I came to and was immediately filled with nausea and dread. Before I even had a chance to try to open my eyes, to see if it was indeed morning and I was indeed conscious, I knew. “Please, God,” I said to myself, “don’t let me be awake. Don’t let this be real.”
But I could feel the fabric on one cheek and the cold air on the other and knew that I was, and when I opened my eyes, my deepest fears were confirmed. Light was indeed beginning to fill the window and it was 5.42 on another Monday morning.
I feel sick, ill, diseased, full of despair. I can’t face this. I can’t do this. In what seemed like a deeper reality, I dreamt about two grammar schools opposite one another in a tiny, lonely neighborhood, each full of drugged, unloved, beautiful, caring children committing suicide one by one, filling the playground with bodies, while Neil Young sang “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”
Everywhere I look I see regrets right now. Even turning inward, I am filled with regret. Regrets at failing to act. Regrets at acting. The results of regrets. The regrets of regrets. I have tried so hard for so many years to build something for myself, but it’s all been and always has been a house of cards, easily toppled by the breath that slips out of your soul as you sleep or the devastated gasp that issues forth from your body when you wake.
I have just erased a week’s worth of posts. Now I will go drink and have a cigar before going to work, so that I can go to work and have some hope of surviving through the day, of making it as far as the torture of a lonely evening at home in anticipation of the next work day.
I can’t face today, and yet I don’t have any alternative. May whatever God I believe in help me.
All I want is to be loved and to live. Is that so much? I didn’t ask to be born.
No one in the world can make me any promises. Without them, is it sane to continue to labor?
“Beneath swift wind and heavens, an ape’s cry of grief,
At the islet of clear white sand, birds circle.
Endlessly, trees shed leaves, rustling intently down,
Without cease, the great river comes surging on.
Ten thousand miles in sorrowful autumn, always on the move,
A hundred years full of sickness; I climb the terrace alone.
Suffering and bitter regret have turned my temples white,
Frustratingly, I’ve had to abandon my cup of cloudy wine.”