Find myself wanting to ask certain people what they think of me. Not sure why, exactly. Maybe because I’ve just been feeling terribly alone these last few days—or weeks, even. Maybe because it’s summer and the days are gorgeous. The sun is this glorious thing in the sky, strong and radiant and shining like a teenager. And I’m all too aware of how little I have to do. How I’m more or less invisible, only coming out after midnight to drive the streets back and forth to the gym, the 24-hr open-all-nite grocery store, sometimes the only car on the road. No friends to call on. There is family, of course—what little still lives in Omaha and is not scattered across the country like debris—but the desire to pick up the telephone and dial their numbers is all but gone from me—drained, maybe, by past conflicts. Or maybe because I already know how the conversations go, having had them so many times in the past. Like actors—we have our scripts, know our lines by heart. Dad hates his job, thinks his elected officials are crooks, thinks his country’s going down the shitter. How he just knows we’re all being scammed.
I don’t feel like enduring that kind of thing these days, and yet, if I want to see him, spend time with him, I must. Those conversations are all we have left.
I think about WF. Find myself wanting to say so much, but withholding because it is all inappropriate, burdensome. Kind of messed things up last time I spoke my mind. But sometimes I wonder if it’s all just poor timing, a matter of wrong state wrong year wrong everything. Wonder if, years later, she will remember that guy who made her feel special, like her work mattered; when her book becomes a literary success and she’s thanking her agent, family, and friends, does she remember my name, or am I just lumped in with everybody who ever helped.
Do I get lost in the crowd.
Today has been sort of an aimless day. Finding it hard to roll out of bed in the mornings. I mean it’s a classic sign of depression, I know that. I just … feel like I have nothing to look forward to. Just problems, things that need my attention. The cat needs new water. The floors need to be swept, the carpet vacuumed. The lawn needs to be mowed. The weeks go by and I do all of these things, feeling like my life is on perpetual repeat, shuffling place to place with the energy, the enthusiasm of a dead guy. And I think that is what has been bothering me most: the days are sliding by faster and faster, I’m thirty-three, and I don’t even feel alive.
I wrote a lot today—1,800 words, which is unusual for me. But then again it’s all non-fiction, just another story about Doctor K and I. The writing wasn’t fun, really—only in a mild, hard to describe way. All writing is like that, generally. It’s only fun after something is finished, when I get to read and read and read it, quietly to myself and aloud as though it were a wonderful song, a song whose rhythms only I know(1).
Somewhere during all those words I wrote today I took a break and lay down in bed, with the cat snuggled in close against my chest. It was around three-thirty in the afternoon. I set the alarm for five, only wanting a nap and not another wasted day, then fell asleep listening to my iPod. Woke up about a half-hour early and just lay there, staring out the big window at the tree and the bough so full of leaves and the sunlight reaching through. My glasses were off, so it was all just a blur of color. Thought about the ways in which my bed felt like a grave. After awhile things all turned watery and glass-like.
That always seems to happen.
(1) My story, Clean, was published recently. It can be found here.