Into the Sea · nothing makes sense
The world and I are not getting along. I mean, we’re working things out but it’s taking a damn long time, or so it seems. Am I writing just to… oh, I don’t know — why am I writing? Thoughts never translate well to paper in my experience. However constructive they appear, as neurons fire, there’s a barrier present. I know what it is now, though. It’s expectation. That whatever I write has to be something special. But none of it is.
“No worthwhile thought shall pass through these hands!”
I’ve written this before. I repeat myself a lot. It might be because I’ve successfully gotten this shit out of my brain and onto a hard drive before. It’s something I know how to do. These new and exciting thoughts that make me a better person, a more focused person are entirely new to me. If I have trouble doing them, how am I supposed to be able to write about them?
New and exciting to me, entirely old and uninteresting to you. You’ve been doing it for a long time. I’m just getting started. Every little task is an Everest of thought.
The world outside my tiny apartment scares me. Venturing out in public is an ordeal I’d rather not have to deal with. Whenever I do I feel judged and surveilled. I feel like I’m trespassing. I tense up, look mean, stare straight ahead. I walk with a purpose — to do what I have to and get away as quickly as possible. All the while afraid someone will notice me. It’s an ever present feeling of dread; I’m expecting to be called out. Singled out. At any moment.
It’s been like that since I was a kid. My first memory of social anxiety goes back to 1990. At certain points in my life it’s been easier, at other points worse. It’s pretty bad now.
A while back I wrote about «that mysterious, wild-eyed, quiet stranger» and how I wished I was such a someone.
Today I realized it might be a good thing that I’m not. What hell it must be to always stay in the corner, alone — fearing that if you were ever to partake in sociable conduct your cover would be blown. As soon as your mouth opened, you’d be exposed as the socially awkward, shy man you really are. Or as a complete buffoon, void of any of the clandestine elegance formerly exuded.
‘Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, as they say.
In many ways I am a mysterious, quiet stranger (not wild-eyed, I think). I never know if I should introduce myself when meeting friends of friends, and I always keep quiet and out of the way. The few times I do say something, it’s either commonplace or spoken so softly low that I might as well have kept it inside my head. It would probably have made more noise reverberating inside my skull anyway.
The usual reaction new people have when meeting me is «you’re so quiet» and/or «is something wrong?» Yes, I’m quiet. A lot of things are wrong, but I always look like this.
‘Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, et cetera.
Then again, maybe it’s better to be a proven fool who, at the very least, tries, than the suspect of a wordless crime deferred.
Some people have a certain grasp of language, they master it and transform it into art. I’m not one of these people. I hear ideas in my head that are both beautiful and art-like but that’s as far as it goes. They exist for a split second, just long enough for me to realize their greatness, before they vanish leaving me a puzzled mess.
«I had it, it was just here but no more.»
As a poetaster and a pretentious hack I often wonder if these people whom I admire for their craftsmanship and creativity have found some way of channelling their ideas onto paper, or if they too have fleeting ephemeral ideas a thousand times more grand than mine that leave them just as quickly as they came about, and that they’re just plain old better than I am.
«Maybe it never was, maybe it never will be, but it’s surely gone now.»
In the end it boils down to jealousy. I don’t need to analyze what I just wrote to realize my own inadequacy. To each his own; to you, I raise my glass.
Whatever you did that day made me fall and my landing was gentle and hard.
I have nothing to say these days and I guess I never really had anything to say. I wish I did. It would make for great conversation. But I guess I’m not much of a conversationalist. It wouldn’t be so bad if I looked like that mysterious, wild-eyed, quiet stranger everyone is fascinated by, but I’m not. I’m as deep as a puddle, and when you step in me, I am displaced. I am aloft, carried away from your flaming shoe. I am vapor, and for a moment I am raised up high and I seem to be deeper than I am.
Saturday, 11. November, 2006 · Insecurity