Every so often he goes back to it. It’s like he goes back to me. We reminisce it better than it was because what we currently have everywhere else is so present that we see the problems with it. The hazy varnish that comes with the past makes everything that happened so much smoother. So why don’t we just let go? How do you let go of a whole chunk of your life? How do you choose to forget a two year journey that helped bring you to the person you are today? Forgetting isn’t the solution. Remember. Remember everything. Remember how it really was.
Remember how we fought. Remember the hundreds of times we broke up. Remember the drunken yelling matches over the phone. Remember defying him and stomping outside the house and slamming the door because standing in the rain was so much preferable to standing next to him. Remember how jealous you used to make him, on purpose to make him pay. Remember him telling you he found someone else while you were broken up and that punched gut feeling you felt. Remember that crying phone call he made that he was sorry and that no one could ever replace you because they would never measure up. Remember sneaking out of the house at five am to take the commuter train home because you couldn’t manage to lie in bed with him anymore. Remember how stifling it felt. Remember how you couldn’t breathe because he wanted to protect you for eternity. Remember how he proposed and you shut him down because that wasn’t you. Remember how you hit him and pushed him and just abused the shit out of him just to see how much he would take. Remember how far you made someone show you love goes. Remember why you’re not together. Not just because you’re a bitch and moved. Don’t blame school and your life. Remember that he tried to make it work and that he offered to move and transfer his job to be close to you. Remember that you didn’t want any of that because you didn’t want him. Stop fucking living in that moment in the fucking car in the rain. Stop pretending if you kissed him hard enough he’d love you forever and that regardless of anything everything would be alright. Stop acting like he’s your safety net, and remember that instead of driving up to the station he made you walk a block across the freeway in the rain.
There are tears running hot and sour down the back of my throat because I am refusing to cry.
And Walmart.com isn’t letting me buy the type of dolls I collect at 2AM because their retarded site is under maintenance. And I need to buy it because in the twenty-one-years I’ve been alive I have appeared to have great coping mechanisms, but all I’ve ever developed is terrific facades to cover up the fact that I don’t know how to deal with grief without binge shopping or being heavily medicated.
I don’t know how to be upset without punching someone and hearing the sick smack of the bones in my hand split someone’s skin and fracture their face. I don’t know how to be sorry without a drink in my hand. I don’t know how to grieve without cash.
And I won’t be the sad girl. Even if I am. I won’t cry because I am not weak. I will not change my opinion for this dire instance and I refuse to see myself as weak when I’m already vulnerable and can only be hurt more. I am refusing to break even though the cracks in me are ready to shatter. My willpower is the only magnetic attraction holding the pieces of me together.
I’m trying to change my beliefs. I’m trying to believe that dying is not horrible for other people. I never thought it would be horrible for me, but I am selfish in the way in which I don’t mind if others have a life devoid of me but the world ends when I have to lose someone that I love. I’m trying to consider all that I have been given. Memories, stories, life lessons, and ideals. I’m trying to believe in a soul, and that if a soul is only the amalgamate of what’s in your mind, and you have shared that with others, that you can’t really die. I try to believe that I’m always carrying a piece of him. That I carry all the pieces he gave me, and that he can’t leave me because I’ll never give those pieces up. I will just copy every little piece I have and pass it on so that it perpetuates itself and that he lives on more than ever. It will be like “The Ring” or horrible chain emails, only good and beautiful. I try to believe that he’ll live on in me, but I remember that that is only a stupid line Rafiki tells Simba in “The Lion King” to make him feel better and it doesn’t make me feel better. ”The Lion King” is only Hamlet for children and Hamlet’s dad made him think he was schizophrenic.
I’m trying to remember that I believe that death is better than pain, and when you’ve lived for a long time you welcome death with open arms, but I am young and think I will live forever so I don’t think that way. I think death is the moment when the world goes dark and quiet and empty. All the bad is gone, but all the good too. And the piece of them that burns out extinguishes one light out of my life, leaving my path and world a bit darker. I can’t replace his light.
I’m pretending that I’m okay because maybe if I lie to myself enough I’ll start to believe it. Hitler used to say that it took about eight times saying the same lie before everyone believed it. He also said that if the lie was big and simple, you’d think it was the truth. It’s a pretty big lie to say that I’m alright, and it’s as simple as two words. I think I need to say it to myself more and others. Maybe they’ll believe me too. I fear all too much that they will go easy on me and pity me and make excuses for me if they knew the truth. I fear my boyfriend lets me slide in my transgressions because he thinks I need to lash out at someone for my sanity.
I don’t need him to hold me until I’m alright. I don’t need him to be the good guy or outlandishly caring. I don’t need him to do anything he thinks he’s supposed to do or feels obligated to say because who he wants to be to me. I don’t want him to treat me specially, because when he does it only reminds me that I should be destroyed and crying and it takes all of my will to keep from going in line with that expectation. I need him and everyone to get with the program and lie to me that everything is okay. Please, if you all love me you’ll cover me in the Emperor’s clothes and not make a big deal. Tell me things are great. Tell me that I’m fine. Tell me global warming is reversing, the US Dollar is getting stronger, every law school in America is giving me a free ride, and that my LA rent will be free next year. Tell me that my world isn’t ending. Because I feel like it is.
I honestly do want to know the meaning of life as much as I’d like to find out the reason why suddenly all of my ex-boyfriends choose to pop out of the woodwork and be “friendly” a week before the Valentine’s that I’m actually taken for…
Years ago I had the great fortune of discovering a little fact that has shaped my life in the way in which I find it to be.
At parties I tend to be the girl that men flock to and talk to. The one they get drinks for and laugh with. The one they ask to dance and try to get to come home with them. Unless they know me quite extensively or I am with my boyfriend.
I am not the prettiest girl. I am not the slimmest, nor the sexiest. I am not the funniest, and at UCLA parties, I am generally not the wisest. I don’t partake in most drinking games and my attire tends to run far from the skin-baring LA essentials. I don’t hook up with randoms. And I don’t have an entourage of ugly friends to make myself appear better by comparison. No, rather I do the potentially “stupid” thing and run around with much prettier, skinnier, sexier girls because I am not threatened by my actual friends. But I get more mileage with the menfolk.
Well I spent a lot of time being a greasy little porker in high school. And being the burgeoning psychologist I was I observed lots of shit including my own behavior and what I found was you didn’t really have to be the best anything as a heterosexual female. You didn’t have to be the prettiest (although not being to ugliest also helped), or the thinnest. You didn’t have to be the funniest, and although the truth is guys do like smart girls, you didn’t have to be the smartest either. You didn’t have to know about sports or video games or cars. You didn’t have to be super chaste or a slut. You didn’t even need to be the most confident girl in the room. You just have better been damn good at making everyone else believe that you were.
It’s not a lie that good attributes score you points, they do. It’s just good attributes are far from everything. Guys don’t much give a shit if you’re the hottest girl there if you look like you have zero self confidence. Similarly you can be less that perfect and seem amazing if you tell everyone you are. In an awful way to quote Hitler, it only takes telling someone something about eight times before they think it’s true. In my experience it takes only about once. But there was an alcohol multiplier.
In an odd twist of fake it ‘till you make it or lie until you believe the lie yourself, I’m simply saying say that you’re great until the pliable drunk guys around you hear you correctly. And wear some good perfume.
So it’s like any other day, and we’re talking, and unfortunately we stumble upon the topic of my brother and my boyfriend can’t help but commence his horrific impersonations of my suburban baby brother’s wankster thug life attitude in regards to our totally “hood” home district.
There are only so many times you can tell the guy you’re dating to shut the fuck up.
I am also not about to start making fun of his close friends or family to retaliate. Oh no. Without a word I get up, and on my hands and knees surrounding him so that he is flat on the bed and can’t move much, kiss him. He’s surprised but he kisses me back until he makes a muffled cry, “Wait!” Being the nice person I am, I do, for whatever reason, and he goes “You’re only trying to shut me up!!” I kiss him again and ask “Is it working?” I kiss him more as he lets out a muffled “I rep Niles!!!” and he finally drops it in favor of getting to make out. After a few minutes it dawned on me that we hadn’t done this in a while and I asked him why we ever stopped. He quickly responded, “I didn’t choose to stop, I never wanted to. It just happened.” And with that he made it clear that he wanted to resume his currently scheduled program.
But it made me think, why did it happen?
We’re a little more than five months into our relationship, so it isn’t as if anything has really gotten old or boring just yet. We’re “comfortable”, him much more than me, but nothing is really ever set. If we weren’t both so busy, we’d probably have a real “date night”. Instead we try to make Thursday nights work and I try to bring him a meal and see him for an hour on Mondays. We haven’t had a real “date” in ages. Thursdays typically consist of the usual fare of him driving over through LA traffic, me making dinner or us going out to grab food, coming back to the apartment, and watching my DVDs of Fringe or helping him study. We talk. We brush our teeth. We go to sleep. We wake up early. We eat breakfast. He leaves. I’m sad. I wait until class starts at 1pm. There are more exciting things to detract from us sounding like a horrible married couple, but he wouldn’t want me to mention them.
For the life of me, I can’t pinpoint where I started to change. When was it that I started valuing getting him a warm home-cooked meal over wearing something that he actually liked? When did I stop kissing him? Hell, when did I stop wearing the lemon-drop flavored lip balm that made him want to kiss me? Am I getting boring, or too comfortable?
In high school, “comfort” in a relationship was a terribly dreaded thing as far as my friends and I were concerned. Comfort made you believe everything was okay. Comfort let you think that he loved you for the person you were on the inside. Comfort was the devil who took you down the path of sweatpants and fatty foods. A path that once you took, you’d find yourself knees deep in greasy acne, poor clothing choices, and enough fat to make the freshman fifteen look insignificant. When you were finally there, he had better love you for what was on the inside, because he would have been the last person to see it.
With the advent of Facebook and massively tagged photos, everyone can now see what comfort accomplishes. Everyone has at least one friend who has become very, very comfortable in a relationship over time and you can witness a visual display of how it morphs one or both parties over time, simply by clicking “next.”
My problem however is not simply about aesthetics. More so, I believe in not being lazy. I also believe that even if someone is committed to you, it doesn’t mean you can discontinue the standard that was held when they committed. This also means for all my wonderbra loving, cakey makeup wearing, hair-extensioned friends out there, that you should really consider not being uber fake when you go out with someone lest you have to continue that repertoire for life.
But for me, well, I will be wearing mascara and lemon-drop lip balm tomorrow, and a figure hugging dress while I bring my man his dinner. And I’m going to kiss him goodbye.