My friend ((who will here on out be referred to as 6)) quite literally, asked me to write this post about him. But I promise this will be an interesting read and I hope everyone can learn a little bit about themselves while reading.
I met 6 a little bit before college started, he struck me as the kind of guy I was used to interacting with during high school (i.e I very much wanted to avoid him). He acted like a tough guy who knew he was attractive and therefore felt as if he could get any girl he so wished. I’m sure you know the type.
I didn’t really meet 6 though until a month or so later. I was laying on the cold concrete outside my dorm with my legs propped up against the brick wall, a pose I find extremely calming ((and highly recommend)). I heard his voice before I saw him turn the corner and before he even sat down he announced his state of intoxication. Though tempted as I was to roll my eyes and proceed to ignore him, he started talking to me about his day.
Due to the fact that I grew up with my mom, a psychology major, psychoanalyzing me ((and the cast of characters appearing in my life)), I often find myself doing the same to others. My therapist would likely tell you it’s because I feel responsible for fixing others, and I would likely agree. Nevertheless, that night was no different.
While I laid on the concrete listening to 6 ramble about his day, I started recognizing the fact that he was nothing like I’d perceived him to be. A reminder to myself, and hopefully others, that first impressions do a pretty sucky job of representing people as they actually are.
Now, I won’t go into too many details, but 6 is pretty broken. Us broken people are fairly drawn to other broken people, so I’d like to think that’s why our friendship developed so quickly. Sometimes it hurts listening to him talk; I see so much of myself in him. I see the absurd thoughts swirling, the constant need for reassurance, the destructive loneliness he tries to hide. I see it, and homeboy knows I see it. I think that’s why he stopped pretending around me.
I can tell he’s lonely, most of us are. Being a freshmen is full of surface-level small-talk yearning for something more, but settling for whatever small glimpses of intimacy we find. I can tell he’s attempting to fill a void, it’s not that hard to tell. He goes out most nights, gets high or drunk or some combination of the two, finds a girl to become effortlessly infatuated with, and then stumbles out to my hallway ((reeking of emptiness)). He never wants to talk about it. There have been times where I think we’ve gotten to a breaking point, but right as he’s about to open up, and simultaneously break down, he shuts it all off. He says he isn’t ready to talk about it – any of it – it is absolutely beyond infuriating, but I know I can’t make him talk about it. When he’s ready he will, but I’m not thinking he ever will be.
It makes me wonder if 6 wants to get better. Is there some sort of comfort in his restlessness? Does he like the momentary thrill of trying to fill a void? Or is the emptiness too vast to even attempt to find the exit.
He claims he doesn’t want a girlfriend. He doesn’t want anyone to have to deal with his shit because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, just like he doesn’t want to be hurt by anyone. I hate to do this to ya 6, but I call serious BS.
Based on the facts I’ve gathered the past few weeks, I can tell you want someone desperately. In fact, I think it might be the only thing you really want, but it’s eating you alive to the point that it’s painful. I mean, if this is what wanting someone is like, how are you going to feel if you actually have someone? It’s terrifying, trust me I know! But denying it, pretending like this void is some permanent burden you must carry with you forever, is ridiculously damaging. I can already see the weight tearing your limbs apart, the way your jaw is always tense and how your hands constantly search for things to keep them occupied. You don’t trust your mind; you don’t like that it disagrees with you*.
*and by you, I mean the you you pretend to be. The nice F-boy that’ll still text you a few times after an initial meeting, but not long after.
It is incredibly painful being around you, did you know that? 6, I feel like I’m watching a ticking time-bomb. I told you that last night while you attempted to laugh it all off. Every now and then that tension is too much and you break down, but one of these days you are going to absolutely explode, and I cannot bare to see it. Have you ever watched someone you love crumble in front of you, knowing you can’t do anything about it. That’s what this feels like 6. It feels like I’m watching my heart strip away her layers until she’s nothing but raw flesh, hurt past repair.
You say you can’t talk about it, but you never know why. I think it’s because you’re scared of what you’re going to find. Digging into the hole is going to hurt like hell at first, but when it’s all dug up – when all those burdens have been uncovered, when you’re left with pure clean emptiness – you can start to heal. I swear.
But maybe I’m wrong, you’ll tell me I’m wrong even if I’m right. I know ya 6.
Why do I always love the broken ones?