The following entry is almost like a mix-tape. Some of the paragraphs are entirely new, while others have been rescued from a file cabinet marked, Words Which I Wrote Once, But Didn’t Feel Like Publishing At The Time. The result, in my opinion, is almost like a darker, moodier version of a previous entry called ‘Super-Cola Dilemma’ – moodier, possibly, than any faithful portrait of the present. But if you may know anything, know that the jussive suggestion at the tail-end of the entry is seemingly being affirmed; and God bless you, whoever may be reading.
1. I saw you cry once. It made me realise what a strange and bittersweet mythos you must possess – or to put it more simply, what a profound story you are living. The fact is, we all have stories of our own. Still, just as I would rather read a good novel than a book on how to repair a cuckoo clock, I think your personal quests are more captivating than mine. I hope you find this destination you’ve been thirsting for, but even then, must wonder whether I am seeking some vicarious scratching-of-the-itch through you, some sentimental reminder that not even our strangest goals are impossible. What can I do except support your every step? Bless you. Really. And may we all learn from the path which you are treading.
I feel confident that Death and trauma are shortcuts to sensitivity. Think of a time when someone hurt you – in particular, someone who did not realise the pain they had caused. Were you ever tempted, in emotional self-defense, to tell them some strange and outrageous lie? ‘Be easy on me; I’ve just been diagnosed with leukemia.’ Or, ‘Be easy on me; both of my parents have just died.’ Rest assured that I have never told one such lie (and I understand if you’re puzzled by how hyper-analytical, and indeed, hyper-hypothetical I am being), but I wonder whether I am the only one who’s thought of it. The pith of the temptation is that we want people to understand our pain. Should we say, ‘Hey, that hurt,’ or ‘Please listen to my side of the story,’ there is a decent chance (depending on the situation) that the other party will remain unconvinced. But throw Death in the mix, and they risk the label of ‘Monster’ by dismissing you. When all is said and done, of course, I doubt there are many of us who wish to exaggerate so egregiously. But what they wish instead (I suspect) is that you can see how real and delicate their hearts are. Besides Death and trauma, part of me wishes that there were a less dishonest, but no less immediate, pathway for such revelations – that what I feel is real, and that wherever I go, I am carrying a meaningful story behind me.
2. Something happened this week, and it involved you. I’m certain that calling it a ‘mystery’ would be melodramatic, but nevertheless, found myself composing (almost by accident) a small list of explanations to account for what had happened. To put it bluntly, I don’t want to believe you are arrogant. I don’t want to think you’re engaging in that most insidious of hypocrisies, that smug self-assurance that your needs are God-approved while mine are pitiable chump change. But whether or not this week is any indication, I fear that this Can-of-Worms is potentially very nasty; and part of me, consequently, wants never to open it. But the greatest risk in this paragraph is, without a doubt, trying to pass off my shapeless speculation as actual data. I’ve often pictured having a real conversation with you, but until then, what can I pretend to know?
Have you ever known someone who tried to find the greater sufferer of their insecurity? The question is strangely phrased, I admit – but here is an example which, I think, will help you see what I am asking. I know of a woman who weighs over three hundred pounds. But it is her habit, strangely enough, to degrade women whom she considers large, or overweight. Do you see what I mean? Someone who tries to find the greater sufferer of their insecurity? If you struggle with (x), you might be tempted to prey on other (x)-sufferers (at least, those whom you perceive as such), because if you have the power to identify the illness, then surely you aren’t ill with it. Right?
3. I suppose I’m disturbed by certain things you have implied. I’m disappointed that anyone (anyone) finds it so necessary to squelch what resources I possess. Why do I emphasize the word anyone? For the simple reason that, throughout our lives, some mischief-makers are to be expected. Were I to try and characterize my old, poisonous mindset (that which preceded a pivotal, and arguably, magical October in 2015), I might show a certain fondness for the term conspiratorial. It is harebrained, in other words, to think that a few hurtful mooks are representative of the entire world. Regardless, it can be disheartening that even one such mook exists – even one!! The next time you see me, love, you’ll have no idea that I ever thought of such things. What you do know, though, is your own affair.
As little as I wish to be conspiratorial, there is one hideous thing which I cannot deny: namely, that for no reason at all, the whole world despises the state of Ohio – and Ohio, in turn, must scrape and wrestle against the temptation to despise itself. I am not clawing for a silly metaphor, nor am I fumbling for a figure of speech, when earnestly I tell you the following: that no one can hear about my love for my State, and simultaneously keep a straight face. And while I don’t wish to drown again in those old, crooked beliefs, I suspect that some of my questions (in those second-person paragraphs above) could be answered with that self-same rule – that for no reason at all, you hate me. That I can tell you nothing of what I feel, unless I want to make you laugh. That I am, in your eyes, a being who is not a being – and that part of our quest, as a result, involves finding those who are not so easily deceived.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own
Do you think that I chose this path for myself? Do you think that I ever would? No; but the best response, of course, is to know that you are wrong. Just as wrong as you might be, perchance, if you said that I secretly wished I came from New York. I do not, loves – so little, in fact, that it might be you who secretly wishes I were fibbing. And as I try and fulfill what He has commanded, may God keep me smiling.