Posts tagged with "loneliness"

the things we carry

I can’t fig­ure out why I’m so moody lately. Maybe it’s been too long since I smelled the wood of my gui­tar. Maybe it’s the fresh Autumn colours that tend to mag­nify my emo­tions. Maybe I’m feel­ing over­worked, over­stim­u­lated, and too rarely under­stood. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a moment to myself in what feels like weeks, with so many feel­ings of lone­li­ness amongst so many people.

Autumn stream

 

I always think of exile in times like this, and in par­tic­u­lar, a stanza from Yevgeniy Onegin:

From all that to the heart is dear
then did I tear my heart away;
to every­one a stranger, tied by noth­ing,
I thought; lib­erty and peace
would serve instead of happiness.

Luckily, I’ve been read­ing The Poisonwood Bible, which reminds me that the only prob­lems I have are first-world prob­lems, and that I’m rich in ways many will never be.

I find it amaz­ing, the immen­sity of it, how any sin­gle per­son can be respon­si­ble for a tome of such rich sto­ry­telling, obser­va­tion, and wit. It’s the only book I’ve picked up in years, and I only started read­ing to get into her head as much as pos­si­ble (and piqued by my curios­ity on how she could describe a story of the Belgian Congo as sexy). Unsurprisingly, her favourite char­ac­ter is the strong, faith­ful, war­rior daugh­ter. Mine is like me too; the dark, brood­ing, intel­lec­tual child, dizy­gotic twin to hers. It makes me won­der if lik­ing one char­ac­ter over all oth­ers is too often an exer­cise in vanity.

In the end, Onegin real­izes he was wrong about exile, that he couldn’t fill him­self with empti­ness to replace the sad­ness, some­thing he only fig­ures out when he finds some­one worth lov­ing. That’s what’s pulling me back too, keep­ing me grounded amongst those dark moments of untem­pered emo­tion. I carry the image of her smile with me, the only thing as dis­tin­guished on her face as her Spanish eyes, and the rea­son I call her Cheeks from the way the flesh pulls up to round her face. I’ve stud­ied this smile for so long that I can see it every time I close my eyes, and with that, I carry a strength of my own too.

the charms of our idle dreary days

Don’t have much to say lately. Sometimes I get stuck at the title.

I’ve been hold­ing off on start­ing var­i­ous classes cause I’m not quite into my reg­u­lar pace of life. I’m still rid­ing the crests of over-stimulation from my trip, not yet ready to be rou­tinely see­ing peo­ple. Consequently, this means I lose sense of time, weekly classes once being my anchor points for cer­tain days of the week.

Ottawa balanced art sculptures/Sculptures en Pierre Équilibrée

 

I always look for­ward to grey and dreary days, when it’s the per­fect excuse to stay inside and just tin­ker on the guitar.

I never feel lonely any­more. I’m too comfy in the house, too occu­pied with this sense of hedo­nism, too busy pour­ing myself into my projects, too spoiled by life I’m liv­ing, too blessed by the cards I was dealt. Sometimes I end up park­ing my car at a strange angle one could never hope to repli­cate, and I’m sure this is how my neigh­bours can tell I haven’t been out in more than a week.

Hintonburger

The Hintonburger: a six ounce hand­made local beef patty with bacon, cheese, sig­na­ture bar­beque sauce, and fuck yeah.

All I ever wanted was a lit­tle bit of peace. Now that I’ve found it, I’ve stopped think­ing about the future. Right now is good enough.

short exile on a long weekend

When you no longer work in an office, some­times you don’t find out it’s a long week­end until the Friday of. My friends have also replaced their rit­ual bar­be­cues with babies and play dates, so no invi­ta­tions were sent out that may have noti­fied me of the holiday.

Toronto Lake Shore

A quiet moment among vol­ley­ball tour­na­ments and beach goers in a calm area of the Lake Shore.

I wanted to get away cause I’ve been dread­ing any time alone. Loneliness hits me hard­est when I’m sit­ting at home won­der­ing what every­one else is doing. A road trip to Toronto was the best way I could avoid that. Unfortunately, the only peo­ple I can drop in on with such short notice hap­pen to be five hun­dred kilo­me­tres away.

The truth is I never watch sun­sets any­more. I’m usu­ally too caught up in my projects cause I’m wor­ried about being left with noth­ing but the thoughts I’ve try­ing to put in the back of my head. That’s why I don’t mind the five-hour drive at this time of year; it gives me an excuse to see what I never make time to do. When I leave at a quar­ter to seven, I hit the rich­est1 part of the sun­set halfway through the 401. For a glo­ri­ous stretch, there’s noth­ing con­crete curves and crim­son colours bleed­ing through the trees.

CN Tower sushi

The “CN Tower” sushi plat­ter, with tem­pura obser­va­tion deck.

All I wanted was a quite time with the right com­pany, no heavy plans or per­son­al­i­ties. I’d be kick­ing myself for all the shots I missed cause I was too com­fort­able to pull out my cam­era, but I know that’s what those moments are about.

To lose your­self in the haze and sum­mer heat finally upon us is to live like a child again with­out a worry or thought of any­thing beyond the next five min­utes. Regression is embrac­ing the itchy sweat break­ing out on your face, as your fin­ger­tips mash the ice into slush in a white cream soda freezie.

grocery store

Feeling lit, feel­ing light,
2 a.m., sum­mer night.

I’m always fight­ing exhaus­tion on these trips cause I don’t get enough sleep. There’s too much to do. It’s a test of con­sti­tu­tion to be dri­ving in the dark­ness and city lights, won­der­ing if I’m too tired to be dri­ving, let alone nav­i­gat­ing the infu­ri­at­ing con­struc­tion and traf­fic of down­town Toronto. When I sur­vive another day, it’s a reminder that not every­thing has to be per­fect, that the world still turns no mat­ter the state of my heart or mind.

Over a par­tic­u­larly heavy blend, I was asked what it would take for me to go all out, to say fuck it and lose con­trol. It made me real­ize I’m already there, sid­ing with indul­gence over mod­er­a­tion, try­ing to break myself down so I can rebuild myself again. That’s why I always lose myself on those warm sum­mer nights, when I tell myself I’ll be in bed by 10 every night, but the com­pany keeps me up till 3.

cat and human

Dexter is now too fat and lazy to fight off my cud­dly advances.

I have such a mixed past with Toronto. It was such a chaotic time in my life when I lived there. I was crip­plingly unde­vel­oped, but that also meant I still had the inno­cence none of us ever return to once we hit adult­hood. Much like those mem­o­ries, this city will always be a part of me.

Now I’m back in Ottawa, returned to the lit­tle things that make it home like a famil­iar pil­low and a cat’s par­tic­u­lar purr. In my case, the exile is always self-imposed, a con­trolled escape, and I always won­der if any­one would care or miss me if I never came back.

  1. The time when it just starts to get dark, a bal­ance between the rich colours and bril­liance of light, since they both com­pose. []

god I hate myself for loving smoke and drink

The weather has been lovely. It’s the per­fect tem­per­a­ture, though the humid­ity has given my ukulele a much more pro­nounced buzz on the C string. Spring offi­cially begins when I can take the mit­tens out of my car and drive with the win­dows down, my only con­cern being that my music isn’t too embar­rass­ing, and I don’t get a sud­den burst of I BE ON THE HOTLINE LIKE ERRRRDAY when stopped at a red light.

cat on windowsill

 

I’m still phys­i­cally recov­er­ing from last week­end. I got back to Darren’s late after work­ing a very intense 14 hours, and since it’s been so long since we last saw each other, that was just the begin­ning of the night. Then we woke up early to see Chris. On the way home, I had to pull over at a com­fort sta­tion to grab a few winks in my car, but I was too uncom­fort­ably exhausted to fall asleep, and ended up dri­ving home bug-eyed. I’m sure this is why my col­i­tis is act­ing up.

Probably not good that I’ve been liv­ing such a hedo­nis­tic lifestyle. I stay up far too late, drink too much caf­feine, and indulge in too many sweets close to bed­time. I can’t tell if I’ve stopped car­ing, or if I’ve stopped feel­ing guilty about it.

I’ve been going through long stretches with­out con­tact from the out­side world. It’s forced me to face my own iso­la­tion, yet I don’t feel lonely. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s cause I tend to get obsessed with my small hob­bies, and it dis­tracts me enough. I worry that I’ve become a lit­tle too com­pla­cent in this intro­ver­sion. It makes me won­der how long I can keep going down this path, and whether I even want to be on it or not.

Team Fortress 2

On nights like this, I won­der how I’m going to kill the time before it’s late enough to fall asleep, wor­ried that I’ll be bored on a Friday and con­se­quently faced with the fact that I’m so very alone. I was crav­ing some kind of human con­tact tonight, but spend­ing time with peo­ple takes too much energy nowa­days so I decided, instead, to play Team Fortress 2.

I pur­chased it on an impulse, but this was still three years after TF2 first came out. There’s a very good rea­son I avoided buy­ing it for so long: it’s the sequel to Team Fortress Classic, one of the games I was most addicted to in my life, and a huge time sink1. An entire day could go by with­out real­iz­ing it when I was play­ing TFC, and I pur­posely didn’t buy TF2 when Aaron was get­ting into it too; I knew I wouldn’t stop if I had friends encour­ag­ing the habit.

TF2

 

Continue read­ing “Team Fortress 2″…

  1. Also the same rea­son I haven’t tried World of Warcraft. []