It’s a headache of the spirit, a migraine of the soul.
It’s knowing that no amount of sleep will be enough.
It’s knowing that people can’t help.
It’s being so pathetic that a few ‘likes’ will keep me writing this shit, even though every word reminds me what a waste of space I am.
It’s seeing the world through misery coloured spectacles.
It’s seeing the past as the regret, the present as tedium and the future as despair.
It’s the introspection that allows me to know myself enough to hate me more than anybody else ever could.
It’s hating everything and everyone else.
It’s knowing that other people ‘understand’ and knowing that doesn’t help.
It’s boring. As boring as cancer, as boring as history, as boring as torture. Another boring, vile fact.
It’s not something to be struggled against. It’s not a battle or a riddle or a black dog.
It’s being broken.
Hey fatty, get a diet! Hey junky, quit the smack! Hey you, you cunt, CHEER THE FUCK UP IT COULD BE WORSE, YOU SHOULD THINK YOURSELF LUCKY!
I thought I would quit, but then I got a few LIKES for writing about thinking about quitting. That was enough. A few LIKES. I’m really that desperate. It’s pathetic. Flowers grow without LIKES. Did a tree ever die because nobody clicked on it?
I hate myself, so I try to gain a sense of self worth by winning the approval of other people. I used to work in an industry where I could often get other people to like me… the old fashioned kind of liking that’s done face-to-face, without a helpful screen to keep you fuckers from getting too close. I don’t want to be touched, thanks. I used to get my validation that way.
It was never enough, though. People who were impressed by me were only impressed because they didn’t know better. Idiots. People thought they liked me, but they didn’t know enough to hate me.
Here’s how my relationships go… not the intimate ones, they’re a mess, too… but I’m talking about normal social interaction.
If you meet me for a very brief time, let’s say thirty seconds, you will think I’m either polite and shy or charismatic and charming. It depends what mood I’m in. I might be the man who gives you a polite, “Good morning!” or I might be the man who chivalrously helps an old lady down some steep stairs.
If you meet me for ten minutes, you will think I’m attentive, interested in your opinions and quick witted. If you have a sense of humour, I’ll make you laugh. If you’re suffering, you’ll think I care.
If you get to know me, like a colleague might, you’ll think I’m quirky, amusing but, beneath the humour, deeply caring. You might, if you get to know me well enough, think I’m profound, sensitive and thoughtful. You’ll think I care about you.
If you get to know me better, you’ll know I have a ‘dark side’. A colleague once said to me, “You should be a cult leader. Everyone thinks you’re the messiah or the antichrist.” It was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I treasure that.
Eventually, you’ll see that beneath it all, there’s something else. It’s like walking into a dark room and seeing a horribly suggestive set of shapes beneath a dirty sheet. Are those bloodstains? Is it dead? Worse, is it alive? You will back away then. You will, if you have any sense. Don’t lift the sheet. There’s nothing under there that you want to see.
I can’t do natural social interaction. Just can’t fucking do it. I don’t know how you lot manage. It’s all an act with me. I use rehearsed lines. I repeat things I’ve heard other people say. I store things up for every situation. Everyday stuff is easy. My wife says I flirt with everybody, especially people serving me in shops or restaurants. It’s just my way of being ‘nice’. If they like me, if they smile, if they laugh, I’m doing it right.
If I know people for too long, they start to think I like them. They think I get them, think I care. They invite me to things. They want me to do stuff. They want me to hang out and listen to them. I make the mistake of feigning too much interest.
When I’m alone, I know who I am. I can walk over the fields, down into the woods, and I know who I am. I breathe in and out, just like the birds. The sky moves, the water runs, my heart beats. It all works. The earth doesn’t need my approval and I don’t need it to love me. We are one and the same.
When I’m around people, though… they talk. They want me to talk. A tiny, desperate part of me wants to be understood. Isn’t that what we all want, what we ache for? For someone to say: I know what you mean… I know precisely what you mean.
Out on my walks, I can feel beauty. It almost hurts sometimes. A kestrel crosses the sky and I don’t just see it, I feel it. It’s not like watching a bird crossing the sky, it’s like the bird has flown through my soul. I think of Hopkins and “I caught this morning, morning’s minion…” and I think he understood. I think a dead man understood, a dead man who had faith in something that I don’t have. There are shared moments of understanding, but it’s never complete.
People tell me that they read my shit because it reminds them of what they’re going through… we all want to be understood. Do you know what I mean? Do you know exactly, precisely what I mean? Do you? I need you to know. I need you to like me.
My colleague who said I should have been a cult leader was right. That’s my fantasy. To be Bowie, to be the Pope, to be the God-Emperor of humanity. It wouldn’t be enough, though. I know it wouldn’t be enough. The fans could prostrate themselves, the faithful could martyr themselves, the disciples could slaughter each other at my command… and I’d sit there, feeling glum that there weren’t enough of them, they never really knew me, there wasn’t enough blood.
I won’t fill up this hole with the love of others. I won’t fill it up with LIKES or laughter. The hole can’t be filled, because it’s me. I would have to become someone else.
No matter how many times I reinvent myself, the edifice will eventually collapse. At the heart of it all is a hole. Each new edifice is eaten away from within. It all crumbles back towards the centre.
It’s hard to say what I’m trying to preserve. There is beauty in the world, I know it, I’ve felt it. I sometimes feel connected to it. Perhaps I should have been a hermit. I could sit up a pole in the desert. I’ve got the right sort of hair for it. I don’t have the temperament, though. The minute I imagined that image, I imagined a stream of pilgrims coming to hear my wise words. I’m not joking. That’s who I am. “Go away and and cease these worship, you tedious disciples!”
It’s called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I won’t be happy unless I’m the Hero or the Villain. I’m not content to be normal. Alone in the natural world, I can be content, because I’m totally superior to everything. The world doesn’t understand me, but I understand the world. I know the kestrel’s name, all it knows is hunger. I see it as beautiful, it just sees me as landscape. Amongst people, I can’t function. If they don’t love me or hate me, they’re just obstacles. What are they FOR? They’ll have to go.
Nature works because it doesn’t think. I’m stuck with thoughts. My brain thinks. It’s trapped by biology, physics, chemistry and psychology. It’s a little quirk of the natural world, a freakish branch of evolution, the suffering ape. I’m cursed to be bright enough to understand what I am. I know what I am and I can’t change it. I’m a useless oracle, a seer of the inevitable. I’m the one who tells you so and told you so and never knew how to change it.
This will pass. Sometimes I wish it wouldn’t. There’s an honesty in feeling like this. It will stop on its own one day. I don’t need to commit suicide, the universe will kill me when it’s ready. All this will stop. The stream will run on, the kestrel will still fly, but I won’t be there to name them or think them beautiful. I won’t need anything from you.
I wonder who will mourn. I hope my funeral gets a lot of LIKES.
I’d change if I could. I think I would. Wish harder, pray harder, try to change. That’s what you’re supposed to do. If you don’t, it’s your own fault. You’ve failed.
It’s best to fall back on the best way to avoid failure: don’t try. For all my many failings, I do have this gift: I’m patient. Patience is the cruelty of the passive aggressive. I will wait it out. Defiant patience and sneering insolence are what I like to fall back on.
Now, off you fuck. When I’m back up, I’ll tell you all about my exciting night out watching people dance.