The sun had just left, and I was sure I was the last one (in the world?). I was in my car in an empty parking lot. I left the radio on for a while, but then I finally grew brave enough to kill the engine. I had expected a torturing silence, but the raindrops on my windshields beat and saved me from a silence I might not have been able to survive.
The big picture was so ugly, so scary, so repetitive, so dark, so empty, so nothing. The dark clouds, the dark buildings, the parking lot, the empty car… I didn’t want to look at it all. So I focused on the little details:
I focused on the torn leather. The raindrops that streamed into one another and then slid downward to the gravel together. The old smells in the car that would never ever leave. The dark purple stain on the passenger seat. The little details, the little things, were better than the big no-things.
I closed my eyes. I opened them and looked around. I closed them. I didn’t want to go back to my apartment. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t want a drink. I didn’t want another stranger. I didn’t want to risk hearing another lie to find a truth - at least not then - I wasn’t strong enough.
And when you know you’re just not strong enough in that moment, the question bleeds out of your skin: Where...where do you go from here?
I took a breath. I thought about Winston Churchill saying daringly, “When going through Hell. Keep going.” But let’s be honest: Things aren’t too bad. I have my health. My family has their health. I have my family. They have me. I have multiple jobs. Friends to joke with. I have good things.
All in all, it’s not a bad life. I’m not in Syria. I don’t have cancer. I haven’t been traumatized through some terrible life-threatening experience.
Just...Sometimes I get so overwhelmed. It was like the rain had drenched the world of its colors and vibrant life. Meaning ran down the gutter with everything else, and when I say meaning, I say it very generically because… I don’t know what the meaning of it all is. I can only wonder what the meaning of everything is. Why do we eat, work, sleep, repeat? Why all of the struggle?
It’s not bad at all, I breathe. But then I cry, and not being bad at all is suddenly unbearable. It’s not bad at all, no, but in a sudden panic, I wonder how...how can I make this better?
It has to get better. It must get better.
There’s something about having had many chances to sleep with men recently. There’s something about giving in and rolling over, literally perhaps, and just letting things happen. There’s something about having these chances that hurts me. There’s something about letting these chances pass that kills me, but just enough to leave me alive.
It’s like the world knows i’m lonely and is taunting me with these chances at half love, hollow trees, fake romances, and romantic fakeness.
Sometimes for a few seconds, no, even a few minutes (quite long actually), If they can just say the right words (You’re beautiful. You’re genuine. I thought about you all week) and can touch me softly in all of the right places (Remove a strand of hair from my face, tickle my neck with their fingers, rub my arm to warm me - not from the cold - but from all of the cruel in the world.) Then I can trust them just long enough to let them kiss me. Let them touch me. Let them love me.
...but I can’t. Because I just want to be with someone who cares so much more than I don’t want to be alone.
The worst feeling is the sensation of letting someone’s fingers comb through my hair as I wonder if he really cares about me. I felt his fingers on my neck, and then I wondered how I could let him touch my head when I didn’t even know if my pain or joy mattered to him at all. And what a terrible question that was to ask in my head. What a terrible question, to wonder if someone cares about you when you let them act as if they do.
And that worst feeling is compared to the best feeling: someone’s fingers coming through my hair and knowing that he really cares about me.
I couldn’t give in. I couldn’t settle. It’s a lot to ask, I know, for someone to care, for someone to love, and for me to care and love him back, but anything less isn’t enough for me.
Not even close.
So instead of fucking in a car...
I’m sitting alone in my little Toyota alone in some random parking lot. And I feel a lot of indescribable and dark things that make me wonder if I have depression - although I think sometimes everyone just gets sad. I could be depressed, I could not be. But I do know that i’m lonely.
And lonely is a hard thing to be. Maybe being lonely CAN BE depression. I don’t know. I’m not an expert on the interchangeability of loneliness and depression. (But maybe I am.)
The rain slowly faded back into the clouds, and the car became quiet. The silence was painful. I leaned my head onto the window on the driver’s side. The glass against my hair was cold and hard, but it was true. It didn’t say things it didn’t mean. It didn’t care about me really, but it didn’t ask for anything.
If I started the car, I would have to go home to my apartment and put on a regular happy-person face. I would have to shower in a tiny corner shower and dry off with my brown striped towel. I would have to wash the plate I used for the two eggs I fried for dinner. I would have to figure out how to make the heater work and fail and, instead, throw an extra blanket onto the bed. I would have to stay wide awake in silence and darkness until I fell asleep where I hopefully wouldn’t dream of something too horrible like a death or murderer chasing me and hopefully not something too great like having someone who used to care about me try to hold my hand or tell me he wanted to buy me some ice cream. I didn’t want my dreams to be any better or worse than reality because realizing it was neither was so hard to accept sometimes. I would wake up and try to do something active before I sold my soul to food service. I would have to smile and kindly apologize when customers became angry when I couldn’t attend to their ridiculous requests although they thought my shortcomings as a server was ridiculous. I did try my best though. And I would have to drive to my next job and keep going and keep going and maybe I’d even find another empty parking lot in the rain (as it is supposed to rain tomorrow as well)...
So much grey. So much meaninglessness. So much and for so little it seemed sometimes. If this was life, truly, I had to wonder what was death?
If I started this car, I would continue on this cycle that I had apparently wanted to pause by driving into an empty parking lot only an hour ago.
This cycle. This life. It was this big dark gray empty picture... So I focused on the little details.
I thought of feeling fingers combing through my hair and me not having to wonder if I was loved. I thought of sunlight leaking through curtains. Messy hair. Sleepy eyes. Underwear. Skin. Lips. Breakfast food. Catching grapes. Warm drinks. Cold fruit. Rustling leaves. Crackling fires. The warmth of the sun. Funnily patterned, mismatched socks. Toes. Long walks. My mother’s handwriting. Dim lit walking paths. Kisses on the neck. A nod from a stranger. Real maple syrup. The sound of a creek. A new old song. Puddles. The tails of dogs. The smell of jasmine. Old books. Surprises. The static of a cassette tape. Cookie dough. The feeling of a morning by a lake. Ripples. The stars at night. The smoothness of porcelain. Candles. The way my typewriter chimed when I reached the right hand margin…
I started the car.