Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sing in the rain
It never rains properly anymore
It doesn’t pour out its everlasting soul into the dark beautiful earth
It just kind of spills a little water
You can’t roll up your jeans and take off your shoes and socks and dance around in a foot of water crying “GOD SAID TO NOA THERE’S GOING TO BE A FLOODY FLOODY”
Because the water’s not deep enough
How the sky won’t cry
You’d think it would at least sympathize with our plight
Cry over our self-damnation
But I suppose it’s gotten over us
After we’ve spit all that nasty stuff into it, I guess it realized that we’re abusive
It decided it wouldn’t shed any more tears over us
Maybe a couple here and there
For those of us who try to help it
I suppose it’s kind of mean to miss a demonstration of another’s pain
But I do
I want the sky to weep all over me
Even though I’ve never run nude in the fresh drops, I liked the fact that I had the option if I wanted to
Sometimes I feel like doing backflips
Even though I can’t
I can imagine doing backflips nude in the rain
Even if it never happens
I want it to be possible
It’s like the woman hoping that you can do it, even if her opportunity has gone by
Just knowing that it can be done is comforting
Not to the sky of course
Because it knows we want it to cry
Maybe we didn’t break its heart at all
Maybe it loved the sun
And the sun doesn’t go away because it’s raining
It rains because the sun goes away
Maybe it couldn’t take all the uncertainty
Of having the sun be there during the day
But having to spend those long nights alone
Maybe the sun would be offended by the ozone layer
Seeing the sky trying to use protection against it
It resents the barrier
Maybe they just couldn’t work it out
So they decided to be friends
And that’s why the sky doesn’t bother to cry anymore
It can be friends with the sun
And if the sun doesn’t show, that’s okay
It can just fog up
But where does that leave us?

So I was thinking last night, about this last relationship, now that I’m over the initial shock of the end of it. I think I understand it now. Much as my girl friends all want to tell me men are assholes or whatever, I’m damn sure that wasn’t it. I think it really was me who ruined this relationship. I remember him asking, “Do you think we’re going too fast?” My answer then was no, but it worried me when he asked the first time because it basically implied that he thought we were. I didn’t really get it until after he broke up with me, why he thought that. I was too caught up in me to see what he was talking about.

We were going too fast. Straight up, that’s it. Somewhere along the line, my words about not pushing him and not trying to be high maintenance stopped having any actual meaning, because I wasn’t really thinking about it- hell, I wasn’t really thinking about him. I was trying to be the world’s most perfect girlfriend, but I was trying to be the world’s most perfect girlfriend for a representative of Generic Manhood, not the world’s most perfect girlfriend for HIM. At the same time as I was making that transition, he stopped REALLY talking to me. I remember him remarking once on the fact that I did most of the talking in our conversations. That was back when it was still okay, when we weren’t in trouble yet really. Now that I look at those conversations, I notice the same thing he did: mostly me, a little of him. But at the same time, reading those conversations from the first month, when it was really good, there’s something different about them. We’re telling each other anything, not afraid of what the other one thinks, not afraid that the other isn’t listening. We haven’t had a conversation like that in ages, a perfect as you like it solid conversation. Somewhere along the line, I guess I stopped listening to him the way I had before. I started waiting for him to say something so that I could start a monologue off of what he said, to fill up space, instead of REALLY having a conversation.

He was right; we went too fast. Instead of thinking of him as a friend, I treated him more like “my boyfriend”, and I stopped really thinking of him as a person in relation to me outside that role. We got too physical, and to be honest, I started not thinking of him any other way. It must have been so burdensome for him. So degrading to be treated like that. In retrospect, I can’t believe I did that to him. He’s such a sweet, funny guy; it’s not like I don’t enjoy his conversation, his brain, his hopes and dreams; I just forgot about them in pursuit of his other charms.

I sure hope the next relationship he’s in is better than this one. And I hope the same for myself. I think there’s a snowballs chance in hell that we’ll get back together after all that I did to drive him off, so I’m not going to bother to hope. But whatever relationship I pursue next, I’m not making the same mistakes. I’m not going to throw all the responsibility on someone else, because it’s not fair to them. Maybe I got a D+ in this relationship (I don’t fail only because I made him fudge), but at least I learned something. I’m willing to bet that these lessons aren’t relevant in my next relationship because that’s how it goes, but I’m a better person anyway. In my opinion. I suppose you might think otherwise.

Thank you, subject of this post. And thank you, anyone who read this. It has been an education.

Laugh or cry? Those are the choices. The intensity of the moment demands a response. You don’t just get to sit there and think nothing; that would look stupid, incomprehensive, like you don’t understand the importance, the value of this moment.

Should you cry? Does crying make you look weak? Like you can’t handle yourself? Like you’ve been letting life get to you too much, letting people wear you down, letting them devalue your currency of self? Crying seems risky.

So should you laugh? Do you want to make it seem like you don’t understand the seriousness of human sorrow? Are you a heartless fiend? Are you such a cynic that you find this funny? Are you so beyond caring about people that you find this… amusing? How dare you laugh!

You walk along the gallery floor, trying to look introspective, trying to decide how to react to the painting in front of you without being called a bastard or a hysteric. You try looking thoughtful, and yet concerned. A man walks by you, whistling as he goes; you find it odd that he whistles, odd that you cannot get away with laughing yet he’s WHISTLING as he goes by. And then you realize he’s whistling the suicide theme from Tristan and Isolde. You then wonder, what kind of man whistles operatic funeral music? He wears an incredibly ugly cardigan, but he’s still very good-looking. He’s really too young to be wearing a cardigan like that. Perhaps he’s Mr. Rogers’ grandson. You almost start humming “It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, but catch yourself in time to realize how offensive that is. You decide to leave the painting, leave its ironic horror for others to look at. Walking out of the gallery, you are surprised when you reach the outside and the sun is brighter than it is on the sea. You have a pair of sunglasses, but at the moment, you want to absorb the brightness, let it linger on your face, soak up the sun as Icarus did. You spin around with your bag in your hand, arms flying out, smiling, and then laughing… and you hear a whistle, not of the star-crossed lovers, but something happy and cheerful- you can’t quite place it. You look up, and there is the man in the awful sweatervest, whistling, looking at you with inviting eyes. You ask him what he’s whistling. He raises one eyebrow, turns and starts walking. His head looks back over his shoulder after a second, and it tips to show you that he wants you to follow. You pause for a minute, and then do so. He leads you around many twists and turns; although you’ve lived in the city for years, you are in unfamiliar territory-not completely lost, but not sure where you are. Finally, he goes down a flight of stairs, into the basement of an old brick building, a cafe. You even follow him here, dubious though you are by this time. At this point, he walks up to the counter, and his song ends. He says something in a low bass voice, too softly for you to hear exactly what, but loudly enough for you to know that his voice is like a deep pool of melted rum chocolate. He pulls out a chair for you to sit at the table, and then sits across from you. You ask again what he was whistling. He smiles a little and says you’ll have to wait until after you’ve eaten. And after you’ve told him your name. You promptly enlighten him. He tells you his as well. You ask whether he likes abstract expressionism and he tells you that he prefers the European works to the American. You are sorely tempted to ask him about his sweatervest, but before you do so, a beautiful chocolate dessert arrives before you, topped with gelato. You are too busy enjoying it to ask tactless questions, and he goes on talking about the beauty of dada and its nonsensical approach to the world, the artist’s response to the organizational militarism of the war. He asks whether you like graphic novels; you say you like the good ones. You finish your dessert, and you ask whether you will see him again. He says yes; you ask him what the song was. And he tells you it’s the song he made about your smile in the sun. And with that, you depart.

So I’m 18, and my room is clean. Well, it’s damn close anyway. I’m going to finish cleaning it today. I’m cleaning it because I want my brain to get organized, I want to feel powerful and spiffy and like I’m the queen of the universe. And I did feel that way, right up until a conversation with my best friend reminded me that I’m not.

I have a confession to make.

I am a chronic liar.

Never about really important stuff. I lie to make myself look better, more interesting, cooler than I am. And I’m damn good at it. People don’t catch wise very easily. Sometimes I lie to avoid distressing people needlessly. I lie because I figure that I’ll make the lie true soon enough anyway, so what’s the point in worrying them with the current truth? It’s not that big of a problem. It’s not that bad.

Mostly I lie to myself. I tell myself I’ll make the lies true, that it’s not that bad to lie to people when I’m going to make it true, that I need to keep using this lie because telling some people lies and others truth about the same thing will make the lies weaker, will make people realize that I’m lying and that I’m a huge fraud.

I used to be much better at lying, bullshitting, debating. I used to just take joy in beating people with my words. I really don’t now. I’m glad when I’m right, but I don’t like demolishing other people’s opinions the way I used to. It makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel like a complete asshole. And so do lying and bullshitting. It makes me feel disgusting to keep lying, especially to people who love and trust me and never lie to me in return.

But I’m too cowardly to stop. Because at the end of the day, what I’m really lying about is my own cool, my own patheticness. I am pathetic, and all the lies are pathetic lies designed to keep you from realizing it. My cynicism about myself is really a laziness. I am too lazy to live up to my potential, too lazy to build my life around truths, to go out and experience things to make myself better. I lie to myself so much that the lies I tell all the time almost become the truth in my mind. I suppose part of this is the art of lying well. The only way to tell a good lie is to know what you’re saying is true. You make yourself believe it, if only for the duration of the lie, and you seem credible to other people.

In the end though, I know what is true and what is not. And I know there is not much left of me once you strip away the lies. That I’m actually quite boring.

And I also know that I can continue to get away with my lies for a damn long time. That maybe someday, they will catch up with me, but that I am good enough and other people trust me enough for me to continue lying for many more years, if not decades.

But will I still have any truth left when that day comes?