Hello, 2017

Posted on January 2, 2017


My coworker, an older, short Mexican man, walked over to the edge of the shop and asked, “Why do you look so sad? New Year depression?”

I looked up at him and sort of grinned, having expected this conversation to happen. “I told you,” I said, referring to the answer I gave him earlier. “Women.”

“Ah,” he nodded knowingly. “So New Year depression. Another year without a woman.”

I nodded in return, looking away from him. “Yep.”

“I probably shouldn’t tell you this,” he said, and I looked back at him. “You should see a call girl.”

Again I nodded. “I know.” It seemed to be my only option. That, or tell the girl I had just told I didn’t want a relationship with that my mind had changed. It wouldn’t be right to do that to her. I liked her and all, but I couldn’t just get into a relationship with her for the sake of being in one. I didn’t have that connection with her. Or at least, I didn’t feel it like she did.

My being was consumed by another woman. Well, maybe you could say two other women. Both were good friends. One of them I hooked up with, and our friendship subsequently seemed to crumble from there. But her ex boyfriend did make an appearance, so I’m not incredibly sure what broke us apart. She never wanted to talk about it, no matter how hard I tried. All I got was the cold shoulder.

The other one just entered the dissolution of her marriage. I spent the days following  her husband’s departure practically living at her apartment, supporting her. I did it because I cared, and I hated seeing her upset. I went out of my way to try and make sure she would be okay. This was all without expecting any sort of compensation. But then what happens?

I was talking to another one of my coworkers about the situation. He told me I should try to make a move on her now that she’s single.

“I don’t think she’d appreciate that,” I said, fully believing that.

He nodded, agreeing. “That’s cool. Karma will get you back for that. You’ll find a bomb-ass girlfriend.”

I felt noble. Righteous, even. Maybe. Then a few days later this friend calls me. I had text her the night before asking if she was doing okay. She responded the next morning with a definite no, and asked to call me. I had a feeling I knew what this would be about.

“I ended up meeting with a guy from that dating site and having sex with him.”

That statement didn’t devastate me like I thought it would. But I knew that was because somehow, subconsciously, I prepared for hearing it. So I talked her through it. Advised her, comforted her. Told her it was okay. She really regretted it. I didn’t blame her.

But I was crushed.

At work, I started out by overcompensating for the sadness by joking around a little more than usual. Then when that didn’t work, I nearly snapped, ripping off the heads of two of my coworkers. I thought I was going to blow up on someone and have to step away for awhile. But thankfully I held it together. I just became consumed by a numbing sadness that continued to follow me.

Of course, I ended up spending New Year’s Eve with her. Whereas I was happy to be with her, that sadness was still there; a heaviness at the pit of my stomach. I knew that this would end at some point. She would find herself someone else to love, and I would return to the backburner.

I told her how I felt about her, and she was grateful to hear it. But she told me that her hopes were that I would find someone with the qualities that I liked about her, in someone else.

Of course.

I guess I hope for that too, but what are the chances of that actually happening? Very slim. Hope looks great on paper, blogs, or text messages. But in reality, hope only stands as much of a chance as circumstances allow.

I’ve never been in a real relationship. I’m twenty-four. That’s reality. Not very hopeful.

I don’t know what it’s like to have someone depend on you, want you around, always vying for your attention. The few times it has happened, I’ve felt suffocated. You might say that’s because I’ve never been broken in.

Sound hopeful? Didn’t think so.

The only sexual experience I have is from five prostitutes and one former best friend. Actual times I had sex: once, with the friend. The prostitutes: blowjobs. I was too afraid of catching something to have sex.

(Sorry it got visceral there)

Still feeling hopeful? I don’t know how you would be.

When 2015 ended, I felt hopeful. Maybe even a little emboldened. Now I’m wrestling with thoughts of suicide and hurting myself again. And here I hoped to get even more out of 2016.

That didn’t happen, obviously.

Or at least, not how I expected. I bought a clunker off Craigslist to broaden my mechanical knowledge. I went on two vacations. One to the Grand Canyon with my mother. The other to San Francisco with my father.

You’d think I’d be pretty happy right now. I’m not. Material items aren’t making up for the emptiness I feel; the loneliness.

So now 2017 is here, and all I know for sure is that I’m going to be 25 this year. The rest is up to circumstance. I won’t ask to get more out of life this time.

All I have to say is hello, 2017.




Posted in: Essays, Memoirs