Christmas existentialism

He’s born. People feasted, spent time with family and friends, and exchanged gifts in the name of Baby Jesus. All the while, I locked myself up in my apartment, fired up my old laptop and watched Die Hard and Home Alone, sipping on Christmas beer and devouring a bowl of ready-made Danish risengrød. Kept my mind away from the deafening silence of my loneliness. Wishing I was somewhere else, with someone else. Somebody. Just anybody.
Slept like shit and woke up to loads of Facebook posts and Instagram stories of joy. Tears flooded my eyes, but couldn’t get around crying. Played Clash Royale on my phone instead, until I needed to quiet my stomach with coffee and oatmeal. Ate at my messy table, after cleaning up the pathetic remains of Christmas Eve. “Here we are again. Me, myself and I,” I thought, as I chewed my boring morning food.
The easy answer to this aloneness is that this is the result of a year-long toxic relationship with a Danish woman who had a completely different set of values. Hence, the breakup. The many breakups. But that’s an oversimplification. Renders this situation as a circumstance rather than what it truly is: a condition. I’m not alone. I have become loneliness embodied.
I’ve never felt truly connected to anyone. Not even as a child I could give myself to others, uncensured and true. I preferred my own company and spent hours on end playing alone, torturing bugs and smashing plants with rocks. Other kids would find me weird, understandably so. I was quiet and shy, on top of that. Grew up to become a bullied and awkward teenager and, later on, a fucking no-filter socially inept clown. Tried to justify people’s disdain as envy, my isolation as a consequence of my intellectual superiority and uncanny sense of humor. But I’m not particularly smart nor nearly as funny as I thought I was.
I don’t like being an outcast, so have always tried to fit in, to belong. Just fucking anywhere. I was always accepted by the nerds, but wasn’t comfortable around them. Nor the artsy guys from the theater club in uni. I even tried joining a hippie sect in my early twenties, but never really bought into it. It felt odd. Getting naked in a room full of other nude youngsters was a liberating experience, though, that one time it happened. But that was the exact moment where this group’s strangeness peaked and imploded on itself. Then there was my first relationship. Another failed experiment. A very long trial and error.
For almost nine years I seemed well-adjusted and in a working relation, but I wasn’t. I was comfortably relying on a mother I could fuck. But the connection wasn’t there. I wasn’t there. Gave just enough to reciprocate what I was taking, though I desperately wanted to get it somewhere else, in a different way. To this day, I still have difficulties seeing this as true love. It just pains to even say this, considering all the time and energy we both put in.
There were fragments of depth in some of the dozens of flings and affairs that have come and gone now in my thirties. The deepest of them being my ex, L. Though, even then, I didn’t -or wouldn’t- give myself fully nor genuinely showed who I was to her. I kept some of my true self inside, as if shielding myself from her. “A scared little boy,” as she later on described me.
But full honesty isn’t the key either. C, my third failed relationship, proves it. No matter how much I gave and how genuine I was, there are some distances that love and truth can never cover, that sex and intimacy cannot even graze. Then you feel more alone than in the beginning, and worse in the end.
And now it’s Christmas. The physical distance to my family makes it a bit easier to ignore the fact that not even them escape this sense of disconnection I feel towards people. Yet, the holidays take off the edge of this feeling, and exchange it for a longing for their presence. Perhaps it’s not all lost and, at least, I have them the closest to my heart. If anyone, I have them. Fucking far, all the way down in Chile, unfortunately. But this is the life I chose. For some reason.
I haven’t stopped wondering if there’s a cure to this essential loneliness within me. I have yet to live enough to rule out the existence of a connection that could feel more profound than what I have experienced so far. The question I’m afraid to ask feels, then, far more real and too obvious then: But, what if it doesn’t exist and I have already peaked? If so, will everything afterwards feel like a watered down version of what once was?

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