Life can be summed up as watching beautiful people enjoy its natural wonders, trying to emulate that enjoyment to no avail, and subsequently being reminded of just how fruitless the whole thing is. On a general level, I view myself as inadequate, like a defective machine off the conveyor belt. My basic programming is faulty; I’m hardwired to short circuit. I’m fundamentally unable to experience the animal pleasures of life like others. Every minute of consciousness since I was 11 years old has been a painful reminder of this. 

I couldn’t give a single shit about what most other people find interesting, especially among posturing trust fund archetypes who value their social status over honesty and character. When I’m surrounded by them — listening to their small talk of things I could never understand — I feel even more alone than when I am by myself. When I talk to them, I feel as though my rhythm and tone is irreparably faulty, so every conversation is a reminder of the weird way I speak and the gross sound of my voice. I see my appearance in a similar light, as even catching glances in the mirror function as a daily reminder of how meekly I view myself as a man, and the eternal fear of how much more harshly others must view me. I wish I could be big and strong, someone who inspires and attracts others, but the dismissive glances I perceive when I enter a room will always remind me I’m dead weight, a runt, a liability… 

 Sometimes I convince myself that I’m starting to find my place, that I might finally end up like those happy characters on sitcoms I aspired to when I was little, but it always comes crashing down. These moments used to really upset me, but they’ve become so routine in the grand scheme of this underwhelming shit-show that I call “My Life,” that now they only hurt a bit rather than a whole lot. In the words of Drizzy: “I’ve been down so long it look like up to me.” This increasing numbness to pain may be a reminder that I’m closer to death, but the relief it’s provided me has made living a lot easier. 

During my first year of college, I’d heavily flirt with the notion that if everyone were as miserable as I was, maybe I would feel better. You know, “Misery loves company.”  I’d even fantasize about scenarios which would make those around me feel as awful as I do every single day. 

2020 has proven to me that that notion, and the fantasies along with it, were a crock of shit. 

The world-changing atrocities we’ve gone through this year has brought so many of those beautiful happy people to their knees, stripped their lives of natural pleasures, and dragged them down to a level of stagnation I’ve known all too well during my life. 

And you know what? It’s fucking heartbreaking. My ship for youthful happiness sailed a long time ago, but seeing how this pandemic has taken it away from others who still had a chance of catching it has been excruciating.

 All my life I’ve been haunted by the effervescent joys that I could never manage to experience, the years of lost opportunity. But even still, seeing it ripped away from people in their prime hasn’t made me feel any better. All those things I could never understand, the parties, the smalltalk, drinking, young love… I wish they were still available for everyone. I wish you didn’t have to feel like this. I’m sorry. 

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