I feel dead. I want to say ‘I have never felt this dead before,’ but I have felt dead so many times in the past, and I’m not entirely sure if I’ve felt deader before. How do you compare feeling dead to feeling dead? In fact, ‘feeling’ is a word that shouldn’t be used here. Dead is lack of feeling; a lack of everything. I don’t feel anything.
I stare straight ahead, aware that I am staring ahead; I used to stare straight ahead, lost in my thoughts, unaware of staring ahead until someone waved a hand in front of me and brought me back to the present. Now, though, I stare ahead aware of staring ahead. Not ahead, really. I just stare. I stare without looking. I can’t look. Looking leads to reality, and I don’t want reality. Reality is everywhere I look, rearing its ugly head from every direction. I don’t want reality or people or anyone who talks to me, but fucking reality is everywhere, weighing me down. I spend my time in bed under the blanket, not the most comfortable place but under the blanket is where reality can be ignored. Pull it over your head and the world disappears. But people are always around. Why can I never be alone? I want to be left alone.
“What do you want to eat?”
“I can ask, or make myself something, if I’m hungry.”
“Stop fucking asking me all the time.”
People are reality. I hear things they haven’t said, reality checks and shit. They don’t say anything, but I know exactly what they will say. And I don’t want to hear any of it. But I hear it all the time, without them having to say it. They will say it if I give them a chance to. They will say it without knowing, like they’ve been saying for years without knowing.
“You don’t know shit.”
“Just believe…have faith.”
“I don’t have faith. I don’t fucking believe. I can’t. It’s not a choice.”
I have stopped trying. I am too fucked-up, too complicated for anyone to understand. Even my friends, so now I’ll stop trying. I will pretend now, pretend to be alright. I am good, hopeful, optimistic. I know things will workout this time. If not, they will workout eventually. I am hopeful. Yes, thank you, that’s what I think. I totally agree, never stop trying.
But I’ve given up. No more justification, no explanations. What happened, happened. I am what I am. I can narrate the same story over and over, explain the intricacies in detail, but I am the one with this sick mind, the one trapped in this body, under this skin, and only I understand. I will save myself the trouble by saying what they want to hear, whether they believe or not. In the end, it is up to them what they choose to believe. They can call my bullshit for the bullshit it is, or they can believe it. I won’t hold them to it.
I will do what I have to.
I had to say it out loud, so I tried. “I feel dead,” I said, my voice hoarse and wheezy. I thought I had a pretty convincing voice, yet the sound that comes from the vaseline-slathered, chapped lips is utterly unconvincing. My own words, my own voice fails to convince me of what I know to be true. But then that’s just a part of being dead, you lose the vigor, the power, the persuasive and strong voice. You can’t believe your own words.
I stand in the middle of a tornado, 27 years of life whizzing around me, hitting me everywhere. Needles poking in my face, my eyes. My face is bleeding, my eyes have turned cold, the sockets empty, the fluids dry on my face, yet I can still see. I can see my life without my eyes. And it hits me over and again. The whooshing sound of the wind, of the cancerous life enveloping me, trying to destroy me, hellbent on ending it all, even itself. Careless, stubborn, headstrong. I am destructive. Destruction is trying to destroy destruction. I am collapsing into myself, isolated, alone, and misunderstood among the faces of support and love. My life and I, fighting, embracing, trying to become one, digging nails into each other, pulling away, pulling each other apart, locked in a deadly kiss.
The 27 years.
“There’s always a bright side.”
I feel like a wannabe parent. Trying for 27 years to be a parent. 27 years, I say heavily, tired. More than 27 fruitless attempts.
I have tried and tried, with one of the three results each time.
“It will happen,” they say, “when the time is right.”
But fear is now stronger than the desire, so I know that it is time to quit. The optimists will be optimists, until they walk in my shoes and feel the way I do. Then they’ll understand. But these shoes are too heavy, too damaged, so I’d rather no one walks them. Only I know my path. Only I understand. So only I get to make the decision.
It is, after all, a miscarriage of life.