Regular readers will be aware of, and perhaps slightly alarmed by, my deteriorating metal health. It does not seem to be psychosis as such, nor plain old depression, nor any ordinary anxiety disorder. But something’s not right. I don’t want to leave my bedroom. Even the lounge room, being closer to the door, makes me nervous. The outdoors are an ordeal.
It would be easy to blame specific stressors in this environment. But, I sometimes got like this before. Very frequently, in fact. There’s something about The World that is threatening. On occasions I’ve even felt a sense of impending doom, like a nuclear bomb was about to go off or a tsunami about to sweep everything away.
The problem with The World is that, out there, I am not myself. I am a nice, civilized, house-trained version of Nikolai that laughs only at politically approved jokes and never, ever discusses the genetics of IQ.
I was confronted with just how closed I am to almost everybody this summer when I met an old colleague in Oz and we got to drinking. She told me I was always an enigma to everyone there and they wondered if I was secretly gay. Well, she got a definite answer to that question later that night. While still colleagues I avoid romance with her like the plague.
So many things happened in my life over those four years that we worked together. So many things that she knew nothing about. That no one knew anything about. Except you. I think you know quite a lot of it. All those things – and I hardly talked to anybody about it. Even people I thought I was fairly close to. I came to work as usual, professional and charming, when my girlfriend’s mother had just been murdered. And now just thinking about that time makes me sick. Am I human? What’s wrong with me?
And right now it’s the same. There’s only one bloke here who knows even a little about me. Everyone else – they have no idea at all who I fuck, where I go, what I do while I’m hiding in this little room at the back of my house. Nor do they wonder, I suppose. I’m not that interesting. But all this secrecy is starting to get to me.
One can’t be totally open. Only the very shallow or reckless can afford that. A man who thinks a lot will end up thinking a whole lot of things that might get him into trouble, wherever and whenever he lives. The thinking man’s gotta know when to keep his big mouth shut.
Voltaire mostly wrote under plethora of pen names. Montaigne always held something back. Shakespeare avoided any politics but that were foreign or ancient. I even sense Nietzsche twisting and dodging around certain topics, and he tried so hard to be honest that he was expelled from polite society, becoming something of a Boogieman for late 1800s Europe. Eat your veggies or Nietzsche will creep in the window and eat you!
But this almost perfect split between my two personalities – public and private – is starting to tell on me. Writing this blog has brought out and fattened the real personality. It would perhaps have done this even if no one had ever read it. My public persona, on the other hand, seems more Ken and Barbie with every passing day.
Talking to people is extremely difficult for me if we get on to any serious issue. The weather, okay; how to get the water back on, no worries. But . . . ethics? Marriage? Oh God – race? Religion? In this country my frankly expressed views might actually get me killed on that count. I’m not even comfortable talking about music. When people ask me what I like I mention harmless things such as Air, Bjork, Kraftwerk. I don’t get into Bengali devotional songs, 80s anime tunes or synthwave. Much less my obsession with requiems. I only play music with the door shut.
The private and public me used to be closer together. Perhaps when I was younger and more conventional (though I did not think so), they were one. They started moving apart ever since I red pilled around 2010, and have been drifting like wayward continents ever since. And now there’s an ocean in between.
I don’t need to haul these landmasses back together. Rather, what I need is a bridge. Or a boat. Perhaps that might be found in some like-minded friends who know something of both sides. Or maybe I just need to cut my ties to the Old World and go where I must go.
When I think of it, the things that help to calm my distress are those that give me a sense of internal unity. Solitary walks at dawn. Meditation. Most of all, writing. When I am trying to make a story work it seems that I not only come together, but that I also disappear, all my self dissolving most pleasantly into the creation of something else. But suddenly I get the ugly feeling this is turning into a bit of a wank.
I have an odd fantasy. I sometimes imagine that a woman, quite unlike any other, will understand me and help gather the scattered pieces of my soul. But that will never happen. They only need to understand enough of a man to ascertain your strength or weakness. Any complexities beyond that are your own problem and no lady’s gunna care.
Things, my whole life, seem to be coming to a head. This is the last year of an epoch. Next year everything is going to be different. It may be dramatically better or worse, but it will not be dramatically the same.
Fear. I can feel it in my chest right now. I hate social disapproval, especially from my family and those close to me. But neither can I believe all those things that I’m supposed to believe. I’ve been too timid all my life, never taking a hard line, and all of a sudden I find that I’m an undiscovered pariah and I don’t know how to handle it.
I guess the time has come, ready or not. The phantom’s going to take off his mask and scare the pretty chorus girls. But alongside all those screams they’ll be getting a little damp.