Every day, roughly a half hour after waking up, I sit at my cubicle in the office where I work, and I take three pills. The first two are Adderall XR, a drug whose mental benefits I have been lying to my doctor about so that I can gain from their appetite-suppressant effects; and the other is an iron supplement, which I am taking mostly due to malnutrition and memory loss.
I sometimes wash these down with a diet Coke, or some ginger ale or a paper cup of water, and no one notices. If they do, they don't say anything. I could be taking Valium or whatever, right at my desk, and they'd really have no idea.
It's been a while since I have been on sedatives of any sort; I think I'd like to try it.
After the pills, I'm ready to start. I interact with a stunning number of people evey day. None of them are usually very nice. There is the odd one, but at this point my brain has been so conditioned and desensitized that it really doesn't matter.
More often than not, I'll tell people that I don't have an addictive personality. And it's half true. I don't think I could give up any of my vices if I wanted to at this point. But I don't have an addictive personality because I don't have a personality at all.
I have spent a long time staring at myself in a mirror, and noting each feature of my face -- the woefully imperfect skin, the slight crookedness of the mouth, the untended eyebrows, the disappearing (but still present) double chin, the eyes -- and I see a collection of parts, a set of displays, based in the same material, and designed to create the flawless illusion of a functioning human being. The idea, even, that when I shake a man's hand and listen to his troubles, that anyone is home at all. And it is simply not true.
Eyes are windows to the soul, it's said, and if you look into mine you will see whatever looks the most like what I wanted you to think I was feeling. It, like all the other facades (and I do not think I am alone in all or even most of them) I maintain on a daily basis, is a lie. I arrange factors both internal and external to see to it that you believe everything I say and do, or at least believe I had any good reason to say or do it. I did not. I do not. I will not.
I do not exist.
I think that the reason I have returned to my hedonistic ways is because my senses are the only way I feel anything. I cannot feel genuine affection for anyone and so instead I bask in their scent or appearance.
It is currently 1:41 in the morning. If I really wanted to, I have no doubt that I could groom myself a bit and then walk five minutes (if that) down the street, catch a single-looking attractive girl coming out of any of the bars that will be closing, and have her back here in this room within a half-hour.
But honestly, I just don't care enough right now to go through the motions of giving any degree of a shit about sex right now. I think that if I took a girl back here, I would just sit down on my bed and I don't know -- maybe just keep asking her questions about the penis size of every male she's ever been with, continuously, and see how long it takes her to get completely freaked out and leave. I would be more entertained watching some poor drunk girl get increasingly uncomfortable than I would by shoving myself inside her. I just don't care enough.
The act of genuinely caring about someone and what they have to say is a precious and beautiful one, and it's kind of rare, in my experience. And I can honestly say that unless someone has something to say that can keep my vices well-supplied, I just don't care. I'm sure it's nice and I'm glad it matters to them, but whatever it is, it's guaranteed to bounce off my brain.
Whenever I meet someone for the first time, I sometimes think about what would happen if I just started vomiting blood on them, midsentence. Not out of any desire either for attention or to ruin their clothing -- I just would like to see what they'd do. Would they be all forgiving and understanding about it? Would they resent me for what I'd done, as though it'd been on purpose (although I suppose it would have been)? Or would they be concerned -- suggest I go to the emergency room and everything? Part of me hopes that they would ask me what was wrong so I could tell them, "Nothing at all -- I just wanted to vomit blood on you and see what you'd do." And then I'd get to see what they'd do when I told them.
The lesson here is that if you pull back one layer of apparent lack of concern for the emotional well-being of any other person, you will find even less concern for same.
I do not feel very much at all, and it's far different from a simple joyless existence -- I am possessed of very little melancholy or anger, and my state of self is hardly a reaction to being previously hurt. At this point, I would be lying if I said that I remembered particularly well what being hurt felt like.
Every day (less so, now), I say things on a website, and people listen. And some of them even think that I'm being emotionally revealing on it -- sharing stories of my life and experiences. Like my face, which I can no longer bear to look at, it's all pretty much a show. I am going through the motions of having and sharing emotions and allowing access to it through the usual channels. And you listen to what I have to say, and you agree or disagree, and you think you know me.
There is no me to know.
Peel away artifice and you will only find more artifice. And under that, nothing. The simple act of inhaling and exhaling seems dishonest to me, solely by dint of the fact that it's me who's doing it. I feel as though I made myself and am continually doing so, crafting an artificial persona out of another existing one, like a marionette who has somehow transcended autonomy and is pulling its own strings. My mind is nothing so much as the Worm Ouroboros, its lengthy spine made out of pretense and fabrication, infinitely swallowing its own tail. One would think that cramming oneself so far down one's own throat would trigger some sort of gag reflex, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
I don't know who is worse off -- me, for pretending that I was a working, functioning whole; or you, for believing me.
And who am I?
I am nothing. I am no one. I do not exist.