We talked until around three o'clock this morning.
It felt very strange talking to her... It felt almost as though I were in a quasi-realistic state reminiscent of The Matrix. It felt really, but only partly so. It felt forced, but only just barely. And although the conversation was not what I would call ideal, it was illuminating enough to be what I would consider worth it.
The only problem is that it depressed me.
After she left, I found myself crying in the cold darkness of night, sobbing on a bench in the shadows on campus. I took out my copy of The Fountainhead and read two chapters in the darkness, squinting my eyes to read the text in the pale light, and wiping away my tears not because I didn't want to cry but because I wanted to read. I read until I stopped crying.
Then I drove home.
I didn't realize that such a conversation would cause me to cry as hard as I did last night. I ended up staying awake nearly all night long simply due to the heavy thoughts that came to me after our conversation.
But why did it affect me so very much? Why did talking to her make me so very sad? I think... I think I cried afterward because she actually tried. She talked to me and debated with me and thought with me, and she put effort in what she said. She brought up Rene Descartes (she's French, so I assume Descartes was required reading where she went to school), and it surprised me. She saw what he had said and applied it perfectly to the topic of our conversation, and I felt enlightened. I felt... well, I felt pride. I know that sounds stupid, but I did. I felt pride.
But the topic of discussion was not ultimately resolved. We talked about what I wanted to talk about, but she never really 'got' what I was saying. Now don't get me wrong; she did exceedingly well. She made good points and argued quite effectively. But she never did understand the point. She never did understand the point: an innate difference of 'self'. She could not understand why I reread The Fountainhead religiously. She did not get why the choices I made in life were inherently wrong. She was not able to grasp that some trees are just plain better than others.
It made me feel so very alone... After she left, I felt lonelier than before I had talked to her, simply because she was trying so very hard and yet still did not understand. I cried not because she was ignorant; that's not what I'm saying at all. I cried because if she couldn't grasp it, then what if it's not graspable? What if the problem is just that I am crazy? How can I say that it makes logical sense to me, yet not to her? That's an inherent contradiction in terms, because if one person can understand a thing, then all can understand that thing. If not, then it was never understood in the first place. And so I cried. I cried because Mary had confirmed what I suspected all along -- that I am stupid. I am retarded. I must be, because otherwise I would be like her. She enjoys her life. She loves to live.
I hate living. The only time I feel alive is when I learn or I teach. Knowledge is everything to me. It means everything to me. And yet I'd throw it all away for but one single chance of true happiness...
And it is that fact that makes me truly stupid. This morning, while it was still dark, I started to talk to someone who wasn't there. And then I realized: they don't want to be there. They don't want to talk to me anymore. So I turned to God instead, but he was not there either. I turned to the butterfly, flying far above, but her ears were covered, and she would not listen. I tried talking to a squirrel scurrying nearby, but it just ran away, afraid of me. There was no one to talk to at all. I pulled out my diary, and I wrote in Celtic... But it was so hard. Before, writing in that diary was so easy; I always wrote to the same fictional person there. But I could not address that person this time; because that person will never be able to read what I wrote for them. So instead, I stopped. I put my diary away, unwritten in. I was silent, talking to no one, for no one was there. And I started singing, loud and clear. I sang, my head to the clouds, and my arms at my side. I sang nonsensical words, jabberwocky... "The slithy toves Did gyre and gimbal in the wabe!" And the world did not end. I sang these words to no one in particular, and yet the words still came out of my mouth. I meant to say nothing in particular, and yet the universe did not stop me from doing so. I was creative for creativity's sake, and yet nothing changed. I still have yet to decide if this is a good or bad thing...