The end of the week
Is already here.
I’ve been waiting
Ahead of time.
The days no longer try
There is now
The scales from my eyes
Have been removed.
This is all one
But one day
I will end.
It’s really fall now. Leaves have finally started decorating the concrete.
Nature in the midst of buildings. One jungle inside another.
There’s music playing on my laptop. I’ve never heard the song, but it’s beautiful.
The kind of beautiful I want to be when I grow up. The kind I can point to and say “puberty did that”.
But high heels and rain don’t go together. Neither does this new song with my mood.
This one is okay. The tempo is a bit too quick, but I’ll leave it.
There’s purple near the ground and a colour like turmeric still hanging on to the limbs.
I hate when people stop outside the door. It makes me nervous. They can turn around and see me at any minute. I don’t want to be seen – not by them. I’m not ready.
It’s been raining for days, so I haven’t been able to wear my new sneakers. The running shoes I bought so I wouldn’t have an excuse, but that I’ve only used twice. I’ve decided to just wear them now. No sense in wasting a perfectly good pair of shoes.
A perfectly good life. A perfectly good day. Except is there any such thing? Was there ever any such thing?
To combat low self esteem you should look your best at all times.
Yeah – because that definitely works.
I pound against the doors of time
And beg them to release me.
Why did they lock me in here
When did they lock me in here
When will I be let go
Into the darkness
From whence I came –
Free from memories
I float on my emptiness
And wait to be swallowed up
By this great vacancy
Which I’ve been allowed to occupy.
I wrestle with my ambitions
And my knowledge
And I fight and give up
Side by side.
“What’s the use?”
I ask myself.
“There will be nothing
When this is over
The same way there was nothing before.”
I release my breath
And sink into myself.
“Endure,” I say
“It will all be over soon.”
My fingers smell like chicken. I just finished eating the biggest salad of my life. He was on the phone, but not saying anything (the usual) while I carried on a conversation with a dear coworker I don’t get to see often. He sounded fine, the way he usually does after riling me up for what I think is no reason at all.
No reason at all. That’s the way it usually seems to the other person, doesn’t it? It’s never understood, where “all this” is coming from and what the purpose of it is.
Love. Tina Turner. What does it have to do with anything really?
I was thinking earlier today that maybe my love is just different. Either that or I am incapable of loving others which makes me a cold-hearted or heartless human being, which I am completely fine with. Even without the ability to love, I know what I possess the ability to empathize and to feel compassion for others. I know that I care about people and that is enough for me.
I’m on google now. I’m looking up the word love – who would’ve thought?
n. an intense feeling of deep affection
v. feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)
I look at all the synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment. Care very much for, feel deep affection for, hold very dear, adore, think the world of, be devoted to, dote on, idolize, worship.
Scratch the last few off; I don’t have such regard for anyone. Everything else seems just about right though.
Just to make sure, I look up affection.
n. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking
n. affection or liking for someone or something
What’s the problem? I have all of these. I care for him, want him to be in good health, to eat and rest well, to he happy and successful. I want this for everyone. The only thing I lack is an emotional high, which one can’t be in for an ongoing period – unless drugs are involved – and those moments do come and go, so again, what’s the problem?
I’m impassive a lot of the time.
n. not feeling or showing emotion
I don’t mind that, at all. It means I can care for you deeply, but won’t fall into a wreck if one day you are not a part of my life anymore. I’m fine with that. I don’t want to think that my sanity or emotional well-being is dependent on any one person outside of myself. I have enough trouble trying not to live off of society’s approval.
The bottom line is that maybe I love you. Maybe I don’t. I’m fine with you in my life and I’m fine with you not in my life. Either way I’m unperturbed. I think this is a good thing. You know, self-preservation? It will help me to keep going in instances where I might become crippled.
But whatever. What do I know?
“While I am telling this man I want to live without him I am waiting for him to text me back…”
My mind is in a similar place now. I forgot that he had said he was going out to bring his cousin to her evening college classes. I have to wait for him to get back home, where there’s internet, so we can talk again. I don’t even have anything to talk about.
This is my problem, or our saviour: I want to talk to him; I want to tell him things; I want him to hear me thinking out loud. Even though I can’t say the words “I love you”, I want him to hear me speak.
“But can you replace him as my closest friend though if I work up the courage to end it tonight?”
Except it’d be weird to have my closest friend swapped out for someone else. Except I don’t trust you that much yet. Except I don’t want to have to go over everything with you that he already knows. I’m growing rather tired of bearing myself repeatedly to one person after the other.
“Girl you can hit me up anytime.”
Joy and an aftertaste reminiscent of that hole Christians say everyone has that only God can fill.
* * *
Today he gave me a compliment.
“See, and I like you for that.”
“You like me for what?”
I felt something like a 16 year old who had to tell her mother that she in fact didn’t want to be a ballerina, after her mother had invested money, energy and several years to her classes, recitals and shows.
I rationalised the complimented action, made it look like something I would have done anyway. I know it did nothing to alter his perception.
It’s been about an hour and a half; he hasn’t gotten back yet. There’s a student irritating me because she’s talking on her phone even though I told her twice to take the call outside.
Never mind that. This mindfulness thing, or whatever it is I’m doing, seems to be working for me these days. If no one else has disrupted it thus far, she will not be the one to break the chain.
I don’t consider myself a people person, but I think they think I love them. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Maybe it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I should stop being so vague. Maybe I should be direct and say when things rub me the wrong way. Maybe I really don’t need to kiss anyone’s ass, because asses are for sitting on and shitting out of and not for my lips to touch in any way.
Maybe I’m too lazy. Maybe I should keep my guard up and stop making myself vulnerable because I cannot be bothered to stand watch. Because the truth is, people are complex and whatever side of a person you are shown is not the entirety of who that person is. In efforts to protect myself, maybe I should not believe what I see to be all that is. Maybe I shouldn’t show as much of myself as I get the chance to. No one needs to know all the things I disclose about myself.
But how then do I satisfy the craving for human affection?
and that is everything that is wrong with this world. there is always another cause another group another injustice another wrong, something else to fight for, mourn or grieve over, something else to argue or cry about.
one thing i have come to realise lately is how steadfastly people hold on to their beliefs. sometimes people are able to listen to the other side of an argument and understand the perspective it is coming from. they are able to add to their understanding of a particular issue and appreciate why others may be so very fearful, or supportive, of said issue. not everyone is able to do this and this may be why the human race is not progressing at a faster pace. not to say that we should be going at lightning speed, but more needs to be done – a lot more. i’m sure you will agree.
this is where listening comes into play – listening with the intention of understanding the story being told from the perspective of the storyteller. sometimes we hear words that ignite in us flames of anger. we are moved to retort in harsh language and, sometimes, violence. all this ever serves to do is create division and perpetuate it over time.
i think people these days are too used to their own stories – their own cultural narratives. they grew up only ever experiencing the same small pieces of the world and so became unaware of how truly large the world is. i can certainly understanding being afraid of things upon first encounter. i find that is a natural response for me. however, after initial reaction, as human beings with will and intention, it is of utmost importance for us to make an effort to understand the things with which we interact.
it is so very tiring, trying to explain to some folks why it is incorrect to call a group of people by a name they shun, simply because it is incorrect to use the name as such in the language. it is also tiring to try and tell people that even if they don’t believe in something, it is not their place to try and make it so that other people, who don’t share these beliefs, have to live by laws that force them to live by these beliefs.
i can never for the life of me understand why everyone does not live by the golden rule. it is of no consequence what one’s faith is or how strong it is, if it does exist. as a human being with emotions that can be hurt and with experience that allows me to empathize with having one’s emotions hurt, i try as much as i can to put myself in the shoes of others and thereby understand their thoughts and actions.
if this kind of attitude was adopted by, or inherent in, all of us, there is no way, i think, that men could rape, abuse, assault, or kill children. every one of us alive came here from the womb of a woman. it is incomprehensible that men make businesses out of bodies that gave them life, that they maim and kill these bodies, that they tarnish the souls within them. i am not able to understand how men kill each other and how communities stay silent about it. incorrect. i do understand. it is fear at play again. fear and the feeling of being small and alone.
and because this fear is so strong and we do not have the privilege of a second life to try again in case we lose this one to bravery, we remain silent, complacent, with our ears and eyes partially closed.
however, little by little, steps are being taken to understand, to educate, and to create new ways to go about doing things. people are reaching out and making change, helping others and bringing the world a step farther into the future. but while all of this is happening, there are still those of us who do not want to hear, do not want to listen, do not want to understand, do not want, even, to move. and it is because of us who are in this group that the list of things we have to fight for and grieve over and cry about never seems to be getting shorter.
lgbtqia folks fight for what they want to live freely and equally, as much as possible, in the society they inhabit. blacks/africans do the same. so do women. people fight on behalf of refugees. they fight for young girls being trafficked. they try to help veterans, the disabled, the poor. and all the while there are people crying for their loved ones who are killed inhumanely and unjustly, while begging, hoping and praying for the criminals to be appropriately punished.
at every turn there is something else, something else wrong, something else discriminatory, something else unjust, something else wicked. and at every turn are people turning their eyes and ears away, extending no compassion to their fellow human beings.
i grapple with this in my mind all the time, the uncaring nature of man. i can never understand it.