I’m having a little trouble sleeping. Perhaps because it is so much earlier than I have been able to go to sleep on recent nights. Maybe it was something I ate. Or maybe there’s something on my mind. I worked on homework and watching movies all day today. Watched Forrest Gump and all the DVD additional materials (nearly two more hours), then The Game, then Time Bandits. Then I tried to go to bed because it was just after 9 and I have to wake up a little before 5 and would like to get sufficient sleep. Except that right now it’s just a little before 10 and I’ve just been … I almost want to say ‘antsy’ in bed. Tossing and turning about in the bed, not sleeping. Sortof tired, but not enough to fall asleep. Something always on my mind, but no clear train of thought to even try to get to the end of.
So here I am again, sitting in front of my iMac, alone in the middle of the night, buck naked on a cold metal chair, typing. Writing. I almost started an email to Sara instead of a post here. I have things to say, and at certain points in the past she’s been there to listen to me. I seem naturally to want to call her or write to her, to open myself up to her; I don’t feel I have anyone else in this world I can do that to, Then I realize I don’t have her to do that to anymore, either. She’s not there for me to open up to. She’s in Spain, in school, doing her own thing, living her own life, busy as a bee and half as happy. I have some friends, a couple people that don’t usually mind me calling up if I have a reason, who even look forward to the chance to spend time with me once in a while. What I don’t have is someone I can call for no reason at all, just to talk.
Last week I finally called up Melissa. I think she gave me a little extra leeway since we hadn’t spoken in more than a couple years, and she didn’t start hinting and nudging me off the line for about twenty minutes. Still, for twenty minutes I had someone to really just talk to. She sugested that we try to get together in person, and that would be great. I don’t see it happening soon, though, and I understand why. You see, she’s got this really great boyfriend now, and spends all her free time with him. Which is great. I don’t want to take away from that, I wouldn’t dare. I can’t imagine I’d want to be any other way, had I found someone to be with. Maybe in a couple of years we can talk freely for another 20 minutes.
I hate this. I hate for a tiny text box on my computer screen to take the place of a human being. I hate that I need this. This false conversation. This .. I hate this. I want to have someone I can talk to instead of an anonymous public who comes to gawk at my life. I know, I know, I know, I can be alone. I can live this life. I can do this. I don’t need Sara, or Melissa, or anyone else in that way. I can get by without a real human being on the other side of my ramblings. I can jabber out into the empty rooms of my house without a reply. I can draw and draw and draw and paint and create whatever else without anyone ever seeing it, or caring to. I can write and write and write, long into the night, and I’ll get by without words coming back to me through the darkness. Without a voice washing back against my eardrum, reminding me I’m not alone.
Because I am alone. There isn’t anybody out there. Not really. A hundred peope will see this in the next 24 hours alone, but there isn’t really anybody there. There isn’t really someone who cares that way about me, who’s willing to just sit there and listen, or IM with me, for hours and hours. There certainly isn’t anyone who would actually sit next to me and talk to me in person for very long. There always must be some pretext or some expanded audience, or some restriction of subjects that maybe I’m only imagining but it still constricts my throat. Like I said, I have a couple of friends, and sometimes we get together. I am not literally alone. I just … I know what I want because I used to have it. There used to be people who would talk to me. I used to have some of the best and longest conversations over the phone, and now it is used simply for brief exchanges to coincide movie watching, a hobby I took up because it was impersonal but didn’t feel that way; I could go watch the movies without having to find a free friend, and the emotional impact of the movie was the same. The old attachment I had to the phone is still with me, and I pay large fees every month to have enough minutes available and a phone always available so that if that sort of great conversation I remember comes along, whenever, wherever, I’ll be ready for it.
But it never comes. If I didn’t spend so much time on hold, waiting for tech support or customer service to come on the line for one company or another every month, I could switch down safely to one of those 20 minutes a month plans. I simply haven’t anyone to talk to. AT&T, my wireless provider, recently began offerring a plan with 400 minutes more than mine for the same money, but I don’t bother calling them to switch since I don’t use 1/3 of the minutes I have now, and I have less people to call all the time.
Someone I used to care about called me up last week. Someone who, given anything else to do at all I would never see, call me up and asked me to go out to some remote spot in the middle of the night. I didn’t have anything else to do at all, so I went along on this little trip. Over an hour each way, and we spent less than 20 minutes there. The whole time though, I did my best to pretend I was as comfortable talking to them as to someone like Sara. It eventually became frustrating for me because I was almost there, almost talking, but there’s something about this person that I just can’t be totally honest and open around. There’s something about this person that reminds me of being physically ill, but I think it’s the way they treqat themselves. So the whole conversation ended up like this paragraph, where all the specific details left out. You get the idea, but you don’t even know the gender of the person to whom I’m referring, where we went, or any of the rest of the story. I hate this. I hate not being able to say what I mean. To say what I think.
I hate this, and I hate that I’ve had to go back dozens of times so far tonight to capitalize the letter i. I know for a fact that I tend not to capitalize ‘I’ when my self-esteem isn’t at its best, and I know that other people notice that, so I’ve worked hard to catch it and ‘correct’ it. I hate it though, because it’s like correcting capitalization in an e.e. cummings poem; it changes the meaning and the tone. It’s part of this hiding the details, though. Something I feel like I have to do except around those who really get me and have the time and energy to listen.
No slight intended to you, Zoe. I know you get me. Your wife, despite how well she puts up with me, doesn’t. I have to keep her in mind, even when she isn’t around though, because she’s your wife. I don’t ever want to take away from your relationship with your wife by dominating your time or your energy or your thoughts in one way or another. I don’t want to put any pressure on you, because you have something beautiful, and I want to see you two happy together. I have seen too much potential lost between good people to want to contribute to its loss. Forgive me.
I think I’m going to try to go to sleep again. I’ve been at this for nearly an hour, and I really do need to get up in the morning. I work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, and not again until the 30th, though I’ll only be missing classes on the 23rd and 24th, so not entirely responsibilty-free, though 11 days off work, 5 of them in Hawaii, is certainly something to look forward to. I practically feel like I’m already on vacation. Something in my mindset certainly isn’t here anyway. I hope it finds a bed soon, wherever my mind is off to. I don’t want to sleep through Hawaii.