Thursday, April 25, 2013

Straight to video regrets

Lights. Camera. Actions speak much louder than his words.  Backdrop is perfect, props are in place, but he hasn’t memorized the lines I’ve written for us.  This relationship isn’t the love story that the big screen envisions, nor is the sick and twisted angst that the writer intended.  We are boring versions of our television ready selves.  My hair is messed up, my makeup is never right and his intentions are dull, but still darkening.  The fairytale becomes the horror story we all knew it would.  If he could see the skeletons in my closet he would probably be amused with my naivety, and I shudder to think of what dirty little secrets he’s hiding behind those closed doors (and his even more stubbornly bolted heart).  We are perfectly imperfect, but too star struck to care.

Cue the violin, or maybe the tambourine is more appropriate, almost comical and taken just about as seriously as we were in our best moments.  Strip away the fantasy and you are left with two awkward twenty-something broken souls pleading for a more promising start.

We’re begging for a rewrite and selling our souls for a second chance, but drowning in the lack of responses on our behalf.  No one believes in us even half as much as we believed in ourselves in the beginning, and even now we don’t believe in ourselves enough to keep afloat.  Cut. Print. Straight to video.

And we become the dollar rental sitting dusty on the shelf, waiting to mean something to some daring movie lover.  Someone like us.  Someone that’s hair is a little messed up, or makeup isn’t quite right, or has holes in the wrong places in his jeans.  That’s the kind of person that will rent us, maybe find meaning, and then probably lose us within the trunk of their 90’s beater, and forget that we even existed.  But maybe, just maybe he’ll think of us later, maybe he’ll even become a writer, or even a filmmaker, and one day maybe our story will be told right.

Until then, here’s to the bad acting, the terrifying soundtrack, and the straight to video version of ourselves that might just drown in hate mail before we ever make it big.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The difference between praying and being preyed upon, and letting go of both.

If she could go back she would, rewind all the mistakes and all of the lies, and go back to that place.  That place where friendship was all that mattered and love was just a mystery, a promise whispered in the dark that no one would ever mean.  She’d go back there, and she’d do everything differently.  It was her worst moment, her lowest.  In retrospect, she has no idea why she did what she did, maybe because she was tempting the fates, ready to lose it all because she didn’t think life meant anything without him.  For a split second she allowed herself to be selfish, to take what another so willingly offered.  He loved her, had always loved her, was happy that the stupid bastard had left her behind.  What had he been thinking? How could he not know what he was missing? Who wouldn’t see the beauty that he’d seen every day for years, but had chosen not to act on.  She was weak, and he preyed, as she prayed that another would forgive her.  Different types of pr(a/e)ying, and she had chosen the wrong connotation.

To think I’m still a writer is as delusional as it is to think that I could ever go back there, that I could ever rewind time and change the one mistake I am the least proud of.  I’ve always been a smart person, cautious to the point of detriment, but that day I was not.  It only took one day, a couple hours actually, to change the entire course of my life.  To change the people in it, and the hope that I had for something beautiful.  When I was growing up I was obsessed with a forbidden love, hoping that if I loved someone I could not have that I would never be hurt.  I loved my best friend, and eventually my roommate, my best friend’s boyfriend, and my boyfriend’s best friend (all different roles he played at different times of my life, some simultaneously).  I brought him in to my life and I kept him there, so that I could find comfort in the familiar, and that fact that I would never have to be alone, because even if everyone else left I’d always have him.  It’s kinda funny in retrospect that it is because of him that I lost everything else that I had.  At the time I’m not sure I knew I was doing it, even now I wonder if I was that person.  I don’t think that was everything.  I felt like if I gave up on him, that he’d give up on him too, that if I wasn’t there he wouldn’t have any reason to be.  Four years later I see that it isn’t true.  He could survive without me, and me without him.  But without her, I’m not me.  Losing a best friend is like losing a part of yourself, the part you liked best.  I told myself I loved him so long that I never knew I was loving someone that never existed.  He was my boy next door, my what if, and could have been, but never should have happened in the end.  My happy ending twisted into my condemnation.  I loved them all and I lost them all at once, because I wasn’t afraid to lose anything, but afraid to lose any of it at the same time.

But then we make it to the point where I question if I’d be where I am today without all of these decisions.  Would I be here, with a man that treats me right and a family that I love, and friends that are there when it matters?  Everything has consequences, and I guess this is where mine have taken me.  It’s hard not to look back, to want to rewind and go back to those days that were easy and those lives that were carefree.  We loved each other because we could then, we all loved each other because it was easy and we survived because we realized it would not always be that way.  I’m not sure I won, or that there is anything that actually even constitutes as winning, but I survived.  I survived the loss, and the embarrassment and the mistakes that I made back then.  I’m not proud of them, and I still regret much of it, but I cannot change it.  I can only learn from it.

And I’ve learned that you can never know someone, not completely.  That you can spend each day with someone and if they choose to, they can still hide who they are from you.  It takes a certain type of human being to do this, a very manipulative and cold-hearted one, but they exist.  Leeches is probably the best possible description.  They take and take and take what they need and then they rip you off and run away.  Maybe we all made mistakes back then.  I like to think that he thinks back sometimes and regrets what he did too, not that he left, but what he did.  I can’t help but wonder if he does, how he feels, what n if he ever thinks… how it could have been.

But could have been’s simply lead to more regrets that my life is not made for tv, and can’t be rewound or rewritten. Ugh. You can’t trade in the middle if you still want to get to the end though.  And I’m happy, I’m ready to let it all go, but I wonder if I can ever get some of what I let go of back, if there ever will be a day that she’ll see me for more than the villain in her love story, her best friend turned enemy, turned stranger.  It’s sad to say that, stranger, but it’s the truth. 

So I guess we get to a place where we have to let go, of everything and just keep going forward.  Maybe it was all meant to happen like this because together we could not, or would not have ever found happiness.  We were too close, too wound around each other that none of us could see clearly until the rest of us were gone.  Maybe when we get to the point where we choose, what we want and who we want it with, things will be different and our lives will magically fall back together.  I mean we fell together didn’t we?  It all just kind of happened and we were together everyday, sharing everything and doing everything together.  If I believe in fate, it is only because of this.

And she hits rewind, but realizes that she can’t go back far enough to make a difference, or that maybe she shouldn’t.  She sees what she could lose if she went back, with no guarantees if she would change it for the better, or if it would have just ended up worse anyway.  And she’s caught within a moment in the past that she did not expect.  A moment she barely remembered.  She sat in the sand with her toes in the lake, jeans rolled up to her thighs and sandals in her hand.  She often came here to clear her head.  Things made so much more sense when the waves were crashing in, and the worries were farther away.  It was somewhere between losing them, and finding her place somewhere else.  A loneliness permeated the air around her, but she was not frightened, just lost.  She saw a group of kids walking down the pier, kids that could have been them a couple years ago, kids that would be them some years down the line.  She heard them giggle, heard them laugh and dare each other to dive in to the freezing water.  Only one did, long after the others had gone home.  It made her wonder why the young girl had done it.  She saved all of her courage and she jumped into that water with no caution and no regret, and no one would ever know.  No one but the girl silently watching from the beach a hundred feet away that she didn’t even know was there.  She looked triumphant as she wrapped in her sweatshirt and started her journey home.  It hit me that she waited because she didn’t do it for the rest of them, for the approval, or the bragging rights, she did it because she could, and because she didn’t need anything but the knowledge that she had done it.  She reminded her of herself, years and years before any of this love stuff mattered.  When she was just a girl, walking with her friends on the pier trying to figure out who she was and what she stood for. She stood for something more back then, back when the waves stole all of her cares away.  In that moment, things didn’t really feel so hopeless.  That girl, although she would never know, that girl that could have been her, gave her hope.  She might have even imagined the entire event, getting lost within the world of no consequence in which that girl still could live.  But that moment is what turned it all around for her, that is the moment in which she found her hope to continue on in this world.  So maybe she couldn’t change what she had done, but maybe, just maybe she could let it all go…again.

Monday, April 8, 2013

My fingers have not itched with such regret, or ferocity in some time. The message is clear, and yet the words are illusive.  it's like a puzzle with its pieces scattered across the dirty floor.  They're there, if i have the desire and motivation to look.  But the fear paralyzes me before i can touch the pen to paper, one what if condemning my fate.  What if it's not the answer i had hoped? Do i want to know?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(The forever unfinished draft of my goodbye letter to you... because I can't imagine loving anywhere else)

Sometimes it only takes a very small, even inconsequential event to shatter this fragile joke of an existence that I call my life.  The counselor in training that surprise surprise, needs a fucking counselor.  How I'm feeling is something that I'm not even sure I can explain, or that I want to, but the feelings that are beginning to boil up within me are quite dangerous, and unfortunately the path of the destruction is infinite, putting all those I cherish in the crosshairs of a rifle that they don't even know exists to begin with.  The more I type the less I make sense, the less I make sense the more I worry, and the more I worry the worse this is going to get. 

This is what I do.  No matter the circumstances, I end up exactly here.  Torn between the fact that I love (him), and the fact that it's just not enough.  For me?  For him?  For...ever?  I don't know.  The feeling is the same though, the same as it was in the past, and just as inconvenient.  Has he finally lost my attention, as I feared he would from day one, or am I just being dramatic?  Is there truly something wrong here or am I creating this... need for something more?

I love him.  I can't even sleep without him next to me.  I love the way that he caresses my arm while we're sleeping and drags me closer to him.  He nuzzles me.  I didn't even know what that word meant until he came into my life.  He laughs at my jokes and calls me on my bullshit.  He's perfect.  In a way that I never will be.  Because as much as I love this man, as much as I want to spend the rest of my life with something deep inside of me has already decided that he will not be that guy.  That he can't be.

So am I running because the psych(ot)ic in me knows that I'll eventually get hurt?  Am I running to save myself from whatever heartache I will meet in the future?  Or am I running to save him from... this?

I've never been more scared or felt more alone in my life.

To describe what is going on inside of me is not only frightening but ill advised.  It's like someone is choking me, pushing on my chest in such a threatening way that my immediate response is to push back... hard and quick so whoever is there will be caught off guard and unaware of my retaliation.  My mind wanders to find someone to listen, someone that will understand, but t(he)y doesn't care.  I'm not a cheater; I'm not a liar; I wouldn't dare.  And who am I trying to convince?  The pull to escape figuratively, turns physical, and the need just intensifies.  Where does a girl go when everyone has given up on her, and the only one that still cares doesn't have a clue who you are, what you're feeling, or how crazy this is about to get?

How can he love me if I haven't even let him get to know me?

And this is why I have yet to find real love, intense, ever-lasting no questions asked love.  I just want to be safe, and it's hard to admit but the only arms that I want around me right now are the ones that I know will not hurt me, because I don't have to care.  He can't hurt me if I don't care.

The utterly human response to truth

I guess there comes in a time in life when you need to just be honest with yourself for a minute, cut through all the lies and all the bullshit and just lay it all on the line.  Because if you don't, you're going to lose.  And you're going to lose more than just respect, and attention, you're going to lose him.  Maybe it's not even about him, maybe it's the part of you that you'll lose too that matters the most here.  The truth is that you won't even know what's at stake until it's already gone.  And the risk is overwhelming, breathtaking, heart-wrenching.  And the question is simple, but simple only in the structured sense because so much goes in to the answer.

What do you want?

It's simple.  In structure.  And you're still speechless as a result.  You want it all.  You want him and you want you both together and you want this life that you see lived everyday.  You want the house and the white picket fence and the pair of dogs playing behind it.  You want the little girl... and boy... and maybe even one more to be playing in the treehouse that he builds for them.  The treehouse that you built together.  And you want to climb in to bed each night next to him, holding him and listening to his heartbeat.  You want to tackle the world together with him, and you want to build this life that you have been conditioned to dream of.  And you wanna scream all of this at him as he stands there trying to convince you for some reason that he isn't enough, that you don't want him, that you deserve more.  And it dawns on you that you know the answer to his question, even if it isn't the question that he originally posed.

You want this to be enough.

He stops talking and looks confused, like you're telling him that you've had enough, that you really are done.  And his face falls in a way that you have not yet seen.  The look of disappointment is shattering, breaking the moment into a thousand pieces at your feet.  And for the first time you realize something.  Words are not enough.  This is hard for you.  Almost impossible to understand.  How can there not be words, how can the poet not even make sense of this world for him?  But you're not a poet anymore.  You're not a writer anymore.  You aren't me anymore.  We are separate.  I am dying.  Because I realize it too.  The words will never be enough.

"I want this.  I want you.  And I want it to be enough.  Forever.  And always." ... and then silently...again.

And these words frighten and terrify, not because you remember, but because you mean it.  You love him.  He is the man in your dreams, he's at the end of the aisle, he's holding your precious child, he's singing to you in the car, and asking you to dance.  He's... everything.  He is your world now. 

With this comes consequence.  The truth is never quite as easy as one would hope, because humans are not immune to fear.  Writers are, thank god, but not humans.  I can see it in your eyes, and reflected unknowingly in your heart.  You love him so much that it could kill you, and you know this.  The lightbulb just brightened and I could see it in your eyes.  You're calculating... the distance it will take, the amount of miles that will be sufficient to escape. 

How far will you have to run?

And will he have the courage to follow?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Do you ever catch yourself imagining a different life?  Maybe even one that was impossible, utterly the fictional sense, as well as the amazing sense i suppose.  I realize that i do this every time i travel in the Midwest, and it's generally much the same.

As the trees speed by outside my window, i imagine that i can see deeper into the forest.  And it becomes magical there, beckoning to be in an ethereal sense.  The animals all convene in an unlikely almost uncomfortable way.  Waiting.  And it dawns on me that they are expecting no one but me.  Sometimes the story darkens, and they don't just wait, they lie in wait.  Intentions much different, much more animalistic.

And i realize again that I'm just staring out my window, but i still feel the intense pull to look further through the trees.  To see if they're there, if they still wait, and if their eyes are the murderous color red i was expecting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My personal airport musical, if only the performers could see themselves now.

Have you ever felt as if you were removed from the world around you; as if you were part of a one person audience simply watching the world unfold around you?  You could watch, but you could not join the masses.  Arriving to the airport today, I experienced just this. 

Order exists in this small subenvironment that does not exist outside it.  I arrive, a part of the masses following the clearly defined security route to my terminal and specified gate.  Although I am among these people, I do not feel part of their world.  There is some separation between them and I; some invisible barrier that clearly defines our separate paths.  Feeling this, I withdraw, succumbing to an isolation I have become comfortable with.  The world has never been something that I could comfortably bear, those around me creating pressures and disturbances that were just too much for me to handle being a part of.  So maybe, in truth, I am the reason I do not belong.  Maybe I am the reason I simply watch from the sidelines as the world continues on in front of me, but not entirely with me.

And as these thoughts begin to overcome me, I choose to turn it off.  I intend to put these headphones over my ears and shut my eyes so tightly that it disappears completely, but as the chaos around me is silenced and the beat of my music pumps through my ears, i cannot help but wonder at the silent movement of those around me.  They move, but cannot shuffle.  They rush, but cannot clamber.  Normal sounds are muffled, and without them everything gains a grace it could not before.  It becomes a world that I can tolerate, even imagine myself within.  

I have an irrational thought that the people surrounding me are trapped within a musical, unconsciously waiting for the perfect moment to burst into song, or begin dancing in the middle of this crowded airport.  Some even seem to move in sync with the pound of the drums, appear to gyrate in sync to the guitar.  A man on his cell phone could even be mouthing the lyrics.  But there is no sound, except for the band that only I can hear.

And I'm the only one watching such an awe-inspiring performance, drinking in each perfect second. I cannot help but wonder how to join them, how to find such synchronicity and grace in this world.  Can it even exist, though, outside of these headphones and the walls of this small airport?  When people are not confined to an order such as this one, will they act the same?  Will I still want to live among them?  The questions go on and on and again I feel as if I might drown in it.  And even though I want to savor every moment of this performance, I again close my eyes tightly and wish it all away.  Hoping to find that when I open them again that it has not changed.

And in solitude I pray for the day that I too can live within my own version of that life, where I can be comfortable knowing that I am not alone anymore, and happiness is only one track away.