“Hi. How are you? Good to see you. Come in.”
‘Yes – welcome to my world. You can come inside but please don’t stay too long.
‘You see, I’m not really lonely but I am glad of the company. Although all of a sudden I’ll wish you weren’t here, because you’ll be stopping me doing all the things I wasn’t doing anyway, and I’ll want to be alone – until you’re no longer there when I’ll wonder why I wanted you to go.
‘So do your best to make yourself as comfortable as you can while you’re here, because you’re not staying long.’
“Please take a seat. Can I get you a drink?”
‘You might need one if you’re going to survive your visit. You see, mine is a world of wants and don’t wants, of likes and dislikes, of caring and not caring – just like the real world, I suppose, except in mine they all apply at the same time.
‘You’re unlucky to have caught me in because all week I have been looking forward to going out tonight, but now I’m looking for an excuse not to go.
‘You could be that excuse and then I can secretly blame you for preventing me going where I’ve been looking forward to going all week.
‘In fact for weeks I had been hoping I’d be invited, and I was so pleased they asked me. Now I don’t really want to go. Unlucky you, because that’s your fault. Well it’s not really, but it is now.
‘Aren’t you going to ask me how I feel? I expect that, feel cheated if I don’t get it, so I really hope you’re going to ask.
‘Good, that gives me a chance to tell you I’m fine.’
“I’m good thanks.”
‘See how quick I did that – almost instantaneous and automatic. Practice, you see.
‘What? You’re just going to accept that? You can’t tell how false it was? You can’t sense the insincerity?You’re not going to ask if I’m sure?
‘Nevermind, I would only have got more insistent and defensive, so probably as well not to ask and to accept the OK, or is it KO for Knocked Out?
‘If you’re going to stick around perhaps we should go for a walk. My body needs the exercise, but my mind hasn’t the energy, so let’s just stay here.
‘I’ve been here all day anyway – listening to my own voice. I never stop talking to myself. Sometimes I wish I’d shut up but then I’m the only person I trust, because I’m the only person who knows how I feel and what’s best for me. It’s simpler that way – safer.
‘To be honest I’m enjoying your visit more than I thought I would, but that’s when I’m most likely to want you to leave – except I won’t actually ask you to leave because that would be rude and you’d think it odd. So I’ll behave like I’m enjoying your company – which I am – but I’ll feel like it’s hard work because everything is.
‘You see, before I asked you to leave I’d have to decide that was the best thing to do, which is why you can be assured I won’t ask you because I’m paralysed by my inability to make a decision about myself. I can make them for you, and believe me my advice is pretty good, well it used to be, now I’m not so sure.
‘Today’s been a funny day, or do I mean sad – they can be the same thing.
‘Yesterday I had things to do and I was looking forward to doing them. But then it was so hard to drag myself out of bed to do those things that I no longer wanted to do. That’s why I was looking forward to today because I knew I had nothing I had to do. A whole day where I could please myself and do what I wanted, when I wanted. But it was so hard to drag myself out of bed on a day when I didn’t have anything I wanted to do. Which is funny – or sad – because I now feel I’ve wasted the day. I feel guilty about all the things I could have done, all the things I should have done, all the things which have remained undone. And I can’t do them tomorrow because I have something I have to do tomorrow.
‘They are all piling up now. Things that have to be done. Who’s going to do them? It has to be me. There’s only me but when do I have time to do them?
‘You still here? Enjoying my company, my ready wit, my quick and sometimes sharp tongue?
‘So can you see why I’m all the company I need? I’m the life and soul of the party. Everyone can see that. It’s obvious. I’ve always been much less confident than I appear which is why I appear so confident and sociable.
‘I really think it’s time you were going now. This is becoming hard work and I have things not to do.
‘Ah you’ve taken the hint.’
“Really? You have to go so soon? Sure you don’t want another drink?
“No? Oh ok then. Well thanks for coming. I really enjoyed it. Made a change. Call anytime.”
‘You’re always welcome for a little while. For as long as I can cope with it.
“Cheers. Bye. Take care. See you soon.”
‘Thank God that’s over. What am I not going to do now? I should really have gone to that event I’ve been looking forward to all week.
‘But I just can’t face it now.’
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
Please seek help if you need it and listen properly to others if you don’t.
The Barefoot Bohemian