on the bright side: this year i developed coping mechanisms and brought back old ones and that lead to me ending up breaking my foot
canceling new years plans is really fun i want to scream
i hate myfoot so mcuh
i keep makign typos but i dont even care
I’m going to post on this blog a lot because I’m going to go insane if I don”t talk to myself or whatever
I wonder if he knows I still think about the fact
that he believes I’ll go to Hell
because I was never baptized.
I wonder if he knows that when I was a kid
I looked up to him
while I was sitting on the floor with the ham radio
talking to his friend from another country
or while he tried to teach me to speak in foreign languages.
I wonder if he knows that
when I was a teenager my parents told me everything -
that he beat his wife in front of his kids,
and when my father and his brother were teenagers
they tried to intervene.
And with that knowledge, I couldn’t look at him the same.
But still I try
to remember that ham radio
and those foreign language books.
A society controlled by religion. We’ll get them at a young age so it’ll stay with them forever. If they don’t learn it at a young age, we’ll wait until they’re vulnerable. When they’re sick or their family is dead or they’re living in poverty. When they’re hopeless and all they want is something to believe in. It’s best when they’re on drugs and can’t think for themselves or even think straight at all. We can own them, keep them under control. We’ll tell them there’s a higher power in control of everything. If they please the higher power, their spirits will live with Him in a paradise after they die. If they disappoint Him, they’ll burn forever in a land of fire. We’ll tell them that He wants us to worship Him. We’ll tell them He doesn’t want us to be lazy, greedy, envious, or lustful. We’ll tell them not to have sex until they’re married because He wouldn’t be happy with them. We’ll tell them not to steal because He doesn’t want them to be thieves, not because taking something that isn’t yours is wrong. We’ll tell them He thinks it’s wrong to be homosexual or to follow a different religion.
We’ll tell them He doesn’t want us to kill.
But we’ll do it anyway.
It’s one of those rainy nights where you have nowhere to go but you’re not entirely lonely because the sound of the rain keeps you company. You turn off your phone for a while because the sound of your ringtone and all of those text messages just interrupt your thoughts. You take down the calendar because there’s no guarantee that any of those plans you made will work out anyway. You put the clock in your drawer because for once it doesn’t really matter to you what time it is.
It’s time to stare out the window for a while and watch the world wash away. Along with your pride, your dignity, your accomplishments. Along with all of the things you’ve lost and all of the things you hoped for. Your regret, your contempt, your bitterness – that’ll all be gone too. Your future, your past, your family and friends. That will all be gone when the rain stops and time starts again.
You hear the cars go by on the wet roads, splashing water onto the sidewalks. And you begin to envy those cars because they have somewhere to go. They’re probably going places you’ve never been in your life. But don’t envy them too much because some of them may never reach their destination. Cars crash just as often as people do.
You pick up the bottle of pills on your nightstand. Place two of them in your mouth with your shaking fingers. Swallow them with whiskey. Pour the rest of the bottle into your sweating palms.
Dark thoughts are running through your head. You lost your job and your husband, your kids are all grown up. All that you have left is the house you live in alone and a bunch of photographs that just remind you of the past. Starting over seems so terrifying and you could just end it all so easily. Die peacefully. Swallow every last pill and finally meet the God you’re not even sure exists.
But you always said you never wanted to die alone. And anyway, you’re not sure you’re ready to find out what it feels like to die. You have a sudden change of heart as you remember that there were things you used to love about life. You decide you want to try finding them again. Starting over might not be that bad.
You drop the pills back into the bottle and go to sleep with the sound of the rain still tapping against your window.
You’re not the only one who feels alone, sad, angry, hopeless. You just want to think you are. You want to think you’re the only one who feels bad because if you’re the only one who feels bad it means you’re unique. And being unique makes you feel a little better. Being unique is good, right? It’s good to be different. Especially when the alternative is blending in with a world full of dismal inhabitants, a bleak world of hopelessness and other ugly emotions.
But the alternative I just told you about? It’s actually the reality.
You’re not unique at all – you’re as unhappy as everyone else is. Some of them are so good at hiding it that they fool you. They plaster on fake smiles and laugh and talk so much you couldn’t even guess that they were anything but thrilled to be alive. They tell you stories about their boyfriend or their kids or the money they’ve made this week and you think their life is great because you don’t know that their kid is addicted to drugs or their mother is in the hospital.
The people that aren’t so good at hiding how unhappy they are, well, you’re too busy feeling sorry for yourself or envying other people to even notice them. You didn’t notice that girl crying into her cell phone that just passed, did you? Or that old man carrying the groceries he could barely afford? I didn’t think you would. The idea that other people are suffering as much as you are is difficult to wrap your head around, so you ignore every sign that this might be true.
You want to be unique, and you think you feel different, so you try to act different from everyone else. To like certain things, to dress a certain way, to hate certain trends. You want what shows up on the surface to match how different you feel inside.
But I have some unfortunate news for you. Listening to that band doesn’t make you more original. Another kid has those same lyrics on their blog. That brilliant foreign film you cried yourself to sleep watching was viewed by at least one hundred other people this week, and they all told their friends about it in the same coffee shop you go to every night. And I hate to break this to you, but you’re not the first one to read that Kurt Vonnegut book and consider using a line from it as your senior quote. There are a million people that hate that awful reality TV show just as much as you do.
I know this might be a lot to take in right now. You’ve been taught since you were a kid that it’s okay to be different, but they never bothered telling you that it’s actually impossible. You couldn’t fit in, so you did whatever you could to stand out. You thought it would prove to everyone that you were special. You thought that you were the only one capable of feeling certain things, of liking certain things. You thought you really were different.
But you were wrong.
You’re always just one of many, or at the very least, one of a few.
I wish we could just take all of the people on earth and ship them off to another planet. Then the mountains and the trees and the birds wouldn’t have to listen to anyone complain about not understanding something or how confusing life is. Why don’t they ever tell us to shut up? Is it because they already know the answers, but if we haven’t figured them out yet then we never will, so they don’t want to waste their time trying to explain them to us? Do they like watching us trip over ourselves? Do they feel superior to us because they know things we don’t?
And what about when one person feels like they’re a cut above everyone else just because they’ve stored so much information in their brain? I bet the volcanoes laugh because we could never know as much as they do. I bet when an ocean hears an 18 year old tell a younger teenager “I’ve been around longer so I know more than you do”, she rolls her eyes. I bet the oak tree in the park does the same thing when he listens to a father tell his son that he’s older and wiser, so the child better take in every word his father has to say like they were written in some holy book of truth.
I wonder if a tree ever gets upset because she doesn’t understand why the tree next to her fell down. I wonder if the sand ever gets jealous because she’s not as pretty as the ocean. I wonder if a mountain tells himself every day when he wakes up that he’s better than a hill because he’s steeper. I wonder if a blade of grass ever cries herself to sleep at night because she feels like nobody loves her. And she needs that. But why would she need that? To feel as important as all the other blades of grass, but what she doesn’t know is that nobody loves them either.
The trees know things that we’ll never know. So do the leaves, and the birds, and the rivers that lead to the oceans. The mountains know the secrets of the universe. So does the sky. The canyons and the waterfalls, they all know these things too. Everything without a mind is smarter than we are, every species that isn’t human knows more than we do. And they’ll never tell us these things. They’ll just look down on us for not knowing the secrets they’ve discovered.
Or maybe they don’t care enough to judge.