15 July 2006

Inner Demon

It's always hard to hear from someone you admire that you are fucked up. The worst thing about it is actually knowing it.

There's a good reason why I do not go along with the boys, when there is room for me in the van. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb and I feel social anxiety kick in full throttle. I'm not one for team sports.

Last weekend was no exception. In fact, it was a rough one. Well...only half the time.

The first part of the voyage was great. I felt very positive and I pumped myself up for the outing. It's not like I'm some sort of recluse or wack-job in the first place. I just have to encourage myself to not fall into a pile of anxious messiness. I try so very hard but my inner demons always seem to win!

I know it's probably not healthy but I tend to stick to the people I am most comfortable with. Being in Quebec and not French, I lean towards the English people. It's a comfort zone, though I realize I should try a little bit harder with the French. The only reason the first half of the band trip went smoothly was because I had another girl friend there. An English girl friend and one that I understand when she speaks French. It calms me and, besides, I honestly enjoy her company. We chatted, we laughed - it was a good time on the road. Eventually, everyone fell asleep in the van with the exception of the driver and myself. I felt at a loss for words, but there's so much you can say when you are in the backseat.

The show went just as well. I chatted up a storm. I was friendly. I felt good inside. It was a hot summer day and I felt my skin getting redder and redder. I tried to revive myself with my good friend, Beer. I drank a quarter of a can and felt uneasy. It was one of those days where I couldn't hold down alcohol. I shouldn't be drinking in the first place, given the heat and the lack of food in my tummy. Sometimes it is either drink and be a part of the crowd until I black out (low blood sugar) or stay sober and healthy. At least I know better to not listen to the Beer Demon, that lurks inside each and everyone of us. I floated around here and there, but mainly stuck to the people I drove in with. I made a couple of rounds, talking to a girl from back home (what a pleasant surprise!) and another girl I met off Myspace. Everyone was having a good old time.

Enter inner demon.

At the end of the night, I was tired and sunburnt. I just wanted to chill out and relax. Take it easy, if you will. I should have known better because before I knew it, people from the outdoor show were being invited to our hotel room left and right. Insert the beginnings of social anxiety here. I fell into a less than pleasant mood to say the least. It took forever for everyone to pack up their vans and I got stuck manning the merch booth. I have no problem with that. A local approached me and we talked about the town we were in and I casually mentioned how I would love to see Niagara Falls as it was only 15 minutes away. I figured that while we were this close, we may as well see one of the world's biggest tourist spots.

He replied, "It's only fucking water!"

That was almost the straw that broke the camel's back! It's only fucking water? What the hell? It's freaking Niagara Falls! I tried with clumsy words to explain myself. I proudly stated that I was from the prairies and you don't, obviously, see landmarks such as that. He looked utterly bored. He turned his attention to the French girls and they all began to rave about Quebec. It's the best, it's the greatest, the woman are the best women. Yeah. I felt like a big ol' prairies reject! After that moment, this guy did not speak another word to me nor did he acknowledge my presense - even when saying goodbye the next day! I have to say, it kind of kicked off that mood and offended me.

We all piled into the van and it's drunken French people everywhere. And it's also drunken French people singing drunken French songs. People are laughing. They understand. I sit there, clued out as usual. Frustration is beginning to rear it's ugly head.

We get to the hotel room and there's a good number of people. I am instantly cranky. Cranky like a little child who has been stuck in a mall or out in the sun all day long. I just want to crash. I don't want to socialize with a bunch of drunken strangers. They sensed that, I assume, as no one approached me.

There's always a kind of awkwardness when you are the only sober person in a room full of drunks. I was glad that they were all having a good time. I just felt a little disassociated, a little disconnected from that brand of fun. I know it was my choice to come along and not drink, I know it's not my say to what the band wants to do. I tried to swallow my seemingly selfish feelings but it was next to impossible. I know I showed a look of irritation on my face. I felt isolated and in my own nervousness - all I wanted to do was flee. I seem to always want to flee when I am far away from my own shelter.

You know, I don't like this about myself. It's a side I have always known but it seems to have come into bloom upon arriving to this city. I'm the sober one. I sit back and watch people being asses. I see them having fun and taking silly photographs and grabbing boobs and doing stupid dances. I sit back and what kicks in is a longing to return home. I used to be like this, I recall as I sit back. Now, I am stuffy and stiff and awkward. I cannot seem to let loose. I know I'm fun. I know I am interesting. And I certainly know I am downright silly! However, with the majority of the people in this city, I cannot seem to break out of this very tough shell I have built around me. I feel left out and I know I have made myself feel left out all on my own.

I go for a walk. I would prefer to go on my own but I do not know the city well. I long for a visit to a trusted 711. They don't have any here. I settle for a lacklustre convenience store. I curse the postcard situation. My partner is not impressed. I can almost tell that he wants to keep away from me.

As we return, I latch onto two younger girls who are very nice and sweet. They are sober and tired - they, too, are waiting on their boyfriends to quit partying and head back to their hotel. I sit there, smoking endless cigarettes, and outright complain. I vent and vent and vent. They feel bad for me. Not only can they see the tired expression on my face but they can see the irked expression that comes with the other kind of younger girls who think it's so fun and cool to flash their titties to a band in front of a camera. Ah, the sweet icing on the cake. These girls I sat with felt so bad for me that they took it upon themselves to take me to Niagara Falls. I tell them how appreciative I am for their gesture and thank them for listening. I bond with these girls, even though one of them said she was age five in 1990. Upon hearing that, I imagined myself as a complaining old hag! I get to see Niagara Falls. Just my luck, there were no lights on. Still, something amazing before my prairie eyes!

We return to my party and the token completely fucked up girl was awake (again). She had this shrill voice that made you want to spontaniously do roundhouse punches to the neck region, to anyone in your path. A lot of people were gone, but they were still in and out of our room to rescue beer. I clenched my fists, tried not to storm into my room(but probably did), and went directly to bed to the sweet sounds of shrill voiced completely fucked up girl yapping away about something to gain any kind of attention.

Sleep. Sleep is always a beloved companion.

In the morning, I was full of rise and shine. I had another one of those sympathy hangovers. My head was killing me but I was happy to get out and enjoy the drive back. It was a waiting game. Hungry and anxious, I paced about but was in a calmer mood. It was morning. And then we went for breakfast.

I'm all over breakfast. Nothing makes me happier than a greasy breakfast and that first cup of coffee. A group of 12, we were. We get two seperate tables. I, of course, get stuck at the French table. Usually, I enjoy listening in (though it has taken me a long time) and I sit back. Eventually, the words are translated. I sit there in silence and gobble down my grub. I think only a few words are spoken to me. I get pissy at the rude comments they say about the waitress in French.

We drive for eight hours, plus rest stops along the way. All French, once again. No one says a word to me. Once again, I shut my doors. I feel a sad storm brewing inside. No one talks to me and I barely understand (only insults and dirty comments about women, I seem to get). I just sit there. I sit through the long drive and nothing. I come to the point where I pretend to read and sleep because what's the point, I figure. I know I cannot speak French and I know it's my own damned fault. I could have tried harder. I know it's easy for them all to fall into it. But I just sit there. I feel unimportant, left out, cast aside. It's an incredible lonely feeling that I have only tasted since moving here. It's bad enough when someone is involved in a fun conversation without you, but it's worse when you barely understand a single word being said. It's incredibly lonely and I do not think anyone in this circle of acquaintances can relate. I come off as a grumpy snob when all I feel is tremendously left out. After eight hours of that, I fell into another round of sad.

Not only did I mope around with a little angry cloud over my head on Saturday night, but I stared off in my own silent world for hours upon hours. I know it's mostly my doing, my own odd feelings. What was I suppose to do? How was I suppose to act after that many hours of non-stop language that I just did not understand? How was I suppose to react when the only English spoken was in regards to the young attention whores displaying their naked boobs? The only thing I could think of was a good swig of homeopathic anxiety remedies.

I know I was a bit of a pain in the ass, this past weekend.

When we got home, we both exploded. And when I say exploded, it's honestly not that bad. Perhaps, the proverbial pot bubbled over. It was long and messy and full of tears. Sigh.

I reacted to the whole weekend and chose to bring it up by turning into a wingnut. I brought up the naked boob attention whores. Not cool. Just insecure. Whenever I try to verbally explain myself, sludge flows out of my mouth. Nothing works. I sound like an insecure idiot. I tried to explain that I just couldn't fit in and I felt left out, so I reacted harshly. I told him that I felt lonely. That I used to be cool and fun and wacky. I told him that eight hours in a van and not being spoken to once drove me crazy. I told him that I do not know what to say to new people, especially when they are not sober. He told me next time to stay home.

He told me that it is not normal for me to be here for two years and not have a set of friends. He's right. He told me that it's not normal that I have been here for two years and haven't tried to learn a stitch of French. He's right. He told me that I haven't tried hard enough and that I sit to watch the world go by. He's right. He's right. He's right. He told me that I am not well adjusted. He's right again. He told me that I have a lot of potential and he wants to see me use my talents. He's right - problem is, I have no idea what this potential or talent is. He told me that I am not a very happy person. He's right. He told me that he is afraid to go away for three weeks, in fear of me going insane. That hurt.

(Of course, being the paranoid person that I am...I actually wondered "what if I do go insane!?")

He compared me to his friend the schitozphrenic. Yep, and that hurt too.

The thing is, I know he is right on a lot of levels. Maybe I just don't like hearing it spoken so bluntly.

Sometimes, I am so afraid of letting loose here and getting close to people. I feel like I am on a constant first date with a lot of people. You know, those wonky gaps of silence and that small talk. I'm fine with that, only until I start thinking about home and I get very lonely. I recognize that change within me and I am not sure it's a good change. I just want that old set of friends like I had back home, like people have here. Sometimes, I am afraid of letting those old friends go in order to accommodate the new ones - yet I know there's no reason to why I can't have both. Sometimes, I am so very afraid of losing my own identity here in the sea of French. I want to be that prairies girl for a long time. I want to be proud of where I come from. I never want to forget my home, my background.

And that is the reason why the Tour Widow doesn't go on tours. I complicate things. I complicate things there and in my own damn head. I make a molehill into a mountain. I panic. I want to be at home or in private. I desire my own schedule. I don' t want to socialize with girls who are barely legal who have no shame to piss in a parkade or flash their tits at every guy who holds a musical instrument. I'm better off left at home. I may go insane but at least I'm not miserable.


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