How (Not) to Process Dying Alone

You’re sad.
This is nothing new.
But for once you want company.
Your friend asked to reschedule.
You say okay, when it’s not.
You know you can’t use up too much of your friends’ time
or else they will get tired of you.
They will sit there awkwardly
and not know what to do with your sorry, crying ass.
Your sadness is a broken record.
It’s nothing new
nothing original,
you are allowed a maximum of 1 time(s)
to have a good cry with a friend
before they secretly start to despise you.
You know this in your heart,
so it must be true.
So you get ready for bed.
You brush your teeth.
It takes extra long
because you’re sobbing so hard
and you have never felt so alone.
You keep washing your face
but more tears come.
You keep turning off the faucet
only to turn it back on
to rinse away the snot pouring out
in endless streams
from your nose.
You avoid looking at the mirror
because you ugly-cry
like a motherfucker.
You would never call your family.
They cry to you.
They tell you their fears
and darkest secrets.
You do not cry to them,
or tell them anything,
if you can help it.
You are supposed to be strong,
even though you aren’t.
You wiggle under your blankets.
Stuck on social media.
You have a new Tinder message
but you don’t respond
because you’re tired of boys
and how they like you
until they don’t.
It is exhausting
to be reminded
that you are not the kind of girl
a guy will wait for
or fight for.
He will be lured in
by the cute appearance
and witty banter
then run away when he senses
something more complicated and ugly
beneath the surface.
You stumble across
the Instagram
of someone you are sure
you have flirted with in the past
a boy you never met up with
because you got into an argument
over a careless sexist comment he made
and he called it off.
He has pictures of cats
or really a lot of pictures of the same cat
and a picture of a cute girl
captioned with:
“How has it been one year already?”
You feel you can safely assume
he means their one year anniversary
of being in an emotionally fulfilling,
sexually monogamous relationship.
You stare at her.
She is cute.
She probably has the same interests as he does
or knows how to pretend to.
She probably speaks softly
and laughs at his unfunny jokes
and fakes orgasms when needed
and never demands what is rightfully hers.
She probably avoids conflict
whenever possible
because it’s really uncomfortable
and bad for her skin.
You put down your phone.
Just to cry a little more.
Wallow a little more.
Knowing that every single boy
who gave up on you
will at some point or another
post up loving couple shots
and captions devoted to other girls
and eventually wedding albums
and baby pictures,
a visual online biography
scattered across the Internet
for anyone nosy enough to see
that you will somehow find yourself
poring over
and hating yourself for it.
These boys will take love
from girls who learned
how to package themselves
for male consumption
better than you
and more willingly than you
while you will remain
a hermit spinster
writing about these boys
who moved on and never looked back
even as you walked behind them
just to watch them disappear.
You hate that these feelings
have overwhelmed you
as someone who prides herself
on cultivating the self-image
of a strong, independent woman
who scoffs at the fear of dying alone
and has always expected it to be so
but the painful truth
is that sometimes
and even more lately
you feel unwanted and disposable
like you’re drowning in your pain
and everyone is laughing on the sidelines
not knowing
or caring
that you are on the verge of death.
That one by one
all your friends will neglect you
as they find their domestic partners
and carry on with their lives without you
after all
it’s already happening
the long stretches of silence
from married friends who don’t need your company
when they have people at home
to love and care for and fuck
and you want that too
the loving and caring
and not necessarily the fucking
but it seems in a world like this
that cannot happen
without coupling off
when you were never made
to be someone else’s other
when your mouth is too hard
for the egos of men
when your baggage gets heavier
with every trainwreck of thought
so instead
you keep telling yourself
you’re going to die alone
and that’s okay
you pretend that it doesn’t hurt
the older you get
the more boys you go through
the more friends who drift away
the more lonely you feel
you said you write to survive feeling so alone
but now you wonder if you are writing pain away
or bathing in it with your words
because you are going to die alone
and you are going to be okay
if okay is the bare minimum of living
and going through the motions
and smiling blankly at everyone
and stealing away into your room
to shed oceans from your eyes
then dying alone is okay
like a knife in your gut
you’re bent on
like someone
who tried to swallow a truth
and choked on it instead
like an old song you sing
until the lyrics
lose all meaning
and you’re screaming
empty words
at the top of your lungs
bur no one is around
to hear you


2 thoughts on “How (Not) to Process Dying Alone

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