Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A DEEP AND LASTING SLEEP



My boss called me in to her office and wanted to know if I was OK.

"I'm fine," I replied, perhaps a little too quickly, because she fixed me with That Look.

"Why do you think I'm not fine?"

"You've been posting some things on Facebook that are a little out there," she said.

"Like?"

"Your profile picture looks like you're dead and in a coffin."

"Really?" I thought it looked more like a man in the depths of an ether binge. Such a helpless and irresponsible thing, that.

And then we talked about life, Bridget and I.

(I would never tell her to her face, but I love that woman. She's a bad-ass journalist and a decent human being — two things that don't normally reside in the same space.)

Turns out there are people at the Paragraph Factory who are worried about me. The thought touched me in an absurd way. It almost made me feel human.

I don't usually feel that way. I see the men and women in my world — sense the emotions in their hearts — and I wonder what that feels like. Inside I'm mostly curious and empty. Alone and cold. Very cold. People see tears come to my eyes and think I'm feeling something, but mostly it's me just missing what they have.

I'd love to mingle more with humanity, but I really don't know how. I feel awkward when I'm around other people. My idea of a good time is sitting quietly on a couch, watching movies or reading a book.

It's nothing against my friends at work. Once the factory whistle blows we go our separate ways. They have interesting and textured lives.

It's nothing against my oldest and closest friends. I don't remember the last time I saw them. I miss them very much, but it feels like there's a chasm between us that can't be bridged.

It's nothing against my family. They have their families. I'm the crazy relative in the attic.

It's nothing against my love. I've done enough damage there to last the rest of this lifetime and most of the next.

So instead I sit in silence, a silence so loud it hurts my ears and keeps me from sleeping. It reminds me of bells rung, doors slammed, lights black. Of falling apart in parts. I'm not sure I mind anymore.

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