It gets hard. You pretend it doesn’t because you’re not supposed to still be affected by strangers who think you suck. Because mostly, you’re not. Sometimes you even agree with them. There’s no anger or hurt because, yeah, you’re nodding in agreement. You do suck! And they’re right, you write about one guy too often and tweet jokes that are more sad than funny. More worrisome than clever. Tell that shit to your therapist. But you don’t have one. You should though. You really, really should. You’re selfish and think too highly of yourself while simultaneously despising everything you are. You’re someone online and people tell you to stop being Someone Online and you want to tell them, “Dude, wish I could!” but that would mean you wouldn’t have a paycheck or health insurance. You say you’re going to take an internet cleanse and delete all social media apps from your phone. You download them again two days later. You get scared you’ve been out of an office environment for so long that you wouldn’t know how to survive in one. You think your creativity hit its peak and the people around you are slowly starting to see your artistry is more like jogging in place. There are people in hospitals fighting to stay alive and you’re so ambivalent about your own existence that it makes you sick. Much better people deserve things you have and you carry this guilt like Atlas. There’s a list of your wonderful attributes but it’s been buried as a time capsule in a backyard you can’t remember now. The details of things are much fuzzier and you’re too young to feel so old. An anonymous person tracks down people you love and tells them terrible things just because they’ve decided anyone you love should be punished because you love them. You don’t understand that level of hatred. Annoyance, sure. You annoy yourself and that’s why you drink too much wine and don’t text people back. You live publicly and there’s a comment somewhere that probably says, “You signed up for this.” You’re Someone Online so that means you can stay in your bedroom all day and still make money, only leaving for food breaks, to go to the bathroom, etc. You brush your teeth and do leg exercises at the same time to make up for sleeping 5 hours in the middle of the day. You have been so lucky in life, save a few traumas, a few bloodied fists into your heart. Some days, you do the bare minimum and people still applaud. Some days, you dislocate your shoulder trying to move a mountain and no one says a thing. You are always tired and there’s no real reason to be.
You’re always tired and trying not to be.