Thursday, July 22, 2010

try lying for a change, it's the currency of the world

*When I started this entry I had been speaking to my dear friend Hags and he said something about wearing his heart on his sleeve, and how that is his downfall, and I said something about how that's bullshit because that is actually a venerable quality in a person, and that the world makes you want to feel silly for being truthful about all the bullshit we feel on a day to day basis, and that it's only reinforced by how easy it is to hate characterizations of people like that, like the "emo" kid or whatever, but that wearing your heart on your sleeve only means you are honest with others and yourself, and an upstanding, beautiful person, everyone else's delicate fucking temperaments be damned. A little later I started this entry without knowing where I was going, and the self-revelation that ensued as I was writing proved too much to bear, and I abandoned it, saying something like "I'll be damned if I'm gonna hit publish on this atrocity." At any rate, I talked to that friend again this evening, and decided, shit, I have to put my money where my mouth is. This kind of honesty doesn't really belong on the internet, but oh well. Thanks for making me look like a douche, Hags. I love you.*

This evening I came across some photographs of an old girlfriend and I, and started to reminisce. There's a danger in that sort of thing, which was probably why, years ago, I disposed of all such materials. But facebook proved itself a sly son of a bitch, and while browsing pictures of a mutual friend I came across some relics of a love I had almost all but forgotten. I don't say that as if I had completely erased this person from my mind, but I realized as I looked at this picture of us kissing that I had erased the real parts of that relationship. I barely recognized either of the people in that photograph; I was looking at a reflection of a reflection cast in a puddle of water that once was an ocean. Neither of us were tagged in the picture anymore, we removed our respective associations long ago, but beneath it were some comments that remained. Perhaps it were those silly words written underneath that truly made me remember, that brought back the way she used to speak in reticence, a language I learned quickly to decipher, and love. Or maybe it was how I then remembered the taste of her tears when she kissed me out of joy or sadness; how she'd latch on until she ran out of breath, holding tightly the sides of my face, and then move her mouth away slightly to gasp in the air, and then come back, trembling, without diffidence, breathing her worry back out so it washed over our cheeks.

These sentiments opened my eyes a little. I came to realize that I have put up some huge walls in my life because of the negative emotions I've faced at the closure of several relationships, the aforementioned being the most recent, at least the most recent relationship that was a real relationship; where upon waking we spent the day together instead of parting ways. I've created a world where I don't have to really feel anything, because I don't really get close to anyone. Yep, I'm painting a picture of a walking cliche, but I can't think of a more honest way to put it. It only proves that we (or maybe just I) can't avoid becoming what we never thought we would be. More disturbing is that I suddenly realized that the disease is spreading. I find myself meeting cute girls and dismissing them instantly based on their first few words. Somewhere in my mind I was thinking that I was being smart, guarded, that I'd hold out for something really, really good. Absurdity, really, considering I found myself in intimate situations much more frequently than when I was open to meeting someone great, without preconceptions or immediate judgment.

It seems as if I have taken all of the anger and hurt from my bullshit baggage and created a wall that I convinced myself was to protect the fragile tissue of my fragile heart, but really only served to marginalize it. Because as much as I can recollect feeling hurt, and on some instinctual level angry, about the aforementioned relationship, that isn't everything I felt about it, but until just now, it's all I was able to remember. I think it's because I was forced, at the end of that particular relationship, to continue to love and be hurt, or despise and be hurt. I had a good reason for feeling angry, and not, as I saw it, any reason to love. So I chose the latter, a kind of self-preservation, one that took months to solidify... and apparently quite some time to dissolve. So I set up faux relationships that didn't have to actually exist: a little flirting here, some lovelorn sentiments there, the occasional copulation sprinkled on top and Voila! a self-justified-way-of-self-flagellating-while-feeling-poetic-or-some-bullshit. The cherry on top is all of the wonderful women who have actually showed interest in me since then, but who I've turned down, because I'd be much happier being miserable, thank you... god, I'm an ass.

But, achem, there probably needs to be some resolution to this post for those unfortunate souls who are still reading through my emotive purging. I guess my only resolution is that putting your heart out there without thinking of consequence is absolutely fucking terrifying, and probably mostly fucking painful, but that's necessary, and if you can survive all the beatings you might get to a place where your heart can swell and shrivel, and flutter and skip, and eventually rest knowing it's full. It don't always end up good, but yea it does. (that's my impersonation of a redneck saying what I was thinking but couldn't say without a redneck impersonation, both because those are the words that came out naturally, and because a fictitious redneck has much more authority on the subject at this time than I do)

And... here's one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs that I've loved since the first time my heart started to hurt in the schoolyard, when I first thought I understood this "Richard" character, and felt, truly, as though this were the most honest thing ever written, as if it encapsulated so many people who only wanted to be loved, but couldn't... the truth is this song is not about someone who wants to be loved, and can't, but about someone who wants to love, and is incapable of doing so. And maybe I always knew that, and maybe that's why I've always loved this song... I'm Richard... but I'm way too young to be cynical and drunk and boring someone in a dark cafe, and though it's true that all good dreamers pass this way someday, I need to remember the bit about the butterfly.

(sorry it's not a real video. There is no such thing in this case, and through browsing, this is the best I could find. This idiot messed up the lyrics, so don't even bother reading them - errors in both context and punctuation - so my advice would be to ignore the video, and just listen, if you feel so inclined).

Last Time I Saw Richard from Mike Baker on Vimeo.