Today my neighbors are outside enjoying the sun with their children. I don't have any children. I never married. I never had any relationships. I thought I had friends until I noticed that I was treated differently. Clearly I'm not charismatic enough to have anyone fawning at my feet. I'm not quick-witted enough to keep up with conversations as the topic changes at least twice by the time I can form a co----[this is exactly what I'm talking about. I can't form the word that means a sentence that can be understood easily, and the word begins with 'c' but it's not 'cohesive' but my brain won't let the correct word enter my thoughts. The word probably doesn't begin with 'c' which is why my brain malfunctions] sentence. I have long memories of being interrupted in conversations over the years. Memories of being interrupted fill me with rage. Opportunities to finally get a word in on time, quashed, for what could be years. I'm left completely unable to display any kind of value in a conversation.
I don't know when it started. I remember when I was very young I had lots of friends, then over the years I became a shadow to them. I just didn't have anything they needed or wanted. I watched them finish college, get high paying jobs, date, marry and have children. Until June of 2001 I thought I was catching up. I had a career and a house which was a good start but I lost them both. It turned out to be a permanent setback, despite graduating from technical school and college. I could no longer tolerate being surrounded by successful people because they served as a constant reminder of my own failures.
This is the kind of crap nobody wants to hear about. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself!" "What do you want us to do, wash your feet?" "It has to be all about you, doesn't it?" Of course I'm not going to bring up my feelings again after responses like that. I might as well diminish them by removing the contrasting elements (i.e. successful friends) from my range of perception. Nothing hurts more than being left behind by people who started out liking you, then without explanation you are gradually pushed out of the circle. That's what it feels like, but I probably pulled myself out of their circle. Little by little, one minor social infraction after another. Maybe I didn't do something they felt was important, but nobody else said anything, so I'm clueless.
Once you get beyond a certain age, you're left with the friends you made while you were young. I remember my father's last years. His dog and his mother were the only things that delayed the inevitability of a slow death by alcohol. Spending the rest of his days alone after he lost his dog, then his mother, lying on the couch in front a shitty little television set, or listening to the radio, drinking himself to sleep. The gathering dust, increasing number of skillet-shaped burn marks on the kitchen counter and vinyl tile floor, the upstairs bedrooms in exactly the same state as the last visit from months before. I was living out-of-state when he finally passed away. My sisters bore the brunt of the initial shock of what was found in his condominium unit.
At the funeral some people showed up who I never saw before. They were allegedly friends of my father.
Oh, by the way, the word I was looking for in the first paragraph is "cogent."