Genevieve Fuoco

Written by Genevieve Fuoco. (Artist-Montreal, 2019) – a purvey into the realm of online-dating in the 21st Century.

On, Online-Dating

I deeply love my friends and I cherish the moments that I spent with them, but I cannot offer more than that. Perhaps more by anxiety or fear of disappointment. I never really understood it. The problem with mental health issues is that in hypomania you feel invincible and you feel like you’re the best. So, you take risks. You meet guys and girls, couples… You want to play with boys, you want to play with girls… Girls and boys at the same time. There is no limit and no censorship. After you regret, you do not recognize yourself. On the other side, when you are in depression, you tend to isolate yourselves, but you always have access to others via social media. For me, it’s not helping. Accessibility to others makes others inaccessible. I do not have the strength to make a phone call, have a coffee for news, but I still connect with my friends while they publish statutes and photos. The day social media became the primary source of communication, I lost my friends. I try to force myself, to get more involved, but it is still not natural. I try to find a balance between what people expect from me and what I can offer. I realize that I miss all my friends, even a lot.

Then I became single, I quickly realized that I had to turn to social media to meet people again. I am looking for, not the truth, but an adventure without banality. I feel on fire, feminine and sensitive and strong. I feel that I dare more, that I should dare even more, to stop being afraid and to do it, imperfectly perhaps, but to do it anyway. The creation of my profile was quotes of two films: Amelie and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Random but well choose. I add a blurred picture of my body in lingerie. I received requests of all kinds: from the simple « hello », to « I would not hurt you » and « here is a picture of my penis » (always without the face). I did not know what to answer to a penis. Maybe, should I send another to him to destabilize him a little and make him understand that it is a little strange all the same. Testosterone in a pure state. A seed well planted, but not in my garden in full bloom. The « Grands crus » here are not necessarily of controlled origin and sometimes lacks maturity. My instinct cries out for me to live intensely, to say things I have never said, and not to censure myself. I decided to go to another site. You have to sort well. Swipe right. A match. It’s even easier than in person. Three spelling errors later I swipe left and it’s gone. It’s a bit like Amazing race. Throw in unknown country, with challenge and whose goal is to win. However, I got tired at browsing photos based solely on appearance, so I deleted the app. Then I met a young man. It was good fun and overnight, but then I understood the meaning of the term “ghosted” … who became a ghost. Without an explanation, he has disappeared, but remains none the less alive and well. No more phone calls, no more SMS, no more emails, no more contact … The ghosting concerns both the conquests of a night, couples, friendships … In one click, we are friends and in one click, we are no longer. If I am no longer the ideal product, that I am not exactly in accordance with what he asked for, he returns the product. Some form of utilitarianism. I am a baited fish, I die, then, once he gets what he wants, he goes away without worrying about the consequences. Everything falls in the water and I am left alone in a glass of water half empty faced with unanswered questions, victim of guilt and remorse unfounded. My first instinct is obviously to try to get in touch with him, but I fall into the vacuum trap. I understood. We were just « fuck friend » Nothing more. Just easy random flow. Let me know. Now or later. Later or now. Whatever. All the same shit. The Merry goes round again and again Then, I re-downloaded the app to swipe and get caught again. Just press « Like » and see where it will go. I have to waltz again from right to left, in my ups and my lows. Let the ball begin.

X:Concessions Surrender

X

So is this a reality? Is this something worth educating people about? Is this something worth de-stigmatizing for people who don’t understand mental illness? In Eastern Afghanistan, people are chained to window frames in centers for the mentally ill. In my experience, I’ve seen people locked down and zipped up into, essentially, an isolating fishnet body bag, strapped to a bed, on display for everybody. Sounds like ancient history to me but I admit there can be dangerous instances involving mentally ill patients, such as violence and disruption. But anyone is capable of being violent and disruptive to others in our society, as well as to themselves, and I would say a majority of those people are not labelled clinically ill.

In my mind it is possible to label the whole world as “not of sound mind”.

X:CONCESSIONS SURRENDER

It had been two weeks, two weeks with these thoughts and accusations. They were not unfamiliar to me. I had spent months with these ideations years ago. I had already used up five of my nine lives. Each moment in this state resonating like a deja vu, each time delving a little deeper into the questions and answers of life’s episodes and chapters. Each time believing that I would uncover the ultimate truth. When the truth was really that each episode had been more self-indulgent than the last, and that this expression is just as self-indulgent as the truth.

Yet I am hopeful in imagining that with my ninth life I will find an answer. My preconception that the number 42 is merely an age will not be sufficient enough. I am hoping that it will be bigger than Douglas Adams, because I already know he is not God.

TheBow

(CYER, 1996)

IX:The Miseducation Of Malediction

IX

The thoughts are angry, but I have come to terms with it and tried to understand it. It took five episodes for me to really feel at home with the fact that I have psychosis. And whatever other labels there are that come with it. Whatever my condition, I am psychotic, but it does not rule my life. In the world, there are more than 450 million people who belong to this “subculture” of mental illness. Regardless of what the label they are given, their life is not so different.

KoreanHeritage

(CYER, 1997)

IX: THE MISEDUCATION OF MALEDICTION

I failed to take that course on “Death and Dying,” when I thought I was receiving an education, when in actuality I had grown up as part of some elaborate experiment. The thesis being, what would happen to an isolated child exposed to what we feed them mentally? A degenerate who thought their dreams of happiness were possible.

And then it happened again. You decided it was time that I learn more truth through repetition. The truth that there is no such thing as a physical death, only a spiritual one. And I had killed myself repetitively through my dreams.

VIII:Mental Illness Is Loveless

VIII

Maybe we don’t know what love is until our heart gets broken. Until we cry endlessly at night. Maybe I am in love with everyone that is in my life right now. Maybe love is falling in love, falling in hate, and then falling in love again. Maybe love is just a myth.

VIII: MENTAL ILLNESS IS LOVELESS

I eventually lost trust in life or my conception of it. My heart melted. Tears were all I had. Begging for forgiveness. Trying to convince you that I really did know what love was. I was so delusional to think that the hell of my “self” was a saving grace of your love.

I would not be bitter or angry, but I would accept this new knowledge as a beginning of transformation. And I would try to sway you into believing that I could be good.

That was when I decided to write you a letter. A confession. Please read it out loud, for I know you can already read it within your mind.

Dearest You,

I went deep into the depths of this dream. It was a diamond sea and you were that precious stone. An angel to be untouched by anything but the purest of love, just like the innocence of a child. The universe and its forces bound together to keep you holy. And then for some unknown reason, I was born. Dressed in a red that was deeper than blood. I was the dark shadow lurking in all those unknown crevices yet still turning everybody into stone. I saw what I could not be and tried to swallow it like a demon, selfishly out to take what is not theirs. It was you, a true beauty with a soul so pure. I tried to pierce my stare right through you but all evil fails, and it proved to be true that what goes around, comes around. I was not a demon. I was a child just as you were, but had chosen all the wrong things. As a child I chose the wrong path of envy, greed, and jealousy. I created this hell on earth but it showed me it was really heaven, and that you were chosen to be free. A free spirit of love and innocence. As much as you tried to run away , I ran after you. I veiled myself to be your second skin. It became so unfathomable that I would be your worst nightmare. I traveled down the abyss and when I awoke, you were there, as an angel spreading its wings to embrace me. Thank you for your love.

Sincerely, Me

TheLight

(CYER, 1994)

This letter was written in desperation. But you already knew that. You already knew my lies and truth to the matter that I could not even cover my sadism. You knew me better than I could know anyone, let alone myself.

It was then that your voices started speaking again. Telling me I was so desperate, so pitiful… but way too late. I thought the eyes staring at me were ones of compassion, but they were just eyes of confusion and disbelief for the animal I was.

I had dug my own grave. I would wander this planet lonely, and alone, for everyone to see and read. And then, at that point you said, “We’re tired”…”We don’t even care to read or speak to your mind.”…. “You are a zero to us.”

“Every hurt you have given through your thoughts has killed you. You are dead to this universe. You are dead to us.”

VII:The Rebirth Of Death

VII

Do you realize how scary it is to have a psychotic episode? Imagine yourself all alone, with all six billion people against you, conspiring to get rid of you and basically terminate you. Imagine yourself being given every kind of drug, illness, and disease that exists in the world. Imagine having your family taken away and slaughtered, all because of you. Wait a second… this isn’t mental illness, these things really do happen in this world. But imagining that these didn’t exist in our world, can you imagine this happening to you in certainty, when in reality it isn’t? It is a paranoia to its extreme. And it’s voices are not silent.

BlueFig

(MLRF, 1999)

VII:THE RE-BIRTH OF DEATH

You told me there was no such thing as self-death, by ones own hands. You told me there was no such thing as death. You told me I would continue to live, trapped in my own hell in heaven. You told me that I would not even be a spectacle, not even an example of evil, but simply an outcast. No shelter, no pity, no nothing, but still withering with time. Have you ever read the O-BITCH-uaries? You told me they were meant for me. My lack of empathy for the dead on those pages was really your source of entertainment. N.E.R.D. No One Ever Really Dies. Even suicide is a myth. I could hear you so clearly now and it hurt.

V/V:VI/VI

V/V:I REALLY AM AN OPTIMIST ON MY GOOD DAYS, REALLY

Psychotic is a word that makes me cringe. Why? Probably because I too have grown up around the stigmatization of mental illness and the words associated with it, as well as all the stereotypes of people with mental illness. Do you think it’s a group of pathetic people that don’t know how to integrate themselves into a world that’s full of confident, happy, sociable people? If you know anything, you know there is no such world as that. We are all insecure, emotional, and isolated individuals, who are really good at covering up the truth. But people don’t laugh at just anybody. They laugh at what they don’t understand. They create words that hurt. They create thoughts that hurt. They create an image that hurts. They even create an impossibility of integration that hurts. Well, guess what? I fall into what I call a subculture of crazy, lunatic, mentally insane individuals. If you want proof, I could maybe stamp “insane” on my forehead so that I don’t have to live in shame or guilt for my condition.

loveHurts

(MLRF, 2002)

VI/VI: MUSICALITY’S RHYTHMIC BANTER

You spoke to me in the music I had fixed into my ears and mind and visual-mental landscape. All your songs played like water, just like the oceans I dreamt about. And the streams that only I had the ability to dip my feet into, was water that played like tears. Music was all I thought I had and it was truly killing me softly. What I thought was background music to the soundscape of our lives really was the story of our lives. The songs were singing my past, present, and future.

IV:The Rebirth Of Life

IV

We recreate ourselves every day. We also lose a sense of ourselves every day. Aren’t we constantly asking ourselves, “Who am I?”God knows, “I am what I am.” Remember the hype about “The Secret”? Well, the real secret is that there is no secret. There is no big answer to life. If there were maybe it would be love and peace, maybe the hippy generation had it right. I really don’t know where I’m going with this, or what my point is… perhaps, that’s just it. Why live our lives continuously questioning it and continuously searching for answers, when we know shit happens when it happens and it doesn’t happen when we want it most to happen. If we could will our lives into success and grandiosity, we’d all be rich and famous, we’d all be happy, we’d all have an enlightened sense of spirituality, and maybe we’d even have world peace. Perhaps we would live in a functioning Utopian society.

Warrior

(Photo by CYER, 1997)

IV: THE RE-BIRTH OF LIFE

There was nothing unique or “original” about me. I had been spoon fed from the moment I decided to speak. From the moment I thought I had something relevant to say. Gullible and transparent. Living like a puppet, behind a glass cage, with no curtains drawn. It was you that fed me with words, but it was me that battled with my own ego.

Those times you made me travel between cities, countries, and continents, were all detours of distance. The people and places of the world were merely seconds away from each other, not hours or days. You made me a fool because I never wanted to see the world. The first time I boarded a plane, I thought we were at a standstill during mealtime; motionless and floating in the sky, so that even the navigators could eat and nap at allotted times. It was exactly that which gave the illusion to space and time. The world may still be round, or flat, but the truth was that the world was just one. One place, with no name and no segregation and no separation. Simply united.

I did not know whether to love you for all the answers. Accepting that perhaps my crucifixion was coming (God returned) Were you showing me there was such a thing as abundant love? No war? Except for the war on me? Was I the war on terror? What I might’ve thought could be abuse, but wasn’t… was I going to lash out in the future? Did you believe I would steal the dreams of innocent children and try to create my own from them? Why was I not that innocent child corrupted by what the world had to say? Were you showing me that I would be saved from cruel ways, or that I would be too evil to be resurrected? Just a black hole in a well, dark enough to be drowning deeper into its own depths. I never learned how to swim but when I tried, I always ended up going against the flow.

III:Too Much Fiction, Too Much Media

III

We surround ourselves with many things, things, things, things, and more things. Oh yeah, and then there are people. I’ve tried my whole life to relate to people, sometimes succeeding and other times failing triumphantly. If you think about it, the latter seems to reign. If you think about it really hard, you’ll realize you can’t identify with anyone else on a level you understand. Life is the biggest mystery and our human actions play out like a folly. Nothing makes sense, and the harder you try to make sense of it, the harder you fall.

TooMuchFiction

(Photo by CYER, 1995)

III:TOO MUCH FICTION, TOO MUCH MEDIA

That night I dreamt I saw satellites shooting up into the black sky. They were speaking to me in dreams and leaving me clues to the unanswerable wonders of the world that I knew nothing about. How was I the only one? Have you read “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham? Another clue to the real world, that I had only wished were true when I had read it. Minds communicating through minds. A phenomenon I was not born with. I was haunted by that moment in my past when I asked, “How was I supposed to know?” only to get the response that said, “Couldn’t you read my mind?” That comment was powerful enough to linger to this day. My whole history was being re-written.

Did I even come out of my mother’s womb? Did I even have a mother? A father? A brother? A sister? Somehow had I been adopted as the devil-child and branded as Faustus? Lucky with the devil by my side, screaming in my head but unable to speak the words? What point was there, considering everyone could already read my thoughts? But then it happened that my thoughts became your voices. I had always had the ability to listen and speak in this way, but I had been too ignorant to bother because it seemed so unfathomable. Everyone was laughing. And I couldn’t distinguish whether I enjoyed it or not, this sense of being opened up to your “secret.”

I was embarrassed about the life I had lived to this point. There had been nothing hidden, although I believed myself to be a private person. My ‘self’ had deceived me. All the shame I hid from those around my imagination, my thoughts, my “reality”, my perception and me… all had been lies. All cruel. There was no one I could love and no one that could love me. That flash of reviewing life that people talk about when they near death, happened.

II:Life Is Making Us Over

II:

Whichever direction you thought I was going with this story, probably isn’t going to be what you expected. It’s not about the world but it’s about my world. It’s about me trying to find that connection with somebody, with some subgroup that identifies with me. I am a hopeless romantic that lies about never being heartbroken. In a metaphorical sense, my heart has been broken too many times to count. In most of these instances I believed my life was coming to an end. In these instances there was no rationality and no reality, only the reality in my mind.

Scanner

(Photo by CYER, 1998)

II: Life is Making Us Over

The first time I had been exposed to this life, I believed Douglas Adams was God. I gathered enough towels for our rescue mission, and got rid of all our spectacles and monocles because I thought they were tools of data. They were the wearable computing gear that had been created into a reality by Steve Mann. This time around, the latter still held true, but in addition I realized that it was all in my mouth. My teeth were radioactive, broadcasting my existence to the universe. My younger age of cruelty, when they ripped my mouth apart was when they filled it with metal transmission, not that fine porcelain. I had been a fool to be so vain in wanting to change my appearance. Metal wires led to the removal of my Teeth of Wisdom. Was it all in the mouth? These Jaws of Life?