Tuesday, May 13, 2014

If Tomorrow Ever Comes (Mature)

Mature Content
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Yesterday

They didn't understand, and that's why I jumped...

When you spend the kind of hours I do, alone, on the computer, or in the apartment, or out on the road, all of it alone, you think about things, things that would never come to you when you were surrounded by people, or even just in regular contact with them.

Some called it shyness, some called it quietness, some called it anti-social behavior. Some thought I was damaged or traumatized or broken in some way. Some thought I was retarded. Maybe it was some of these things, but certainly not all of them.

I wasn't retarded.

They would never understand, probably never could, and that's why I jumped...

~

Weeks Ago

There was something not quite right when I turned on the hall light to my apartment. Normally, I felt tall after a long ride on my bike, home from work or errands or wherever. My head was off, or rather, unusually so, badly enough that I actually noticed.

I wheeled my bicycle in, staggering a bit to navigate it through the sharp turns of my entry, on its back wheel, then on both as I backed it awkwardly into the space between my trailer and the front window.

I don't have a big place, but it's mine.

~

Years Ago

"It's not big, but it's under seven hundred a month." John opened the screen and the front door, and let me in ahead of him. The yellow-beige walls shone in the late morning light. The local highway hummed pleasantly past, filtered by a large bush across the walk.

I turned sharply to the left past the coats-closet and found a small room, barely ten-by-ten, and then another, kiddie-cornered to the right, and then snaked around to a kitchen and finally a bathroom.

"I know it's small, but..."

"It's perfect. I have my checkbook; how much did you say the security deposit was?"

"Five hundred, if you have good credit."

"I have good credit."

"We'll see."

~

Weeks Ago

I booted up my computers even before I fully settled in, since they take some time to warm up, and I needed to record my ride. I needed to crash into bed, and hopefully dream-filled sleep soon, but my odometer was old and tended to lose its numbers over long nights. Also, I worked again the next morning, and would need it clear for the next session.

They took their own sweet time about it, as they do, but by the time I was settled and ready to queue up my programs.

An itching in the back of my mind started up as I finished up entering in my numbers, and I've handled the itching long and often enough not to let it stew and blister. I dutifully open up a blank word-processor and let the itch go.

~

Years Ago

"Hello?"

"This is Kiv's mom. I hope I'm not interrupting anything." Her voice sounded wrong, somehow.

"I know; no, you're not."

"I know you and she... broke up... a few days ago, but I know you cared about her a lot..."

"What's wrong?"

"She... she died. This morning. Her diabetes. I'm... sorry. I thought you should know."

"Thank you. Thank you for calling me."

"I need to call... oh, you were the first person I thought of, I haven't... I have to call... I'm sorry."

"it's... I understand. Don't let me keep you."

~

Days Ago

The numbers on my webpage were down, and my mood too, slipping back into the Stopped Caring stage. I added an iron pill to my daily regimine just in case it was chemical, and settled down in front of my screens.

I could have gone out and spread the few pennies that I'd earned since the last plunge in my numbers, but I didn't. I was in Stopped Caring.

I could have gone out to the social networks, plead with the few souls I had still following me who weren't bots to read a page or two, or cherry pick a few things they might like to read, but I didn't. I was in Stopped Caring.

I could have gone out to my research projects, my writing projects, my website projects, any of a number of things that were works in process on and about the web, but I didn't. I was in Stopped Caring.

Instead, I went out to my video feed and picked up what had come in since the last time, zoning out while the emptiness in my head and in my heart faded away into numbness.

~

Months Ago

"I have to raise the rent again. I'm sorry. It will be in the new lease. The city just keeps rasing the price of everything."

I nodded.

"If you're interested in signing up for another year, that is."

"I am."

"Alright. I draw up the new lease."

"Thanks."

~

Weeks Ago

I started snooping message boards for pointers on living with less. That's how I'd picked up the bicycle trailer. A few pages later, I was reintroduced to diving. The hardest part was getting past the initial revulsion, is what all the following pages agreed.

That wasn't a problem for me. Some things never seem to be a problem for me, and other things that come so easily to some are difficult.

~

Days Ago

My feed was emptying out now, which meant I had to go looking for something else to provide me with sustained numbness. But if I had to work for it, it wouldn't be numbness. If I had to work for it, it wouldn't divert my mind much at all, and that wasn't nearly enough.

It was my mind I needed to numb, to silence, to still. It was my mind and heart that felt so empty and broken when I was in Stopped Caring. It wasn't something I could fix, that anybody could fix. It was just something I had to push into cold numbness until it faded into the background once again.

~

Weeks Ago

As I rode to work that Sunday, along my usual route, someone called out to me.

"Ace? Is that you? Ace!"

I was pushing my margin of time to change so I didn't stop, didn't ask, didn't have any priority higher than getting to work.

I wanted to ask, "How do you know that name?"

I ride the same route every shift, but I haven't seen her since. I've been out of the loop of anyone's lives for so long, I can't imagine anybody who that could be, as young as she was.

I'm keeping my eyes open, my margins wider, and my priorities straighter since, but to no avail.

I never work anywhere long, at least, not once I start opening up to who I really am inside. Nobody wants to be around that, and I already feel people here trying to reach under the surface with me. I won't let them.

I mustn't let them in.

~

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