Saturday, July 15, 2017

Winter's harsh enough without us having to force our hearts frozen shut. The sky is an oppressive grey, and the sun is many hours away from even considering an appearance. Tucked away in my quilt, I feel warm in body but utterly chilled everywhere else. It will be some time yet before the images of you start to thaw. Sometimes, it seems easier to just go back to sleep, in hopes of a dream of pitch black.

I keep thinking that there must be some better way of playing this game, and that surely there is a happy medium than the callous isolation that I have found myself left in. But, I'm willing to accept that there is much I don't know about these matters. Whatever the case may be, it's clear enough that the state I'm in simply can't continue. Where exactly does that leave me? I know standard response is to try and move on. I just can't imagine staring into another set of eyes, though. Not now, and not for a while yet. Which might have been alright ten years ago, but time is another ally I found a way to betray.

I'm willing to accept that situations like this aren't anyone's fault in particular. It is however only natural to ask why I seem to find myself on the receiving end of so many failures. If, for sake of argument, there is some arbiter that chooses not to intervene, but rather attempts to educate us through our mistakes, I would simply implore them to consider the possibility that some people are beyond learning. It's not as though I don't have all the information in front of me, the cold facts as to the choices I made that left me shipwrecked. I think I can even put together the puzzle pieces. It's just that I don't want to acknowledge the picture I then see.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Pretender

I run into a colleague while making my way to the stairs -- this will be the fourth time in the day that I've had the overpowering need to leave the office, and perhaps the planet -- and realise that his banal chit-chat no longer bores me, but rather actively hurts me. I put on a smile with no care for how obviously fake it is, and stare blankly at his moving lips. My vision is blurry, my hearing warbled; all my energy is taken up by my mind, as it tries its hardest to think of anything but her.

A lifetime spent in careful dissection of song finally has some value, at least -- I know just the people to turn to, the phrases to wait for and experience with an age of experience since last they crossed they mind. They do help, and remind me at least art's good for something. At the same time, even this act has a touch of the unreal, and I find myself questioning just how deeply the composers mean what is being sung. After all, it seems that to the world at large, it's just something that goes on in the background, to be discarded and forgotten when life resumes its natural course. Not for me; for me, I know that the closest I will get to life is listening to other people sing about theirs.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm supposed to do from here. Even if it never really began, it's certainly over, so that chapter is closed. But what comes next? When I think of the vast expanse of time that now welcomes me, all I see is emptiness. And yes, I've long thought that I would walk those plains alone. But given a glimpse at another path, only to have it snatched away again? Even for me, that seems too cruel.

It's not very becoming to admit to feeling this way, at least, not when removed from the immediate aftermath. I'm told that I'm supposed to shake off these feelings, and remind myself of the mythical fish that live in the sea I've never seen for myself. Looking back at the mess I've made of these intimate interactions, though, I can't quite imagine there being another one. Yes, I said that last time, and the time before. But I was younger then, and still had reasons to hope.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

She offered me a hand, and in a moment of disbelief and delusion, I thought I might reach to hold it. But now things are in their right place again: as I reached for that elusive grip, she backed away and let my fingers feel the cold air of nothing. Back to where I began; fallen, in a pit, no light in sight. My friend tells me, it's all my fault, that I shouldn't have hesitated the way I did. That may be, I say, but why fault something if it leads to a state of right? I close my eyes and accept that the touch will belong to someone else. I am left instead to grab at the air, slowly getting the sense that my hands themselves are softly disintegrating. Perhaps when I am no longer solid, the air and I will have a chance to make it through together.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

There will be no more chances. Three is enough for any lifetime. It took a certain ingenuity to throw each of them away so casually, and with no apparent concern for my future. My future! I suppose that's a more optimistic way of speaking about the void that beckons, one which started in my mind and now has spread to where I once had a heart.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I've missed this; the familiar sense of my fingers finding synchronicity with my mind, as they help trace out a thought that's hiding just outside the horizon of consciousness. For a moment, I'm released from the dull rut of existence, and I focus everything on the goal of sculpting the words into perfection. They're dedicated to someone important, who will know if I have let my standards slip; assuming, that is, that theirs haven't either. I measure each adjective carefully, knowing it's best not to overstate or overpower; the mandatory joke is similarly desiccated to my taste, and placed delicately at the tip of the opening para. When it's done, I look at the result, and for once have to admit that not everything I do is completely trite; it's a perfect capsule of my life, a blend of the hazy present and vivid past that startles even me in its lucidity. I have to sigh in disappointment that I can't just call it a day here and cruise along. In these words, I have found a home that will not refuse me. Would that they helped invite someone else to move in as well.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

 I'm clinging on desperately to every smile, every laugh, every acknowledgement that I exist in some form of positive light. My nights are spent in careful dissection of the day's events, as I try to come to the conclusion I want to hear: that this could be something. But when I get the opportunities that I spend all weeks trying to create, I'm left crippled by a cold dose of reality. I see snatches of an actual life being lived, with friends and hobbies and a general sense of purpose. What is it that I have to offer in addition to this rich world? Perhaps when I can answer that question, I might have more luck. But somehow I think it's going to be a while.


Something is trying to find me, but my mind doesn't let it in. I've sheltered it now for the last few months with all manner of work, thought, and really anything else I can find that will help create some fortification. Now that I find myself without any excuses to fall back on, I can sense this stranger approaching again. It is trying to tell me something true, something I should probably hear; but even before it speaks, I know I'm not going to be able to handle it.

Looking ahead, it seems I have a couple of choices. One is to keep building my wall, and embrace a life that is lived running away from something. The other has the nobler sound to it: confronting what it is I fear, and in the process coming to some great realisation about myself. But am I being too cynical when I say that all may just be too late? You tell me what I'm supposed to look forward to. You tell me where it is I'm suddenly going to find my purpose. The time for all that has passed; in whatever time I have left, am I not better off spending it doing something productive? And so what if that life makes me unhappy? It's not like the alternative is any better.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

This hit the spot.

“Having made an utter failure of my life, one day I found myself in the midst of my poverty and wretchedness, thinking about the female companions of my youth. As I went over them in my mind’s eye one by one it suddenly came over me that those slips of girls – which is all they were then – were in every way, both morally and intellectually, superior to the ‘grave and moustachioed signor’ I am now supposed to have become. The realisation brought with it an overpowering sense of shame … And I resolved then, however unsightly my shortcomings might be, I must not, for the sake of keeping them hid, allow those wonderful girls to pass into oblivion without a memorial.”

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Better Off This Way

The days are bright, and the sun should be a source of joy. Why then is it pain I feel each morning as it pierces my eyelids? I can admit it: I'm burnt out, discharged, exhausted, and above all, bored. The brief bursts of enthusiasm and energy from this past year seem unreal now, as I sit in wait for the year to come to an all too welcome close. Some part of me still needs fixing, if things are to have turned out this way at the end of another year that began with promise and hope. It's not exactly with despair that I sit now, but just disinterest. People around me are making plans of places to go, sights to see, and perhaps most importantly, things to do. Me, all I want to do is find someplace to level out, and wait for the future to come to me on my own terms. Trouble is, I have a pretty good idea of what that future would look like, and it's not particularly appealing either.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What I'd Say

Blame it on a lack of experience. There I was, with the opportunity I'd apparently wanted for a few months now -- initial bridges crossed, shared jokes exchanged, and an evening spread out farther than I could see. But it's only the morning after that I'm able to think up the things I should have said, and shake my head at what actually went down. I have a familiar sense of regret, but while usually it's a dull background to my mind's inconsequential chatter, now I feel throbbing and pressing up against my skin. Mistakes, I think, are not something I can afford any longer.

Blame it also on my endless search for the mysteries of the self. Not only has it turned up nothing of value some ten years on, it also seems to left a lingering sense of delusion that all of my internal minutiae has even a passing interest to anyone else. So it goes that when a drop of this is drawn out, perhaps out of curiosity or kindness, what follows is a drowning that would be terrifying where it not so unimaginably boring. Only when laid bare in the most inappropriate of circumstances does it become plain to me: there's really nothing here, deep inside me, that anyone needs to be aware of. (If I could also be ignorant of it, that would be a plus, but I don't hold my breath.)

What I should have done seems deceptively obvious in hindsight. For a start, have every sentence feature the word "you". (This self is a stranded vessel trying to find its way to a harbour; each wave it makes, every strip of land in sight finds a way to bury itself in the water.) More specifically, I should have sought some detail, if they were willing to give it, on a few off-hand remarks scattered over the last months, hinting as they did on a private world as complex as my own. (Let me try to solve my problems by overpowering them with someone else's.)

As things stand, while proceedings concluded cordially enough, I know that the sight of what dwells within must have been disturbing. Left to rue over another day's worth of poor choices, I wonder when this journey of self-actualisation will complete, if ever. Dissecting events to learn lessons is valuable, but how can it be that I still need to be taught the most basic rules of conduct? Anyway, for what it's worth, here's today's lesson: it's a sad reality that to let anyone want to get closer, I first have to completely suppress myself.

More optimistically, put another way, I have to suppress the negative part of myself. Because I do believe there is a positive part, and that it's one that can have a greater say in how I operate. It's probably the part that kicks in when I do anything that involves me not be the focal point. Lending a helping hand, say; why don't I do that more, again? The negative self chirps in with a mountain of reasons, but I'm not in the mood to pay it any mind. I'd much rather revisit a line that held some sway when I first read it: become the person you want to be. Figuring out who that is in entirety, that's perhaps one goal of my muddled musings. Figuring out one or two things that person would do, that's easy. Ring up and say sorry, for a start. And then work to earn a place back at the table.