Sitting at the hospital waiting for the test results, I can feel the building sway as its foundations swell and recede in the storm. The contents of the pale brown cup in my hands from the automatic vending machine are cold and somehow unaffected by the weather, but I am too tired to move and find somewhere to dispose of it, or even to lean over and put it down next to my feet. I keep it in my hands. It gives me something to think about. I think I’d like to die on a Sunday. It feels more conclusive.
2018 was the worst year of my life. Both grandparents on my father’s side had died, followed very swiftly by my mother, and a six year relationship with someone who deserved better than my ability to merely exist, came to an end. That was a few years ago now, and I don’t blame her. A few months later I had dated, and once more broken up with, a nice girl because I hadn’t been ready, didn’t know what a new relationship was supposed to entail, and decided that it was ultimately easier to be on my own. I have only told one person about my tests, about the small pieces of skin detaching and not being able to feel it, and about the eyes. I have never met her face to face.
I am a nice person. I am a horrible person. I like animals. I hate children. I feel old in my body and mind. I always thought I’d be happy by now, and that effort was worthwhile, and as I rush towards death I wonder if I should stop worrying. I get up at 06:00. I worry my medication makes me put on too much weight. I live my life by schedules. I buy too much coffee, not even the coffee, but for the syrup. I realise this is why I have let the beverage in my hands go cold. I gave three full cafe loyalty cards to one of my work friends at my last jobs when I left. We didn’t keep in contact. I like historical sites. I only drink alcohol in the bath. I eat under the guise of ambivalence. It’s not just my medication that makes me put on weight. I correct people’s grammar as though I know enough about language to do so. I am better at writing than talking. I can speak in public but only with an element of self-criticism. I enjoy arguing if I know that I’m right. Anger is my most levelling emotion. My sporadic and rare over-confidence makes me feel nauseous. Once when I was a kid I watched a teenager steal something from a toy shop and I didn’t tell a soul. I watch the characters file past me on the way home from work and despise each of them because I know my life is as meaningless as theirs. Sometimes I tell my legs to keep walking and they don’t if I think too much about it.
I cried when my sister told me she was pregnant because I was angry that people can happy with such a simple life, and that I’m too intelligent to be placated. I think the world is overpopulated. I struggle to place myself, caught between wanting to mean something and feeling reassured of my own insignificance all at the same time. I want quantification and freedom in equal, albeit overlapping parts. I haven’t slept properly for a long time. We all die alone and everything in the meantime is meaningless. We are all dying. We drag ourselves through a created existence as though there is some benefit to it. Anything which is loved is always lost. I think grief vastly outweighs joy on a daily basis. I think people who think otherwise are ignorant. I’m going to work until I die as though that’s a choice I’ve made and am happy with. I like my job and I like the people I work with, sometimes. I don’t like the travel and I don’t like the pervading sense of emptiness in completing inconsequential tasks. I tried to learn to drive but mostly learned that the concrete world is endless. I want a new job and to buy a house, as though that’s a choice I will make and be happy with. When I think how much money the heads of corporations earn I occasionally forget to breathe.
Suddenly the view outside is beautiful and interrupts my thoughts; a strip of yellow sky tears through the pervading grey, and fills me with sadness. In the reflection of the window I notice the doctor returning. In reflection of the window I see myself, though my dark clothes fade into the outline of the chair. My face is pale, harsh at certain angles, bearded, not unique. My glasses sit at an unsymmetrical level as I tilt my head to where it is most comfortable to hold it. Turning to face the doctor I see her smiling, and my face becomes something that resembles a reaction to good news, and I know that I’m not going to change a thing.