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Socializing by Ray Printer Friendly

Falling forward all day, man, trying not to topple, never able to get upright. Pretending? Maybe, but that doesn't feel quite right. Forcing a part of me into the spotlight, a part that is barely there. Making it seem real, making it seem like this is who I am.

I get home, I want a drink and silence; two things that I rarely desire, these days. I gave up drinking, for the most part, and silence is a ridiculous request, when you have a toddler. Which I do.

It's not a mask, when I'm a real person, but it feels like it. Talking, laughing, fitting in. Fuckin' uhg, man.

Let me tell you a little something, since you're here and I'm here, and we have a couple minutes. You can only know normal when you know what isn't.

You live your life, and you think this is how life goes, this is what it is. And then you find out one day that not everybody does this. Not everyone lives with the stress of conversation--there's these lucky sunsabitches out there, they just talk to people, and when they're done, they move on. No obsessing about how stupid they sounded, no wondering what they did wrong, they just...go on with their day.

There's people out there, they don't mind telling their server that their food tasted like shit, instead of just eating bite after nasty bite. People who don't worry that they came off rude when they asked the dude at Target to pull a video game from the locked cabinet.

Social anxiety is so fuckin' stupid, man, it really is. Because nobody cares. Not the server, not the Target guy, not anyone. I am an extra in everyone else's movie, but that isn't how it feels. How it feels is, these people get home and all they do is sit there for an hour or two, thinking about what a dipshit I am.

You know how I found out about the other side of the looking glass? I got medicated to the gills, man, to the absolute gills, and I lived a few days like a normal person and I loved it so much, like so much, and being normal became my new addiction, and then the meds stopped working as well, so I took more, and then I took more, and I tried to tell everyone how amazing it was, but there's no way to convey that to someone who doesn't understand.

"You know that bell at the Dollar General? The one that says 'ring for service?' I walked up, I rang that bell without even looking around."

And they nod, waiting for the rest of the story. But that's it--that's the story. I didn't have to look around to make sure nobody was around, I didn't have to worry about whether or not it was impolite, or if maybe the employee on duty was maybe just taking a piss. I just walked up, saw that nobody was there, and rang that bell. Like a motherfuckin boss, because that's what you can do when you're me and you're packed to the dome with prescription medication.

You know the sad part? That's an accomplishment for me.

But then I realized something: being on the meds, that's just me being drunk, but without the hangover. I say stupid shit without realizing it's stupid; I over-share; I make plans that I won't want to keep when I'm sober. I am--in short--a moron. But I don't notice it, not until later, when the medication has been worked out of my system, when I'm back to normal--to my normal.

And then I had to take it down a notch. It was painful--not a physical withdrawal, but mental. Because I was back to being me, back to being self-conscious and embarrassed and generally unsatisfied with how my brain was being a huge dickhole.

I don't know how things work, you guys. I don't know if I have real issues or if I'm just a punk-ass wimp. I don't know if the medication is something I need, or if it's just an easy way to deal with things--like shooting heroin because of a scraped knee. Life is a confusing shit, I do know that.

And I guess that's something.

Posted under The Rants on 4/20/19


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