Have you ever seen a movie with some kid and some dude, the dude takes the kid’s arm and starts slapping the kid with it, asking him “why are you hitting yourself, why are you hitting yourself?”

That’s pretty much what my version of insanity is. This pressure at the back of my skull, and sometimes it creeps around the top of my cranium towards my forehead and furrows my eyebrows. My mouth is held in a permanent scowl - i’m not in a bad mood, this is just my resting bitch face.

This pressure in my skull - it’s not a headache. It’s not a brain tumor. It’s neither on the surface of my skin, nor inside my head. It’s just beneath the surface, but it’s always there. Always, constantly fucking there. And I do so very much believe that this thing is evil. For me, an idle mind is so much more dangerous than idle hands.

I want to scream. Sometimes, I’ll sit in the bathtub without any running water, fully clothed, trying to get this fucking thing out of my head. “Get out of my head!” I’ll shout.

No one cares.

I have come to terms with this insanity. I’m not clinically diagnosed. I don’t see people who aren’t there. I don’t have voices in my head. But deep down, I know that I am insane.

If not that, then why do I do what I do? Is there some logical explanation for why, when I walked into Joy Harris’s office at the beginning of April, instead of handing Dominic - the office clerk - my 3 pages and cover letter outright, I said the words “fuck being normal?” A reason that precludes insanity?

I feel inadequate.

I’ve flunked out of college. I’ve been fired from my job. My electricity has been shut off. I have eight months left in the National Guard, and yet I am overweight and have failed my last five consecutive PFT’s.

The only thing I’ve left is this novel. But my pages sit unwritten and untarnished, the dominion of empty thoughts invaded by this pressure in my skull.

Why did I do that? Why did I do it like that? Why didn’t anyone else do it like that? What the fuck is wrong with me?

Music from decades ago… songs of the good and the bad reverberate in my memory.

The pages sit blank.

Two years ago, I made a pact with myself. I said to myself that this novel, this fucking novel was going to be on bookshelves by this summer. I might be able to finish the first draft by then. Might could even the whole damned thing. But will anyone buy it?

Will anyone turn my electricity back on? I’m tired of surviving off of the donated leftovers of others. I want to be my own breadwinner.

I still don’t have an agent. I don’t have a publisher. And what fucking use is it without a finished product.

I’m inadequate.

Your consolations mean nothing. Back when I was in college, before I flunked out, I was seeing a therapist. He told me, and I still can’t believe he told me this, that I was intelligent. That intelligent people will invent a thousand reasons to justify their inadequacies. I’m not sure if him telling me that helped me or hurt me. It surely didn’t effect the outcome of my pathetic failure.

And just as I can invent reasons to justify my failures, your consolations mean nothing to me because I know they are just words. Just fucking words.

I’ve never gotten a job from an application. I’m 23 years old, and this is something that has never happened to me. Which explains why I’ve had so few. It’s always because of someone on the inside, someone who recognized my potential, that I ever broke through the fucking barriers.

When I hear of people walking in off the street to get jobs - it’s just like “yeah, right. And I’m sure they married the prom queen and were voted most athletic.” In other words; douchebags.

The problem with douchebags is that there are just so many, and they are everywhere. They’re even in the places that you least expect them; D&D clubs, chess tournaments, LOL World’s, Cons, podfests, Edinburg Fringe Fest, Djangofest, the Moscow Jazz Festival, and the fucking Pacific Northwest Ballet. The fucking ballet!

Am I merely just projecting my insecurities upon their perfect bodies, their perfect hair, their perfect British accents, their perfect eyes, their 4.0 GPAs?

When I first heard the name Ronnan Farrow, I thought to myself: “this guy must be a first-rate douchebag of the highest order.” Smart, funny, attractive, RICH. That was, until he tweeted back at me confirming that it isn’t all the glitz and glamour that it’s cracked up to be.

So, maybe I am just insecure. But is my insecurity triplicated by my intelligence?

Even writing that there makes me sound like a jackass. Believe me, I’ve come to recognize that I am definitely NOT intelligent. Neither emotionally nor intellectually.

My whole life, though, people have been redoubling on their efforts to convince me that I was smarter, somehow, than they were. Even though I had worse grades than they did. Even though it took me three months to read the same book they read in one afternoon’s sitting.

On a recent episode of This American Life, Ira Glass and his minions discussed a phenomenon in psych in which it is described that a person fails because they are ignorant, but before their results are returned to them, their ignorance exudes a confidence. They fail because they are confident, and they are confident because they are ignorant.

I don’t remember the first time someone told me that I would be the President of the USA one day. It’s fucking bizarre. All throughout my schooling, classmates and teachers were convinced that I would make a great fit in the Oval Office. I’m sure that’s a phenomenon that happens to a ton of other kids, right?

Those other kids weren’t there when the Archbishop of Seattle looked me in the eyes and said the words “the next president is in this room.” Those other kids weren’t there when Jack Creighton finished off a letter to me with the words “I know that in the years to come we can expect great things from you.”

But where are those other kids now? Well, most of them have already graduated college, and are now doing quite well in their chosen fields. Premed, prelaw, education. Some of my contemporaries are now working on Capitol Hill, for various think tanks and congresspeople. A few of them are working for Google, one for NASA, and so on.

Whereas, I am naked, in this darkened room, the only sources of light are my laptop and the lantern next to my Royal Standard typewriter. Inadequate. Dealing with my insecurities day by day. Overweight, every so often gripping at my overhanging chub in dismay. The chub makes my dick look smaller.

Silently praying to the pressure in my skull to just let up a bit, so that I might finish this novel, get an agent, get a publisher, so that I might be able to get my lights turned back on. Oh, wishful thinking it might be. But, then again, I’m insane.

I have to take a piss.