#4: Quiet House


Being a grown-up is weird.

Some days I just get in my car, turn on music, and drive. I don’t have a destination in mind. There’s a vague concept of food being somewhere along this journey. But it’s so weird. I’m driving, all on my own, with no one in the car. I’m going to go eat dinner, by myself. Then I’m probably going to hang out in a cafe with my computer open, writing things. Stories. Online journal entries. Messages to friends.

I carry a bag with me when I go out. It usually has my computer in it, my iPod, my Kindle, a book, or two, or three, a mess of chords, and sometimes a video game. I go into the cafe and set it down on the couch, and I play the old piano. Then I buy a coffee and sit down on the couch and open up my computer. I put in my headphones and listen to music. I type. I reflect. I talk to people who seem interesting. I go up and say “Hi. I just wanted to be a part of the conversation.” I tell them my name. I make them laugh. I always make people laugh, I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s that I’m particularly clever so much as that people find me shocking and it makes them laugh. I tend to just say whatever I’m thinking. Sometimes it’s filthy, or sexual, or stupid, but I say it, and people usually respond well to it. I’ve been told way too many times that I need to be an actor or a standup comedian. I don’t entirely get why that is, apart from the fact that I’m just so open.

I want to play music for people on stage, but my music still has a way to go before I’m satisfied with it. I have so many words but not enough real musical ideas for the words, and I have an old keyboard that I hate the sound of. To borrow and paraphrase something Ben Folds once said about keyboards and real pianos and which he preferred to play on stage, my keyboard sounds like it’s being played by an old dead guys fingers. No heart, no soul. Some keyboards aren’t like that, but mine is. I don’t even like to play it because it makes me feel uninspired. It makes my melodies sound terrible. It makes music that sounds great on a piano sound bad with it’s blandness.

Anyway, I was talking about being an adult. It’s strange. I can’t help but feel weird that I’m walking the world all alone. I go into a restaurant and sit down and order my food, and I read a book. People around me are laughing and talking and making jokes and banging their heads against windows and cheering for friends who walk in the restaurant, but I am just sitting there quietly reading a book. I want to be banging my head against the windows with them though, I want to be shouting and laughing and having fun. When the weekend comes, I have no house to go to, no friends to be around, no party to attend. It’s just me alone in my bedroom. It’s so strange how so much time can pass and yet still, nothing’s changed. It’s the weekend and school’s out and I’m fifteen years old, and I spend the weekend masturbating and playing video games and watching television and playing outside. It’s the weekend now, ten years later, and my weekend consists of basically the exact same thing, only I don’t live with my family anymore so there isn’t an endless supply of food, and because I don’t like cooking I have to either go to the store and buy dinner or go to a restaurant and waste what money I have.

The thing is, I have friends. Friends who would cuddle up with me, friends who would kiss me, and fuck me, and play games with me and watch movies and takes walks with me. But they all live far away. It’s always been that way. I can’t make friends nearby, even when I put myself out there. I walk up to strangers in the coffee shop and they laugh and they say they think I’m great and funny, but I don’t ever hear from them again, even if we exchange numbers, even if we add each other on social media websites.

In the end, I keep ending up alone. I wish I understood why that was. This life is so fleeting. I want to spend the whole damn thing near other people. I want to feel the warmth of other people’s skin, I want to pet stray dogs, I want to explore old buildings and walk along streams. But instead, I’m here, at home. My roommate’s old pit bull is on the couch next to me. And I’m sipping soda from a takeout cup and writing about my life. But what I want right now are lips to kiss, loud noise and a full house, drunkenness, laughter, excitement.

But it’s still me and the Playstation, me and the computer, me and the takeout cup, me and the dog, me and the couch, me and the quiet house.

Always me in the quiet house.


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