here is distant

brains thrown up living room walls

We're on the same page

Different book

Same genre

Yeah, horror

I will never ever jump out on you. I will lie about your sofa, ceilings and mind, if you don't mind. I'll creep in circles for longer than I'll linger under your thumb or arms. I'll say nothing. The only way you can be sure I'm even there, is because I'll consume your toast.

Aguing online lacks tone, indifference and commenters who aren't sure about what's right and who's wrong. So I prefer doing it offline, where I've made a hobby of always advocating the hell out of the devil. Having no passionate opinions, I challenge any idea put forward, facetiously switching between viewpoints, at the whim of a desire to get under the skin of anyone exposing that they might care about something. I get no cruel pleasure from upset, only from frustration or blind indignity. Yet my lack of conversational wholesomeness remains unknown to many who know me only as uncomfortably shy. To find out what I actually think, they'll need internet connection to read how my humour is reactive, conversationally redactive and interactionally unattractive.

Every afternoon chunks of lethal metal spill out of the city, and they're all mad at each other. The evening commute can be frustrating behind the wheel, but in this traffic I find escapism. My bicycle peddles get me past Sat Navs telling the poor to take the next left towards ludicrous APR and the rich in leather seats they love more than their ex-wives. It's my window of life, away from days reserved at a desk and nights of undeserved rest. That is, unless I turn left.

If I don't, then I power ahead into the cycle lane, passing Ubers stuck up each other's asspipes. I feel the wind in my face as I dart by cars and buses crawling in a slow motion notion. It feels good overtaking something 10 times my size. I know where the potholes are, so can avoid them with skill. They all want to be me or I just think they do; I don't care which. Turning left is the same distance home, but via empty side roads that avoid the traffic. I can turn left for three reasons: 1) It's raining 2) I've been drinking 3) I'm blue. At worst it's three, today it was just number three because I've nothing to get home for.

Weep that you weep that you can't quite find the anything needed to leak any of the one thousand pieces still left inside somewhere important. To navigate wellness better is to myth the gently caressed plastic bags, candy floss, held tightly upon the decades ago sea front. Was it selfish to care so deeply about my core or did I misunderstand perhaps the beauty in the never? I don't think I'll ever know.

Throw acorns at tree trunks, you growing dandelion. Show to a stranger your strength, for it finds a natural conclusion to something now quietly fantastic. Let emerge your elephant lighter, burn a goofy napkin, and watch it ash to the dreams of another duckling. For this catches neither the start nor the end of the tethered lily pads floating hard on tarmac. It's more tarmac of shiny dust than of crying working hearts. We find coverage in an unknown. Until we loose it, again.

Someone I recently met suspected I was depressed because my Instagram pictures are ambiguous enough to lack narrative. Separately, I was told by a reader that the tone of my blog suggested possible depression. Yes, I do feel some unease in my life, so please join me for a quick tour of my mind informed by anecdotes and pop-psychology. This is an exploratory post to ask if I'm I okay.

The secret to good mental health isn't much more complicated than prioritising the things and people you love. It's about confronting internal negativity, rather than chasing external standards or blaming circumstance. I believe that however existential our fate, life is as real as the illusions we choose to create. If illusions have become uncontrollable delusions, then mental illness may be involved.

The time to check the logicality of my lens is now, as I lie stagnant, wondering if the narrow gap between 'wanting' and 'having' is in fact too wide. I compare myself with one ex who cut herself and another who told me I could never understand how it felt to think that

no matter what I do, I will always go back to feeling like shit for the rest of my life.

Recalling this conversation has always been a reason for me not to self-diagnose depression because I've never felt this existential hopelessness. Similarly, the headspace that could motivate self harm has always been unrelatable.

Self diagnosis based on comparisons to others seems unwise. So I thought about the actual level of disruption to my life. My mood has never stopped me getting out of bed, whilst taking medication could never give me what I really need: friends and direction. My current self diagnosis is that the hole left where there was recently a relationship, is deepened by the difficulty I have socialising. My self prescription has so far amounted to nothing more than a theoretically proactive attitude.

I think my problems are more social than mental. That a couple of cousins have been recently diagnosed with autism has encouraged me to think in that direction. I take the stairs to the third floor to avoid proximity and find it difficult to express myself without seeming blunt. Yet I'm not super clever and have functional emotional relationships. An online test says I could have mild autism, but probably not enough for the healthcare system to live up to its second syllable. As much as I'd like to explore a possible diagnosis, I haven't got the resilience to deal with the NHS pushback I'd get for my lack of severity.

If nothing else, I've learnt about myself by identifying and exploring the issues affecting my life. The response to the possibility of an illness or disorder could inform behaviour as much as neurology, so I think this writing has had some therapeutic value. I'm functioning and want to live, so see me in the street like any other Sisyphus.

When an April day suggests summer is coming, the aroma of expectation is often sweeter than the warmth at the season's height. I took full advantage of the beautiful day by staring at a database with Julie from accounts, unironically saying things like

that's the 7k we need to isolate

Julie would nod like a prick. So I left. There's no better place to escape the city than the square in the centre that badly masks grey with a patch of green. On the wall sat the centrepiece to this love story, like a lonely flower. I sat down at a distance too close for a stranger, but too far for a friend.

I was in love with you, you know.

She continued to stare at the ground, as I nervously ran my fingers between each other, not knowing where they should settle at a time like this. It had been around two years since I had last seen her. I nervously blurted noises like a donkey with stage fright.

I've seen how sad you are on twitter. I always thought we could have been sad together. Or we could be happy like you are on Instagram. Have you noticed that I like your pictures sometimes?

The tourists and pigeons that were everywhere weren't constrained by a lunch break. They ambled around, avoiding each other, aimlessly searching for food. I looked up, to hear what she had to say about my madness. But she wasn't there. Because she never was. And neither was I. Because I was on the way back to my desk.

It's the reason I get out of bed in the morning and why I've one to get out from. But it's not high enough. I don't mean it's too low to afford life's essentials like ice cream or 2gb monthly mobile data. I mean it doesn't match the cash value of my mind, body and curriculum vitae. My boss has promised a raise, but there's a policy whereby promotions have to be approved by Santa who, as we all know, is notoriously slippery. I've been waiting months now.

I don't live extravagantly, nor do I greatly enjoy spending money, so I shouldn't care what I earn. Yet I find myself thinking greedily, whilst also desperately hoping I don't accidently put everything aside, to end up buying fucking add-on glass in 30 years. It'd be depressing to get all angsty over waiting for a raise only to fund another layer of glazing for the state-of-the-art conservatory-coffin I'll eventually die slowly in.

I don't know if should Dress for the job I want, when I'm getting Less for the job I don't even know I want. I'm being asked if I can project manage this, and put my neck on the line for that. Honestly though, I'm enjoying that my growing responsibilities are undermined by the word Trainee in my job title. I yell into colleagues' faces daily, quipping that I'm just a trainee. I tell them my cash value like I'm a vendor selling cheese. I milk the benefits of being underpaid for my disillusionary superiority complex. If only I were capable of challenging myself, then I could legitimately stand on my desk to announce:

All you thirty-and forty-something wankers have hit your ceiling. Sorry for using your heads as stepping stones on my way to becoming a corporate God, or whatever the fuck you never managed to achieve.

If I had a clearer sense of self, I could portray more happiness online. I'm embarrassed to share success on Facebook and scared to attempt wit on Twitter. I'm missing the flare needed for Instagram and the friends to flaunt on Snapchat. Even the individuality needed to follow a subreddit is somehow beyond my grasp. So for your consumption I present an idealised self that, although filtered to support creativity and dignity, is merely a medoly of melancholic moments.

I went scrolling through Facebook and no matter how many times I refreshed newsfeed, it said

We have nothing to show you right now.

I thought this was weird because I have three hundred thousand friends. I worried I was missing out on bespoke brand content and humorous reinforcement of my political views. I started to shake as I worried how acquaintances were, if they were doing okay in their lives.

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