Drop any self-centricity while you read this because it’s not an accusation, just hard truth that I hate giving.
In the last week, you’ve heard more from me. I’m more lively, tweeting about butts and burgers and my daily writing exercises on my website and I’m rampant in Twitch chats, sometimes dropping the filter and refusing to feel bad but sometimes going quiet so I don’t permanently damage too many relationships. I’m already lonely enough. It’s hard to say who I am at this point, because if what I think and what I say are who I am then how does that balance with the past? At some point, it stops being a rough patch. Some of you know why I’m erratic. Things are not okay. And they won’t be ever again.
That’s nihilistic and narrow, but while easy to scoff at as overdramatic, I lost everything when I lost her. You don’t recover from that.
Now it sounds like a dependent relationship, and living in a world of hyper-individualism and self-reliance, it’s hard for some people to understand how permanent loss can be. You get used to it, learn to function with a limp, and stop talking about it, but it’s still there. This bad mood is permanent and I navigate it via figurative anesthetics and I manage to get through the nights and workdays where students annoy me into a compartmentalized, distracted state, but the lonely weekends are really hard.
I don’t have anyone to tell about little moments, because dreams are boring. Daily activity is boring. And it’s only because she cared so much about me that she found it interesting to listen to my neurosis about a bad hello or my fascination with how it feels to vomit or just my general mood and whatever.
The Dutch messenger app, used by Pakistan and us essentially, still has our conversation history stretching all the way back to September 2014 when Skype shut off servers for her Symbian phone so we desperately looked for an inauspicious app that wouldn’t send an alert to everyone in her contacts that she was now using it too because that’d raise questions with her family and they already hated that she had a phone that could make calls because who did she need to call? She could use the landline for her parents. And the app shows the last time and date that a contact’s been online and it’s been so long that it gave up. It’s blank. It ditched her username and her photo.
But I have to keep checking, daily, hourly, in case she gets on and is considering contacting me. She’s still alive. There’s still hope—technically. Lottery hope. One in trillions? That pesky hope saying that maybe she’ll change her mind. That awful hope that drives me to check first thing when I wake up for a message or email, which leaves me disappointed every time.
After months of being irritable, lashing out at people over jokes I wasn’t in the mood for—and honestly that extends years back but the community and friendships were fresh and I had more patience for people because you didn’t know—I’ve paved over this permanent bad mood with a veneer of normalcy so people stop helping.
I’m tired of hearing that it’ll be okay. That sometimes these things are for the best. That there’s still fucking hope.
The sentiments are from a well-meaning place, but they undercut everything to cheer up not me, but the person saying them, and I think I’ve been through enough that I don’t need to be pricked by ignorance all so you can shrug off bad news.
I stopped talking about it, but that doesn’t mean the pain’s gone away. What fills my days are little consolation and most days I am very unhappy and annoyed with everyone before they say anything.