Philosophers Without Borders

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
Living with depression.

Submitted: September 29, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 29, 2013

A A A

A A A


I haven't spoken in a month.  I will speak today.  It's my turn so I move forward, meeting her gaze.
"Will that be all for today?"  she asks me and I want to scream no as she cheerfully bags my groceries at the Loblaws express checkout.  Her nametag brightly informs me that her name is Kat.  I don't know her but I want to be close to her.  I'm suddenly conscious of my dirty clothes, of my month-old stubble, and realize that the Kat has my tongue as I reach for my credit card.  Hopefully it isn't maxed out yet.  I don't care anymore.
I take my groceries home, then take the bus to work.  I'm sure to pick up a couple of vodka flasks on my way.  Work now feels like a religious rite you perform despite knowing there's no God.  You're supposed to want to do well...right?  You're supposed to dress up and play office even though you only make minimum wage and go to school so that you can make more money.  Then, when she learns that you have enough money, some broad will marry you and sedate you with love so that she can stiff you for half of everything you own someday soon.  I don't want it I realize in a panic.  Sometimes I stare at my bank account balance.  $400.  I was paid three days ago and this is my net income after bills. 
I think about doing things but it all boils down to doing them alone.  Maybe I could go to a movie.  Sure, and be the only guy who goes to movies alone.  Or I could take a vacation.  Go somewhere, get away for a few days, but I don't have the energy or the curiosity.  A gaggle of strangers is a gaggle of strangers anywhere.  I could buy lots of books that I'll never read, clothes I'll never wear.  I could try and convince myself that I'm looking forward to buying something...I don't know, a video game system or a new computer or a DVD player.  But, thinking these things is a lot like buying a new book and then reading the ending before you start the story.  I already know the headspace I'll be in when I buy the thing.  I'll think, why the hell did I ever want this?  Am I allowed to be happy now?  And then I'll sit down and bully myself as yesterday's supper dishes still sit on the table and posters start to fall off of the walls because of the humidity.  I'll tell myself god damn you but you are going to have fun nowYou are going to forget this critical headspace and enjoy this thing because you have to go back to work in three hours and it's best to enjoy life while you can.  But I can't lose myself in anything.  I can never forget.
What can't I forget?  The aloneness?  No, that's not it.  I've done this my whole life, I'm good at being alone.  Wait, I get it now.  I can't forget the desire to be in two places at once.  Meaning, I think on the one hand that my life would be better if I did something, like going back to school or sucking up to the boss for a promotion or contacting my family every once in awhile.  I sit alone and I think, well, I want nothing more than to be with people right now.  Someone, anyone.  Have a good conversation, some drinks, show some interest.  Feel something real.  So then I go out and maybe tag along with a group of people or something and try to talk to someone only the words aren't real words.  They're codes.  They don't say anything I want them to say.  So then I'm sitting there with people and all I can think about is how desperately I want to be alone.  I extricate myself at the earliest possible opportunity, do anything I can to get away.
So I go to work.  After my shift, I go to a local pub with a group of people.  None of them know my name or much of anything about me, they just generally prefer having me around than not because they think I listen.  They're all university students.  They have Theories.  They talk about Hegel and Ulysses and categorical imperatives and lines in space and I want to believe them.  I want to believe them because if I believe them then I can be categorized in somewhere and that means I can probably, hopefully, be fixed.  I sit there staring at their animate, youthful faces and I want to be their friend only I'm scared because I think that maybe, on some level they're not aware of yet, they're every bit as lonely as I am.  Or maybe they're just faking it better than me.  The food comes and for some queer reason I remember this thought I used to have as a kid whenever my mother made liver for dinner.  I hated liver but my parents loved it and I had to try and choke it down.  I used to sit there as a six year old boy wondering how the heck people could like ripping apart chunks of a dead cow and then I realized maybe nobody did.  Maybe everybody did it because they just thought everybody else liked doing it and so pretending that they liked doing it was a sign of 'character' and thus high culture.
I listen to all of them talk for awhile.  They've sure got some great ideas, but I'm not smart enough to understand most of them.  I wonder if they understand them themselves.  There are plenty of nods and rebuttals and interjections and I want to scream and down a shot and throw myself out the window because I'll never be as smart as these people and I know it and I wonder if being that smart would even make me any happier.  What I really want to do is take one of them aside for a moment and ask are you happy?  Is it worth it?  If I go to school for four years and read lots of books nobody's heard of and use smart words, will I be happy?  Is this a key to something or are you just trying to fool yourselves?  I don't think there's a shred of doubt in any of their minds that when they graduate university they'll go on to do great things and change the world. 
We all get drunker.  I still haven't said anything all night.  Nobody's noticed.  I get up and leave and still nobody notices, then I go and catch the bus home.  Then when I get there I realize it all boils down to this, the empty apartment where I'm my most natural self.  Silence becomes a noise here and it grates on your nerves.  I listen to it and pad around in the darkness and don't turn any lights on.  There's garbage everywhere, I don't clean up after myself that much because what's the sense in taking pride in something that you hate? 
I sit down and wonder how I could get smart like those guys at the bar.  Maybe I could go to school but that would just stress me out so I'd quit.  I could read stuff but everything I try to read mentions a hundred other things I haven't read so I never have any idea where to start and it's all so confusing. 
So, I boot up my laptop with the aim of writing something.  A poem maybe, or a letter, or a story.  But when the words come out they seem flaccid, sterile, meaningless.  This is creative menopause.  So I waste time on the internet, particularly on Facebook.  Everybody's happy there.  It looks like all of my friends have lives and families they love and lots of friends and significant others who complete them.  So, I leave a few meaningless congratulatory comments that I don't expect anyone to respond to.  I log off and check the time.  Fourteen hours until I have to be back to work.  That's 840 minutes, or 50,400 seconds.  This makes me feel frantic. 
I log onto my dating profile at POF, and discover that I have three new messages, which makes me momentarily ecstatic.  One is from a curvaceous blonde woman asking for a sugar daddy.  She will provide unlimited 'mileage' in exchange for $5,000 a month to use on shopping sprees.  I admire her honesty and tell her so.  Her messages always read like car ads.  Would I be willing to pay $5,000 for the momentary illusion of love, even if I had it?  All love is an illusion probably.  Delete.  The second one is from some girl who says she'll go out with me if her boyfriend says yes.  I don't understand.  Delete.  The third one is spam.  Also delete.  I spent three hours yesterday typing out arduous messages to 40 different women on this stupid website, complimenting them and asking them specifically about information that they posted on their profile.  Apparently either I'm hideous or they can't read.  I log off.
It's only nine so I turn on my cell phone, which I almost never use except for when my mother calls me.  I have the phone numbers of two different girls I like, and flip a coin to decide which one I plan on calling.  I dial one of their numbers.  The phone rings twice and goes straight to voicemail, which I'm guessing means that they saw it was me and rejected the call. 
I try to read for a bit but can't concentrate, it's like wrestling with your own brain.  So, I log back onto Facebook and my heart leaps when I see that I've got a message but it turns out to be from my mom.  She wants to know why I've been neglecting her.  I sigh and log off. 
Then I drink.  It occurs to me that I haven't eaten all day but I don't care because this stuff helps me sleep and every time I drink more than I did last night I think that this time maybe I won't wake up and wouldn't that be grand so I drink and watch a movie and eventually have to piss so I get up but I trip, end up on the floor, and am so drunk that I can't get up again.  I grin and piss my pants.  That's when I black out.
Three days later, after work, I walk into another bar.  I order something and sit down on one of the stools, beside a middle-aged man.
"How's it going?"  I ask him.  He grunts noncommittally, studying his hands.  I decide then and there that I'm going to be homeless from now on because anything would be better than going back to that piss-stained hovel where you can hear the sound of your own loneliness and the years dripping away in circles like water down a toilet.  It feels like I don't have an age anymore.  I could be twenty or fifty or anywhere in between. 
"Want a drink?"  I ask the man.
"Sure," he says.  "Uh, thanks."  I end up getting him drunk and he's too drunk at the end of it to really thank me so he just gets up and walks away and I watch him go.  Then I go back to the apartment.  That night, I get drunk but I can't pass out so I lie there in the darkness feeling like a man who somehow got buried while he was still alive and woke up in his own grave.  My skin is itching underneath where I can't scratch and my nerves are on fire so I get up and walk, pace, move through the empty streets as dawn dizzily assaults my senses.  I watch everyone getting ready for a new day and this is life in tomorrow but tomorrow will never be tomorrow for me.  Tomorrow is always today.
I withdraw my $400 and give it to the first bum I see.  Maybe he'll enjoy it, I can't.  That's when I go to the hospital, figuring that if they won't admit me I can just finish things off myself later.

 

 

I haven't spoken in a month.  I will speak today.  It's my turn so I move forward, meeting her gaze.
"Will that be all for today?"  she asks me and I want to scream no as she cheerfully bags my groceries at the Loblaws express checkout.  Her nametag brightly informs me that her name is Kat.  I don't know her but I want to be close to her.  I'm suddenly conscious of my dirty clothes, of my month-old stubble, and realize that the Kat has my tongue as I reach for my credit card.  Hopefully it isn't maxed out yet.  I don't care anymore.
I take my groceries home, then take the bus to work.  I'm sure to pick up a couple of vodka flasks on my way.  Work now feels like a religious rite you perform despite knowing there's no God.  You're supposed to want to do well...right?  You're supposed to dress up and play office even though you only make minimum wage and go to school so that you can make more money.  Then, when she learns that you have enough money, some broad will marry you and sedate you with love so that she can stiff you for half of everything you own someday soon.  I don't want it I realize in a panic.  Sometimes I stare at my bank account balance.  $400.  I was paid three days ago and this is my net income after bills. 
I think about doing things but it all boils down to doing them alone.  Maybe I could go to a movie.  Sure, and be the only guy who goes to movies alone.  Or I could take a vacation.  Go somewhere, get away for a few days, but I don't have the energy or the curiosity.  A gaggle of strangers is a gaggle of strangers anywhere.  I could buy lots of books that I'll never read, clothes I'll never wear.  I could try and convince myself that I'm looking forward to buying something...I don't know, a video game system or a new computer or a DVD player.  But, thinking these things is a lot like buying a new book and then reading the ending before you start the story.  I already know the headspace I'll be in when I buy the thing.  I'll think, why the hell did I ever want this?  Am I allowed to be happy now?  And then I'll sit down and bully myself as yesterday's supper dishes still sit on the table and posters start to fall off of the walls because of the humidity.  I'll tell myself god damn you but you are going to have fun nowYou are going to forget this critical headspace and enjoy this thing because you have to go back to work in three hours and it's best to enjoy life while you can.  But I can't lose myself in anything.  I can never forget.
What can't I forget?  The aloneness?  No, that's not it.  I've done this my whole life, I'm good at being alone.  Wait, I get it now.  I can't forget the desire to be in two places at once.  Meaning, I think on the one hand that my life would be better if I did something, like going back to school or sucking up to the boss for a promotion or contacting my family every once in awhile.  I sit alone and I think, well, I want nothing more than to be with people right now.  Someone, anyone.  Have a good conversation, some drinks, show some interest.  Feel something real.  So then I go out and maybe tag along with a group of people or something and try to talk to someone only the words aren't real words.  They're codes.  They don't say anything I want them to say.  So then I'm sitting there with people and all I can think about is how desperately I want to be alone.  I extricate myself at the earliest possible opportunity, do anything I can to get away.
So I go to work.  After my shift, I go to a local pub with a group of people.  None of them know my name or much of anything about me, they just generally prefer having me around than not because they think I listen.  They're all university students.  They have Theories.  They talk about Hegel and Ulysses and categorical imperatives and lines in space and I want to believe them.  I want to believe them because if I believe them then I can be categorized in somewhere and that means I can probably, hopefully, be fixed.  I sit there staring at their animate, youthful faces and I want to be their friend only I'm scared because I think that maybe, on some level they're not aware of yet, they're every bit as lonely as I am.  Or maybe they're just faking it better than me.  The food comes and for some queer reason I remember this thought I used to have as a kid whenever my mother made liver for dinner.  I hated liver but my parents loved it and I had to try and choke it down.  I used to sit there as a six year old boy wondering how the heck people could like ripping apart chunks of a dead cow and then I realized maybe nobody did.  Maybe everybody did it because they just thought everybody else liked doing it and so pretending that they liked doing it was a sign of 'character' and thus high culture.
I listen to all of them talk for awhile.  They've sure got some great ideas, but I'm not smart enough to understand most of them.  I wonder if they understand them themselves.  There are plenty of nods and rebuttals and interjections and I want to scream and down a shot and throw myself out the window because I'll never be as smart as these people and I know it and I wonder if being that smart would even make me any happier.  What I really want to do is take one of them aside for a moment and ask are you happy?  Is it worth it?  If I go to school for four years and read lots of books nobody's heard of and use smart words, will I be happy?  Is this a key to something or are you just trying to fool yourselves?  I don't think there's a shred of doubt in any of their minds that when they graduate university they'll go on to do great things and change the world. 
We all get drunker.  I still haven't said anything all night.  Nobody's noticed.  I get up and leave and still nobody notices, then I go and catch the bus home.  Then when I get there I realize it all boils down to this, the empty apartment where I'm my most natural self.  Silence becomes a noise here and it grates on your nerves.  I listen to it and pad around in the darkness and don't turn any lights on.  There's garbage everywhere, I don't clean up after myself that much because what's the sense in taking pride in something that you hate? 
I sit down and wonder how I could get smart like those guys at the bar.  Maybe I could go to school but that would just stress me out so I'd quit.  I could read stuff but everything I try to read mentions a hundred other things I haven't read so I never have any idea where to start and it's all so confusing. 
So, I boot up my laptop with the aim of writing something.  A poem maybe, or a letter, or a story.  But when the words come out they seem flaccid, sterile, meaningless.  This is creative menopause.  So I waste time on the internet, particularly on Facebook.  Everybody's happy there.  It looks like all of my friends have lives and families they love and lots of friends and significant others who complete them.  So, I leave a few meaningless congratulatory comments that I don't expect anyone to respond to.  I log off and check the time.  Fourteen hours until I have to be back to work.  That's 840 minutes, or 50,400 seconds.  This makes me feel frantic. 
I log onto my dating profile at POF, and discover that I have three new messages, which makes me momentarily ecstatic.  One is from a curvaceous blonde woman asking for a sugar daddy.  She will provide unlimited 'mileage' in exchange for $5,000 a month to use on shopping sprees.  I admire her honesty and tell her so.  Her messages always read like car ads.  Would I be willing to pay $5,000 for the momentary illusion of love, even if I had it?  All love is an illusion probably.  Delete.  The second one is from some girl who says she'll go out with me if her boyfriend says yes.  I don't understand.  Delete.  The third one is spam.  Also delete.  I spent three hours yesterday typing out arduous messages to 40 different women on this stupid website, complimenting them and asking them specifically about information that they posted on their profile.  Apparently either I'm hideous or they can't read.  I log off.
It's only nine so I turn on my cell phone, which I almost never use except for when my mother calls me.  I have the phone numbers of two different girls I like, and flip a coin to decide which one I plan on calling.  I dial one of their numbers.  The phone rings twice and goes straight to voicemail, which I'm guessing means that they saw it was me and rejected the call. 
I try to read for a bit but can't concentrate, it's like wrestling with your own brain.  So, I log back onto Facebook and my heart leaps when I see that I've got a message but it turns out to be from my mom.  She wants to know why I've been neglecting her.  I sigh and log off. 
Then I drink.  It occurs to me that I haven't eaten all day but I don't care because this stuff helps me sleep and every time I drink more than I did last night I think that this time maybe I won't wake up and wouldn't that be grand so I drink and watch a movie and eventually have to piss so I get up but I trip, end up on the floor, and am so drunk that I can't get up again.  I grin and piss my pants.  That's when I black out.
Three days later, after work, I walk into another bar.  I order something and sit down on one of the stools, beside a middle-aged man.
"How's it going?"  I ask him.  He grunts noncommittally, studying his hands.  I decide then and there that I'm going to be homeless from now on because anything would be better than going back to that piss-stained hovel where you can hear the sound of your own loneliness and the years dripping away in circles like water down a toilet.  It feels like I don't have an age anymore.  I could be twenty or fifty or anywhere in between. 
"Want a drink?"  I ask the man.
"Sure," he says.  "Uh, thanks."  I end up getting him drunk and he's too drunk at the end of it to really thank me so he just gets up and walks away and I watch him go.  Then I go back to the apartment.  That night, I get drunk but I can't pass out so I lie there in the darkness feeling like a man who somehow got buried while he was still alive and woke up in his own grave.  My skin is itching underneath where I can't scratch and my nerves are on fire so I get up and walk, pace, move through the empty streets as dawn dizzily assaults my senses.  I watch everyone getting ready for a new day and this is life in tomorrow but tomorrow will never be tomorrow for me.  Tomorrow is always today.
I withdraw my $400 and give it to the first bum I see.  Maybe he'll enjoy it, I can't.  That's when I go to the hospital, figuring that if they won't admit me I can just finish things off myself later.

 

 

 


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