note to self: don’t replace dinner with alcohol. you won’t feel awesome the next day. in fact, any feelings you have will be exactly the opposite of awesome. you may spend the following day in a ball on your couch.
“what if she was meant to be, or could have been, someone important in my life? i think that’s what scares me: the randomness of everything. that the people who could be important to you might just pass you by. or you pass them by. how do you know. i felt that by walking away i was abandoning them, that i spent my entire life, day after day, abandoning people.”—peter cameron
shouldn’t we have a category for endangered words? perhaps we need a system of adopting words to keep them safe and well, the way people adopt favourite stretches of highway. we would sign up, promise to use our chosen words as often as possible and of course object when they are misused or threatened with abandonment.
“Together we’re double. We’re double in strength. We’re double in sadness. We’re double in happiness. We’re double in love. We’re double in all the neurotic nuances that combine to make us who we are. We’re double in our insanity. We’re doubly tall and doubly wide. We’re doubly equipped to deal with all the nasty things that life throws our way.”—Things I feel when I miss you: an open letter to my friends
out of bed at a completely unreasonably late hour reading+ work + breakfast + work eight and a half miles (bam.) 50/50 at a movie theater that serves alcohol (movies + movie theaters + alcohol = my new favorite past time) two blue moon pumpkin ales instead of dinner work + hummus + pretzels
I was worried about how this day started, but it’s actually turned into something pretty nice (helped along by the two blue moons and a movie theater that serves alcohol).
There are days when a sense of doom creeps into my throat. My chest feels tight and my heart beats uncomfortably quickly. My muscles feel weak.
I can’t help, on some days, but wonder what happened. I had a plan. When that plan evaporated, I created a new plan. I made lists, notes, reminders. Then a new plan again, then again. This is not the way things were supposed to be.
Sometimes I feel bowled over by it all. It’s difficult to breathe. I had a plan. I adapted when that plan didn’t work out.
I have two tiny scars just below my right shoulder blade from a too-much-alcohol-and-too-much-fun summer night. I’m watching them fade. As they become less visible, as I’m less able to run my fingers over my back and feel these two small spots, I hope (want desperately) to remember that I’m still moving forward. The tangible parts of me are healing; I expect the other parts to follow.
Memories of lost things — plans, friends, love — fading.
I feel a lot like I’m fighting for myself, fighting to figure out what my professional life will look like, fighting to figure out who I am. Swinging with everything I have. And yet, there are days when my fight isn’t fierce enough.
Today is one of those days. Today I got out of bed far too late for a respectable adult, pulled my shirt over my head, and stood with my back to the mirror. I reached up and touched two small spots just below my right shoulder blade.
I needed to make sure they were still fading. I needed to prepare myself for when they fade away completely.
I’ve been toying with a post about strong memories I have of events that have occurred on the subway — nothing monumental, just things like conversations that marked the beginnings of friendships, silly moments I’ve shared, scary experiences, etc.
Anyway, the post itself is terrible, but I like the title, so…. there it is: where important things happen.
Maybe someone else can do something with it, or maybe I’ll figure out a way to do something with it. It would make a good book title, album title, maybe a good name of a little gift shop or antiques store. (Not an awesome name for a restaurant.)
“I wanted to tell her everything, maybe if I’d been able to, we could have lived differently, maybe I’d be there with you now instead of here. Maybe… if I’d said, ‘I’m so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything,’ maybe that would have made the impossible possible. Maybe, but I couldn’t do it, I had buried too much too deeply inside me. And here I am, instead of there.”—Jonathan Safran Foer | Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
“What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone’s heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone’s hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don’t really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn’t have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.”—Jonathan Safran Foer | Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
“He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others—the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.”—Jonathan Safran Foer | Everything is Illuminated
And secretly, even though I try to imagine myself as impenetrably callous, I’ll start to falter under the weight of the choices I’m unable to offer and the promises I cannot make. We will go through the same motions, keep sharing our favorite appetizer at that small spot in my neighborhood and I’ll keep burying my head on the same spot on your shoulder when we sleep, but something will have burrowed a silent rift between us that will widen its ugly mouth with each passing day.
You will go from dismissive to slowly terrified of all that you have already invested in me. How do you take back all those hours? You’ve unknowingly put all this hope in my hands, and you’re no longer sure of what those hands are capable of.
I will be terrified of what to do with your fragile hopes and expectations of me. I’ll become unusually introspective and spend every waking hour ruminating over who I have become. The selfishness I wanted to embrace has, well, fully embraced me. It is monopolizing my mind like a starved virus and has quickly become insatiable. It is ravenous for my tenderness, my well hidden vulnerabilities and even my fear, because fear implies feeling and my selfishness feels very threatened by that.
That is when you will leave, and you’ll take back whatever you can from my clumsy and unwilling hands. I will be left with only wide open, empty palms, but I will not be alone. I will have the selfishness I endlessly defended and fought for to keep me company.