You could call me a socializing addict. I’m not an extrovert — though I am extroverted. I’m not an introvert — though I crave my alone time. I fall somewhere in the middle (I think many of us do), with a slight tilt on the extroverted side. The thing is, people are wonderful. And though I crave myself, people teach me about myself, and so I crave them all the more — their idiosyncrasies, foibles, hugs and shrugs. I have to be around it. I need to be around it. Sometimes I don’t even know why, and I sacrifice my own wellbeing for the high. Alack: addiction.
“Flavor of the Weak” — American Hi-Fi
The philosophy my mind has adopted these past three hazy years in Ann Arbor is that this is college, and this is the time for ballyhoo. When will my best friends and I be within a virtual arms-length of each other ever again? And in a bustling town with lights and clubs and people-filled streets all around us? And those sweaty, dark house parties and boxed wine and drunken conversation about the holiness of “Stacy’s Mom” and other early-2000s sonic relics? I can’t miss those things. I just can’t.
“Stacy’s Mom” — Fountains of Wayne
Right now, it’s a Friday night. I’m sitting in my room — in an apartment that houses six girls, five of whom have gone out — dead alone. And I’m trying my best to make it alive alone.
I just got off the Ferris wheel that was my craziest week of the semester: a huge English paper, an original sonnet and ekphrastic poem, five nights in a row of work, a photo shoot, a film to see and review, and smiles, endless smiles, to present to the world throughout it all. In essence, I am utterly exhausted, and a few hours ago I was making plans from my bed until I realized I literally could not get up from my bed. So I did something I most certainly never do: I sent my best friend a text that said I’d be taking a rain check for the night to lay low. Sorry. I love you. I’m so sorry. I owe you one.
“Sorry” — Simple Plan
Now what? I haven’t left my bed. Social media has given me all it could for the evening. I just pulled out the poems I wrote and discussed with my brilliant professor this morning, three classes and a pile of No Thai ago, though it feels like a lifetime. He loved the poems, and I teared up as he was complimenting me. Poetry is something I want to be good at. I recite them aloud in my room, as if I’m Dorothy Parker or Truman Capote at a reading. I’m in New York; I’m draped in pearls, a black turtleneck. I’ve got just enough age in my face to be respected, but enough youth left to be felt. People like my writing. People cheer after those last few lines.
“Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” — Good Charlotte
Oh, there’s my MC5 poster. I’m still in my room, and the Franzia is gone. I’ve still only written two good poems in my life, by other people’s standards.
There it is again: people. People are still plaguing my thoughts. How in the hell did Emily Dickinson do it? It was just her and her flowers and the imminence of death. And J.D. Salinger? He didn’t leave his house for, what, 50 years? What was there to do? To see? Ironically, in writing about these recluses, I am still writing about people. Somebody stop me.
“In Too Deep” — Sum 41
OK, let me shavasana (a yoga position in which you lay on your back and do nothing) for a minute here. Just feel my heart beating. My hands and my head.
I am spectacularly alone, and I am writing. The only activity that — every single damn time — makes me feel sane. It’s my other favorite addiction. And I do feel sane right now. And thankful. And for the first time in a long time I don’t want anyone to come back to the apartment. I want to be here with my pen and diary and fingers and keyboard until I get it so right that I can’t hear applause anymore — I can just see the words in front of me.