I Don’t Know

“Listless” is a descriptive word.
“Adrift” is a descriptive word.
“Lost at sea” is a descriptive phrase.
“Treading water” is a descriptive phrase.

And it seems I’m reaching an intersection of a lot of paths. Or perhaps I’ve been sitting in that intersection while the world goes by, waiting until I can see the paths. I don’t know.

“I don’t know” is a descriptive phrase.

“How are you today, Mark?”
“I’m OK.” And then I think the unspoken part, “For me.”

“Disenchanted” is a descriptive word.

I haven’t been to the Botanical Garden in months. I’m OK with that. And I’m not OK with that. I would like to go. But I never seem to make the time. I never seem to want to go. Yeah. I’m looking for words. Seeking understanding. Trying to figure something out. About me. And I can’t find the words. Only these things called feelings. Emotions. And these other things called thoughts. And I don’t seem to be able to make them talk to each other.

The house is a wreck. But I don’t seem to care. But I should care, shouldn’t I? I’ve got time. I’m a grown up. I’m supposed to take care of the house. I’m supposed to do all those grown up things. Like all my neighbors do. But there’s something disconnected there. Maybe a lot of somethings. Or maybe it’s like an unused tool, and coated in dust, and rust, and I’m too lazy to fix it? Or maybe it’s that way, ’cause I’m looking for something, and I don’t know what I’m looking for?

Thursday, at work, I pulled two systems from the Yellow (waiting for customer action) area of the workbench. And I fixed them. I knew what to do. Took a moment to get the how figured out on one of them. But they’re both fixed. Why did I do that? I don’t really know. Was it the right thing to do? What I was supposed to do? I don’t know. Was it showing off? Being arrogant? I don’t know. Was it a response to boredom? Do something to kill the time? I don’t know.

There’s those three words again. “I don’t know.” Am I looking for something? I don’t know. Am I running from something? I don’t know. How do I really feel? I don’t know. Am I happy? I don’t know. Am I depressed? I’m pretty sure I don’t really know.

How do I feel?

Lost. Listless. Useless. Worthless. “Get up and move your lazy ass, you useless son-of-a-bitch!” “Figure it out!” “Look around! There’s plenty you can be doing!”

Am I lonely? I don’t know.

I keep hearing these voices, oceans of things I’ve heard in life. “You need a plan!” “You need goals!” “You need to grow up, be responsible, be mature.” “Pull your boots up!” “Get real!” “Do your job!” And I keep hearing other voices, saying unspoken things. “I don’t care how you feel, move your lazy ass!” “You don’t have time for dreams!” “You’re getting fat, and lazy, and out of shape!” “She needs you to get things done!”

And it all comes back to “I don’t know.”

Is “I don’t know,” my defense mechanism? Along with, “I don’t care,” and “It doesn’t matter.” Is that how I’ve handled life? Is that how I cope with life? Is that who I’ve become?

“What makes you feel good?” – “I don’t know.”
“What do you want to eat?” – “I don’t care. Food.”
“What do you want to do?” – “Whatever makes you happy.”
“Why do you work here?” – “It keeps me out of trouble.”
“What do you want to get out of your work?” – “I don’t know.”
“Where do you want your job to take you next?” – “I don’t care.”

Yeah. I’ve moved from CA to OA to ARA to Full-time ARA. in less than 3 years. But. I don’t care, do I. I never had a plan to do that. I just went with the flow. Like I do every day. “Do your job, Marcus. Don’t think about it. Just do your job.”

Is this why I can’t walk these days? Because I’m supposed to. Have I stopped walking because I’m walking for all the wrong reasons? Because I’m not walking to feel good? I’m not walking to give myself something I want? Am I walking because I’m supposed to walk, and as a result, now I can’t walk?

Is that why I can’t get to the Botanical Garden? Why the house is a wreck? Why I can’t get outside, and work on the gardens, the fence, the porch, or anything else? Why I can’t write stories for anything any more?

Because everything’s become “supposed to do” or “supposed to be”, and nothing is “because I want”?

What do I want? How do I feel? Am I happy? Am I sad? Am I hiding? Am I lonely?

I don’t know.

I’ve never known.

Is this what the last 5 years is about? Me reaching this point? Me coming face-to-face with me? And having to figure out where the paths lead? And how I feel? And what I want? And who I really am?

I don’t know.

I’ve never known.

I’ve never known.

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