By an Anonymous Chimp
As I age, I regret the time I’ve spent angry and meandering through the inevitable burnout of that anger. So much time has fallen through fingertips forever lost at the bottom of a Marianas Trench that is so well hidden even I don’t know where it is, though I can feel it existing somewhere in one of the ventricles running my cardiac system at a lazy but determined pace. I can feel its weight. I’m used to it, like learned helplessness adapted to and a system of survival and moments of even thriving.
Time neglected and allowed to drain away by the lake after great lake full on habits of thought built over decades of minute by slow minute repetition, driven from the unconscious notion that perhaps the way out of my tired introspective malaise will come with the next thought. It’s a continual inside process of psychic paradigm that I know just as well as you do is false, as proven demonstrably by myself at present as I grey and slouch into middle age and, I’m afraid, well beyond through it into nothing until someone says my name for the last time.
I’ve always hated the phrase “time is money.” It makes money sound so important. So primary. I think, if anything, money is time. Time is your only real limited resource that you have to exchange for other things. You can’t spend money for more time. You can have time without money, not the other way around. We give time primarily for everything we desire in life. We exchange our time for money in order to live the lives we want. Also for getting better at things, learning things, experiences. Everything costs time. And mine is falling off me slow, but faster and faster. And I don’t know what I should be spending it on, and I don’t know what I’m doing here. And I don’t know what to care about. I just exist, waiting for something to happen, knowing that waiting doesn’t make anything happen. But I can’t get up. And I can’t want to get up. And I want to want to care again.
It’s not sadness. Sadness is temporary and healthy. You’re supposed to feel sad sometimes. You can think your way out of sadness. I’ve done it. When you’re sad you don’t hate the bitching and moaning of your own inner voice while still being stuck to it like an abusive partner. It’s a strange feeling, the simultaneous "Yes. Everything you are saying, me, about me and how awful I am is true" and "Jesus Christ can you quit your fucking whining?." It’s not sadness. It’s a white hot rage in a comatose frame, and the subsequent despair at the sheer powerlessness of it, and the landing into surrender. Fighting a monster when you only have arms thinned by starvation and bones made of glass. It ends up in a predictable spiral that I’m stuck in despite the predictability of it. But let’s not act like rationality has anything to do with this, or most things involving human brains.
Freezing cold was the lowest level of Dante’s hell because nothing ever changed.
I’m sorry. I know that’s a lot of similes and metaphors. It’s the way I can most honestly and clearly convey for you what walking around in my mind for awhile is like. I’m writing this anonymously because I don’t want the type of attention things like this tend to get. I don’t care for the judgement that I am either paranoid is happening or can palpably feel in its silence or lack of response from the certain person. But I want it out there nonetheless because I think that because I’m human and I feel it maybe you are also a human that feels it and you’ll feel less alone with it. Maybe I can let you know that you aren’t the only one who feels like you have to choose between what is true and what is comforting. Life can be a hard repetitive slog but the right other people can make it worthwhile. To torture prisoners all they have to do is put them in a room by themselves for awhile. And yet that same torture worms its way into so many minds of free people. Loneliness when you’re surrounded by people. Isolation even when held. Feeling guilty because you’re such a tough nut to crack, and you don’t want to make people worry but you can’t explain what you’re walking through. You feel guilty for their empathy. You isolate yourself more. Predictable spirals ensue. But you aren’t the only one. I want you to know that.
Even though I have never met you. Even though we might look different or believe different things in this time of the American Cold Civil War. Despite all the reasons we are given and give ourselves for being apart, including the myriad reasons beyond just the political. The same reasons we don’t look strangers in the eye or we hesitate when somebody we don’t know is struggling in public. The reasons we risk assess each other, passing by forever nameless having effortlessly reduced a full human story with you as the only protagonist to an easily fileable category before moving on. Despite whatever reason it is that I can’t really express myself fully in person even though I can when alone with my thoughts. I want you to know that I care about what you’re feeling. And I hope that you can get out of your busy monologue every once in awhile and just experience. I hope that the idea that what you’re looking for is making you look for it, that it sifts down from your neocortex down into your bones and it’s just lived. I want you to have a deep understanding that you don’t deserve it.
I want this for myself too. I’ve been having it more often lately.