precursor to a mental revolution

precursor to a mental revolution

New Year’s Eve. I’m miserable. It’s my own fault, but at least I’m kind of happy in my own self destruction. Some people only smile when they’re in pain. I’ve got nothing else to do, so I’m going to expel my trouble to the screen. I’ll probably lose focus half way through, but let’s give it a go anyway.

It starts last Wednesday, Christmas. I broke my CD player. It’s not unsalvageable, but now I’ve got to hold or tape it closed to keep it from popping open. For some reason this really got me down. I think I was mad at myself for breaking it. It wasn’t purposeful, but my conscious blamed my subconscious for the error. My sister wanted one like mine for Christmas, so I told my parents I’d deal with it, since I know what I’m looking at. So I got one for her that’s like mine but better. I think I was complaining about this or something, and I realize how stupid that is, so I was mad at myself for complaining. Then I broke mine, so I’m yelling at myself even more because now it looks like I broke mine just to justify getting myself a new one. My subconscious is petty that way. Anyway, in this way such a little incident became a big deal in my mind.

Compounding it was the fact that I was fearing my return trip to New Jersey. I was excited, in many ways, because I wanted to see my old friends and my old town. But I was also dreading returning to all the shit I left behind. I didn’t burn bridges, but there were plenty of relationships that I really didn’t want to have to deal with. One of the benefits of moving was that I could wipe the whole slate clean; the bad went out along with the good. And the bad I never had to look at again. Going back was going to reintroduce some of the bad. Not just relationships, but dreadfully familiar situations as well.

While in New Jersey things actually went rather well. Most of my inhibitions and fears were unfounded. There were, however, a few instances when a lot of pain came rushing back to me in a cerebral flood of anguish. Again, it was mostly in my head, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Case in point: We had a small party on Friday night. While it was nice to see many of the people who I did not otherwise see during my visit, it wasn’t all fun and games. There were a bunch of things that went terribly wrong for me, personally, but I’ll just highlight one of them.

I’ve got this friend, Diane. It’s so sad, the way she attracts guys. It’s not her fault, and it’s not really our fault, either, but it’s still painful to watch us making our pathetic plays for her affection, however unaware we are of doing so. Diane and I sort of dated (if you could call it that, perhaps it doesn’t even justify that name) about a year and a half ago. We broke up, and a few months later she started going with one of my best friends, Adam. It doesn’t even bother me that much; if she had to go out with someone I’m actually rather glad it was him. Before school started this year, back in late August, she dumped him. They’re still attracted to one another, though, but I’ll get into that later. At this party on Friday night, Adam and I, and Brian, too, were all making plays for her (with varying levels of subtlety). I realized this about half-way through the night. The effect she has on the guys she knows (or at least some of them) showed itself all too well.

This alone would not be so bad, or at least it would have begun fading from my mind by now. But then I tried talking to Adam tonight, and Diane was there. They’re spending New Years together. She never stopped liking him (this much I knew long before tonight, surprisingly enough I’m still quite close to her and talk to her a lot), and he most definitely never stopped being in love with her.

This all just hits me at a time when I’d rather not be dealing with it. Not tonight. It’s not enough that I’m at home because I’ve got no place else to go; I see the two people who I wouldn’t expect to be spending tonight together with one another, as if to prove how sad it is that I’m sitting here at home.

So there’s the climax to my little pile of misery. Laid out like that, it doesn’t even seem worth it. But it’s so much easier to be unhappy than it is to be cheerful.

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