Saturday, October 27, 2007

Your Ex-Lover is Dead

Another day, another week, another blog entry. You're hooked on the junk and I'm here to give you your fix, so cut the foaming-at-the-mouth thing, will ya?

The topic this time? A rare, stupid slip-up - writing something personal on the internet. Always a smart idea. (Hold onto your hats, internet, it's time for some "LULZ UR RETARDED" moments!)

So, I am generally someone who would be regarded by most people as, in no uncertain terms, a loser. It's easy to write off individuals too cool for comprehension as something like that. As such, I occasionally kill some time on one of those blasted internet dating sites, OKcupid. (Nothing makes it clear what a badass you are like having an account on a site like that.) Despite all the hang-ups and preconceptions that come with using a site like that, it can be a decent place to kill time on quizzes and whatnot. Sometimes you'll cross paths with a decent human being or two as well. (Astonishingly, some of them do exist in internetland, few in number though they are, like in the "real world.") They have this "quickmatch" feature, that lets you browse random people and click whether or not you'd be interested in speaking with them. It rarely yields anything in the way of actually meeting people, but it's an interesting study in really just looking at people and the way they describe themselves. There's notable patterns to how people break themselves down on sites like that - perhaps 6 or 7 different types at most, but in the end, nothing surprising. Unique snowflakes, people are not. I happened to come across someone on there who was pretty unmistakably my last ex-girlfriend tonight.

It's a tremendously strange feeling, seeing one's ex again anywhere. She didn't seem to have changed much, not particularly surprisingly. It was a strange feeling nonetheless, though. A veritable opposite of the feelings I get when I see a picture of or read anything written by the woman I'm presently in love with now online. Though I try to avoid that, both for the sake of healthy behavior, naturally, and that anything of her fills me with a ridiculous amount of love and hope. The sorts of feelings a creature like me probably shouldn't be having. My heart ignites and burns me to the ground, when the hopelessness of reality sets in. Seeing my ex, all I felt was cold, and regret. It stung me to my core. On one hand, her words rang of a woman I once loved, and I could remember well why I loved her. But the feeling was tinted, naturally, with knowing that we weren't to last, and of what a disaster the short relationship had been, despite the strong one-sided feelings involved. And in seeing her face again, I knew damn well that I didn't want to see her again, having gotten over her years ago. I haven't been in a single relationship since. Time flies.

She's long gone, and I'm certain, much happier without me. She never loved me and was hardly kind to me when we were together, after all. The whole relationship was an exercise in futility. To me, it represented trying as hard as I could - pouring as much of myself as possible into the relationship - to be the best boyfriend imaginable. Naturally, being myself, that wasn't enough, or anything remotely close to that. But when you get down to it, if someone doesn't love you, odds are, they aren't going to start, no matter what you do. Getting someone to fall in love with you is one of the most difficult tasks one can face in life. And if it doesn't happen naturally, they're never going to love you anyway.

When you're young, and immersed in a sea of your peers, filling your days with new experiences and new memories, it's easy to trick yourself into thinking that your possibilities are limitless. That you'll always have another friend waiting for you around the corner, should you have a falling out with one. That if your relationships fail, there'll always be a new lover, another fish in the sea. (Those who are old enough to realize how ineffective that metaphor is should be in agreement by now, that the guy who thought that one up should have choked to death on a live herring.) Idealism and youth come hand in hand like that. That kind of foolishness is beautiful, and often romanticized - I'm as guilty of that as anyone else. But it isn't true. No matter how hard you try to party, how much you try to put yourself out there and have encounters, the number of people in life with whom you'll have real connections is very finite - far more so than those in the midst of their youth tend to realize. You can misconnect, miscommunicate, and ultimately blow everything in more ways than you can imagine. The littlest thing could potentially bring down all the support columns of your future - yes, we've gotten to the point of ancient Greek architecture metaphors here. The very thought of all this is enough to leave one in a state of perpetual panic, the neurons firing and crossing so rapidly, common sense'd fly right out the window.

That's the reality of things, though. There's a means by which people get to being mind-bogglingly neurotic - like Woody Allen, for instance - after all. There's a simple solution to it all. Or at least, I'd like to be able to pat you on the back and tell you that's the case, but like all easy solutions to life's problems, it merely sounds deceptively simple, when it's much easier said than done. Said solution? Don't take people for granted. Let them know how important they are to you. Make time for them, no matter what it takes. Spend time with them, talk to them, tell you that you love them. It's because we don't do these things that the world is once again teetering on the brink of war. (Hugs, not nukes!) Wait, no, that's just human nature, but that simply makes our futures all the more uncertain and frightening, and as such, telling those you love that you love them all the more important. Sure, it could blow up in your face, depending on how they take it. It's one of the strongest statements you could ever make to somebody - unless you're one of those people who constantly tells everybody that you love them, to the point at which the words lose all meaning - just as though you told them that you hated them. Both sentiments are an effective punch in the chest - one's just much nicer to hear than the other - and because people are full of baggage (As much as everybody loves to downplay it and pretend they don't have any, so it can inevitably explode within them and cause all sorts of trouble down the line.) and many do not know how to take being told that they're loved. Many people do not even love themselves, or know how, for that matter, though this is to both their benefit and detriment, as far too many people love themselves far too much.

I don't get into relationships much, and when I have, they were doomed from the start. I just had a hard time recognizing that each time. That trend will probably continue, though I'd hope not. I haven't felt the slightest spark with over 99% of the people I've crossed paths with in my life, and as that number continues to steadily decrease over the years, as is inevitable in life as well, prospects continue to dim. I've had my heart broken, fiercely. With no pleasant experiences in relationships, it makes one less than keen on falling in love with anybody. And I've broken hearts, or at least, so I've been told. Not those of women I dated, mind you, but simply a very few individuals who professed to be in love with me when they still did not know me remotely nearly well enough to fall for a creature such as myself. They only knew me over fiber-optic cable, far cross the internets, anyway. If you've been hurt enough, it's probably easy to become infatuated with a guy who isn't a complete asshole to you. And regardless of whether they really were in love with me or merely infatuated (As some came to despise me upon becoming more aware of my aggravating complexity as a person, and my sharper, darker side.), I feel terrible for having hurt them at all. But terrible within limits, as it couldn't be helped that I felt nothing for them, just as it couldn't be - despite my best efforts - that my ex-girlfriends did not reciprocate my feelings. Love is not a choice you can make. It's essentially the experience of being hit by a car, and hoping that they're hit by the same car, as your eyes meet and words pass between you. If they're not, you're in for a sad, painful experience that may last up to many years.

That's life. All humans are born searching. For something, someone they're missing, to at least give them the illusion of completion and fulfillment - the sort of thing people probably aren't entirely capable of anyway, but continue to seek. Some find (Or convince themselves that they've found) what they're looking for in religion or some sort of spirituality. Others find it in one another, in love, in a deep connection with another individual who fills their heart. Others yet find what they're looking for in their passions, whether a career or something they do for fun. While others yet sink into depression and in many other cases, suspend themselves from their harsh reality through substance abuse. It's easier for people to fall into that than most realize. Most people are more unhappy than they realize, after all, and when that finally hits them, it hits them hard. We prop ourselves up with illusions. And even when we find the that or whom we've sought, we have no way of knowing for certain if we really have. Uncertainty is nerve-wracking, and heart-breaking. In some regards, in this human existence, illusions are all we have, in pursuit of happiness, the carrot dangled before us, forever out of reach.

Though I may try to write such pretty words - sour though they often are - they may yet simply fall on deaf ears in the end. Beautiful words won't win anyone's heart if they aren't predisposed to the possibility of loving you. The beauty of words is twofold - the meaning they have to the writer, which exists eternally, and the meaning to those who read them, or hear them spoken. But even the most beautiful of words lose all meaning when met with a reader or listener entirely unaffected by them. There's no way of knowing who will be affected by what, like tapping verbal grenades against them to see if they explode or not. Or perhaps a less... violent metaphor. But aside from the childhood schoolyard taunts about sticks and stones, words can be amongst the most dangerous and painful things in the world, simply on a basis of what the words themselves are, and who has spoken them. Generally, you want to blow up happy grenades on people. Though knocking people down has its time and place as well.

I'm accustomed to life as a man loved by few, and who loves even fewer - who never return his feelings. As I've mentioned here before, I'm still working on my first novel, which is nearly complete, though behind schedule as usual. Once it's finished, I have a long, daunting journey ahead, in hunting for an agent willing to represent me, and in turn, through them, a publisher willing to publish the book. These are steps in the process where many, many aspiring authors fall through the cracks. It's a rare, lucky few who make it through to the end and get to look upon their words in satisfaction at their local bookstores, knowing the melange of feelings accompanied with people reading your work across the globe. In some ways, impacting people's lives, even if only in small, insignificant ways - and one can only hope with good results for those impacted. For me, the importance of getting this book published and on shelves within the next two years is even greater, for through it, I'm confessing my love to a brilliant young woman I've been in love with unrequited for over five and a half years now. We haven't spoken in some time. And so, I can't exactly set my expectations high, despite my high aspirations. I may be on my way to self-destruction in love on an epic, public scale, for all I know. But I have to do it. I'm that sort of man - that sort of fool. I have to tell her that I love her or I will spend the rest of my life drowning in regret. And I have to do it the right way, the most meaningful, grandest way I know. So that at least once, I can say that I told someone that I loved her with all my heart and immortalized it in the grandest way I knew. Even if odds are probably against me in that the story might not touch her heart, that she might not realize how I've felt for her all along, that she probably won't ever feel for me what I feel for her, should the story and gesture touch her even deeply. But at least then, she'd still know how loved she is. But as one who's grown accustomed to epic failure in love, I can't hold my breath. All I can do is pour my heart into the story and cross my fingers that I can find an agent and publisher before too long, and that she'd read it before it was far too late for it to potentially have an impact on anything. To do just one thing just right in my life, if I can, is my aim here. Even if I fail again. I can pour the last of my love, what romance I'm capable of, and my hopes into the book, and hope it doesn't end up terrible. Then when it hits, it can make its impact, whether it leads to amazing experiences for the both of us, or my simply remaining accustomed to loneliness and disappointment as I grow colder inside with age. It may be impossible to get her to love me - I don't know for a fact, as there were signs here and there to the contrary in my past, enough to retain the tiniest spark of hope - but it's an endeavor worth embarking on, as to me, it's the grandest, most personally, emotionally important endeavor I've ever attempted in my life. And odds are good that this is the best I will ever do in that regard. So in and of that, it's practically an adventure of sorts, full of overwhelming personal risks in seeking the greatest treasure known to humanity. No telling if my personal story will have a happy ending. But as a cynic, I'm not holding my breath. I'm simply going to go through with it and give it my all. It's the best anyone can hope to do in life.

We can only part from the shackles of our past so much. Our memories are who we are. When we step back at the end of our lives and look back at who we are, what we've accomplished, and what we've experienced, that's all we really have - our thoughts and our memories. And often shadows we create of memories, experiences, and thoughts we wish that we'd had. Regrets. By the end of it all, we have those too. We all say we want to live a life without regrets, to look back when on our deathbed and smile as we fall from this mortal coil into oblivion's cool embrace. But just as many are not fortunate enough to die a privileged, peaceful death, even fewer will ever know what it is to die without regrets. As easy as it is to say you'd like to go out that way, accomplishing it is another matter entirely - and what's more human than striving to accomplish the virtually impossible? Only to be disappointed. Foolish, foolish creatures. And yet we still grasp at these things, looking back in the end and always thinking "I should have done this..." and "Why didn't I do that?"

There, an odd rare slice of my personal life. I hope you're happy, ya damn voyeurs.

1 comment:

Elise said...

I love your writing. There is so much truth in what you say. A very good read.

I will definately be back x