I am out of ideas for writing.
I think this is because for a long time, I could only write the best stuff I’ve ever written as a way of dealing with some horrifying emotionally devastating situation.
It’s an interesting price to pay when that happens. But not one I can really afford to engage in often.
So for now, I’m out.
Out of ideas, by which I mean out of heartache, really – it ran out in February/March sometime. I didn’t think it would. I knew he would, of course. But it ran out the door with him, possibly (never) to return, and that was surprising, because I loved him, and now that’s just a fact without a lot of emotional weight behind it.
I never thought I’d be able to say “I loved him” casually like “yeah, I loved ice cream pistacho flavour almond green like summer grass and witch skin but I don’t anymore” or “haha omg I loved that movie, it was so ridiculous I had to laugh! no it’s still my favourite of course, but you can’t take it seriously- how could you possibly?! As far as movies go, it was good.”
I never thought I could love something in a non serious way. If I ever see him again, I thought I’d have nothing to say but now I know what would happen: I would laugh. laugh and laugh and laugh and say “I loved you, you silly goose! Maybe I’m the silly one, I hope all’s well, I have nothing of substance to say to you anymore, but the thought of you now makes me laugh in joy, in happiness, in compassion more than you – real you, actual you- ever did when we were together – I mean, not that we were ever together, really, of course. this is what I mean, you child, you coward – haha but you were! oh come on, don’t pretend that that stings, you really were, oh it’s alright, I’m not saying it maliciously, I’m laughing about it, so laugh about it with me, coward, you runaway, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, I see, but it’s funny to me, it really is – and the sins of the father came to fruition in you – I bet you’ll tell your son that some day, if you ever actually get around to fucking and baby making and pretending better to love (though this requires a level of adulting that you’re not at yet), morose and brooding and serious and full of your *raw and manly pain* (yes, I’m laughing, of course I’m laughing) and denying accountability for your actions while giving your son an implicitly easy way out: “it was my fault, my son,” you’ll say, and you’ll mean it, ” I hurt a girl once, and my father before me, it’s his fault too, because he hurt a girl once, and this is your inheritance” and because your voice is beautiful and your eyes deep, it will sound like bricks falling, buildings crumbling, thunder striking, the climax of a movie where a man admits his faults and is praised by an audience – but I know what I hear already now, this side of the wormhole, I hear your voice, like tinkling in a toilet – no that’s mean – ok, like pebbles skipping across a lake, a pond, plink plink candy falling in a puddle, out of the pocket of a little boy pretending to be a man. you know, you take yourself too seriously.
Laugh at your guilt.
Not in that caustic way.
You aren’t a man until you know how much of a boy you are.
Laugh at it the way I laugh at my shame. Laugh if you dare. Laughter is medicine, is the cure to everything. Life, in the end, goes on, or not. So it goes, or not.
I am laughing now, because it’s funny the way you left! You couldn’t even say goodbye, but you aren’t a piece of shit. You’re just a boy. You aren’t a merman, you’re a boy.
I wished I loved you better. I wished I loved a better you. I better wish I loved you, or what a waste of time that was!
Of course I don’t regret the time I spent with you – even though I told you I did. What I regret is: thinking it meant anything of substance at all, of the weight of the ocean at all , of the pull of the moon at all; it’s a question of standards. It was just a movie. You were just you. You kissed me on our first date because you wanted to, because you’re a boy and boys like their toys and you thought wow! lips! let’s kiss ’em! that’ll be fun! yay! And when you decided to tell me you loved me, at the ripe young age of 27 years of age (so, let’s say 9, emotionally), this was still a game to you – no not the malicious games that men play, but boys in a puddle killing worms just to see what happens in the rain.
You through whom I learned I can love, but I’ve siphoned you out of my skin, filtered my tears through cheesecloth, and made rasgulla. I pulled you out of me, extracted you like metal, though you weren’t poison, and maybe you added to my carbon frame skeleton, and maybe you didn’t! It changes from day to day, I’ll take what I need from my memory of you, and nothing else – and nothing more. Like the time your nose hair stuck out and I giggled and you were so embarrassed you pushed it back in, and it was cute and hilarious but you were *actually embarrassed*. It got to you, my god how will you ever deal with the raw mess of bodies as they age if you can’t fathom a stray nose hair? but this is how you deal with life, isn’t it: by taking everything seriously. I took you way too seriously, christ, because I take myself seriously, of course, and because there are women in my life who go through more in a day than you will in your lifetime, and them, I take them seriously. Women whose love would, well
“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have”
I don’t miss it, at any rate, the heartbreak. (I do miss him, sometimes, or at least, it, this: the idea of our relationship, the what I thought we had even if it was all in my head.)
But you have led me a way to build a new face, a way to love men I never knew before: casually, and I have many faces, and one of me will always love like this now, with laughter.
And anyway, who has the patience or the time or the energy or the stamina to go chasing after heartbreak? It’s exhausting to be chasing after heartbreak just so you have material to write.
Here, have a cheesy old bollywood song completely unrelated to this post instead: