During a car ride this morning one of my best friends and I discussed the L word. You know the one. We discussed falling in and out of it, and the pain and joy it brings. The way it can collide two worlds, only to one day be replaced by a necessary distance.
The most difficult thing I’ve had to come to terms with recently is letting the one I loved go. More than that, I have had to find it in my own heart to know that someone else makes him happy now, and thats ok. That if I really ever loved him then his happiness is also mine. To actually feel this way, rather than just telling myself I feel this way, has been a challenge for my own heart.
Being in love and making a relationship work is tricky, because we all define it differently. For me, loving someone has always meant unconditional forgiveness. There is nothing that I can’t look past or work through when I love someone. My friend described her idea of love as unconditional selflessness. That she always puts the other before her, even if it means huge compromises on her behalf, where she struggles and he gains. I’m discovering that maybe the only way a relationship can work long term, is when both people have a similar idea of what love is, and how you treat the person you love.
Finally being single and having my life back to myself is a breath of fresh air. There is a rediscovering to be done, and a lot of time for self improvement. It’s nice to feel my identity apart from him reemerging, and to find myself thinking differently than I have in years. The gears are turning to a different rhythm. My heart is beating in a new pattern. For the first time in a very very long time my happiness is completely dependent upon myself and that is the most liberating feeling. I am living for me, and pursing what I want in life, with no restraints.
Recently, I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that words will fail me. That I won’t always be able to tell someone how my heart feels. That sometimes the unobtainable is just that. An acceptance of missed timing in crossed paths. A letting go of imagined what ifs. But even then, there is beauty in missed opportunities. There is a space for a different type of relationship to blossom.
Wrote the intro to a chapter, perhaps the beginning of my books chapter. Feedback please!
“I was fifteen the first time I put a dollar bill in my nose.” I stared back at the computer screen. At what I had just written, just admitted. Although only to myself, it was still a confession. A confession of an act that had taken place over five years ago. I glanced back at the prompt that lay on the table next to my laptop. When I started community college my Dad had gotten me my own computer. It was somewhat outdated when I bought it new, but it was the choice he had settled on. That was how my dad was, always looking for a way to save money. A way to cut corners. However, in this case, it had come to bite him in the ass. I was getting ready to transfer to a University, the laptop only a few years old, and I was already in dire need of a new one.
“Dad, everyone in college will have Macs.” Saying this with such certainty, as if I knew anyone in college, or as if I had spent any time on a University campus. “My laptop is so heavy that it will be a bitch to carry all over the place. Remember when you were there with Taylor and how many hills there were on campus and how bad your knees hurt?” Using the pain of my Dad’s knees had finally convinced him to buy me a new computer before I moved in the Fall. Perhaps he had associated the pain that shot through his own legs as he struggled with small inclines, with the pain I was suggesting would be placed on my shoulders and back, if I were to carry around this stone dinosaur he called a laptop.
In less than a year I would be joining my brother at the University of California Santa Cruz, as a junior transfer and literature major. I stared back at the prompt again. Creative Writing 101- “Describe an experience you will never forget.” The only sentence I had written glowed back at me from the screen. Am I really fucking writing this? I asked myself. Is this the best I can do?
The hardest part of loving someone who is an addict is the confusion. The confusion over how they could put themselves through what they do. The confusion over how they let the addiction grow to consume their life. The confusion over how they lost the love they once had for their life. The confusion over why they don’t seem to want your help. The confusion over why they would rather keep you at a distance than let you be close to them the way you once were.
But most of all, the confusion over why they are ok with gambling with the only life they have been given.
To the one in my life that this is about- i love you more than anything. I am here for you always.
In November I started writing the beginning of a book—
My book. My story. My life. (Fictionalized in parts)
Although I had the document I started on my desktop, and I looked at it everyday, I allowed my life to distract me in the following months, and I refused to add to it.
Earlier this week I opened it up and started writing again. Started adding to things I had already written, as well as editing parts I felt could be said differently.
As rough as they are, I have over fifty pages written- Of my book. My story.
I am excited to see how it unfolds and how it grows this year. I will share accordingly.
It’s been a week since I’ve been back in Santa Cruz- the place that I loved to once call home. I’ve spent the last few days passing afternoon hours on the porch of a local coffee shop, basking under the beautiful sun that is so generous with California.
It’s good to be back in a place that I was never ready to leave, but had no reason to stay.
My life here is simple. I am spending my afternoons people watching.
I lean back in a chair that is too warm beneath my bare legs. My cut off jeans too short. A day for details, for recording single moments with too many words.
The table I sit at is all mine. It is pushed up against the red wooden railing that is slowly rotting in selected places. If I rub my arm against the grain the wood is sure to send little splinters lodging their way under my skin. Even though my back is to the Bagelry and it is over a block away I can not help noticing that the smell of fresh bread has drifted down to my spot at Pergolesi.
The people that are pulled here are always different, yet I am bound to see the same faces. The consistency of individuals who oppose the constant. The Regular.
From my spot that I alone occupy I watch those around me and separate them into the groups which I believe they belong in. It’s odd how our brains are always wanting to categorize. To label. To simplify.
The majority of the people filling the coffee house today are the students. The UCSC kids. With a week to go until finals, everyone is making a mad attempt at filling their heads with the information of a quarter in a weeks time. They lumber up the front patio steps, back packs and book bags thrown over their shoulders, the weight of the knowledge inside tugging against them with the force of gravity. Their arms are full of books, of overpriced readers, and they all have computers. Apple has successfully colonized the Slug population. Every single person that passes me has a MacBook. No other brand dares to infiltrate. Unlike the other guests here, they sit with their heads down, buried in their work, papers covering the table tops.
Leading up to finals week everyone enters a similar existence that I now find myself removed from. As I have left the bubble of academia last year, I am no longer part of this group experience. The experience of stress. Of knowing that everyone is running out of time to accomplish everything they have to do, just as quickly as you are. That your neighbor is most likely also sleep deprived from all the adderall they have been taking these past few days. Coffee binges, Pop Tart dinners, and pulling all nighters with friends and roommates. The weight of academia is closing in and everyone is gasping for air. For the first time in my life, I am just an observer.
Then there are the locals. The Punks. The Hipsters. The chains, patches and leather jackets. Tight jeans with stitching up the side. Holes in the back and on the knees. Combat boots and poka-dot mismatching socks. Outgrown hair that dangles in dreads. The resistance to look like a groomed member of society. The girls with the shaved heads and countless facial piercings. Tattoss documenting a wide varity of art styles, black and white/color, evidence of drunk impulsive nights, lyrics from favorite songs, skin that was used as a pracitice canvas for beginning artists. Hair in every color- more artificial than natuarl. Countless heads with beanies sagging off the back. Bags covered in pins sporting their favorite musicians or the faces of cats. Hole in ears, holes in lips, and just about every body altering look you can imagine. This is why I love this town. I am living in a book full of beautiful characters and they are better than any of the stupid people who occupy mainstream socity, which has become nothing more than reality TV.
A man a few feet from me laughs loud enough that he gets my attention. I look up and just at that moment catch eyes with the one I love. He is meeting me here. He is part of this academic bubble and is also under the weight of impending finals doom.
He grabs an iced coffee from inside and pulls up a chair across from me. We exchange a few words, then he opens his book on the politics of Brazil and begins to read, occasionally glancing around at those we share this space with. He and I know eachother well enough that silences are always comfortable. I don’t need to make small talk with him in order to pass the time. We are sharing one another’s company and today I enjoy it without words. I watch him and take in his face, his body. His feet are kicked up on the extra chair and he is leaning back just far enough from under the tree that half of his face is in the sun, while the rest is painted with a shadow.
He catches me looking at him. He stares at me and smiles, leans forward and comments on my Ray Bans, “The reflectivity of someone looking into your soul, only to be shown their own.”