Alone.

I wanted nothing more than to have some peace for a few hours. My mom goes on and on about things, and I tire of listening. She doesn’t seem to get that even mentioning a future makes me tense, makes my hands sweat and skin prickle. It’s almost torturous to talk about such things, so…I don’t.

I decided early on that I was going to go out. I could feel the heat trying to penetrate through the windows and black curtains, but the light of it, those rays, was somehow dark. That means a cloudy day. There are some days where I don’t even look out the window or step outside. I wait until night, sometimes never knowing if it was sunny and sweltering, or one of those days where it was black and grey and beautifully bleak. They all blend together, into oblivion. But I can look at the light that manages to filter in and get an idea, if I choose to. I can even walk outside tell you the time by staring at the sun’s position in the sky, the way its beams falls over the house, the shadows it creates from the surrounding trees.

I wanted to go alone, but nearly didn’t get to. Thankfully, my quad decided to be the homicidal bitch it prides itself in being, and stubbornly choked on its gasoline before dying out and blatantly refusing to start. The fuel filter is clogged with something, probably, and it didn’t help that it ended up flooded from all the times we tried to kick start it unsuccessfully. My dad finally decided he wasn’t going to be able to go, and told me to take his quad. I was strangely relieved. There is something so freeing about not having to constantly watch out for another person when you are blindly flying down whatever trail you happen to come across. And shouting over the roar of engines makes one’s throat hoarse anyway. Not that it matters. I just wanted to go as fast as possible without having someone to tell me not to or to holding me up while they gaze at an utterly useless map. I always go by memory.

I think I wanted to run away for awhile. I feel trapped indoors. All there is here is food and computer screens and exercise equipment. 

I went down this trail I’ve never been on before. It travelled alongside the railroad, with trees on either side. It should have been the same as any other path, but I saw this one view that made me stop, though it meant breathing in the cloud of dust and engine exhaust. 

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You can’t quite see it in this one. But it was much darker than the picture makes it seem, and right at the center of the path, where it fades off, there was this almost white patch of light. It made me think, “light at the end of the tunnel”.

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That trail went on forever. I almost ended up on the highway. There were abandoned couches everywhere, and even a refrigerator, among other things. Then little flecks of broken glass that reflected in the sun. Bits of garbage all over. I don’t know why, but there is something about being alone that makes me stop and take in and examine what I need to, perhaps because I don’t have to take the time to explain myself to someone else.

I can look through the garbage of civilization, baby toys and wrecked cars spattered with neon paint from paintballs, old mattresses, and clothes, and find more of an explanation of the world from those things than any other. Like I know that if I find baby food and balled-up diapers, used condoms will also be there, and beer, and prescriptions. They go hand in hand, apparently. This is what these people are: this is their garbage. These are their secrets dumped in the middle of the woods where they think no one will ever see them. But I do see. I always see.

I don’t know what I am getting at; perhaps nothing. I just know that the more time I spend thinking, the more I am displeased with all that I see. Sometimes the fact that nothing is perfect is so astoundingly beautiful. Other times, I find myself reflecting, that it is nothing but ugly.

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You have to love contrast.

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Well, at least they ask your preference….

I went to to the city this morning after never actually laying down and sleeping. No, wait, I had a one hour nap in the middle of the day that was plagued with nightmares. My anxiety has been a little out of control. I sat up all night and watched infomercials. Anyway, it was the typical day: bought groceries, trolled around some clothing stores since I have extra money.  

I got home and there was a message…for me. So I called the woman back and she hired me, just like that. I have a two hour orientation on the same day as the Human Society one, but they shouldn’t conflict. I’m going to work at a fast food restaurant. I got to pick my work time, and naturally, I chose night since I’m always up anyway and I like sleeping until afternoon. I also got to tell her which position I preferred, so I said grill, since the last thing I want to do is talk to people at the counter. I don’t know if I’ll get what I want, but I have little room to complain. 

It’s a job. It’s a start. I don’t know how I feel about it. Fuck the implications…for now. I’m hoping I can’t fail at this. I may hate it, but it is something besides sitting at home rotting away and eating up my parents’ paychecks for the rest of my life.

And there’s always the bright side…. Maybe I’ll come to loathe fast food and never want to eat it again. That would be brilliant.

Visions.

I’ve spiraled down into nothingness. Yesterday, I was attempting to rationalize what I’ve been trying to do, but by the end of the day the truth of it emerged, that whole other side of this that I have been desperately trying to ignore hit me with full force.

What do I think I am doing? Do I really believe this is going to work?

I’ve been on edge, flinching every time the phone rings. It doesn’t help that I’ve been in an almost manic state, where my mind won’t calm down. I don’t know what’s causing it, perhaps stress or too much exercise, but whatever it is, it makes me feel like no amount of sleep will cure it. It seems even physical exhaustion doesn’t help—and I’ve tried.  

 I’m going to the Human Society this coming week, to go to the volunteer orientation. The two interviews I had a couple of days ago (I’ve had three in all), forced me to postpone doing the volunteer thing sooner, as they ran over. I went in at 1:00,well ahead of time, but there were so many people I wasn’t able to leave until 3:00. This child was throwing herself across the rug and screaming in tantrum every few minutes. There were so many people there, all crowded into this tiny room. The woman behind the desk kept watching me, and after a good half an hour finally approached me, maybe because I was one of a handful of people that wasn’t wearing cut-off shorts and flip flops. She went and sorted through the papers to see when my turn was coming up, since I had been “standing there so long”.

Even if I do get accepted…fuck. I don’t want it. What am I going to do in a fast food restaurant all day flipping burgers? I will go mad. I can hardly walk into a store and ask for something off a shelf, let alone deal with people for hours on end. Not only customers at wherever I’m working, but the employees who work there. The last thing I want is to get to know people and be forced to deal with them, daily

I can’t exist here, that is the simple truth. Whatever reserve I’m on now is only going to end. Then I’m going to be left behind by it, crippled by anxiety and completely alone with no barriers to protect me. The apathy will flee for awhile, and I won’t know what to do. But I won’t be able to stay here in this room until the weakness passes, until the numbness comes back. It will be school all over again, and I don’t want to face that after it took so much effort to stop going in the first place. I don’t want to wake up and expect to hate myself for not doing something about that the night before. I can still recall those times where it was so strong I believed that I was capable, that it was in me to go through with it.

I looked back, found the exact day. And what a fucking special day it was. I made a choice, and I regret it now. I hate myself for making it. I chose quitting school or death, so I quit. But I still remember that day, the feeling of it. A recklessness beyond anything I’ve ever felt before. It’s sick, but I want that back. I want that loss of sanity to come back to me, to take over, because in this state of mind I’m in now, I’m too weak to do it. The doubts are shouting back at me. The guilt is heavily on my shoulders, a constant reminder of the debts I owe and must someday pay, somehow.

I owe my parents things, even though I never asked to be put here. I guess I should have never even thought that the world might be fair on that count. It angers me that their feelings have to be my responsibility, that they hold me back. Because I know my father will shake his head and curse my name to his grave, and my mother will sink into a hole she will probably never crawl out of. I would destroy their lives for myself. I would abandon them, like they both did me once.  

Technically, I still have my one mistake to make, but I would lose what little respect they have for me. What little respect anyone has for me. I fought for that—I don’t know why, but I did. I fought to be the impervious wall, nothing but an imitation of humanity that bristles when others cry and snarls when they dare venture close. Why should it matter what I mean? I mean so little now as it is. But it makes me hesitate, so it must be something to me. Such a waste, all that time I spent trying to make something out of me.

I’ll try to keep my head about all of this. I’ll endure for a few weeks, watch, wait. It doesn’t matter. The universe will either accept my awkward attempts at trying to make a life for myself, or it will do what it usually does and spit in my face and laugh at me. I can decide where to go after something happens.

Rift.

I want to self-sabotage. I want to ruin everything and make sure there is no hope. I admit that. I don’t want this to work; for once I want the failure, if only for a reason, a little shove.

My mom was giving me a long talk this morning, the kind that is supposed to be comforting. She was telling me what I should do, I got annoyed, and said something like, “Yes, I know”, which prompted her to say some words, that at the time, I took the wrong way.

“You always make so many mistakes.”

A long pause.

“Why, because I’m a fucking failure?”

I said it out loud, I said it. I said it in that bitter, if-you-only-knew voice, and smiled grimly even though I knew I sounded childish. Of course she says she didn’t mean it that way. She makes the point that I always come back after doing something and talk about what I should have done, that I should try to be more prepared this time, since I always forget what I’m supposed to say or ask. 

Yes, because I can’t get anything right. I know. You wouldn’t believe how acutely aware I am of it.

It was just not the time to say it, not at all. I felt like it was all glaring back at me, laughing, mocking me. Sometimes I think the past is what kills me, more so than the future. It seems to transcend time and taint any positive thoughts I have left. I let it get to me, because in some ways, I feel it’s what I need to force myself to make some sort of move and end my idleness. I play it over and over because I want to drive myself crazy. I want to snap. I want to look at the world as more vile and ugly than anything else, and see not a single redeeming quality in it. Just to make it easy. Just to make it worth leaving, even if it isn’t entirely true. I’d use a lie if it could make it simple. I’d end as a hypocrite, quite contentedly.

I went to the city, did what I needed to do. Put resumes and cover letters in everywhere. I stopped by the Humane Society, put in an application and filled out some other papers so that they might call on me to volunteer sooner or later. It was very difficult at first, walking in, asking, when I feel so fucking inadequate. I have so much trouble just talking to people. And the more time I spend alone, locked away in this room with all the curtains drawn and the sunlight chased out, the more I let it take its hold.

But the numbness has grown worse as I predicted, and for whatever reason, after the first few times of approaching yet another customer service desk, it didn’t make my hands shake. I was nervous, but it was very diluted and vague, not quite the tangible thing I’m accustomed to. Instead, there was mostly tiredness and a voice in my head that told me darkly, that it is all so pointless. That voice of pitiless truth. Maybe that was why I managed to go through with it.

There always reaches a point where exhaustion is far surpassed, and a strange residual weariness sets in. Instead of walking, you slow to a crawl, dragging your feet, dreading every single step, almost counting them. I always tell myself when I start running, “Just imagine how much it’s going to hurt the further you go”.

I’ve kind of given myself a secret ultimatum. I don’t really like where either option leads, but these days I don’t seem to like much of anything to begin with. I feel like I am sort of at this turning point; perhaps it’s age, but nothing to do with legality or anything of the sort, just an inner feeling I can’t fully put into words. Compelled, is close to what I mean. I’m being drawn in toward something, or maybe subconsciously I am pushing myself in this direction. I think I want black and white, which I know isn’t all that possible, but in this case, it is, oddly enough. I’ve made it that way. I was afforded this one piece of control, this one meaningless life to fuck up if I so choose.

 I was irritable beyond belief for most of the day (my mom got the brunt of it, unfortunately), and putting on a fake smile made me grind my teeth. It took all day to get everything done. But everyone was very friendly; I didn’t meet one person who was rude or who wasn’t willing to help, which was a very pleasant change. When I finally did finish, I was in a better mood because I hadn’t any reason to be angry with what went on. It wasn’t what I expected, and though I had no appetite, I did not feel as ill as I had expected. I wanted nothing all day but for it to be over and night to fall again.

Done, for now. And night has indeed come.

Lies.

If you can’t be honest with yourself, then what is there? Realities are perspectives that have been distorted by personal bias. It is time that corrupts it, experience, yet the world prizes the years you’ve lived and the things you have survived through. Is it not true then, that wiseness is built more of prejudice than anything else? A situation turns a certain way, resembling something from the past. That knowledge of previous times is then used to gauge it and react to it.

When will you cease your lies? When will you accept that what you have is not what you want? Why must it pain you so to be like everyone else? You are not unique, not even slightly different. Nothing but one of billions, all of which will die, but not before spawning billions more. To die for nothing is your fate; the same as everyone. Senseless. Life is senseless and meaningless and there is nothing in this world that will make it all better or that will alter the ultimate truth:

We are nothing.

Worst nightmares aren’t so terrible when you live them.

I can’t think of anything more horrible than having a bunch of neighbors milling around my yard. Truly, there is no thing that irks me greater than having my personal sanctuary violated by indolent, rubber-necking strangers. I just couldn’t believe we invited them to be there.

 They always gawk; that is the way of people in tiny backwater communities. But having a yard sale around here is like some grand event. The termites crawl out of the woodwork to inspect the goods. It had to be done, I suppose. Our garage is like tumor that just won’t stop growing. So many storage containers piled halfway to the ceiling, making a miniscule (and very precious) void to park vehicles. Technically it’s a four car garage, but Christ, you wouldn’t know it. We had to get rid of some of it, and why not make some money while doing so?

But three hermits having this sort of thing is weird. Everyone was clearly intrigued, plastered to their car windows every time they went by our house. Not that they aren’t always…we’re like the haunted house on the block. Too neat to fit in, too distant. They watch us. Even our acre of property isn’t protection from their constant stares.

It used to be I could walk out into my yard with nothing on, or half dressed. Our old house had so much property, all atop a steep hill. I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, and our two neighbors, the wife beater & wife to the right, karaoke family to the left (you could hear their screeching across the canyon—goddamn those loud amplifiers), couldn’t have given any less of shit. They couldn’t even see our house, and the thought of coming over and saying hello never entered their conscience.

Those were the good old days, back when I couldn’t walk up the hill to visit my goats without fear of ticks and poison oak. But fuck, the damn solitude and beauty of the place made up for it. I found out recently, that the family who bought our beautiful little house couldn’t make the payments. It’s all empty atop that hill, where one pine tree, the same age as all the others, has grown twice as tall from all the childhood pets I buried beneath it. I guess that saying is true: you don’t know what you had till it’s gone.

Don’t get me wrong, the woods here are amazing, but they aren’t lush and green like I remember so fondly from when I was a kid. There are no leaves here to change with the season, no lovely reds and oranges and yellows. The ground isn’t that almost black, incredibly rich soil that used to grow anything. You’re lucky if you can get a rugged little pine tree to grow here without complaint. I like it, but it’s not my home. I still don’t feel like this is it, “The Place”. I know that if I do come into money, I will easily leave this place behind. Someday, maybe I’ll go back home again. 16 years is what it took for it to root into my heart, and as ridiculous as it sounds, I know it will never be fully replaced. Now I’m telling another story….

Today stretched on forever. I was a little homesick, for the first time since leaving. It’s been so long, so I really don’t get why I feel it now, of all times. But all those people invading and looking around, just made me miss my little ‘cottage’ on the hill. We never would have thought to have had a yard sale there.

I dealt with the people. I had to put up signs the other day, and when I was hammering one into the ground near the highway with the blunt side of an axe (yes an axe; someone misplaced the hammer), two boys rolled down their windows and shouted obscene things at me. There parents were in the car with them, too—that’s great parenting for you. I grinned, completely disgusted, and waved my axe at them. 

I placed people’s purchases in the bags, and stayed out of conversation for the most part, when it was avoidable. It was very hot today, but I wore long sleeves and gloves and kept my hair down to keep the sun at bay. I get burned so easily here, that I constantly have to cover up and suffer because I know I’ll end up red if exposed for a mere five minutes. Even sunscreen isn’t all that effective, so I slather it on repeatedly. I’m like one of those stereotypical nerds people make fun of when they go to the beach. I never see daylight except behind sunglasses and long sleeves. I should feel foolish, and people always comment, but I don’t bother caring anymore. Oh well. You think I’m weird? That’s grand. It probably didn’t help that I wore all black clothing, was somewhat dusty, and smelled like a gasoline canister. Quading clothes from yesterday. I didn’t even wash my hair, though it had that scent of engine exhaust to it when I went to bed last night. It’s like an aphrodisiac. I want to bottle that smell. Maybe I should work somewhere with cars.

So many people said, “You’re that girl who goes walking!” It was a bit disturbing to think about. But they bought my shit, useless shit I don’t want anymore, so I guess they can be tolerated. It was life story day too, like at college. I tried to talk to someone over IM about this, and she more or less said I was an ass for getting irritated with people who were trying to build an acquaintance. Well, I dunno, when you first meet someone at college, and this girl tells you that her boyfriend was shot in some horrible accident and she went to such and such elementary school, such and such junior high, and such and such high school, and her parents were over for Thanksgiving from whatever state, and that last night she had blood in her stool—and oh, do I think she should go to the doctor—-is a little too much information for a first introduction? And no, I did not just exaggerate, believe it or not. This really happened. In all honesty I don’t think I’m being overly harsh when I say, blatantly, I just don’t give a fuck. I’m not apologetic about it either—I just don’t.  

This is turning into five posts in one, but anyway…. It went okay. It wasn’t total doom or anything. I didn’t die, or run inside and hide in my room. I faced the beast and he pissed on my clothes rack and it wasn’t so bad (that was actually someone’s dog, but I digress…). I did eat enough ice cream to stock up for next winter, and binged on every food imaginable from all the stress after the day was complete. I drank White Russians and ate birthday cake that wasn’t mine, and went quading in the heat and saw three deer. It was like I lived a week of my general dullness in one day, and it felt like overload.  

I have to get up and do it again tommorrow. Damn.

Hiding away.

I’ve returned to my bizarre nightly schedule. The entire being awake before 1:00PM routine just isn’t for me, apparently. I only lasted a week. It’s 3:30 in the morning—I feel the tiniest bit delirious. 

I don’t know what is going on with me. I’ve been having nightmares, which never happens, and I’ve been shrugging everything off. I’m very Scarlett O’Hara lately, and fuck, tomorrow is another day, is it not? I haven’t even begun to think about the college thing, because each time I do, my stomach tightens and I feel the acids churning unpleasantly. I could try more places for work, but the truth is, I don’t feel like going through with it anymore. It’s a waste of time. People are going to go in and give a sob story about how they need a job to support their family, and I’m going to look like the privileged child who is looking for employment purely out of boredom.

Okay, the last part is half true. But hell, I would give my parents money if I could. We are always struggling. It’s hard to sustain three people when only one works, one is disabled, and the other is too stupid to have had a job previously. We’re such a motley group, mother with her love story obsession and 3 pound chihuahua, dad with his guns and fishing boats, and love of flowers, and me with my cats and loads of electronics that I sure the fuck don’t need, and mountains of horror movies that I watch through half-lidded eyes.  

I’m sinking deeper into the numbness for awhile, and it is much needed this time. I’m grateful. I want something to take over for awhile, that blessed autopilot. I know it is useless to say anything. I’m choosing to remain static in the world of chaos, as always. The dullness of it is so easy to fall back into. I forget sometimes that there is supposed to be something beyond this, that my laziness and safe position will not last forever. My parents will only tolerate me for so long. Sometimes I wish they would just give up on me; it would be easier that way. But I guess the truth is, I don’t deserve the easy way out in this situation; I’ve done it all to myself.

The dove is best part, because life goes on, doesn’t it?