It’s about perception really. How you perceive the world. How you perceive yourself. How you perceive others. Do people like you? Do they even care? Do you care about other people? Do you even care about yourself?
I wrote a passage a decade ago when I was a different person. I was 20 or 21. I wrote it before I had started dating my first serious girlfriend, Jenny. But I also wrote it on the heels of a pair of road trips I took by myself, one of them up north to Seattle and Canada where I talked my way over the border without a passport, another through the southwest where I camped at the Valley of Fire and dreamed the boulders came alive as lions and found me in my tent. I’m not a depressed person. I think I can accept that now. But people still scare the living hell out of me. I was the kid that hid behind my mom’s leg when she introduced me to strangers. That hasn’t changed a wit. I’ve just become a better liar.
What were you like a decade ago? How did you look at the world? How did you look at yourself? What has changed? I’m curious, really:
I am a terminal bore. My parents aren’t divorced, my brother isn’t dead, and I’ve never experienced any traumatic events nor experimented with homosexuality. I don’t shop at indie stores, don’t listen to indie bands, don’t wear black or talk about death. I don’t act or sing, don’t play music or write. I play sports, though not for any team. I take walks but don’t run. I’m not a virgin or a dynamo, not brilliant or ignorant. My face is square, my hair is blonde, my eyes are blue, but none are so extreme as to make me hot. In high school I talked about killing myself, not because I actually wanted to, but because I wanted to WILL myself into wanting to. My sophomore year of college I tried to become an alcoholic, but it didn’t take. I smoked weed but never coke or heroin, or E, or acid, or Meth, or any combination of alcohol and pills. I cry about women not wanting me, but I’ve never been dumped nor been in love. My heart is crisp and untainted, my attitude fresh and not dour. As I grow older the friends around me binge and do coke, others get married or go to jail, and for each of them I am grateful, for my association with them makes my existence more palpable. When my phone rings I pray it is a parent or doctor calling to tell me my friend O.D.’d and is dead. That would make me happy. Then I’d have a story to tell. But it never does. And I go to bed with impure thoughts on how to destroy the world, praying for disaster and global warming, for the artic to melt so we can find ancient relics on the forgotten continent. Secretly I wish I had a fetish, that I was a masochist or sadist, that I filmed myself fucking animals or raping women, but when I see any of these on film I cringe and look away. I watch as tweaked out actors, emaciated musicians, and hostile writers party till dawn and realize I am none of them but instead utterly and apologetically stable.
© 2013 Christopher Dart