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v.i. to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts

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Jun. 20th, 2009 | 03:32 am
music: phoenix - lasso

I worry more than I let on.

Not about getting places on time, becoming homeless one day, or my ballooning to-do list. Not about nuclear war, or market failure, or even very real health problems affecting people I know. If I’m not optimistic about these issues, I’m at least indifferent.

But I worry a lot about this man who bowls at Cordova by himself. He’s older, and in poor condition, often resting to huff and puff between frames. I went to that alley three times in two weeks once, and he was there each time, alone. Rationally, I know he might simply be a sad-looking man who bowls to clear his head or as a personal pursuit. But I worry that he bowls in the hope of making friends or that he used to have a partner who passed away.

I worry about a friend of mine whose life is quickly disappearing under work, whose active hours don’t synch up with the rest of ours. He gets up at 3am to collaborate with a research in Germany and sleeps as soon as he gets home from his 9-5. I worry about a neighbor who had cases of chips and beer and 2/3 of a birthday cake leftover after a party he threw. Did his guests not show up? Will he have one next year?

I worry about a smart, funny, capable acquaintance who looks forward to settling down and having kids, but hasn’t clicked with anyone in a long time and can feel herself getting older. She’s got tons of pictures of her friends’ children and they’re getting bigger and smarter and more like real people, while her own kids are becoming more and more of a fantasy.

I don’t need anyone to tell me that I’m being presumptuous or paternalistic toward people who are by and large older and more self-sufficient than I am. Or that worrying is a waste of time and egocentric. I know these people probably don’t want my worries – or less kindly, my pity. I go places by myself all the time! Restaurants, concerts, states – and I get pissed off by sad sidelong looks.

Or maybe they should worry about me, too? When I'm not caught up in the storm of falling in love or moving or working 12 hour days, I can categorize my hours as either (a) hopeful, almost unaware states of planning and laughing and enjoying, or (b) deeply quiet moments where I think that those periods of happiness are only distraction, distraction from the utterly lonely, Troy Maxson-like existence of chasing after fulfillment and community. So I worry that maybe everyone else feels the same way, and that I can’t write myself off as going through a bipolar phase and projecting it on everyone else.

And I think, would my days be completely different if I’d never read The Stranger?

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from: gergoeschainsaw
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
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word

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Morgan McCrory

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from: plexi
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
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"I can categorize my hours as either (a) hopeful, almost unaware states of planning and laughing and enjoying, or (b) deeply quiet moments where I think that those periods of happiness are only distraction, distraction from the utterly lonely, Troy Maxson-like existence of chasing after fulfillment and community."

I often feel this way, Leigh. For me, it's just a part of existing. To have some control over the melancholy is to survive.

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from: freud_chicken
date: Jun. 22nd, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
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1) I had to look up Troy Maxson

2) I'm right there with you on most of this

3) You already knew that

4) There is nothing more to life than the planning/laughing/enjoying side fighting with the quiet/existential/lonely side. The trick is to find the correct balance. Too much of (a) and you become one of those vapid, shallow-happiness people you look down upon in a sour-grapes sort of way when you're depressed. Too much of (b) and you never leave the house. The ideal is to be both fun and interesting, ecstatic and soulful, burning up the dance floor at night and making cogent arguments over brunch the next morning.

5) Your balancing act looks good from here.

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