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Reflection from May 6th, 2009 @ Age 27


I just can’t respond well.  I’m afraid of human contact, because I’m afraid something will be said—and my emotions will overcome me, and I will not be able to respond like I would normally do so.  I react out of emotion—I don’t respond out of thought.  I hate that.  For instance, the obvious question to be asked, the other day when the Magistrate told me not to wear a white suit to court—was, why?  And, I couldn’t even think of the question, because I was so mortified that some semi-Judge was telling me I dressed inappropriately for court.  I try my best to look professional—but, I guess my best try is just not good enough.  So goes the story—wah wah wahhhh.

But honestly, the obvious question to be asked the other day when the insurance company told me they won’t cover psychological therapeutic treatment unless I had a serious mental illness—would have been, what constitutes a “serious mental illness”?  It’s so obvious—it makes me sick to think that I would get so upset emotionally, that I couldn’t respond in the most simple of logical ways.  I just don’t trust myself to respond well in social situations, and I analyze things so much—I guess I figure I’d just save myself the pain from analyzing painful social situations obsessively in my head, over and over and over again.  Always wondering, did I offend someone?  What if I did?  How do I respond then?  And then, I find myself apologizing profusely for things that I’ve done way long ago in the past.


I just don’t know that I can do it.  I really don’t.  I think I can sometimes, but I’m so fucking scared to put myself through the pain of dealing with my peers—I just want to bypass it.  But, I know I won’t be happy here until I have a group of friends to hang out with and a significant other.  And, I’m sure as hell not going to make any friends or find a boyfriend sitting at home on my ass.  I need to get up and out and dress up real cute and be chatty and happy and all that other bullshit.  I’m just not a chatty, happy bullshiter.  I’m just not.  I’m dark and dismal and beautifully full of pain and angst.  I’m boring when I’m not depressed or manic.  I’m just different than other people.

How, might you ask, am I different from my peers.  Well, for starters, I have hobbies like reading books and watching movies and listening to music and writing, when other people have actual hobbies like fashion and sailing and traveling and partying and horseback riding.  All of the former cost money, which I do not have.  So, can I say that one of my hobbies is riding horses—when I haven’t touched a horse, since eight years back?  Can I say I love fashion, when I can barely afford to go shopping in the first place?  Can I say a hobby is sailing when I’ve never been?  I feel ashamed that I don’t have money to find hobbies that define myself.  Through fashion, I could define myself.  It’s an art, and I am an artist of fashion.  If you could only see what I can do!  But, I don’t have money and I don’t have exciting hobbies—and, I haven’t been out and about exploring Columbus and I feel embarrassed because I don’t have the money to engage in these activities.  I’m not poor—but, I’m poor in my own little miserable world.


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“ ’T is some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —

Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak of December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —

Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,

“ ’T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door —

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; —

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, —

That I scarce was sure I heard you” — here I opened the door; —

Darkness there and nothing more.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word “Lenore!”

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I hear a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; —

’T is the wind and nothing more!”


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore —

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”


Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such a name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered —

Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before —

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never — nevermore.’ “

But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

Straight I shelled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite — respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”


“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —

On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —

Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked upstarting —

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted — nevermore!


Edgar Allan Poe