I walked six miles today.
After going to the gym, having some pizza for lunch, and then finishing up an assignment, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and take a quick walk around my neighborhood.
And that quick walk quickly turned into a long walk, where I wasn’t quite ready to stop yet. With my headphones plugged in and the sun at my back, I made my way through the quiet neighborhoods by my new apartment, then followed the path along the river for a bit before looping back and making my way toward my house again.
On the way back, as I crossed a high bridge over the Mississippi, I stopped for a few minutes to stare over the edge. At that particular point, the river is quiet wide and deep, and from where I stopped, I could see a mile away in either direction. As I stood there with my hands on the guard wall, and my chin on top of my hands, I started thinking about how that great, wide river could easily take me away. Not that I would survive a fall from that height. But the current could easily sweep away a lost soul and no one would be the wiser.
That thought scared me. That thought made me feel utterly, terribly alone. I started panicking. Is this normal? I asked myself. Do normal people think this way? I don’t think normal people think this way. There might be something wrong with me. Is there something wrong with me? Do I need help?
Standing on the bridge overlooking the river, my hands on the guard wall and my chin on my hands, I wondered to myself if it’s time to talk to someone. Time to come clean about this deepness within myself that never seems to get filled up. Time to admit how insignificant I feel, and how I often question myself. Time to tell my boyfriend how alone I feel, and time to tell my friends how much I miss them. Time to cry in front of people I’ve never cried in front of before. To make my charade disappear in front of them all.
I wanted to cry there, on that bridge. I wanted to slump down against the wall and bury my face and wait for the feeling to pass, or to have someone there who could comfort me and give me all the lists of reasons why my mind and body are better on dry land, rather than in that great deep river. Staring off into the distance at the river bend, I felt myself hollowing out. I felt myself wanting to apologize to every person I had ever hurt. For some reason, that list of people didn’t include myself.
And then I thought, Em, stop being so fucking melodramatic. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Just wait until this song is finished and then walk home.
I waited. I kept staring out at the distance, and at the river beneath me. This isn’t regular lonely, I thought. This isn’t like, gee, I wish my friends could hang out with me. This is more like, every living creature on this earth dies alone type of lonely. This is too much for me.
I started walking again. I walked into the grocery store across the street from my apartment and in a daze tried to find something to eat, but there was nothing. I didn’t want to wait in line feeling so frazzled. So I walked back out and walked another half mile down the street, to get pizza again. I wanted a beer so bad. The guy in the chair next to mine ordered a whiskey, neat. But I sat with my diet coke and slices of pizza and consumed them staring straight ahead.
Guys, I think I need something. Or someone. I might need help but I keep making excuses about why I can’t get it. I’m getting to my breaking point; I can’t keep walking around pretending that everything is OK. But I feel like that’s the only option I have – that, and writing here.
I suppose this will just have to do for now.
Em, day 254.