You busy yourself with the vapid and the mindless. You distract yourself. You disconnect from the real to escape that nagging feeling. The feeling is deep and difficult to identify. It tells you something is wrong. It tells you that you are alone. You are unsatisfied. You gloss over what you’ve accomplished and feel nothing. You examine in detail, all the ways you’ve failed, and you feel pain. You’re surrounded by the things you do not have: another person to care for you, like you wish to care for someone else, the knowledge that you’ve lived up to your potential. A sense of fulfillment. You search for these things and find only a vacuum, an absence. You find that no one goes to sleep thinking of you. No one wonders if you are thinking of them. You come to realize that everyone you speak to would rather, at the moment, be speaking to someone else. You are replaceable and disappointing. Will the future hold something better? Will you achieve something according to your own standards? You can only hope. But that nagging feeling comes back, it reminds you of the way you are. Your dreams may come true but the happiness will grow old and fade away. You always come back to that feeling. So you disengage. You distract. Facebook, Twitter, music, movies. You find time to interact with friends but those interactions serve only to remind you your place with everyone else. Secondary, unimportant, forgettable. So you disconnect. You keep doing this, a day at a time, a week at a time, till the months slip away and you realize that this isn’t a slump, it is not a stage, this is life. Average. Boring. Alone. You try to forget but you can’t. You try to change but you’re weak. You see only one simple option, one clear way out. To sleep forever, to never be troubled, to never face a deadline, to never face embarrassment, to stop feeling afraid. To be at peace. You get the tools, you make the choice, you lie back. You disconnect.