"A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to the general applause of wits who believe it’s a joke." (Soren Kierkgaard, Either/Or, Part I)
For a long time, it felt like the world was in the way. I seemed to be disconnected from everyone around me by some invisible obstruction, and my dilemma was deciding whether I was better off separated from what I had always known or whether I could last alone at all.
I met many people during my travels—short distances that felt very long, say to the park or to school or to work—and I felt as if something blocked me from really bonding. I passed the time doing many things; I went to parties and lunches but I never fell in love. I never really smiled. I felt mechanical and clumsy in my very nature.
It was lightly snowing the night I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, loathing the fact that I did not a body beside me as a source of warmth, of comfort. And before I knew it the tears were there, but even then I couldn’t properly cry. A chill flew in and raised goosebumps and my tears were hot in their ducts, but it was a standstill between the two temperatures, and I could only keep still. My breathing slowed and around me so did everything, even the snowflakes outside the window seeming to hover in midair. I could feel inside of me a kind of freedom being released, and I was exhilarated by it.
I felt…everything. The cold, the loneliness. They merged so cleanly I could hardly have one without the other. So too, it suddenly seemed, were people hardly remote from the equation. I would never have life without people.