I woke up today feeling as though nothing is real; it’s all a sham. Part of me believes the world did actually end in 2012 and that we’re all dead. The world doesn’t feel real anymore, it’s like we’re separated from it by a layer of glass: we can see it, but we can’t sense it. Take all the tragedies that’re going on in the world right now. The hurricanes destroying America (because God is mad that us gays can now get married) or the perpetual the war on terror; that Donald Trump being relevant is an actual thing, or Sam Smith having a new album… We see this every day, these tragedies. We know they’re happening – we catch glimpses of it happening on our screens and call it news, but it’s really a TV show – a long-running and depressing one that squats in the background of our lives, humming away to itself. Right now, the real world feels like a soap we don’t watch, but keep up-to-date with by osmosis.
Flashing headlines about crippling natural disasters and suicide bombers bringing death and destruction have become as familiar as adverts about cat food. Every day now it’s hurricanes, political turmoil, poverty, terror: Every time I look at my phone screen it’s just offering more of the same: tragedy after tragedy after tragedy after tragedy after tragedy, until I automatically start filtering it out. I care more about what happens in Game of Thrones some days than I do reality because the world right now is too damn depressing. The world’s events and tragedies have become little more than a dull pulse on my daily soundtrack, like the stomps of heeled-footsteps from the woman upstairs that I learned to filter out months ago; like the ticking of a clock, we will notice it when it stops but not before. Why don’t we just replace the headlines with ‘Hey, is this still happening? Bummer.’
Every day I’m dragging myself around waiting for something to change in the world. Even my personal life has a load of issues I’m trying to work through. Yet I’m still getting messages laced with petty gay drama and I honestly just feel like packing a bag and moving into a nice dank cave somewhere – perhaps steal a pug or twelve along the way. Seriously what is wrong with people? Are we so fundamentally broken that we can’t get a handle on perception these days? Why is there always so much drama? It sounds like a nightmare because it is one; one we can’t wriggle out of because it just gets back up and chases you again. Before I started writing this I literally punched myself in the head, because I am so unbelievably angry for no good reason. OK, there is a good reason: I’m eleven-plus hours into another day that’s promising to be no better than the one before it, or the one before that, or the one that came before that. Just give me a day that doesn’t leave me wanting to stub a cigarette out in my eye. This week has already promoted much wailing and gnashing of teeth – 98% of it from my bedroom. It’s my phone, I blame my phone. It’s my captor and instead of giving me food it just feeds me miserable and sour tales of the world’s antics. Yet still I cling to it, daily, it’s fucking Stockholm syndrome.
My phone is constantly chirping at me to give fresh attention to the ongoing tragedies of the world that have grown too stale and too sad for me to even notice. ’8 feared dead in Miami as IRMA decimates the coastline’, ’14 injured in terror attack; child feared amongst the dead.’ It’s fucking relentless, so I literally just shut off. A cute dog attempting to clamber up a series of steps so it can reach its mother, who understandably wants some alone time, triggers a more volatile emotional response from me. Our minds aren’t built to process this degree of horror. No wonder we change channel. No wonder nothing feels real.