May 26 2010, 10:49 am / Other
It happened again. My neuroses took hold of me. I can't handle this anymore.
I walked around the neighbourhood last night, the busy areas, the hip areas, where all the beautiful and fashionable people live. Tension, as always. The muscles in my back and shoulders were so tight I could hardly bear it. Paranoia. Everybody seemed to be looking at me.
My bulging gut. My lame shirt. My awkward shoulder bag. My unkempt hair. Maybe most of all, it was my tense, awkward, frightened, deliberate walk. I hated myself. I stared into every window I walked past, so that I could see and assess myself.
I imagine I stand out in a place like this. People come here to eat, to drink, to get laid. They're on the cutting edge of fashion. Do they look down on me? They must. Or maybe I'm just judging myself. Perhaps it's just projection.
Pretty girls everywhere. So many of them. I could hardly look at them. They're the most threatening people of all. I often see them walking with chiseled, fit, confident looking guys. If they look at me at all, they must think I'm creepy, or maybe just pathetic. I'm a joke. I don't even respect myself.
The people on the streets with their cold, sharp looks. There's no humanity in this city. Hate everywhere. Hostility. Anger.
I don't know any of them. I never talk to these people. They may be all around me, but they seem to live in a different world altogether. No, it's just me who lives in a different world, in a self-imposed social exile. Maybe I'm the hostile one. Maybe there's a genuine disconnect between how I view society and how it really is. Maybe it isn't hostile and dangerous. Maybe all of that is an illusion.
When did I become so goddamn fixated on appearance? Maybe I've spent too long living in this exceptionally trendy neighbourhood. I worship appearance now. I've become despicably shallow.
For a little while I lived in a poor, somewhat blighted neighbourhood. That was my shame, then. I couldn't even tell people where I lived because I believed they'd react negatively and I'd take their perspective to be the only truth. I became obsessed with where I was living. As absurd as it sounds, I felt worthless and pathetic because just because of where I lived. This triggered an intense, prolonged neurotic episode which set me back about two years in terms of recovery and very nearly ruined my entire life.
In desperation, I moved to the city's trendiest, most beautiful neighbourhood, even though I had to pay through the nose to rent a shoebox. There's a certain comfort in it. Even though I'm effectively a misanthrope and I hardly ever partake in the area's nightlife. Even though I have barely any social connection to the neighbourhood, I still derive some gratification from feeling like I'm at the centre of things. It's as though I'm desperately trying to avoid the feeling of exclusion. Perhaps I'm too focused on the lives of others, and not enough on my own life. The party is always somewhere else.