But Now What?

Sat, May 18, 2002 01:36AM -0600

T minus 12 days 6 hours 24 minutes

I suppose for every moment, there is an appropriate song lyric.

"Here I stand/Sad and free/I can't cry/I can't see/What I've done/Oh God, what have I done?"

So here it is, it's fast approaching 2am and I'm not even drunk or stoned, and I am afraid to go to sleep, to lie awake in the darkness, chewing the ragged ends of my unfinished, unfinishable thoughts, completely, utterly alone. So instead here I am staring at this 17" electron ray gun, chewing the ragged ends of my thoughts and spewing them forth upon the ether for the Google spider to pick up, and perhaps for my shrinking audience of three or less, hoping against all hope that this ridiculous exercise will somehow ease the roiling turmoil of my soul.

So I know I should simply accept the harsh, grating, grinding, scraping, lacerating fact that she doesn't like me, at least not in That Way, that there is nothing I can do about it, indeed, that there was probably nothing I could've done about it, even if I had somehow managed to obliterate all of my flaws, even if all the circumstances had been right, even if all the stars had been perfectly aligned, even if I had said and done all the right things.

And yet it keeps haunting me. I reach back to the past months, reexamining every interaction, every possible branch point, all those moments of silence when I wanted to say something, but didn't. Or it didn't come out right. All those times when I felt like I should call her, when I thought I should go up to her and say hi, but didn't. But the worst are those times when she said she wanted to hang out, but I was too afraid to call her, too afraid to ask her out, and I just let the minutes, the hours, the days, the weeks, the months pass. Seriously. What did I expect.

And so what keeps me awake at night isn't the fact that she likes someone else (although I must say that it doesn't really do anything to cheer me up), but the fact that maybe I just suck as a human being, that I'm just completely unlovable, not just by her, but by anyone, because I don't know how to interact with people, I don't know how to tell people how I feel about them, I don't know how to be a decent friend, I don't know how to treat other people right. It's not really the fact that she doesn't like me in That Way, but the horrible but not-unlikely possibility that she doesn't like me at all.

Now I know that I do have friends, that they do care about me, but times like this I can't help but wonder what a burden it is to know me, what a pain in the ass it is to deal with me because I can't do these simple, commonsense things that every mature person knows how to do. And I can't help but speculate that if I were to push a little harder here and there, drop a couple of heavy loads on them now and again, lean too much in one direction or another, how I might very possibly manage to alienate even these people who have been long-suffering and infinitely patient with me.

And yet it's this impossible, unfulfillable dependency chain. To be loved, I need to be able to give love, but I don't think I have anything worth giving, what with this awful lonely emptiness eating at my insides all the time. And so each time This happens, it's just this hopeless downward spiral, and each time This happens, I keep hoping that I'll finally hit the bottom, and, at the bottom, by necessity, hopefully I will change. Probably for the worst, but I'll take whatever I can get at this stage. And yet I still can't seem to see the bottom, it's just this endless, savage, brutal feeling of falling through empty space, and I can't seem to run out of air, I can't seem to stop screaming.

But that's probably enough of me wallowing in self-pity. What else can I possibly do or say at this point in time to make myself feel at least a little OK? Probably nothing. But I suppose, every day that I survive is a small victory. There probably isn't time for much more thought. I just have to do what I set out to do, and then be on my merry little way.

e-mail: aswang@earthlink.net

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