The worst of all of this is what I've come to term, "The Crash." The Crash is all the shit I'm not dealing with, that everybody knows I'm not dealing with, that I've very quietly swept up under the rug: the feelings that range from grief and disillusionment to loneliness and downright despair.
I'm 41. I will live and die alone. No one will ever understand me. It might never have really been worth the effort in the first place.
Intellectually, I know this is bullshit. This is only fear. This is the stuff I tell myself is not true. I have all kinds of data, all kinds of objections: 41 is still young. I'm a good man. I worked hard to make that happen, but it happened. I'm plain, but not unattractive. I've got a good sense of humor. I'm smart. I listen.
And these added up are my shield against the crash, that wall I hide behind while I say over and over I'm fine. I'm fine, really. No problem. I'm fine. I'm fucking fine.
I am not fine.
Because no matter how many times I say it, sooner or later something gets through. Today, it was "Pancho and Lefty," just a song that I thought would be good to listen to while I finished my workout at the gym.
Yeah, about that... suddenly, I'm all but running to get the hell away from people like I've got a stick of dynamite strapped to my chest. I'm coming apart at the seams.
That's the crash. It slams into me and I feel helpless, embarrassed and suddenly everything around me gets very dark and very cold.
So, why "Pancho and Lefty?" The fuck if I know. It's a god damned song about two cowboys. Hell, I hadn't even really listened to it until a couple of years ago when I started to appreciate Townes Van Zandt. I'm not even a huge Willie Nelson fan. I was just tired of listening to the Old 97s.
But there I am, unable to listen to anything but that one song (Thank-you iPod for making that exceeding easy). I don't want to hear anything else and every time I listen to it, the thing makes me want to curl up in a basement somewhere and not come out until around February.
This is the crash. I would like them to stop, please.