I must recognize that you hold the ability to make me happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. Loved and cherished and safe. But with that comes the ability for you to make my heart sink, to destroy me with a glance or a word or a mistake. And it’s because I care so much about what you do, what you think of me. You are so important to me, so close to me, that it feels like everything you do is multiplied tenfold, maybe a hundredfold.
But what is light without darkness? What is happiness without its opposite? With just a careless mistake, a castoff gesture, I feel the heavens crash down on me, the stars exploding as they hit the ground. But with a smile and a word of love and care, you make me feel as if I belong among them.
It’s worth it.
It’s not a sign of empowerment to not care what other people think or to put your own feelings ahead of others. We are social animals. The most social animals. The whole reason we came down out of the trees and spread across the world and made cities and art and love is because we put the needs of others ahead of our own. We care what other people think about us, we care about the feelings of others because if we don’t, we are back in the forest, scrabbling for existence, digging in the dirt, afraid of our own shadow. Because if we don’t, we can never truly care about ourselves. Because if we don’t, we are truly and profoundly alone.
Letter Never Sent: #55 (April 4, 2014)
Must be nice to consider one so wealthy that they couldn’t stand to have more. Like a man dining on all you can eat steak and wondering how there could be starving people in the world when he has so much right in front of him.
But to never experience loneliness in a way that makes you treasure every chance at meaningful human interaction, that’s the real gift. That you can throw away even the potential of friendship, the chance of feeling less alone in a world that is aggressively trying to isolate us. But you don’t really feel that, do you?
You feel like you already don’t have enough time for yourself. You already feel overwhelmed by social obligations and boys and holy crap, they are so annoying, aren’t they, with their constant need for attention and their clear ulterior motives.
Maybe one day you’ll be so lonely that you’ll even take the ulterior motives if it meant someone would take the time to ask how you’re doing and genuinely care. Maybe you won’t. And then you’ll just treat human beings as the surplus commodity they are to you. I’ve got too many, but good luck to you. Maybe in another life.
The Haunted Apiary
"I will stand firm. I will hold my edges and remember. I can do this. I know how to remember things. I will not dissolve.
There are people who love me. I know that even though I can’t remember them. I will not be forgotten. I will not be forgotten.
There are people who love me. There must be.”
Ten years ago, a fictional AI from the future made me cry, brought me new friends, and changed my life forever. For those who went on the journey with me, no explanation is necessary. For those that didn’t, no explanation will suffice (although I’ve tried and will keep trying). The lesson that ten years passing has taught me is that this experience will stick with me for the rest of my life. I’m okay with that.
"You rebuilt me, and when you did, you made me whole. And for that, I can never thank you enough. It’s been the last, best kind of quality experience. You made the girl real. I love you. Goodbye."
I still wonder if you love(d) me or if every sweet thing you read and repeat and hold dear now reminds you of (makes you yearn for) someone else. I fear that you’d rather not be reminded of me.
I would forget myself, too, if I could.
Everyday my heart breaks a little more when I try to live. I have to get used to the fact that I may never be wanted again. That when someone thinks of the person they want to talk to right now, spend the evening with, hold and laugh and cry with, I’m not anybody’s first choice. Let me get used to that.
Let me get used to being alone and being happy being a ghost. Passing the time, day by day, until either something happens or that I don’t mind that nothing is happening. And then, one day, it’ll be done.
I will keep fighting, I will keep fighting, I will keep trying, but then I trip and the skin on my knees is so thin from the years and years of crawling. Maybe I’m irreparably broken, here, now, finally. Maybe I’ll never be put back together again. Maybe it’s finally too much and maybe i’ve been broken. Maybe I’ll never be fixed. But that’s not for me to know.