She Lost Control

I woke up at  2 am this morning. Big day, exams day. My French exams, reading and writing were today. I just tried to calm down and not to freak out. Despite my French is stronger than my English and after studying for 3 weeks the result was as I expected: panic.

The Joy Division was playing in my head. I was driving as a zombie. Tired, not concentrated, driving as I was going to an execution. I know I’m good in French and I was doubting of myself, of my capabilities. At the same time thinking if what level I wanted to reach, knowing my potential, of course, thinking all that before screwing all.

“Confusion in her eyes that says it all.
She’s lost control.
And she’s clinging to the nearest passer by,
She’s lost control.
And she gave away the secrets of her past,
And said I’ve lost control again,
And of a voice that told her when and where to act,
She said I’ve lost control again.”

I arrive very early, the parking spot I thought raised the price for 1$. That been said, the final price was 14$. I walked down Slater St. and I bought a French vanilla coffee. What? Well, I thought it good be a good idea be awake and warm since I didn’t sleep well and it was a bit cold. I stopped drinking coffee for….8 months and to not becoming electrical. Probably  after such a long time, this little vanilla was a powerful morning shot. Instead of being alert, I become almost paranoid and hyperactive.

And she turned around and took me by the hand
And said I’ve lost control again.
And how I’ll never know just why or understand
She said I’ve lost control again.

When the door opened I sat in the waiting room, looking around, looking to find something in particular to stare at. As the tradition says, I grab my phone like the others. I realized I don’t have any games or internet on it since …well, it doesn’t seem vital to me. For the others, life is meaningless without a phone. I was really surprised that my therapist left me a message. So I called her back. I asked her if she was busy, she said she on her way to work, I could hear the noisy of the street. So, after this introduction she said: “you asked me to call you last night”. I said “You know, mother’s day is coming, I was wondering if we could meet at lunch time”. She said “sorry I can’t hear, I got some interference on the phone”. Well, the truth is she didn’t understand me…I got my English oral exam in 2 weeks. I repeated again my phrase word by word. I think while she was walking she was pulling out her agenda trying to find a spot for me. I felt so guilty and I promised to send her an email.

The call finished, again, nervousness, not that much anxiety, I was just nervous. The my chest was pressing and compressing. I was waiting and watching everybody around me, all anglophones,with their notebooks or replying email with their Blackberries. Now, the breathing was becoming heavy and heavier later. Somebody come to lead us to the exam room. I was feeling groggy, sleepy, hyperactive, nervous, tired, with the sensation, I know French more than those guys.But I didn’t want to be there. I was remembering I did more than 5 times the French exercises on the booklet I found at the library.

“Come to the front desk with and ID. From A to N come with me, from O to Z with my colleague” We made 2 line ups and we picked up a sheet with our names and exam ID. We sat. I counted 40 people for the comprehension exam. The monitor was explaining the procedures. This is, I think, the 5 exam I take, but never with anxiety. The guy continued to tell us the rules of the game. I know all that dude. I was so distracted, I was drawing a cat, a bunny and even I sketched the guy’s face on the sheet. He was speaking more blah, blah, blah. Finally he said “you can start your test”.

And she screamed out kicking on her side
And said I’ve lost control again.
And seized up on the floor, I thought she’d die.
She said I’ve lost control.
She’s lost control again.
She’s lost control.
She’s lost control again.
She’s lost control.

I was reading without reading, were the exercises simple or I was too good? I was trying to concentrated myself, I was reading again the paragraphs, but know things are becoming more difficult, not the questions, I was becoming kind of dizzy. Again, I tried to read the paragraphs. In total they were like 55 questions. I was calculation the possible mistakes I could have and what level I could reach. I’m trying to focus, sometimes I read and I got the sensation of some lines are moving or shaking. I read again, and again and I pass the question for later one. But even with that I realized I finish my test in 30 minutes. I verified some other questions but I found I didn’t or at least I thought have any mistake. The chest was just crashing my lungs. I left the room, it was 9.30am, Oh my God, the breathing was heavy and lighter, both at the same time. I just went outside the building for a short walk. While walking I was checking my breathing, checking if the lungs were there or just smashed like potatoes.

The next test was at 10.30 am so I decided to visit to an ex colleague. I was very happy to see her but to talk to somebody, just to calm me down. She lost weight, she looked amazing, her vegetarian diet was working, she told me she lost 3 sizes and it’s true. She was also talking about her mortgage at Scotia Bank screwed them. She was looking for something near where I live. We were gossiping about old colleagues and the mafia at work. Just disgusting how things can move inside a Department when somebody has power. We talked for about 20 minutes and we promised to meet again when my Oral exam was schedule.

Now, I was worried, I knew I was having some troubles with the wordy phrases, the long sentences and the multiple choice answers. I was trying to follow, I mean, reading the idea, trying to find out which paragraph was the best idea to resume what each text was about. I became very sleepy, I was tired, I wanted this over but at the same time I was pushing my self to finish my reading, to think in the grammar and trying no to get distracted by my oppressing chest. This exam started at 10.30 and I left the room just before noon. And I was the second person to leave. I was heavy. Just when I left and when I realized it was over, my head became heavy…I was more dizzy than before…the chest was calming down. I was watching the people walking on the street. I didn’t want to think, I was controlling my lungs, I was trying to relax.

And say she’s lost control again.

And she showed up all the errors and mistakes,
And said I’ve lost control again.
But she expressed herself in many different ways,
Until she lost control again.
And walked upon the edge of no escape,
And laughed I’ve lost control.
She’s lost control again.
She’s lost control.
She’s lost control again.
She’s lost control.

When I got to work I walked to the library to return the books I used to practice for these tests. Then I went to my office, I was pealing my orange in my way back, I was thirsty, really thirsty, I was walking a bit faster. I went to the kitchen to heat my lunch…then I was almost breathing my soul away, as I was having hyperventilation, my colleague asked me if I was alright, I lied and I said it just the weather. I walked slowly, tired and kind of lost.

I started to work…I had a little headache. And I was thinking of that song

I could live a little better with the myths and the lies,
When the darkness broke in, I just broke down and cried.
I could live a little in a wider line,
When the change is gone, when the urge is gone,
To lose control. When here we come.

Joy Division “She Lost Control” 1978


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