You know that gnawing feeling of loneliness. I mean truly gnawing. Where you feel your insides twist up and feel like you're on the verge of tears, and that it wouldn't matter anyway because no one is there to comfort you, or at least no one that would matter?

I don't want to quote S&TC, but here I will paraphrase, "the loneliness is tangible." It gets to a point where you wonder if people can feel it coming off of you...like some fume or something. If they can't, they should be able to.

I get this feeling whenever I'm somewhere alone for a prolonged amount of time. Coming back to Paris brought this huge rush to me, like a Matrix-like whiz of virtual reality, the entire metro map came back to my head and everything was so familiar...yet different. That slight difference that makes you realize that time has passed. Although, I did find myself slipping a couple times and thinking I was still living in Paris. Small things, like, when it got cold and I was near my old apartment, I thought about going back to grab a jacket...then I realized I no longer lived there. It was a little sad. And that was Day 1.

Day 2 has been far more emotional...all the memories of my time here are coming back...also how hard it was for me to adjust and all the things I had to deal with. I am not only remembering the homesickness I felt, but feeling it again...again that virtual reality...and I wish I could just go back to Brussels, because I feel so out of place and alone. All those friendships and relationships I formed are no longer intact, or the people are no longer here...

I was going to go call my dad and say hi, because I longed to hear from someone familiar...but then I realized I could easily start bawling on the phone if I did that. So I scratched that plan, and came to this Internet cafe. I finally got put on a computer where the chat works...but of course, no one would be on.

I hate feeling like this. I really do. I would like to be content, but I'm not quite sure what will make it so. I am burned out from work, longing for a vacation, but filled with foreboding about my trip plans.

Part of this has to do with Jack stuff still on my mind, which is making me quite melancholy. Another part is due to the stuff at home...for me it's not really out of sight out of mind...so much as, out of sight, lots of shit is probably happening, good luck when you get back, and perhaps you should be doing something...though I don't know what. I am filled again with that sense of foreboding.

And yet, another part, is because I still have so much paperwork to take care of that has been left over since the last year, to make sure taxes were done, medical insurance papers taken care of and the calls made. There are so many things in my life I need to get in order and I never have enough time to get anything done. Work is sucking up more and more of my time, and though I love it when I am being productive and don't mind extra hours, when I am not...it's a real waste of not only time, but my energy. That's all I'll say about work.

I never realized how important family was to me...until I lost it.

I remember when my mom was talking to Jack about me, when they first met, and one of her reservations was that, apparently I am very loyal and form very close ties with people, if I do form those ties, and then cannot overcome them easily later. To be honest, I thought she was crazy, I mean, where did she get any of that information from...where was her proof? I guess my mother knew me better than I thougth, because those words now haunt me as I try and get over the only two close friendships I once let myself develop. And it's oh so hard. I wonder when all that residual emotion will finally be gone. "And this too shall pass"--I try and think of those words for everything, good and bad in life. It gives a bit of perspective.

I've also realized, I mean really really really realized the fragility of life. That in 50 years time, most people I know and respect and love...will not necessarily be around. That I should not take anything for granted. Walking around the new Paris Quai Branly Museum...they had all of these special things for death rituals. I wonder why humans always have so much ritual surrounding death. I think it's because it makes it easier to deal with. Because the reality of perhaps nothing...is far too much to think about...the what if reality.

Ever since I lost faith in certain things I have become a lot more morose. I won't deny that coming to Europe is what definitely made me more secular. Maybe that whole French laicite finally got to me. Anyway, it has made me a lot more unsettled with life, with my life choices and with my self. I have a harder time sleeping, I think, partially because of this. Sometimes I wish it weren't so.

This is sad to say now, but the happiest, most content, confident and sleep-fulfilled (as opposed to deprived) that I have ever been was when I was dating Jack. I don't know what that means, but it is true. And that makes me sadder.

Well, my time is almost up, and I must go...I would listen to music to calm my nerves, but my headphones broke and it only works in one ear. That has not only been driving me crazy, but is a constant reminder that it the headphones are broken...and the iPod itself keeps malfunctioning. Without music, all I get is this long, reverberating silence.

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