I have a tendency to be melodramatic. It sometimes feels like breathing to me. I have tried to hold my breath until my lungs burn and I think maybe, just maybe this time I might lose consciousness. This time I might be able to rest. But I always let go with a great gasp and draw another breath, rapidly, one after the other.

I graduate in exactly one month and two days. I get caught sometimes in a fold of time, so that I'm still present in the now, but overlayed smashed together is some scene, some memory from four years ago. And I stop and remember, the people that brought me here, and I remember the person I was. I find myself getting nostalgic at the weirdest times, so caught up in the past my heart actually aches; to the point that I'm clutching my chest and clenching my eyes closed.

I'm absolutely petrified. My greatest fear is about to come true. I've spent four years and 100,000 + and I'm coming out the other end still lost. Still floundering, still looking, still on the fringe. And I can't figure out if that's because I'm still running from the things I should be facing, if I'm still telling everyone what they expect to hear, if I'm still putting on the same old mask when everyone already knows my secret identity. Or if it's just because I'm not ready to be who I'm supposed to be yet.

Everyone tells me this is normal. This is natural, everyone feels this way. It's the 22 year old freak out.

Well A. I'm not 22.

And B. I guess it's normal to have some fear and be confused, but to feel total apathy for the future? I'm pretty sure that's not normal.

I can't help but look at exactly where I'm going to be in roughly four weeks. I'm going to be homeless. I'm going to be beyond poor. I'm going to have no direction and no aspirations. I'm going to have no job. I'm going to have a pretty piece of paper that's supposed to mean something.

And what's worse is that all of these wonderful things that are going to happen are my own choices, whether through fault or chance.

And there are still more choices at hand: there's always San Francisco, or Chicago, or New York. And Michigan. I always have choices, but I've already established that I'm just looking to fuck up my life (I think I've done pretty well so far, let it never be said that I did anything halfway)

At a time when I should be happy and excited and looking toward the future with great anticipation, all I can think about is death.

My best friend called me Saturday, he'd just gotten tested for HIV. He has a week to wait for the results. A week that is tearing him up inside as he relives his past choices over and over in his head. It hurts to know that he never learns until the lesson is his life. There are an infinite amount of ways to throw your life away, and I swear he is working on them all. Not that I have much room to talk.

For as long as I can remember I've been afraid to pick up the phone. Because it always heralds bad news. Sometimes I sit and stare at it, letting each ring go unanswered as the digital tone slips into my ears and shudders down my spine. If I let it ring, everything will be ok for a little while longer. Harboring delusions and living in denial isn't healthy, I know. Is it wrong to avoid your loved ones, your friends and family, because you know you can't take one more thing. You can't take one more hospital visit, or doctor's report, or cat scan. You can't take one more death, one more broken heart, one more sob filled phone call. Because you are in no position to do anything to help. You can't even put your arms around them because you are at least 700 miles away from anyone who ever mattered to you. And that's all you want to do, make it all better with the force of your presence.

I'd like to let the melodrama go, to make my life a model of simplicity. Equate breathing with the taking in and letting go, the natural cycle of things. Like the waves on the shore, so that if I'm weary it's because I've lived a long life of being worn down gradually, gracefully.

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