I left a bartender my number last night. Between the hoppy haze of an IPA and the smell of whiskey from a stranger’s Old Fashioned, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I knew he wouldn’t call, wouldn’t text. He probably gets shit like that all the time from girls who stir their straws to look cute because they find his glasses adorable and his wit charming.
The thing is, however, I didn’t want him to call. I would have ignored a text. Even if a “Hey” popped across my screen after his last call, I probably would have rolled over in favor of the flow from my laptop. I left it to prove something. Whether to myself, or to my friend who said I wouldn’t have the guts to leave him a wink and invite him to come have some of the wine I carried in my purse, I felt the need to show that I am capable.
But why? Why bother? Why am I faking it?
Why am I pretending to care? I don’t. Why am I pretending that it doesn’t hurt when strangers come for my intelligence and my relationship with my parents online? It cuts me, it makes me want to quit. Why am I pretending I’m some smokey-eyed vixen saying hello and goodbye to different men within hours? I haven’t kissed anyone worth kissing in months. Why am I exuding this confidence when all I want to do is melt away in the bathtub and maybe even drown there?
Depression is painted as this feeling of utter desolation, like you are constantly crying and aching at night with no comfort at the end of the proverbial tunnel. And sometimes it is. I’ve definitely been the owner of eyes featuring popped blood vessels and sported a throat scratched raw from sobbing. But today the sun is shining, and I don’t want to cry, but I don’t want to soak up the sunny and 75 either. I just want to stare at nothing listening to the sound of my own lungs and sleep until I can stop pretending to want to go to brunch or even that I give a damn, because I don’t.
Everything in August was forced. I unload the dishwasher because that’s what adults do. I produce and type because people expect it and I can’t let them down. I kiss him back because he wants it and maybe it will make me feel less like static.
I’ve feel like I have been faking everything. Interest, excitement, pride, bravery. I painted this picture of this business-minded, strong, self-fulfilled women…but she’s not real. I recognize her, could pick her out from a crowd because at one she was real, but I don’t know where she is today.
Today there is simply a girl with dirty hair, too ambivalent to get out of bed or even turn on her computer so she writes this with her index finger and thumb from her phone. She wants to be flavorful, wants to be the person everyone describes her as, wants to want to give the cute bartender in the Warby Parker glasses her number, but she doesn’t.
I want to stop faking it, but I don’t know when I will.