I can feel my hands.
As I pace nervously in my bathroom I can feel the grooves in my hands like sandpaper. I rub them together to nullify the sensation but the cold-sweat on my palms only magnify my uneasiness. My hands glide against each other hot, wet and brackish. I am thoroughly out of it.
I’m not even at the party yet and I’m have a physical breakdown. I notice how I’m breathing, very shallow, and my breathe feels cold when I exhale but hot in my throat. I think about how literally nobody else at this function will feel the same way I do. Nobody else in the city right now feels as anti-social as I do, right now, at this time. In this moment all my past failed social encounters, no matter how small and insignificant, congregate in my chest and I begin feeling as if my chest will collapse on itself. But I can’t chicken out.
It’s good for you, I tell myself. You can’t stay inside all the time. You can’t just sit on your computer all day and allow your already thin muscle to atrophy any further. Loneliness is bad for you according to those articles you read a couple years a go. Loneliness will render you insane, and it won’t be cool. You won’t be a cool insane artist like Van Gogh, you’ll be a street bum. You can’t survive off of skill alone, managing teams don’t want you to be a loser.
My phone rings and it pierces my chest. It pummels my heart.
“Come outside we’re here” he says.
I groan an affirmation and exit the bathroom. As I walk the halls I’ve walked for years everything seems warped. Everything is larger and more real, everything is watching. I notice how cold the door knob is when I touch it and I slowly open the door to the porch.
Like an apprehensive puppy I look at the steps, wouldn’t it be embarrassing if I just feel and split my face open in front of my only friends? Surely I could never face them again. I walk down as carefully as an elderly man and glide up to the car.
They greet me. I greet them with no more enthusiasm than necessary. Just enough so they don’t notice the troll pounding at my temples. My second self sits because mentally I am not present.
I am above the car hyper-analyzing every reaction to every movement or sound that I produce. Like a marionette I move my body detached from it, seemingly alive to others, but there is nothing organic about my movements. I mimic, and tediously skirt the fine line between “enjoyable enough to be remembered” and “quiet enough to go unscrutinized.” Because I want my friends, I need my friends, but they don’t have to know that I need them so badly.
At The Party
It’s not fun.
I don’t get it. It’s not fun doing this. Where does the enjoyable part come in? How do I dance to this sort of song? Do I just jump? Why do people look at me when I move? Why are people looking at me when I’m still? I hope they don’t think I’m here by myself, it’s just that I’m too boring to be around during a party that’s all. This music is too loud to socialize, so how do I get a dance with someone else? How do I make friends here? Isn’t that the purpose? All the approachable girls are taken…
My joints creek as I move after an hour of statue like still. I approach someone and sort of wiggle in their vicinity like a floppy piece of laminated paper. They look at me confused. I’m confused…isn’t this what a party is? I go to a separate corner.
It’s winding down and like a modern day gargoyle I stand dark, hunched, clutching my Corona for dear life. A larger boisterous man passes me like some sort of deranged buffalo. Why can’t tall guys handle their liquor? My throat becomes even hotter as I well with anger, and some envy. I need to get out. All of my friends are doing fine but I need to get out. I leave and sit on the steps until the party dies or the designated river get bored and then it’s over.