The Nine Faces of Dave
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i'll never get back to France
So my happiness appears to be faltering once again, much to
my distress. Last night turned out pretty shitty, and I was
once again unable to sleep. Some of that may have just been
the heat, but I was definitely getting the same old feelings
again. Back to familiar territory, I guess.
So I basically wasted the evening today, though I did spend
some time hanging out with a friend of mine and a couple of
his pals, two of which were mutual acquaintances. We played
some pool, and then we hung out on the street where all the
car obsessives go to show off their mods (or rice, as is so
often the case). That was probably the single dumbest thing
I've done since returning home, because not only was it not
fun, but it wasn't productive or useful in any way. I guess
it's one of those things you have to experience for yourself
before you really understand how inane it is.
In addition, we're having difficulties cooking up a halfway
sound travel plan for our road trip. It's really difficult
to plan things like this when you're short one person who's
highly involved. Anyway, things are still looking like they
were before, but my friend in town is getting discouraged by
our crappy-ass route planning. So far one way will be quite
direct, and the other way will be kind of fucked up, though
I guess that's probably about as good as it's going to get,
considering all the hoops we have to jump through to handle
everybody's schedules and plans and stuff. Frankly I think
my life would be easier if I'd never gotten involved in this
mess. Ah well, with any luck it'll be a fun trip.
Right now I'm feeling pretty bummed about my life. When we
were hanging out with the car enthusiasts, I had absolutely
nothing to contribute to the discussion, save for questions
about cosmetic modifications people had made. Which led me
to thinking, why am I here? Why am I hanging out with these
people, talking about something that doesn't interest me?
Of course I knew the reason I was there; I was glad just to
be out of the house for once on a weekend. And it felt very
shitty knowing that I was so desperate to break routine that
I'd be hanging out in a parking lot talking about cars.
Which makes me wonder: am I boring? People tell me I'm not,
but it's hard to convince myself. Looking at my life during
the summer so far, I've failed to do much of anything that's
interesting, unless exercising counts. And even looking at
the whole of my life, it seems pretty dull. I've spent the
majority of my time hanging out with my family, and while I
enjoy that, it tends to make me feel isolated and alienated
from my peers.
My friend Anthony says it's probably due to boredom. Which
makes sense I suppose; nothing like being bored by your life
to make you feel like a boring person. So the question is,
what do I do about the boredom? I don't mean the kind where
you're stuck in class, or a meeting, or something like that,
and you're better once you get out. What I'm feeling is the
mind-numbing, soul-crushing boredom that destroys motivation
and makes you question the meaning of it all.
I lost track of the days of the week not too long ago, which
I think says something about the significance of time in my
life right now. Everything is just kind of flowing together
in some sort of continuum, rather than there being distinct
points that have meaning and significance. I feel as though
my life is turning into some existentialist novel; I'm stuck
in Algeria, I'm never going to get back to France, and life
is meaningless anyway, so there's nothing to do but just sit
around and wait for death.
The comparison is a little extreme, but I think it could be
quite valid before long. I never intended to end up where I
am today, but somehow I did, and I can't seem to get out of
the rut I'm in. It's too early to say never, but it's still
possible that I really am permanently stuck.
The summer wasn't supposed to go this way. The idea behind
the Dave Improvement Plan was change. My intent was to find
out why my life was sucking, and correct what I could. The
end goal was to return to college as a new man, changed for
the better. And so far the only thing that I've managed to
change is my weight, though that has changed for the better.
But there was supposed to be a lot more than dropping weight
and getting in decent condition. I had goals for improving
my social life, and along with that, my psychological health
and well-being. I'm arguably worse off now in that respect
than I was when the summer started. I'm bored, demotivated,
directionless, and depressed. And I can't do anything about
it, because I don't know where I am or where I need to go.
And the worst part is, I don't know where to get help. Who
can I talk to about things like this? I suppose I could ask
my dad about all this, but I'm not sure whether he'd really
be of any help. He'd probably tell me that there's no need
for me to worry about social issues, as young as I am, and I
should stay focused on my educational goals for now, and the
rest will deal with itself.
And he's probably right, but it's hard to accept that right
now. If I can be academically successful, why can't I have
success in other aspects of life? Or is there only so much
luck and ability to go around, and I've used all of mine on
I see other people who seem to have it all: they succeed in
academic matters, they stay in decent shape, and they manage
to have a solid social life as well, or at least that option
exists for them if they choose to pursue it. I went to high
school with so many people like that, and I envied them for
it every day, even if my class rank was higher than theirs.
It just didn't seem right that other people had it all, and
I was only really good at one thing.
Of course it's pointless to be resentful now, but it's like
I just can't let go for some reason. I attribute everything
shitty in my life to the past, and that makes it quite hard
to move on and work in the here and now. After all, if the
things that happened months or years ago are the cause of my
problems, how the hell can I fix them? I can't change what
happened in the past, and I can't see the future. The only
thing I can be aware of is what's happening now, and for now
my vision is clouded.
I'm stuck in a fog of my own creation, and there's no light
on to show the way to safe harbor.
This is Dave, signing off.