Reflections written to mark the Earth’s somewhat tedious revolutions around the sun tend to unfold one of two ways, in my experience. The author either conjures up a conga-line of trauma and melancholia almost pornographic in its indulgences, or a sweet syrupy view of the world that’s capped off with a cookie-cutter kind of conclusion so generic it could have been lifted from a piece written back when asbestos was considered a marvel of modern insulation.
Nevertheless, it occurs to me that splurging my thoughts on years past and future in a barely literate form might be useful, if only to run a defrag on my cluttered mind.
2013 started as the great hangover; the past year’s hedonism paid for, as stern men and women in my Catholic youth assured me all such sins assuredly would be, with great pain and suffering. Or perhaps I’m just being self-centered. In any case I went from multiple relationships to none in some sort of great (and very justified) karmic backhand brought about by my reckless ignorance of other people’s feelings, which in my great hidden narcissistic self-hatred I’d somehow made a virtue of.
Tl;dr- the author fucked up, mightily, and wept.
And drank. My profession, for those of you which know it, is not known for its worship of sobriety, but truly Faustus excels in what he puts his mind to, and the early part of last year was focused on getting shitfaced at each and every opportune moment. Wary of further mistakes and embarrassment, I kept to my room for my medicinal binges; thus did the apex of existence become sucking down a bottle of spirits whilst under the covers, sometimes laughing, mostly crying, all in all a great experience in self-loathing that would do my stern, austere forebears great pride. More on this later.
There’s no way to do the next plot point justice, but humbly do I try (and apologise in advance for uncharacteristic sappiness) . At a munch, deep in the depths of a bar, I tossed out yet another sardonic barb brought on by existential weariness and cheap scotch.
“Fucking undergaduates!” I roared in agreement with a postgrad friend’s lament about the nearby university being cluttered with them.
And to my great surprise, an equally sardonic laugh responded.
Turning, I found it belonged to a very pretty young woman, who did not seem at all insulted that I had breezily labeled her current educational status as objectionable. A while later we had coffee; I showed her recordings of Menuhin from the 1930’s, and held her gently. I defied a 4am shift start to go to Hellfire that night, and ran my vampire-gloved hands across her perfect, perfect self for the first time. And I later sang Panzerlied with boisterous happiness all the way to the office, my heart doing gymnastics all the way.
Time may be relative, but the moments in which I met her will forever remain cherished ones.
Life meandered on, yet our happiness became slowly blighted by my increasing madness. Realising at long last that fiercely guzzling alcohol every other day was not in fact relevant to my long-term interests, I discarded it. But the absence of the dulling warmth that spirits provided brought to the surface all the sadness and fear and determined nihilism that had blanketed my soul since childhood.
So it goes. And so it went. Arguments, laughter, highs and lows whirled by as I gently sunk deeper and deeper into a determined trough of depressed fatalism. I collared her, binding her to me in celebration of our journey thus far, and in high hopes of what was to come; yet the sadness and lack of self-awareness endured.
And the new year thus began as the previous one did, with grinding fatigue and a determined lack of hope. Determined, resolute to lose nothing by believing in nothing. And so on Monday I thought about ending my life; obviously that most self-involved of plans didn’t make it off the drawing board. Thus do I work, and sleep, and force myself to eat, in a place where hope is gone, and all that is left is patience.
I’ve set down these facts at some length, because I hoped that they might bring some clarity to my life. I did not wish to distress anyone; I have so very much, yet inexplicably feel I have so very little.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I had a long discussion in which she indicated I have not been accepting my condition, whatever it is, but rather seeking to do so by living as though it wasn’t there. As usual, her brilliant mind was right on target. But the awful pride that drives my organised despair was loathe to listen.
I titled this post the End of Nihilism, because it seems that like a JK Rowling book, neither it and I can live whilst the other survives. How do I put trust and belief in things after so long? Can it be done?
‘S’é mo chroí ‘tá trom is é brónach
I woke today in great sadness and distress, having dreamed my darling had died overnight. I rushed to phone her only to be stopped by the nagging fear that she was sick of me; sick of my sadness and madness. The Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come, flagging his arrival in the absence of any change.
There is no glib and easy conclusion. There is only life and my choices within it. Hopefully I make better ones this year, though I twitch with an urge for the folly of self-destruction.