Who do I tell? Everyone has their own fallouts, their own personal tragedies to battle with. Even the ones that don’t have cracks in their windshields have no mileage on their speedometer; they haven’t the time to slow down and pick up a hitchhiker. It’s understandable. I can’t truly decide whether I could stand to let myself be carried along anyway, becoming the problem in someone else’s existence. The bump in the road that needs to be filled in, poured up with concrete until it is as smooth and solid as they go. It never seems like it is out of choice, and when it is, it’s always horrific.
Nonetheless, this haze just will not lift. So indescribable and yet undeniably familiar. The absence of feeling, of sensation — and yet the presence of something unbearable that just evades my definition. They’ve called it a lot of things, but who knows. Who honestly knows.
So I run my finger down my friend’s list again. A slow scroll upwards, followed by another back down. I know the names. Most of them are lies, crafted carefully to present the face we wish we were. I’m no different. Usernames give us wish fulfillment and blank slates to colour in with any shades we choose.
And I can’t choose. I can’t choose a name to burden with this whirring of cogs, this screaming of silence and sluggish panic that nips at my skull like a parasite. I can’t explain how my time is passed in shards, vaguely pursuing hobbies that no longer bring me the slightest bit of pleasure. I can’t explain how only in the short moments after waking do I feel a slight reprieve, often rolling around on my mattress trying to sleep in order to experience this break in reality’s tapestry. I can’t explain how the sporadic chunks of food I’ve eaten from time to time are dull, tasteless and essentially less preferable to the hungry yawning pit of an empty stomach. I can’t explain how even forgetting to mention my name amongst others, how casually mentioning a conversation that I was not involved in… It hurts.
Seeing you all happy is both wonderful and terrible. It warms me slightly, to know you’re all laughing on that side of the screen with big happy smiles and a clear mind. Underneath that, an icy knife slices away at my mind knowing I can’t share that with you. Please, I’m so happy for you. So happy and so terribly sad –Â but not for you. Not yet.
I flip through the pages of 1001 Arabian Nights, a book lying around with no particularÂ reason to do so. I dimly wonder whether finding a short verse that would adequately resonate with me would help. A number of beautiful lines catch my eye, but none of them seem to fit. I find myself reciting the stolen poetry to my friends, which goes quite unnoticed. Why I feel the need to pass it on is a mystery.
I settle on this extract:
Being too weak even a shirt to wear.
I marvel not that my soul wastes away
But that my body can your absence bear.
Still, it’s not right. The poem isn’t addressed to anybody; no-one left me with the weight of love. If anything, I wonder whether the words can be addressed to everyone, whom I ache to love and yet find that I can’t do so without causing storms. Even this does not seem to make much sense to my situation, but my will to searchÂ for a more suitable poemÂ has gone. I put the book down and turn back to my computer.
It’s hard when the only friends you have are people you have never made eye contact with, or shared a whisper with, or caught a bus with, or just given a hug to.Â They’re all I have. I decide again that as desperate as I am, I can’t tarnish that with my rust like I have so many times before.
I click on the Samaritans website instead. A futile gesture, but I have to do something other than lie in peace upon my bed for my own safety. I know I can’t call them. The idea of sending an email glances across my mind but barely leaves a mark; I distantly consider the possibility of creating a new email address just so the organization couldn’t possibly know me if they wanted to when the thoughts shut down again out of apathy.
Another pointlessÂ look over my friends, conveniently arranged in alphabetical order, before winding up on this website. My last post terrified me enough to delay a return trip until now. Surely, I thought, someone had read my confession and seen the despicable nature of it. They would tell me so. The words would be chosen to wound, and wound they would, albeit slowly and with a great deal of overdramatic languishing on my part. I couldn’t bear to see that response I was so afraid to hear, but which I knew myself to be deserving of.
It wasn’t present. Three comments, and not one of them damning. Just looking at them, barely even reading theÂ sentences but scanning them as a whole with occasional words leaping into the front of my mind and sticking like honey, relieved some kind of pressure. A piston jarred into life and steam billowed from the back of my head. My muscles loosened. Time became a regular rhythm again. I realized how cold my hands were.
Thank you for your replies. The night is not over, and there are likely hundreds and hundreds to go.