I am troubled. The trouble with my trouble is that I have none. This is why it haunts me. As I drive down East Main, I pass the cemetery. Those people are troubled. They are dead. What makes their problems so real? I pass a young girl, high school aged, with her gray hood up and long black hair streaming in the cold, early October wind. She has patches on her sweater, probably for bands she likes and concerts she’s been to. She’s in high school of course she’s troubled. If the dead people and the high school girl can be troubled, why can’t I?
The right turn comes and I focus back on the road in front. My left hand is cold; it hangs out the window with a half smoked cigarette. I hate the taste so I throw it out. So many things had changed in the past few weeks. Social habit turns to addiction. Thrilling casual run-ins with good friends doesn’t make me feel better anymore. Time to find a new good friend, I think. The heat is up too high and the window is down, somehow that feels ironic to me. Smokers usually have the heat on high while the freezing winter air pours in through the open window. I should stop smoking for winter.
Out of the car, I cross the street and through the little square in the center of town. A small group of homeless youths or just dirty high school kids trying to be something different gather around a park bench smoking cigarettes and plucking at guitars. Nobody is original anymore. I want to tell them someone has already written that song, but I keep walking. Inside the shop of my choice, I look at different candles and bags and posters and listen to the old rock video they play on a big screen in the back of the store. Nothing catches my eye so I choose not to spend money just yet.
Downstairs in the clothing section, I observe a young girl with her grandmother. She is getting new boots. Not practical boots that will hold up against winter snow and rain, but slightly stylish boots that look too old for her. I think she looks stupid. A girl maybe fifteen years old wearing boots that came just from Paris, her straight-legged jeans tucked into the top. Right off the page. I see myself getting nowhere here so I leave.
As I walk towards the door, I stop and browse the nose rings, hoping to see something I like. I pick a simple silver loop and give the lady behind the counter my money. Driving home I notice my car smells like cigarettes and it disgusts me. I make the choice right then to not smoke in the car, and to maybe clean it out. At home, I put the nose ring in. I think it looks slightly odd on me, but then again, I am not original and so it doesn’t matter.
My alarm goes off. It’s four o’clock. I set the alarm incase I fell asleep on the carpet and wouldn’t miss work. Sleep is all I can think about lately. Nothing seems in interest me more then sleep and food. I look at the collection of sweaters that makes up what I wore that week to school and I get sad. I started birth control again so I think I’ll get fat. The sight of sweaters makes me nervous. Winter is coming, or is already here, and that makes me anxious.