It is difficult to describe the fervor with which I believe Emily Dickinson is haunting me.
We met in the most typical of ways. "Because I could not stop for death." Eighth grade Honors English textbook. I was intrigued by her unorthodox use of dashes. She was intrigued by my hideous yellow-blonde highlights. Despite our differences at the time (she kept symbolically comparing life's trials to bumblebees, I kept decorating my AIM profile with boyband lyrics), Emily and I forged a friendship, and I considered myself a fan from there on out. We encountered each other in little ways for a few years: "Your Riches-- taught me-- Poverty" opened a novel I read sophomore year, and I analyzed "There's a certain slant of light" in senior AP Literature. But our love was rekindled in full a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble, when I first laid eyes on a pretty, navy hardcover containing Emily's complete works. The volume and I experienced, I must say, instant chemistry, and I simply could not rest until I'd had my way with it.
Emily and I have been kicking back together a lot lately. Catching up, chillin' out. Maxin'. I've always drizzled little bits of Dickinson trivia into conversations to impress people, and now that the Lady in White and I have gotten reacquainted, I finally took it upon myself to verify that any of it is true. So, I did what anyone in search of fact verification should do: I skimmed the Wikipedia page. Then I went to bed. BAD. BAD, BAD IDEA. If you learn one thing from following my blog, NEVER READ WIKIPEDIA LATE AT NIGHT.
Basically, my sleep was plagued by unconventionally-punctuated nightmares. In my dream, I walked in my front door after a night of hanging out with Sebastian. Changed into pajamas, brushed my teeth, turned on the ceiling fan, pet my dog, got into bed. I stretched, I yawned, I leaned over to turn off my bedside light... and who should be sitting at my desk chair but ol' Emily. More specifically, it was a life-sized, breathing version of this picture. Still just as grayscale, but about twenty times scarier. I jumped up and screamed, but Emily Dickinson is no fool. She Apparated to the end of my bed. She blocked the doorway. She blinked menacingly in my face. For reasons unknown, Emily had it out for me, and I was goin' down.
I jolted awake for real then. I had to take nighttime cold medicine to relax my paranoia enough to sleep through the night. The whole time The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson sat on my floor, mocking me. It took well into the middle of the next day for my nerves to calm. In fact, I was reliving the dream in my head that afternoon as I read through a handful of accumulated text messages. "Read today's featured Wikipedia article," said one from Sebastian. Um, hell no, I thought to myself. Not going near that website for a day or so.
At Sebastian's house the next evening, as we were talking and looking at facebook and stuff, he remembered that text I'd never responded to. "Oh, I have to show you this," he said. He pulled up the Wikipedia homepage. "Look at yesterday's featured article."
Emily Dickinson. EMILY DICKINSON. The day after I freaked the hell out over the Emily Dickinson Wikipedia page, Wikipedia featured the Emily Dickinson Wikipedia page. That, boys and girls, goes a little bit beyond coincidence. We're entering into Parallel Synchronized Randomness.
So, obviously, I had to reread it. I'd found similarities between the two of us before, what with the sometimes reclusive depression and aversion to other people reading our writing, but now I feel an indescribable, perceptive connection to her. I texted my friend Leah (professorspork) about it. "Emily Dickinson fell in love with a man through correspondence. They met irl, he verbally abused her, and she went crazy."
It must be noted that this-- her relationship with mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson-- was pretty much entirely hyperbolized in my own head, and that it may or may not be completely untrue. But I have a feeling. Anyway, Leah's used to me, so she retorted, "She was also so painfully shy that she often spoke to visitors through a wall rather than meet with them. So."
"But that was AFTER she went crazy," I pleaded. "She was relatively social and involved before. Her family was important in the community. She liked dashes a lot." A skeptical Leah responded, "Didn't she have an affair with her sister-in-law?"
A minor detail. "She tried to. Either way, I'm fairly positive I'm the reincarnation of Emily Dickinson."
"I'm glad you have that to look forward to," Leah said. "May I ask who you think I was in a past life? Mufasa is not an eligible response."
Joking aside, though, never has a dead nineteenth century poet so messed with my brain. Part of me feels strangely correlated with her, like she will continue to mean something important in my life. Part of me feels like I should stop staring at a computer screen late at night. Either way, Emily and I have had a rough couple of days. And on THAT note, I'm going to go get some much, much needed sleep.
Chipotle burritos this year: 22
S'mores this summer: 2
Hahahaha :-p. Bye, guys. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3
P.S. --Whoever made these things is NOT FUNNY. Geez louise.
--Commentor Johnny left me the coooolest picture ever on yesterday's post!
--Like everyone who's ever heard it, I can't get this song out of my head.
--Okay, seriously, goodnight.