“Your mind is racing like a pro now
Oh my god, it doesn’t mean a lot to you
One time you were a glowing young ruffian
Oh my god, it was a million years ago…”
–The National, Racing Like a Pro
It’s Saturday night and I’m sitting here in the dining room with a cup of coffee and The National playing on my iPhone.
I feel so wholly, embarrassingly, desperately lonely.
My go-to move when I feel that way is to turn to food. I want nothing more than to eat. Emotions are filling my insides and I want to drown them out with soda and cereal. Sugary cereal that feels so good chewing but awful as soon as I swallow.
I want to talk to someone but I can’t think of anyone to phone. Because I really don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m too tired for a conversation.
I want to be social and it’s not that I don’t like the ones I talk to but it’s exhausting pretending to be interesting, to have to come up with witty things to say, to make someone laugh, to laugh at all.
I want to fall into a void, to be sucked away into a black hole as an excuse to get out of talking and texting and engaging. I want to talk but I don’t want to speak.
I hoped drinking enough coffee would fill me up, would help me get over this craving. But I know better. It’s not hunger I’m trying to satiate.
My head is a coalescence of rage and confusion. It spins faster than I can process. It begs, “Write! Scream! Sing! Get these thoughts out! Why are you just sitting there?” But I can’t answer. Again, I’m too tired. I’m invalid in creativity, apathetic in motivation. I want to sit down and get it out but that would mean I would have to deal with it. And we know I’m not good at that.
So I sit and stare at the wall for hours, take naps and read a few chapters of a book before my eyes go heavy. All distractions. All putting off my problems. It’s a trend I’ve been noticing lately and it sickens me the time I’ve wasted covering up my chronic shortcomings in favor of keeping pain at a distance. But in the effort to avoid it, I hit it head on.
It all piles up, these thoughts, these fears of mine. And when I sit down to express them, they come out in terse bursts, boiled down to base emotions, the extraneous fringe feelings already frittered away along with more brain cells.
What’s on my mind? What’s been festering?
As my peers pack up and become adults, I am left behind, ill-equipped to continue to be so juvenile and even more unprepared to join them in maturity and so I stay stagnant.
I’ve reached out to people before. As shy as I am, as insecure and bumbling, I’ve tried to take a chance, to find friendship, companionship and a little bit of compassion. But it never lasts. My personality has a shelf life. But still I tried. I always thought, “This might be the time it sticks.” But it doesn’t. Each time I reach out my hand, I end up losing another knuckle.
People in real life do not seem to understand me and do not seem to want to take the time to do so. This might be partially my fault. I’ve been abandoned so many times that I subconsciously count down the end of a new relationship. I keep myself distant so the inevitable downfall won’t be so dour. I don’t call. I don’t text. I don’t chase because I assume no one wants to talk to me. It’s only when they initiate a conversation do I think they actually want my presence. But even then, I wonder if it’s because they are bored or have no one better to talk to. I’ve become the back-up best friend, a second-place person to fill in when someone’s number 1 cannot properly fill their role. It’s silly to be so paranoid and mistrustful but the evidence is in my favor.
I recently read a book by a blogger I follow. I reached out to him a few years ago because he was a writer who struggled with his weight, just like me. I thought for sure we’d be friends. We had a lot in common. But sure enough, after a few e-mail exchanges, he stopped responding. It hurt but I kept up with him through his blog. And when he published his book, I read it. It was a decent book but I got more out of it than just a good story. I felt like I knew him on a deeper level, like I understood him. And although he ceased communication with me, I knew he would have also understood me had he given the friendship the proper time to grow.
I see it. I see the potential, the possibilities of true understanding in my life. These people come across my path like luxury lotion samples, high quality components wrapped in a feel-good texture. But they never last long enough to see real results.
Due to my age and depressed disposition, it’s impossible to make a connection in my real life. So I took to the Internet to reach out, to share myself through my writing in hopes that someone would get it, understand, commiserate, and ultimately, connect. But years of blogging has garnered limited interest.
What has prevented me from finding a group of like-minded individuals? Am I not talented enough? Not expressive enough? Am I too rambling or too negative? Or is it that I’m not good-looking enough? I suspect that’s got a lot to do with it. I see better looking people get higher in the ranks. I am not easily digestible for the Internet. Pretty people get their prose praised. Mediocre faces fall behind, their words buried beneath reblogs.
I fell behind in life through unfortunate circumstances, circumstances that I find myself apologizing for or defending because I thought I was doing the right thing. I chased my dreams and it never once occurred to me that they would not come true. But they did not. Jobs became scarce and bills became abundant. And I suffered greatly for it. Still do to this day.
But no one seems to take the time to understand this, that I am fully aware of my own limitations, many I placed upon myself. They tell me to move or find a more creative job or join an online dating site. As if those things were easily doable. I can’t just pack up because I no longer believe it is possible for things to work out for me. I cannot fall in love because I no longer feel I am capable of feeling love.
I am not only a flawed human being but fundamentally dysfunctional. I have enough sense to know my brain isn’t right. But I don’t have enough sense to know how to fix it, to just be a real, genuine person like everyone else I see around me.
The longer I go without people who want to care, the longer I am without human contact, the more I feel myself closing off from humanity. I never felt like a real person anyway. I was different from my peers. I was the weird artist. And even when I attended an art school, I was still the weird one. I never found a comfortable place to put my head. And it only increases the fear and the anxiety. Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why can’t I be a productive member of society? Why can’t I be a good friend? What’s keeping me from keeping people close to me?
I am a shard of glass. I am tightly bound, cold in composition, and cannot be handled without cutting.
I am pulled between an all-consuming need to connect and a whole-hearted desire to be left alone.
I feel the pull of death again, the desire to mummify myself in misery, to just accept that I will never be happy. I haven’t been for most of my life. What makes me think things will ever change?
People say they I matter but it’s just noise at this point. I’ve had it placed in my ear, a flat note of insincerity. All I hear are the husks of words, void of the meaning behind them. I’ve been told I’m cared about but I’ve never been shown such. I’ve been told by many people that they would never leave me, only to be cast aside once someone else intriguing comes by. All these incidences collect in my mind, showing me that I am not normal, that I am some wrong kind of thing, a mistake, a factory line defect that managed to pass through, unnoticed. Ignored from inception.
I’m sorry I can’t just be pleasurable. I’m sorry I can’t be interesting anymore. I hate it too. I scold myself for being so pathetic. But it’s hard to pull myself up from such a low, especially when it doesn’t seem worth it. What’s waiting for me above but more rejection, a pair of arms not set to embrace me but to push me back down.
I’d rather stay down here and shatter over and over again all on my own.