The silent empathy in solitude

There was a time when I suspected that the melancholy I experienced (almost on a daily basis) was linked to the sleep deprivation I subjected my body to. Sometime later, while sitting on the all-familiar long, black chair, the shrink said that was a mighty possibility and I should consider giving my brain (and body) a bit more rest.

The previous entry was penned the day when I had four hours of rest. It wasn’t as though I didn’t try, but it was an absolutely traumatic experience tossing and turning in bed for the greater part of an hour. The brain simply refused to shut down. Instead, in between wandering thoughts, it reminded me about how every minute spent tossing and turning was a minute of sleep lost.

With six hours of rest today, my mind seemed marginally less clouded with unwarranted thoughts. Yet, the grey that comes with this time of the year does absolutely nothing to lift my spirits.

I don’t like having to end the year on this note. Unlike its predecessor, 2010 was relatively not as harsh on my sanity and life. And for a long time now, I’ve pretty much given up on wishing anything nice or positive for the New Year.

I don’t want to keep my hopes too high. I don’t want to have to deal with all of the shite that rolls along when they (the hopes) come crashing down.

Simply because I’ve only myself to help me deal with my own demons.

***

It’s easy to be cynical whenever the rags give a bit of space to friends, relatives and family members of the deceased for them to air their fond memories of that particular person. They could use any positive adjective available in the dictionary to describe how they feel about that person.

Yesterday, while reading a story in the tabloid at the train station, the cynic in me was utterly muffled. On a more emotionally vulnerable day, I would have given strangers an excuse to re-assess my masculinity. Imagine the tramp balling his eyes in the middle of the busy station during peak hour. Possibly, a sight for sore eyes.

However, reading the account of someone losing his fiancée to an unfortunate (yet preventable) accident at sea does funny things to my heart (first) and (then) my head. The man spoke about how his late fiancée accepted his flaws and how, on the morning of her last day on Earth, they watched the sunrise together. When all around, I listened to account after account of how women often start conversations during dates or matchmaking events with “how much do you earn?”, it is heartening to know that someone has met a woman who would be a silent (and perhaps, stoic) encourager as he attempted to move up the corporate / earnings ladder. She stuck by him.

It was also heartening to note that they had been together for a long time. It is heartbreaking to read and to a certain extent, empathise his loss – a tragic loss that would take a lot of courage and time to overcome.

My heart went out to that man. Like how my heart went out to the woman who lost her husband on the night of their wedding dinner.

Side note: A younger version of me would have liked to have someone to share these thoughts with while making our way back home on the train. But I have become accustomed to just tossing them in my head on my own. Guess there have been more silent evenings in my life than I care to count or remember now.

Distance

Things that make me cringe #2,489 – stumbling upon a typo in the previous entry which has been published a long time.

***

“Distance,” she muttered as she looked down, avoiding my gaze, “what an interesting choice of a word.”

She didn’t explain why it was interesting to her, of course. I had to explain. When pressed to, I stammered. I couldn’t explain why I chose to use “distance”.

Or perhaps, I still had to censor myself in front of someone whom I paid to get help.

As the year draws to a close, distanced is the best word I can use to describe the things in my life.

Friendships dissipate for a variety of reasons. There, a chasm slowly develops. I feel distanced.

After the absolute destruction of 2009, my career remains in the doldrums. I feel like a waiter now, at the back and call of “customers”, ready to whip out my notebook and take orders. Almost everything has been about struggling to do the right things, which will rock the boat – something the “customers” dislike. In terms of where I should really be and where I am now, I can feel the distance gaping at me and my relative lack of any achievements.

Love life has completely been non-existent. After a brief foray into the online dating scene, all I got in return was a dent in my bank account and a deafening silence whenever I attempt a “Hi!” on the MSN or whatever chat application. I guess women are as visual as men. Or maybe most human beings are. The importance of first impressions, I reckon, has been grossly understated. But whichever angle I choose to look, I actually cringe at the thought of yours truly being someone who would pass the test of first impressions. I look like a fucking tramp now. Or maybe I haven’t come to terms with the August incident and the invitation to her wedding (which I never attended). There is nothing in the horizon now. There remains a distance, so daunting, in eventually finding that someone who can accept all the warts of a tramp and love him for the sod he is.

Even religion or Spirituality, I feel the distance. It is as though He has chosen to leave my world. His words, once spoken ever so clearly, have faded into the faintest of whispers. The warmth of His love, which embraced me for the greater part of my life as a young adult, has disappeared.

In fact, I feel distanced from almost everything. It’s no longer about being stuck in a rut. It’s more like being stuck in a rut and just finding no motivation or energy anymore in pulling me out of it.

There comes a point in time now when dreams cripple me emotionally. When once I could compare them to shards of glass that has been shattered, they are but ashes that will be tossed away by the winds of time. The distance between the reality and the ideal does not gnaw at me anymore. Now, I can’t attempt a superficial “dip” into the dreamy realms of the ideal without being torn apart when I realise (time and again) how far I am from achieving them.

I didn’t describe any of these little distances to her. I could have, but the fear of judgement cripples me.

***

In the middle of an MSN chat months ago, I asked if she could pray for me. Somehow, I was still sane (to a certain extent) enough to know that things would deteriorate in a few months’ time and asked if she could, perhaps, do something that could, in some small way, arrest the downward spiral.

I wasn’t sure if she did. Perhaps she was still nursing the indignity or the hurt after I raged in another of our MSN chats about how I felt “used” – like a prostitute – at the height of the furore involving the name of the production. Perhaps I didn’t deserve that 30 seconds of her prayer.

***

It seems as though Twitter has crippled my desire to write. I could remember the discomfort I had, having to express everything within the 140-character space when I got into this twitter thing. Okay, it remains an excellent tool to just highlight interesting stuff to my audience of 34 (perhaps a pittance, but I love them anyway). However, I need more space to express.

I would need to reacquaint myself with writing than spewing piffle within 140 spaces.

Since this “blogging” thing is so much like last Christmas’ turkey (read: passé) and I don’t think I have much of a readership anymore, I shall bring myself back to the days when I could just whine.