I’ve stumbled upon my shoestrings of contradictions during the past couple of days. My brain is filled to the brim with anxiety and confusion. I do have periods, as ephemeral as they may be, of pure bliss–of peace with the world and my place in life. But, the remaining 95% of the day is spent with my head resting in the palms of my outstretched hands– almost prayer like– searching for solutions to problems that shouldn’t even exist. Unfortunately, any resolution I ever grab hold of slips between my fingers as soon as I attempt to put it into effect.
It’s a sad commentary that I don’t even understand my own actions the majority of the time. Post-stupidity, I can typically deduce the reason for a particular fuck-up. But, what good does that do? It means that I might be able to prevent a future incident, but it doesn’t mean that I will. And truthfully, it does appear that I’m destined to fail time and time again regardless of how prepared I am for that conclusion. I’m that dumb puppy that keeps pissing on the carpet and not understanding what it means when you smack him with a rolled up newspaper. It doesn’t register until all that’s left are whelps, raw skin and no one there to love you.
It’s an inexplicable feeling. Knowing that you put your heart on the line only to have the person you care deeply (albeit inexplicably) about throw it to the ground –violently stomping repeatedly upon it. Once is just not enough. They make it a point, whether consciously or not, to make sure that all the life has gone from the distorted and depleted organ. To make sure it has taken it’s last breath–it’s last beat.
It’s not pleasant. And I keep walking into the snare, continue to have my paw clamped down upon, the wounds piling up and my not realizing it until it’s too late. It’s always too late. How I am still able to function day to day is honestly astounding. No one tries as hard as I do–with such passionate intensity–and yet fails so miserably and with such frequency. It’s maddening to endure this time after time– to be stretched to the brink in terms of ones capacity to give– to think you’ve finally achieved that which you so desperately desire: love. And then to open your eyes a little wider to discover that it’s all been for show, that in some twisted way it was a game to the other party. Not strictly in regard to any romantic feelings, but friendship wise as well.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be wanted, to be valued, or to be loved on some level. I think it is intrinsic to experiencing true happiness. Because what is life without love? It’s empty. It’s soulless. It’s being lost with no compass to guide you to your final destination. It’s our disregarding the magnetic pull to those who mirror and complement ourselves. It goes against nature. Love makes us human. Sure, it may be a chemical reaction, but it’s so much more than that. It’s finding connections in a world where disarray and chaos rule supreme. Permanency is a non factor. For it’s better to have loved than to have never loved at all.
“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion –
I have shudder’d at it.
I shudder no more.
I could be martyr’d for my religion
Love is my religion
And I could die for that.
I could die for you.” – John Keats
You don’t know love until you’ve felt it, until it’s punctured the airways of your lungs, crawled into your pulsing veins, and finally comes to rest nestled deep within your heart and soul. Your body never returns to normal. It cant. It’s been forever morphed and molded into something slightly different than before. It’s a change that cannot be recognized from the outside looking in– except by those who have experienced it. And to those kindred souls a special unspoken bond is shared.
However, love is a gamble. It’s a risk. It’s something that you can’t attain without throwing all of your chips on the table. But, the return can be immense and worthy of coveting. I don’t say the words “love” lightly. It took me twenty-two years to say it–and really mean it. But, even after I uttered those words for the first time, I realize now that they were ingenuous and without knowledge of what true love was. And now I know. To me love is when two entities become nearly completely entwined and entangled. It’s messy. Lines are blurred, cords and chains begin to connect you to each other in this inextricable link of secrets, truths and complexities. It’s not something that can be easily defined. It just has to be felt.
I’ve loved two people in my life. One as a friend and one as a partner. One is not more important than the other. They both maintain equal status in my mind and I know that I would be incapable of functioning without either one of them holding my hand. Without one, my balance shifts, I stumble, I waver, I cannot stand straight… But, with each of them flanking my left and right, I can make slow, deliberate steps forward and with purpose. They are my support system.
But, I have earned these individuals in my life through risks and with much pain and emotional duress. I have the scars, both literally and metaphorically to show for it. Nothing in life worth having comes easy. Sometimes there are struggles, hurt feelings, open wounds that will never truly heal–sometimes you have to fight tooth and nail to maintain that which is such a basic necessity. We need love and yet it’s so fucking hard sometimes to keep it. And contrary to traditional adages and cliches–love does waver–it ebbs and flows as the salted sea at high tide. Some days we feel suffocated and cocooned by it–while other days we try so desperately to pull at the stitches holding the two entities together. And sometimes… we are successful. If we try hard enough to rip bodies apart, we can, and do. But, no tourniquet can stop the blood from gushing to the floor below. The damage is done. And I will always follow the trail of red to where you sit hurt and shoddily patched up. I try and fix that which I single-handedly have caused. I’ve been fortunate to receive a reprieve every single time. I feel that for the most part, I have deserved second, third and even fourth chance. I give those I love and care for EVERYTHING I’ve got inside me. And occasionally I become empty and weak enough to snatch back my innards, sloppily stuffing them inside the cavernous cage of my ribs, hoping to FEEL whole again. But, after I take that one deep breath of cool air, all is well and I don’t hesitate to re-present my heart to those willing to hold it delicately in their hands. I gravel. I fall to my knees with nothing but remorse and repentance dancing hand in hand inside my hollow head.
All these scars can’t be for nothing.
But I swear to God, I won’t be running.
And I won’t run. If I pledge my allegiance to someone, I will never leave their side. I cannot ever go back on my loyalties. I am there for eternity, standing steadfastly by the foot of your bed when they sleep at night, wanting nothing more than to be pat on the head when my love and affection is reciprocated and appreciated. I’m like a dog in so, so many ways…. except I don’t like to play with balls. *ba**dum*tsh* I’m here all week.
At any rate, my love and admiration is slow to develop. I harbor an intense skepticism and dislike of the bulk of the population. I believe most people are useless to me. I have no interest in acquaintances. I don’t need to fill my phone up with numbers of individuals who I do not feel I can grow or learn from aligning myself with. I would rather intensify my devotion to the few entities I am connected with and foster and develop those relationships further. It’s quality not quantity. (I’m full of cliches today)
So, when I choose to give myself to someone else, when I throw it all out on the table with no inhibitions or trepidation… I expect to be responded to in a respectful manner. It is my utmost hope that those who I have so carefully selected to share something of such weight and importance with would be capable of handling such situations with the proper reverence. I do understand that everyone is different–and that each person’s reaction to such a declaration is naturally highly individualized. As it should be. And that, perhaps, the other party lacks the intestinal fortitude or ability to express how she truly feels. Not wanting to hurt someone is an admirable trait, truly, but one that will perhaps prove to be more harmful than helpful when honesty is a fundamental aspect to the relationship’s long-term success. If any coupling is to experience any sustainability, truth must reside as the foundation everything else is built upon. I appreciate wanting to preserve a person’s sanity and innocence as a beacon of passion and hope. I think it’s darling, really. But, in the end ignorance is never bliss. Knowledge of facts is what keeps me going, it is what improves me as a person, it’s what helps me to grow and paint myself in a more attractive color for the future. Without it I’m left stagnating in discombobulation. And thus any effort to protect me has shifted into something that devastates me.
I’m not sure how I could have tried any harder or acted in any other way to obtain that which I believed at the time to be something essential to my existence. I was entranced by images of eternal bliss and unrealistic utopia. I truly hoped that this love, that this woman was the answer to all of life’s questions–that deep within the emerald pools of her eyes resided the key to happiness. I fell hard. I fell unbelievably hard and without any real reason. Sure, she was a beautiful girl who was a tall, refreshing drink of individuality that I had not experienced in quite some time, but I had barely known this person. And I was throwing away one of my support beams, the person whom I knew I loved, for this new shiny toy. In my defense, at that time I truly felt it to be the right decision.
Looking back, I realize that I’m a dumbass. Hindsight is 20-20. It serves us no real purpose except for fueling the fire that sears my skin each second that my mind dwells upon the past two months. I fucked up. And because I still have not yet picked apart my brain in its entirety, I’d probably fuck up in this way again. My heart is still in some way attached to her. And a piece of it will always be wedged into the palm of her hand, a remnant from the time she grabbed it unexpectedly one warm summer evening. It will always be there in some form or fashion. And she will continue on with her life never knowing what could have been or what she consciously chose to not capitalize on. I would have been a great lover, a great companion, a great friend. She walked away. I have to swallow my personal objections and accept that everyone is free to make their own decisions and own mistakes.
I’m not a complicated person. I crave and desire normalcy. The things I want out of life are so simple and rudimentary. I want happiness. I want stability. I want security. I want freedom. And I want to love and be loved in return. Is that to much to ask for? It might be. But, until then I’ll clasp arms with the two loves I possess and be more than happy with that which I have been blessed. Emily… Whitney… I love you.