So you go to parties and gigs with your friends. You welcome the crowded spaces you pretend don’t remind you of the walls in your world that are closing in.
You look at your friends warmly by way of saying that they are more than enough. They will always be more than enough—but you won’t ever be, at least not to yourself, and that is the danger in the first place.
You struggle to tell a friend you want to disappear again and it feels as uncomfortable as small talk with strangers. Every word you hold back is a pebble that you try to swallow.
And you wonder how that started.
And slowly, you edge away from the crowd, from the conversation, from the ones you love.
You drink the cheap beer handed to you, or the overpriced cocktail you bought to indulge yourself. It doesn’t really make a difference, as long as you feel numb for the next few hours. Slouched in the dark corners of the bar. Making yourself smaller, a fake smile plastered on your face, pretending all of it makes you happy.
You hum along with the band. They sing your truths, and sometimes that’s all it takes not to fall apart. How your insides stay intact, even with the cracks on your skin glowing in the harsh red lights.
And you wonder how you could still feel hollowed out.
The close proximity of strangers to you makes you think you are not alone, but you always go home by yourself anyway. At 3am. And the bus ride home always reminds you of the speed with which your life is spiraling down.
And you wonder what all that rushing is even about.
And in the morning, you feel empty. You don’t remember any of the conversations you had last night, because none of them mattered. None of them scratched the surface and all you ever said were variations of,
“Good to see you, too!”
“I’ll talk to you later. I’m just gonna say hi to someone.”
You keep staring at the ceiling past midday, recalling what you’d done wrong. Maybe you didn’t sing loud enough. Or you laughed too hard at that one joke the tears that came out were not of joy.
And you wonder why you went in the first place. And you keep on wondering.
But you do it all again next weekend. The dance, the six bottles of light beer, the pretense. Because it might not feel enough, but sometimes–the lights, the music, and an endless Saturday night–it’s exactly the pull that you need. The one pill short of an overdose. The one cut away from bleeding to death. The mouthful of water that didn’t drown your lungs.
Saturday is that one step backward from the speeding truck on the highway.