But I don't know where else to say them. I can't talk to anybody else about these things. Lachelle, maybe, but that's just because she didn't know you. If she would have known you? That would be an entirely different story. She would've been close to you. She would've had a horse in the race, and that would've been too much.
I don't imagine that makes much sense. I don't see how it could, really, considering the generalities in which I write to you about these things.
I have a traffic counter installed on my blog. To be honest, I can only track about two people on it (Lachelle and Sam, primarily because of their disparate settings), but it's fascinating for me to watch the anonymous numbers pour in, the Orems and Provos and Californias and Texases and the others that have stumbled upon this ridiculous bullshit, this place where I throw up all of these things that don't mean anything to anyone but me and the three or so people that regularly read, but who don't have the proper context to understand. It's not their fault, either; I keep them from you because I'm afraid of what they'll do to you.
Primarily because I'm afraid of what others have done to you. And what I've done to you. I've made you a focus of pure fiction, a catalyst for some obscene, violent caricature of history. You don't deserve that. You deserve truth and beauty and I don't know how to give you either.
But I'm trying. Wherever you are, from whatever cloud or dimension or Gaia you're looking down/up/toward, I'm trying so goddamn hard. But I don't know what to do.
Lately, I've found myself at such peace with what's happened in the last year. And I wish I could tell you that. But somehow, I imagine that everything I've written to/about you in the last year has been to you, although the current crop of self-effacing bullshit finds itself at my doorstep instead of yours. I wonder if, somehow, because of my current condition, because of the things I've cut from my life, you've disappeared, too, like you're only there when I absolutely need you, in a way that pseudoromantic fuckall contributes to a personal chronology that serves only the purpose of determining the things I wish to leave behind, the things that eat away at what is already a corpse, the things that have taken so much more than they've contributed.
I really loved her, you know? I really did. And I don't expect anyone but Katie and Lachelle and Sam--the three that really know this stuff--to believe that, but it doesn't matter. Because what's done is done, moving on, past is the past, all that. But I tried to hard to do the right thing, in every possible circumstance, that I'll ever know if I made the right choices.
But that's fine, I think. Speaking of Lachelle, I was talking to her today about how bad people can't appreciate art. Between those several men with whom I've come in such indirect contact--it's only appropriate that I remain, ahem, "anonymous" to them--I've realized that horrible, despicable, amoral people may find superficial refuge in art, but they'll never understand. They can read as much Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace and Zadie Smith as they want: but they will never understand.
I think there exists some capacity in most people that ability to recognize and procure decency, and these people will never understand. Sure, they can see the grace with which sentences are structured and verbs are thrown to paper, but they'll never know, subjectively, why these are such beautiful passages. These are people that have no humanity. They may think that they can see the gorgeous prose hiding between capital letters and periods, but they don't. And they never will, because they can't understand. They see the criteria, but not the finishing touches, the underlying beauty that inserts itself into these ideas, these pages and pages of goodness and warmth and humanism that fight against medium and press and academic scrutiny to find themselves in the hearts of (most of) their readers.
I was talking to Mel earlier tonight about how I think people are so much better than they allow themselves to be. And I'll stand by that. I've been accused of nihilism or pessimism or cynicism before, but I don't think any of them apply. I think that I have more love for humanity as a species than almost anyone you'll encounter. But I think that has more to do with their capacity for good than it does their execution of it.
Although "execution" might be the right word. Because so many people that are so capable of so much wonder and joy are so assuredly destroying any chance at true happiness that they have. Because there's no joy in loneliness and there's no passion in solitude and anyone that thinks so is fucking fooling themselves. We're pack animals, and anyone that shrugs off the label in a pursuit for either romantic aloneness or forced self-actualization will never understand.
But dear God, do I hope they will. Because if we don't have each other, we don't have much of anything.
So I'll go to sleep on this long couch, my little slumber fortress barricaded from the world at large, the world that doesn't have Justified or How I Met Your Mother or the things that turn the corners of my mouth north in their specific ways.
I hope they can all find in their own lives what I've been able to find in mine.
I hope they can look themselves in the eye. Because it's only recently that I've been able to do so and I don't how I survived without it.
It doesn't matter what stories we write or what poems we revise or what classes we take or what books we read or what we tell ourselves.
The only thing that matters is how well we walk through the fire.
All I've ever wanted is for you to be proud of me and I hope I'm doing you right. I hope I've painted the portrait that you deserve.
And I'm so sorry I didn't do it earlier. I'm so sorry that my priorities were so fucked up. I didn't know what was important and I misplaced you for the sake of what I thought was important. I've always gotten that wrong, haven't I. Instead of mourning the anniversary of your passing, I read crime novels and wrote flash fiction about misplaced affection and love I thought was real but was clearly the product of a shameful deception.
I'll never make that mistake again. December 17th will never again be spent writing letters to you or short stories about the people that tricked me into wanting you to meet them.
They'll be spent making someone smile or buying diapers or planting flowers or doing something decent because there's so little of it in the world and even less now without you and I'm so sorry that I didn't do more while you were here.
That'll be your day now. No one else will ever share it. When I move to Louisiana next fall, I'll come see you. I'll bring you daisies that've fought their way through concrete like you did and like I hope and I'll put pen to paper in your honor. I'll try to do my absolute best by you like you did by me.
I love you so much. I'm sorry I never made that clear.
Thank you for showing me decency.
In all of this, in the deepest recesses of my mind, you're the only love to which I can cling.