When these moods take over I see the world with a great deal of clarity (pessimism and depression are good indicators of accuracy) but at great personal cost. I wish to withdraw inside of myself and not have to deal with another living soul. During these bouts I wish I was the last man on earth in that old, Twilight Zone, albeit with unbroken glasses.
One of my first impulses is to shut down my livejournal, or at least purge my friends list. The only reason I don't do this is that I feel like it would be giving up on some level. I remain prepared to if the urge becomes overwhelming. That's one of the reasons I don't have any mutual friends where I initiated the process, juvenile as that might sound. It's meaningful to me because it means that while I am open to interaction and I never intend to make this a private journal (unless I encounter a scenario where having it interferes with my life in a meaningful way) I also don't owe anyone anything, and can write or not write and read or not read what I like with impunity. That is something very important to me in life, not being in debt to other people. Not having to curb my own self-destructive or isolationist tendancies out of concern for how another person feels.
I feel angry, sad, and impotent all at once right now. I know that I should move out and on with my life but I'm terrified. I'm terrified that if I go out on my own and put my own money where my mouth is that I'll be a miserable failure. I like the comfort of the elite education, being around Columbia where there are high expectations of success and just being part of the community makes you a somebody on some level. If I pursue film at Podunk U. then how will I get any attention?
I should probably give up on my dreams of writing or directing, since I haven't any talent and I don't have the schmoozing or personal skills to make it as a hack. I should probably resign myself to a life of grey drudgery. Mid-level corporate work with ill-fitting suits and 12 hour days spent doing the white collar equivalent of pushing food around on my plate to make it look less empty than it really is. Nights by the glow of a television screen watching the polished products of those who had not just my dreams but the character and ability to achieve them.
I have seen my future and it is measured out in microwaveable dinners and trying to kill 30 minutes between the end of prime time and the start of Leno. God, Leno. That meagre talent and monstrous chin, a numbing agent before sleep. The cerebral equivalent of novacaine. "Sure he's mildly entertaining at best, but he WON'T make you think. That's the contract baby. An hour and a half of blissful ignorance about how pathetic you are in exchange for exposure to advertisements that WILL call you pathetic, but not in any real way. You'll worry about your kitchen not being clean enough rather than the fact that your complete contribution to society rests in managing shoelace distribution for a nationwide retailer. If you died tomorrow and they couldn't replace you the worst that would happen would be someone would have to go an extra 1/4 mile to get new shoelaces. We can take that all away and replace it with comedy so bland it uses wonderbread as a flavor enhancer and a silly concern that your vacuum cleaner is less powerful than your neighbor's. Just sign on the dotted line sir...no...wait...that's not necessary. Just pick up your remote control."
Eventually I will die alone, one of those people where the neighbors gather uncomfortable and say "Well he wasn't a BAD man, he helped me with my groceries once."
"Oh yes, and he held a parking spot for me. That was nice."
"Sometimes played the music too loud but usually turned it down when asked."
"He found my wallet in the hall and returned it promptly."
And that's it. A distorted corpse, not found for a few days, maybe chewed by a pet if I get one. A funeral of coworkers and a few distant friends I haven't seen for years. A pedestrian gravestone proclaiming the most basic temporal facts of my life that nobody will want to read but that a tender will come by on occasion to clear off because that's his job and he can't discriminate between those who did something with their lives, meant something to somebody, had an impact, and those who just existed. That's NOT his job.
I won't even die young enough for them to say "He had such promise, he had such potential." I don't even know if they'd say that now. Do I? Have promise? Have potential? At times I think so, but so do many of the crack addicts and 50 year old grocery clerks stocking the shelves at your local A&P. I'm not saying that they didn't or don't have potential, but that potential is meaningless. Does anyone care that the dead catapiller could have been a butterfly given time? Is he any more beautiful for what he would have become?
I know I should move out, start the process of my fall from where I sit now near the top towards the bottom where I will inevitably find myself, but I'm scared. Fortunately, or un depending on your opinion, I won't have the choice for long. Bill is moving in, this summer it looks like, and I must find a new place to live. With it will come responsibilities, bills (Oh the punnery), and the slow strangulation of hope.
At times like these I don't want love or affection, god knows I don't deserve them and probably never will, I want inspiration and work. I want something to delve into beyond a school project that nobody but the professor will ever see. I want to throw myself into creation, emblazon a mark of SOME KIND upon the world even if just to say "I WAS HERE" defiant, eyes ablaze staring down the future with eyes wide open and fists clenched tight. I want to vow to go down swinging, to pursue my dreams no matter how far away they seem on the horizon, chase them until my feet bleed and my legs are game. To stand fast on the battlements of my life and repulse the horde of Leno nights that threatens to engulf the future me.
I don't think it will matter but it's better to go out on your back than on your stool.
Keep the towel on the side a bit longer. I'mma go eat some leather.