I have been sober for a week. Considering the way I nearly killed myself because of drinking, I think that it is an achievement. That is not to say that I don’t feel the temptation. I can see the coloured liquid in the glass bottles in almost every shop here. The last week was a road to understanding myself a little more clearly, and although there are parts of myself that are still cloudy, I feel that I am on the way to something better.
I haven’t seen Vivienne in a week. Regardless of the circumstances of our meeting, I feel that there is something in Vivienne that makes me want to go easy on myself. On Monday, feeling hungover, tired and ashamed of myself, I went to the Anatomy department for my exam in Anatomy. I got the highest in the class. Although my classmates didn’t say it, and neither did my professors, I knew that they knew that I had drunk too much.
It is sunny outside and yesterday, I felt the joy of spring. I attended a conference of Surgery for aspiring surgeons and found that I was the youngest attendee. The visiting surgeons were quite taken up with my enthusiasm for surgery. They said so, and they were proud that I, despite being only almost twenty, knew where I had to go. It will not be an easy road, of course, but I think that Life is too short and too valuable for easy things. I love my challenges.
What then, are the challenges that I still face?
I feel the burning humiliation of my own derision. Subconsciously, I fear death, and I fear myself. I loathe myself because I realize that I too am only human. Being human is limited, and I am limited by the emotions of jealousy, fatigue, anger and passion that seem to weaken my resolve. I long for a touch of human company, I long for a hand to extend through the shadows to reach out as I sink into my own disillusionment. The cadaver from my drunken hallucination was a reminder of my own transiency and it also represented my fear of death. I will cease to exist and what scares me is that I will die alone. Yes, that is true.
If I collapsed of a heart attack right now, no one would find my body for at least a week, and they would find it only because of the smell. I don’t want to die alone, but I want to live alone. Are those two things, the opposites of this existential conundrum, mutually inclusive. Do I accept that a lonely life will lead to a lonely death? Will it matter? Adara strikes me as the sort of person who is silent, solitary and yet, I am afraid of trying to reach out to her. I am afraid of so many things, and human contact seems to be one of them. The two of us seem to be in our own bubbles that we have woven around ourselves, trying to keep out the world. I am not afraid of the world, but I am weary of it, somehow tired. My lips thirst for something to drink and water is no longer quenching my thirst. My hands long for the embrace of another human being, and yet, there is a comfort in knowing that no hand will extend from the shadows, and no bell will ring through the apartment. The foreigner seeks rest, and hopes that he will find it.