Journal Entry 01/22/1997

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A glimpse into the life of a self-proclaimed idiot

Journal Entry #1



Dear Journal,


I’ve never been good about writing from the heart. What the hell does that even mean? Is it like music? How certain sounds make you feel happy or sad. Do certain words do the same thing? I don’t know. The only thing I’m sure of is that this isn’t working. I’ve been told over and over again that admitting I have a problem is the first step, but I know that. I’ve known I have a problem for years, but no one ever told me what to do next. Where am I supposed to go from here? I want to change. I need to change. Maybe having someone, or something, to talk to is the next step? Well, here goes nothing.


I did it again. I thought I was done. I want to be done. I don’t understand why this keeps happening. Why I keep fucking myself over. Why do I destroy personal relationships? 


Every single one. Everyone I’ve ever dated, I’m the one who ended it all. Most of my friends and even my students, I’m the one who cut ties with them. I usually just blow up in their face about petty bullshit. But the thing is, I do it on purpose. Why? I cared about them. I still do, but I had to break the few things that actually made me happy. Do I even deserve it? Happiness. How many lies have I told to make myself sound more interesting? If I stop to think about it, I’m not a boring person. I’m an artist, a musician who plays multiple instruments, a writer, an athlete who’s played many sports. But that’s not enough. 


I’ve never had trouble making friends though. I always have a smile on my face and I like to joke around a lot. Making people happy comes easy to me. Maybe that’s why I have trouble opening up to anyone; I have an image to uphold. I’m the 'fun coach’. The 'cool friend’. Not the ‘guy who’s always depressed’. That’s what I really don’t want: pity. 


I don’t want to come off as desperate for attention. I don’t need it. I’m always the center of it. I need help. I make mountains out of molehills in order to justify to myself why I’m cutting people off, but... I like having friends. I like being liked. Who doesn’t want people to smile at the sight of them? So why? What happened in my life that caused me to be this way? Do I hate myself?


My parents used to spank me. Badly. Afterwards, they’d always say “this hurts me more than it hurts you.” But did it? I was the one being hit by the people who supposedly cared about me. I was the one who cried myself to sleep so many nights. I was the one who wanted to run away. I was the one who hid a knife under books on my shelf thinking I would kill them if it happened again. But I never did. How could it possibly have hurt them more than me? Is that why I’m like this? People saying they loved me but hurting me anyway? 


Maybe it was how I was bullied in school. People who I thought were my friends turned on me. Instead of standing up for me, they joined in on the torment. Their friendship was fake. Is that why I’m like this: Is this all some sort of test? ‘If you’re my friend even after I treat you badly, then it’s real.’ But that just repeats the cycle. 


I told someone I cared about that their passion - the thing that made them happy - was garbage. That was such a shitty thing for me to say but I said it anyway. I think about that every day. I see their crying face in my nightmares and I want so badly to say that I’m sorry, but how can I? I know first-hand what that does to people. It destroys that passion. Not just for that thing, but for life in general. How am I supposed to apologize? Would they even believe me? 


Am I a bad person? I must be. I want to believe that I’m a good person, but am I? Good people wouldn’t do what I do. If I was a good person, I would have my life together. I wouldn’t get in my own way. I’d be able to greet everything in life with a smile on my face and an open heart, never losing my temper about things that don’t really matter. That’s what it means to be a good person... Right?

What do I want? What do I have to gain from this when it always ends up costing me everything? I’m always left alone on an island in the middle of an ocean of doubt. There’s nothing here except broken hearts and shredded trust. There were bridges once. I burned them. So I built new ones. Better ones. I burned those too. I always end up solitary and desperate. I’m the idiot who put me here.


Even now, I’m not being honest with myself. If I really stop to think about it, I know exactly what I want. I want someone to swim up to me, a stranded, self-destructive idiot, and say “I know what you’re doing. I don’t know why you’re doing it but I won’t let you. I won’t let you cut me off because I know that you care.” That’s what I really want; for someone to know that I care.


Submitted: February 20, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Anthony Quest. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Bert Broomberg

An interesting story.

Fri, February 21st, 2020 11:02am


Clearly a lot of thought was put into this. It certainly raises a lot of questions but the final sentence seems to provide an honest answer. Well done.

Fri, February 21st, 2020 7:49pm


Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it

Sat, February 22nd, 2020 2:38pm

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