As I completed my final year at university, the news was filled with stories of how the economy was going down the toilet, businesses were going under, jobs were being cut and unemployment was on the rise. My own brother was made redundant, on Christmas Eve no less (Charles Dickens eat your heart out). Months went by after my graduation, I didn’t find any work. I claimed unemployment benefit, it’s not much but it was the only option I had, having no savings to fall back on. I loaned some money from a friend I had helped out in the past to help keep up with the rent. After roughly 18 months, there came a point where I couldn’t keep asking for help, couldn’t afford to keep renting a place for myself, and so, after being evicted from the second house in one year, I moved back in with my family. I guess I am lucky to have family to fall back on, a relatively stable home to move back to if anything like this ever happened, but I don’t feel very lucky. It meant having to move back to the small, backwards town I grew up in, into a hovel of a house, with even less job prospects than I had in the city.
I do have some friends left here, although I haven’t been to see them since I moved back a few months ago. My mother asked me why, but I couldn’t tell her the real reason, it’s too stupid. The real reason I have been hiding away in my craphole of a bedroom is that I resent them. They have homes, spouses, children, jobs, while I have nothing. It’s a petty reason, but that’s how I feel. It’s not just that though. I am so angry about how I’ve ended up, feeling trapped and totally useless, that I can’t help but project that anger onto other people. I snap at my family, I shout and generally act like a grumpy old sod. I don’t want to inflict myself on anyone I don’t have to, I don’t want my friends to suffer having to talk to me. They don’t deserve that, they deserve a happy me, who always makes them laugh and has interesting things to say, like it was when we were growing up.
That’s not me anymore, and I wonder if it ever will be. I’m a broken man, I have nothing, I have nothing to look forward to; this is it now, I wake up, eat, shit, wank, go to sleep and repeat. On the slim chance that someone might throw me a lifeline from the sinking ship that is my life, I don’t know if I could take it, really take it, like it was real, or if I will just discard it like so many other cruel tricks life has played on me. I think parts of me are dead, and I don’t know if I will ever get them back.
I don’t feel anger, I feel rage. Anger is such a fleeting emotion, you bang your thumb with a hammer and you curse the hammer’s name. It’s forgotten so quickly. Rage is something different, it’s always there, a great welling pressure inside you that never releases. It rots away at your insides until it’s all you feel, every other emotion tainted by it until it’s all you can express. It’s incurable, inexplicable and hard to control. I feel like an unexploded bomb, just waiting for the trigger to go off, god help anyone who gets in my way when it happens.
So what does a man do without hope? I feel like a robot, just going through the motions, doing the things that keep me alive, keep me from getting so bored I commit a murder suicide. I wish you could manufacture hope, perhaps you can. Perhaps if I tell myself enough times that things are going to get better, maybe they will. I’m pretty sure I lack the faith to even try that though. No, I’ll just wallow because it’s all I’m good for. I’ve never lived up to the high expectations that people have of me, so I won’t even try, at least that way I won’t be disappointing anyone. Even on the fantastical day when everything I ever wanted gets given to me, I won’t know what to do with it.