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I've made a lot of bad choices in my life and traveled down some very rough roads. I gave so much love to people who didn't ever feel the need (or want) to reciprocate it. Pushing my heart toward them, I said, "please take this, I want you to have it, please, it's yours," but all they could do was shrug and walk away.
It's not something I regret doing, and as time went on, I came to expect it. Those shrugs became a part of me. I knew that I deserved more, but would never admit it to myself.
I used to yearn for some sort of higher power. I wanted to know that some god(s) existed, that there was a reason for all of this. My desire for a supreme being was so great that it was everywhere in me -- in my words, my art, and even my dreams. I went to different churches and tried so hard to believe, but the positive energy was just that -- positive energy. I can't tell you exactly when I gave up on a search for God, but I
say that I haven't made an effort in what seems like forever.
She was at his apartment 30 minutes after he called, ringing his bell and holding a fresh gallon of milk from the local liquor store.
"You didn't have to do that," he said.
"Well, you said you didn't have any." She knew this was a game, but played along with it anyway.
She sat on his bed while he played video games, lightly touching his shoulder, running her fingertips over his earlobe. Later, as they were going to bed, she spooned him as usual.
"You spend so much time with your back to me," she said.
He didn't turn around.
No one can ever leave Milwaukee for good. People leave, and then people come back. I've tried to get away for years, but all I can think about is how great it feels to drive into the city via 794, seeing the entire downtown area spread out before me. I will never be able to let Milwaukee go. Though cold and uninviting for far too many months of the year, she is my home. Her frozen lake cracks underneath me silently, willing me on. By the time I know I will fall in, it's far too late to turn back.
There are faint beats playing from eighteen stories and some blocks away, so loudly that I can hear them through my small bedroom window. Tonight I've got my shade pulled down, blocking out the massive headache that is LIGHTS! everywhere. The aural pollution will not be stifled, though, so I try my best to ignore it by concentrating on the hum of my computer, the chaos of my thoughts. Four months from today, I will be free to leave. Free to go back to a world where I actually understand most things; where my I.D. doesn't call me an 'alien'.
I looked inside of that room and thought,
people died here. People were beaten and tortured and killed.
The idea made me feel dejected -- it would be one thing if we were done with these injustices as people, but we're not. We're so far from being done with them that I can't even see an end in sight. So I stood there for a few minutes out of respect for all of those people who were far braver than I'll ever be. I tried my best to feel them, but there was nothing. Only my thoughts whispering back at me.
My first drinking experience was three shots of tequila in Japan. I was 24 years old, spending a few days in Fukuoka with a guy who was (of course) no good for me. I'd been ready to drink for some time, just waiting for the right moment. The bartenders were friendly (though our bill ended up being nearly $100, which I paid for in full) and I was feeling lonely. Nearly falling down when I stood up from my stool was an interesting experience. Those drinks didn't make my problems go away, but they did make me smile a lot.
There are people I wish I could find again. I would like to say to them, "I'm sorry. Please forgive me," or "how could you do that to me?" I wish I could force explanations from some of them. I was always a pro at forgiving, but I never really learned how to forget. I remember everything. Every time somebody was broken. Every time my melodramatic teenage heart thought it was falling in love. I want to say to these people, "I loved you once, for a minute," but their names and faces seem to exist only in my mind.
I have a hard time motivating myself to do anything when I'm wallowing in my music. There's nothing like making a mix of the saddest collection of songs you can find and sitting back to let them just roll over you. Singing along quietly, feeling the lyrics and melodies in the pit of your stomach, letting that hollow feeling become a bath of familiarity around you. Each song has a memory, or scores of them, and you can live the most important parts of your life again in a matter of minutes or hours. You just have to press play.
It's starting to get cold outside. I put my hand against the window tonight to see if I should wear a jacket, and was surprised by the frigidity of it. Cold nights are the loneliest ones, but there is something satisfying in that loneliness, as if it is completely full. I long for a person with whom I can share a bed and watch crappy television shows. I watch my breath escape from my body and think that it should be shared with someone else. Turning out all of the lights in my home, I feel complete in my loneliness.
The bonds of humanity are amazing. There I was tonight, sitting at a table with six Korean men (most of whom were at least twice my age), laughing and having beer. They were great! Fantastic, even! That's the first time I've felt really embraced by Korean people in months. There's nothing better than being doted on by a bunch of sweet, harmless guys. They said that they would e-mail me about tequila and karaoke at a future date, so perhaps the fun isn't over yet. I might just get through these next four months without a total breakdown, after all.
I've watched people destroy themselves through toxins. I've been friends with speed poppers, potheads and drunks. I saw a 21-year old guy live his life through vodka and go to jail because he beat the mother of his child. When you find out that someone you once spent a great day with died of a heroin overdose in a Mexican village, you start wondering what the hell is going on with the world.
I tell myself that I'm drinking now because I want to forget my troubles, but I know that's not the reason. I'm drinking to martyr myself.
"I never understood why you liked me," he said.
She liked him because his eyes were bottomless pits leading to heaven or hell. Maybe both. She liked him because he didn't smoke or do drugs, but did ride bicycles. His unapologetic moans during their time in bed together made her feel worthwhile. She loved his passion and creativity and the fact that he read non-fiction books for enjoyment purposes. She could take him to a museum or zoo and have a great time, because he was never just pretending to be interested.
"You felt like home to me," she responded.
Laura and I sat down at a booth in the dingy 24-hour diner. It was late, or early. Some very drunk guy came over and sat down next to Laura, his face red and his intentions far from innocent.
"You girls are real pretty," he slurred, as Laura slowly inched away from him. He was small, like some sort of freakish baby who'd grown to be almost the size of a real man.
I stared at him, unsure about what to say. A minute later, an obese woman walked in and started screaming at him about cheating on her.
I've been absolutely livid for more than 24 hours now, so instead of writing about what's making me so angry (which I would really like to
think about for a few minutes), I will give you (the anonymous "audience" that probably doesn't actually exist at all) a recipe (please note that tofu isn't always "gross"):
Buy extra-firm tofu. Slice into 1/4" segments. Marinate overnight in the following: sun-dried tomato olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil, lemon juice. Fry to perfection. Eat plain, or on a sandwich with mayonnaise (though vegenaise is better).
No, seriously. Experience it.
Distance relationships take a certain type of commitment. There is no watching movies together on cold nights, cuddled up under blankets and gently touching thighs. No little kisses on foreheads to say, "this is how much I care about you." Those easy ways to show affection aren't possible over large distances, so the people involved must come up with other ways which are not physical. They must give words without pushing each other up onto unrealistic pedestals. If one is not looking toward the future with these types of relationships, they're not usually worth it. There is too much pain.
It's so hard to do anything worthwhile when all you
to do is sleep. I sleep nine hours a night and I'm
exhausted. Is this because I'm expending my energy teaching? Is it just depression? I slept about fourteen hours a night my freshman year of high school. My mom told me that she wanted me to go to a psychologist, but quieted when I laughed and said we didn't have enough money. Sophomore year was only two or three hours a night, and I was miserable that whole time. Is this just high school all over again?
You say that I shouldn't talk to mutual friends about it, and I don't. I say that I'm sad, but I talk only about my job and environment. I never mention your name or even allude to you. You say that you understand my need to vent, but that I should be wary of the outlet. Where am I to go? I don't have any other friends. I can't just go and make new ones. I'm supposed to be able to vent to you, remember? You're supposed to be here for me. Instead you are the reason for my melancholy.
People sometimes say that where you live doesn't change anything; every place is the same after a while. This is not true. Each city has a completely different feeling for me. Some of them make me incredibly happy, offering adventure and friendship and comfort. Others suck the very spirit out of me, turning me into a person I never intended to be. I wouldn't say that location is everything, but it's definitely
. Right now I'm missing the upper midwest with its big smiles and blue-collar atmosphere. Cheap homey bars and seasonal depression, good and bad. I want it.
It was our first date. I met him at a bar, and we spent a short amount of time trying to talk over the loud music. I ran my fingertips over the tattoos on his triceps. We walked through the snow to his apartment, and he managed to successfully keep his roommate's pit bull away from me, just as he did during all of my subsequent visits. That night, we watched Buffalo '66. He must've known we would work when I said I liked the movie. Our first kiss happened as the final scene finished. The anticipation was so pure.
No matter how many times it happens, that first touch of hands with someone is always like a little electrical current running through the body. It makes one feel 15 again, whether they are 20 or 60. The rampant anticipation of what is to come; the pure exhilaration that is human touch.
Will there be a kiss? Is this it? What does it mean; those few millimeters of your skin against mine?
The beauty and wonder that one can find in that sort of unknown is a totally different beast than that which is found in something comfortable and constant.
I go through headache periods often. I first started suffering from migraines in 4th grade. Coming home from school, I merely collapsed on the couch because everything hurt so much that I couldn't stand the idea of actually existing. They've been on and off since then, but I've been lucky in Korea. I have some medicine here with me for those few days when it's actually unbearable, but I haven't had a lot of them. Right now, however, I've had a monster of a headache for two or three days straight, and nothing is helping. I want my brain back.
I'm not happy where I am right now. I'm done with my job, my location, and my current situation. Over it. I've spent the past month incredibly depressed, but have found myself swinging between that and ridiculously happy for a few days. I have something to look forward to when I go home! Or rather, some
. Someone to look forward to, and I think things will be very, very good. I have faith in this, even if I shouldn't. I go to sleep and wake up with a smile because I know how full my heart will be in February.
The internet as media has really started to reveal how horrible us humans can be. People tune in to watch others get beheaded. They stare wide-eyed as a woman gets stoned to death by a group of men who think that stoning a woman to death is perfectly acceptable. We can say that we've been desensitized to violence by entertainment, but that's not what this is. People want to see pain. They want to see death. They want to know what that last breath looks like, for real. No Hollywood glaze, just reality. The world is full of monsters.
I'm going to spend the next three days in the countryside, climbing up mountains and walking along beaches. Trying to reclaim some love for this place. My next two or three entries will be typed up simultaneously when I return home, though written while I am away. I'm hoping to find some sort of peace; to get away from people for a little while. I want to see nature and walk through forests of leaves changing colour with the autumn winds. Nothing sounds better than waking up early to watch the sun rise over the ocean. Nothing except going home.
The trees were weeping colours all the way here. We passed by scores of gun-wielding uniforms; boys forced to serve their time in the military. They made the beautiful countryside seem like the location of some threatening coup. Covered in camouflage, they did their jobs without even thinking about them. They weren't thinking about some dictatorship to the north, or spies coming down to steal all that they hold dear. Perhaps they were remembering the look in some pretty girl's eyes, or the last thing they said to their brother before they left home. Those guns are human, all.
The mountain was beautiful. Reds and yellows trickling down like little waterfalls, whispering secrets of ancient wisdom. It would have been absolutely perfect had it not been for the hordes of people in every possible direction. No one should every have to wait in a line to climb a mountain. It's a shame when natural places turn into amusement parks. I'm hiking up this truly awesome rock, and the joy is being broken up by garish restaurants and children who feel the need to shout every word. What happened to enjoying peace and quiet? I suppose I am getting old.
Two and a half days is an eternity to go without contacting someone when you've been talking to them every single day over the past month. I shouldn't be this antsy, but something that I've wanted for more than two years has finally happened, and I can't wait to see what it's like in person. Will it be even more passionate than it was before? Is that possible? Things seem to get better every time we see each other. It's like we've formed some neverending symphony with highs and lows, crescendos and all. Together we make the most beautiful music.
10:00 and I'm wasted. Not drunk wasted, but exhausted. I'd be tired after doing any job for 8 hours, but teaching just pushes me over the edge. I'm talking loudly, trying to keep up my energy, trying not to get sick despite the fact that I'm surrounded by university students who don't take care of themselves, attempting to
make them excited about a subject that they probably wouldn't be taking if they didn't have to...I'd like to find a way to sleep through the next three months while still adequately doing my job and getting paid. Any suggestions?
I was a few days away from turning fifteen the first time I kissed someone. He came from Tennessee to visit me, because even back then I was an internet geek. We were a few blocks from my house, sitting on a bench near a small playground. He leaned in, and so did I, and suddenly there was this warm wet thing pressing against my mouth. I thought,
this is it?
The kiss was of the French variety -- sloppy, full of tongue, and all over the place. It didn't feel right.
It got better with time, as most things do.
It's funny how things can fizzle out so quickly when you were once sure that they would stick around forever. There are people I haven't talked to in years who I still think about on a regular basis, but all the feelings I had for my most recent ex seem to have vanished into thin air. Distance relationships make the forgetting either easier or harder: it's easy to forget something when you never really knew it, yet it can take forever to forget all the things that could've been. Perhaps I just don't dream as big as I used to.
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