You know when you're nicer to other people than you are to yourself, and you're depressed and don't want to get out of bed, and your clothes fit like curtains and your breath tastes like formaldehyde?
You know when you can see your formaldehyde breath and it forces you to pretend that you're smoking, and it reminds you of those times when you and your sibling pretended to smoke, using candy cigarettes? Remember the small amount of Coca-Cola in the glass that was supposed to represent whiskey? the small amount of sweat that collected between your fingers? the small amount of concern you had for childhood?
Off the grid, the coffee tastes bitter, and the favors aren't returned. Off the grid, sex comes with directions that are no longer relevant, directions that feel like an outdated, faded map. You are less optimistic, less attractive. You are less rested.
Statistics claim that men benefit from relationships while women do best existing outside of them, untethered, free to dream, to shave or not shave, to mind or not mind. You know when you're nicer to other people than you are to yourself? You learn that the spaces between sentences matter less. Relationships matter less. The roads on the map matter less; they are just arteries carrying blood from one failed organ to the next, onward, then out, formaldehyde traveling faster than silence.