Because I am in good spirits I wish to write all this out. Maybe I shouldn’t be drudging it up in my memory again, but if nothing else this short fable of an insignificant trifle in someone else’s life might be of some value to someone else.
Months ago on my birthday someone I knew from high school ended their life. I already made a blog post about this if you can recall. It was a strange day and through that day I interacted with many people I knew from high school. People telling me they wished me the best in my scholastic endeavors away from home – and I could tell by their inflection of voice that they were sincere and heartfelt. I became more intoxicated than I had ever been asides from one other occasion in my life. At closing time I was told that people were going to someone named “Tanner’s.” I could only recall one Tanner from high school and thought I’d see if it was him. I got a ride from someone and blathered about the absurdity of this existence. To me it’s simply a fact of this life, but afterwards I realized how some may be emotionally affected by such a sentiment – which I’ll return to shortly. It turns out that the Tanner in-question was the son of my father’s ex-girlfriend. We had never met and it was really nice to get to know him. He, his friend, his mother and I talked about big and small things throughout the night and she drove me home after getting little sleep.
The next day I spent some time with a close friend of mine and we discussed Lydia’s death and our interactions with her over the years. Her death didn’t affect me emotionally the day I heard but the day after I remember feeling disturbed by the thought of another human being’s feelings of hopelessness. I remembered the person I talked to in the car, and that she most-likely was feeling something I couldn’t possibly begin to understand. I’m fortunate in not having whatever other people do that causes them to morn – I suppose it’s Epicurean sentiments that has me morn the sufferer rather than the deceased, but like I said knowledge of the state someone was in before they took their life affected me. I wrote the person a note saying that this mutually experienced pain people feel can only inspire love and warmth in the long-run, and that the pain would recede with time. I also said that a part of me wanted to stay in my hometown so I could get to know her. I honestly can’t remember what we discussed that night, it probably was nothing that impactful – but of course with what happened people at-times tend to exaggerate or create meaning where there is none.
I gave the note to someone I know (who from what I was told didn’t tell the person I wrote it although I gave this person a deck of my Magic cards which moved him to tears) and played pool until I decided it was time to get some more packing done. I didn’t go to her wake nor her funeral. I thought of it but I knew I had to get ready for school so I pushed away the thoughts I had and focused on starting a new life when someone I knew had theirs end.
I went to college. Had an okay time, things were going well and I was getting all A’s. But somewhere between a month and a half and two months into I thought I should let the person I wrote to know that I did write to them. Time progressed further and in some state of melancholy over which I cannot even recall I decided to message her again and convey said feelings. She left me a voicemail from receiving my number from a friend of mine I would later find out. We texted for a while and then for whatever reason my anxiety from high school returned to me. I texted her in-effect saying that I wished she’d contact me and asking if she ever wished the same of me. She said that she was an introvert and her friends tell her they wish she’d interact more.
We make plans for doing something and I secure arrangements for going to my hometown. I wanted to see her because I was infatuated with her. Maybe the way I painted this up to this point didn’t properly convey that fact. I arrive and had lingering anxiety for some inexplicable reason. This is an entirely different story but in High School my first impassioned encounter with the opposite sex was with someone who was cold and used me when they wanted my attention but otherwise ignored me. Now I still doubt at-times the sincerity or true feelings behind much of what people say at-least at-times. I have a good time in my hometown. See friends. See old college professor. See Carissa. We have a good time and as I get out of her car for a bus I would later found out I already missed she says, “We’re going to do something real soon.” I am happy.
I am reading several nights past this day and am reading a book from a philosopher I admire. I send her one text about the persistence of wisdom though happiness does not last. Then I read a passage about how dreams create castles that are painful to tear down, and find this ironic because I texted her about the pendulum of hope and dread. I instantly regret texting it to her. I text her throughout the day because of my anxiety and tell her this and that and yadda yadda. I feel like I need to know what’s going on so I call and she answers. We have (from my point of view) a good time making small talk. She mentions going out to eat which makes me happy and I express concern about medication she briefly alluded to in a past conversation.
Time passes and I continue to do well in school. Then something happens which some might say alter everything, some might say only increase the speed of the inevitable conclusion. Someone I grew to know in one of the clubs I attends dies of unknown causes. I silently manage the thoughts I have of someone else I know dying and not being here in this world and more misfortunes occur. I discover I don’t have a place to live for the summer. That what I wanted to do I cannot. I should have reached out to my friends first. But for whatever reason my first inclination was to text Carissa to see if she wanted to talk. Some time passes and I decide I wish to send Lydia’s mother what I wrote the day of her death (which is on this blog and of which I’m still personally astounded that I would write what I did before knowledge of her demise). So I go onto Facebook and send it to her. I then look at several people’s pages including Carissa’s. I see that although she hasn’t responded to my inquiry about talking she’s made some insipid post of which I can’t remember. This is really when I know she doesn’t want anything to do with me. The fact that she would prefer to scroll through her Facebook Newsfeed to find a way to entertain herself rather than responding to my message was all the information I needed and it felt like my heart was kicked in.
I look for any type of sharp and clean instrument I could use to slash my wrists but all of my razors that I can find have been used due-to my laziness. I talk to a friend of mine for about an hour about this, that and the other thing and then lay in bed. I turn my phone off for a short period because I cannot stand the idea of waiting for someone just to be dismissed. I then go on Facebook and send Carissa another message, because I’ve seen she posted something else. I turn my phone back on and found she’s sent me messages saying hers was off – which is true because in my erratic state I tried calling her. We talk and it both makes me incredibly sad and happy to hear her voice and its tone of concerned sadness. I tell her among other things that I feel an overwhelming platonic love for her, and I would do anything for her at the slightest request. After some time the conversation is over and I spend the next few days in my room – save going to the showers to clean my wounds.
I text her on Saturday telling her I’m feeling better and I’m thankful for her for being there, also that I did well on my past exams – even though the grades for those exams I had some time ago so was no new information to me. She doesn’t respond again and I feel abandoned. “Am I really so forgettable and uninteresting?” I think. I pry a response out of her but the fact that I had to leaves me in a state of anxiety. I cry in elevators and hug a random person playing Nintendo because I need contact with someone. Because I am foolish I don’t contact my friends. A week goes by of this, some of the worst anxiety I’ve had in my entire life. I then decide to contact Lydia’s mother because I think maybe she’ll give me some emotional support. Some time passes and no avail. I decide to break down and tell Carissa I feel alone and could use someone to text or talk to from time to time because of my state; if she does not wish the burden of a friend with anxiety then I would be understanding – be honest, was the message I wanted to convey essentially. After all I just tried killing myself a week earlier so my thoughts are going to be a bit unhinged.
Because I am in an erratic state I decide to go on Facebook and see that Carissa has posted a message saying it will not be a good day for her. I’m not sure if this is true but I assumed because she is saying she will have to tolerate me. I am mortified that instead of either telling me she is there for me or at-least be honest with me she decides to make a Facebook comment. I then lose my mind and say things that were not correct of me to say. Things about myself and about the person whose life ended. I tell her that I’d leave her alone as long as I could know that my anxiety, my wretched and pernicious fears, hadn’t caused them to make dark fantasy a reality and cause through said dread the very thing I’ve been dreading. Some time passes and she says she’s at work. I go to a movie though I can’t focus on anything. When I return I decide to let her know how awful I realize it was to say some of what I did. We haven’t talked since.
Ultimately I’m glad we don’t talk anymore. A short time after we stopped talking I began binge-watching Adventure Time, have taken hikes and conversed with friends. Though I hadn’t mentioned this to them, it was through their indirect support that I was able to put things in perspective. Though Carissa was there for me, she was only ever there through a sense of demanded moral obligation – not because she wanted to talk to me as a friend. My friends all were there for me without my having to take pliers out; which I felt guilty afterwards for doing to her in the states I was in.
It’s amazing how different a person can feel in such a short-period. I have negligible if any anxiety over this. The only thing I feel slight anxiety over now is not finding a place to live here and having to find some place in Fond du Lac to stay if any would exist. I do believe that Carissa is a good person, and wish her the best in her pursuits in Anthropology or whatever her passions compel her towards. All humans are terribly flawed and cannot help but do what they do. I hope she finds peace from the loss she endured and solace in the knowledge her friend is at peace.
I hope we can all find the contentment we yearn for and the strength and compassion to desire that same contentment and serenity unto others.