(A content warning up top for a small discussion of mental illness and suicide.)
My name is David. There, you know a little bit more about me. From there we can just get started, right?
That’s not enough, I guess. You need context, don’t you? A listing off of relevant information that helps you properly frame me as a participant in the story. And, I guess, the circumstances that led me to this particular situation, what key decisions were made ahead of my arbitrarily decided starting point of this particular narrative. And then, past that, you want to know how influences, both internal and external, influenced me to that point and how they fit into the wider narrative that I’m about to relay to you.
Okay, that was a little redundant. You want context so you can get to know me a little, know my world, know my predicament, and what forces pushed me to that specific point—and more importantly, how that context pushed me to make the decision I did (or did not, but a narrative without some sense of agency just feels wrong. Eventually we all have to stop fighting it and just roll with it, which I will (spoiler alert!(man, I just love using flashy nested sentence bullshit with an excess of multisyllabic words and punctuation—sue me, I’m reading Butler and Erikson, who have a tendency to draw out sentences in such a way(but probably with much less parentheses so they’re not ideas within ideas within ideas. Okay I’m done.)))
Can you tell that I’m a hobbyist writer? A shock, I know.
Okay, back to casual, conversational, mock-relaxed writing that comes as close to talking as I can reasonably get with prose without peppering it with filler words, phrases, and sounds. Sorry, another needlessly long sentence. I need to work on that.
[Deep breaths—too many. The writer feels his heartbeat slow, flexes the cramps out of his hands, and takes one more deep, anxiety-purging breath.]
I’m David Aaronson. I’m 31. I live in Austin, Texas. I am bisexual. I have been with my wife for eleven years, and married for nearly ten. Yes, I did marry young for this day and age, which is another story entirely—one whose relevance to the narrative at hand can boil down to “I ended up on her couch after a particularly bad argument with my parents, and got married soon after, and that’s how it’s been since”.
Fuck, another incredibly long sentence! Great job, me!
David, 31, Austinite, hobbyist writer, bisexual, gender questioning, deeply leftist, biracial, white-passing, brown eyes, around 5’6” in height, a weight that boomerangs between 200 and 230 depending on how closely I stick to my good habits, hair that was originally brown but is now colored in various shades of red every few months because I have thick hair that grows too fast for its own good, former smoker, occasional drinker, and somewhat of a hermit.
At the decided-upon beginning point of this narrative, I have been unemployed for nearly a year, after working as a pizza delivery driver for nearly three years. Depression is my constant companion, whispering its terrible whispers in my ear. It casts my world in a gray fog, even when the sun is out. It buzzes all the time now, sometimes in the back of my head, where I can tune it out and go about my day almost like a normal person—and sometimes it’s an insistent roar, a screeching chorus all wailing in unison. It tells me that oblivion wouldn’t be so bad, that ending it all would mean that no one would really have to deal with me anymore, including myself—especially myself. And wouldn’t that be so nice?
I sit at my computer, staring with eyes strained from sleeplessness and the harsh blue-tinted monitor light, at an endless procession of job postings with experience requirements that seem suspiciously high for entry level positions. Discouraged and on the verge of tears from having my hopelessness affirmed yet again, I open my media player app and browse the dozens of curated porn folders, wondering which one will actually allow me to feel something other than sadness, shame, and guilt.