everything i cannot be

by amanda brenner

a statement from the artist: my work touches on feelings of loneliness, disassociation, and pity based on my lived experiences with a disability. everything I cannot be is a major depressive's internal dialogue. This piece also intersects with the isolation and longing of the queer experience just as those things intersect within me. 

You should sleep.

Yes, but I don’t sleep.

You’re thinking?

Yes, about everything I cannot be.


Well, what else is there to pity?

Other people with troubles far greater than your own.

Other people do not want pity.

And you do?

Only my own.

Not mine?

Of course not.

You seem to live inside your own head.

Mostly, but it’s the tangible things that make me sad.

Like what?

I cannot touch her cheekbones and I want to.

She’s far away.

Oh, I know.


It does not stop me from wanting to touch them.

And that makes you angry?

Only sad.

What do you want me to tell you?

I don’t know.

Do you want me to hate you?



Better than pity.

It wouldn’t be too hard.

That makes me feel better.

Well, now you’re tougher to hate.


You should get some sleep.

Amanda Brenner is an alumna of American University. Her work has been published in Monkeybicycle.