This isolation is killing me.
And not in the lofty, metaphorical sense, but rather in the ultimate repercussions of my choices sort of way. Those choices made to get me through just one more damn night here alone, inside this little blue house so strategically nestled near the heart of this lumbering and hesitant City of Wayne.
Most of my dietary considerations these days seem to be nugget based. And the last time I checked, a nugget isn’t generally considered one of the basic four food groups by anyone above the age of nine. But it is one now, here on this lazy edge of a world collapsing in upon itself. Because why the fuck not?
Why not just lean into it and have a dinner consisting solely of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups? With maybe a couple of bottles of red wine thrown in, just for some Mediterranean diet antioxidant flair? Or perhaps whiskey, if the night calls out for a heavier hitter when the hours linger and the accusations echo hard.
I cannot help but to think, when this mandated lockdown ends, and the world returns to its regular rhythms rolling, that I will be found inside this empty house, a real-life wheezing caricature of Colonel Kurtz at the end of a cinematic journey over. Alone. Fat. Paranoid and rambling out nonsense for the sake of an artist moment stolen, the last pale representative of a genius that once lurked somewhere behind the scenes.
Disgusting over-indulgence. Rampant, naked consuming, glutenous and unapologetic. Comforting chemicals greedily consumed often without conscious thought that they are at best only “technically” food, but yet still so soothingly artificial in their predictable and calorie-dense forms.
The bite of the hops patriotically bottled, or the smokey notes of an Irish barley carefully crafted often calls out the loudest from the thin audience of my pantry running bare. Especially when the shadows begin crawling across the floor to the telltale marker of drink o’clock. Sometimes, it’s the shadows of a new morning born, creeping predictably across the carpeting in desperate need of a good vacuuming. And sometimes, it is found in the tragic outlines of a day caught statistically in its death throes tallied, but still equally potent and intoxicating.
Hops, barley, or fermented grape, they all help to temporarily take the sting out of this numbing isolation. They help bring deeper meaning to that song that was never supposed to be played, but yet still somehow snuck itself selfishly onto the playlist for the night. They sometimes help tease the words out of a mind so stagnant in its decay, caught as it is inside this socially isolated cage of predictability and suffocation.
I know that every drink is a few more minutes off of my life. And every smoke a few minutes more. I don’t even want to do the dietary math on just how much of my future that microwavable burrito cost me, considering I couldn’t even pronounce most of the listed ingredients. Or that when I took that first tongue-scalding bite, all I could taste was a dose of single-serving disappointment that left me with that annoying little bit of dead-skin-roof-of-the-mouth-flap that, despite the pain, I simply cannot seem to stop tonguing. But it doesn’t really matter. At least not now.
Not when I feel so gross.
Not when I feel this fat.
I feel like I should have the strength of character to resist the refrigerator’s siren song calling long into the overnight hours spent sleepless and twitchy. But it’s so disgustingly difficult to resist when I know for a fact that just earlier today, I rallied long enough to put on my now-not-so-skinny jeans and ventured out to the store long enough to bring back that Turtle Pie, so conveniently affordable and on sale. And decadently delicious.
Gone are the days of healthy yogurt and awkward morning yoga routines. No longer do I walk in the evenings after a nugget-shaped meal, unless it is to venture into the kitchen to pour myself another drink. The only meaningful exercise I get these days is unsatisfying masturbation or the constant bending of my elbow to pour out another drink. Or the endless banging on typewriter keys through the overnight hours.
I look for anything to take away the burning sting of this loneliness, anything to erase the horror of having to be me. And it doesn’t matter the form- whether convenient white prescribed oval, or plastic-wrapped, calorie-dense single serving convenience. Just as long as the voices stop and the words flow. Even for just a few precious minutes more.
Because at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
You can throw me in that early grave, if it means that my words will live on until an unexpected tomorrow. You can toss me to the wolves, just as long as I am afforded the courtesy of that comforting traditional blindfold and that last cigarette smoked. I will take my stand upon the martyr’s gallows and I will testify openly and without reservation, just as long as my words are heard and somehow documented.
While I may be growing fat, and lazy, and unaccountable, I still care and I still do fight for that undeserved tomorrow. Even if I won’t survive long enough to see it. Even if it is not destined to be part of my story.
It was still worth it.
Because I was here and I fucking matter.