I have realized recently that I subconsciously strive to make myself as undesirable as possible. Most people don’t even notice, I take such care of my appearance that they assume that I must be obsessed with people liking me, looking at me, wanting me, and they’re right in a sense but rarely in the way one would think.
Yes, I make myself as lovely to look at as possible, but only on my own terms. Although I am incredibly vain I won’t bend my aesthetic sense to the preferences of others. I am often spiteful, I can even be cruel. I am petulant, snobbish, and impatient and I make no attempts to correct these characteristics, I can’t even quite bring myself to see them as flaws that need correcting. Although I am not sure if I chose my line of work or if it chose me, the fact is that I keep returning to a career that simultaneously affirms my desirability and places me in a category that most people consider either tragic or morally bankrupt and either way unfit for polite company or happy relationships. I dress up like a toxic person to see if people will open their arms to me anyway, and then I sneer when their arms and hearts stay closed.
This is all my way of testing people, of course, of seeing if they’re willing to push past the bullshit and see me, if not quite as I am, then as I’d like to be. Most of the time it doesn’t work, people don’t bother to look past their immediate impressions, and so I keep to myself. I’ve come to enjoy it, honestly. It’s easier to have few friends you love than it is to have many friends you don’t know if you can really trust. It’s calmer to be able to show your guts to a select few people, rather than always having to keep up a good show for a crowd. I suppose I wish that people weren’t quite so judgmental, but who am I to talk about superficial judgement?
I only ever want things I can’t or shouldn’t have.
I fixate and obsess and then when I have total license to do what I want when I want, and with whoever I want I see the object of my former obsessions and I am left cold. Why is that? Am I so broken that I can’t ever allow myself to need what’s right in front of me? There is temptation there, but not my past infatuation; now I consider the praying mantis who tears the heads from her mates when she is through with them, sometimes before. I would say I wonder if I could be like her except that I suppose ‘wonder’ is the wrong word. I know I could be like her, or I think I know, I only wonder if I want to. Why? I don’t know, am I so ultimately self-destructive that in order to preserve myself I must externalize my masochistic impulses and become instead sadistic?
I want to say that I will not become the praying mantis or the black widow, I will not allow myself to be like the low insects and arachnids who do not bond or love and just destroy, but there is a part of me who wants to, a part of me who wants to take my private chaos and turn it outward on the world, to punish those who try to love or even want me without understanding the dark and chilly recesses of my secret heart.
I always have a headache now.
Songs and movies and novels tell us that this can’t eat can’t think can’t function thing is love, but I know that it isn’t.
I want nothing more than to get drunk, but I’m already so dizzy and in the past three days I have eaten half of a falafel sandwich, one cinnamon roll, one package of skittles, and one muffin. I have to choke down the things I do manage to eat.
I can sleep, that’s one thing I can do forever because when I’m asleep I don’t think about what could have been what I could have done better, how I could have tried harder, what I could have done to ignore the limitless vacuum that was our downfall.
Two weeks ago I thought I had finally come to accept this inevitability, but that was just my mind playing tricks on me I guess. I had tricked myself into not only accepting it, but believing that I wanted it because it was for the best. Now though, there is just pain and to some extent guilt, guilt for who I am, who I became, whatever.
Probably hatred would be better than this forced friendliness, I think that now at least, but I don’t know if I could stand that either. I know one day I’ll pull myself together and I’ll eat and drink and really, truly laugh again, but I don’t really know when that will be.
It’s hard to believe that we are really made of the same cells, you and I; we are so different now, we hardly even look the same, I am shorter, thinner, colder than you are. My hair is better than yours, my jaw and cheekbones have finally emerged from the softness of your baby fat, but my skin is not as clear. (How did you keep your skin so clear, anyway?)
Of course you are a part of me, you are etched into my very being, but I can no longer clearly see myself squirming in our skin, I can only see myself filling up the casing that you so thoughtlessly marked and radiating out of it. I have achieved repose, which means that you will too.
In a way I am jealous of you. As angry as you were, as uncomfortable as you were, as insecure as you were, you truly believed that you knew everything worth knowing. You believed that self sufficiency could be achieved without hard work, you dressed up as a misanthropist, but deep down you believed that people were good at heart. You refused to accept your own ignorance and naïveté and so to you they ceased to exist. Now I know that one cannot go through life that way, that it’s a road that leads nowhere, but for a few years it sure was a lot of fucking fun.
I shouldn’t be advising you, that ship has sailed, and even if it hadn’t you wouldn’t listen anyway. You never listen to anyone, we still hold that, at least, in common. I shouldn’t be advising you, but I will do so anyway. You know all of this already, but your denial runs so deep. It will be a few more years before you rifle through the piles of knowledge in your head and find these truths. When you do so, they will first ruin your life and then build it back up stronger and better than before.
Stop taking out frustrations on your own skin, there is decoration and there is desecration. The urge to ruin yourself for the future is powerful but it will only serve to make that inevitable future harder. Ink and scar tissue will not stop the passage of time, no matter how much you would like them to, and transitions are always more pleasant when they go smoothly.
Stop assuming that a man will save you, in fact stop expecting anyone to save you but yourself. Love does not grow from necessity and clinging, those things only breed resentment and loathing. There can be no knight in shining armor unless you become Boadicea. Whenever you think salvation is come, think again and do not let yourself fall into self-deception.
I still do not know why it is that you hated yourself so much, but I wish that you had stopped earlier, that you had seen how wrong you were. The most important thing that I can say is that I am glad that I am no longer you. I am glad that I have put you behind me and filed you away in the annals of my mind. I will never truly forget you, but god damn I am glad that my life has diverged from the path you nearly put me on.
I often think about time these days, of wasting time and whether it’s possible ever to truly waste something so ultimately undefinable and yet unavoidable. If you enjoyed an experience or relationship that occupied a span of time that you could otherwise have used for something else, can the time you spent on it really be considered wasted? If you learned something, anything, from an experience how can that be a waste, even if what you glean from it is nothing more than an oath of ‘never again’.
Endings come. Death comes. In the end we all end up shitting ourselves and passing on to nothingness but that does not make our lives a waste of time. A miserable marriage in which nothing is learned or enjoyed and that never held any love for either party, that is a waste of time. A life that ends with a negative balance, that has been full of more destruction, more self-effacement, more apathy than it has been of creation, self-refinement, and passion, that is a wasted life. An activity by which nothing is gained, no joy, no money, no knowledge, that is a waste of time. But an activity that produces nothing but joy? That is cannot be considered a waste. A marriage that was good and loving once, and ended on good terms before misery set in cannot be a waste. A life full of the search for wisdom and the illumination along the way, a life full of love and the loss that often necessarily accompanies it, a life spent pursuing joy but never lapsing into complacency, that absolutely cannot be a wasted life.