Everything I do or write or sing or try disappoints me. I’m trying to accept that I have all of the same problems that plague artists or intellectuals or maybe just modern humans, but none of the gifts that my heroes have.
The truth. That should help, right?
My heart was broken when you said you didn’t want me. The truth: I’ve never had my heart broken before.
I remember curling around the barrier between two unisex bathroom stalls at work and crying, hoping that no one would knock at the door, and hoping that someone would. I pined for Clare, and I needed her, but even at her highest amount of protest, she and I were going to happen. We were still young, and we were right for each other. It was my mistake to let that go, but I accept that it happened. I claim to understand how she felt, but only now do I really understand that.
I remember crying in the shower a few short year ago, when I came to terms with what I had done to my best friend. Then, I did it again to someone else.
I remember wanting to be around a group in high school who, despite our alignment of ideals, used their adolescent indifference to bar me from joining them. I remember writing poems in college to women I adored, who rejected me without even letting me buy them coffee.
I remember becoming unreasonably jealous when women who held an unspoken longing for me found themselves enchanted by someone or something else. I remember that I had never acted when I could have. I remember my unyielding, ill-conceived “standards.”
I remember wanting trips or jobs or words that never came, despite my longing and effort.
But, as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to charm or influence the world to give me the people I’ve truly wanted. Needed. That’s all gone now. And that’s how I know I’ve grown old. My depression has aged me immeasurably in seven months.
I remember screaming at the sky a beautiful summer day had created, “I don’t want to die!” We all fear that. But, there was a part of me that died in that instant, and no one came to his funeral.
I remember trying not to choke on my words, as I drove away from my grandfather’s interment site. “It just doesn’t seem right to leave him there, alone.” I remember feeling foolish as I said it, and refusing the comfort that people provided.
I remember reciting to high school students who idolized me speeches from famous films. I remember the feelings welling up in me, and I remember being able to use them to inspire those students. That person lies dead now, buried under a tombstone that reads “XEROX: Is that all you are?”
I remember telling my high school mentor how much she meant to me. I remember when my best friend shunned me for not being there for him. I remember shunning a good friend for having no social value to the climber I became in high school. I remember shooting venom at the pristine beauty who sat in front of me in class, so that I could demonstrate how witty I had learned to be. She might have dated me had I asked, and I might have avoided years of trying to fit in. I only needed to fit in someone’s arms. He died young, that man, famished for relevance and respect.
I remember my strength, my honesty, and my forthrightness about my male instincts, both physical and social. I remember complaining about my Lilith Fair mentality, and the civil war of my consciousness that wanted to be the right kind of man. Men fight for what they want, but men recognize that women aren’t prizes.
I remember when my words became tedious. I remember resisting letting you become my life coach, and I remember relenting. I remember when I could hold back the tide of emotion that made me seem needy, and I remember letting go so we could splash our feet in the receding waves. I remember when my hormones took control and ruined a cosmically pleasant walk.
I remember telling you I would fight, and I remember you telling me not to. I remember it not feeling right. I wanted to respect your wishes.
I remember a million moments, and I know that I make more of them. I remember how much I’ve read about love as a drug, about how remembering dulls the image, about my own state of mind. I remember how we both danced around calling it “too good to be true.”
I remember us. I want to remember us, always.
And I want to forget.