Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Retrospection is a funny thing.

I wrote this about someone incredibly important back in, what, May of 2008? That was a long time ago. A lot has happened since, and that's an entire narrative to which some of you are privy.

But what matters is this:

It's nice to find a reminder that you've always been like this, that you've always felt things this intensely, that you've always relied too heavily on a thesaurus. But there's something comforting in knowing that, no matter what's happened since, no matter the lies you've heard or the tears you've caused or the Lyle Lovett songs you've listened to on repeat for hours at a time, there was a point at which you felt something and were able to more or less articulate it.

And it's like I told Sam so long ago: I still love you. I still love all of you.

Also: my current fondness for incredibly dramatic last lines is one with a great deal of precedent.

It's strange how things come full-circle in so many different ways.

----------------------------------------------------

I am sorry, my dear, but I cannot stay here tonight. It is with this that I must leave you.

There is a house some miles north of this town, a town where there are few stop signs and even fewer traffic lights, a place where there's a warm bed that's half-full in my eyes, half-empty in hers, and I'm on my way. I am ashamed to say that I cannot deliver this in person, but, as you are well aware, I am a man of weakness and not a man of principle (unless, of course, that principle is weakness).

It's already 1:15 AM and I should have been there hours ago. She has likely already cried the hour or so of tears that she does every night before she falls asleep alone, as she resigns herself to another recommended eight hours of solitude in that oversized bed with the down comforter and cheap cotton sheets that somehow feel like a too-warm summer night spent on a trampoline in your parents' backyard after you realize that you've been living at home for several years too many.

I plan on surprising her. Not by appearing out of the blue, not by appearing at all, but by how warm my hands will be. You see, because there is no connection between you and I, outside of the one to which we arbitrarily assigned ourselves in order to avoid these aforementioned lonely nights of our own, you never saw first-hand evidence (sorry in advance for the pun) of the uncanny ability my palms have to become sweaty in the presence of someone I love. It happened with Her four years ago, it happened with Her two years ago, and it happens with Her, right now, even as I think of her eyes when they're lit by a dim street lamp, glaring car headlights, and the promise of gentle goodnights and soft sunrises, even as her presence is only in my head and in my heart, those two most tenuous of real estates whose occupants are constantly shifting in and out, sliding like silt and sand against the shuffle of whatever waves the shore of Maryland is by the grace of God blessed enough to receive.

If you ever wondered why there was distance between you and I, it is because of this mighty, omnipresent sentiment: I loved her. Love her, rather, as past tense would be inaccurate in a case such as this. In fact, "love" is even too trite a descriptor of what is inside of me, trivialized as it has been by saccharine pop songs and insincere confessions (and, perhaps, some would argue, writings such as this). However, I will stand by "love" for the time being, as it serves as shorthand, a signifier onto which others can place their deepest longings, their most intense subjections, their most vulnerable moments. And perhaps that will allow you to understand precisely what it is going on behind my eyes.

I see disappointment beyond yours, but do not allow such a pervasively negative influence over what should be a beautiful moment. Yes, this moment, as you read these words and realize that I will not be with you this evening, nor any foreseeable evening in the future. Because this is a moment of inspiration, a moment from which, no matter how difficult for either of us (and it is more difficult for me than I am leading you to believe), we should both take an equal allotment of hope.

Because there is beauty in this world and there is love around us. Although phrased ridiculously, it is nonetheless true. For every time I have been left behind, I have never understood why, generally dismissing any comforts given as a mistake on their part, a misplaced affection that will dissipate as a sand castle against a fervent tide, but I finally now realize the arrogance of such a position.

Ideally, these people found what I believe I have found: that purest of magnetism, the attraction that transcends physical or mental or emotional and becomes a triumvirate of the three, a composition of something that, until now, never existed in such a concentrated form.

But have no fear. I have made countless mistakes in my life, the results of which have ranged from tragic to catastrophic and back again, so if there is anyone that does not deserve to feel this, that does not deserve to find this in such a corner of the world, I am that one. I have done hurtful things to others for no purpose other than instilling the pain that I harbored into someone else. I have lied and cheated and stolen and cried for the pain that I have caused.

This is not a matter of merit.

If there is a just, loving god--and, despite what you may have heard, I truly believe there has to be for any of this to actually exist--you will find this. In fact, perhaps you already have. If you find yourself faced with it, if you discover that you are in its presence, I will literally get down upon my knees and beg you to fight for it, to pursue it, to not let it go. Cling to it. It will be your life preserver through these torrents of darkness and it will resuscitate you when you are without breath and it will resurrect you when you are without life and it will inspire you when you are without love but you will never be so with it around.

To be completely realistic, there is a substantial, if not overwhelming, chance that I will be met with silence this evening, that my adorations and dedications will be turned away, that they will be dismissed or deflected or too little or too late or any number of other unpleasant conclusions. After all, I can think of no feeling worse than someone else holding a place within you that you do not hold in them. However, such a thing would be alright. Of course, it would be terrible all the same, to believe such feeling was within your grasp, only to have it stripped from it and to find yourself alone.

But I am after something perfect, and something perfect would be met with no hesitations, no second guesses, no nagging questions of whether or not it truly was perfect, because we would both know that it is.

Given all of that, it is likely that I will sleep alone tonight. But that will be of little consequence, as I will finally be able to honestly dream of the realization of what I have so adamantly believed truly exists.

Keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground.

2 comments:

emilyf said...

"After all, I can think of no feeling worse than someone else holding a place within you that you do not hold in them." Yah. truth be told.
Do you ever imaginize (that's like imagine + fantasize, because fantasize is not the word, neither is imagine the one I want to use, but right between) what your own last line will be? As in, your dying words. Are you saving some especially dramatic options for that appointed time?

Freedom said...

i hate this. not beucase it's poorly written, but because it is so sad that i'm tearing up right now. i feel bad for her, whoever she is, and i hope you didn't hurt her too much becuase she probably didn't deserve it. hmmphh.