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Friday, August 08, 2008


There's that moment when you're standing there and you wish everything would go real quiet, and the universe would realize that you had something to say. And you want someone to pull it out of you, and you wish you knew that a million ears were waiting to be reborn by the words that you're fishing for inside a clenched mind. But you know that the words that you want so badly to say (you've never wanted so badly to say anything before in your life) are the words that will mean the least to the people for whom you care the most. Things like "don't give up," and "I wish you'd stay," still sound like you're holding yourself back, or not trying hard enough, or not crying hard enough--whereas you know you have nothing more to withhold, and you've tried everything you could think of. You're just not so full of really good ideas for a time like this; you've never really been in this place of such wrenched emotional responsibility before, and have no idea what one is supposed to say. And when it comes down to it, you realize the most important words are the most simple. Here, all your life you were giving meaning to the wrong words, and now all the words you have that come close to expressing how you feel are the ones that sound chewed up, spit out, and trampled upon. Now you're devastated, because you wanted to be strong, and you wanted to be here so that you could say the things that only you could say...and you have so little to say.
There's never much to say in response to a barely-beating heart, a bitter regret, a slamming door. All within one moment you feel rejected, condemned, responsible, hopeless, cowardly, incapable...and you have two seconds to come to grips with it. You know you can't let yourself do the talking until you've learned your lesson, because you don't want to hear yourself repeating the same excuses, and you only have a second before they're out of ear-shot. So you panic. Do you talk a lot? Do you just freeze? You do something that you'll inevitably regret.
Usually it takes the train ride home before you really understand everything, and then you have a million things that you think you could've, should've said. But then it happens over again another time and you flip through those million things and realize none of those are sufficient either.
Or sometimes you love so hard that you don't let things come to a point because you know it would kill you. If you ever came to a place where you felt like you had to sum up how you felt in one moment, you know you would never be able to compete with a pounding heart, a racing mind, and a body that is gasping for air--so you avoid it with all that's in you. They'll never know that, if it came down to it, you would spill out as many words as you could think of, mostly words that didn't make sense, just to make them stay. And if you're someone that usually makes sense, this is trying as hard as you'll ever know how.
Or sometimes it's saying, "Go then." Because you hate yourself so bad for hurting her that you think she'll be better off.
Or sometimes it's going silent and saying absolutely nothing at all. Mostly because nothing seems sufficient, and you respect him too much to try to excuse yourself back into his heart.
Whatever the underlying reason, and whatever the hugely inexplicable emotion, you can't be dignified and sophisticated in love. You'll never know enough to love someone the way they want to be loved. There's never an easy way to say it, but people will always say "That's easy for you to say."No one will ever understand exactly how much love you have for them, or where it comes from, or why you manifest it the way you do. At the end of the day, when you've gone from here to there, held your head in your hands, and cried a little, you realize that all you could ever really say is,
"Don't give up."
"I wish you'd stay."


Blogger Florence said...

Jess, I deleted your comment because I have a feeling you may read it some other time and regret having said it, because it made so little sense, and the only sense I could squeeze out of it sounded more or less offensive, and I know you don't mean to say mean things.
I love you!!!

8/10/2008 11:47 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

you express yourself like Cindy fits a shoe - perfectly.....GBY Florence I love you!

9/15/2008 8:24 AM  

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