I was pulled from my almost-sleep state the next morning by music. I could hear it very clearly, but not with my ears. Though I had been away from music, electronics, and essentially the outside world for some time now, it always played in my head; songs I knew, songs I didn’t know, but most often songs I hadn’t heard since I was a kid. I’ve never really had any gravity in my life; nothing to keep me grounded or attached in this world- but most days music was the only thing that kept me from crossing that most precarious line I had long lived on between the logical world and complete detachment, and the songs that woke me each morning or surprised me in times of distress never ceased to amaze and instruct me in the ever-relevant situations they preceded. I suppose the songs were kind of like a daily fortune cookie. 

Not a tear is wasted, in time you’ll understand,”

    The words kept playing though my head on repeat, and I had to sit and think for a long time what song it was. Oh. I laughed. I hated that song. I had heard it once a few years ago on the car radio, and even then I just laughed and turned it off. I didn’t want to hear anything about God or hope or any of that bullshit. I may not have been in my self spiting atheist phase anymore nos, but I still couldn’t stomach that positivity crap.  Just like it was easy for Job’s “friends” to accuse and assume him in wrongdoing for his situation, it was easy for people to tell me to “have faith”, or keep hoping, praying, trying,working, waiting, etc etc etc; easy when they weren’t the ones with no fucking life. Besides, I already blamed and accused myself enough that I didn’t need friends. But I was no Job; For all intents and purposes I called myself a Jonah- just me, my fern plant, a bad attitude, and a peculiar death wish. I’d avoided the ocean ever since. 

         An old friend of mine was in our hometown for the first time in some 4 or 5 years, since moving across the country- like most anyone I take any kind of liking to does, if they don’t get hit by a truck or other large freight vehicle in the meantime. My brother had told him where I was, and Alex was supposedly coming during visiting hours this evening. I wasn’t holding my breath; I didn’t even want to see anyone, but It felt wrong to tell him to go away since he probably wouldn’t be back for another few years. 

             I finally dragged my ass off of the cinderblock bed, greeted by the usual aching, nauseating pain that started in my neck and shot straight down to my stomach. I rushed to the small shower stall in the corner and wretched over the toilet. But on the relatively bright side, I was finally off of line-of-sight as of today, and could go with everyone else to the cafeteria. Maybe there would be some actual meat or vegetables- something other than the oddly grey-tinged somethings, prepackaged cakes, and over microwaved peas and corn. Oh the cliches. 

     The dining hall wasn’t bad at all- other than feeling exactly like a high school cafeteria, it was mostly a greater array of foodlike substances, but I was relieved to see a salad bar with some canned chicken or tuna. I possibly experienced a moment of actual joy to discover that there was coffee on tap. Caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and chicken were basically the four food groups; so I was doing pretty good now at three out of four. I got my chicken and vegetables, and sat down at one of the empty, round wooden tables. The other tables pingponged between fighting like schoolchildren and obnoxiously loud, course joking.
“May I join your company of sweet, sweet solitude?”


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