Before I get into my thoughts, I wanted to thank everyone who liked The Turning Point. I usually don’t get a lot of attention here in my small corner of wordpress (especially since all of my entertainment posts went over to Infinite Ammo) so getting likes from four people (avelainegauvin, mavisephaneuf, arienneflamand, and, of course, chaosmechanica) at once was really awesome. Especially after the kind of post The Turning Point was. Really, thank you.
It’s not rare now that I think about what’s coming: the unemployment, the insane attempt to finish War of Exiles in six months, the possibly too depressing trips down memory lane that I intend to take (among which there are already places where I still won’t venture). I thought, particularly, about the last item, the trips, and how I would relate them here to everyone who reads this blog. And I realized that they would be hollow if I wasn’t more honest with all of you than I’ve ever been here. It made me realize that there were a lot of things about myself that I had to say, all of them very honest, none of them uplifting:
- I’m not a happy man. My facebook comments are always extremely cheerful jokes. I try, at work, in the face of the impending liquidation, to be a source of morale for others. I’m always, unless provoked, polite to people in public. None of that means I don’t stop smiling the moment everyone I know is out of eye shot. My most honest emoting happens when I get home and remain absolutely stoic with my family, who, having lived with me for a long time, do not ask questions about it, a fact that I appreciate because I stopped feeling like I could share things with anyone a long time ago. There’s no question that this is not healthy, but then, there’s no question that I’m an unhealthy person. I would love to say that this is solely out of a desire to not burden anyone with my problems, but I’d be lying. I don’t tell anyone anything about myself because among all of the places I’ve been, I’ve lost the ability to tell anyone everything. I’ve lost the ability to trust.
- I’m poor. I’m not going to pretend that I go out into the streets and ask for spare change, or that I’m not indoors now, writing this on a computer that I paid for a year or so ago. But since, my prerequisites for lunch have become having enough change in my room for a bagel and finding something edible tucked away from the days when I wasn’t going to be out of a job in a few weeks. I completely understand that there are far, far worst ways to live. But, suddenly, I don’t have any solid clothing to wear; I don’t own shirts without stains or holes. Or shoes with soles. And now, it’s too late to buy any; up until now, I’d somehow just rode this near-poverty wave, coasting on the fact that I always had my credit card and could just go and buy things without worrying because, “I’m getting paid this Friday anyway.” And, hey, maybe I’d finally open a bank account then?… Maybe it’s silly, but there are those little things that make you feel happy and secure and all of those things are suddenly falling out of reach for me. I have to wonder how many steps before being out on the streets this is.
- I don’t believe in love anymore, which I did not realize until very recently. This may sound silly, but I held the concept in very high regard until I realized the idea of it had turned into something completely unlike what it was supposed to be. Because of this, I’m suddenly unfeeling despite being single. I’ve had crushes and confessed to them, one way or another, and then, the moment when they replied with a smile, the moment they flirted back or casually deflected the compliment, I’ve stopped feeling anything for them. I’ve since stopped trying to make myself feel something I can’t.
- I have a very hard time letting go of the past. I don’t sit in my room and dwell on things. I don’t stalk people I no longer talk to or even think to ask about them when I speak to people who may know them. But I do remember, and, remembering, regret or rage, as is appropriate. I don’t know if anyone else does this or if I’m normal; it’s been a very long time since I assumed I was normal. What I do know is that it’s one of the myriad things that I hate about myself and wish I could stop doing—a thing I realize I could stop doing if I had a life outside of this room when not at work. If, today, I’d met a friend and walked around New York to check out the damage done by Hurricane Irene; if, perhaps, I’d been at a party last night and woken up somewhere that wasn’t my home; or if I’d even just spent time at a friend’s house and watched hurricane related movies, I would not be here writing this. I would not be here thinking. But I am. And for the next few months, I nearly always will be.
- Among all of this is the point I’ll leave you with. I understand from being told that I’m a great person—people tell me they appreciate how proactive and creative I am, or women tell me I can have anyone I want, or that I’m super cute—but believing any of this is so hard for me that it’s a perpetual kind of impossible; even after I’ve begun to believe it, I can revert in a heartbeat and no longer find any charming curves in the face in the mirror, nor any wit in the set of its teeth, so suddenly yellow and ill-at-ease. And even at these times, I understand that I must be wrong, but simple facts keep me from feeling it: I’ve never completed anything, I’m poor, and I’m alone.
I know that this will change when I finish War of Exiles and get it published, when I get a tattoo to commemorate that achievement, which can never be taken from me, and when I can again afford to meet people and spend time with them. I absolutely know it will.
But I’m suddenly terrified I’ll never make it to that point.