Attention Whore

The following is something I’ve complained about before, but it is always good to revisit these things. Women, girls, whatever you consider yourself to be, or however you are classified based on how you act: I think half of your take for granted how easy you get attention, and the other half who don’t take it for granted certainly take advantage of it. So, you’re cute– at least cute enough for a multitude of men to be driven enough to want to throw attention your way just because you pass a primal sort of threshold of attraction to try to reel you in by shallowly make you feel good about yourself. Congratulations, you’ve accomplished a lot.

For those of you who take it for granted, wake up and take some, not a lot, but just enough attention to perhaps let yourself look in the mirror and realize you aren’t fat or overweight, and that just because your frame isn’t the photoshopped tree branch wearing a wig that you see in media, a terrifying percentage of men will find whatever your frame is attractive. And that doesn’t include all the other variables that will put you into that attention garnering part of the diagram.

Now, before people start to complain and say, “Oh look at this guy, he’s just jealous, or frustrated because..,” SHUT UP! Hell yes I’m envious! Why? Because I work hard for my attention. I work damn hard. I ain’t no Pretty Bolgeo, but I at least am my best looking I’ve been in my life. I’m also in great shape. More importantly, I am interesting, often funny, intelligent, and like the ocean floor with a good mix of varying levels deep and shallow. I’m caring, I’m not a pig, but I also don’t act like an asexual eunuch. I am respectful, but not androgynously passive. I offer plenty of insight, or perspective. I could write my way out of a public desecration and sacrifice as a prisoner to an ancient tribal civilization. I can treat people, but also know how to receive hospitality. Heck, I can even cook these days. I could continue listing, but the point is, I have to use

every

single

one

of these qualities, and furthermore try to use them in a positive fashion just to receive enough attention to register on a scale of time perceivable by humans. And we are talking about attention from anyone, even my momma. So yeah, I’m a bit jealous, and sometimes a touch bitter, but with in very good reason, because you have it too easy. I have no problem being honest about this. I am not holding any grudges. If I weren’t working so hard, then there would be no contrast for you to realize how easy you have it. I’m not here to tell you what to do beyond that. I just want you to know. Next time you feel down on yourself, all you have to do is put on a tight skirt, some make-up, get your hair did a little bit and walk into a crowd. If I had been the one to paint the Mona Lisa, I probably wouldn’t get admiration for it until after I’ve been long resting in the Earth.

And this falls into what I really had on my mind to write about. I don’t like giving attention, or rather, playing the usual game for it that everyone else does. Now of course, people are going to say that if you don’t play the game by the rules (by societies constructs, or whatever), then of course you’re going to always be watching from the bench. I don’t try to play my own game entirely, I just hate having to play the same game everyone else does. It is faulty.

I misspoke a second ago. I do like giving attention, I don’t like the ways I have to. Here is an example of one of my biggest problems:

Say I like a girl, well wait, let’s say I’m just attracted to this lovely lady– I can’t express that so overtly. I’ve been watching fools walk up to women my entire life and so overtly flying their banner that shouts, “ooh mama, I like what you have to offer so I’m going to do as much as I can to look like a hopeless idiot to you and anyone with eyeballs in the vicinity.”

Screw that.

This works in public. In a bar. Amongst groups of friends. In knitting class. Even on the Internet, and so on.

Maybe it is purely pride, but I just can’t lower myself to that position. If I can get into a more shielded setting, then it’s on, but otherwise, well, I think it is clear that shuts me out of almost everything. I have a better handle on attraction (from basic instinctual concepts, to person specific things, all the way to body language) then I probably let on, or let myself take advantage of, and I’d say one of the principles is that in most cases, if you don’t properly display or convey attraction from yourself, there is no chance for another person to be attracted to you. Caveats to this are if you are just an aesthetically beautiful person, famous, sometimes if you’re charismatic, or if you’re just lucky and that person already is in to you. But even with the last one, if you don’t cultivate what you could consider an ember of attraction, it can end up into nothing but a lump of coal, or even worse.

Granted, I’ve been playing with this handicap my entire life, so I am kind of used to it. But as a young adult, it is a weird place to be in life, and it is kind of like growing up a baseball prospect– you finally get to the majors and find that everyone else is using steroids, and your integrity isn’t only useless; it’s detrimental.

There aren’t things that I think about too often, or bother me a lot, but from time to time, such as tonight (or lately this week), they have annoyed me. I just wanted to speak my piece once again.

I think you’re all scumbags either way.

<3

AMENDMENT –  I had to come back and add this, because I realized I missed my entire point. The point is less about doing things for attention, or having to show attention to get it. Those list of qualities that I put up against being a woman and looking good which should get attention are not things I do to get attention. In fact, I try to make sure I don’t derive attention from them directly (to a fault, probably). For instance, I’ve tried hard to get better at receiving compliments. Even in some lousy pick-up basketball game, I don’t like it when I go off and am hitting shots in peoples faces and the other guys on the other team are telling me, “quit making everything!” I don’t know how to react to that. What am I supposed to say? “Yeah, what can I say, I’m awesome. I’ve also worked my tail off to be able to do this. I used to have a tail, by the way,” I don’t like how that conveys myself. Likewise, if it looks like I do specific things for attention, it looks desperate in a way.

Here’s what it boils down to: I believe in recognition more than attention. Once again, it is probably a flawed perception, but I think that, for instance, if I write and keep writing, people should eventually see it and gradually take interest because it is good and it strikes a chord with some people. How it actually works is: if I write, even if it is good, and strikes a chord with someone, I still have to get in an old airplane and write about my writing in the sky so everyone can know about it, or basically, market it and jump around screaming, “look at me! Look at me! Attention! Attention!”

If you have to be so aggressive and up front about it, it is attention. If you can find a way to receive notice naturally, it is recognition. I don’t like playing into the usual system because I would rather recognize someone for something beyond just the fact that I think they’re pretty. And so on.

That was the whole point of what I wrote. Sorry for forgetting it, haha.

emotional pavement – memories of times I’ve been lucky

I hate writing something and feeling like there was just a vacuum that sucked out all of the eloquence, coherency, and poignancy I was hoping for, but it is an unfortunate result of writing that we sometimes all encounter. Oh well.. here we go:

Being emotionally flattened is an interesting thing. From what I hear, it is common with people who have gone through long phases of depression.

I’ve talked about being emotionally flattened quite a bit– it was well chronicled in that year long period where I was incapable of tear shed, and though I had numerous events that should have drawn tears, everything was muted. Firstly, as if it weren’t evident enough (especially by my mid-February, 4 am meltdown of tears and vomit in my yard), I emotionally three dimensional again (mostly). The thing that has sparked this current thought line is not the depression I’ve waded through, or the emotional steamrolling I’ve recovered from, but more of a reflection.

Battle of the Boulevard

I realized, perhaps more fully, just how flattened I had become. My emotions were like paved asphalt, just a highway for a soulless machine to go through the motions.

I am not a particularly lucky person. I have few recollections of winning any type of contests, drawings, raffles, sweepstakes, or anything that could be heavily luck based, but one of them sticks out if I think about it.

Most sporting events run intermission based contests and activities for fans. Belmont was no different. The most famous of which is the half court shot for tuition that takes place at half-time for the men’s and women’s basketball games. It is funny I mention my luck, because a few of my friends and I always made a point to go to as many games over winter break as possible, because the attendance is thin while everyone is home for the holidays, and it is favorable to get drawn for the tuition shot. In all those times, and the other games I went to, I never got my number called for anything, not even the small contests, of course, until that changed (so dramatic, I know).

It was 3 basketball seasons ago already, the biggest game we play every year– The Battle of the Boulevard. I showed up late, near the end of the first half. I went alone. I was still dating Kara at the time, and I don’t remember if she didn’t want to go, couldn’t go because she wasn’t feeling well, or if I just kind of snuck off and went by myself to get some time away from everything (I fear it was likely the last possibility), but alone I went– just an invisible observer of the game. I have trouble being an audible fan if I’m alone, or not in the right crowd. It is easy for me to slip into my ‘lover of the game’ mode and just try to process everything, almost objectively, rather than just a passionate fan. Regardless, I took a ticket for the contest drawing, they insist upon it when you enter for a big game like the Belmont – Lipscomb game.

I have a number of quirky paranoias. One of which revolves around public restrooms. I have to give the signs multiple passes. When I was in 9th grade, I didn’t pay attention, and, as insignificant as the event was, I entered the wrong restroom at a basketball tournament, got laughed at by two cheerleaders, and credit it as the most embarrassed I’ve ever felt (I’ve since matched it with a similar scenario). Ever since then, when I approach a bathroom, I check the sign, then with each step, I wash over what I just saw with a layer of skeptical disbelief.

“That said men? It couldn’t have said men. Check again. No dress? Are you sure? You should learn to read the braille.”

I continue this cycle until I enter the restroom and immediately check for urinals, and it is only then, that I really feel that I saw what I saw.

Take that concept, and apply it to having my number called on my ticket. The half was about to end, and suddenly I found myself reading a random group of digits instead of watching the game, until I mustered up enough confidence, certainty, and faith in my ability to be lucky at least once in a lifetime to actually go up to the table they hand out the tickets and proclaim that I am the chosen one.

For most people, it isn’t every day that you find yourself the focal point of a few thousand people. For some people, it is as terrifying a meeting death in a dark alley, while for others, it is as invigorating as jumping out of an aircraft and free falling at terminal velocity. It was really neither to me, but it should have been. I just remember seeing a person or two I know yelling out my name, a ball, an event coordinator and two baskets. The rest was shade.

The object of the contest was that I had to make 4 shots. I had to start on one end of the court, dribble the ball to the other end and bank it in (lay-up). I had to do this for my first 3 shots, coast-to-coast, and on the final shot, I had to shoot a 3 pointer and bank that in. If I did this successfully, I’d win $500. Big crowds are foreign to me, but I rarely mind talking in front of audiences, so I wouldn’t expect it to really intimidate me, and I knew that making the 3 layups was going to be a cakewalk. Essentially, I had good odds at getting a shot to win $500. I should have been wired. I wasn’t.

Getting back to the actual event– I infused a bit of drama into the whole affair. The clock started and they sent me off. I will admit, I had plenty of adrenaline fueling me at that point. Adrenaline works wonders for your legs. I was jumping well, so I took off from pretty far out and glided into my first lay-up. I was feeling cocky at this point, but I was excited to be interacting with a basketball with people actually watching.

Adrenaline works wonders for your legs. I might have,very literally, been flying. I was running too fast. I am a fast guy, but I am not always used to using all of my speed. I got to half court on the way to my 3rd layup. PLUNK! That may not have been the sound, but that was the feel of my shoe meeting ball, and kicking it 20 feet in front of me. I chased that thing down like a greased pig at a hoedown. I remember feeling a collective gasp from an arena full of people as it looked like I had horribly self-destructed. To them, I’m sure it was like watching one of those acts on auditions for Idol or America’s Got Talent that bombs. You can’t bear to watch, but you don’t want to look away.

Adrenaline works wonders for your legs. There I was, hunched over awkwardly, like some poorly designed, malfunctioning robot. My arms outstretched, reaching toward the ground for the ball, stick-like body at a 90 degree bend, while my legs propelled like I were the road runner, all the while, this ball skids beyond my reach like I were the guy who was always the butt of every joke. The ball passed the out of bounds point, and subsequently the goal, with myself in tow. I finally lassoed the darn thing with my hands, back tracked, then, if I remember correctly, missed an awkwardly attempted reverse lay-up, rebounded it, and got up to the rim to make sure I got it in. Things looked grim for me.

I must have had about 6-7 seconds left at that point, maybe less by the time I got headed toward my final shot attempt, but wait a second, I am a terrific athlete and basketball player. I wasn’t worried about getting that shot attempt off. I became the dark horse. I sped back into the mix of things, crossed half-court to the infamous sound of, “Threeeeee, twooo…,”

And right as my time of being lucky expired on me, I lifted a runner into the air. Let me note, it is actually a shot I usually am known for, and being a guard, it is important to have in your arsenal. Left leg like a pole vault, right knee rising into a perpendicular state beneath the right arm, bent, then extending at the peak of the jump and release. Really, it is a hard shot to not at least have on line. The buzzer sounded– SWISH

The crowd ignited into cheers– first we are playing our rivals, next, we get a buzzer beater contest, everyone thinks I just won $500 bucks. I didn’t bank it though, I knew this, but in retrospect, it is still flipping awesome. It should simply be impossible to not be excited, elated, caught in the moment somehow from that. How many chances do you get to hit a buzzer beater in front of a large crowd and do it– even if it doesn’t win you money?

I felt… almost… nothing. To this day, I can see and hear a lot of large bits, but it doesn’t arouse my emotions in any way. There is no nostalgia. There is just a memory that only makes me smile off of mere logic.

For the record,we lost the game, which I’m still bitter about, but they were all so excited about the shot that they still gave me $100, yet I just can’t get over thinking about it; the perspective. I can’t believe how emotionally flattened I was. Some things just ain’t right. This is one of them. What a travesty.

May I never be so paved again.

May I, at some point, be so lucky again. I’d much like to feel enjoyment from it this time around.

So say we all.

Molting

Molting, molting, molting.

When I finally realized it was a reflection my own, I was staring at
A hideous, unpleasant monstrosity stood before me
A layer of glistening new skin obscured by
Leaflets of dried up, decrepit death dangling on my body

At any moment it could go
Like the last autumn leaf on a tree
The wind pushing and kicking it, commanding the deceased plant
Fall off! Fall off!
Yet the final strand remains attached

Or that loose tooth; birth’s remnants
Wedged into your gums, yet connected to nothing
Patches of raw, damaged flesh bleeding through
Exposed to the world and her extremities too soon

That reflection I see, my own
Known nothing can be done until the molting is complete
And that the days between we will be witnessing
This awkward, uncomfortable creature.
Molting

(sometimes I don’t understand my drafts. This was originally sitting around titled: Dreams – February 12, 2011. It certainly was no dream?)

Why I Don’t Like The Beatles

Someone once asked me why I made the bold claim that I don’t like The Beatles. Following this exchange, they demanded the I put my response up publicly somewhere (complimenting my writing, it was nice.)– I’d be a dirty scumbag if I only said I did and didn’t, so I’m finally getting around to it.

Task complete.

Prompt: “I’m sorry, but I need an explanation about why you dislike the Beatles.

You know, I was compelled to tackle this immediately upon reading it. Those words Need. and Now. must be some kind of sorcery, but I resisted it and knew that typing on my phone was not the vehicle for a proper reply.

Unfortunately, neither is right now, because I’m as tired as dirt (considering what dirt is, I figure it is about as tired as matter on this planet gets). Thus, I will answer this right now!

First off, I never claimed I disliked The Beatles. I respect them enough to ever go that far. I just can’t profess to really like them. Their impact, especially culturally, commercially, and in the realm of recording technology is a phenomenon that could very well be unparalleled. On top of that, even if the songs don’t always do it for me, we are talking about some of the best modern day songwriting there is, but I already said it– they just don’t do it for me. When you’re that good, or that big, there will be those who think that you are hyped up too much. Think of it like atoms in the air. Carbon and oxygen are great, they dominate the show, but think of poor hydrogen or helium. Those guys are amazing too. Maybe they got fed up and that’s why they are so utterly explosive (especially when you split them).

The Beatles are like carbon to me. Ubiquitous, but not holistically impressive. I have my moods where I can get into it, but for me, nothing they have done ever will be able to always send me to that place that something like Steely Dan’s Aja does from Wayne Shorter’s Sax solo soaring into the heavens, fueled by the pure thrust and thunder of Steve Gadd’s drumming frenzy all the way through the outro vamp that so slyly fades that you almost forget that– somewhere– that jam is still being played as those chords slowly swell in and out like never ending waves crashing into the shore. Or the way Paul Simon seemingly weaves together the perfectly phrased, perfectly picked string of words in a manner so right, yet still so musical that you’d almost mistake it for the inspired word of God itself.

Hyperbole aside, there are just so many things, musically, that hit me a lot harder than The Beatles ever did, that when so many people love them so much, I just wonder how they aren’t affected the same way by the things that I hear and process that move me so strongly. And then I remember, that’s music! And that’s what make a collection of musicians such as The Beatles so good, because they reach across every spectrum and bring in masses of individuals from every collective of personality and background you can dream up.

And that, in so many (too many) words, is why I just don’t care for them so much.

My apologies for not giving that explanation “now” !

how to estrange yourself from everyone you know in 2300 words or less

If you have an aversion to brutal honesty, hit the back button, X out of the window, or turn off the computer– continue to live in your self-constructed fantasy world of ignorance where you are comfortable and breathe easy.  I am about to put pretty much everyone on blast like a failed NASA launch.

I have a problem. I am too nice. I respect people too much. I can’t help it. Individually, I like you. Under the guise of people, I can’t stand you all. I am very clear headed right now. It isn’t my character to do this, this doesn’t make friends, and it certainly doesn’t keep them, but here’s the thing, I am actually very lonely. Why? Because most of you aren’t truly there. So what does it matter if I further alienate myself? I’m already extra-terrestrial, so I might as well spread the truth.

First off. You. If I think about it, you confound me, but that makes no sense, because on paper, you appear to lack the ability to confound me. I don’t understand what your draw is to me if you don’t value what I say. What I say and think should carry more weight than you, why? The simplified answer is that I am magnitudes smarter than you, but the actual answer is that I use my brain a lot more. I have for my entire life. I’ve made my living off of using my brain. Maybe you secretly have learned to appreciate that, and that is the appeal, but you don’t show appreciation for it, only that you’re threatened. I’ve said this, but you don’t respect my friends, nor do any people in your circle. Those people are the kind who have looked past me like vapor my entire life– one of the primary driving forces in my life to be so good at everything I do. The crux of people is this: if you don’t open yourself up to the people that other people care about, you show you don’t care about that person. I’m very accepting, even though deep down I might be angry, as exhibited here, I am mostly accepting than anything, and I want to give everyone as many chances as I can. It is why I ultimately connect with anyone who gives me the time of day, but it humiliates me when I give people chances and they don’t give other people that I care for chances. Why should I care about you, when you don’t care about them?

And that brings me to you. What can I say. Life takes its course, sure, but people don’t change like that. I love you, too, but you can’t dictate who you want me to be around the people you are close with now. If you aren’t planning on being close with someone for life, then don’t come on like you will be then change so drastically that my behavior, when I am myself, is seemingly so unacceptable that you reprimand me for it. You only expose yourself as an ass, and more importantly, the ignorant one. I don’t reprimand you for appearing to be a rock when you’re really just a grey cloth that is drastically moved by the wind, because I know as stable as we all are, we do that. I accept you either way, now use that high functioning brain of yours to realize the same thing, then hey, just because we all don’t have the same level of world experience, accept who I am going to be. Who all of your old friends are going to be. And let us be them. Invite us to be that around your new circles, because we got you to where you are. Here is the harshest thing I will say, and you might not think it so, but think on it, and know it is— you know better.

And you. You also will know who you are. Grow up. You’re not 16. Quit acting like it. You live in a total bubble. You also know better then to let this. You think you’re grown up now. Physically, you sure are. Intellectually, well, you’re very close. Emotionally, your progress has been retarded.  It is embarrassing because you know you are, and you’re letting your shelter, your unnatural comfort constrain you to that. There is a reason all of my other friends have grown to dislike you without knowing you. As charming and lovely as you are, you are selfish, and you hurt people. You know it, but you act like you don’t, or you feel so bad that you think that the only thing you can do is stay away until the heat cools off. That isn’t how it works. Ash is ash. It cools, and as far as matter goes, it is the same, but its form is irrevocably altered. If you would give people like me a chance, you’d see that there are those of us who reside closely to your little bubble, but also are beyond it in many ways, we have your best interest in mind because we care, but you don’t let us care. You won’t trust us, and it insults people like us when you think we are some child from that bubble. Once again, you have all this potential to be great, but how many years are you going to waste before you decide to show some bravery and REALLY grow up, just a little. Grow.

And then there is you. You actually might not know who you are, because you are great too, but you know that too well. All you know is how great you are, how you’re the leader of all your circles, you know that self-righteousness so well that you missed a handful of the closest, most valuable brothers and sisters you have had being alienated from you. In my own case, for over a year, and I guess that was somewhat overt. Here’s the thing: I take a lot of the blame for it, and I do publicly, but I don’t know if you realize how much of it was you, too. Just the fact that it seemed like the load was plopped on my shoulders solely, because of my extraneous situation doesn’t mean that it was all me, yet I was the fall guy. I don’t know what to say. Just like everyone else, you’re fantastic, but you’re also filled with pores and flaws like the rest of us. When you’re ready to start figuring this out to its full extent, you’ll see that a lot of people you’ve drifted from weren’t necessarily people who naturally drifted away, but those who were estranged. You’re not a beautiful flower, you’re an ugly man. That’s what we all are, and that.. is what makes us beautiful. Examine yourself. Examine yourself for a long time.

You. You know who you are. You’re so selfish. Especially right now. But you and I seem content to spend our lives knowing each other, in a never ending game of selfishness limbo. You’re outdoing me for the time being. Granted, I’ve even said, this is your time to be selfish some, but you’re letting it take command too much. You’re even being selfish in regards to me. Look– take what you want, what you know you need, but quit trying to move on to something further in your life and hold on to what you have to move past. That’s truly what makes you selfish. Either stay stagnant and reside where you have the past couple years, or let it go, cut it off for a while and make something of yourself. Look, you played a large role in forcing me to do that very thing. I knew I had to be selfish, but I didn’t let myself fully be selfish, because when I decided to cut myself from that umbilical, I let it go, I moved on, I bit many bullets, and am still recovering from it. But I did what was supposed to be done, and I did it as right as I could. Quit being so self-absorbed that you are alienating me, and torturing other parties closely involved. You’ve got only so long to make up your mind before the people who really have invested in you truly give up to the point where you never recover quite the same. Wake. Up.

And you. The nice transition over. I don’t even know what to say about you. Get over it. Good Lord, do I ever care about you, even still, but I know what I’ve done. I’ve been removed from it so far that I can think about you, or revisit old memories, feel what I felt then, then an instant later, feel the present. The past. The present. We are separate. I am separate. You’ve dragged this out long enough. I am sure anyone who experiences any fallout from your resentment can no longer stand it, but more importantly, on some level, you shouldn’t be able to either. Let it go. I knew I was giving everything up. I was hoping I wasn’t, but I’d never be so callous as to actually expect that. I’m sorry for how much pain I’ve caused, but isn’t it about time that you started to realize how much more pain I saved you from? I was the Titanic. As bad as it looks that I kicked everyone off, it was better than sinking everyone with me. So yes– it is about time you start to understand that. Then maybe you will quit doing everything you can to purge me from your life, because I am not going to try and become a major piece again, but we each deserve to have the option of being a minor piece. Stop it.

Oh and you. You’re an ass. I don’t even know if you really know it. It doesn’t matter, but pretty much everyone else thinks you are too, yet, because we all have our own bounty of faults, that doesn’t matter. This is especially true when we realize it. I don’t hold legitimate grudges. A grudge is something for short-lived anger. You are obviously ignorant if that’s how you see it. Nobody knows if you truly feel anything because you keep subjecting yourself to what, to anyone else, is guaranteed pain, and on the same vein, you will pursue something that should very obviously cause other people you know pain. But opportunity is opportunity. In the real world, everyone is not an opportunist. Think about it some more. It isn’t a puzzle.

And you. You definitely know who you are because I am taking your own words. You’re right you have it good. Too good? I wouldn’t go that far, you’re working on what could almost be alchemical principles– equivalent exchange and what not, but what do you get? You get out of something that was a good thing for a long time, but also stifled you for a long time. Yet, that connection doesn’t entirely sever. Then you get the girl that we correctly identify as the dream girl, in the sense that they just don’t make many like her. You parade around in your ideal world where, even though you still win out on these things, you still get to run away like you always do. We admire you for your ability to run and be free, but seriously, either decide that you are done running, or accept that you can’t have everything even when it is waiting there for you. It isn’t that I, or anyone else is bitter that things have worked out so well for you, but you’re being selfish about it. In the immediate, you might be lonely, but you take for granted the fact that you can wake up every morning and have that one person you can’t wait to talk to– and you get to communicate with them while everyone else is second in line. You know, life sucks, and it is messed up for all of us. You don’t get a lot of time to enjoy it all right now, but you have a lot you can enjoy, even if it is abstracted. That compounds greatly. More than anything else: who cares if you don’t deserve it. Anyone who has spent anytime in their own mind knows that, objectively, we deserve nothing, at best. It is better to enjoy what you don’t deserve as much as you can, then let it waste away. It does make me a little jealous that I will always be playing second fiddle to you, but quit wasting that, because it pisses me off. I’ll gladly spend it.

To all of you: get the hell out of your bubbles, your self-wrapped, self-absorbed, thick film of cloud fogging everything around you. If you did two things: respected yourself and respected everyone around you then we’d all be much happier. Instead, we are all just ignorant and insufferable. And the ugly side effects of that fact is that I further disconnect myself from everyone.

Because I’d never care to feel any of these types of things for any of you if I didn’t first care ever so deeply for you all. And instead, I just demonstrate why I feel alone and forgotten. I only hit on a few of you before I became exhausted, but I could have kept going. And I am only that much more critical with myself. When I wake up tomorrow, I very well may have no friends left, yet, when I go to sleep tonight, I don’t really have any, either.

Grow up. Examine yourself.

“The Roaring Twenties,” History Says

You’re weak. You aren’t usually, but right now, you’re weak. You need somebody to talk to. You need to spread that weakness out, knead it as if it were a cramp, but, tonight, there is no one.

You’ve laid out this string of thoughts in your head on more than one occasion, but now that you’re finally putting it out there, you know it isn’t going to be the same. The sanctity of the thought– the feeling’s lineage– has been lost. You do it anyway.

You are depressed right now. You might be for the next few hours. You might be for the next few days. Your common state is far away from this, but you can’t avoid these things when they hit. You don’t take comfort, but at least can find some stability in knowing  you aren’t alone. Successful people, happy people, miserable ones, lonely ones, the deceased, and unborn, all do, or will experience it to some degree. You don’t beat yourself up anymore. Not since you read that girl’s comic, you more easily accept that this comes on with no purpose. You were inspired by something; that’s a good sign.

You know beating yourself up about it will lead to no good. You just accept it.

When you feel this way, you open up that album of ugly thoughts. You try to keep it out of reach; put it on the top shelf, but somehow it keeps getting knocked down and you trip over it. It is in front of you right now. You open it.

You feel alone. That’s not a big deal, but you feel increasingly alone. Each day that passes, you feel a little bit more alone. You have those friends that are out of the country right now. Of those, the one you actually talk to regularly isn’t around right now. He has his own thing he is going through, but when you do talk to him, one of you always feels distracted. It’s like you’re looking at each other and trying to make out details through a thick layer of fog. You only really know that the person is there, but for all you know, it is just an impostor. You have the friends who are all busy with work, and when not with work, with things such as fiancé/eés, spouses, or lives. Or the one who is on the relationship seesaw, up and down, on and off; she rarely feels like she is even there anymore. Or one of the newer ones, but you don’t feel like it is a two way street on opening up to each other, plus they don’t live nearby. There is the globetrotter, the one who will become The Dude when he is older, and so on.

You know this doesn’t even count all the estranged ones. You feel like estrangement is all you’re good at. You get close, then the bomb gets planted. It ticks until one day it ticks no more, and all that is left is rubble. And this is why you feel increasingly alone. You forecast each day and expect another one to drop off. You will either watch them slip away, or you will cut their hand off. You don’t feel good.

Never mind that you often feel like you need to be the one who is there for them. The iron curtain of security. You don’t even want to think about your family.

You are losing your imagination. You’ve seen it. You’ve been stuck at home. You’re twenty-five years old, and stuck at home. It hasn’t quite been two years, but it feels like much longer. You want to start your life, but you can’t seem to do it. As long as you live here, you feel like that is impossible. You’re living in a coffin; trapped in a box, and buried beneath the ground. You no longer can see yourself getting out. You can’t imagine that day. You lost your imagination. You realize you lost your hope, too.

You own nothing. You’re American. Sole-proprietorship is hardwired into your brain, but you don’t have your own place, you have to share your car, you don’t even have your own laptop anymore. You’re upset by how much weight this carries. You’re also upset at how much these things stack.

You’ve keep busy by caring. You care a lot. You care for a lot. Even though you know numerous who sometimes feel nobody is going out of their way to care for them, you look into the mirror and reject it. On a day like today, you feel like nobody really cares unless you care. You don’t want to reach out today. You don’t know if you want to reach out ever. You plan to either sink, or have someone come pull you out of the arctic.

You can’t figure out if you’re useful. You have come to think you are, because you grew up feeling more talented than most. You worked hard to become better, but you find those who have less of both far ahead of you. You get opportunities, and you sleep through them, instead of attacking it. Your true talent might come in the form of squandering everything away.

You don’t like any of this. You wonder, skeptically, who compiled this album. It is revolting. A disgusting, dangerous collection of thoughts, feelings, and memories, but you keep turning the pages.

You never thought your 20’s would be like this. History says the Great Depression came at the end of the 20’s. You would rather be paralleling history. Your Great Depression has come a bit sooner.

You’re bored. You thought you gave up boredom with your teens, but these days, you are often bored. You know if you think about that boredom any further, you’re just going to flip back to page one.

You close the album. You know that this is just a pothole, and when you zoom out this is the final upswing. You just have to find enough thrust to outrun gravity. But for today, you are weak. You aren’t happy about that, but you accept it.

You accept it. In an effort of obscurity, you tuck as much of it you can into your pocket, then you carry on. Right now, it’s all you can do. Different than it was in the past, and different it will be, for now, this is your life.