Today is my birthday.

Each year on my birthday, I like to take a little inventory. How's it going clampe? What's the good word? You doing what you're supposed to?

Right now, just at this moment (and I'm sure it'll get better in a little bit), this life doesn't seem worth it. I'm not the man I want to be. I'm working too hard and it doesn't seem worth it.

The person most important to me is crippled by miniscule amounts of chemicals in her brain. Some days she's her, and some days she's a different her. I wake up every morning not knowing if I have to summon the inner strength to keep two souls afloat, or if I can show the smallest amount of weakness. I am totally in love for almost 20 years, and each day it gets harder. and harder. until I know that someday will break and love will spill from me like tar and I'll be left as empty as the drum my grandparents used to burn garbage in. I've never given up on anyone. Ever. And that's going to kill me.

I drink too much. I'm out of shape. Really, I'm fat. I pick my nose too often. I dress poorly because they don't really make clothes for a dude my size. I'm apparently maudlin and self-pitying. I don't have parents, I have leeches. I feel like I'm faking it in my profession, and that soon everyone will discover I'm a fraud. I can't remember the last time I felt really happy. I'm worried I'm a constant disappointment to my wife. I'm in my mid-thirties and I don't own my own home, or have children. I have bad skin. Everything seems stupid to me. Nobody, for as long as I can remember, since I was a very little kid, has ever taken care of me. I take care of other people. The last person I can remember taking care of me was my grandma, and she died screaming in pain as the bone cancer took her and I dripped morphine into her mouth.

Gerard Manley Hopkins said in his poem Carrion Comfort: "NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee; Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can; Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be. He also said: "blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion." Right on dead poet dude.

So whatever. I'm being pissy and whiny. Tomorrow I need to pick myself up, look deep inside and fix it all. Everything can be fixed. If you're strong enough, tough enough, and can hide everything deep down you can accomplish anything. I'm going to use this year, a new year for me on the planet, to fix all of this bullshit. Embers fall, gash themselves, and inside they are filled with red-gold fire.

I don't remember why I set my alarm early, but that's irrelevant. Tom will get up when he wants to get up, and today that just happens to be five minutes before his first lecture.

On my hurried way towards the lecture theatre, my fellow English Lit. student in tow, I catch sight of someone I know. She looks angry, but before I can stop myself my arm is waving in front of her face. She glares at me, then resumes her stomping in the opposite direction. Her friend waves at me, smiling apologetically, before rushing off to soothe her.

Someone else I recognise! I don't quite remember his name, but what I do know is that he is on his way to once again try, and fail, to chat up one of my flatmates. My smile wishes him godspeed - he returns a sheepish grin, and carries on.

Another boring English lecture ends, and ten minutes early at that. One of these days, I'm going to have to stop doodling or reciting songs with my pen, and actually make some worthwhile notes. My friend, sitting next to me, looks like the same thing is going through her mind. It's her fault I stayed up until 3 in the morning watching movies, and so it's her fault is I don't pass English!

I have a superstition, formed over the past few months I've been at university. As soon as I step outside my house, I need to recognise and greet someone I know, or I'll have bad luck. On the other hand, the more friends I see, the better my day will be. The latter might have less to do with superstition than I previously thought.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.