I’m rather irritated at this moment.
Getting out of bed on a timely manner, taking a shower, and making sure I look halfway presentable to the creatures of the outside world just to save myself some ridiculing stares takes a lot more effort out of me than it does most people.
Walking the three minutes to the library down the street from my house is even worse, particularly at rush hour.
So instead I drove. It’s cold and dark and I didn’t have a clean sweater so I got in my car with my bag and I took the long way around to the library to avoid a very annoying left turn across a lane of bumper to bumper traffic.
Walking up the sidewalk my first thought was: watch, their printer won’t have any paper.
I get into the library and the silence hits me like an orgasm. I love silence. It’s one of my best friends. It’s even better when I can relax in an area void of people with my music on the lowest possible volume and my thoughts swarming my consciousness, wispy and elusive like steam from a coffee.
I sit at one of the computers, proud I’ve made it this far. I glance over at the printer.
OUT OF ORDER.
I hang my head. Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch. SON OF A BITCH.
You see, with my tendency to forget even the most important of things, I’ve completely neglected the chemistry book I’d rented from Amazon for $30.
A few days ago they charged my college card $125 and said they’ll give it back to me if I can return the book before the 18th. I’ve been procrastinating printing the shipping and return labels because I hate going out during the day when all the noise and bustle of people overwhelms me. And now that I’ve finally built up the courage to do so, they’ve shut down their piece of shit, eighty year old printer.
Tomorrow will the be the 11th. I need that label NOW.
I just checked the ceiling of the area I’m sitting to make sure their cameras aren’t staring at my screen and watching me talk shit.
Do they even have cameras? I don’t know. They’re probably mounted in the spackle of the ceiling, camouflaged.
“Go to a different library”.
That would be the death of me, are you kidding? I’ve been coming to this library for three or four years, however long we’ve been living next to it. Seven years? Seven years sounds more accurate. I come to it for everything. I come to it for my printing, for my books, for an internet connection, for silence, for studying . . . everything. I’ve seen employees come and go. I have my favorite spots to sit. I can’t just stroll into some foreign library like I’m some happy go-lucky freak “normie” because I won’t know the people, I won’t know how their printing system works–at this library you don’t have to talk to the clerks to get your paper–and it will take me another seven years to gather up enough courage to ask anyone about all those specifics.
Routine, routine, routine.
“Step outside your comfort zone”.
I just did. My fucking house. I stepped outside of it. That’s enough stepping outside of things for one day.
Everyone gets nervous trying new things. I understand that better than anyone. However, there are some new things I can suck it up and try: like hoping to integrate myself into small group of two other people. I give it all I have and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time I’m completely uncomfortable and just testing my limits. Besides, I’m always uncomfortable around people so it’s not as if I’m actually stepping outside of my comfort zone. There was no comfort zone to begin with.
But when it comes to things like this, big things, I will shut down. Don’t fuck with my routine. You don’t want me agitated because I will throw an adult tantrum.
My tantrums consist of very loud sarcasm, defensive responses, lots of insults, occasional violence (not towards anyone usually, mostly towards objects), followed by a three to four hours of silence. I will not talk and if I do it will be brief words or fragments, monotonous and without care.
Then once I’ve calmed down I think about how ridiculous I’ve acted and go through a few minutes of shame.
Then once that’s over I’ll consider stepping out of my routine this one special time.
I haven’t had a very large tantrum in a while since my parents have given up trying to force me to do things. I’m 20 years old after all, they don’t need to be on my ass twenty-four seven.
Friends have pushed me into situations I hate but I don’t like offending people who have never seen that side of me so I swallow it and transform into a statue. If they ever saw how offended I really get over small routine changes, they wouldn’t want to be around me, I promise you that. I’m only talking about, what, three people here?
I won’t want to talk and half of my mask falls off. I’ll appear irritated if I keep getting messed with or talked to but I won’t cuss at them or get defensive or loud, nothing like how I get with my parents.
Sometimes if I have to go some place out of my routine and I’m have a particularly anxious day, I ask someone to come with me. Even though they don’t know it, it’s a form of mental support.
I wouldn’t know how to communicate how grateful I am for that kind of stuff, not verbally at least, and people don’t like getting letters anymore.
As of now, I’m sitting on a cushion in this stupid fucking library hoping they’ve got it up and working tomorrow. I really need that 125 bucks back.
At least the wifi is fast.