Saturday, September 29, 2012

Terminal Fear

I was watching an episode of Bones much earlier today. It had a young teenage girl with terminal cancer. She was an artist, a good one.

Growing up, my biggest fear has always been dying alone. To lessen the triteness of the phrase, I can more accurately say that the fear has been that no one will care that I am gone. Of course I am grown now and know what family means, and more particularly, what my family is like. I would be stupid to try to convince myself, and stupider to be convinced by myself, that no one would care if I died. I have a mother. Enough said.

Survival must be etched in my DNA somewhere by the firm and unrelenting hand of Evolution. I have watched enough TV to know that there are exactly two kinds of people: those that cry and say they don't want to die, and those that are graceful in their acceptance of what is about to happen and in their imparting of strength to those around them.

I always figured myself to be a variation on the second kind -- grace aside. It would be less about acceptance and more about welcoming. But what if I'm wrong?

I think I realized today that my biggest fear isn't facing Death alone -- it's reluctance toward It.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Half-Hearted Cynicism

I watched an average Bollywood love story tonight.

I've long criticized the love stories of this industry for expunging any possibility of realism in romance for girls as young as I was when I started watching and believing in the magic of a beautiful couple on screen. I've gotten over that crap thanks to the even crappier crap of real life, but tonight was the first time I found myself rooting against love.

The movie was about a young girl and a young boy (I don't know if they were supposed to be 5 or 10 years of age -- yes, I suck that much at discerning ages of children; anyone want to argue with me about why I shouldn't ever have kids?) who meet in a movie theater and bond over the fact that they know every dialogue of the movie they're watching. After almost a decade of friendship, they have a decade long relationship. They are, of course, opposites: the girl/woman, a risk-taking impulsive-in-a-way-that-is-supposed-to-make-her-endearing creature, and the boy/man, a predictable responsible won't-give-up-on-his-love-despite-her-impetuousness person.

With the predictable hurdles that this perfect-in-character boy and perfect-in-looks girl face, I think the movie intends for us to be hoping for their ultimate union. And I usually do, despite the giant impracticality of most story lines. But this time, with the long distance, the drastic personality differences, the constant tension between these two, for at least a half an hour of the movie I just cursed at them in my head. Screw the fuck off. This shit doesn't work in real life. Distance, priorities, the presence of other "options" -- these aren't just fun wrenches to throw into the already sputtering machinery of a relationship; these are bombs that blow up our life as we know it.

The guy shouldn't get the damn girl. She's ungrateful and impractical. No amount of apology gets her back the guy she loves. She doesn't. Trust me. Just fucking trust me.

So, I was rooting against them.

Then came the scene where they see each other again. And she says the fake-ass sorry with fake-ass acting that was a lot more fake-ass than people in real life feel and attempt to express to the ones they love. And suddenly there was a part of me that went, "Oh man. Fine whatever, let her have him. Let them be happy."

The feeling of betrayal that hit me about 10 seconds later was massive. Betrayed by my own realism. Also commonly known as cynicism. Where did the stone sitting on my heart go?

I know you don't remember what my fingers felt like between yours when you were driving the car with only your left palm because your right hand refused to let go of mine, even if that meant you had to reach over with your left hand to change the damn gear. I know you don't remember what my hair you loved falling over your face and shoulders felt like. I know you don't remember what my whispers felt like when you held me close. I know you don't remember that you -- your face, your arms, the hair on your chest, your naked body -- were perfection to me.

I know, I know, that you don't remember how you knew that your hand on the small of my back was all I needed to block out all thought and believe that I was always safe and always loved.

So fuck these movies that make me doubt my cynicism. No amount of expressed or unexpressed-but-felt apology and self-derision is ever enough for the universe to be kind to a broken heart.

Your hands have new destinations. And the small of my back? It's been a deserted town since the last time it felt the warmth of your lips. The world ends every second. That spot on my back has died with it every second of the last seven years that no one has discovered it. And I have just learnt to not even notice.

Yesterday would have been eight years. Your dizzyingly beautiful eyes looking into mine could spark fires on the other end of the earth, and I was too fucking dumb to appreciate it. So here I am. Knowing that yesterday would have been eight years.

Nothing ever changes. Our perception does. What I have felt for you, and those after you, does not change. I have just learned to perceive it all through unaffected lenses.

Love doesn't die. People's ability to sustain it does. I hope I die before my ability does.

I'm just happy smiling with my cynicism protecting my heart. But when that betrays me, then I'm really broken.

Here's the Thing (Part 8)

4 glasses of wine down this time.

This is getting old. I'm sure others think it but are too polite to say so. I don't feel like it's getting old, but I know that it is.

Time has worked its magic in exactly the way I expected. Everything passes. Well, not really. Nothing ever really passes, thank goodness. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has simply because of the illusion of time. And of course, because of the space you've been so kind and cruel to choose. Time and space. It's an Einsteinian ambivalence.

But here's the thing: It's all good. Really.

Friday, September 07, 2012


How do you get rid of things that claw at you when you don't want them to?

So I recently met this guy who I think I began to like. He's reasonably active on Twitter, so of course that meant that I checked his tweets regularly and also became much more active on Twitter myself (big fucking surprise; I despise myself). Of course this person has friends whose communications with him on Twitter are visible to me.

Without much effort, I discovered this girl (who seems maddeningly cool) who I presume is his friend, or at least they know each other, and with whom he seems to share a flirty repartee. Now, owing to the fact that I'm not entirely psycho and the fact that I don't really know this guy well, the flirtiness, by some mistake of this merciless universe, didn't really bother me. More than that, in fact, it was their wit that was enviable. I felt a little dumber and blunter (as opposed to smart and sharp) whenever I saw one of their comments. But I mean how do you really like someone new without feeling like crap about yourself? So that's fine.

My subtle or not-so-subtle (I have lost all objective perspective) increase in tweets, a couple directed at him, one of them even overtly flirty and there for the taking, garnered no response. Fair enough.

But then a day later, she tweeted something to the effect of "And this one, just for the attention," which I only saw because he responded to it, "Okay, it worked." And of course in the moment I laughed, because it was so cool that someone could even do that. If I said something like that, even the people who noticed would pretend to go blind for three days before my feed was filled up enough so that they could continue pretending like they never saw it. So yes, it's pretty awesome.

Also, all of that is in the past tense because by another mistake of this merciless universe (damn, universe, getting sloppy much?) I managed to stop checking his page. I just scroll down far enough on my home page to see if I can spot a tweet from him, but that's it. Yay for progress.

What I don't get is why the fuck, over time, this is the thing that is clawing at me. It seems to bother me more than even him ignoring me.

So, how do I get rid of this clawing?

Method 1: Rationality

Let me try to be completely rational. This has nothing to do with me since it's between him and her. Okay, it was a marathon effort to end that sentence without appending to it the obvious "except the fact that he obviously thinks she's worth the attention and not me." But I did it, to be rational. So it's not about me. Rationally, really, their exchange has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with me, and yet it claws at me. As if there aren't enough things that actually do have to do with me that are just waiting in line to be called up to fuel the insecurity and inadequacy fires, now this thought just wanders around the hallways of my brain, and at will, pops into the tiny secluded room where I sit, says peekaboo, and then waltzes off.

So what I'd like to do is tell this thought: Screw off. You think you can make me feel like crap. Ha! You better try harder.

And even as I say that, I fail, because in talking to it, I have summoned it, and now here it is, staring at me with a smile that says, "Oh hey there! Nice to see you again. Hope you're doing well. I'm just minding my own business, but I'll drop by occasionally to check on you." And as it stares at me, I feel the claws, gouging out bits of flesh from my gut.

Method 2: Practicality

Let me allow myself the appending, and make the sentence, "This has nothing to do with me since it's between him and her, except the fact that he obviously thinks she's worth the attention and not me." Let's say that is, in fact the case. (Claw, claw, claw. I suck. Everyone else is better than me.) Well, if it is, then what's my out? Suck it up and deal with it. Riiiiight. That'll happen. Actually, isn't that what I'm doing?!

Method 3: Shut up

Let me stop ranting and bounce around between methods 1 and 2 inside the already weakened walls of my mind. They'll break soon enough, and in the mess that ensues, I won't even be able to find this thought! Goodbye, clawing! Method 3 it is.

Here's the Thing (Part 7)

I have lost what little handle I had left on the situation. And by that I mean I am no longer sure what it really is.

I keep coming back to the fact that I've met you all of six times. But I don't necessarily believe that six meetings is too short to feel something real. Whether that's the case here, though, I don't have the slightest clue. Because I can't tell if I'm acting like a child because I've stumbled upon something real, or if I'm feeling increasingly pressured to convince myself that it's something real just to justify to myself my childishness. I should be clear when I say "something real" that I do not in any way think it's anything real from your side, or anything practical or worth exploring from an objective worldly perspective. I simply mean that what I happen to be feeling, within the rattling cage of a largely empty skull and the cavernous hollows of a largely dead heart, is actually genuine, and its weight and depth are comprised of real feelings and affection and perhaps some mistaken connection I felt, as opposed to being a crush blown all manners out of proportion.

I am so confused by the way I am feeling. I think I was more fidgety about the whole thing a little while ago, but I knew that'd settle if I just gave it time. I mean in the last two-to-seven years I've positively mastered the unbelievably painful skill of not reaching out to someone you really really want to talk to. And that did settle. I just also assumed that wanting you to message and/or just wanting to talk to you would settle with it, too. But it/they didn't. And that is unsettling.

After the first few days of not being in touch, I was getting around to not expecting you to message. But the last few days again, I don't know. I feel like a child kicking and screaming for attention on Twitter. I know that isn't entirely true and I only say what I actually think, but I can't seem to shed this element of maybe-he'll-respond-to-this-one, of will-he-think-this-makes-me-interesting. Then the article I emailed you with the funny wine comment since wine is one of your favourite drinks got no response. Plus the introduction email. Just seemed like a perfectly nice time to say Hi, how's it going. Worse than all that, a couple of times my phone has vibrated, my mind has suddenly flashed a very vivid mental picture of a whatsapp alert with your name -- very very clearly, your name, the entire spelling. And then two things happen concurrently -- my heart skips a beat and I try to prevent my heart from skipping a beat. The result is just a very uncomfortable moment in my chest. Of course, it's never you, so the skippy-heart thing passes, but is quickly replaced by dread at my inanity.

Then there was the dream three days/nights ago. I think I must have come to India (although the location isn't very clear) and was probably just meeting up with you. I think we were in a car and you were driving. What I remember clearly is that, like before I suppose, I couldn't wait to kiss you. So I asked you to stop time (this isn't some super pathetic romantic symbolism, it's just a relic of this show Heroes I'd been watching where all these people have all these superpowers and one of the people's superpower is that he can stop time for everyone except himself and anyone he's touching). So I think I had my hand on your arm, and I squeezed and asked you to stop time, and you did, and I kissed you. Within a couple of seconds (and I think we suddenly weren't in a car anymore) I was pulling your shirt off, which clearly I was unable to get to in New York and is also clearly the first thing I'd like to do -- or maybe second, after kissing you. My dreams are always pretty directly linked to reality, so the specificity of it all doesn't surprise me, but I think it was refreshing to have a dream I wouldn't mind seeing come true. Then again, the next day I had a rather inappropriate dream about an old friend I haven't seen in years. Maybe both the dreams just came from wantonness, but I think that the second dream was a forced attempt of my mind to distract from the impossibility of the first, and to try to blend them into the same mindscape.

After this, I feel it necessary to reiterate, from some of my previous posts, that I'm really not asking for anything, and if I had to, I'd ask for friendship. The "first" and "second" things I'd "want" per my dream are just, I don't know, fantasies, I suppose. What I'd really want is to just stay in touch and maybe be friends, and if not that, then what I'd really want is to just know if I did something wrong and pushed you away from just staying in touch and maybe being friends. There were three "just"s in that sentence.

Maybe I'm just being impatient and haven't given it enough time. It has, after all, only been a little over a week. So maybe the you of it all needs more time to fade.

For now I'm confounded by this. I keep feeling the need to caveat all of this by saying that I really do know that we've only met six times. But then, seriously, there's your face and your smile and your intelligence and your voice saying what I'm sure were only momentarily felt nice things about me and your, what I'm also sure was very momentary, "Is it wrong that I miss you already," all clear as day just waiting to be called forth from their memory box. And I don't know.

So, I suppose, here's the thing: I just don't know.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Here's the Thing (Part 6)

There are at least three spears going through the general area in the center of my chest right now. I can't see them or touch them, but they're there. I know because of that slight coldness of metal that I feel between my lungs. And why're they there? Because I saw your name.

So here's the things: Change your name. Please.