I’m a realist.
Scratch that. I’m a nihilist, but I tend to keep it to myself. I don’t look down on the people closest to me who believe in God, and I don’t have any interest in expressing or defending my differing views.
I wholeheartedly don’t care.
Straying from spiritual beliefs, I’m not even a strong advocate for the soft sciences, but admitting such a stance renders a heavily inked stamp on the forehead that I’m ignorant.
Probably. I don’t recall claiming to be a humanist. At least I’m not the shade of ignorant that denies history; the arithmetic of social science.
Regardless, I still think about you. My mind still turns to memories of you while I sleep, and my waking mind clings.
After all this fucking time, I still miss you and wish that I had done things differently to keep you in my life in whatever small roll you were willing to take. I suppose it’s a harbored regret of mine…the time I wasted. I’ve come to view you as my sadness totem.
Remembering how I felt about you, and acknowledging that it still hurts me to openly love my memories. To still mistake it for loving you. I want to proclaim that I still love you, but I know it’s not true. I have no idea who you are now. I had very little real idea then. I know that I still wish the best for you; that real you who exists entirely separate from the encapsulation of my warped perceptions of you.
I can still say I miss your presence in my life, even if I can’t say I love you.
It used to disorient me; this deep, hopeless desire to do things differently…to change what’s already done and gone…to keep what I can’t have. Never had.
I would wake up in the past, but my mind is wired to be so fucking practical that it would never let me stay. No. I have real obligations that drag me back to the present and my own reality, but in the beginning when the past wasn’t so distant…I spent hours awake in a time and place that wasn’t real.
I was very, very sick…but only in retrospect.
I used to have to fight with myself to reestablish reality. I don’t really know how to explain it. I would go to sleep and wake up reset to the wrong place and time or something would set me off…a smell or a series of sounds…or a specific temperature on the breeze. It was kind of like that moment we’ve all had when we’re so used to going to sleep in our own bed and then happen to wake up somewhere else like a friend’s house or a hotel and it takes a second or two to remember and reorient ourselves…but I would sit in that moment much longer, and I knew where I was because I’d been there before and still desperately wanted to be there.
Over and over.
It wasn’t always the same moment where my mind would reset, but it was always related to you. Even when my rational thoughts would set to work and bring me back…I had access to where my mind had just been, and I wanted to stay, but instead of feeling like I was living it, it was stale and stagnant and separate again like standard memories are.
A huge part of me wanted to be sick
and stay sick
and the process of coming out of it was so fucking immensely crushing every time. There were days I couldn’t work. I remember one day I called out, and my boss asked me if everything was all right. He thought someone in my family had died. There were days I cried through work. There were days I’d drive three hundred miles away and snap back into the present moment freezing cold sitting in the dark at a gravel pullout staring at a river I’d never seen before…and I’d just…find my way back to where ever I happened to be living at the time.
What else was I going to do? I accepted the moments my mind offered as reality, but they oscillated and conflicted.
I kept you. I kept you in my life for a long time, and you let me. Not the way I wanted, but you were there.
I have no idea what you saw from the clear side of me losing my fucking mind. I know I shared it. I know I did, because I bound you up on both sides and blurred that line…and you seemed so frustrated with me. You cut our interactions down to nothing.
You hung up on me.
That’s when I knew, the night I couldn’t even talk, but I called…and you were really there, and then just as quickly registered as upset, angry and…gone.
Letting you go has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I don’t want to bother you. The real you. I don’t want to dwell in delusions that distort and replace you. I don’t want to forget the brief and simple memories I have from a long fucking time ago relating to a shared moment in the past with you.
When Dennis drunkenly said you seemed like a cool dude one night while we were all painting color fields in the painting studio, something sad and lost in me blipped from my mind and displaced onto you.