Dear Cassandra

On Monday night, despite efforts to the contrary, I was true to my word and ended up watching Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on my own. I had invited not one but two others local to my neck of the woods to join me, both accepted, and then both canceled on me.

So much for helping me dissuade notions of prophetic predictions. I felt lonely, but it wasn’t so bad. When I’m lonely, I work myself to sleep because that’s more pleasant than crying myself to sleep, which is too often the alternative. (When neither of those options present themselves, I’ve been reaching for NyQuil.)

However, for weeks now, the debilitating sadness has been coming in waves. It’s been years—maybe a decade—since I’ve felt this kind of heaviness in my limbs. I’ve been making the most of the times when I feel able to move (because, yes, there are times when I don’t), and am proud to say that I’ve done a relatively enormous amount of reaching out in times when I’m not.

But as much as I’d like to pat myself on the back about that, to congratulate myself on making social arrangements despite the persistent pessimism, it doesn’t seem to be doing any good.

Last Friday, at the behest of a new acquaintance who wrote me some of the smartest emails I’ve ever gotten after reading my blog, I went to the Transmission party at the SF Citadel.

You: “Well, how was it?”

Me: Meh.

You: “Oh, come on. Why ‘meh’?”

Because despite knowing more people than I thought I would, spending $35 on a cup of coffee and some fruit for a chance to give out some cards and shake a few people’s hands over the course of a couple hours isn’t my idea of a good time. I would have had a better time if I had met this acquaintance over an overpriced Starbucks latté, we would have talked more (they had play dates to attend to), and it wouldn’t have cost me $35. Thirty-fucking-five-dollars.

Some of us just aren’t party people. If that’s not okay with you, you’re shitty friend material to begin with.

Rather than ramble on—I’m only writing this because I literally have no idea what else I could possibly do with myself that would be constructive at this point—I’ll record this overly-personal SMS (that’s “text message” for you luddites) conversation I had today:

Them: “I’m in introvert hell.”

Me: “Oh dear. I’ll appreciate a brief Skype call if you’re up for it in a few. You can tell me what ‘introvert hell’ is. :)”

Them: “I’m in a car with grandparents for the next 45 min and then sleeping on a couch. I’ll see if I can step away once we arrive”

Me: “Okay. No pressure. Enjoy family while you can.”

Them: “I just have no privacy…. How’s your weather?”

Me: “Ah. Well, if you need privacy maybe you should grab moments alone, not on Skype with me. :) My weather is…cold? I don’t know. I just have no idea what to do.”

Them: “No idea what to do?” [Then, later] “Hey. I def don’t have enough privacy to make a phone call. :-( I’ll wake up one of the Olds. Anything I can do for you besides love you from here?”

Me: “No. Thanks for asking. Have a good night. I hope you find some privacy.”

Them: “I’m so sorry to disappoint.”

Me: “Disappointment implies expectation. I hope I didn’t give you an impression I expect of you, that you’re somehow obligated. I don’t—you’re not—so don’t be sorry.”

Them: “I’m fine. Just wish I could give you more this moment. Am willing but not able.”

Me: “I understand but can’t empathize. Story of my life is either unwilling but able or willing but unable. It embitters me—how could it not?—and it’s NOT your fault.”

Them: “Goodnight, may.”

So, now that I’ve managed to find a way to pass this hour, I’ll go see if I can face working again. Kink On Tap episode 57 needs to get published. I hear that show makes some people happy.

And even if I’m not, I can’t stand the thought of my own depressive lethargy standing in the way of a smile on one of the show’s listeners. I’m pretty sure, now that I think about it, I’ve turned into an activist because it’s the strongest reason I still have to stay alive.

I guess that would explain why I have so few friends.

3 replies on “Dear Cassandra”

  1. I can definitely empathize – showing up at parties by yourself can be a really awkward and sometimes embittering affair. Are there any munches that go on in your area that are low-pressure & friendly? Just trying to find way to help, please don’t take the suggestion amiss. I’ve been depressed before myself :)

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