Most days I wake up feeling alright. Robot-like, I proceed through a mind-numbing ritual of stretching, tea-brewing and cereal-chewing, in that order. Then I brush my teeth and take a shower. I usually spend an inordinate amount of time—fifteen minutes or more in some cases—agonizing over my appearance, assuring myself that I can indeed face the world today. This furtive mirror-gazing often ends with a roommate knocking to use the bathroom; I’ll open the door, sheepishly mutter an apology and scurry to my room. Once inside, clothes are thrown on with premeditated accuracy; shoes are shod, backpack is backed and I’m out the door. At this point, I feel pretty confident. My smiling cloud of happiness accompanies me until around 2 p.m. (give or take an hour or so), when he slowly burns off and leaves me exposed and alone. No more delusions, no more fanciful hopes. I finally come to the devastating reality: I will not see you today, nor will you agree to talk to me. to me, this feels like dying. Everything i want and everything that brings me genuine pleasure in life ceases to carry meaning without you.
I am impetuous; I am naive. I am seldom bold, rarely brave; always old, never new. I am indecisive; I am listless; sometimes inspired, often sad. I am cold, derisive, and condescending; I am shy, insecure and self-loathing. I am Dr. Jekyll most days; Mr. Hyde the rest.
I can smile, though, and I can love. I can love myself (sometimes); I can love a book, a word, a voice, a taste. I love the smell of brine, the summer heat, the bounty of nature and its wondrous array. I love you, always and forever.
But enough about me.
You are bubbly; you are gorgeous; you are freckled; you’re on fire. You are strong-willed and proud—stubborn when necessary, but never obdurate. You are kind, always truthful, never rash, rarely glum. You are driven to succeed, yet humble of success. You teach by example (compassion, patience, dedication); you practice what you preach. You’ve saved me from myself when I needed it most; you are angelic in every regard.
I am wholly indebted to you; I am sorry.
“Only in Dreams”
When I find real-life happiness elusive, the tendrils of my imagination run rampant. It’s when the scars of past transgressions ache and are inflamed anew, as if a searing brand were thrust in my heart, mind and gut, all at once. (Melodramatic, much?) It’s also when I’m without you.
So, to bide my time in a not-altogether unpleasant fashion, I let my thoughts wander. I don’t focus on anything substantial for hours at a time. Is this irresponsible of me? Probably. But I find myself so enthralled by these daydreams, so caught up in this reverie where you and I are together, happy again, and the universe breathes easy for an infinitesimal moment, that I gladly cast obligations aside for a spell. In said fantasy, my own universe is copacetic, fabulous, fuckin’ A-Ok.
But such is the nature of absent-mindedness, is it not? Delusional flights of fancy, serving only to further muddle my thoughts.
Alone with my thoughts, this squalid place
The mind is starving, far from home
Into my sanctum I retreat
Walls lined with books; I reach for a tome
Indelible ink, lightly faded
Pages creased, worn thin with time
Tattered binding still clearly reads:
“A Love Chronicled: You and I”
The words I’ve committed to memory
And I’m sure you’ve read it too
A story we’ve authored in tandem
Five years, two lives, all true
With this pen, I propose we emend
The finish, the end
So we’ve got a history
But darling, it’s history
As much as I’m loathe to believe
History’s out of my reach
Doomed to repeat? Not we!
Room to rewrite—we’ll see