Comfortably Numb

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Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me. Like how I can wear the same wife beater for 4 days straight, not shower, avoid all mirrors, and eat an entire row of chocolate chip cookies in 3 minutes.

They say it’s called depression. I say it’s called “I just don’t give a fuck”.

I thought it would be the happiest day of my life, getting my book in the mail to a handful of carefully selected publishers. Thought it would fill me with hope, rejuvenation, life, and optimism.

It didn’t.

It made me go home, lie down on my couch and lose 3 hours of my life, because I didn’t want to talk to anyone, deal with anything, or get anything done.

I woke up groggy and still grumpy thinking about how disgusting I had let the house become. I didn’t feel the need to do anything about it. Instead I just sat there staring at a wall, until the phone rang.

It was my mom.

“Congratulations. I heard you got your book out.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Well aren’t you happy about it?”

“No… not really… Listen I don’t really want to talk about it okay.”
(Silence)

“So, what else has been going on”

“Same shit different day.”

(Obviously upset) “Well okay, if you don’t want to talk, I’ll let you go and you can call me when you’re feeling a little more sociable.”

“Fine”

“Bye then”

(Click)

I resumed my position on my couch staring at the wall with the same blank expression I had been wearing since I returned from the post office. Like a bank robber wearing one of those plain white expressionless face masks while they instruct a teller to hand over the cash or have a bullet in their head.

An annoying dog started barking outside for no apparent reason. Instead of turning on the TV, the radio, or putting on my furry earmuffs. I got up. I opened the door and shouted, “Tell your fucking dog to shut his yapper before I come over there with a poisonous steak.”

I wasn’t just uninterested, I was angry. I wanted to kick the shit out of someone. For so long I had been the aspiring author, the unpublished writer with 2 books, and the starving artist if you will. The thought of no longer carrying that title was terrifying. What would I be? Who would I become?

I went to the toilet to purge the row of cookies I had eaten, and then sat on the bathroom floor.

Its funny how you can convince yourself you want something so badly, but then when the prospect of getting it becomes a reality, it suddenly feels different.

The bathroom floor was cold. I leaned against the wall and stared into the bathtub where my daughters little toys were lined up in the corner waiting for their next bath. Beside them, a faded tile that had been coloured on and presented to me as a masterpiece, which I never could erase.

I smiled. And that’s all it took.

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9 thoughts on “Comfortably Numb

  1. Dude…

    You sound like me!!! I had a great day and now I am waiting for the crash to occur… 🙂

    I have had that exact same phone call with my parents on numerous occasions.

    I have a visual of the toys lined up. My son does the same thing.

  2. Steve: I know we’re two dysfunctional peas from the same distorted pod. 🙂

    Paul: I wish I could see it that way. Things would be much easier. One of the two completed books I have (the novel), I can barely even look at. I absolutely hate it. It was my first though, so I guess I am allowed to have a certain degree of disdain for it. The 2nd book is much better.

  3. Well, they say writing is rewriting. If you don’t like the first one, you can rewrite it. Keep doing more drafts. Or, if you really hate a lot about it, find some core or other element of it and rewrite it from there. Or you can just use that core element as the seed for your next book.

    It’s a learning process. Few writers have the first completed manuscript published. But everything you write tells you a little more about what you want to write about. What matters to you comes out subconsciously. This is your subject matter, theme, etc.

    But, what do I know? I’ve written one script, probably crap. I think I abandoned a rewrite in the middle. My goal with it was always to complete my first script, so I guess I could say it was successful. One of these days I’m gonna find time to write a better one.

  4. Hey, something told me to stop by and see what you have been up to. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know how you feel. I remember when you first started writing your first book… and now look at where you are.

    I wonder why you feel empty after you completed your goal? Did you give up too much along the way?

  5. The fear of actually achieving the dream…

    The fear of what if the dream becomes a failure…

    The fear of change…

    Why does fear control/hinder so many people? Hmmm…

  6. Will keep my fingers crossed for you. I guess I understand the fears.
    Maybe “giving a shit” is too overrated

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