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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Keep Your Soul Numb


For the moment silence covers the street like a blanket. Even the neighborhood dogs seem to be sleeping. The street is empty but for me, and its emptiness makes it lonesome. Like a dry riverbed, it feels almost depressing. This isn’t how it is supposed to be. It was built for so much more. But I like that feeling. I like it because I know it’s temporary. The trick is to keep your soul numb and grind on.

I do not know why things are different tonight. Sometimes the brain latch onto something and won't let it go. Sometimes the brain is a vicious wolf that tears only at itself, but the trick is to keep your soul numb.

I stroll down the empty street, make a few turns onto other empty streets, and end up an alleyway. Homeless men and winos lying and sitting on pavement with their newspaper blankets. Some of them are asleep, other just stare at the horizon with their sad eyes.

The emotion is in there somewhere, I know it is, but it is walled in. But I understand emptiness and the need to fill it. Some people do it with booze or drugs. Some people do it with violence and some with sex. Some people do it with all of those things. Too few people get to fill it with love. There isn’t enough of that in the world to go around. The trick is to keep your soul numb if you want to survive.

More wandering and now it's almost morning.The world turns on its axis, grinding away the hours like a great stone. The dark night turns gray as morning approaches. A light touches the horizon. Tomorrow becomes today.

The morning air is warm, despite the fact that it is Autumn. I'm not sure of the exact date; each day is so like the one that came before it. Days and dates don't seem to matter. A day like any other day. A day to forget.We fall into patterns, boring and comfortable and predictable.

Sometimes I feel lost in the world of human interaction. I think after all these years of life sometimes I know what is expected of me in social situations – I have learned the correct reactions through trial and error – but it never feels natural. It feels like a performance. If I'm supposed to smile so I smile. If I'm supposed to laugh at a joke so I laugh. If I'm supposed to talk to friends about television programs so I watch television in order to have something to talk about. But I feel apart from it – separated from it by some invisible layer, stick outside even myself, in some space, watching myself interact with the world from a distance – unable to join in, even while I appear to be doing so.

I listen to people talking as they walk by on the graffiti-covered sidewalk. The sound of their voices is comforting. The sound of people remind me that even if I am set apart somehow, the rest of the world is still close by. It is strange: I don't usually like to be around people, but I like to know they are there, just floating around like lost radio waves.

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