I’m in pain again today. I’m suffering a loss and it really, really hurts.

Yesterday I went to watch the Ishikawa JCBF series road race in Ishikawa, Fukushima. It was my first time to Fukushima and I have to say, at least in the area I was in, there is no evidence of the meltdown. I got sunburned, though, so maybe I shouldn’t be too relaxed.

I went with Thunder and a selection of regulars from the Everwin team. When I asked if it was ok for me to go and watch, Thunder (who is in charge of the team) told me that it was ok, except that I would have to ride in the back with the bikes because the athletes take priority. Whatever, I’m ok with that. Turned out that the back was very nice and the other guys were fighting over it because we were all massively sleep deprived and exhausted from the heat. In the back, you could lay down and actually sleep.

When we arrived at the race site everyone got out to ride across town to the registration booth. I didn’t know how far it was, or where it was, but I had my sweet new race baby (Kookaburra), and I was committed to the day so I did my best to keep up.

I couldn’t keep up. I got lost. I had no cell reception and even though there were staff along the race course, I had no idea what to even ask them. “Hey, uh, I’m looking for my friend’s car… No, I don’t know where he parked it. Or where I am. Or what I’m even doing out here.” With no wallet, phone, or food and my stomach running on so close to empty that I was starting to get dizzy in the early morning heat, lost and with no way of knowing how to get back before the race started and the roads closed, I just sat down and cried.

Somehow I managed to figure out where the car was. Thankfully, it was also unlocked and I was able to feed myself. As I sat on the concrete, alone with my bike, it occurred to me that not only was this not the first time this has happened to me, but it seems to be part of a pattern.

Thunder does not seem to give a shit about what happens to me.
The Giant store manager might give a shit, but it’s apparently too much work.
The girls at the Giant store are useless wastes of good flesh.
The boys on the Giant team are too oblivious to know how hard I work to be able to play with them, or how exhausting it is to always be the one who gets dropped and needs special attention.

In the heat, far from home and disconnected from anyone who cared about me, I realized that my relationship with Giant is over.

The Giant store was my salvation when I came to Japan. I was lonely and lost and they gave me a place to be, bikes to ride, trails to play on and support in my life. And then something happened. I got too big for them, maybe? And now it feels like I’m nothing more than a burden to them all the time. I try to help and they don’t want my help. I try to play and I get brushed off. I try to train and I get ignored. I try to do business with them and, well, I get ignored there, too. I don’t know what happened or why, but I know that the safety and comfort that the people there represented to me at one time is gone now and nothing I can do will bring it back.

And this hurts.

This hurts a fucking lot.

And you know? I can’t help but wonder if a large part of this isn’t the language barrier. People think I’m fluent in Japanese, but mostly they’re rounding up. I’m only fluent when people are talking to me directly and in person. On the phone, in a group, or about a subject I’m not familiar, I struggle to keep up. I wonder if my inability to have a relationship with the people who I desperately wanted to be friends with is that they are all simply too busy to take the time to give me the individual attention I need to actually communicate. Of course I’m angry because if they cared at all about me, they would, at least on occasion, take the time and energy to check in on me. It’s not like I ask a lot, and I’m incredibly flexible. Like with the car. If he told me I had to ride on the roof with the bikes I would make it work.

It’s one of the reasons why I’m so dissatisfied with my job. There’s no reason for anyone to need to interact with me. My students can just sit there. My colleagues never pass me in the hall. But even if they did, they don’t share the same passions that I have.

In the end, I feel pretty damn hopeless that I will ever have a family. I feel like I may never be free of this chronic, aching loneliness that plagues every waking moment of my life. It’s pretty scary to be here. I feel very close to the edge of nothing matters at all. I know that place. I hate that place.

Once I used to be pretty resilient. I have lived with pain since I can remember, but long ago I still had hope. I was still able to tell myself that if it all went to shit I could go and sell sandwiches on the beach in Italy. Now I know that I’m too restless for that. Now I know that even that life would be too hard for me. I would feel constrained eventually, and dead without a greater purpose.

And the loneliness wouldn’t go away.

I guess the ultimate truth that I am coming to is that I am different. I used to want to believe that I wasn’t different, that I was just imagining it, or that if I wanted something I could just go out and get it, even if that something was friendship. I have never put so much work and so many tears into having a friendship before. I think I’ve come further with the Giant boys than I’ve come with anyone*, maybe. And to see it all come crashing down in a stinking pile of shit…

Well, it just makes you think that maybe the problem is with you. Maybe you’re unfixable and unlovable. Maybe you really are different, and that’s why no one wants you around.