I’m twenty four and I still can’t deal with losing people in any way, shape, or form. When I feel its time to step out of someone’s life for whatever reason, I am washed, drenched in guilt even if I feel like it was the right choice. I don’t like leaving but I don’t like being treated incorrectly either. I dislike the latter more. When I naturally drift from friends due to busy lives and hectic schedules, I’m filled with this feeling of loss. Not like the person died, but like I didn’t pay attention, I was careless. I didn’t water the plant, I didn’t walk the dog, I didn’t feed the cat, and now they’re being taken from me. What shitluck. And before I know it, its been a year, two, three and it feels too late to make right by my actions or lack thereof. I cringe now thinking of the countless people I know I should be watering, walking, and feeding more. I could name ten that wilted, dehydrated last year. My stomach is turning.
“Sure it sucks. But only if I let it.”
“That’s an interesting way of dealing with things. How do you avoid allowing it?”
I stopped to ponder the question. If that’s what I actually did, how did I do it?
“I never stop. Most certainly not to think.”
Monday through Friday I work from seven thirty in the morning until about four fifteenish. After work every day I try to have someone to see. Monday I will see a close friend or I will stay home and smoke until I fall asleep. Tuesday I’ll see a different friend. Wednesday I’ll make the trip to Chelmsford to see joey. Thursday hopefully is another friend. Friday is a Chelmsford day. Saturday and Sunday, someone is always around. Monday we start again. I don’t stop, I try my hardest not to anyway.
Some days though, today being one of those days, I betray my own rule. I stop and I think and I ache. I feel it creep in and cloak me in a layer of worrisome bullshit. I think about how even though I see these people weekly, I’m not connecting with them. The people I think I’m closest to, do they feel the same? Is it a mutual closeness, or is it in my head? And in the end does it truly matter so long as either party is satisfied? Does it matter? Does it?
It does. I don’t know if I’m satisfied. When I stop to think about it, I love seeing their faces, but is that all I want? No. I miss connecting with people. I miss knowing where their thought dots connected that day, that week. I miss knowing the music they’re into currently, what they’ve been reading about, thinking about, worrying about, feeling. I miss. Knowing. I feel like I’ve already lost. I feel like I could water for days and it wouldn’t quite matter. Sometimes when i’m extra sad I think about the friendships I have that are just barely holding on and in my mind I open the window for sunlight and drown them in water, I watch them drink and I ache.
I can think of things to say in these situations. I can think of all of what feels right, what I’m feeling. Then I think thoroughly about it and I feel crazy. Just slightly. But enough and its just enough to keep my mouth shut. I want to tell you about how I miss hearing you talk about your ideas and plans. I want to tell you that I still care and that I love you. I want you to know that I miss drawing with you and just sitting in silence. I miss just listening to music and watching the weather. I miss knowing that you need me as much as I need you. I suppose that last one is why I feel crazy…
I’m going to end this here and leave you with an older post from Facebook. People enjoyed it.
Over and out.
I’ve taken to wearing my boots untied. It isn’t a statement, nor a mistake. I haven’t forgotten that they’re flopping about my calves like the ears of a dog or that the laces are dragging through puddles, dark and murky. I haven’t failed to notice that the weather has worn the ends, fraying and ruining them. I don’t very much care. I drag the boots, open and flapping on either side of the muscle in my leg, like the last leaves on dying trees come the month of November, through weather of all kinds. They are beaten and tired like veterans, like war heroes. They deserve a nice, quiet retirement to the back of my closet where my guitar and dusty journals from 1999 and later live. They have earned it, I believe. To be fair, they probably deserve two proper retirement celebrations for the amount of asphalt treading they’ve done. Regardless, no matter how trusty, loyal, resilient these boots have been, I will continue to wear them.
At the gas station, clad in tired, reliable footwear, I walk with purpose across the parking lot. I feel the ground through the black soles; every bump, pebble, and imperfection mapped out on the leathery undersides of my feet. The right and then the left, over and over and again. Reaching the door, I wonder to myself if it was the natural unhappy creases and folds in the skin of my face that caused the young woman just a strides length ahead of me to allow the door to close in my face. I open it and enjoy the stinging cold of the big metal handle, my free laces slapping wildly against their prisons and outward, reaching for a savior. The concrete, the glass, the metal, the tile, the carpeted runners- lashing out, they sound like a billion cheap pens clicking one after another. I ignore their cries.
The lady at the counter, she tells me flatly that my boots are untied. I try to match my face to her voice; boring cadence, boring tone, no melody. How exhausting it must be. My face feels like it’s melting once I’ve allowed the energy to drain from it like she had allowed to happen to her warning. I know, I say. My eye tries to twitch like the hair atop my fellow conversationalists head. I didn’t tie them this morning, I confess to being lazy. I tell her that my stumps breathe better this way. She seems put off by the imagery and sells me my goods without further question and i’m back across the parking lot.
Thank you, I speak softly once seated in my vehicle yet again. Just me. Me and my things. Thank you for aiding in the repelling of possible positive acquaintances. Thank you, boots, like you i’m tired. My lips slide backward as the keys slide into the ignition. I feel the maps on the bottom of my feet and wiggle my toes that can breathe easily in the loosened pleather now.
I’m much like my boots. Prior to this morning I wasn’t so very sure; they’re very sturdy when laced, tight and uniform. They are after all my veterans, my war heroes. But they are more when they are loose, their laces dangling sadly. They’re scuffed, fading, cracked from weather, and tainted. Slightly demented, stretched and sloppy. Warm and comforting. They float somewhere between old friend and tattered lover; they’re familiar.