The past several weeks have been beautiful. I've been happy and productive. My relationship is going well, despite the distance. On the weekends I go out with friends. We drink and laugh and eat and enjoy ourselves. We are alive, and celebrating life, freedom, beauty, art. I'm writing good stories and thoughtful articles. Life is good. And in a way I felt like I'd earned it.

Then I get home at night, and it's a long walk and I tell myself it'll be better than taking the bus, and it's still chilly enough that my head hurts a little bit and my hands and cheeks are cold when I get home. I'm still buzzed but it's getting subdued and I've had time to think, and at first I'm just thinking over my day. I think of calling my girlfriend, but no, she's in New York, she's three time zones away. Then I think of other things, things I've tried to bury from my past. I think of me as a kid, fighting with my sister because I wanted her toys. I think of me shouting at my first girlfriend for her attempts not to hurt me and to be honest. I think of the hateful letters I've written, some I never sent, some I did. The people I've used, the lies I've told for no real reason. Every time I lost my temper. The things that I bury with the laughing and drinking and late night conversations.

I sit down to try to read, but my mind is racing now. I pour a glass of water and only drink half. I get undressed and lie in bed, staring at the shadows on the ceiling from the streetlights below, feeling like a liar and a fraud simply for having the audacity to enjoy myself.

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