I spend my nights in dislocation, in morbid solitude. Boundless static closes in, only to be swallowed by the peripheral ether of my mind. The television squawks its electrical pulse to the beat of my restless gray matter. I am sprawled across a leather couch, barely in the realm of the conscious as the fellas on the screen send me their best, asphyxiating standards of living no human being can hope to ascertain.
I echo characteristics and mannerisms of endearing, but undeniably fictional, men. I seek to transform my carcass into something I cannot recognize, something pleasant for the mirror to reflect. I know not where my desires have fled. Have they been lost, forgotten in the syzygy of my day to day enculturation? Can they only be realized in the decadent flurry of self-avoidance and -pity? Where does the line between lifestyle and obsession and addiction commence? Is there toxicity in escape?
What I have found, through the barriers of envy and depression, is that the dissatisfaction with myself is as unique as a grain of sand on Padre Island. This human tendency, this peculiar wiring in our technicolor evolution astounds me. What point is there in a despondent hatred of the very fiber of our individual existence, a hatred to the point of yearning for any type of experience that could provide a glimmer of a glimpse at the impossible?
I was raised in a middle class, American household. I grew up in an environment that I am grateful for every day. My parents remain together; my father is my hero, and my mother is the strongest person I know. We took unbelievable trips to places all across the country, I had opportunities available to me many children could only dream of.
To question these circumstances, however, was verboten, blasphemous. To feel that invariably human feeling of dissatisfaction with our lot in life, was to declare ourselves morally bankrupt. My brothers and I finished our dinners, because we were told there were starving children in Africa. We were commanded to enjoy the toys we had, to forget about the toys we wanted, because the family down the street had it much worse off than we did.
My childhood was paved with nothing but the good intentions of my parents, but this refusal to accept and address our emotions led me into a spiral of unhealthy suppression. I fell into the vicious circle of commercial entertainment, of secluding myself from real life, and real life emotion, and escaped into the Eden-like realities of sitcoms, romantic comedies, and action movies. I tell myself, "If I can just act like that guy, if I talked like him, I'll feel better about myself. If only I looked that certain way, my life would be so much better."
The awareness of this process is the first step to remove oneself from it, I suppose. I do not know if I want to remove myself from it. While it is terrifying to imagine myself at age seventy, looking back on my experiences full of regret, it is oh so much less terrifying than the prospect of spending quality alone time inside my own head.
I urge you if you happen to be reading this, to feel your pain. Whatever it may be (so long as you don't harm anyone else). Talk with whomever it is you love about it, but, whatever you do, do not suppress it. This pain is human; everybody hurts, and while your pain might not be the worst, it is completely and immutably yours.