Cordellia Rose Formal Paper 1 rough draft Miles I have to kill one of them off, she muttered under her breath. She s standing in front of the window, her forehead resting gently on the pane. Occasionally her lips touch the glass, and she relishes the cool feeling. It s dark and stifling in this room, only adding to her angst. The sun has just gone down, and night is beginning to fall. They re getting to be too many. Damn it. I hate it when I have to do this. I need to find someone to kill, someone irritating and irrelevant. It has to be good. It has to be emotional. It has to make me feel something. I m so scared. I have to get rid of this strange feeling. Is it going to be gruesome? I hate imagining bad things. The last time something truly gruesome happened was when Kevin died. That was a bad situation. I m not sure my character can handle another serial killer or violent attack like that. She already blames herself. Sure, she s the victim .but she s always the victim. She

doesn t want to kill, but sometimes that s her only recourse. She may have to kill again. The woman is starting to tear up and presses the side of her right eye against the window pane to ease the redness. It feels good. A few tears squeeze out and she steps back to watch them slide down. Suddenly the door opens. A man stands there with a notebook and a puzzled look. He heard her muttering but couldn t understand the words exactly. It s probably a good thing.


Oh, hi. Come in. It s ok. I was just talking to myself. It happens. You must be Miles, right? Come! Come! Don t look so shy. I m not going to hurt you. Into the den of the crazy person. Are you scared? Don t smirk. Are you scared? You should be scared. I d be scared, talking to me. I m pretty famous, you know. Ok, maybe you don t know, being one of the people who lives in, She gestures quotes, reality . Wait Well ..don t you know? he says, looking at her a bit puzzled. ..um no I mean I guess a few people read my blog, but it s not

like I m really famous. she says, laughing. Oh ..well you are, just so you know. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me.

I ve been following your blog for years. It s fascinating. I m very eager to hear your story. People are very curious about you. Well ..I m sure people have a lot of opinions ..I can t say I want to know

everything, but I m an open book. Maybe if I just keep blogging and talking eventually people will learn and gain some perspective before I actually have to listen to any of them speak anymore. Ha! ha! Ha! Right. That s actually not a bad idea. So, shall we start? I must say you seem remarkably lucid. She shoots him a puzzled, hurt look, like he s just said something insulting and stupid. Thank you . Do you even know what that means? What, lucid? He looks genuinely confused.


Yes. Lucid. Do you know what it means? She asks earnestly, like she s really expecting him not to know and is prepared to tell him. Yes .do you?

Yes. She says slowly, for emphasis, Good. I was just checking because if you re foolish and pretentious enough to think you re qualified to tell my state of mind, then I wonder what else you don t know. Is there anything else we need to establish? What I .um .. He s completely lost for words. I didn t. I guess

She leans back, crosses her legs, and then puts her arms on the arm rests, in a regal pose for a moment. Then she gestures for him to get on with it, quickly. Ok .so ..what s it been like? He looks up at her and then back down,

fidgets in his chair, and then looks back up. He s puzzled and uncomfortable, unsure where to begin. What s it like? What s it not like? I ve been like this since I was a baby, at least I assume. It s my normal state. There s so much to say . I mean it could ve started with

abuse. Lots of times it starts with abuse, but frankly I remember doing it long before I remember the abuse. You know they used to beat me, right? Well, I always grew up afraid, and I always grew up daydreaming. When I was daydreaming, I wasn t afraid, at least not usually. There were bad things, too, at night. It wasn t always good. I thought this daydreaming condition was always supposed to be a relief. Why was it bad?


I don t know that it is always supposed to be a relief. I think it s an act of creativity. My brain was always running wild, and I couldn t stop it. Outside, there was nothing but negativity and discomfort. There were sounds, horrible sounds, itchy clothing, ugly furniture, dark rooms, bright sun, people who ate like they were in a barnyard. Then there was the abuse, the screaming, yelling, hitting, hair-pulling, kicking ..what they called discipline . She scoffs. I

don t know if that caused it or just pushed me further into it. By day, I d live in a fantasy world of fairies and princesses. Then, as I got older, negative images would start to creep in. I think I wanted to experience everything that s part of the human condition, from the greatest joys to the darkest . My daydream reality was probably a more complete reality than most people

ever get to experience. Anyway, all kinds of images were in my head, day and night. It s wonderful but exhausting. What about at night? Tell me about the horrors. Right well, you know I have sensitivity to light as well as everything else. I hate bright sunlight, and I hate the dark. I ve always been completely terrified of the dark. Every shadow contained a murderer. Naturally, the combination of my sensitivities, which might have been caused by disconnection due to my daydreaming, and the fact that I couldn t stop daydreaming all the time, day and night, every minute .well unfortunately they merged. Except this time,

I was sure it was real. During the day, I knew I was daydreaming. I mean I m sure all children do this. They hear things. I m not talking about the hallucinations yet. I mean every little bump and moan, rustle, click, tap, every little sound that can drive you mad in a night. I was certain, really certain, that someone was about to break in and do terrible things to me every


night, as far back as I can remember. I used to hide under the covers shaking violently and crying. This went on for how long? Maybe ..well I m 40, so maybe .35 years. It s actually gotten a little

bit better recently. I only get this way when something bad has happened in the news nearby. Is that how the insomnia started? I assume. This has been going on so long that at some point you just accept that your head has changed and never will be the same. At first you feel crazy. Then you accept that crazy is relative, and who gives a crap? Ok, let s get into that ..the hallucinations. What s that like?

It doesn t feel like a hallucination at first. You just feel so tired. You just want to sleep, and you can t. Your body starts to ache, and your mind starts to wander. At first, you just stay up all night, trying to make yourself relax. There s only so long you can do that, though, before you start having in-between states. It feels like you re literally half awake and half asleep. You ll be sitting up in your bed staring at your alarm clock and wondering if you re really there or out in the street. You can spend an hour sitting there trying to figure it out. Then years go by, and nothing improves. Your mind and body acclimate to a new state of being. Reality becomes an old wives tale . You blogged about something you call mixed reality . Is that related to your daydreaming disorder?


I wouldn t call it a disorder. It s just how my mind works. Many people live with this condition just fine. Many become authors or otherwise great thinkers. The worst they do is go on huge daydreaming binges for days and end up not doing much with their lives. They wake up fat and drooling, much like many rock stars minus the booze and STDs. The reason things started to get foggy is due to the insomnia. You start to feel sick all the time, and you want to sleep, but you hurt too much, and so your brain just needs to

dream anyway. You start to sort of really dream all the time, even when you re awake. You ll be seeing one thing and somehow seeing something else at the same time. It s like the two visions overlap, or like you re going back and forth so rapidly between the two that you re thoroughly confused and don t know where you re at anymore. Plus, the isolation is enough to make you go mad. You re too sick to go out, and the world is too pain comes across her face. So, it s because of the insomnia that you stay here in this room all the time? I thought it was something about the daylight or the noises. It is. I mean, it s really both, but the reason I started intentionally staying home is because of the noises. Certain sounds are so awful to me that I just want to cover my ears and scream. Plus there s the sunlight. I really can t stand being in sunlight. I used to live with it. I would dread the spring, but I would weather it. Then as I got older, between the sounds, the light, the itches, the smells, the loud noises everywhere, I just realized I d had enough. It wasn t worth it to torture myself this way, so I stayed home. Then I d be too sick to go out because of . She sighs. A look of


the insomnia, and I wouldn t be sure what state of mind I was in anyway. I started confining myself to this room. Years went by, and I never left. Ok, but the insomnia isn t a problem right now When I said you seemed lucid .. I mean, how are you feeling?

.well you re not always lucid, though, are you?

Lucid is relative. Your reality, that you re so certain is real, is no better than mine. It s true that after awhile, even when I m feeling fine, images start to creep up. I woke up once and was feeling very foggy. I saw, with my own eyes, a woman standing naked in front of me, right by my bed. I was probably partly asleep, but I was awake enough to be fully aware of my surroundings. I didn t think I was at the supermarket or anything. My eyes were feeling very strained, but yet I saw her very clearly. Then she disappeared. We hear stories all the time of ghosts, vibrations, and whatnot. It wasn t a daydream, and I m pretty sure it wasn t a night dream, so maybe it was something else. I really don t care, though. I just accept things that I see. It doesn t help to analyze them. Then, there s dreaming. All of what s happening to us, when you think about it, is really in our heads. You see me, but you don t really see me with your eyes. You see me with your mind. Your mind gathers all the information and decides that I m here. When you go to bed, your eyes see something else. Your eyes move back and forth, following your mind. Your mind is your reality. So, when I m daydreaming, my mind lives in a different reality of my own exploration. When I m night dreaming, I m just like you. I m in a state that we all go through. It can t by even common logic be a crazy state if it s something our bodies require, can it? I m


so sleep-deprived that I experience that during the daytime as well. Therefore, I can t really be crazy, now can I? Your body lives in the world you ve consented to live in. Your mind agrees to interpret the information your body has given you in a certain way, so that we can all compare notes together and understand each other. I guess that by lucid you mean my eyes and mind are in agreement with yours. We agree that we re in this room, sitting on 2 old, comfy chairs. well ..ok I guess .but you don t always feel the same.

Will you just tell me how you re feeling? Sometimes you say that you re feeling bad and can hardly get up. Other times you feel awake and inspired and can write a thousand pages if only people would shut up and leave you alone. Where are you, on that continuum? Well, physically I feel about as comfortable as I can be. I m never 100% comfortable, but relatively ok. Mentally say I feel good .well, I m talking about myself, and that s often inspiring. I d

definitely, compared to bad, I feel good.

Excellent. If you start feeling less, just tell me. Ok, next. Tell me about some of the people you ve known. Tell me about Kevin. Well, it s kind of you to give my characters such credence like that, but let s not talk about them like they re real. Kevin was a character I invented when I was around 13. It didn t start out bad. At first he was just my main character s friend. Then he became an increasingly needy friend. Then he became a possessive friend. Then my character would start having other friends, and he d get really mad. Then she started dating, and he got really, really mad.


She was already being abused at home, so she didn t really notice when he slowly started becoming abusive. He just seemed to need her a lot, so she couldn t turn him away. One night he beat her up. After that, she tried to stay away, but then he started stalking her. Her eyes wander over the walls. She s been talking really fast like she s reciting a story she s told a thousand times, but her gaze travels slowly over every corner of the room. The walls aren t actually moving, are they? No. I thought you were feeling fine today. Why, what s going on? I feel fine, but you know. It s just anymore. I thought there wasn t reality That doesn t mean sometimes I don t wish for just a little more agreement. Please consent Oh well. I can t worry about this. The lines on the wallpaper are just wiggling a my brain .. I don t think it knows what s real

bit. It s no big deal. I can handle that. No crisis. Ok, well, let me know if you get tired and want to stop or something. So, tell me about Kevin s death. Do you mind? It s not too traumatic, is it? No .it s been several years now. Things just came to a head. It was bound to

happen. I needed something emotional to happen in my storylines because I was becoming bored, and the Kevin character was just becoming too tiresome. My main character was avoiding her home town because he d always show up in her rear view mirror with a knife. He tried to kidnap her on many occasions. She couldn t enjoy herself anymore. She was living in


constant fear. So, one day, she got a vision. She was very psychic. She got a vision that everything was going to come to a head, and it was going to be bad. Anyway, he followed her out to a remote location. She saw in her vision that he had a lot of guns, which turned out to be true, so she went out somewhere where there wouldn t be a lot of people. She called 911, but since she mentioned the word vision they didn t believe her, even when he was actually following her and smiling with a knife in his hand. She didn t really think it all through, but she didn t know what to do. She looked out the window and saw him coming, so she just took off, and he followed her. In her mind, she saw a lot of guns in his trunk and car. She found an old empty building and was planning to just try and stay alive until the police came, but they never came. She talked to him and tried to be his friend. He cut her once then again. By now he d taken her phone and then again ..and

..and then he got her on the ground and just .. She looks down and gulps then

started stabbing her. She knew it was over. She knew

quickly recovers and resumes. He was leaning over somehow and then she saw a gun in his front shirt pocket. It was one of those small guns that looked like a toy. She grabbed it and shot him. She fell back and was just bleeding there. Someone must ve heard the commotion or seen the cars and wondered because they came by and found her .. Anyway, yadda

yadda, she just barely survived. It was really traumatic, but eventually she was hailed as a hero and survivor. She still can t cook or do anything that involves any cutting, but she s ok. Ok, so .how did you come to . know this story?


What do you mean? I know I get emotional about this stuff, but they re just stories. It s what my mind can t help but do. When characters get tiresome and I m starting to feel empty, I have to kill one of them off. This isn t real. What other characters have you killed off? Well ..over the years a few. Sarah died of some horrible disease when she was 12. Ed had an aneurism after a fight that grew violent. Kevin Ok, you don t know their last names, do you? I don t think they have last names. What are you talking about? Ok, well ..Kevin .what was the real Kevin like? How did you meet him? .well, that s the most gruesome.

Kevin is a fictional character. I made him up. What s wrong with you? Why aren t you listening to me? I don t know who you re mistaking him for, but there s no one I knew named Kevin. Ok, I just .Just try to think back. Did you remember reading about a man

named Kevin in the paper a few months ago? He died. I m sure there are lots of people named Kevin who die. What does that have to do with one of my storylines? It s just ..the Kevin you described in your blog is a lot like the Kevin who died. He

had dark brown hair and wore the same style of clothing. You drew a picture of him for your blog, and it looks remarkably like him. The details in your story ..maybe you made them all


up, but somehow your reality got it right. He attacked a girl with short brown curly hair. He stabbed her 4 times, and she somehow survived. She shot him. Horror-stricken, she runs her fingers through her hair. It s not true. It s not. They saw it happen on the surveillance video. Then she just ran off and disappeared. They assumed she went somewhere and bled to death .. They ve been looking for her.

One of the reasons they might not have found her is she may have been holed up in a room somewhere. She runs her hand over her abdomen, confusion all over her face. It s not true. She would know if it were true. Last year, Kevin s father Ed died of an aneurism. There was a gunshot wound to his right hand from a domestic fight earlier that night with Kevin. It s just a coincidence, she said, barely audible. This all happened so many years ago in my mind anyway. I don t know why it s coming up now. It s just a story. It s JUST A STORY! Ok, he whispered, I m sure I m just mistaken. If I d have known have bothered you with all this nonsense. I ll email you later. He stepped out. In the hallway, they were waiting. A woman approached, eagerly. Well? I don t know why but I don t think she did it. I just can t see her doing that. I .since we were becoming .I wouldn t

don t understand this. I don t know anything. I thought that


friends and she was answering me out, but

.that maybe if I interviewed her I could get something

I don t know how this could all have happened. I ve been following her blog for

years. It s extraordinary. She doesn t even believe in insanity, but she knows her world is somehow changing. I can t even bring myself to say it. She s not insane. She s NOT. She just .walls move. He s trembling. Ok, but there s some serious business here. A man, who just happened to be the mortal enemy of her main character , was shot a few months ago, and she just happened to know every detail. I don t know. Maybe she dreamed about him. Maybe she just knows things. Her character was reminiscing last week, and she brought it up. Then I looked over her old blogs from years ago. She blogged about this incident 5 years ago. She knew every detail. She even had the right address. She has cameras all over this place. They were installed after the attack when she was a kid. She hasn t left this house or even her bedroom in over 10 years. Back in her room, the woman slowly went to the mirror and pulled up her shirt. She caressed the scars lovingly. That was a good storyline. I ve decided who s going to die this time. I m tired of characters who don t understand me. I think the young man I have in mind is going to push her out a window. She ll grab onto him to try and save herself, but they ll fall down together. He ll hit his head against a rock and die. Miles? Miles, I forgot to tell you something! I m feeling much better now.


Reflective Memo This short story is my first attempt at fiction in many years. I have a condition called Maladaptive Daydreaming, which is in short an addiction to daydreaming. People with Maladaptive Daydreaming become addicted to their own creativity. Some have full fantasy worlds, and others daydream about different things each time. I ve had this condition all my life. As a child, I developed a full fantasy world that stayed with me all my life. I would lie around and daydream all the time, day and night. At night, my anxiety would kick in. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer, and I tried to write down my daydreams, but they were so vast that it was impossible. As I grew older, my fantasy world kept expanding. Each character had whole family histories that I d thought up. Every time I d try to write it down, I d get lost. It never worked. It stressed me out, so I quit. I also had trouble reading fiction as I d get bored, or it would trigger my fantasy. I started focusing on non-fiction, which was somehow more engaging. I also wasn t ready to confront my daydreaming as the addiction that it was. Now, educating people about Maladaptive Daydreaming is one of my causes. I m working with a doctor in NY who s studying it and agreed to out myself and be the poster child. Talking about it was difficult but highly liberating. In this story, I wanted to confront one of the biggest fears Maladaptive Daydreamers often have: that one day, it will just take over. So far this has never happened to my knowledge, but often we re terrified that one day we ll completely lose grip of reality. This story is a big hypothetical. What if? I tried to imagine how it could happen and what would it be like? I tried to make it as realistic as possible. What if I became so wrapped up in myself, my


fears, my fantasies, and my sensitivities that I completely lost sight of everything else? I ve also had insomnia for many years and have experienced dreaming while awake. I imagined that that would be the thing that breaks my mind with reality . As rich as my daydream world is, I still don t see myself actually mistaking it for reality. Almost none of this is original material. The character is based on me, if my sensitivities and other eccentricities completely took over. The abuse, insomnia, daydreaming, and sensitivities are all true. The story about the naked woman is true. The characters Kevin and Ed are taken directly from my fantasy world, as is the anecdote she tells about Kevin s death. That occurred several years ago in my fantasy world. Miles is completely made-up as is the room and the situation. The situation is what I would imagine if everything took over and I just couldn t take it anymore. There are a few important points to remember when reading this story. First, we have a story within a story. When the subject of my story is saying She , she doesn t mean herself. When she s relaying the events that happened with Kevin and other characters, she s not saying they happened to her. That s crucial because that becomes the debate in the end. She s talking about a fictional character who interacted with a fictional Kevin. She has no idea, as far as we know, though it s probably up for debate, that there really is a Kevin who was killed. My story is not about Kevin. My story is about an intelligent woman who s trying to make the best of living with all these conditions .but who s been slowly pushed deeper into them and

away from the outside world until she s completely lost touch with reality. She s still fighting to live the best of both worlds and in her own way is trying to improve the image of people with


psychological issues by explaining them to Miles and through living openly through her blog. We know she hasn t given up because she doesn t hesitate to admit when something happens like the walls move. The second crucial point is that both the woman and Miles each have completely different agendas here. She thinks he s there to interview her about her blog and her psychological issues, which she s eager to talk about. In the beginning, his questions are so open-ended, that it s reasonable for her to think so. She rattles on and on because that s what she thinks the point of the interview is. She has no reason to stop and enjoys hearing herself speak to an interested fan. Plus we understand that they ve been in communication, and he s very sympathetic to her. We can assume that he probably said he wanted to interview her and left out any mention of Kevin. Miles has a different agenda. The character Miles is meant to be a sympathetic fan whose profession is left up for debate. At first he was a journalist, but he became too sympathetic for that. However this is an interview, so I imagine him to be a very curious fellow blogger with an emotional investment in her. He asks her open-ended questions about her feelings and her life as a way to get her talking and feel comfortable. His secret agenda is to get her talking about Kevin. He hopes to get her talking and talking, so when the subject of Kevin comes up she ll be on such a roll that she won t quit. He really tries to ease her into it by asking seemingly banal questions like what her characters last names are. In the end, we find out that he knows who Kevin is, and he suspected that she was his victim/killer, so there was no reason to ask this question except to cool things down. His plan still backfires, though, and she gets


upset. As the story progresses, the character Miles became less of an interviewer and more of a fan with a burning desire for answers. He just wants to know what happened. The dueling motives are the reason that the story is so long and divided. She rattles on and on like she s giving a lecture because that s what she thinks this is. In the end, each character wears their heart on their sleeve. She flaunts her madness, and he flaunts his intrigue.