This is the entry that I should have been working on last night.
Wow, doesn’t that just feel like history repeating itself. To be fair, I actually should have written this weeks ago. And I did. At least, I tried.
When I last left off (this is the point where Marvel would have a footnote under one of my sentences, referring to my previous “issue” of Mythic Bios), I went on vacation for the weekend. I’d just come from finishing off my interview with Will Brooker and creating some press for Poets in Hell: where I have a short story published.
It was a nice trip. There was good food, a cabin, a forest to explore, a river and some really nice company. After so much time in front of a computer, I found myself staring into a great bonfire right in front of me. As the warmth of flames replaced the cold glow of the screen on my face, grateful to be away from my parents’ place for a while and all the other distractions, I began to become aware of something.
It’s as though I keep forgetting it. When you spend a lot of time by yourself, for extended periods, you begin to forget things. I mean, even in the days when I went out more often, I was shy and introverted regardless. I get very quiet and overwhelmed by a large group of people: even people I know. But after I moved to Thornhill, this became even more pronounced. Most of the time I was camping, I mostly talked with a few people about very specialized geeky things and, well, that was about it.
That’s generally about it. You see, I like the things that I like and when I’m nervous or feeling awkward I either “talk shop” or I don’t really talk at all. I’m not really one for small talk and I don’t really talk much about other parts of my life under most circumstances. But, even though I didn’t do any archery, or golf, or even sing karaoke, I did have fun. I even had some really cool discussions with some people towards the end of the second night after a massive rainstorm came down on us all.
After that, I actually found myself used to being around people again. One other thing I’ve noticed about being by yourself a lot is that you forget how to talk with people or even relate to them. So after that weekend, I actually wanted to be around people again. I had these thoughts about going out and hanging out with some friends: even working outside of my house and exploring again.
I’m not quite sure what happened, to be honest. I genuinely meant to do all of these things. Then I had some projects I wanted to work on before dealing with anything else. I thought I could get those out of the way and then do what I needed to do. Of course, none of these went as planned and I am still working on them. I was enthusiastic and as clear-minded about these projects and goals as I could be but I began to get bogged down in a slow, creeping sort of fashion.
I took on some tasks and obligations as well. And then, one day, some people from the city were fixing our side walk and destroyed our cable. It took over a day for them to replace it and even now it’s only a three month temporary one.
Now, this might not sound like a very big deal. I mean, most people would take that as a sign to relax and do something else. But I’d already gotten used to my rhythms back here. The fact is, I had no where really to go in Toronto. Not really. And a lot of my work is dependent on the Internet: personal projects and otherwise. But what is worse, for me, is that somewhere over time a lot of my even more personal relationships have become dependent on the Internet. And when my Internet is not working, I am cut off from a majority of my long-distance friends and loved ones.
I get very angry when someone meddles with the Internet primarily because of the fact that if something happens to it — and cable companies that are near-monopolies have no reason to really expedite or even take the time to fix something properly without endless hassle — my means of communicating some of the few people that keep me sane is gone.
When I spent over a day without the Internet at my own house, I became aware of just how … alone I was.
After that, when it was fixed, I just continued doing what I was doing. But I also noticed I wasn’t really going outside as often anymore. I was staying up late again. And I found I had nothing really to say on Mythic Bios. My mind began to become clouded and murky. I was avoiding people, even people visiting, because I already felt I had work to do that, conversely, I felt I wasn’t doing fast enough.
It even got to the point where communicating with people online became very disassociative. I suppose the signs were an extreme need for perfectionism leading the way to a lack of concentration and then, lately, a sense of frustration and anger. Sometimes, to make a Vampire: The Masquerade reference, I’m like an Antediluvian — an ancient and vampire — waking up from torpor and going into a blood-thirsty rage at existence. Or something suitably melodramatic. Sometimes anger is easier to feel — to actually feel active and present — than detachment.
But why shouldn’t I just go out? Why not just meet people outside or go to Toronto regardless? The truth is, there are few people I can meet in Toronto. Some others have already moved on with their lives or have their own difficulties to deal with. And I’ve had some bad experiences downtown and I feel very reluctant to open myself that way again. With a very apt, and now unfortunately timely, moment of insight Robin Williams once said something to the effect that the only thing worse than being alone is other people making you feel like you are alone.
So this past while, struggling to write, I’ve been mostly watching interactions. It’s felt easier in a lot of ways: just as corresponding with people over the Internet is still easier for me as I can, usually, express myself well through the written word instead of with the awkward chagrin of dealing with people “out of my element.”
At one point an acquaintance of mine made a joke that I was “better than the rest of them.” Now, when I was out more people did tell me that I have this mien of aloofness. But let me just state that I hope it goes without saying that despite my manner, the way I write and my “big words” that I don’t think I’m better than anyone.
Trust me, I know I’m not.
So, where does this leave us now? Well, I definitely knew my depression was getting stronger when I stopped writing Mythic Bios for a while. I will try to keep up this Blog and there are some other things I’ve wanted to write on here for quite some time. But at the same time I do actually need to do some writing.
I’m also still going to therapy. And my budgie is a source of ridiculous entertainment. I have other plans to actually meet some people as well as some tasks that I still need to fulfill. I think I’ve said everything I’ve needed to in this post. Sometimes, as my friend Fairytaleepidemic once mentioned to me about a year ago now, I wish I had a group of friends that I could just meet and marathon StarGate SG-1, Dr. Who, and other shows and films with — hell, even those bloody Clone Wars cartoons — just to be able to go to someone’s house and have that kind of contact and presence of like geek minds.
Who knows. Maybe it will happen again one day. That all depends on others. And myself.
That is all.