Lost Highway

TRIGGER WARNING: Depression, anxiety, disassociation; cynicism, pessimism

Addendum: This is a short piece of writing one evening when I was experiencing a bout of anxiety. It is an attempt to capture firsthand through a stream of consciousness the feelings of disassociation. This was done during a particular rough evening sometime in early summer. Two days of insomnia and a severe bout of anxiety prior to the Pride Parade.

You should sleep but could you? Can you? Would you? When you close your eyes at night, do you dream or are these little images some madness conjured by the frenzied frolic of your life? You’re a story-man, drama queen, quit stalling. Get working. You should find yourself a job. Not now. Don’t think it. Forget it. It’s what you do. Ignore, forget, distract; like a ADHD invalid, a miserable waste.

Why so tired? Always have been. No food. Empty cartons. You could afford it. Don’t feel like it. The same palette every day and in the eyes of the hungry, it’s a feast. Buddies starving out there in wasteland. They’re going to eat one another one day. A herd of gazelle looks inviting sometimes, left flank or right? That was a growl and it ain’t your throat. It’s your stomach and hungry. Go eat. Save your strength. Eat now, get fucked, because you’ll never sleep.

Gotta wake up now. It’s getting sun bright not sun dark. Was that a minute or an hour? Did you hear that? That was a bird. A little hiss, that’s the garbage truck. Did you take the trash out? No, you didn’t you lazy motherfucker. Why not? Dishes tall and waiting. You ought to clean that you know. Too difficult. Too tired. Too lazy. Washer’s broke. Fix it. How? No clue. You hopeless fuck. Useless. Go on and climb that cotton mountain. I could smell that from here.

Write a story. Go on. Twist it a little, you’ve got that talent – story-man gather around, whisper little fables, let the rest decide. They’re judging you plenty. No show for it. Sit up. You’re deleting by the spades. Sorry, no product. Sink in deep. Go shave. It’s early and you’re late. Words can wait. You’re babbling all day. It doesn’t make any sense.

You’re going insane.

Stop thinking. Breathe. Don’t lose yourself to worry. Pull yourself together. Go eat. Sleep. Don’t fight it. Stop being a stubborn high-maintenance little shit. Get up. That ain’t funny. Stop smoking. Get rest. They’re expecting you. No, don’t give a shit about what they think. They need you. Don’t be afraid. Friends will be waiting.

Friends? Or acquaintances? I don’t know. What do you know? I recognize her face. His too. What are their names? I forgot. Sorry. Did I just apologize? Have a smile. Was that real? No, it wasn’t. You’re being too polite. Quit that. Be frank. Talk to someone. No, don’t. They’ll judge you. Be quiet. Smoke. Breathe deep and take the plunge. Will it bright out tomorrow? I don’t know. Does it matter? Not really.

No texts. No friends. Nobody cares. Write something. Anecdotes. You’re teasing them. Final product not yet rated. Ratings. Pretentious. Braggart. Liar. Did that really happen? Maybe. Yes. No. Not really. No, you’re making fucking shit up. Stop filling the gap. Speak from the heart. The heart, the heart, the heart – beating now, fast, chest aches. Maybe cancer? Probably. Maybe. Doesn’t matter. Gotta die sometime. Surrender? Never. Too easy. Too weak. Too soon. No, why go there? You think bad thoughts when you’re tired. Who doesn’t? But it’s all so simple with this one.

*********************************************************************************

Lonely.

Get fucked. Brief respite. Jizz. Masturbation. Self destruction. Crack a smile. Have a cuddle. It’ll be nice. Pursue someone. Watch it fall apart. Would you even care if it does? Maybe. Yes. No. Not really. But it’s all so simple with this one. She’ll like you. He’s cute. I like his smile. Date a guy? Maybe. Yes. No. Not really. Are you taken? No. You’re staring too much. Don’t be rude. It’s awful. You reek of cigarettes. Did you bathe? Not today. Yesterday? Don’t remember. Doesn’t matter. Smell that. It reeks and so do you. Tired still. Hungry. Sleep now and it’ll be late with you early.

It’s like the road all over again.

Bright out now. Why did you even get up? Expecting someone? No. Not really. Yes. Maybe. No. Not really. Stare now. Who’s that? That’s you. You’re staring. Haven’t slept. Did you eat? One day you’re going to eat yourself. When did you last sleep? Fifty seven hours ago. You’re going insane. Lonely. Get a job. Birds out. Garbage truck. Another evening. Or is the day again? No clue. No idea. Tired. So tired.

*********************************************************************************

If you died now, boy, will it even matter to anyone? No, someone will pry the colors off your fingers and the road will leave you behind. They’ll miss you all but brief, skip ahead, and celebrate your absence with all the filth and sex and worship that you’re so fond of praising.

You haven’t any friends. You’ve only got the people who are mesmerized by what they think happened and what you tell them happened. Was it a truth? Or a lie? They’ll forget you. Leave you behind. You’re following the love trail of a lost generation. You’re screaming against what feels like an unstoppable tide. Nobody will stop and listen. It’s pathetic. You call yourself that over and over again. Does it mean anything?

You’re not worth a damn. You call yourself a Top? A Dominant? Weak. No confidence. Self-assertion is a lie. Stop lying. Quit that. You’re meant to be strong, proud. Banner man. Standard bearer. Flying your colors for what? Pride? Yours? Theirs? No matter. It’s all for nothing. Where’s your dignity? Non-existent. Overconfident. Petty. Weak. Not meeting standards. Whose standards? Yours? Theirs? Does it matter? Maybe. Yes. No. Not really.

Titles. Titles. You’ve done this. You’ve done that. They’ll leave you behind. Bury the memory of you in the filth, the debauchery. That’s awfully judgmental of you. Does it matter? No. You’re alone. Always have and always will be. They think you’re insane. They laughing at you. They say they believe in the colors yet it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so. Think it so. Bitter. Senile little man. Little old man.

They’re gonna leave you behind. You’ll be chasing them like you chased the ghosts of lost histories, drowned out by what’s new and what’s hip and what’s hot and what’s not. Old news. They’ll leave you behind, like all the boys and girls in the schoolyard, and some other kind of handsome will take your place. You’re gonna be washed away. Nobody will remember you.

You’re alone on the road again.

But it’s so simple with this one.

*********************************************************************************

My alarm clocks wake me up sometime at around 10 o’clock in the morning. Everything’s a blur. Did I really write all that? That’s what’s inside my head? I sound so different.

I’m hungry. I crack open a can of soup and sit down. There’s a pile of trash. Forgot to take it out again. Pile of dishes. That can wait. Pile of clothes. Dirty. I’ll do it later. Shower. Feels nice. After chow, of course.

It’s warm already. Daylight seeping in through the curtains into the living room floor. There’s a pile of everything everywhere. What a mess. Everything sticks because it’s hot as hell. For a moment, I’m wondering if they’re expecting me. I think so. That’s really all that matters, the thought, nothing else. I haven’t seen them in ages – I guess, that means I miss them.

I look into the mirror for a moment. There’s a face that I don’t seem to recognize. His eyes are hollow. Tired. Empty. He looks like a burnt out waste. That’s me, I thought, but is that who I want to be today? Maybe. Yes. No. Not really.

I check my phone. No messages. I don’t think anyone’s expecting me. Wait. Didn’t I…? Nevermind. There’s knots all over my stomach and all over my back. Tired. I should go back to bed. Probably not. I just showered and ate. I think they’re expecting me. I probably should go.

How did I wind up like this? Where’s the life that took me across the earth? Who’s that person in the mirror? I’m anxious all over again and I want to be left alone. No, I’m up today for a reason.

I’m outside. I have a smoke. The nicotine plunges me deep into uncharted territory. Slows down my thoughts for a while. I’m still too young to let the daylight slip from my grasp. For once, I’m up early and that’s rare. I breathe inwards, feel the pin pricks all over my chest, and all my problems disappear with a sigh. For now anyways.

Glancing towards the side, I catch a glimpse of the sunlight through the curtains, and the pale black-blue stripes seems to glow beneath the natural light. There’s a heart there that’s waiting to come alive. I remember why I got up today. It’s the Pride Parade. They’re expecting you.

They’re expecting me.

I get dressed and suddenly I leave my problems behind. It feels so simple when it happens. That’s anxiety for you, for me. Center. Breathe. Remember why you’re up today. Hold the colors up high. Chin up. Feels nice doesn’t it? Yeah, I reckon it does.

A rainbow dances over my shoulders.

It feels like the road all over again.

But it’s so simple with this one.

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