I don’t think we were meant for this future thing. We’re not built for the future. We’re not going to survive it. What we’re built for is right now. We’re meant to do something with the time, not wait around until it’s “right,” because it will never be right enough. We’re not meant to sit at home and dream. We’re meant to break through these windows with a great dramatic earth shattering crash and make it into the world - all over it - where we belong.
We’re always told that we don’t know because we’re young. Our parents tell us not to talk about love because we don’t know what we’re talking about. We haven’t lived enough, they say. We don’t know the world. We don’t know how things work.
And they’re right, of course. We don’t know what it’s like to be an adult. We don’t always know when we’re caught up with the wrong people, and we don’t know when we’ve got all the right ones and we let them go. We don’t. We make mistakes, and we like to think that we know, because we just do, when in reality, we don’t.
And while they might be right in some ways, they’re wrong in others. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we don’t know what love is.
Because I think that, in fact, we’ve got quite a better idea of what it is than they do.
You see, the thing with life is that it changes you. It changes both the inside and the outside, in a way that you can never go back from. Life throws you into a mess and takes bets on whether or not you’ll come out alive. And that’s what happens to love; it gets drowned in the mess of life and sometimes it’s lost at sea.
But with us, but with not knowing, we really do have something they don’t, and among those things is love. Because we’re naive, and we don’t know the sorrows or hardships of the world, not really, not like they do. We still have hope because there’s so much uncharted territory lying ahead of us.
We do know love. We still believe in miracles and fairy tales and we still hold on to the hope that maybe someday we will find it. We’ll mess up, sure, but isn’t that how you learn? We still have hope that maybe we won’t end up like them; we still have hope that our mistakes will bring the goodness of what we have to light, rather than drowning them in the dark.
Maybe we don’t really know, but there are some things you don’t really ever learn. There are some things you’re born with and then one day lose. Like youth, or innocence. And maybe love, too.
i’m looking for you
somewhere along the stretches of this world
can you see me?
i can still feel you in my veins,
the way i fell at your touch
the way the world faded away
can you see me?
i’m not hiding
i don’t have better things to do
i’m just waiting for you
It’s in these quiet moments that I really feel alone.
There’s one rose, two, three, four, five, five roses, in a glass vase on the counter. Two crimson red, two yellow, one orange with tips of pink. Two are withered, color fading to brown, drooping on their stems, a soft velvet to dry and lifeless. Given with love, with appreciation, collected together as unwanted remnants and taken to a home that needs the simply beauty.
The house is silent, aside from the sizzling and various pops from the stove, the sound of plastic wrap being pulled and crinkled. There’s a distant hum of the television, but it sounds odd and muffled, strained at all the wrong moments, something outdated, perhaps. Now the microwave purrs, metal knocks against board, the faucet trickles down the drain. It’s all very normal, all very calm, a routine carried out mindlessly, a series of careful measurements, timing, procedure.
But this is where the battle is fought, in the guise of the methodical movement, in this room of age and life. This is where everything is hidden in the security of the light.
This is loneliness.
I feel like every time I try to get this out I stop myself and tell myself I have to move forward. But that’s the problem.. I can’t move forward without getting this out. How can I pretend that the way I’m feeling is anything less than drowned? I’m drowning. I thought I knew how to swim, but I don’t. At least, not well enough. I don’t know what I know anymore. It’s like every day my beliefs are challenged and every day I find myself breaking down and giving up. I feel like there’s no point in standing up for myself or what I believe in anymore, because I just don’t care. I don’t, I don’t care.
And here’s where the next problem comes in: I do care. I care but I’m trying not to let myself care, because I know that caring will kill me. I’m trying to pretend like I don’t feel this way. But it’s useless. I do, I feel this way every day. And sometimes, it hurts worse than other days, but now..
I don’t know. Maybe it’s not a matter of caring, maybe it’s a matter of figuring all of this out. What am I even feeling? I have no clue. What does “I love you” even mean? Will you please tell me? Because its sickening how people can just throw it around without thinking twice about what it could mean. How could something so strong and so meaningful be so weak and so meaningless? How can it be forgotten so quickly if it means so much?
What did it mean to us? To you, and to me? Individually. To me.. I’m still trying to figure it out. I don’t know what it meant to me then, and I don’t know what it means to me now, either.
You were a lot to me, but not everything, and that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be crazy about you, I wanted those annoying butterflies. I wanted to know that for once in my life I had made the right choice.
Did I? I guess not. I was trying to - I tried to. I don’t know what “I love you” means, and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that I ever could have let you waste your time on me, because I should have known I would screw it up. I remember in the beginning how I used to thank God for giving me you and pray He wouldn’t let anything happen to us.
You are an amazing person. A flawed person, but amazing, and I don’t think many people realize it. I always wondered how you could be so sweet to me and so rude to my friends, but you were growing out of it.. Maybe you still didn’t really like them, but you didn’t hate them. And that was progress, right? You wanted to make me happy.
It’s so funny to me how such a tough looking person could be such a softhearted and sensitive person. Really, it makes me laugh. Because now whenever I see you, walking all tall and confident and sturdy as steel and whatnot, I know it’s just an act. I know what you’re like, and I miss it. I miss how we used to be cheesy just because we both hated it. I miss the simple things we did, because that’s all we wanted, something simple. It’s all we needed, really. I miss just sitting there, with your arm around me and my head on your shoulder, just talking about our lives when we were supposed to be working on that project.
I did love you, maybe. Maybe in that way, that simple way, I did.
It was just that, I could be myself around you, and I think you felt the same way, too. You told me things about yourself and your family you’d never told anyone, and it broke my heart to hear but I felt so happy knowing you could trust me.
I dont know. I still don’t, I haven’t figured anything out. When will I figure it out? Do I even tell you or do I just try to forget? Pretend to forget?
I don’t know.
The air around me has suddenly grown very cold, and the stillness draws a chill to my core that has me shaking in moments.
My mind is spinning, and I lay staring at the ceiling, lost in thought. My thoughts turn to him, and I wonder vaguely what he’s doing then. I think of weeks earlier, when moments like this would be spent typing away at my phone, sending stupid, silly, pointless messages back and forth. I turn in my bed and stare at my phone, which has recently become silent and still, cold like the room. There are people I could talk to, there are people that could make me smile briefly, make me forget about these thoughts, but I don’t think about them. I only think of him.
I wonder if he’s taken back to his phone, if his idle moments are now taken by her instead of me. I wonder if he’s sitting there, thinking of her. I wonder if he’s smiling, if he’s laughing, if he’s sad, or if he’s broken. I remember how she was there for him when he didn’t have me. I remember how he found comfort in her when I turned him away.
I bring my blanket up to my chin and hide beneath it, wishing I could stay here forever. I think of him, and I think of how he’s thinking of her, and the chill of the room finds me beneath the blanket. It works its way through me, settling in the pit of my stomach like a rock. My arms tremble with an unshakeable cold, and my blood pulses so unsettlingly that I begin to think my skin will frost over with ice.
I close my eyes, gently running my fingertips over my stomach, calming the beast inside of my mind. I feel the beat of my heart in my chest, how quiet it is as it woks, and wonder when this winter will leave me.
I turn over again in my bed, burying my face and emotions into my pillow. The cold falls down on me like a soft rain, and hugs my sides so tightly that the world is numb. My eyes find darkness, my mind finds peace, and my body finds a long awaited sleep.
I unfold a shirt from the pile of clothes my mom has placed on my bed, and hold the shirt up. It’s folds unravel and it dangles limp in the air. It’s a plain, sky blue long sleeved crew neck. Simple enough. I inspect it for signs of abuse, and lay it flat on the pile once I am satisfied with its lack of stains and tears.
I run my eyes over the stitches, wishing maybe they ran a little differently down the sides or flattered my neckline a bit better. I imagine who could have owned this. Why would anyone buy something so plain? Maybe they suffered from the wrath of a cheap CCA scavenger mom, too. Maybe it’d been passed down more than once. Maybe it was from the eighties, and it had actually been her mother’s shirt, and her mother gave it to the daughter and the daughter gave it to.. Well, me, I guess.
It didn’t look terribly worn. I picked it up again, feeling the material in my hands, and looked in the mirror. I might as well try it on. I’d never know how it looked otherwise.
I pulled my shirt off and tossed it on the floor mindlessly, and yanked the new one (well, kind of new) over my head. I brushed my rustled hairs down with my fingertips and observed the sight of myself in the mirror.
Eh. I pulled on the sleeves and the neckline, and wiggled around in the shirt. It was a little tight, and a little short on my arms, and the neck was practically choking me. Then the bottom was really oddly proportioned—it was far too long and fit in the most uncomfortable ways. The shirt was such a weird cut. Seriously, who had ever worn this? I was starting to understand why they’d given it away.
I pulled it off and put my other shirt back on, and folded the blue mess my mother had picked out for me. You’d think she would have noticed how unshapely the thing was, but she probably only saw the price and figured that if it covered me, it was wearable. I wondered vaguely if she’d even thought to check the size.
I placed it back on the pile and decided I had better things to do than waste my time pretending like any of these clothes would look semi-decent on me.
I was moving the pile to my mom’s bedroom when I saw the tag on the blue shirt. Above the brand name, it said “Emily” in thick black letters. I almost wanted to ask Emily if she would please take this hideous thing back, but then I thought better of falling to that absolute insanity and instead imagined a girl named Emily wearing the shirt.
Maybe it would have looked good on her. Maybe she had other clothes, and had given it away just because she needed more room for those. Maybe it had been hard to decide which one to give up. Maybe she’d seen this and decided she didn’t like it as much as she used to, but she thought of all that had happened with this shirt. The places she’d been, the things she’d seen, the life she’d had. Maybe it wasn’t the shirt that she wanted- maybe it was just the memories. Maybe she had made a new friend when she was wearing it. Maybe she’d stood up for someone, or had her first kiss, or had good luck when wearing it.
But probably not. It was a little more interesting than just a plain blue shirt now, though. It had a kind of life to it. I imagined the places it could have gone.
I left the pile on my mom’s bed and walked out of the room.
The shirt could continue on to another life now if it wanted. It was a cool thought - like reincarnation almost - but that didn’t make me take it back. It would just have to skip over this life.
Your problem is that you won’t acknowledge this problem. Maybe you are acknowledging that problem. Maybe you’re sitting here and you’re thinking, my problem is obviously not that I won’t acknowledge the problem, I know perfectly well what that problem is.
Maybe I’ve just confused you.
But let’s think of it this way. You have a problem. Your problem is that you can’t find your problem - or, at least, you are ignoring your problem. Maybe you’re pretending it’s not there. Maybe you refuse to find your problem.
You have a problem.
How do you solve the problem?
Well, say hello to it. Make friends with it. Learn its interests, passions, dislikes, habits. Maybe even introduce it to your parents. Tell all your friends, or anyone you care about. Learn how this friend works, figure out its ups and downs, and then.. when the time comes.. attack it. Conquer it, manipulate it, destroy it.
Now take a deep breath, and think. What’s the problem that’s plaguing you?
Welcome to my empty blog. ;)
Well, empty at the moment anyways. I’m going to update this baby soon enough. I have plans for a 365 writing project..
But we’ll just have to see how that goes.