I’ve never half loved you.
Everything with you is whole.
To half love a person would be to give half the heart,
I never had that chance.
Each half of my heart held you together.
It created all of you from nothing.
But I only half loved myself during this time.
I half loved the summer in the same way.
When the red sun
Brightened your eyes
My heart fumbled
And gave itself over to you,
Leaving only a fraction left for me.
On nights like this I think of him
By nights like this, I mean every other night
And by think of him I mean lament
I mean mourn
I mean smile while I’m doing something else
Smile to myself while I’m showering
and drinking chamomile tea
and playing Animal Crossing
and blinking slowly and cleaning my room
His name is a hum
It’s a song I can’t get out of my head
The rhythm thrums against my brain, tapping on every nerve at all times
I am the pollen of the echinacea
and he is the wind or the bumblebee or the rain or whatever other handsome and lovely thing that shakes me from my core.
My post this week is a continuation of “You. In Many Parts”. I had fun writing this one, though the subject matter seems bleak. This piece is unfinished (as every writer says), but I think it perfectly sums up my feelings towards this “you” and thus, must be published!
2. When you look at me, you don’t really look at me. You look through me.
You don’t look through me like I’m a mirror or a window or a ghost or something helplessly poetic like that, but you look through me like I’m eyeglasses. Like you’re happy that I’m there so you can use me to see things more clearly.
And when I take my clothes off for you there’s surprise in your eyes. It’s like you’re seeing me for the first time, but really you’re not. You’ve seen me a million times before this, in a million different iterations before this, only just now you’re seeing my body.
And is this how it is? Do you really have to see my body to know that I have one? Just like you think you’d have to see my brain to know that I have that too?
I have existed before you for many years. Centuries, it seems, and in many universes. I am a constant for you. Always here and ready to make myself an extension to you. I’m your extra limb in this life. In another life perhaps I’m the chains on your tires. In the next, the spare blanket beneath your bed. And in your favorite life, maybe I’m your mother, loving you without conditions or expectations.
Don’t I exist for you? Don’t I exist in real space? Don’t I prove to you everyday that I deserve you? That I deserve your gaze? Your soul? Don’t I give you my mind every night and my skin every morning? Don’t you beg for it? It feels that way, at least.
Writers are specially made individuals. There are writers who feel the need to tell the story of a young boy gaining a magical gift and fighting dragons and writers who tell the story of an old woman who has lost her husband and is trying not to lose herself. There are so many books on this planet and poems and rhymes and short stories about the human experience as writers have compiled it into words.
We’re different from movie directors who tell stories through the power of a visual, and we’re close to, but not quite musicians who tell a story through a beat. As a story lover, I believe all forms of storytelling are fantastic, but of course, as a writer specifically, I find that there’s something particularly special in writing words that touch the soul. When I’m in a moment of great emotion, words usually escape me. There are only feelings swirling and bouncing up against my brain. But later on when I can begin to clearly understand those feelings and I find the words to describe it, I feel fulfilled. Like I’m validating that emotion to the highest degree. I’m allowing myself to exist in the reality of language.
In my experience, writers are very emo! It seems like we all have this center of gravity rooted in our heartspace. We are tapped into feeling everything as we are constantly seeking words for our floating thoughts, and because of that, we can be dramatic.
I think that being emotional is good. Feeling everything is good. Writers exist in a space that is half earth and half dream. We are here, but more importantly, we are not. We are also inside of ourselves. We are always making up inside of ourselves, for the outside pieces that lack. We are always “trying to make sense”. But it’s hard to make a lot of sense when feelings often seem senseless.
And when we write all of these things and publish them we just want someone out there to read it and think “Yes! I get it!” We want to know that you can see us. Our half life between Earth and dream state. You can see us here.
In other words, writers work hard, so readers don’t have to.
A little different from my other pieces on here, I have a collection of saved works entitled “You” that I have written about many “you’s” in my life. I write these pieces in order to sort out my feelings about someone and better understand my emotions toward them. Often, what I think of someone initially, isn’t really who they are. And sometimes the subjects for these pieces aren’t really people at all, but only the image of the person with the personality I made up in my head. These pieces are mostly streams of my consciousness and make little to no sense without context, but they’re clarifying for me. They’re sort of like little letters that I would mail to the person or read to their face uninterrupted if it weren’t for my own cowardice. I figured that I would start publishing these here because maybe you all have similar feelings about similar people and maybe you can relish in that with me 🙂
1. I was surprised when it was you I saw at the door.
I mean, in a way, I have always been waiting for you.
Yes, I knew you would come and greet me. My friends had long told me that you existed and that you would be here to take me away or make me cry or something awful and terrific like that. You would take your hat and coat off and set them on the rack. And perhaps you would put your hands in your pockets and watch me from across the foyer.
And I imagined that I would be excited to see you. Or that I would feel, butterflies in the very least.
But what I felt, when you actually appeared, wasn’t that. It was the absence of breath and speech. It was air swirling between us without purpose or direction. It was empty.
You just weren’t what I expected.
Your hand was warm in my cold one, yes, but your eyes were all wrong. And your hair wasn’t done right. And you wore all the wrong clothes. All wrong. But you were there at my door, waiting for me. Yes, it was only me there for you. I was relieved to see you but not excited. Not the way I thought that I would be, don’t you see that?
And you! Relieved to see me too, but not surprised. The expression on your face was downright bored. You wore no hat but you adjusted the watch on your hand. Had you been waiting for the right moment to turn and leave? Had you preferred the abyss to me?
Can’t you see that I’m not what you expected either?
But there was hope in my chest for the future. Hope that time would be slow and that we would grow in, rather than up. Perhaps we still can.
Much of my thinking time is spent on food. I think about eating food, smelling food, baking food. I think about food dripping off my fork onto the plate. I think about food filling the hole in my stomach and satisfying me completely.
And then I talk about food. God, I could talk about food for ages. All bakers know that there are these little intricate sciences to baking things that are so detailed and nerdy and annoying to remember but essential to the recipe, and it’s so entertaining to talk about.
Like, in order to make lemon curd, one must use cold butter pats. Not room temperature, otherwise the curd won’t be thick enough. Not the entire stick at once, otherwise the butter won’t melt in time and the consistency won’t be perfect. About 10 nice and cold butter pats to mix straight into your thick lemon sugar mixture.
And then of course you put it in a jar and you leave it on the counter for a few hours. Don’t put it in the fridge right away, otherwise it can mold. After a night in the fridge your lemon curd is thick, rich, and perfect on cake or toast.
Lemons, sugar, butter. All the ingredients needed for a perfect recipe. Learning the recipe ruined me. I can eat it all the time, now. Smother it on everything. I wish I could make vats of it to keep in my house just in case of a lemon curd emergency.
The tangy flavor that hits the back of my tongue followed by the sweetness that plays on the tip is unmatched.
I use Alton Brown’s lemon curd recipe. That man is a genius and if I keep listening to him, my food addiction can only grow.
When I look at my life from up close, everything seems very important. The most important. Getting projects done and having set time-lines and appointments. Sometimes it feels like my life is this really big thing, like a 30 story tower of Jenga pieces that I have to keep from falling on my face.
Sometimes life feels like a hamster wheel. Just keep running. I’m not getting anywhere but when I got off I’ll feel accomplished… maybe?
More often than not, life feels like an ocean and I’m a krill. As a krill, a small organism that whales eat, I may encounter a dangerous foe, like said whale, or a friend, like a clownfish*. Or maybe I’ll swim for ages and ages and see nothing and even wonder to myself why and if I wanna swim at all.
But when I look at my life from afar, I see that it’s much smaller. It’s not a tower of Jenga pieces or a hamster wheel or an ocean. It’s just a life. A life full of heartbreak and love. Running and sitting. Talking and sleeping. Reading and Listening. Crying and laughing. That is what a life is. Just a life.
And sometimes my soul is passing by another soul and we are both living and breathing the same air and that is all. We are literal. We are living our lives. There are no guide books or rules. All we have to do is be in the moment. We have to feel.
I think in metaphors and similes because sometimes it’s hard for me to process reality simply as it is. And it is. Simple, in fact.
*let it be known that I have no knowledge of the friendliness of clownfish towards krill. All my clownfish knowledge comes from the 2003 Disney film, Finding Nemo, and I can only make the assumption, based off of that movie, that clownfish would be lovely friends to have.
If we were shooting stars we would be airplanes. We would look like we were almost about to touch each other in the sky, but in reality, we’d be thousands of miles away, not even knowing the other exists. And if we were shooting stars we wouldn’t be stars at all. We’d be clouds. Drifting slowly past one another and gazing back to wistfully watch each other fade into rain. If we were shooting stars we would be marbles. Tumbling and rolling past each other over concrete. We would bump and slide and escape the hands of all who attempted to reach us. And if we were shooting stars we would be infinite. We would burn and fall and we would stay imprinted on the brains of all who watched us. We would never meet. We would know of the other but never of our destiny. Our fates. We would watch each other rip a seam in the sky, disrupt time and vision, and alter outer space and it would be perfect. And if we were shooting stars, you would be my wish.
I don’t remember who I was before I fell in love with a man.
That isn’t to say that there had never been a me who hadn’t loved a man, because surely I had felt things towards men that I simply confused for love. And I was certainly a 3 year old and a 4 year old and a 5 year old who cared more about ice cream sandwiches and watching figure skating than anything else in the world, but that is to say that I don’t remember those moments fully.
When I look back at my younger self in elementary school, the one who wore braids and barrettes and pink layered skorts with Skechers, I remember the first boy that I was in love with. We’ll call him B. I had a crush on B from the moment I first saw him at recess in 2007 and I loved him until the fall of 2012.
In 2012 I fell in love with V. He changed my life. He showed me what it meant to love someone with my entire underdeveloped soul. He was my first true love and heartbreak. And he was a complete bag of garbage. This time of my life was when I learned the word “unrequited”. It’s when I first realized that men could want your body, your company, and even the words straight from your throat but never actually want you. I stopped loving him in 2018.
And in 2018 there was J. And nothing has been the same since.
Here we ignore all the little men, the ones who I only half loved in between phases of my life. All this love, each one more beautiful and glamorous than the next, it takes its toll. Maybe you would think that after loving so hard once, you love a little easier the next time. But that’s not true. It’s like your heart takes the first beating and it only gets stronger after that.
I used to think the problem was falling in love in the first place. But it was never the falling. It was always the losing. Losing parts of myself within someone else. Losing in love. Trusting strangers to carry the heavy parts of me that even I found too weighty to lift most days.
I’m hoping to find those pieces of myself again and put them back. I want to feel all of that love in my soul again. Every stomach swoop and stolen glance and nail biting, cheek numbing smile on my face, it was an expression of my joy. This time I want to feel that for myself.
Small towns are romanticized for good reason. There’s something charming about existing in such a small space. Where everyone knows your name and your true self is reserved for just a few people and some dirt roads.
Elizabeth is a small farm town in Colorado and homes only about 1,000 people. Less than my high school graduating class.
There are barely any streetlights, plenty of cows and pigs, and rolling green hills for miles. I visited Elizabeth for the first time last year to explore the famous “The Patch at Elizabeth” to get a pumpkin with my friends, and I swear you can tell the difference between the local Elizabethans and the rest of us. Levi jeans in small towns just aren’t the same as my Levi’s. Small town Levi’s sit different on the legs. They know more stories, they hold more truth.
The air in Elizabeth is crisp. It doesn’t have a cold bite to it, but it does have a smooth edge. It reminds you what air is meant to taste like.