Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Being Loved

Being loved is hard for me. I don't really ever believe I deserve it. I believe I deserve respect, to be listened to and paid attention to, treated as intelligent and experienced and trustworthy. I believe I deserve responsibility, even sometimes power. But love... I have such a high standard for myself when it comes to love. It's hard for me to believe that I should be loved endlessly and thoroughly and absolutely. I try to believe it, but in practice I don't live like it's true. I apologize too much. I need too much reassurance. I simply don't understand how it could be true.

Then there's this person who is on the wrong coast right now, who is exhausted, stressed, and has a million things on his plate. But he calls to say goodnight without fail. He supports me no matter what. He'll repeat himself over and over until I've heard what I need to hear. He's never too busy for me. I'm always the most important thing to him, even when I don't think I should be. Everything he does says "I love you."

Sometimes it makes me so uncomfortable to be loved this much, but I've never felt so safe as I have for the past two years. I've never felt so free to give love, and giving love is something my soul starves for. Pouring myself into someone else is how I breathe.

He lets me love him too much, and that's something I was built to do. I feel too deeply. I long too hard. I fall too fast. I yearn too strongly. He is an unweatherable rock under the onslaught of my affection. He is the mountain that grows taller in the storm.

Do I romanticize him? Absolutely. Intentionally. I'd like to think that's part of my charm.

It's part of his, too. He is romanticizable unlike any other. He deserves to be romanticized. If only I could dress him in a suit of shining armor and put him on a white horse with my words, I would. Who wouldn't romanticize a fairy tale? That's what they are there for.

The fairytale goes like this:

There was a girl who needed to love someone. There was a boy who knew her well enough to know that she needed to be loved herself, loved extra well, extra strongly, or else she wouldn't feel it or believe it.

There was a boy who needed to love someone. There was a girl who knew him well enough to know that he wouldn't give his love to just anyone, and if he was willing to give it to her, he would give it to her alone, forever. She knew he needed to be loved, as well, but that boys who are built like mountains require a special, strong kind of love.

She loved him, and then he loved her. They left the city, bought a house, and drank tea together in their house. She grew vegetables and he painted small statues. They read books about love, and listened to songs about love, and played games about being in love.

Whenever they had to be far apart, the boy always called her to say goodnight, and when she hung up the phone, the girl always thought to herself, "This is what love is. I'm never forgotten. I'm never alone."

I don't know how the fairytale ends, although I could probably make a pretty good guess. What I do know is that it will get boring in the middle for the reader, because it will go on like that for a long time. Boring old love, steady and implacable, a mountain unmovable.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Letters to The - #7

How can I tell you that sometimes I am so sick of your world? I have watched three documentaries now just describing how Instagram is ruining people’s lives. Not just for a moment, either. It ruins their minds, their perspectives, their relationships, their ability to see reality with clear eyes and unburdened hearts. It rips them apart, like by like. It turns young girls into gyrating titillations who think it’s normal for married men old enough to be their biological grandfathers to comment on the size of their breasts and ask to see them naked. These children armed with self-destructive weapons called camera phones think they have things under control because they don’t reply to the haters and the creeps, because they’ll never meet that man in person. They don’t know that they meet them every day. Nothing is under control. Never have I felt the nauseating spin of the earth like I do now. I’m about to be flung off, and I know that the moment outer space sucks itself into my lungs and freezes me from the inside out and vaporizes all the liquid in my body, it will feel normal and innocuous, because that’s what we are all doing to ourselves down here. We are turning into vapor and empty skin, shoving a vacuum free of true being into our souls and rupturing every nerve ending and blood vessel with overexposure. We are lost in a universal, unending thread of posts and comments and upvotes and downvotes. We beings of only sight, hazy filtered sight. We can’t even call a lie a lie anymore. It’s fake news. Things that are real are not “real.” They are “unfiltered”, and even that might be fake news. We are numb. We don’t smell or taste or feel or hear. We take photos and we see photos and we scroll and scroll and scroll until we are sleepless and nearsighted and we think that’s all there is because that is the brightest thing in our world now. How big is your TV. How new is your phone. How perfect is your selfie. How cute is that filter. How trendy is that hashtag. How lit how dope how fire. We are disintegrating into pixels and bots and AI, and there will be nothing left of the species that was once awestruck by a sunrise, deafened the roar of a waterfall, awakened by the cold wind on a winter morning, humbled the cry of our first child fresh out of the womb. We are too busy taking a selfie, our Crest Strip teeth and fierce eyebrows in the foreground, the new innocent promise of the future in the blurry background, her own first precious moments stolen from her by more love for half a million followers than for the seed of our bodies. We are falling apart, and the earth is flinging me off it. Ultimately, I don’t belong here, but I have to stay, don’t I? I’m a third of the way done, perhaps. Please promise me there are no selfies in heaven.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Letters to The - #6

The older I get, the younger I feel. When I was a child, I didn’t understand why I was treated like one. I saw the world clearly, factually. I was frustrated at my lack of privilege. I felt the endogenous wisdom of my soul, and hated that no one saw or acknowledged it. I took myself seriously, and took the world seriously. I’m not a young woman anymore, by any nation’s standards, and yet I feel more like a child than ever before. My sense of playfulness seems to expand with my freedom in the world. I find joy in smaller and smaller things. I laugh with greater abandon. The angst of my adolescence has been replaced by awe and silliness and curiosity. I don’t feel like I’ve grown up. I feel like I’ve grown into my own childhood and that it will last until I die.