Taken from Robert Crumb’s Plunge Into The Depths Of Despair (1983)
And if anyone wants these comic strips in a PDF form:
I may be the only one here, but I’ve always viewed life as
a huge house party that everyone’s invited to. Well, compelled to go to.
Some people are the life and soul, making friends with almost everyone they meet; others hang close to the people they know; there are even people there who everyone talks about despite having rarely bumped into; people who’ve gained control of the food, music and dress code despite being a guest like the rest of us. And others of course who are happy to sit back and watch everyone else.
There’s the heartache you feel when someone you were dancing with wants to dance with someone else while you’re left to dance alone; when a conversation with a friend turns so sour that you no longer speak; when a loved one is forced to leave the party before you get to say a proper goodbye.
People who’ve been there a while either become VIPs, gaining respect from many of the people they invited, or gradually vanish until no one even notices they’ve left.
For the most part, the revellers have a good, while often eventful, time.
However, there are some who aren’t there long before they realise they want to go. The music is too loud, they’ve had a terrible time and they don’t fit in. Their friends and family are begging them to stay because it would ruin most of the night if they left, they’re sure the person’s time will get better. They clammer desperately at the persons arms and legs but are left wailing at the window as they aren’t strong enough to stop them leaving; or they convince the person to stay, grateful that they did. There are some fortunate enough to slip away unnoticed, but burdened with the hurt that no one will notice they’re gone, or with the knowledge that it will soon be their loved ones wailing at the window.
I personally find myself often waiting by the door ready to go, but my little sister is having such a good time and I’d hate to ruin it. So that I don’t distract her I dance a little when she looks my way, but find I can’t stop freezing in my tracks and looking at the door. I consider making friends or finding someone to dance with, but I’m scared one day I’ll actually leave and will have simply deserted more people by the window. I’m scared I’ll end up inviting a guest of my own to the party and they’ll hate it as much as I do and in turn hate me for bringing them there.
Earlier on I was able to pass the time by sneaking up to bedrooms with people for some temporary relief, I still often find myself raiding the kitchen for enough alcohol to forget where I am. But time stays very still when you’re not having fun. That’s pretty much all I’m doing now, killing time.
I have found a way to occupy myself is to make it a good night for others who are struggling. Especially those too new or vulnerable to improve their time by themselves.
But maybe this is the room I’ll come to when I can’t take my eyes off that door. We can kill time together?
Sorry that was so long and sorry in advance for typos! as I said, it’s a big party.
There gonna make me call my in-laws for Easter I wanna cut my tounge out . then im forced to go to party with alot of people who hate me . why am I going because there grandparents and my grandparents-inlaws are besties. Yay I hope I catch a stomach virus before three o-clock. I wish I would of died in my sleep
I wanna die I wanna bust my head open I can not take this people today self righteous there better then any body on this mother fucking earth .and there th good grandparents meet with others later and all I get I called dumb and critcited because I am lower then them the are the great famile no one compares .
Last night I had two films I edited screen to a sold out audience of thousands and receive huge accolades. At the after party there was no shortage of people congratulating me and showering me with praise for my work. It was very fulfilling.
And yet, that night when I went to bed and the first thing I thought of in the morning was “I want to die.”
I can’t live like this anymore. It’s exhausting beyond belief and there really is no joy to be had. I swear, I only really got through the after party because of all the drinks I had. In fact, this entire morning, I’ve been excessively miserable and grumpy.
Happiness is something that is for other people. Me, my only friends are self-loathing and depression.
Sorry this is so long, but I’m so confused and heartbroken right now. I need advice/opinions.
This past weekend was a party at a friend’s house. MC (my friend that I love so deeply and can’t get over) was there, but I felt OK. I was OK when people were talking to J (MC’s fiancé) about what wedding dress she going to buy. Just to be safe though, I avoided MC. But after awhile it felt childish to be talking to everyone but him. So I said hello and we joked around a little. He was in a great mood, but he kept putting his face and hands very close to my face when we were talking, so much so I noticed it and it internally upset me. Why was he so much in my “personal space”?
At one point I sat down on the stairs and he came up and sat down next to me and we had another joke together which everyone laughed along at. We sat next to each other like that for quite awhile. I felt such an attraction to him while sitting next to him (and we weren’t even touching) and it made me so shy and sad. Don’t know if he felt it too; I tell myself it’s all in my mind. But can an attraction ‘vibe ‘ be felt by only one person? Was this the chemistry we had reappearing?
The next night a group of us (A and C, MC and J, me and my husband) went to see a local rock band and we all sat at the same table. My husband at least stayed and was in a good mood (he left early from the previous party). My husband and I had a few drinks and we sat close to each other; he put his arm around me and I leaned on his shoulder while we watched the band. For the first time in a very, very long time, I felt really happy and connected to my husband and was having a good time. I focused on the band so I wouldn’t have to talk to MC or J. I noticed MC was doing some weird things though, like putting both arms around J while trying to pour half his beer into J’s empty glass while holding both glasses. J looked surprised. Anyway, MC and J left before we did. Relaxing with my husband’s arm still around me, I waved goodbye, J waved goodbye back, but MC came over and squeezed my shoulder hard, to which I instinctively (and stupidly) gave his hand a hard squeeze back. And I became unnerved by his gesture because years ago he squeezed my shoulder like that and I melted with attraction, and he knows it. So why did he squeeze my should now? Why did he feel he needed to touch me? Did he remember that it “melted” me or was he just being friendly? Does he still have feelings for me, was he jealous, is this all in my head? What the hell am I supposed to do?
His actions at the party and club dragged up so much heartbreak and longing. I was getting so much better, but now I’m a wreck again. My therapist thought his actions were odd, but offered no opinions since he didn’t know what to make of it either. Has anyone done this or experienced this? What the hell do you think it all mean?
I want to uphold all that is right in this world. I want to help others. I want to be kind. I want to be courageous. I want to be wise. All this I want because I believe it is the right way to be. I believe this is the way she wanted me to be.
I need strength, above all else. I need the strength to go forward, because I stand in her stead. Because we stand together. Because she could not go forward. We are broken people, she and I, futureless by definition. Snakes, and yet somehow birds of prey. Pallas be damned. Ideals are great, but in the end she and I are without friends, without ideals. We both just didn’t want the party to end, I guess.
In the end…I suppose we toted all those ideals because we just didn’t want the party to end. But it had already ended. We both killed ourselves, she and I, but when we remade ourselves we found that there was this huge disconnect between the deadmen we had become, and the people we were trying to be. So we adopted a ‘fake it till you make it’ policy.
But what was the goal of all this? We just didn’t want the party to end. What a foolish dream. What a childish dream. The dream was to stand in every battleground, in some sense. To engage in every facet of life. We tried to be Athenians, but I think Y had it right the whole time. We were always under Mars.
I just turned on my social media, and saw all the stuff about Paris, and the tragic attacks that are still being resolved.
It really makes me wonder sometimes, why does life always take the life of those who want to live. I mean, I really do feel sorry for the victims and their families, but I can’t help but wonder why when this kind of stuff happens, why does it not seem to affect those who are already suffering and wallowing in death. It just seems that it would save everyone some pain. People like us from having to take the blame and the final actions, and our families from any guilt or such that they might feel as it was initiated by a outside party…
Sorry if this was a heartless thought or something, just something that always comes to my mind when the media speaks about the poor people that are killed in whatever event. Anyway…yea…I’ll go back to my corner now.
I’ve left my fears behind. Now I’m purely fuelled my anger and sadness. I was never good enough for anyone, and that was okay with me because I didn’t need to be.No, correction. I was never good enough for YOU. You stupid, terrible parents that pushed me to my breaking point and every time I built something for myself, you would knock it down and then ask me why I couldn’t build anything. I didn’t want this life. Everything I did I did for you. Straight As. 4.5 GPA. Getting into one of the top schools in the world. Student council president. Swim team. Band. Carnegie hall. Love was measured my trophies and medals. I never wanted all of this. All I wanted was a normal life where I could hang out with friends, and occasionally sneak out and night to attend some wild party. To get drunk and forget everything that held me down. But no. You made sure that I was kept under lock and key and turned into that perfect little girl you could parade around like a show pony.
But that’s okay because I am willing to make those sacrifices so you guys are happy. What I can’t stand is being awake at 3 AM and not having anybody to talk to because I’m not good enough for anyone. By trying to satisfy your expectations, I was alienated from the rest of my peers. And that was what I couldn’t stand. I was too busy after school to make solid friends. I was too far ahead in my technical ability to make good friends in band. I was too much of a nerd to party with the cool kids. But I haven’t had a bad life by far. I’m in a good school, and I already have scouts wanting me, and a pretty solid career path ahead of me after Law school. I have some friends to sit with, and I got a couple offers to Prom, so I can’t be THAT alienated from the rest of the student body right?
Wrong. When I’ve finally made my decision to do something, or put an end to this miserable life of mine, beauty started appearing. So now I ditch flute class to hang with friends, and skip swim training so that I can play music that I like on the school lawn. It’s all getting better now – the last days or weeks should be the best in your life.
So now my life isn’t a piece of artwork that is conventionally beautiful or mesmerising, but it is different, and it holds meaning to me – I guess that’s the most important thing.
And so, I’ve met my fate
Waiting for the faith
Into action, the contradiction
It didn’t reach this from across
My teacher, what is the master
Disciple, Subdivision of the Green
Cost way too much to, Australia
And you from yonder, I failed to you
I’m on my own
Seeking to the totem.
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