From within my one-bedroom, three-story apartment I can hear the violent wind outside. It blasts against my closed window and rattles my door. I can feel it, hear it slam against the outer wall like a wave of invisible fists fighting to break through. I consider taking one of my remaining Buspar before driving to work, as I anticipate some profound fucking anxiety as the wind is surely to rock my car, but decide against it.
I got this.
Stepping outside, despite the cyclonic violence, I find it surprisingly warm. One never knows what the weather is going to be anymore. Mother Nature of the Ohio chapter is evidently bipolar, unable to decide from day to day, even from hour to hour what season it is that we’re in.
Clenched teeth, white-knuckling the steering wheel, I make my way to the shit-hole of a town I work in.
Watching Sam Harris, one has to admire his consistently calm and collected manner of engaging in even the most volatile debates. I must wonder if he has always been like this or if it is his extensive meditation practice that helped him achieve it and enables him to maintain it. In either case, it’s certainly enviable.
He’s also notable in my mind because out if all the so-called “new atheists” he is the only one that I’m aware of who does not necessarily discount the paranormal as he rightfully blasts religious absurdity. Not does he discount the experiences people of all faiths — and those of none — who have had what they are left to call, if only for lack of a better term, mystical, spiritual, religious or transcendent experiences. He is one of the few I have come across who think, as I do, that given we survive long enough as not only a species but as a civilization science will come to tackle the spiritual, mystical, paranormal. We just need to approach these experiences rationally, explore them with reason, and relinquish this insipid value we have placed in faith — which is to say belief without evidence, belief in the face of contrary evidence. We must decide that we do not want to believe, but to know, to achieve greater understanding. That takes not blind faith, but a rational methodology.
Though it’s been some time since I’ve read the guy, Nietzsche always seemed to find value in self-contempt, seeing it as a means of transcending the ego — or in the very least, that’s how I’ve always interpreted it. So the way I’ve been feeling increasingly as of late, as negative as it is, as unhealthy as it is, I try to look at as a form of ascension.
Sadly, I’m no übermensch, and this is as far as I’ve come with respect to self-overcoming. Even so, it helps me look at this in a cup half full kind of fashion.
In my head there is what I have come to refer to as an Excuse Generator. I keep catching myself, especially at work, manufacturing scenarios in which I provide justifications to others — cops, managers, total strangers — for various behaviors.
Why do I mop the floor in the back room before truck comes as opposed to after, which would be more sensible given that unloading the truck is just going to mess up the floor again? Where am I driving from, where am I driving to, and why? How, what, where, who, why this, why that?
And then I subject my behavior to analysis and formulate reasons as if trying to convince the imaginary person who asked the question that it all makes sense.
I often feel fake when I’m around people and I’m constantly beating myself up inside over it — the things I say, the way I act, the responses and behaviors I continue to carry out regardless. Even among those closest to me I feel that I rarely come across as authentic — and for good reason, I suppose. If anywhere, only when I’m alone do I feel as if I’m truly myself and I often fear that if I’m denied my solitude I may lose myself. The rampant empathy — getting lost in the emotions I sense from others — has a lot to do with it, I think. It often sends me on overload. Then I get anxious and angry, and if I yell at someone I typically end up feeling guilty, which just adds more emotional fuel to the fire. Or I fear I made someone feel uncomfortable or hurt: in any case, guilt, self-loathing, emotional overload…
Solitude is my sanctuary. My sanity. Isolation is how I recharge, find my balance, and reclaim myself.
Giving up on getting a girlfriend or ever marrying may sound morbid to some, but it’s not really that way at all. There’s no longer any stress over approaching a woman, over making a move, over being enough for her or having fears that I am relying on her like a child and riding coattails all my life; no guilt over spending enduring periods alone or not wanting to attend social gatherings. No worry about fucking up a friendship by making a move or about breaking up with her when I inevitably feel suffocated and need to end it and get the fuck away.
Yeah, I miss close contact up to and including sex without a doubt, but it doesn’t seem to me that its worth the cost. Jerking off will never be as cool as good ol’ copulation, but it gets the job done.
And as soon as I masturbate and my head is as clear as my nuts are empty I think to myself how its not such a big deal. Then I go back to dealing with what I consider to be greater matters.