“After hours of evaluations, our doctors came to the conclusion that he was paranoid, but speaking with family and friends, they stated that there were no obvious signs of mental distress. No one expected him to go through with the ******. He had a lot of faults, but most were thought to be harmless. His idiosyncrasies were overlaid with a well thought out patience and understanding. During the evaluation he spoke of compartmentalization, and his lack of emotional comprehension, which he explained should not be misconstrued as “apathetic behavior.” His words were inveigled, and when he wasn’t applying his charming disposition, he was implementing a passive aggressiveness. This was a man who did not hide in the shadows, but he knew them very well. Darkness was shown through his eyes the longer we spoke, as his pupils grew larger, and his determined stare, a menacing stare, pierced people’s souls.” – Dr. Rebecca Altwater
On the train. Not awake. It's not too crowded, around me at least. There is a group of black students, yes, I said black, because that is the color of their skin, and, well, I’m white, and I’m fine with being described as white. This is all factual. So the black, students, high school students, are creating a commotion. (I have always hated using the term “African American” because it has always made me feel prejudice. When I say it, I think of it as a label, and I’d rather not go further into what I mean by *labels). The train smells like ****. The smell overpowers my coffee. The coffee is weak. My body is aching. I’m starting to develop a headache. (The students are now beat boxing). My head is mutating. Temples pulsating. Veins exposed. Eyes closed. The beat boxing continues.
I reach into my leather shoulder bag. I’m not looking for anything in particular, more or less trying to look busy. A woman three seats down is watching me intently. My eyes are fixated on my bag. I can feel her eyes examining me. It’s hard to rule out the theory of having a sixth sense, especially in situations as these. My fingers delicately brush over a novel, the novel I decided to read during the train ride for this work week, to which I haven’t started reading, and completely forgot I placed in my bag — (It was an impulsive purchase) it was now another item that would solidify the self-realization that I am a procrastinator, and considering that this novel was for the work week, and it is now Thursday, just proves my point further. The novel will be shelved, and another novel will take its place in my leather shoulder bag. Although I may not follow through with my intentions I am still a person who stays very consistent. I will swap novels. After work I will stop at Borders books. I’ll need a new novel for work week number thirty out of fifty-two. After a week it will be shelved, and I will start again: buy another novel, and continue to not read it. I’m a very consistent person.
My alarm went off for thirty minutes this morning.
Glenn, my brother, calls me early in the afternoon to invite me to dinner. A family dinner. And he informs me that our mother will be there. He graciously asks me if I can attend, but I know he only invites me because he is dreading our mother’s visit. Very seldom do I see or hear from my brother and his family, but when our immediate family is added to the equation I am the first person he calls. I am (and this is how he put it) his “emotional confidant” when he becomes too overwhelmed. The reason this is, is because it has always been a one way street. His perception of me is not the most desirable, but he trusts my word. The term that comes to mind, when him and I converse, is that I am self-destructive. It must be easy for him to give insight to this speculation when he is just as irrational as I am. Our only difference is that I have embraced the idea of negative and positive spontaneity, whereas his neurosis comes from self-induced pressure and stress. When I die, it would not be in vain if it happened without warning. I am reckless. If he died unexpectedly, it would be of great shock, but it will most likely be the cause of a brain aneurysm. It’s funny how irony works. You know, us being brothers, and him seeing us as total opposites, when in reality our similarities outweigh the obtuse differentials.
It’s the halfway point of the work week. I have my new novel, untouched, in my leather shoulder bag. For the last three days (including today) I have arrived at the train station an hour earlier than usual. I made this decision Monday, and have found that it is a more logical time. Although I have an hour to **** before work, I avoid my headache (the black students) before sitting at my office desk. Thankfully, there weren't too many pros and cons that came with this decision. It was fairly easy. I could have continued to deal with an excruciating head pain, one that would stick with me throughout the day, or sacrifice an hour of sleep. The latter was the correct choice. When I came to this conclusion on Sunday I could not rest my brain. My mind was at ease, I felt relieved and content, but I was apprehensive nevertheless. Monday came and went, (slowly, because of minor sleep deprivation) along with all of my anxieties from the past week.
I never thought I’d say this, but seeing a therapist helps. There hasn't been much to articulate yet, concerning my listlessness, but my insomnia was discussed, and I was optimistic. My problems could be far worse, and when they are, maybe leaving an hour early is the answer. My next appointment is in two hours, at four, and I’m going to leave shortly. I don’t know what I will do for the extra hour I have allotted myself, but I do have a novel I won’t read and a newspaper that was left on my desk, with the headline reading, “Crime Rates Rise: How To Maintain Your Sanity During The Recession.”