I cushion my ears, trying to use music more suited to one’s current endeavors to drown out music whose presence is beyond my control. The internal layer, in its unavoidable loudness, is rendered as distracting as its antagonist. The external layer strains, its vocals lost but its beats crying for attention, reminding me of the futility of my attempt. These farcical shells of music…
It’s been so long, so long since I’ve written like this, since I’ve felt compelled to write. What is it about this emotional surge, that would otherwise be debilitating, that I have learnt to interpret as a motivation to write? I had trained myself, long ago – that feeling, that very specific feeling, I must dispel it. A sudden rush of words fill my mind and I force myself not to ignore them and instead surrender – not surrender, but pause, to allow them to crystallise. I miss this. I miss needing to write.
I write about everything other than the trigger. I deal with it by not dealing with it, by dealing with everything around it, everything that lead up to it, everything that will result from it, but not it. Right now, I shall commence the vague references to it:
You know when someone tells you they have something to tell you? Not necessarily that they “need to talk,” with all that context of a relationship’s end, although one inevitably recalls the potential denouement. They might just want to provide you with the latest development in their life, but instantly I am anxious, I worry. This is a uncontrollable, selfish impulse; I worry not for them, but for the effect that piece of news might have on me. Oftentimes, I feel worse if it’s good news.
I despise myself! But let me explain, if not in defence, then at least in honesty. You see, if the piece of news is negative, I will have to share in my friend’s pain, I will have to make certain sacrifices for this person, but at least I will be needed. I should just admit it – at least I will be in a better place! But if it is positive, all I need to feel is happy for this person. That is all, and yet I sometimes find that to be the most difficult thing in the world. In its place, I feel the most profound sense of abandonment – I have been left behind yet again, I have been excluded yet again. Especially if it’s something that I, too, want. It isn’t envy. It’s one less person in this world who shares my fate. It’s less of this person for me to possess.
This particular trigger, this time, there are too many emotions and memories and – dare I say it – hopes, bound up in this person. There is the sadness that arises from that reminder of impossibility specific to this one person, then there is the sadness that arises from a larger hopelessness. They cannot be distinguished. This trigger, too, it reminded me of a similar situation with this same person five years ago, then three years ago… Each time, the same feeling of abandonment. The same fear of change. The same selfishness, the same self-loathing. Is it the person, or is it the memory? Is it the extinguishing of one possible future? How improbable that I would travel this one path, and yet some small part of me held out hope.
All these people, they move steadfastly on. Things happen to them, the things that are beyond one’s control, the things that have thus far passed me by. For these things, I had long made allowances – I refer to those voids that one might otherwise call “expectations.” That emotional surge is the intense bottoming out of an expectation. I am unable to peer into these caverns, to explore them, to conquer them; I can only, manically and with great effort, fill them with words.