down at the end

You'll get it after reading it.
12:53am on… I guess on Tuesday morning, although to me it’s still Monday night. Once again my fingers protest the amount of coordination required to type words. I have a full glass of water on the desk beside me, y’know, my garlic necklace, warding off the vampire that is hangover. I actually had a really abstract paragraph written earlier today, about how I like women… it was a good piece of writing… but I trashed it. I do that sometimes, trash stuff I think is good… because it’s not fit… not fit for the “blog,” or something. So go the perils of an “online” journal, I suppose.

There are some times in my life, not very many actually, that I can remember feeling… feeling alone. Not that I really was alone, but that I felt alone. Not without friends, just an in-the-moment loneliness. Something not quite like a true feeling of being alone – but more like feeling alone in that moment… mostly a welcomed kind of alone, not something uncomfortable or negative. I don’t even really know, I just thought of this theme as I was brushing my teeth – and in my slight drunkenness it seemed like a nice personal divergence from the boring slop I’ve been posting lately… somewhat of an entry in the true “journal” sense, like things used to be or something. I’m going to run with it now I think, since it’s on top.

I feel alone. I’m staying at my Uncle Tom’s place in California. My brother and I are here for a week. Uncle Tom and Aunt Judy live in small house here in Tepesque Canyon. They have goats, and chickens, and a satellite dish. In the morning, we throw feed to the goats and gather brown eggs from the hens for breakfast. Aunt Judy cooks the eggs while Frank and I watch the Monkees and You Can’t Do That On Television on some crazy satellite-only channel called Nickelodeon. Right now it doesn’t show much but Canadian programming for kids and some old, old reruns. I don’t know that at the time though. I remember helping paint a shed, and sitting on a porch swing with Tom and Judy’s dog. I remember a tree-swing’s apex that put you over a small cliff looking down on a field of tall grass. I remember masturbating for the first time, and associating the feeling with homesickness. Hey, I told you this was going to be personal.

My mom and my brother and I have just come home from our after-school place. My dad has beat us home today, sometimes that happens. Before Frank and I can get out of the car, my dad comes out of the house and greets my mom with a hug. Something is wrong, I can tell. I’m not sure what Frank was thinking, or even if it made that much of an impression on him at his age. But I know something is wrong, even through the silence of the car-window glass I can tell by the way my mom is reacting to whatever my dad is telling her. The house has been robbed, and vandalized. Many of our things are missing or ruined. It feels very personal, the “feeling” part of the word “violated” that can’t really be conveyed in a dictionary’s definition. I get on my bike and ride. I feel alone. I ride aimlessly, I don’t want to see the house anymore… don’t want to smell the soy sauce in the hallway carpet; don’t want to see the ketchup on the walls and ceiling; don’t want to wonder what they did to my cat that makes her walk funny; don’t want to think about the fact that they stole the spare keys. I ride to my school, and find my 4th grade teacher still in her classroom. As I cry on her shoulder, I feel alone.

I feel alone. I’m on a Greyhound bus to Texas. I left college only a few hours ago. I didn’t bring a book to read or anything. There is some humongous kid next to me, he got on the bus in a town called Defuniak Springs and he’s talking about going to football camp in Texas. I try to be as polite as possible, making him feel good by keying in on things he says and learning what makes him feel comfortable. I’m good at this. I feel like I can read people like books, judging within minutes what makes them feel most comfortable and using it to befriend them. Do they most enjoy talking about themselves?; listening to you talk?; strategic non-talking cues?; whatever it is – I’ll exploit it and make them comfortable. Emulate his posture, his demeanor, ally loosely with the things I presume he believes in and trusts. We talk for hours about things I could care less about. His folks are split up, one lives here, one lives there. Eventually he gets off the bus, and I’m alone again. No matter who sits down next to me, I’ll have this conversation with them. The couple going to Las Vegas, the girl who’s just leaving Florida. I don’t even smoke, but I’ll have cigarettes with you at the stopovers. As I retire from my game of dice with four guys in the Dallas Greyhound terminal, and curl up to sleep on my suitcase so it won’t get stolen, I feel alone.

I’m sitting on a stone bench outside a lecture hall at college. I feel alone. I watch as people ride by on bikes, heading to class. My class isn’t for another hour, but it’s easier to stay here than go home to my place. At least I found the right building, this campus is huge. I only have an hour to wait. Between classes the street is full of students making their way to whatever’s next. I’m waiting here for the 1st day of differential equations. Calc I and II were no sweat, but I had a hard time during some of the more abstract portions of calc III. I don’t really know what to expect from differential equations. I couldn’t know at the time that I’d strike an accord with the teacher, enjoy the class immensely, meet a couple friends, and go on to earn one of my post-community-college As. At the time all I could know was that I was feeling kinda lonely on that stone bench in the sun waiting for class to start. Watching all the other kids go by with such a sense of knowing where they were and where they were going. A long way from the here and now of writing this paragraph, a lot less confident, a lot less knowing.

I’m sitting in some cubicle. I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing, so I’m not really doing anything. I’ve got conflicting feelings of guilt and getting-away-with-something. I’ve been working here for a month or so, and my manager has changed twice already. No one even really knows I’m here, I can leave when I want. So I do. I come in late, and leave early. No one knows I’m here, I report to no one. I feel guilty sometimes, taking a paycheck for what I do during the day: listening to Kid A and researching alchemy online. Frequenting the Smashing Pumpkins message boards, engrossed in the mystery that is Machina and the symbology and double-meanings of it all. I do nothing to contribute to this company, I am collecting an engineer’s pay for nothing. God I feel alone up here, no one knows I exist and my requests for work seem to fall on deaf ears. Once, I got called into the lab to help record data… but it turned out to be idiot’s work, and I was back at my desk reading about Jung’s thoughts on the spiritual applications of traditional alchemy in no time. I have none of the knowledge required for this job. I am in over my head, but it’s OK because no one even knows I exist. Lonely.

Yeah, I feel good about this one. Tipsy or not, I like the writing. I like when paragraphs appear without effort, like they’ve written themselves or something. It’s that easy sometimes, when you’re “in the zone” or something. Words come out and start lining up to make sense, you don’t even need the full faculties that soberness affords… it just flows.

So, with my glass of water nearly empty and my eyes heavy in anticipation of dreams… I’m signing off. Goodnight to you all.

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