There are many ways for man to express themselves: music, art, dance, pictures, poetry. I chose writing, poetry mostly. I'm not the best, and I make a lot of errors. But I try my best and sometimes….sometimes something moving comes out of it. That moment when you finally get something right. That moment when you’re writing and everything just….clicks. This is how I feel.
At the moment though, I can't say I’m feeling too hot. There’s a smile on my face, laughter on my tongue, and a joke on my lips. But if anyone looked closer, they might see the screams in my eyes. Or do they already see them? Is it obvious? Can they read my anxiety in the furrow of my brow? Do they see my exhaustion in the circles under my eyes? Can they see my insecurities in the arms that I keep close to my body?
If they have, they never gave a sign. Never a pat on the back, or a shoulder to lean on. Am I selfish to want that? Someone to lean on? They have their own problems, most worse than mine. I mean really, can my worries be considered problems? Do I have the right to feel this way? I don’t feel like I do. I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, food at my table. I even have luxuries: desserts, a cell phone, extra pillows, hot baths. What more could I want? Why do I feel a constant longing?
And then there are those moments. Someone will ask me “Are you ok?” or “Hey, how are you feeling today Wirt?” and I have a chance. I could tell them everything. That I don’t know how I feel. That it’s been so long that I’ve felt truly content that I don’t remember how it feels. That I’ve felt second rated, pushed to the side, ever since Mom remarried and Greg came into my life.
I submerge myself in activities, friends, jokes, food, books, the clarinet, anything. Anything to distract me. Anything to keep myself preoccupied. But it’s all in vain. Because I start to feel all the more hollow in the moments in between. When I’m trying to sleep or I’m alone in the shower and it’s just me. When my brain won’t shut up and insists on over analyzing everything, searching for every mistake I made that day, or yesterday, or three years prior.
I could tell them that it isn’t working anymore. That I can’t find solace in the things I used to love. The foods I used to enjoy, rich and savory or light and fulfilling, have all started to sit heavily in my stomach. That the friends I used to confide in and laugh with all seem too good for a screw up like me. That books, shows, and my music no longer fulfill me the way they used to. That nothing holds my interest anymore.
That I’m afraid I might be broken…..
But no, I can’t tell anyone that. That would be a burden. Fuck. This living thing is confusing. I want to be left to myself, to never have to deal with people, but I can’t stand being alone. I don’t want anyone to be near me, but at the same time I want nothing more that to curl into someone. To hide my face in the crook of their neck. To feel wanted. I want everyone to acknowledge me, but I’m also terrified at even the thought. What if they don’t like what they see?
And I feel like shit. How dare I feel this way? God, I’m so self-centered. I can’t even think about telling anyone how I feel without feeling that I’m just acting out for attention. So what if I’m no longer Mommy’s #1? So what if I’m an awkward mess who can’t hold a conversation to save my life?
So I smile. I crack a joke or change the subject to lighten the mood. There’s a constant ache in my cheeks and the corners of my mouth. Smiling hurts.
My brain won’t shut up. I’m constantly putting myself down and I don’t know how to stop. There’s always a stinging at the back of my eyes. I constantly stutter and babble incoherently, choking back the howls that try to escape between my sentences. I stare into space and dream that I’m happy. It’s been so long.
….help. There’s a joke passing through my lips and sobs locked in the back of my throat. There’s a smile on my face and a constant cycle of self-hatred circling through my brain. There’s a smile on my face and screams in my eyes.
I think I might be broken...