“Fun? What the fuck is that?”
It’s 9 pm on a Wednesday – my Friday night. Standing at the counter of my local deli, buying a bottle of iced tea. The guy ahead of me jokes with the clerk.
I crack up, laughing.
Fun? What the fuck is that?
My boss makes a comment about having someone else write his idea of a press release.
I keep trying to tell him what a press release is. But it gets lost like so many other ideas and words and phrases.
I go outside and smoke a cigarette. The sooner I die from lung cancer, the sooner I’ll be rid of this particular kind of Hell.
“I’ll take a raincheck on the beer,” Gabby says.
For a moment, I think that’s probably a good idea. But then I think, it doesn’t really matter. I keep making more money. And then I find new ways to save money.
Then I keep trying to find new ways to spend it.
It doesn’t fucking matter.
Fun? What the fuck is that?
He’s just saying what everyone else is thinking. When does it start getting fun?
A matter of years, probably. The more you become desensitized to it. On the train I speed through something I have to write, slipping deeper and deeper into the text I’m crafting.
Someone stands in front of me trying to get my attention.
Money. Food. Bullshit. It’s always something. I don’t care. I can’t care. The part of me that cares, that could help, has been surgically removed. I don’t give a flying fuck anymore. I’m trying not to be that myself. And I could probably spare something. But I won’t. I’m tired of feeling like bits and pieces are being chewed and gnawed off the bone.
There’s nothing left after. You help people and then they help themselves.
But they ain’t coming back to pull you out of the fire.
There’s a girl by the door, her head leaning on her arm. Drifting off. With the buck and roll of a subway car deep beneath Brooklyn. The very image of exhaustion.
I feel compelled to photograph it. But it doesn’t matter. Just another image. Just another person you’ll never see again, never know, a placid surface disturbed for a moment, rippling outward, soon returning to stillness.
Everything returning to stillness.
Walking slowly through valleys in the night. Descending to a slower pace.
Above me, the moon through the trees seems like the last vestige of another day. A period at the end of a sentence. A letter after the fact.
The longer I go on not talking to anyone, the better it feels. The more familiar it becomes.
“I feel like we can spend some time together. We can sit down like old friends and play a game of chess. That’s how comfortable I am with it.”
He’s talking about loneliness.
I can understand the sentiment.
It’s just a way of looking at it.
“You’re very positive-minded,” my boss says. “You always have a positive spin for something.”
That’s me. Mister Positivity.
“What are you going to do tonight?” a coworker asks.
“Put my head through a wall?” I muse, sluggishly.
I think about the bible Josh Deal gave to me once as a gift. And he wrote something inside the cover. One of my ex girlfriends and one of my friends used to laugh when I’d read it. I guess it’s cooler to be an Atheist.
But it doesn’t matter.
There’s nothing true to what I say, anyway. Everything’s just words strung along. Hoping, in the end, it all comes to a place that makes more sense.
Hoping, in the end, it all comes to a place free of fear and want and greed and cruelty and pain and longing.