I was listening to the radio the other day, and that guy with the deep voice on NPR who’s always talking about the Midwest (you know the guy, don’t you?) was talking about how easy it can be sometimes, and that no one ever talks about it. He said that the reason people stay married is in hope of finding that easiness. I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but he was kind of rambling, and I wasn’t paying rapt attention. But it struck me, because I feel so far from that easiness, but I keep going, hoping that the uphill struggle of existence will flatten out, and maybe run downhill for a while, so I can coast.

I think I’ve been hanging around with the existentialists for too long. I am starting to believe that nothing matters. At least, that nothing matters to anyone else, which amounts to the same thing. If nothing matters to anyone else, then what does it matter what matters to me? It won’t matter that people matter to me, if I don’t mean anything to them. That terrible knot of matters is weighing down on me.

How much do I owe anyone? If I don’t matter to anyone, do they deserve anything from me? How sacred are the secrets of a nihilist? Trying to do right by people has gotten me absolutely nowhere; doing right by someone who believes in nothing seems kind of pointless, doesn’t it?

The problem is, I don’t want to become a nihilist. I want to believe in something. I don’t want to be empty inside, because I’m afraid it will agree with me too well, and I’ll stop living entirely. I have to believe in people, in love, in friendship. I have to fight this apathy somehow. I’m too afraid I’ll miss something if I give up.

Listening to Nine Inch Nails usually cheers me up when I get like this, because it makes me realize I could never possibly be as fucked up as Trent Reznor is, but I’m getting tired of wallowing in misery. Maybe things will get better in the Spring. Winter has never been good for me: my grades always dip, I always have a cold, I begin to slip into depression. I need a change of scene. This might be the universal teenage “get the hell out of this awful town” impulse, I don’t know. I just need some sun.

Looking back, I realize I haven’t answered any of the questions I raised. I can’t answer them now, because I don’t know. I guess I have to keep slogging; maybe I’m almost over the hump.