[I feel the need to apologise for this, because it’s moody and negative and full of self pity, lots of the things I hate in my writing only magnified to their fullest extremes. Buuut it’s all I have in me to write at the moment so, perhaps unfortunately, here it is.]
I woke up alone, which is weird because a few hours ago there was definetly somebody else in the room. She was American, had earphones in, and gave me a brilliant opportunity to ask about her struggles travelling (an opportunity I spectacularly missed.) I was in a hostel, of course, she wasn’t just camping out in my bedroom. Most importantly though, she was real and very much alive. So, waking up at half two in the morning and seeing that she’d vanished was weird. Not particularly surprising though.
They do that, those competetent, ordinary people. They leave in the early hours of the morning, all dressed up and pretty. They glide away, leaving the room empty and cold behind them, and then they… Dance? Go clubbing? Drink at bars? Kiss strangers in the street? I’ve got no idea.
I’d almost like the follow them, consentually and without the inherent creepiness my general demenear projects. I’d like the tail them through the night, learning what they get up to and how they entertain themselves, acting as the new kid in school while they show me the ropes. I don’t know if I’d enjoy prancing about beneath the evening lights, chugging down liquid confidence by the gallon, but I do know that I don’t particularly enjoy waking up in a room alone, imagining the fun they’re having compared with the fun I’m so deftly not.
What I don’t get is how the lonely ones do it, the people who, like me, have for some unexplainable reason decided to go on holiday alone. It’s easy enough to have fun doing pretty much anything with vaguely lively friends hanging from your arms, but alone? I can’t even go into restaurants alone, too self conscious watching all those couples being happy and loving, the shits. How do the lonely normals go out drinking, clubbing, partying? It’s genuinely an alien concept to me, which especially sucks when it becomes clear I’m the alien.
I don’t think about it at home, because there aren’t people disappearing in the middle of the night to start the feeling off. But I know people do it at home. They go out with friends to night clubs and bars and various other non descript entertainment facilities. How? Just step by step, how?
I feel somehow less, sitting here in this hostel room alone. I’ve had one short lived relationship, take fifteen minutes before entering shops to get myself prepared for it, and spend the evenings thinking about things I probably wouldn’t enjoy doing but which I wish I could be doing anyway. I’m a sub-human, it feels like. A charmless, loveless, hopeless weirdo. At least at home I can distract myself from it. Out here, travelling alone, every little awful thing I do shines bright and unimpeded. The nasty thoughts, the needy ones, the sheer childish wimpery. It’s all there, burning a hole in my spirit and my will.
I found a nice Cafe near my hostel in Tokyo, though. A place I’ve been to once already and so don’t have to walk past the window fifteen times before entering, prepping myself for the terror within. A place where the staff were lovely even despite my complete lack of shared language skills, and where the food is just about palatable for my increasingly difficult diet. I’m looking forward to going there tomorrow morning, and maybe tomorrow evening too. I’m looking forward to sitting down and watching a world I don’t belong to march right on by.
Which is a small thing, but a good small thing. The sort of thing I can hold onto at a time like this.