You don’t know how many attempts you’ve made to talk to people tonight, but your gut tells you - cruelly, mockingly, jeeringly informs you - that you’ve made enough to be pathetic. With clumsy fingers, you’ve sat at your keyboard for an hour now, typing out witty responses and deleting your stuttering failures; never sending anything and giving up because you’re not funny.
They won’t like you. You don’t even like you. They just think they’ll like you and that’s because you’ve said something right this time, but what are the odds of you managing to not embarrass yourself next time? People don’t need to be friends with you, not with the same suffocating need that you have to be friends with someone, with one of them. They already have friends and you’re a loser that can’t talk to people in real life or on the internet. You’re fucking lame, and while you’re at it, you should think about how stupid it was of you to think that you could ever make friends, no matter how fleeting that belief was, because damn son, that was stupid.
An unpleasant burning sensation grows in your face and creep downs your arms, familiar and all-consuming. You tremble when you close the lid of your laptop and push it far away, and you hate every involuntary quiver and jerk you can see yourself making as you give up for the millionth time and try to get some sleep.
But you don’t get sleep. You never do. No, no, no; you lay on top of your rat nest of a bed instead, staring up at the broken stucco of your ceiling poking from behind a swath of posters. Bands with cliché names stare down, judging you with their merciless, fame-hungry eyes. You wonder if maybe you used to look like that before everything went to Hell; relaxed, fluid, ravenous for something better. Then you think, “Yeah right,” because you’ve never looked like them. You’ve always just been you.
And the fact that those words, “You’ve always just been you,” make you squeeze into yourself tighter and tighter, constricting your legs and skeleton arms into the dilapidated space between your ribs and your stomach, and that it makes you seal your grimy eyes close against the pit of your room, that fact tells you more about yourself than you’ve ever wanted to know.
You feel those words fester in your heart like a virus, like a disease, like a cancer, and all you can do is melt into the sobbing tangle of neurosis that you really are.