I sat in that armchair.

That armchair in the basement.

I'd paused it to stare at Him, and I watch the show just to do that.

That's one thing.

Am I even living in reality?

I paused on his hands. I admired His hands.

I didn't just admire them; I envied them.

They were long, from what I could tell, and matching with long fingers. Pale, somewhat bony. Clean, short fingernails.

Good hands.

And then I stare at my own.

From the first knuckle - the one closest to my fingertips - it's red. It's bitten at. The skin is a horribly bright, pinkish-red. There are minor cuts, and my cuticles are uneven and pulled at. They throb uncomfortably. My right thumb is near swollen. There are few places that are grown with rough, sepia-toned hardness in an attempt to stop.

The fact that I pulled the flesh off with my very own teeth has never been more humiliating.

I look down at my feet, resting lazily in front of a space heater. The act is turning them a matching color, and the veins are beginning to stand out. I'd guess it was from the heat, but I'm not sure.

It's another thing. A foolish one, maybe, but there at the time all the same.

I realize that I'm living a double life. One where I can drown my unrealistic self in misery and heroism and be loved intensely and tragically and lightheartedly.

It doesn't really exist and nor do the people.

I run because it feels good. I can think. I can pretend. I can stare emptily at nothing and I can live behind my empty eyes.

And then reality hits.

I'm not any of those things. That person does not exist. He does not exist. That hasn't happened, nor will it ever happen.

She thinks she knows all about me. She doesn't.

They think I'm not being serious. I am. Dead serious.

A different She claims she wants to be done. I sit there and think viciously What has she gone through?

Meanwhile, what have I gone through? Nothing real.

I don't know if I'm the only one feeling this way. I pathetically beg for the sympathy and gain fury when someone claims I'm not alone. I'm nothing more than a bitch that looks for someone to cry on.

And then I feel like I must do this, because too often I read the book and feel I can empathize. Can I? Is it wrong to think that I can? Or because I have no real experience because I think it'd be vain to think that I do like self-pity or is it real is that allowed can someone just tell me please

I need Her. The Her I like. Shame I've never met Her before. I think if Her lived here or I there we'd be excellent friends.

And then I sit here and think Is this okay?

Am I okay to write like this? Am I an attention-seeking whore wallowing in her self-pity? Am I allowed to be genuinely concerned about myself?

If I keep this up, no one is going to tell me I need it.

I need to tell myself.

But I can't. I don't know how. I don't know why, I feel empty.

I feel utterly empty. Should I be crying? I don't know.

I need Her. I really, really need HER.

And I put my index up to my front teeth, despite the retainer in my mouth, and yank a piece of stray skin. It rips lightly off, leaving a red mark. It stings to touch, but there's no blood.

Jesus. I need something...

I want to run. I want to run down a hill fast enough so that my short hair whips backwards, and maybe I imagine Him and Her behind me. Maybe, maybe, maybe I can hear the woman I adore and love with all my heart and soul that died forty-three years ago crowing in the background, throaty voice tearing passionately above everything. Not a song, I don't think; something...just so I can hear her voice.

Her I have not met. Him I have not met.

Her I want to meet. Him I cannot meet.

Him is also dead; he died ten years ago.

And maybe, down that hill, in those seconds that last before the top and before the bottom, I can feel alive. I can feel weightless. Like there's nothing on my shoulders.

Is there anything on my shoulders at all?

And then I play that sad song, wishing it was on a record player rather than a computer, and wish I was keying on a typewriter, and think maybe I can pretend to smoke a cigarette and maybe...

Maybe everything will be alright.