05/30(or the 31 since you are in Japan right now.)/2016
How we met: well it wasn’t quite meeting at first, really. You stared at me (checked me out) from two rows back on the other side of the class room of our Econ 111 class in Xavier room 150. I knew your name and who you were, and I ran into you often with The-Girl-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She was something else (and a whole other story) and you and her seemed to be best friends from my point of you. Until I began to pester you.
I thought you were (OMG kill me now for saying this) THE cutest Asian kid I had ever seen in my life, and I was down for the chase.
I made a mistake first hand though by the telling your “Best friend” what I thought of you. She had a bit(a little more than that) of a fit and she said: “You got, Tomas, and Kiya, you can’t can’t canttttt by any means have Hiro.” And I told her I would respect her wishes, but there was a big piece of me that I certainly was not going to ignore that said “ignore her, he is a catch… even if he ends up just being a good friend” which of course made my reply to her be: “Oh of course, he is your best friend, I would never!!!” (one of the biggest lies I have ever told). And here we are. You are my man.
You ask me to make lists.
I love this. (but you know I love making lists so it isn’t exactly work to me. )
What we should do:
- Travel the world
- Go to every San Pellegrino 50 best restaurants in the world.
- Go to Japan – like everywhere
- Take a bath – not too long of one, I hate being pruny
- Go to an owl cafe
- Go to a cat (neko ねこ 猫) cafe 😀
- Feed each other nutella
- Stay at a ritzy hotel and splurge on room service
- Keep each other motivated
- Keep each other healthy
- Couples Message
- Take a train over night somewhere, hopefully Europe
- Swing Dance
- Shop for undies in Tokyo
- Ice skate in Rockefeller center in NYC
- Build an igloo in Alaska
- Pray at a temple in Japan (Nara)
TO BE CONTINUED.
I’m sorry about today.
I know it felt off. I was off.
Honestly, when you walked in, my heart skipped a beat like it was February still and we had just met. I was awkward, and I didn’t know how to look at you.
I think my page refreshed in my heart or something. Like I’m falling in love with you over again. Not as if I had fallen out of love with you, but I had fallen into stability with you before, and then disaster struck it’s usual course with me and I fucked up. And I told you.
And maybe it’s better now, I’m honest, I’m here, I’m trying my best but I feel like my best isn’t good enough. Like my best won’t ever be good enough.
And I know you know that too, you said it yourself today. “If only it were easier”.
Simplicity is unattainable in a relationship, nothing is simple when it comes down to human emotion, there are too many variables and inputs you can’t discern one from another because they are inseparable. Life is tangled in us, like I am with you, and I get farther and farther drawn into your life the more I think about you and keep you.
So I’m keeping you. On one side, it is because I am so tangled into you that I feel like to be without you here in the wilderness of the world I’m putting myself in I need you, more than I’ve needed anyone (other than my family). I need you to be here to love me, to help me, to make me feel like I have a home, to make me love someone else like I know I can but thought I never could, you’re here to watch me fuck myself over but still love me after it’s all done.
On the other, I am keeping you because I’ve never tried so hard for a relationship ever before you. I’ve never put my all into someone like I have with you, I do you know? I gave and continue to give everything to you. And maybe that’s a bad thing, maybe it’s a good thing, but those words don’t actually mean anything. Good and bad are the worst descriptions anyone could ever use.
So let me try again.
Maybe it’s gonna kill us both. Maybe staying with you will tear my insides apart because everything I have is all in my head and other than that I’m worthless. Maybe it’ll kill you to put up with that. It’ll bring you to the point of madness because I’m so damn difficult.
But maybe it’ll teach me how to be here. Maybe it’ll teach me how to edify and not feel superfluous and actually do what everyone says the right thing to do is. Love you, love you forever, love you for always, as long as I’m living, my man you will be?
Sometimes I just cry though, cry and cry, and cry and I can’t stop and I don’t why I’m so sad. So I blame it on the fact that my freedom that I used to know is gone and I feel guilty for everything and I feel like the smallest slip with shatter the world I’ve built with you and it’ll be over and I’ll have to go home because I’m such an emotional wreck.
I think without you I would be suicidal. But you already know that.
I’m might be either way, but I know post-you, I don’t know how I feel.
Because obviously, right now, I’m not in post-you mode. I’m present-you. I’m here, I’m honest, I’m trying my best, and you are too. I don’t know if you are honest, but I’m pretty sure you are, I know when you lie. I don’t know if you are trying your best, because I know you are in a slump right now. I’m hoping you can come out of it and get yourself in the right direction, wherever that may be.
But now, I’m present-you and I’m crying every time I see you, and I’m crying even when I’m not seeing you. And I was crying in the beginning when the curvature of the earth was separating us and I was crying because I knew what I would come to, but not knowing what the future held scared me so goddamn much I couldn’t even voice my fear because I knew you wouldn’t understand.
It’s not easy having a brain that never stops, a mind palace that is infinite. I’m stuffing my closets in my brain with things I can’t say to you because they will upset you. I’m hoping when I’m with you and I’m in my head that I don’t walk past them and smile, because that happened today and I knew it would make you mad to know about the things I stored away in there. They are becoming blue memories because of you, when they used to be golden, funny and light.
I don’t want to ignore all the good things, but right now those are too easy to see, which means they are in such plain view they are hiding the things I probably need to pay attention too. I’m trying to pay attention.
You can’t pay attention. I don’t know how I’ve adapted to that, I guess adaptability truly is one of my greatest strengths. But with your ADHD I don’t have to change my personality and DNA. I don’t have to change my frontal lobes neuron language. But being monogamous, that is trying to tell me to change my DNA. I don’t think that way. I never will.
Since you told me you didn’t like red, I haven’t worn a single thing red. Some how that small phrase you said months and months ago stuck with me, and I recalled this:
I’m not saying this is true, but I’m finding it hard to not relate with.
I know you have changed me, which isn’t a surprise. I’m glad you’ve influenced me. You’ve helped me to see that life can be simple and you can be happy. You’ve helped me understand street smarts and how to avoid scary things. You’ve helped me see what I dislike. You’ve helped me learn how to trust.
But you’ve also instilled the knowledge that I know a simple life will never satiate me. I’ve tried. I’ve pursued the simplicity of monogamy, the easy life of school, job, boy friend. Which would evolve into : Employment, marriage, children. Retirement, settlement, grandchildren. I don’t think I want those things in the white picket fence, sepia filtered sense that you do. Life is rainbow too me, everything is something different than you thought it was, I don’t see things as black and white with rose colored accents. I see it like a flower child from the 60’s would. Like someone tripping on acid but retaining a sense of self.
Deanna pointed out something interesting last night, she said: “It’s funny, how you like being caged by things, but not by people.” She referred to my love of clothing and obsession with belts and accessories; the fact I can’t sleep without my retainers (AKA teeth cages). Being caged by people, or restrained physically, (as you well know by now) makes me fall apart and have a panic attack. Then she said to me, “Take this and apply it to what is happening with you and Shane.”
11.22.15 I can’t be caged. I knew this before with Cameron. See, he and I started our relationship right before he flew out to school his freshman year to Stanford University in California. It was magical and amazing and I was in love with him. But I also knew that I couldn’t be with him if he was away, and it would be wrong of me to keep us monogamous. I also knew inside me that I would never stay true to that anyways. I was 15, but that feeling hasn’t changed.
Fast forward four months and he is back from school, we see each other and fall back into the pattern of things, we are intimate and it’s wonderful, but we also talk for hours and simply enjoy one another. It’s nothing comparable to you of course, you are the absolute opposite of him, which is honestly great. If you were anything like him I wouldn’t truly love you, I would love the shadow of you but be holding onto the memory of Cameron.
Back to 2013, Cameron left, he went back to school and I was alone. We didn’t discuss our terms, we didn’t need to. He knew I would be with other partners, and I knew he would too. At the time I was 16, and I wasn’t interested in getting any more involved with someone longer than a night. Maybe a week. The point of dating was lost on me.
That summer, Cameron returned and he asked me to be his girlfriend, but he already knew my answer, I think he just wanted to show how he felt. I said that when he was here, and we were talking affectionately he would be my boyfriend, but when he was gone, and we had space he wouldn’t be. But this did not mean monogamy. No, I was with other people, and I told him that. He knew and knows that I am a free spirit that won’t be tamed. I even told him stories and struggles that I had with other partners and friends and he shared his, as my friend.
Friendship comes first, if I can’t talk about the intimate matters that happen with others or the intimate thoughts I have I am not fully expressing myself. As strange as this may seem, I find that story telling is my way of expressing, sharing, and showing my loved ones what is going on inside me and around me. I don’t know if this “socially acceptable” because as you say, “Kissing and telling is just wrong” and the like… I don’t see it as “kissing and telling” I see it as having an experience and telling someone about it, just as if I had climbed Mt. Hood with you and I told my mother. My definition of kissing and telling is like being a huge gossip whore and involving people in your business that shouldn’t be involved. But you see, by my definition, telling you the experiences that I’ve had isn’t being a gossip whore, it is sharing my life with you, a person who is very much in my business and I in yours. If you considered yourself not involved in my business I would be offended and run off dramatically like in the movies (or like a twelve year old).
So Cameron and I continued in this way. No labels, no monogamy, no terms and conditions, just that we were friends, who loved each other very deeply, and knew that without each others support (in what ever way we gave it) we would be sad.
The summer before I met you, Cameron was very entangled with me, but I had no idea how to feel. I went from “please stay” to “I never want to do this again” to “come back”. These emotional swings are still baffling to me, but maybe I was just tired of the condition-less conditions. Our unspoken rules were eating at me.
Now I told you that Cameron and I were still “on” when I met you. I mean you can’t tell me I was doing something wrong because Cameron and I weren’t monogamous. And for all purposes I would have stayed “on” with him even after you asked me to be yours because he was just south of you on the other side of the country. He wasn’t going to fly to see me, no way, but he and I being “on” just meant that I was still hearing “I love you”‘s from him. Because he loves me. Me, me. He isn’t like my crazy x that is in love with the idea of me as a pony, fetishized and objectified. Cameron loves who I am, and I love who he is.
Then I told him one fateful night via text (because I am obviously the worst human being. Hypocrisy beyond compare), that I was trying monogamy out. Let me emphasize trying. Not to be confused with doing and achieving. I’m still trying.
11.24.15 Whatever decisions we talk about, whatever thing we are working on, it is always your way or the high way. Sex, food, sleep, conversation, anything. Everything I do is to accommodate for you. I can’t be changing all that I am and all that I think about for you. I need freedom of thought, I need freedom of speech, I need freedom to be the person I am without being afraid I’m going to hurt you by telling you something from my past. I can’t go on accommodating for all that you can’t handle or refuse to handle. I am complicated and difficult, I recognize that, but can’t you comfort me? Can’t you understand that I love you more than I’ve loved any one else in my lifetime and I want to be with you, but I can’t because I am not who I want to be with you.
I’ve thought long and hard over this, and delicately so. I thought about how I would feel after, post-you. I know both of us will be fine. We will live on. Life goes on. I will always love you. I will always love the taste of your skin, the feel of your arms around me, the way you smile when you are truly happy.
I made my choice to be post-you. I’ve decided and you can fight back all you want. But I’m taking the highway option.
You say I can have you and be monogamous, or be without you and be polyamorous. Well, there isn’t an “or” for me. I AM polyamorous. I DO love more than one person this very instant and I will always love more than one person because that is just how I love.
One day, maybe a few months from now, maybe a year or more, I’ll say hello to you again. And I want you to know I don’t want to cut you out of my life, my heart, my soul, and my mind, no I want to stop the cycle of pain I’ve been experiencing. I want to heal us. Because ever time I’ve had suicidal inclinations, every time I’ve needed support, it never really went away. It isn’t your fault that I have these feelings but it is your fault for triggering them.
I’m not saying this to be awful, I’m saying this because it’s true. Every time I “make a mistake” that I know will hurt you or could hurt you I feel like I’m worthless. I can’t feel that way, it’s driving me to the edge.
I want the best for you, which I know you might think “It’s you! You just need to change!” Well if I need to change to be with you, then I am not what is right for you.
1.2.16 So I love you. That’s undeniable. I have been trying to sort out all the things left unsaid and all the thoughts I had.
I’m thinking of the plans we made together, that look like old memories now. Obviously, neither of us know what the future holds, but we can at least write an outline.
When we met, you said you wanted three princesses, and my heart immediately jumped and I responded in a way I had never reacted to that future thought. In the past, (I know dredging it up again) I had always cowered away and scoffed at people’s proposals of children and marriage. I thought it was nasty. But, when you said that you wanted children in the sweetest way I’d ever heard someone talk about children, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy you.
It was the first time I let myself contemplate a future with someone. The first time I let my mind and heart wander over a thought and actually commit to this fluffy cloud idea. I call it a fluffy cloud idea because it is unpredictable and can change fast. I like those kinds of ideas though, as you know.
I know this must suck. I write and write, and write… It’s awful. I hate to do this to you, but I’m trying to find closure. Which probably doesn’t exist. But I’ll keep trying for our sake’s, I don’t want to lose you.
^^gross, “I dont want to lose you” is the nastiest— I take that back, the nastiest phrase I’ve heard is the one you told me while we were in your bed: “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” HOW COULD YOU? we talked about that god awful phrase and cursed its existence and then you go and use it! In all seriousness.
Don’t you dare tell me that again. Don’t tell me you are disappointed. Find a better word.
Exemplia gratia/για παράδειγμα
- Crest fallen
You get the idea.
Anyways. I want you to know I don’t hate you and I don’t want to cut you out of my life like I have done to so many soul-sucked person. Being soul-sucked doesn’t suit you, I prefer you being soul-filled.
The lost art of really listening to people. The secret to it is we communicated with our bodies. Open stances or closed stances, fiddling and looking away, shifting glances, wild gestures or uncomfortable arm crossing. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” is a lot of the time true. That’s why reading body language helps tell us when we are being lied to or how people really feel versus what they are saying. A good listener can see these things. A true listener can start to understand someone better by these things. Seeing how a person responds physically can communicate their insecurities and their confidences, the things they like and dislike, and also whether they are extremely selfish or are relaxed and loving. Someone who really listens can see right through people.
Then sometimes silence (or the lack of action) speaks louder than words. Whether that inaction is someone saying one thing and doing another or being completely passive and not communicating at all.
That’s why I wrote a song called “Silence is death”
I wrote this because the lack of communication is a huge scream in itself. Crying silently, suffering in silence, sighing silently. It’s all a way of showing a burden, communicating pain or indifference. Especially indifference. “The silent treatment” is a way to communicate my pain that doesn’t need words to describe it. Everyone knows what it is. Everyone understands why. It’s because sometimes the amount of weight I’m carrying inside me is boiling under my skin and its turning my eyes red and soggy, its breaking me so much I can’t even speak. Sometimes the silence is necessary because I’m screaming so loud on the inside I can’t bear to speak anymore. Or maybe its the opposite, maybe it’s because the world and people around me are so loud I can’t handle the noise anymore so I stopped trying and shut down. Maybe I’m too tired of this sick mess to speak anymore. Words fall short of the things I want to say.
This is why people say things like this:
“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.”
― Andrew Harvey
Sometimes its really hard to be bursting at the seems like this always. I take a chill pill and reseed into a happy numbness, which sometimes solves the problems and I start to see that I don’t have to hate and hurt from all the noise around me and inside me. I can let it out and in and breathe and be one with it or separate my self from it. Nothing is permanent. But I do wear my anger on my heart and not on my skin. I wear it on the inside where it festers and starts to boil again and I start my silence.
There’s a difference between serenity and being numb.
Communicating like this isn’t all there is though. Sometimes small talk and social interaction in the trivial pursuits can be a fueling ground for socialites or a draining all-consuming pit of terror. Sometimes I love to gossip and joke with my friends, and other times it tears me apart inside to hear idiotic and pointless words. I get so upset I give a silent tantrum and stop speaking to people.
‘Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish
I’ve seen more guts in eleven year old kids
Have another drink and drive yourself home
I hope there’s ice on all the roads
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt
And again when your head goes through the windshield
Is that what you call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick
In the small of my back
So let’s end this call and end this conversation
This is my problem. It leads to me never believing that others can love me, because I’m simply not worthy of it.
It isn’t women that I don’t believe though, I mostly trust girls. But I can’t trust guys, (sorry if this sounds sexist but… it has been my overarching experience through my life).
I’ve never been good enough for my dad, never strong enough to chop wood or athletic enough to draw the attention of my Dad’s dad, (my grandad). I was never good enough for a lot of guys I liked or dated in the past. There was always something about me that needed to change for them to be pleased. Mostly my body. I was never enough for a lot of other people because they wanted me to be there constantly, and well, I have a life I need to live too.
I’ve never felt good enough to love someone else because of this. As if I wasn’t worth enough to give someone else adoration. But then at the same time I’m too worthless not too, because everyone else must be more deserving than I to receive love. I’ve felt so unworthy in the past that I just summed it up to being incapable of loving others. Incapable of commitment and loyalty because I’m not good enough anyways.
“A Bed Full of Safety”
Even though I have no reason to really think I’m not enough right now. I know I’m talented, intelligent, strong, and mature, I can’t shake the feeling of never being good enough. I can’t help but remember that I couldn’t love, and I couldn’t truly be loved by others, I can’t stop feeling helpless in the fact that I’m just starting to live, just learning how to be.
But being isn’t easy.
I know I shouldn’t believe that I am not enough, but it’s hard to not believe it when I’ve disappointed so many people.
The Happiness of meeting again after a long time
There are lots of ways that people can be separated. Whether “separate” meaning ending of a relationship, friendship, or bond; or meaning separated by distance and time rather than breaking off that relationship, being apart is painful.
I’ve had friends all over the world, some which I’ve been able to see yearly or more and others that I have never seen.
I have friends I’ve grown up with that became the closest and most important people in my life graduate high school and go far away for college. It hurt to be apart from them. It hurt to lose the physical connection we had and to lose the fulfilling meetings we used to have regularly. But we had retrouvailles when we were finally able to get together during summer, winter, and spring breaks.
Separation changes relationships and changes people. Communication and visiting become more special, but also more difficult. Talking to one another can become a chore, or become monotonous because the same questions are always being asked. “How was your day?” “What did you do?” “How is everyone back home?” “How is school?” “What are your classes like?”‘How was work?”. After a while it feels like there is nothing more to say over the phone or via text.
It feels like the distance between the two of you is prying a wedge between you even more than you thought it would.
It’s costly on everyone in many ways. Seeing friends means gas money, spending money for activities, and food. Seeing friends means a plane ticket home or to them, expenses of travel and the like.
Being apart from friends means you might make new friends and lose those friends, or the flux of new friends is whittled down to the ones that you actually like talking to you, rather than the ones which are just convenient to converse with. The difference between a study buddy and a real pal. It costs time and effort to be happy, to stay happy, and to preserve the happiness that you have with those you love most in the world.
The hardest part about these expenses, is making sure they are worth it, and remain worth it.
Something being worth your time is far from something which is just convenient. Although, convenience does assist in keeping things that are worth your time.
Convenience is having a neighbor that you can barrow things from politely and they have the same relationship with you, but you wouldn’t invite them over for a heart-to-heart about your dying uncle and the struggles of cancer in your family.
The kind of person you invite over for that serious conversation who thinks you are worth their time is the friend that maybe it isn’t all that convenient for them to see you. That’s why it is special when you see each other, because when you do, both of you have planned that chat, that cup of tea or coffee, that special meeting spot, or the favorite seats in your living room. The date’s been on your calendar and it has been something the two of you texted about for weeks. Making sure both could be there around the same time, prepared and with lots to say.
But also with this best friend, you don’t always need something to talk about. Silence can convey what you need it to as well. Because sometimes all you can say is “I’m so glad you are here,” with me because I need you and you are worth it and I love being with you because I love you.
And you know they are thinking the same thing and don’t need to say it.
Harmony in the those moments of retrouvailles.
1. Some how reacquaint myself with Alejandro
2. Get more people to accidentally flirt with
3. Cuddle with everyone
4. Fail an audition
5. Environmental Science class is still not accomplishing anything
6.English Composition II is still not accomplishing anything
7. Be annoyed by my ENG II teacher
8. Talk to Dr. Teacher
9. Send love notes
10. Get rejected
11. Cry pitifully to oneself during class
12. Throw papers manically.
13. Throw oneself onto couch in desparity
14. Devise evil plans
15. Watch stupid videos
16. Facebook too much
17. Listen to depressing music
18. Argue with That Pirate Kid
19. Get Married
20. Disappoint my father
21. Dont drive
22. Drink a lot of tea
23. Microwave a lot of tea and meals
24. Eat alone
25. SHIT TON OF MOISTURIZER
26. LIP BALM
27. Have cold hands
28. Play guitar till my fingers almost bleed and my hand falls asleep.
30. Try to forget
31. Get depressed by the holidays
32. Cancel New Year’s Eve Party because I hate everyone
33. Unfriend a lot of people on facebook like a pro
34. Go shopping.
35. Video game therapy.
36. Block people on Xbox
37. Make new friends
38. Scrap four blog posts.
39. Pretend to do work .
40. Write long lists.
41. Go to Church
42. Send this link to people
My dreaded, and also exciting, search for colleges and now applying for them has been so exhausting in so many ways. The horrors of touring giant colleges with my crazy parents who never get along has been very real. My first campus tour last spring at UMass Amherst wasn’t totally a disaster but it was rough, and at the end of the day all I wanted to do was call my boyfriend and cry all night. So I did, while sitting in the empty tub of the hotel while my brother played video games on the bed. I didn’t particularly like the college. My mother had attended there for 8 years, and she hadn’t even visited the college before throwing herself into the application process, she had just wanted to get out. But the cement covered valley with its high risers that stuck out harshly against the barren landscape didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want this ginormous campus to be my home, it felt too much like a evil institution like in all those dystopian movies I watch. I felt incredibly alone in the crowd and lost in all the commotion of schedules and 100 kid lecture halls. Even though the tour guides said the only 100 person classes they had ever taken were their first semester ones, it didn’t assure me that I would find my place at UMass. No, this place wasn’t for me.
I toured one other college that I got infatuated with, Hampshire College, or as my parents called it while going to UMass: “Hamster College” since all the weirdos went there. I felt like the curriculum was really me. Yet again though, I found that the barren fields, and awkward buildings that I was getting lost in were making me feel unwelcome. But mostly it was my tour guide telling me to “Get off my high horse and realize you aren’t special.” That was a very big blow to all my philosophical beliefs. He recommended I read a bunch of books about the insignificance of my existence and people’s lack of ability to be different from one another. I looked down onto my pin that I got from the college. It had a picture of a sheep and an red x across it. Don’t be a sheep. Don’t follow. Be a leader. Be a world Changer. Be different. Be special. That was the college’s motto, and I wondered how a person could go to a college with that motto but come out saying “No one is special.” It made me doubt some credibility. I still like Hampshire, but I have some philosophical wars going on.
Next stop was Salem State University. It was smaller and sweeter and newer than UMass. The library was way cooler and the facilities rocked. Even the dorms were better than UMass Amherst’s. I was impressed with the peppiness of the guides and welcomer’s and the enthusiasm and honestly of the admissions adviser who spoke to us. Then we went to another lecture for the “undecided”. This was a disaster. Absolute cacophony of horridness. The man speaking to us must have been having a mid life crisis of some kind since he just ranted about politics and when he was actually on topic I asked a question about something and announced I was home schooled. He said. “Well, college will be a culture shock.” and a few other comments of similar views. I was so insulted I almost left the room. I simply do not understand how a college professor could be that ignorant. Educate thyself and read some Socrates.
I’ve toured BC, Suffolk, Merrimack, and Bowdoin since then. Bowdoin was another catastrophe, but the college was pretty. I won’t tell this story since it was such a strange day. I also hate the person I liked at the time. (I wrote another post about him, but it got deleted accidentally) Now I am applying to an arts and communication school, Emerson. I’m applying for Writing, Literature, and Publishing, crossing my fingers they accept me!!!
Here are my college essays:
Q: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family Settling down on a name was hard for my parents before I was born. My mom wanted something interesting, different, not the Sarah, Emily, and Elizabeth’s of the world kind of name, she wanted it to be a creative and interpretive thing. My dad wanted exactly what my mother didn’t. He wanted tradition continuing to honor ancestors. I was going to be Alice Marie, May Eddie, or Willamina. Don’t get me wrong, Alice Marie, May Eddie, and Willamina are beautiful names, but I am not an Alice, nor May, and even more so, I am not a Willamina. Samantha suited me for a while, but it felt uncomfortable. I felt like it was a whiny, nasally noise people were yelling at me across the baseball field, up at bat, and then when I got hit with the ball a thousand times it was cooed out by my couch and that silly Tyler boy who still is lovesick for me today. “Samantha, are you OK? You get to walk.” That’s all I was doing, walking through the pitches, taking the hits, never swinging into a ball and hitting a home run then racing across the field for a winning game. I was standing in the outfield, waiting around, picking boogers, and staring into the sun, asking it, “Why do they call me Samantha? Who gave them the right to call me something I never signed up to be called?” As I grew up I liked to play make believe, and I would take on my make believe names for years. I was Mike (4-5 years old), Isabelle (6-7), Amber (7-8), Crystal (9-10), Landia (10-11), and then I found something I fell in love with. Zanthia. I wanted that to be me. Zanthia was beautiful, Zanthia was complex, Zanthia didn’t whine, Zanthia didn’t sit in the outfield, Zanthia hit home runs, Zanthia was a good friend and team player, and Zanthia was a Queen. But also, Zanthia wasn’t a stuck up girl, she was a transforming butterfly, she was becoming something she didn’t even know could be. Zanthia was ready to take on the world, or what she’d like to call her fairy kingdom. I decided to be Zanthia. Just like in the Bible when Saul realizes he was wrong about life and turns to God and is renamed Paul, Sarai and Abram realize they are called for something more and are changed to Sarah and Abraham, I was changed from Samantha the listener to Zanthia the fair haired. I claimed myself as my own, more than just claiming my body and personality, I made my identity. My parents may have needed to have a starting basis on what to call me, but I knew Samantha wasn’t a tattoo that was going to last forever on me. Samantha was little leagues. Samantha was playground talk. I was now the Queen of the Fairy Kingdom and Queen of Me. Zanthia.
If you could title your life anything what would it be? : I consider my life a building work of art. The hardest part of being an artist is naming your art. Sometimes stories are easily explained in a banner (headline) phrase: “Don’t Do Me Wrong”, “Love Me Do,” and “Good Girls, Bad Boys”, but some stories need more of a lead-like or thesis title, which a lot of punk rock songs use: “This isn’t a fashion statement it’s a deathwish”, “This mirror isn’t big enough for the two of us”, “Here’s that song you wanted”, or “Where can I stab myself in the ears”. The only reason I do not name my songs like the untitled versions of Shakespearean sonnets is because I am simply not allowed to. As a singer songwriter I’ve been forced to take my beautifully self titled songs like “I Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This”, or “My Soul’s Seasons of Drought”, and “Build Yourself A Home Inside My Heart” to be cut down to “Home” which does it no justice to what the song is actually about and is easily confused with the famous country song. At certain points in my life, namely ages 11-14, I would’ve liked to title my life: “Sometimes I Scream Aloud”, “Failure to Assimilate”, and “Would It Be Weird If”. Now I am almost 18 and many things have changed since my preadolescence and I can say that “The Uselessness of Trying To Be Human” is among my top three titles. The other two are: “My Reputation: An Apology” and “I Tried The Best I Could To Write You Songs.”
Totally doesn’t apply to this post, but I like this gif ALOT: I love you Roozbeh <3;)
A young man, about 16 living in the suburbs of Union, New Jersey in the spring of 1969. His father’s a veteran from the great war, his mom appearing to be nothing but a pious Catholic house wife, and his friends an entirely uncharted world of pirates and seafaring adventures. In reality, he’s just another sophomore in highschool who is crushing on his next door neighbor, Annette, and journaling about his foibles.
I jumped out of my window onto what I thought was the soft grass, my knees cracked as I bent them, landing with a thud. I shook it off and walked around the line of bushes between her house and mine. She didn’t attack me in school today.
I looked around the bushes to her yard.
“Shh you’ll wake my ma!” I said and I started walking around the bush crouched down so my head couldn’t be seen.
“Oh shush,” Roozbeh said while he and Luke popped their heads from out of the trash barrels.
“You stink,” I said.
Luke wore a bandana over his nose and mouth. “Affirmative,” he saluted lazily.
“Cap’m, I spy ye a fair maiden, yonder window, twelve o’clock!” Roozbeh whispered.
We stood at attention, I huddled near the bushes behind the barrels.
“It’s Annette!” I said without whispering.
“Get down dammit!” Roozbeh pushed on my head.
She looked both ways out her window, then she look down. A rope ladder swung out from the bottom of the window and her head disappeared.
“She coming down!” Luke said.
“Cap’m! Retreat!” Roozbeh gestured with official battle hand warning to get out of the barrels.
Her legs popped out the window and timidly took the rungs. Then her full body. She was wearing overalls.
Roozbeh and Luke gave up on me and ran to my yard but I stood very still. This was it.
“Annette!” I said.
She jolted, the rungs of the rope ladder thudding against the house loudly.
“Agh, no.” I pulled on my hair and scratched.
She set eyes on me and run off the ladder, slapping me across the face. “Damnit James Madison, do you have any idea what a light sleeper my Pa is? Do you? And what the hell are you doing in my yard?”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just – I just- I was out ya know – and then I saw you- so I waited. Why are you wearing-”
She put her warm hand over my mouth. “Shush, come this way.”
Annette lead me by the hand to her back yard which lay at the edge of the woods in the corner adjacent to my yard. A small gap where her fence of bushes thinned and the boards in my wooden fence were rotted off highlighted a little door between our yards I had never known about before.
“In here,” she said and slid into the shack.
She pulled me with her and we stood in the dark cramped space. I bumped my calf against her dad’s ride on tractor and it scraped the skin under my trousers.
She turned a camping light on and closed the shutters.
“Hi,” Annette said, she leaned up against the workbench and crossed her arms.
“Hi,” I said, and dug my hands into my pockets.
“Why were you looking at my window?” she said.
“Why were you climbing out of your window?”
“Because I like going out at night to—to be out,” she huffed.
“Because!” I got a scowl from her. “Now answer my question.”
“I was with Roozbeh and Luke, and they were hiding in your trash barrels waiting for me.” Oh sweet Jesus, that sounded horrible.
“Roozbeh Badie and Luke Winger were hiding in my trash barrels? What the hell were they doing?”
“Well we play this sort of game where Luke’s the captain and—“
“You were playing a game in my trash barrels? You have got to be….” She let out a sigh. “Whatever, keep going.” She pushed some loose hair away from her face. “Uh, you’re staring,” she said eyebrows raised.
“Oh, yeah, sorry, um spaced out. So Luke’s the captain, Roozbeh is Chief mate and I’m Third mate. And we were on a mission, I think, can’t remember why.”
“What’s Third mate?” Annette asked and looked at her dads tractor between us.
“It’s the guy that does the navigation stuff on a boat,” I said. “He’s the one that gets to drive the ship and command people where to pull the rigging when he has to do a maneuver in the water.”
“Oh right, cool.”
“Actually, I’m pretty sure we have to complete our mission, you wanna come?” Jesus Christ she is gonna think I’m like a fifth grader. I can’t believe-
“Sure,” she said and started around the tractor towards me.
“Oh. Okay,” I turned and we bumped into each other trying to get out of the shack.
“Sorry!” I said as I accidently pushed her into the other door, rattling it.
“Ouch, you jerk.” She pushed my shoulder and I hit the other door and tumbled outside. I got up and brushed myself off.
“I really am-”
“Shut up, now where’s your ship?”
I straightened and soluted without thinking. “Aye aye, this way.”
She looked at me sideways and shook her head, but followed me.
We walked across the street and through the neighbor’s yard over to the other street parallel to ours, entering into Luke’s back yard. His tree house had a small light coming out of it.
“Up there,” I said and pointed to the ladder.
She started climbing. After she went about 4 rungs up, I started to climb behind her.
“A hoy!” Luke said out one of the windows. He gasped. “You brought her!”
“It’s bad luck to have a woman on board!” Roozbeh popped out of the opposite window.
“Too bad,” she said “I’m already up.” She brushed off her overalls and went through the door into the small house. I went in behind her.
She sat on the bench in the corner and I took my chair around the stool we used as a table.
“Now gentlemen… and lady, this is a trust test.” Luke had a paper napkin sticking out of his left nostril. “I’m going to light this, and the first one to blow it out before the fire catches my nose will be the new captain!”
Roozbeh and I sat on the edges of our seats but Annette burst into laughter on her bench. “You have got to be kidding me. You are gonna burn your face off!” she said.
“Not if Roozbeh and Jmad do their part!”
“What if they don’t?” she said.
“They will, one of them will,” he adjusted the paper napkin in his nose.
“What if I do it?”
“You’re a girl! You can’t be captain,” Luke said. “Only men can be captain.”
“We’ll see.” She sat back, and waited. “You gonna light it or am I gonna have to?”
“I got it, I got it.” Luke flicked the lighter, but his hand shook. He flicked the lighter on the napkin, it caught fast and started burning. “I’m not finking out, promise.”
I sat still, waiting to grab it. Did I want to be captain? Third mate isn’t exactly a powerful position on a boat, but a third mate who has mutinied is a dangerous person on a ship.
“Grab it! Someone!” Luke was sweating, and clenching his fists.
Roozbeh lunged, but I took my chance too and both of us butted heads and toppled over the stool between us.
Luke shrieked and Annette pulled out the flamey napkin and stomped on it. “There, I’m captain, now go get some ice and vaseline Luke. You’re all show and no go,” she said and went for the door.
“You can’t be captain!!” Luke wailed and cradled his burnt nose.
“Beat feet sucker!” Roozbeh yelled. He looked back at Luke and saw through his fingers at the burn. “Damn that napkin really laid a patch on you man.”
“Stop your lip flapping and go ape on that girl!” Luke yelled.
“Sorry man, but I ain’t wasting my time on that paper shaker,” Roozbeh said.
I looked at the ashes on the floor. “I’ll find her.”
I climbed down the ladder and saw her run through the woods. I ran after her and easily caught up.“Hey, stop!” I said. She didn’t.
“I’m not on the hook for this one, Jmad, now go home.”
“I am going, we both have to go this way.”
She slowed down then, breathing heavily. I steadied myself to her speed and we walked in silence till we were in front of our houses.
“I’ll see you at school,” I said.
She looked at me in a way my sister would when she thought I did something stupid. “Goodnight James Madison.”
“Goodnight Annette Parker.”