Even If I Don’t Know

On the pleasures of letting go

Marianna Saver
7 min readAug 24, 2021
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I am sixteen years old. We are in Vienna for our biannual school trip, and I don’t want to be here. In fact, the night before, desperate for a strong enough pretext not to go, I would swallow five pills of Zoloft (which my then therapist prescribed to treat my “mild social anxiety”), have my parents rush me to the nearest hospital, experience the rousing sensation of a stomach pump, and spend the night guarded by Dr. L., another therapist, who eventually advised I should go and enjoy the trip, “maybe send him a postcard too”. So there I am, escorted to the railway station by my despairing mother, greeted by a teacher I never really liked that much, but who probably thought I did, since he feels the urge to remark that “life is beautiful”.

We travel by train through the night, covering the 847 kilometers that separate Florence from Vienna. I sit by the window and watch the silhouettes of empty trees come and go, running in and fading out, unendingly, like memories. Nobody asks me about the night before, except G. She’s my best friend and I can tell she’s worried. “It’s not that I wanted to kill myself,” I finally manage to say. “I only did not want to be here.” Here meaning not a physical place — not the city, not the train — here, rather, as in this social gathering. I found the thought of spending a week around half strangers…

--

--

Marianna Saver

I write to understand what I don’t know. I also send monthly love notes: bit.ly/themorningair