“Darling, all that shit is behind us.”

Found this note I wrote towards the end of my time in Guate-Rica. I can’t believe it’s been two months. Two months since I left and returned. And now it’s almost spring–well, it’s technically spring, but it doesn’t quite feel like it… And now it’s spring and soon the semester will end and soon I’ll be somewhere else. Always moving, always transient.

jan 18, 2014– I’m happy here. Sunburned, dusty, sweaty, exhausted. But happy. Melons and vendors on the street. Coconut milk. Worrying about the tap water. Nodding my head in ignorance. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me… But I get so fucking caught up in the moment. Why is that? I love stories and moments. I guess. Every moment has the potential to be a good story. Every story has its good moment. I’m always in pursuit of those god damn moments. And I’m still not free of this one. And I’m already feeling sad knowing that it will be over soon. This moment. These moments. All of them. “Why are you stabbing my illusion. Just cause I stole some eagles’ wings.”

Plateau

People leave an indelible mark, a notable impression, even the smallest space, in our lives. Like a fingerprint. Even if it fades away, the oil from the skin remains. The shape will always be slightly discernible. You will most certainly see a faint outline of it, if you squint hard enough, despite the time that lapses since the finger was first pressed upon the surface. I don’t know. I don’t know about any of it. The truth hurts, and it makes me sad, but absence is inevitable.

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“To touch and feel each thing in the world, to know it by sight and by name, and then to know it with your eyes closed so that when something is gone, it can be recognized by the shape of its absence. So that you can continue to possess the lost, because absence is the only constant thing. Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been.” -Nicole Krauss

You cannot escape the space where people have been. Your memory of them will fade, and you will forget the exact arrangement of their facial features, and even if you do manage to remember that–time will pull down the lines and rearrange the shape, and loosen the skin from the cheeks, and they will lose their hair and grow shorter, stumpier, smaller. But you can try and remember them always as they were.

I didn’t know her very well; compared to others, I didn’t know her at all, but to see the shape of her absence in the lives of so many is enough for me. The shape of her absence is a big fucking gap. A site of demolition. What a life. What an impression to have made in such a short time. Is that enough? Is that enough for a life? I would like to think so. Even if she didn’t move mountains and save lives and do anything that will be cited in the future by big important people at big important places, the impression she made can never be removed. It will never be forgotten. There will always be a space of her, for her, within the hearts and lives of everyone who continues on while she is gone. She has stopped in the physical sense, but she will continue to carry on within her friends and family. She will be there at the dullest of their days, at the most poignant moments, at the same times she would have been physically, if she could. I guess if there’s anything we should be doing, then maybe that is the most important–to make an indelible impression. To forgive the negative impressions of others, or maybe not, because even a negative impression is still a memory, still a form you’ve left with someone. Still a name you’ve given to yourself, created for yourself. Still evidence of the life you lived, of the person you were, even if you were only that person in that moment.

I’m sad. I’m sad, not for myself really, because the space she took up in my life was small, but still it wasn’t negligible. I’m sad because I am witness to the space she took up in the lives of so many others. I’m sad because I witnessed the effect she had on people. The joy her presence brought; the actions her presence sparked; the people she could bring together; the people she connected. The memories she created. I am a spectator to this one. I am sitting in the stands. I am watching the team struggle, but I can only continue to cheer them on. I can offer no advice; I cannot pitch in and try to turn the game around. I just have to sit and watch and hope they can do it. Hope they can pull through.

What are we doing here? We come and we try and sometimes we do our best, but a lot of the time we just fuck things up. Most of the time we feel like we are fucking up (no, just me?). And life is hard. But there are good things in the world. So we cope. So we get up early and meet our friends and go for a run and eat our vegetables and stress out over the little things: we do our taxes, and speed through the yellow light, and don’t tip the server enough, and lie to our parents, and lie to ourselves, and don’t fully prep for the upcoming meeting… and I’m doing it again.

Life just is, and maybe I should stop trying to make sense of it. Just when I think I have it somewhat figured out…just when I feel like I’m coming to terms with everything and I’m at peace, someone leaves. Someone dies, and the world becomes smaller and sharper and it hurts, and I’m back at square one, mumbling and rambling and feeling detached. Mostly because I find myself wondering why we make the rest of it matter? Why we make the rest of it count, when it seems like most of the time, all that should count is each other. All we should care about is one another. Maybe that’s too much. I guess I know it is too much. We can’t carry the weight of one another around on our shoulders every day and expect to be functional, which is why we’ve filled up on so many arbitrary and petty details to begin with. Do we take the time to feel everything when the only constant is absence? We just carry around the spaces that were and rearrange as new people take shape and add to our puzzle? I don’t know if I can handle the obligation anyway because I am continuously reminded of how much an absence can hurt. How it can take you by surprise at the most random moment, the initial shock–the lump in your throat, the sting at the back of your eyes, that moment your voice catches and you realize what’s happening. And then you’ll never really forget it again. The pain of someone’s absence. It doesn’t matter what takes them away, we will still sit and wait for them in some form or another. At one point in time or another. We will trace the shape of them in the palm of our hand and try to hold on to that as we continue. We will even return to it, despite the petty distractions that threaten to lessen our memory. That threaten to take us away. I keep thinking I’ll hit this plateau of adulthood where things just suddenly make sense and become easier and hurt less…but then I reason that I’m 26 and that likely no such plateau exists, anywhere. It’s some mirage we spotted. It’s some legend we’ve been told. A fairy tale we created. I keep trying to wrap things up in tidy, neat boxes. I keep trying to structure and give shape to the things that are like balls of clay…workable. Even at their most structured and formidable they are still malleable. And then the shape changes and I can’t…I keep re-gifting these ideas and emotions to myself and I’m getting tired. What’s that definition of insanity that people always reference?

“…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, aren’t we all a little bit insane because we wake up and essentially are doing the same thing over and over again, yet expect different outcomes everyday. I don’t know if that’s insanity or optimism, but it certainly seems a little ridiculous to me some days. Most days. All the days when I have any time to stop for a moment and think about the life I’m living. When I’m not just trying to make time to eat, sleep, sweat, and shower. I guess it’s easier to get caught up in the little things. Obviously, when I sit and wonder about the big things, I end up coming to no conclusion whatsoever and can only distract myself to stop. But when it’s all over, when I’m done, will I be happy with all those little things? Will I wish I had stopped with the little things and devoted my life to questioning all those big, ridiculous things and never having an answer? Even though that may be terrifically unsatisfying, would that be a better alternative? I see why we all put on the disguises; why we all fit ourselves to the checklist and go down it until we die. I see why. It’s so hard, out here…outside of the box. It’s easy to feel aimless. It’s easy to feel small and worthless. What does this matter? In the grand scheme of things? In the great big world? But it does. It does matter. It has to. It is all relevant. We matter. If only to one another. “We are all connected, and everything, everything, everything matters.” (-Ron Currie, Jr.)

Dear Life (or whomever it may concern): You can’t keep doing this to my heart. Or my brain, for that matter. All this dissonance.

“I don’t even know what I’m saying, but I’m praying for you.” -Lana del Rey

“It’s late and I’m awake, staring at the wall, open up my window, my head floats out the door. No one else around, and a shimmer takes my eye, I lift my head, I’m blinded by the sky. Feel my weight in front, following the sound, it moves away so fast, I fall down to the ground. I know there’s more to come, jump back to my feet, and I only see ahead of me” -Bag Raiders

Do I live in the past, or do I just spend too much time trying to possess the lost?

Blank page

You ever just have those days where…where you feel nothing? It’s comparable to having this inner peace…this empty bucket of nothing inside. Not in a depressed-i-hate-everything-feel-nothing-for-the-world sense. I am totally capable of feeling emotions, and do so on a regular basis, but some days I wake up and there’s nothing there…triggering…nothing at the ready when I open my eyes after the dreams that have bounced around through my sleep. You know? And then I go about my day, and I talk to people, and I see things, but there’s no physical or emotional reaction to those events. They just are, and I just am, and here we are.

I have been feeling homesick for places I’ve never been. Anxious to leave illinois, anxious to travel and be in a new place, feel like myself somewhere else where I feel like I can reset and be myself again. Not stuck here in this place with these people who have decided who I am, or make me feel like I have to be a certain way. I’m not “stuck”. I hate that word; I hate that feeling; I hate that expression. I chose to be here, and I am choosing to be here, and I am here, and I do love things about here, and I do love the people I’m here with. I spent Saturday exploring parts of campus I was unfamiliar with, trying to see if that would calm my inner anxiety. See if that would satisfy my travel bug, my spring fever, my antsy toes. I guess it did to some extent. I don’t know everything about this place, and there are still sights to see. I just have to do them. So yesterday, I was running around in the sunshine, feeling antsy, trying my best to quench my thirst, and today I’m calm, ‘dead’ in the best sense of the word. Blank. Okay, this is it. Here I am. I get bored, I think. I don’t know what it is I expect–that will make me feel not bored. Or what it is I have to change about myself to stop feeling bored. Maybe it is just spring fever/cabin fever. Maybe I just have high expectations for myself on the daily and when I go so long without meeting them I get anxious and try to overcompensate? I’m not sure. The world is way too small to feel like nothing. The world is way too big to get so bored. The people here are way too complex and dynamic and interesting for me to stop reading their stories. It’s like yesterday, I was the curious cat, getting into everything. And today I am the turtle, hiding in my shell. The slow, observant animal, chilling in the corner. I guess. It doesn’t make much sense to me. It doesn’t make much sense at all. Nonsense…

“I just realized my lips are inside out. They should be turned inwards, because I spend most of my time talking to myself. 
”

“I love to talk about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.”

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

I’m a blank page today. I write the words, and they seem alright, but then I erase them, and there is nothing, and for some reason that seems to be a a more accurate description of what I want to say, what I’m trying to say, what I always mean. There is so much potential in a blank page, so many words you could see there, and everything you want. Such a better match for my personality, for who I am, for my chameleon soul and my blank page mind. Everything and nothing all at once. Sitting, watching, waiting, distracted, bored, tired, awake, alive, anxious, impatient, asleep, content, absent-minded, aware and in-tune.