I’m Always Alright

This isn’t about you. Or you. Or you.

I guess I’ve talked about it enough that I’m not really keeping it a secret. I keep telling everyone: I’m alright. Seriously, it’s fine. They’re going to find out that I have a Q-Tip stuck in my ear. Gas. A Brain Cloud. It’s fine.

I’m alright.

Its going to be terribly embarrassing when it’s absolutely nothing. I had a splinter, and I cried out that it was possibly gangrene.

That doesn’t really matter. I’m alright.

It’s really all the other things. I’m not sleeping enough. There’s not enough time. I’m falling behind at work. I’m not calling my mother enough. I’m falling back into that trap of trying to capture impossible futures. I’m not sleeping enough. I’m not sleeping.

The dizziness has started causing nausea. The dizziness also causes severe anxiety, because I’m incapable of functioning in the overly controlled way I expect of myself. Do you now how finely crafted the words are? Not just these words, but the words from my mouth. Everything is image control. Message control. It is hard god damned work trying to maintain it all. My mask is slipping. Every time the dizzy spell comes on, I fall just a split second behind myself. Words are coming out, and I know they are the words I intend my mouth to form. But I’m not so sure they are the words my mind intended when the whole idea of speaking started. Does that make sense? I’m not so sure that makes sense.

So the dizziness causes nausea. And it causes anxiety. Doctor gave me some pills for the anxiety, and they make me loopy. I walk into walls, literally. I try not to take them at work. They don’t help the nausea. They don’t help the dizziness. They do help the anxiety though.

My coworker, seeing me yet again loopy at work, suggested maybe I shouldn’t take them while I’m at the office. Despite the pills, this created a lot of anxiety. Mask slipping further. I tried to explain to her how I fight it off as long as possible, take them only when I desperately need to feel some relief. But I know it’s fucking with my work. With my reputation. I tell her she’s right. I am embarrassed when I leave the office that day.

Ever ride the Metro and spend the entire time deliberately facing the window? There’s nothing to see in those tunnels.

I’m alright.

I’m seriously fine on most days. At least, you wouldn’t know I wasn’t. The jokes are still there. The food is still cooked. The constant references to Kir. The brewing. The lawyering. The sarcasm. Everything is exactly how I want you to expect it. I’m being stubborn about asking for any kind of assistance. Kate was over, and we started talking about it all. I’m fine, I tell her. It’s just weird. It’s a weird weird thing to be going through, and it’s even kind of funny, you know? And it’s like everything is just overblown, and I’m being such a baby, and it’s just weird when I don’t know what to do or what it is or what’s going on or how I can make it better or why it’s screwing with my life because all I want is for things to get back to normal, you know, and I just … I just … I get home from a Metro ride, staring at the dark walls of the tunnel, thankful for sunglasses and then I get home, and it’s so quiet here and I … I know I haven’t done anything wrong but sometimes, you know … sometimes it just feels like I must have done something wrong because I get home and its just so quiet and the walls of the Metro are no different from a terracota (not salmon) wall with a beautiful photograph of the Dupont Metro Station and a Gentleman Cat and a Gmail with no new messages and no new gchats and its so quiet here, even with the record playing loudly.

And then I lose it. And even though in that moment its the only hug I’ve ever wanted in my life, I push it away, because I am being a coward and a wimp and because everything is fine.

I’m alright.

I get a text. A long text. Its one of many I get recently. It is simply out of nowhere. “Hey! Remember me? I’m sorry we lost contact, but when I was talking to you I was talking to someone else, and I started seeing them, but I am not anymore! We should get together!”

This isn’t about you.

It’s weird being me sometimes. I guess at some point I grew a little self respect. Yeah, we had a good time. Yeah, we got along. And you wanted to be with someone else. That’s fine. But the thing is … I would have chosen you. You didn’t choose me. There’s a whole world of people out there. There’s only one me. I wish you’d chosen me. But you didn’t. I still believe in very naive things. Knowing how we were, I don’t think you’re going to find someone better for you than me. But now neither of us will get that chance. But I sincerely appreciate the text. It’s sounds like you’re doing well.

I think you were wrong. But I’m alright.

I’m working on a project with Nathan. We’re harvesting yeast from Oberon bottles. We’re going to make our own clone. I have 4 carboys of brews going right now, and plans to brew two more next weekend. I’m reading two fascinating novels and an unpublished manuscript of poems and a collection of short stories. The new season of the Doctor just started. Bioshock is as profound as they said it would be.

I had a great hair day today.

I’m alright.

I’m always alright.


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