Inescapable Isolation

May 19, 2017
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I woke up with no purpose. I pulled my hand from under my body which seemed to be devoid of blood and I could hardly control it. I’d move my arm and it would flail but after it got its blood flow my worry subsided. I’m a mixed race 16 year old guy and like most when I wake up the first thing I think about is what time it is. I tried my best to reach my phone from my night stand and once I grasped it I almost fell out of bed: 12:04pm. I got out of bed and made my way down stairs. I poured milk in a bowl then the cinnamon toast crunch, a very sacrilegious thing to do. I finished my bowl and drank the milk like everyone should then cleaned it: 12:32pm. I thought of chores to do but I had already cleaned my house the day before. I went back upstairs and lied down listening to music: 1:54pm. I listened to all of Outer Isolation and Terminal Redux by Vektor before I decided to get up again and be productive. I turned on my xbox and checked my friends list to see who was on to play with. Derek & Dave, two 20 somethings who live in Flint and Toronto respectively. They got some of their friends as well and we played NHL 17 and lost track of time: 5:54pm. I got off to eat dinner and watched youtube but seeing as I had nothing else I turned my Xbox back on and continued until I fell asleep. 


The days weren't always like this. Sometimes I’d have no friends online or at least not anyone  who would want to play with me. And when it came to people at school they might as well have not existed. My attempts to have a conversation or hangout were a waste of my time and theirs. On days like this I found myself on youtube watching educational videos. The content of all these videos I can't remember all too specifically but as the days went on everything became more firm. My lexicon had evolved, my knowledge of history and its importance, and I gained knowledge in many fields of math. In many ways this seemed for naught as I had nothing to do with this.

My boredom fermented as the days went by. I had woke up with purpose. I scrambled to find the empty note book I had because I hardly ever take notes for anything. I decided to spill myself that day. I wrote everything I knew about math on a few pages in short. I couldn't pick up the glass. I was still hungry and I was still tired. After I finished with that I decided to write more about how I feel. My words flowed but suddenly crashed when I got to the end. I would write then erase what I wrote then write again. The more I wrote and erased the more finite parts became until I got to the last word. Everything felt so perfect but I couldn't come to terms with how to end it. This infuriated me. Why can't I just put down one word. God I’m so dumb.

Intelligence has always meant a lot to me. Ironically I’ve never cared all too much about my grades. I just hated being less than others and I feel as though this is what made me strive so much for knowledge. I’ve always felt that my knowledge was my self worth and in that I forgot about the importance of my relationships with others. But one day she gave me a chance.

Snapping back into reality I saw her beautiful face that always seems to make me crack a smile; I cracked one though I tried to hold it back because of my disdain for how my teeth look. I payed her end and told her the train won't be here for 40 minutes. “Wanna head to Starbucks”, I asked trying to find a warm place for us to sit. We made it past the crazy intersection by the train station that seemed like there was a five second timer and if you didn't cross in time you’d be hit. She asked, “Is it cool if I take some photo’s”. The rebel/non-photogenic side of me desperately wanted to say no but that word always seem to escape my vocabulary when I talked to her. We walked into Starbucks and it smelled like how you’d expect any coffee shop to smell at 12:21pm: burnt coffee grounds and fresh bread. We got our drinks and sat down. “I have one problem I don't know how to use my camera”. “I think I could help you figure it out”. After a minute of thinking I figured out how it works and also realized that it had no charge. After getting board of Starbucks we walked around the area. We got on the train and inhaled the smells of cigarettes on passengers breath. We pushed through and made our way up the stairs. We sat directly across from each other. Her eyes glimmered in a hesitant way, the sun shined through the tinted glass on them and as we passed objects they broke the light. We started to talk about our family and music we like. I was initially hesitant to confess my love for metal. It's always been something that people found odd. I love a wide variety but metal strikes me like none other. She listens to top 40 hits with her favorite chart topper being Justin Bieber. She made it clear she didn't mean the 13 year old but his current 18 year old self. We babbled about things that don't need to be remembered and would be odd if you cared to. We made if off the train to a stop where millions of others meet. As we walked slowing talking continuing to bable, people passed us by and so did time. We walked for miles and whatever cool object we saw in the distance we went to. A warmness sparked between us and we confessed to each other in a way that didn't seem like a confession but as a therapy where we were eachothers patient with  notepad on hand and understanding in our heart. “My boyfriend broke up with me” , “I’ve felt so alone” , “ I’ve struggled with anorexia” , “I’ve struggled with self worth”....we snapped back into reality at 6 o’clock and got on a train to head home. We parted ways, I passed a trash can with our tickets in hand and decided to put them in my wallet and bike home. We haven’t really talked since. I miss you.
I’ve started to question what it is that I value. Those tickets are in my wallet to this day and I have no plan of throwing them away. I know all these “facts” I’ve learned about the psychology and the philosophy behind what we as people do but I can't come to grasps with it. I start to feel like I’m getting a grasp of it and then it becomes as hard as imagining the 4th dimension with our 3D world and imagination.

I had given my two weeks notice exactly two weeks ago for work. It was my last day. I hopped on my bike and was in the mood for some older music. I turned on “Message in a Bottle” by The Police and went off. The words of being lonely and sending out a bottle but “one hundred million bottles washing up on shore” resonated with me. I’d only ever heard the song in passing and was never able to grasp its full content. Work was my escape and though I don't have any friends I felt close to the people there. I had been there six months and was helping train new kids the ropes and the things I find important to value: respect, pride, and confidence. I sent my time struggling to get the scanner to work so I could make a list of items to make tags. It didn’t feel like a means to an end. I just worked as if it was any other day. Coworkers made comments like “I’m gonna miss you” and “It’s been nice working with you”; Whenever I heard something like that I felt nothing. I pushed these comments off. Are they really gonna miss me, this is the work place after all and people come and go at a job like this. Different things flow through your mind like I’m gonna miss some of these people or They are probably better off without me. Finally when I didn’t have to hear the monotonous tone of the scanner because the day had ended I changed my close and heard more of these generic goodbye comments I cleaned out my locker. I thew my shirts in a lump on the manager's desk. I started to bike home while listening to my favorite album of all time “Rust in Peace” by Megadeth. I feel numb to the fact that I’m gone never to work here again. Maybe these people truly did value my presence. But after all the loneliness I’ve felt in my life and numerous times moving it was hard to come up with an emotional response. I fell asleep

Loneliness has been a constant struggle for me. When I was seven I’d play solitaire at the daycare I went to. When I was nine I felt completely alienated at a school I went to on the southside of chicago; I was the only mixed race kid in a school of fully black kids and on my first day some kid in a grade above me told me that “You’re at the wrong school, no white kid’s allowed”. I found it kind of ironic. When I was 14 I moved to Park Ridge and I don’t feel necessarily disenfranchised because of the way I look but move because of the type of person I am. Everyone responds to isolation in a different way and for me, isolation has made me more mature, unmotivated for important things, and has made me have the desire to be alone. I’m lonely why would I wanna stay alone. After a long time of isolation, it becomes hard to reestablish yourself. The only thing that can help is change. I’m moving and hopefully, it shakes me enough so I wake up.

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