Wednesday, November 10, 2010
play on repeat
I haven't left the house in weeks. When I do, it's to walk to the corner for an occasional coffee, or go up the street to the 7-11 for beer and cigarettes. I'm not eating much. I can't sleep very well, and when I do, my dreams are absurd and I wake up struggling for breath. I'm writing more than I ever have in my life, partly to give myself some semblance of control, and partly because it keeps me from considering the reality of my situation. I've been nursing an awful fucking toothache, my jaws throbs with the suggestion of a pending infection, which I'm almost welcoming at this point, promising as it does the extraction of the offending tooth and if I'm lucky, a prescription for Vicodin, which I've only taken twice but know enough to understand that it makes everything feel like a tropical breeze has taken residence in your head. I'm terrified of what the future holds, terrified beyond belief, actually. Taking up a piece of cardboard and a magic marker seems like a legitimate possibility. I keep hearing the Tom Waits lyric in my head: "Pregnant women and Viet Nam vets, I said beggin' on the freeway 'bout as hard as it gets." My girlfriend has been as supportive as I can expect her to be given the circumstances, but I know the strain is getting to her. It would help if I had any sort of outlet, a friend in the neighborhood, somewhere to go, enough money in my pocket to just go see a movie or have a beer by myself, but I don't. So I'm sinking even deeper into myself, writing like my life depends on it. I think it does. It's hard for me to muster the energy to shower, to take care of myself in the most basic ways. I've gone days without brushing my teeth lately. Even if my girlfriend wanted to kiss me, I'd probably hesitate. I feel disgusting and useless, utterly devoid of talent or ambition. I've been rejected outright or simply never received a response for the most menial of jobs. Taking stock of the situation I know I've got some good stories to tell, but most of them could be filed under the "dire warning" or "basis of comparison" variety. I try to commit them to paper but they all come out sounding incredibly self pitying, like this post. But I can't help it. I'm fucking drowning. All I can do is keep writing. Leonard Cohen said "I hope that you're keeping some kind of record." I am, Leonard. The notion that all this suffering will be in vain is sad beyond words. It makes it impossible for me to speak, actually. How can you articulate all this fruitless agony? What am I supposed to do with this? I'm thirty four and have no savings, no career. I'm frightened beyond belief. My truck is broken, and so are my teeth, and so is the rest of the whole mess, I guess. I don't think there is any bravery in soldering on. I'm just too big of a coward to kill myself.