As I sit here, alone, reading a book and contemplating how it relates to me, I scratch my head. My hair is greasy. I try to remember the last time I showered and I can’t. Maybe a week? Maybe a few days? I have no idea. I wonder if it’s laziness or depression or isolation or something else that causes me not to bathe regularly. I can’t remember the last time I brushed my teeth. Two days? Three? I wonder if it’s because I don’t talk, so I know no one will notice. I don’t bathe because I’m not around anyone anyway, so what do I care if I’m clean? I wash my clothes regularly.. Sort of. I wear a suit to one of my jobs and I washed the pants and shirt for the first time two days ago. I’ve been working there a month. I wonder if anyone notices or smells me. I don’t clean my house. I just try to put things away as I use them so it doesn’t get out of control. I haven’t vacuumed in over a month and a half at least. The dog poop in the backyard is starting to smell. No one notices because no one visits. Once upon a time I had chairs in the backyard. Donald and I would sit out there and smoke cigarettes and talk and cuddle together on one of the chairs. I used to have friends over and we’d have a fire and roast marshmallows for the kids. The last time the fire pit was used was when I still had my kids, my boys.. His kids, not mine. We laughed and cuddled and I was happy. Happy.. I can’t remember what that feels like. People think I’m happy. I’ve gotten so good at pretending and smiling, fake laughing and acting normal while in public, people think I’m ok. I’m not ok. I’m just good at faking being functional. After being out with people, going home seems more empty. Seems more daunting. I’m afraid of the emptiness. I’m afraid of my thoughts. Most of all I’m afraid of myself. I hate myself. I hate myself for what I’ve become. For what I used to think I was.And for what I thought I could be. But I fell short. I always fall short. I go through the motions and I do what needs to be done, but it’s empty. Hollow. My life consists of pretending. I don’t even remember who I am, who I was, who I used to want to be. My tears consume me when I am alone. I am alone most of the time. No one knows. No one notices. And no one cares. No one calls. More than half the time, no one responds even if I reach out. They’re tired of me. Tired of being bothered by my burdens. By the neediness. Even if I ask for them to come over, they don’t. Or they say they will but never show. No one wants me around and no one invites me anywhere. No one rings the doorbell. And no one calls. It’s a lonely empty existence. A pain that never ceases. I wish I had the courage to let it go. But losing Donald. Losing RoRo. Losing someone I barely knew, Mathis. Losing them to suicide, is an emptiness I’m not comfortable with. If anyone is out there that still cares, I don’t want them to feel that hurt. Although it would be exactly how it is now. They don’t ever see me or talk to me, or even try, so how would it be different? I wish I had the courage. But I’m just too scared it will hurt. Too scared to mess it up. Just like I’ve done with every other aspect of my life.