Flyhiee

First Date

By Nick Williams, Ireland
First

 ‘Things that you can say or do on your first date that can be really embarrassing…’ I began writing, my pen in my hand, but then realized that I didn’t know what to say next. I just didn’t know. I’d hit a brick wall. I didn’t know what to say next because I had never been on a date, first or otherwise. I wasn’t going to let this put me off my stride however – I could free-flow, I could ad-lib, I could use my imagination. For example – it occurred to me – if I was ever to accidentally say what I was really thinking, then that would do it! That would definitely do it. That would do the trick and no mistake…

Do you know that feeling you get after you’ve really tried very hard to make something be a particular way and it just won’t, no matter how much effort you’ve put into it? And it’s kind of as if that ‘way’ you want so badly for it to be doesn’t really exist, you just somehow thought that it existed and was a real thing? You thought – in some bizarre way – that it existed and was real but it doesn’t and didn’t and never could. Because this thought of yours doesn’t really belong in this universe, or in any other universe either for that matter. It’s not even real for you, as you can now plainly see. You just thought it was, in some freaky way. In some embarrassingly freaky way.

Well you know how bad that feels, right? You want to scream out loud but you know your voice will sound stupid and ridiculous if you do so you don’t. You want to go crazy and smash things up, you want to head-butt the wall repeatedly but you don’t because you know that would hurt too much. Well I feel a bit like that. That’s kind of how I feel, in a sort of a way. It’s not 100% how I feel though because it’s not really like that – I’m trying to get at something in an oblique way here, you see. I’m feeling my way in the dark. You see for me it’s not simply an idea that I’m trying to express, or a concept that I have for how things ought to be when they’re not, it’s more basic than that. It’s more as if ‘the unreal thing’ that I’m trying to express, or use as a template for organizing the world around me, is actually me…

That’s why it gets so embarrassing when I make the ultimate mistake of coming out with what I really think. You can see the shock, the incredulity running through people – they’re wondering did I really say that. So I have to be very careful not to ever come out with my innermost thoughts. Instead, I have to guess what it is that I’m supposed to be saying, guess what would be appropriate to say. That’s way trickier than it sounds. It’s way trickier than it sounds because I’ve got nothing to go on. I have to invent a socially-acceptable persona and that’s not easy when you really have no idea as to what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s not easy when you’re working in the dark, under enormous societal pressure.

It’s not all about other people though. I know that. Obviously I know that. Fitting in with how other people want you to think – or rather trying to fit in with how you think other people want you to think – isn’t the main issue in life. It’s more of a side-project. The main difficulty that I have to contend with isn’t how other people see me but how I see me. It’s my relationship with myself that really matters. That’s the real problem. I know it shouldn’t be a problem but it is. It’s a problem because I really can’t stand myself…

Credit --> nullworlds.com