. It entertains me. I always come up with ten people that potentially could be my best friends, rather than one person who is definitely my best friend. I do not eliminate any of the people who have been a part of my life, all with their unique gifts, who have in periodic intervals assisted me with one thing or another. One might have loaned me my favorite book at one point, another helped me out of a car wreck, perhaps, but yet is still not less valuable than the former friend. Another may have compelled me to reach out for love, and believe in others. When I was a child, I loved everybody. But after that day, the day I never want to describe, the day I never want to re-unlock its image, in order to thrust its unholy waters up to me, drenching me in their icy cold, those demon-fingers spreading, reaching out to me so that my head becomes clasped in those hands, squeezing-
I could never reach out to another person, could never love another person. I wish more than anything that I could love someone once more. But I can't. I can never trust. Would that I had a friend who could make me do that.
Constance Billowing. One could say my name in one breath, if they wished, for it isn't so complicated. Constance Billowing Snow. Yet the description would be much more complicated than the name. How would I describe myself to someone? How would I phrase that description? The girl who lost the flavor of life, who along the way forgot how food tasted because she no longer discern the differences between each particular staple? The girl who could no longer see colors, to whom patterned textures, which I used to run my fingers over with the most perfect sense for design imaginable, and could touch each texture piece for hours, in my own mind mapping out a way to make it better, so that people were offered a better one than the original . . . who had once been a famous designer for one of the most prestigious textile companies in New York City . . . who forfeited that job because, no matter how many textiles she produced, she did not appreciate them, or the hands that had put them on display for everyone . . .
I am Constance Billowing Snow. And these are my New York Diaries. They are the only other element in this world that hold the same glitch I carry around with me, and maybe, just maybe they can help me to get rid of the glitch.
I walked into the supermarket across the street from my apartment complex, two or so days ago. I bought a box of Earl Gray tea, an ingredient that always vanishes from my cupboards, despite the constant flow of cash I put out towards it. I removed the box from beneath my elbow, placing it on the conveyer belt. The man at the register gave me the total, then queried,
"And your name, Ms.- ?"
I simply stared at him for a moment. Then, when I became aware of the action, proceeded to turn as white as a sheet. Quickly I snatched the bag with my tea in it, and raced out the door towards my car. I sat inside the vehicle for a time, with all the doors locked. I stared out of the window at the passerby. My name. I wasn't even able to answer that question for him. What in the world was the matter with me? Did I have some kind of a mental illness? Is that what I had done to myself?
That night, I prepared to venture into a world that I hadn't entered ever since I'd placed my past life behind closed shutters. I made myself a cup of Earl Gray tea, first. Then I stared into the swirling dark liquid, while a tremor ran through me, one that served as a by-product for the transformation I was forcing myself to undergo. Slowly, with the air about me of a pale, washed-out zombie with flowing blond hair, I steered myself toward the beaten sofa. I'd opened a compartment in my mind that cleared the vagueness which had replaced my sharp wit for many months, the A+ mind which had helped to put my talents on the map of New York City. I pulled open a drawer with a key that was buried deeply beneath a pile of old papers. I then used it to open the smallest drawer that was in my apartment, and was part of an old, rickety nightstand which no one bothered with, that was small enough to be hid behind a large bureau. No one had used the item for many years, and my guess is that the apartment's former owners, not having the time to do anything else with it, tried to shield it. I pulled out a small black book.My diary entries messily revealed themselves to me. I spent the entire night trying to pull them together. I have included the first five in this retelling of my life. Through strenuous effort, I will include the rest of them. My goal is to be able to answer simple questions about myself, once more, that is, as soon as I stop shaking.