“He hasn’t talked to anyone today. I haven’t talked to anyone today. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. It’s not that he hasn’t wanted to talk to someone, but he just never had the chance to. He only realized he hasn’t talked to anyone today when he sat down on the bench he’s sitting on now. In front of the church across the street from his house. I like to sit on it after a long or not-so-long walk around my neighborhood. I usually take the same route. Almost always end up on the same bench.”
—Talk by Stephen Dixon on The American Reader
My days really are slipping past me. Some days the most I say is, “ok” or “k.” Not exactly the most formal use of my English language abilities. But it’s the most I can muster. As the days go on and on I talk less and less. I have fewer exposure to people outside the confines of work per the day, and no access to conversation outside the confines of my mind. On any given day its not so bad but as time goes on this solitary confinement begins to take its toll.
People are so disappointing that I don’t exactly know what it is that I am mourning. Isn’t solitary isolation almost a respite from the disappointment? Yet, I have thoughts aplenty… and without any means of expressing them, it’s enough to drive anyone mad. Maybe if I had much less to say it wouldn’t be so bad. (I watched a documentary called Solitary Confinement just to fuel my detachment from the world and further see its repercussions.)
Even now I have about 20 things I want to say, in no particular order, that coherently stringing them together into something meaningful escapes me.
I keep seeing First Kiss, unusually more often than usual lately (and given he was First Kiss… it’s safe to say we go back a verrrrrry long way). I act as neutrally as possible mostly because he really doesn’t mean anything to me, never did, never will. But it’s a very strange sensation when you know someone is looking at you with lust-filled eyes. First expresses through his eyes unexpressed, repressed desire all while trying to maintain some semblance of a normal conversation. It feels stilted to me. But my conversational abilities keep it from veering off into awkward pause/silence territory. Keeping a straight face while someone is recalling memories of you completely undressed, scratching at their back, and moaning uncontrollably – well, it’s just not natural.
He asked to see me soon.
“Ok” I said.
Because that’s the most I can muster.
I don’t know if I agreed to prove that he is meaningless to me. Or if… it might happen again. Though it by no means should. He has a girlfriend. They always do. So carefully whispered to me after the fact. So expectedly expected I don’t even flinch anymore.
Therein lies my moral dilemma. Do I want to again? Will I let it veer into that territory again? (Knowing it’s wrong is just a given.) We kissed years and years and years ago. Then earlier this year we drank too much, laughed too much, kissed too much, and fucked just the one time too much.
Repeated messages to me asking what I’m doing does very little to appease my unease particularly when the messages come in at 1am, 5pm, 11pm on any given random day. I try to paint my present actions in the most boring light. To detract from the strangeness of the question that’s secretly begging, “Can I see you right now?” I try to sound a little busy, but maybe eager to make room for him, too? Though I shouldn’t. I don’t even want anything to do with him.
I’m dying of loneliness and yet the only thing I want is to be alone.
I have plans tonight. Canceled them a few minutes ago. I can’t. I can’t muster more words than necessary these days except I have a million things I’m dying to say.
The isolation hurts. But I’m doing it to myself right? I’m a mess of contradictions right now.
“I usually take the same route. Almost always end up on the same bench.”