It was cold.
I could sense the distinct presence of a lower temperature than what I would have preferred just beyond the blankets I had woven so intricately around myself to prevent even the slightest bit of heat from escaping my cocoon, and the tiniest bit of cold from entering. Though my eyes were crusted over with sleep, I could see a room glossed by a pale light that snuck through the blinds of the bedroom window.
The room was tidy, save a few clothes and such that had fallen from my hamper or been tossed to the floor heedlessly. I couldn’t see it, but I recalled the solitary wooden box of art materials that sat at the foot of my bed, untouched since I’d withdrawn from an a art class several months before. I stretched, a chorus of cracks and snaps singing out from my joints. With a long groan I rubbed my eyes clean, a yawn forcing its way out of my gaping maw releasing a deadly plume of morning breath that made my nose wrinkle.
I sat up stiffly.
The closet doors were closed, keeping the chaos behind them from human eyes, out of sight out of mind as they always say. My dresser had its own usual mess, wall shelves with their typical odds and ends plus a bookshelf with its respective items. On the sill of the window were more bits and bobs I’d accumulated, a large model of a ship, some rocks, bracelets, and several menial trinkets.
Tossing back my blanket I threw my feet over the edge of the bed and onto the floor mat. I pushed myself off the bed and stumbled over to my window, peering through its partially open blinds, treating myself to a view of a world draped in a thick pure white canvas of snow. The large oak tree next to my window was absolutely smothered in white, along with the rest of the world. The sky was indistinguishable from the ground thanks to a thick cloud cover and a slight variance between the two shades of white.
I had trouble interesting myself in such a depressing and bland sight, I had seen my fill of snow the last two days and now the sight of the stuff just made my back and arms ache from the hours of shoveling. Growling at the thought I relieved myself in the bathroom, pouring all of my frustration and anger into the act and down the toilet.
Flicking the fan off after properly washing my hands I shut the door to the bathroom behind me and lumbered into the kitchen, somewhat refreshed, opening the fridge in search of something quick to make and easy to eat. Sadly, my eyes were only met with lunch meat, cheeses, fruits, veggies, and other various ingredients. A second growl made itself known in the kitchen, its ferocity so frightening I congratulated myself for such a fantastic display of irritation. This victory was short lived, however, upon finding the pantry was as barren as the fridge of all snacks. Cheerios and several other uninteresting and tasteless cereals occupied the top shelf, cooking supplies and ingredients dominating the rest of the pantry.
My mouth tasted like stagnate shit water and my stomach loudly proclaimed that it was malnourished. I had to think. What could I put together for food? Peanut butter came to mind first, though I quickly discounted the idea as my taste buds vehemently voiced the overuse of peanut butter and bread in my diet for the last week.
My options were greatly limited with the absence of peanut butter, a sandwich with cheese, lunch meat, and mustard seemed the only path short enough that was already open to me. Stomping back into the kitchen I requisitioned a loaf of bread, mustard, cheese, and honeyed ham. I glared at the wheat bread, tossing it aside I searched for the rare and enticing white bread my sister stashed for herself. Too long had I suffered under the tyranny of “health and safety” and eaten the nutritiously bland wheat bread and all of its glorious fiber.
I threw open several cabinets, hoping to chance upon the one my sister had hid the rare bread. Sadly, I was only met with bowls, pot, pans, cooking pads, cookie tins, and other assorted kitchen items. With a heavy heart and a deadly glare at nothing I ripped the wheat bread from the shelf, jamming a hand into the bag and disemboweling it of two brown slices. I squirted a healthy amount of mustard on both slices, slapped two pieces of cheddar cheese on, and finally dropped a hunk of lunch meat on the bread for a disgustingly bland and normal sandwich.
Stuffing my breakfast into my mouth I snatched some already-made powdered tea from the fridge, dumping it into a clear glass. Choking on the giant hunk of sandwich I guzzled half the glass in seconds and gasped, coughing. So, I refilled the glass and tromped downstairs, drink in one hand, sandwich in the other, and collapsed on the bean bag in front of our sizable television perched atop the entertainment center which held all of my precious video games and consoles. I lay sprawled on that bean bag for a moment, eyeing the black TV screen.
I couldn't help feeling a wave of depression and melancholy, I missed high school. It was an excuse for me to meet people, to hang out, to be among peers and share my day with them but now I was just a lonely community college student stuck at home with his family. This is what my life was now, except for the weekends where I hung out with my friends, I cherished those weekends.
Sighing heavily, I pulled myself up, running my finger over the touch-activated power button of the PS4 and reaching behind the TV to thumb it on. The screen flicked on silently, I always wondered how it turned on without making that static sound like the old bulky TV my family used to have. This one was big but thin, and represented a technological masterpiece for me, something so big and fantastic that allowed me to enjoy my video games at their best quality. It was one of the only comforts I had these days.
It really was depressing how little I had to look forward to these days. No girlfriend, I might as well give that title to my hand, no daily social interaction, just me sighing through class and wishing I was somewhere else. Needless to say I hardly ever did my schoolwork, diligent procrastination and laziness got me most of my grades. I didn't want to try anyway, since I’d probably just fail, and if I passed I’d have to be an adult. Fuck that, I wanted to be a kid all my life, nineteen or no I despised the idea of work, bills, taxes, all those damned problems. Nothing good was going to happen, that’s for damn sure. I had my fair share of girlfriends in high school, none of them ended well for various reasons, and I wasn't going to go looking for trouble like that again anytime soon. It was going to have to come to me.
So, I screwed off to my own little world.
I glanced at the clock above the TV three hours later, lunch time, it was about time to get ready for class. I switched everything off, growling yet again with irritation. I showered, brushed my teeth, and, for whatever reason, decided to apply cologne. That was different, usually I just went without, I mean who was I trying to impress? Myself? Dressing myself I trudged through the house, grabbing my wallet, keys, and phone. I noticed several new messages on my phone but I was loath to check them. I never liked checking messages, I always got nervous when I listened to my voicemail for whatever reason.
I donned my hoodie and jacket, slipped on a pair of fuzzy gloves, jammed by feet into a pair of black snowboots, and stepped out into the freezing outdoors of my front yard. I stomped hurriedly through the icy snow and freezing air to my car, popping the door open and plopping my newly-frozen ass on the car seat. Wanting to warm the car as quickly as possible I cranked the engine and the radio came on.
"One is the Loneliest Number" began moaning through the confines of my Subaru Forester. A sigh burst from deep within the recesses of my subconscious, flowing out past my lips in a vain attempt to expel the darkness forming in my stomach. I switched the car to reverse, backed out of my small driveway, and rumbled off to college clutching the steering wheel tightly and shrinking into the seat as I struggled for warmth.
The world passed by my windows outside my awareness. I wasn't driving, my hands and feet were. I was trapped in a fog born of my own fears and regrets. A million mistakes, a billion blunders, and a trillion idiot memories tore through my consciousness. I was worthless, less than worthless, why did I exist? Why had I been given the misfortune of being farted out of my mother's vagina? I didn't want to live if I couldn't do what I wanted, what was the point?
As I bemoaned nothing but negativity to the dashboard of my car I found myself sitting in the parking lot of my destination. Without realizing it the interior had warmed to a pleasant temperature, which only soured the experience of exiting the car and tromping through the freezing outdoors yet again.
Others passed me by, a hipster looking guy with tight pants and a plaid shirt beneath a purple hoodie and thin windbreaker.
An asian girl with thick black glasses, a heavy coat, thick jeans, and a hat too big for her head since she kept pushing it farther up her forehead.
An older man in a suite and tie, a sleek briefcase at his side.
A group of students.
I envied all of them.
They all had their shit together, they all had friends, they all had futures, they all knew what they wanted to do. When my teachers looked at me they saw a skinny nerd who could write and draw, but never tried to reach out and make a name for himself. Family members saw a grand wide-reaching mind within my head, one that knew the farthest corners of the galaxy and then some. Friends saw a genius in a fool's clothes, one who was smarter than all of his cohorts but never gave the effort to show it.
"He's such a smart boy."
"He's so mature."
"He's going to be the president some day."
"I thought you were smart."
"Why don't you have all As?"
"But you're a nerd right?"
I'm not anything, dammit. Just me.