The Wheel of Masks (yulicorn) wrote,
The Wheel of Masks

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100 Reasons

Hello. I'm going through a very difficult time right now, so I wrote up a list of 100 reasons. Not for anything in particular, and probably not for what you're thinking -- just reasons to run, to throw everything away, to live like nothing mattered for a while, to indulge myself hand-over-fist until I burst. I posted it on my rant journal at first, but I decided to post it here, too, even though it probably violates my no-angst promise. I tried to at least be semi-witty about it, since it was just a therapeutic exercise to begin with. It's my attempt to figure out how my angst works, and maybe in the process... um... ask for a little help because I've been feeling pretty disheartened lately. But I know all I can expect from people is offers to talk, and I'm really even good enough at taking people on those when I'm happy, much less when I want to go hide.

No, I don't really mean any of these, nor do I expect anyone to read the whole list, but here they are for the record. This is all the nasty buried stuff.

1: The War. We've lost so much progress, and I just can't fucking believe we're so hasty to repeat the mistakes of the last century. I'm really coming to genuinely hate the most radical pro-war folks on or near my friends list, the ones who are gung-ho and callous about it -- or worse, cold and calculating, or who see it like a cross between grand opera and the Superbowl1. I don't like being in the position that puts me in.

2: The Closet. I don't like the idea that my grandmother's going to die thinking I'll always be alone. I'm still forbidden to come out to her, and I don't think I'll ever talk my mom out of it. It's only really started bothering me recently.

3: CHROMOSOME ERROR IN SECTOR 23. I know things aren't any easier for my female friends, but being XX in this society does give certain advantages that are very useful for some of the things I'd like to accomplish. Put another way: being XY is a big hindrance to those things. My values and methods are mostly stereotypically feminine, even if the stereotypes are bullshit. Being the "right" sex would've saved a lot of trouble. Of course, like a dog that wants in as soon as it's been let out, if I'd been born female I'd probably long to be male.

4: "For a long time he felt without style and grace."2 Most of the really painful longings in my life are all about redefining myself and getting to play a role for a night. I want to be something sparkly, sexy, and scary. I will never be able to accomplish this without The Fear that I've done something wrong and will just put everyone off further -- that I'll be laughed at or, worse, silently pitied if I try. What I need is somebody else to help, but nobody's ever offered. I feel ashamed to ask, because I feel like it's expecting a lot out of my friends... but I've also seen them just up and do it for people close to me. I can't help thinking, "Why them and not me?" and concluding it's because the base material is too rotten to waste time decorating.

5: Done expecting favors. The last 27 years have proven that I can't remake myself purely on my own. But subtle hints for help don't make it, I'm terrified what people will think of me if I ask outright, and even if I got what I wanted, I'd feel to guilty about it not to sabotage it. Nobody has time to come in and rescue me, nor should they -- the times I've tried to rescue people notwithstanding.

6: Magic is entirely fictitious. I haven't seen any evidence that there's anything supernatural or spectacular in the world, despite uncountable assurances from otherwise-sane friends who insist there is. I'm either in a worldful of delusional people, or a worldful of people who have been let in on something wonderful that I'm not worthy of. Either way, I'm screwed.

7: 12,000 years of Solitude. The human condition hasn't really changed a whole lot. We have better living conditions and better distractions, but the vast river of souls is still ankle deep at best, including mine. And I'm sick of arguing with people who seem perfectly happy to encourage this by distracting themselves with the stupidest little survival games.

8: The River Lethe. I keep forgetting everything I learn. I keep posting about these incredible spiritual rushes I get -- the writing's there, so I KNOW I've had them -- but they lose all emotional reality within a day or two. What a waste.

9: Off The Road. I've lost all my delusions of becoming a cultural hero, or even of having a significant influence on the world. I'm no Kerouac, and I'm disgusted with the narcissistic games I play with myself to persuade myself I could've been.

10: Beat the clock. With my health the way it is, if I don't act soon, I might not get the chance.

11: "..." I'm sick of explaining myself.

12: The armies of Porlock. The philistines are winning.

13: No Body's watching me. I really don't believe there's anything in the heavens except dust and gas and light. I've called on them too many times, and I've never gotten an answer. We're on our own.

14: The Abyss glimpsed back. It was during one of my drug experiences. It just dawned on me, in its full horror, that deep down I really do believe that we're just clumsy beasts, enacting the behaviors that we're accustomed to, and there's no transcendent value in anything that we do. The things I thought were transcendent were just pleasant distractions from a very cold, naturalistic universe that hasn't noticed a thing we've done.

15: Everything could be easy. Like it should've been. Like it would've been if we hadn't spun all this spider-webbing around ourselves. I can just break the harness and run through the fields.

16: My libido is overdrawn. It's getting weaker and weaker every year, and I'm still abusing it for what little energy it has left. It's going to break eventually, and one of the main things I live for will be gone.

17: Even if I got what I wanted, I couldn't use it. Most of what I've been chasing after has a sexual component. But most people don't understand my idea of sexuality. It's more emotional than physical. I'm an object, OK? I don't know why I even fret about my gender, because I haven't got one. I am almost completely non-functional in that regard. And so I couldn't even participate in most people's concept of intimacy, even if I were ever invited. And the very fact of having to explain that would be even more painful than getting left out would.

18: Who is that guy? What's that vixen see in him? I don't trust myself. I don't like myself. I don't like all the contradictions and hypocrisies in my personality. I hear people say nasty things about me when they're angry with me, and the most infuriating part is I believe them all, reflexively.

19: The pile is ten times my height. I've never finished a project that Rik hasn't had to come in and finish for me.

20: I am Bender. Please insert girder. I have no career future. If I step away from this job long enough to enjoy a little bit of real freedom, there will be nothing but data entry slavery -- if not outright destitution -- left for me.

21: My hindbrain owns me. My entire life has been centered around the pursuit of deep emotional states, pleasure, bliss, wonder, awe... But they're just electrical impulses. My philosophy that there's some hidden, transcendent meaning to them has not only never reached any sophistication, it's falling apart on me. I don't believe it, myself, anymore. I might as well have dedicated my life to flipping a light switch on and off.

22: Dorm angst. I haven't had a good roommate situation since 1997. I can't see having one in the near future.

23: Wanderlust. I wanted to see much more of the world than my life's giving me the chance to see. I don't see that changing soon, either. My boyfriend and most of my friends are pretty much content to stay put.

24: Attack of the phantom friends. If I have 300 people on my "friends" list, why do I feel so lonely? I already know the answer -- any extroversion I show you is a total sham.

25: There's nobody in the mirror. I don't have any self-image that I don't get from everybody else.

26: Orphanage syndrome. Soon, I'll be too old to be cute. Yes, yes, I know, you're 78 years old and you're still adorable. You probably are, indeed, and will be when you're 100. You're not me. I don't think I'm going to be well-preserved. Besides, it's all about whether you're young at heart. I feel about ready to retire to Florida.

27: Puzzlebox is a time bomb. Total disorganization, no creative inspiration, everybody's putting all their hopes on a stupid fake vixen with NO follow-through, and I pissed off both our code wizards with an offhanded remark that wasn't supposed to be repeated because it was just me venting about... er... how much left-brained, critical people frustrate me, but that's a whole other topic.

28: One crush, no waiting, priced to move. There's never been a period of my life during which more than one person was attracted to me of which I was aware. This is especially bad since it's becoming clear that as much as I love Rik, there are some things -- like the sisterly, cuddly girltalk I've been starved for -- that he just can't give me, and that lack is becoming a major strain on our relationship.

29: Amy, Amy, Jen, Gen. Four people who have expressed attraction to me and then changed their minds, immediately and without explanation, upon getting to know me better. (Keep in mind there are lots and lots of people with those three names and you probably don't know them. :p ) I don't mind at all if our friendship is completely and utterly platonic -- but don't hint at more then change your mind unless you're deliberately trying to hurt me, please. I've never really recovered from any of those four stings, nor from the two I'm not naming.

30: You all make it look easy. I still feel... special. Short-bus special. There are so many things that other people don't seem to have trouble with -- even just basic stuff like keeping your shoes tied, doing your taxes, not getting lost while driving, and not bumping into things -- that totally bewilder me. And "I'm still young, yet" is a weaker excuse every year.

31: I'm still ten. No matter how much progress I think I've made, something -- someone with a bullyish personality, say, or somebody laughing at me -- will just strip everything away every now and then. I realize, then, that I've got exactly the same habits and drives that I had in elementary school.

32: My nose is stuck to the window. I'm tired of feeling like I'm on the outside looking in. It really, really hurts me when somebody tells me about their nights of passion/dancing/flirting/costuming/gaming, or whatever other little door to the other world I'm not invited to enter. And I hate myself for getting angry or jealous with them -- but, I mean, do you really think I WANT to be burbled at about things I've never gotten to do? Things that it wouldn't kill you to invite me along for, if I'm such a good friend? Oh, right. "You don't like me that way, and wouldn't want to spoil such a good friendship." Here, you don't need to say it anymore -- I've got some labels made up for it. Just peel and stick whenever you want to be rid of me.

33: I miss the same flight, over and over. I can't even claim some people haven't tried to invite me along. But it's usually a matter of right-here-right-now, and no second chance is ever offered. That hurts even more. On any given night, there's a 50% chance I'm too tired to do anything but sleep. At least wait until I have a fair chance.

34: My head is a mass grave. I haven't had full contact with my alter egos in years. Just one or two scattered epiphanies every couple of months, and then they're gone again. It's lonely inside and out.

35: Jimmytaint. The house is still filthy, we're going to be left totally in the air for a roommate, nobody's responded or offered to help, another of our roommates is out of a job, our landlord's probably going to try to raise our rent again, and our dishwasher's been broken for two months and still isn't fixed. I feel guilty because Rik's been handling everything and every time I ask if he wants help he says no because he knows I'm terrified of pressing people for money or information. And I really feel like the grossness of our apartment is reflecting badly on me, at a time when I need all the self-image and public-image I can get. Easier just to leave -- but that would wipe out our savings.

36: Clerical errors. I'm sick of hurting people by accident because I didn't communicate with them in just the right way, or because I didn't answer their mail on time, or some other fucking administrative error.

37: Clogged empathy pipes. I walked straight by a homeless guy the other day, eating a burrito. He asked me if I'd buy him one, and I really wanted to, but I only half-heard him... and shrugged reflexively in his face and said "sorry" because I even caught myself. By the time I realized what he'd said, I was halfway down the block, HATING myself, too chickenshit to go back.

38: I'm the Really Quite Angry Kid. I'm very sick of my temper. It keeps leaping up when I think I have some control of myself and ruining things for me -- and people who don't have strong tempers feel VERY safe, apparently, confusing things you do on purpose with things you do out of blind anger. And I'm sick of people telling me just to fix it, like ten minutes with a soldering iron would do it and I'm just too lazy. Though it is tempting these days...

39: He's the Really Quite Angry Kid. The War's had a very nasty effect on Rik and we're fighting more than we ever have. This is an extraordinarily painful time... for somebody who's already given to being morose and cynical. I couldn't possibly leave him in his time of need, especially because an even MORE wonderful person could come out of this... But I'm shit scared we won't survive the process.

40: Grooplessniss. I haven't hung out with more than three people at a time, except at cons, more than maybe once or twice in the last year. Come to think of it, I haven't really done that at cons. And I HATE awkward socializing with strangers and near-strangers, the kind that goes on at most events. I need a group of like-minded people to hang out with, desperately, and I haven't had that since college. I fucking hate the fact our society seems to like placing people in neat little boxes of two, plus kids.

41: Any color you like. Boston is literally the most colorless city I've ever seen in my life. It's even grayer than Seattle.

42: The look on that cop's face. If I threw everything else away, it'd give me the opportunity to catch just one asshole being an asshole and shoot him. That's a pleasure beyond price.

43: $10,000 credit limit. I'd love a chance to run up all my cards with silly, fun things and then go someplace where they could never expect me to pay them off.

44: There is no Terabithian People's Army. Secret worlds are powerless worlds. The people at my office, for instance, have no idea at all about the sort of life I'm living. If they did know, it would be swallowed up entirely by their own ideological immune systems. How on earth am I supposed to make the things I care about relevant to the world? How am I supposed to let them thrive in a world tailored entirely towards the survival and well-being of the obvious and ordinary?

45: T.I.N.A. There is no alternative. There's no underground. There's nowhere to go and drop out of society. Their rules apply everywhere, and even most of the dissenters dissent in between their rigid 8-hour work shifts.

46: Charlie, they cut off my Sub-Etha thumb. Hitchhiking was another casualty of somebody else's cruelty. The Hillside Strangler practically single-handedly ruined an institution of a smaller, friendlier USA -- one that was vital to the bohemian drop-out life as they knew it then.

47: Underwater basket-weaving. Come to think of it, I can't do that, either. I have no technical skills and no reliable talents. My one skill is writing, and I can't even do that with any discipline.

48: "That's for afters!" I feel like a slob. I'm utterly convinced that I look, smell, sound, feel, and probably even taste horrible.

49: Like father, like son. My dad lived to be 36, due partly to heart defects and partly to rotten habits. How much have I inherited?

50: A great-looking corpse. It'd be a narcissist's dream come true, to know all their friends are chattering about the best things, and that the worst things have all become taboo.

51: I'm Jewish by proxy. I'm driven by guilt.

52: Be the ultimate guinea pig. I could do every drug on the face of the earth without fear of consequences

53: Doctors suck. I've been to ten and never gotten a reasonable explanation, even a reasonable guess, about what's wrong with me.

54: Solsbury Hill. I can break the cycle of fear. All sorts of interesting new possibilities open up if I have nothing to lose and nothing to plan for.

55: Hit on 16, Stand on 17. The idea of putting $3,000 on a single flip of the cards in Reno is just unspeakably romantic to me.

56: Murphy's Law of Headlines. All the good news is small and gradual. All the bad news is big and sudden. When's the last time you woke up and saw a TV broadcast interrupted because the world was suddenly a much, much better place?

57: Idiot savants. Like the ones who, if I posted this on my other journal, would literalize and nitpick every point I made on this post, in an utterly tactless attempt to "help" me by debunking my fears instead of dealing with them. I fucking hate people who can't tell an emotional problem from a math problem.

58: I always was a trend-setter. The 21st century seems to be all about self-destruction.

59: "Your closet's empty, Binkley. Go to bed." I'm sick of reassurances that boil down to "I don't understand your problem, so it doesn't exist, so everything's fine, so shut up and be happy."

60: Sheer defiance. I mean... I've always been pretty contrary.

61: The one of one heart stopping. Consider it a kind of koan.

62: Research. There are plenty of stupid ideas out there about the psychology of self-destruction. I'd probably overanalyze this like I overanalyze everything else, and maybe I can help shatter a few of those myths in the process by logging EVERYTHING.

63: Partnership for a Despair-Free America. Every other taboo thing I've tried, even if it wasn't so good for me, has turned out to be a lot of fun. The premarital sex, drugs, homosexuality, perversion, radical politics, and atheism were great. Why not this?

64: The light burns my eyes. I'm getting really tired of reading about other people getting the things I want: kinky sex, road trips, all-night rambles with their friends, polyamorous relationships, normal sex drives. I'm especially tired of people blithering cheerful about these things at me, or inviting close friends to participate while I just stand there smiling, and then expecting me not to be unhappy.

65: Do I look like John Fucking Ritter? I'm tired of playing the role of everybody's "good gay friend." I'm tired of being everyone's confident and nobody's partner in crime. I'm tired of feeling like Rik and I are on some kind of pedestal as the "cute couple" that has to be preserved like a museum piece. I'm sick of fulfilling people's "safe, cuddly queer" fantasies. Maybe I'd deal with it better if I got any actual cuddles out of it.

66: I'm painted into the corner again. This is the third relationship out of three that I've invested so much in that it's left me with only one real confidant. Even people like runnerwolf and mister_wolf, who I'm totally secure care about me, would need so much background information on how I work that it's just... easier... to dump everything on Rik. And it's becoming obvious that he doesn't understand everything either -- he just tries harder than anyone else. <3

67: Bulldozers. Denmark's right-wing parliament is thinking of bulldozing a 30-year-old autonomous hippie settlement to make room for "urban renewal." I don't see anything taking its place.

68: My back pages. I've actually gotten out of the habit of reading. That is such a fundamental betrayal of who I am, and such a symptom of how tired and scatterbrained I've gotten.

69: Borrowed time. I was planning on killing myself at the start of the year 2000, but I met Rik and that completely bolloxed up my plans. I got so sidetracked with hating other people I guess I forgot to hate myself. Fixed now.

70: I'm becoming Nixon. I have an enemies list. I never used to have an enemies list.

71: Nothing good on TV. No, I'm serious. I thrive on inspiring images, and I'm just completely out of them. They've all emigrated to the Net, where they're so hard to find amid all the crap. Believe it not, but the death of schlocky late-night cable really took a lot out of me.

72: Planned obsolescence. I feel totally out of synch with the rest of the world. Every time I find somebody who I thought might have been a kindred spirit, I find one thing after another that they don't share with me, and neither does anyone else. I could just supplement it with more, and more diverse friends, but I don't have that talent. I can conjure them, but I can't keep them.

73: I'm not even supposed to be here today. I was a premature baby with lots of health problems. My mom had very serious fertility issues, and miscarried all her other attempts to have kids. I wasn't supposed to live past six, according to the OB/GYN on duty.

74: Gabba gabba hey. I don't wanna be a pinhead no more. I'm not nearly as mentally sharp as I was before my autonomic system went bugfuck. I really miss having things like math skill, and a memory.

75: Cheaper to buy a new one. I still don't know what, exactly is wrong with me. Diabetes would explain some of the symptoms. I'm terrified that whatever's wrong will require a huge investment of time and money just to keep me from getting worse, and I know I'm not capable of meeting those needs. I won't live just to stay alive.

76: I'm just sick of you. I'm not, really. But it makes me feel a lot better to say it, and the damage I'm likely to do in the process is reason enough.

77: I buried my twin. I feel sometimes like I'm two entirely different people, and the bad one is winning. My personality in my increasingly fleeting days of "good brain chemistry" is so different from the one when I'm depressed, the now-dominant one. I don't like depressed-Me. But I think the things I do to summon blissful-Me are slowly killing him.

78: I shot the last unicorn for food. On the rare occasions when I can still see Noelle, I can't bear to look her in the eye. In the last month, I've directly ignored her screams in favor of doing things I knew were wrong.

79: Five pounds of weary grey mazes. I'm increasingly convinced that the human brain is fundamentally flawed and makes for a pretty excellent prison. I'm tired of ramming my head against the bars of the cage, let along trying to explain to my cellmates that there are walls.

80: On second thought... I really am sick of you. But the emphasis in on the "sick," not on the "you." It's not your faults.

81: The Paper Trail. It just seems like a more interesting end to the story, is all.

82: 1:100 scale. Six months of freedom, or fifty years of captivity? Am I really expected to believe that if I stay put and keep working, eventually I'll get to do all the things I've wanted to do? Even after seeing that TOTALLY FAIL for most of my relatives, if not most of the world?

83: It's the path of least resistance. And I seem to be really good at taking those.

84: Answers are in the back of the book. I won't have to hide anything anymore. I can say things which I would never, ever be able to say otherwise, and learn a lot of things I'd be too afraid to investigate.

85: Nothing is whiter than a blank page. It would be the ultimate penance for how I've wasted my life, and for all the petty and shallow things I've done. Or, at least, it would feel like it, as long as I didn't think very hard about it.

86: "..." Revisited. I'm sick of other stony silences from my friends. Listen, OK, if you just sit there passive-aggressively silent while I'm trying to be friendly or apologize to you... well... if you wanted it to hurt, it did. And I'm getting really tired of people who get upset about things I do and then say "I don't know" when I ask them why.

87: "It's a neat trick, but..." The very act of revealing what's wrong with me is equivalent to a cry for help. If I have to cry for help, then I'll never know, by definition, if anyone would've come looking on their own. Asking the question invalidates its own answer.

88: I'm not as dumb as I look. I really hate being condescended to.

89: My heart is not for patent. Watching art get turned into a commodity is really starting to get to me. Listening to people defend the process because it gives a few unscrupulous people their livelihoods, and they can't imagine anything better, is outright pissing me off.

90: Your heart is in the way. There's a bunch of people that I'm going to need to tell off, sooner or later, for my own peace of mind. I've already cut off relationships with [deleted] and half a dozen other people this past year. The only thing I really learned in 2002 is that it doesn't always hurt to say goodbye. In 2003, it's looking like I'm going to learn that sometimes it hurts much, much more to hold on.

91: Dreams never lie. And mine haven't been good lately. All the things that I thought didn't really bother me apparently have some part of me upset enough to not let me sleep.

92: My heart is on loan. Everything I have could be very easily taken away. One financial or social disaster could take away even what little stability I have in my life -- and totally devastate any chance of really, truly being fulfilled. I feel like I'm being constantly tracked by people with sniper rifles. A few of them are bankers, but a few of them are "friends" of mine who know my weaknesses a little too well.

93: Might as well be cryptic. Everybody seems pleased to read the worst into everything I say and do, anyhow. I'm utterly convinced you all think I'm a total flake to begin with and, as implied above, I just don't have the fucking energy to explain my motives to you anymore.

94: Unless you want me to, of course, and that would be fine, but I'm not saying you'd think it wouldn't be! Speaking of which, I'm really sick of feeling like I have to attach disclaimers onto everything.

95: o/~ In VR, everything's fine o/~ All I really want is to shed my ego for a few hours a day, even a few hours a week, and roleplay in peace. That's all I ever wanted. It's the main time I'm really happy. It shouldn't be this fucking hard.

96: At least think of the children! In fact, all I've ever wanted was to get out of my own head and be somebody else. There are just too many reminders in the physical world of how totally fucking boring adult reality is, and how boring and timid and ugly of an adult I've become to match. I'm rather looking forward to a nice, comfortable psychotic break these days. Maybe somebody nicer will come out of the ruins.

97: "..." Part Three. There's an entry in my notebook that explains everything, but it's something like twenty pages long, and if I posted it it would either have to be kept from the people it would matter to, or would get me in enormous trouble.

98: You, you, you, and you. About four of my friends have broken my heart in the last 24 hours, in quick sequence. I'm going to do something truly unforgiveable: I'm not going to tell you whether it was you.

99: Force of habit. It would just be so... like me to leave something unfinished.

1Laurie Anderson quote
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