It looks as though it’s going to be a writing night again. I’m in my kitchen and I’m lost. It’s Sunday night, the world is preparing for sleep, for work tomorrow, and I’m sitting here wondering why I can’t cry.
I feel numb today. The usual emotions are there; anger, pain, anxiety, fear; but they all seem subdued today, muted, and not in a good way. As if watching a loved one slip away, I watch the last of me fade to nothing. I make a coffee, light a cigarette, and wonder where I’ve gone. I watch the smoke hang in the air and wonder if I too am made of that stuff. Atoms, neutrinos, quarks, whatever. Am I simply just an indivisible part of the universe? I can’t take anything “out” of the universe, put it to one side, clean up and then put it back again. That’s impossible, as a far as I know. So am I just a part of the universe? An integral part of what is? Is the only difference between the sea and the air one of gradient? If I am so caught in this universe, this perception, then am I the universe itself? Just as a plank is a plank until it becomes part of the door?
I want to be the man I used to be but I can’t remember who he was. He’s gone, maybe for good. He never writes, he never calls. Sometimes I see him in town, while shopping, I catch a glimpse of him in a thought, an opinion, a shop window. As quickly as he’s seen, he’s gone. Do I try to find him again or will I simply slip back into the old ways of thinking? Do I try to build a new “me”? Where would I start? My mind fills with thoughts of heros, of mentors, of role models, NLP, modelling, talking therapy, therapists, counsellors, depression, fear, anxiety. I’m back.
I’m me again: sat in my kitchen, cigarette smouldering, coffee going cold, fingers hovering above the keys, cursor blinking. The fridge shudders, the heating moans, the cat stirs but quickly returns to sleep. The bed creakes as my wife settles into sleep. The clock ticks. My heart beats.
Now I’m inside. I’m inside myself, trying to feel what it is to be me, to be this. My stomach hurts, knotted for too long with anxiety and fear. My chest hurts from too many cigarettes, acid reflux from too much coffee. My letters lie as unopened as the emails offering me work. I don’t want to work, it’s too superficial. I want to create art, not entertainment, but I don’t think I have what it takes. I don’t think I have the intelligence to create a work of art. I’ve spent most of my life bluffing, pretending that I have what it takes. I spent a decade in industry pretending to be good at what I do, talking a good game, fakin’ it until I make it. I got found out.
This illness that, I am beginning to suspect, I’ve lived with and worked around for most of my life hit me hard. I struggled on for a few years but had to finally admit that I’m ill. I was open and honest with my employer. Within a few months I’d been sacked.
I adjust my cushion – my back is aching – and light another cigarette. My mind jumps from one topic to another: from work to sex, from depression to meditation, from death to strength. I read some words back and they don’t make sense. They don’t have to. Not anymore. Now I just need to write whatever comes to mind or I know I’ll go mad. I’m so angry. I’m so scared. I’m so everything that I’ve always pretended I’m not. Maybe I’m just tired of pretending. Maybe my will to present myself to the world as a normal, capable human being has gone. Maybe I’m just simply too tired to fuck around any more.
Something good will come of this. I know it. Right now, though, I can’t even begin to imagine what that is. Every time I try to look forward, the past barges in. Maybe that’s how it is. Maybe I can only look forward by referencing what has already been? I can’t remember ever having an original thought, a unique piece of wisdom that is mine alone. Everything I’ve done has been a re-heating of what’s gone before me.
I inhale more poison and wonder about originality. Are we capable of it? Truly capable? Or is everything that is said, though, and written merely echoes of our past. Is that Karma? I don’t know.
I have so many things to tell you, so many things to write, I can’t put all the thoughts in order. Maybe I should go and read something? I’m slowly becoming more able to concentrate on reading now. That’s a positive thing. When I was a child my mother and I would lie on my bed for hours every night and she would read to me. She always (well, usually) read me funny things like Mr. Twiddle. She read me The Borrowers, The Magic Faraway Tree, and we laughed and got lost in the stories. No wonder I’m like I am. I love to read and I love to laugh and I have my mother to thank for that. Lately, I’ve not been able to read or laugh. I have depression to thank for that.
This thing won’t beat me.
I’ve had to cancel a number of gigs – something that I hate to do – because I was terrified of leaving the house. Over the last week I’ve made a number of trips to the shop and to visit family. I don’t feel strong enough to do the gigs but if I don’t get out of this fucking house and back to something constructive then I’ll lose my mind. I know I will. I’m a comic. That’s what I do and right now I’m not doing it. This is going to change. It may take all of my strength, courage, and will power to step back onto a stage but I will do it. I have to.
Apologies for such a rambling, confused post but I needed to talk to someone and you seem nice.