Oh my God, Anonymous You.
I went to do another insightful and entertaining installment of my journal project and, upon finding April 27th over the years, one thing became terrifyingly clear. One thing was the thread that wove the years together. One thing has been the sole narrative of my life story. One thing has made every decision for me for, at least, the last 24 years.
I bet You know what it is already, huh?
You’re so smart, Anonymous You.
Every single entry was about a boy.
In one instance, the same boy written one year apart.
And, yeah, a lot changed in that one year.
I don’t really understand my dependence on the idea of LOVE. Where did I get this steadfast thought that love needs to be difficult in order to make it true. Why am I constantly dating or longing after the same guy? He looks different every time but there’s a familiarity that attracts me to him. And also, why is Tom Waits, like, the best ever??!!
Three times, I’ve had men that truly loved me and three times I made it impossible for them to do so.
I think that’s the first time I’ve really understood that. Heavy.
So, let’s talk about this, me and You.
In 1996, I wrote this:
“I know that I have stated that my interest in him is fading but I may have been too quick to say that. Also, I keep thinking about Saturday and I have made up my mind that I am going to get my shot.”
First off, I wrote that in Algebra. In fact, most of my journaling in high school was done in Algebra classes. Is that the product of my inability to understand math or a symptom? I don’t know.
Second, the “Him” is my much, much older guitar teacher. See, I picked up the guitar because I had a crush on him (yep, I’m admitting that I play my instrument because of a boy) and I didn’t much care for it except that the guitar allowed me time alone with Greg (that’s his real name and I feel it’s okay to use it because none of you will ever met this man and I seriously doubt he’d ever find this blog. The people I think You might know, well, there names will be changed to protect their…names).
Third, he knew he was messing with an 18 year-old girl’s feelings and he took full advantage of it. Well, not full advantage. Still…
Fourth, what happened Saturday??!!! I think I was in a play at this time and I was for sure singing back-up for Greg’s band at the time. My guess is, he told me I looked nice and smiled at me a couple times. I, of course, took that for deep love. I still have that problem. I assume that the looks men give me carry as much weight as the looks I give them. Doesn’t work like that.
Fifth, I really wish I had been paying attention in Algebra class more often.
In 1992, at the end of 8th grade and carrying quite a bit of clout following an amazing performance at 8th Grade Graduation, I wrote this:
“I love Corey Mason now.”
Okay, let me tell you about Corey Mason.
Corey Mason was a skateboarder. He smoked. He drank. He listened to bands like Social Distortion, Screeching Weasel, and Metallica. He had the blondest hair I’ve ever seen to this day. He also had amazing bucked teeth. Did I mention he was a skateboarder? He was.
He was trouble. And I couldn’t get enough.
I spent the rest of the school year and well into the summer chasing that boy. Sitting outside in the sun, watching him skate along the riverside, pretending to know who Green Day was. Hell, I even busted up my knee in a horrific go-cart accident, the scars of which I bare to this very day.
Corey Mason never did fall in love with me.
He enjoyed my company and my blatant adoration. But he never did fall in love with me.
And this perpetuated the “What’s wrong with me?” cycle I deal with even as an adult.
But he told me I looked nice and smiled at me a couple of times so…
Corey fucking Mason.
I know for a fact that he is still roaming around my hometown with, like, a billion illegitimate kids.
And also, that he is still a skateboarder.
Next on the list of memorable April 27ths: 2009 & 2010.
Alright, so there’s this guy and we’ve been friends for many years now. He is still an active part of my life and he is still someone that I totally adore. When talking about him, I must proceed with caution. Because I care for him so deeply.
In 2009, I was in year three of writing about him. And we were moving out of being friends and into deeper, denser territory.
You should know that this guy is the male version of me, I’m sure of it. Both born in the same town a few years apart, both intensely and passionately involved with music, both weird and quiet, both vibrant and personable. Similar in nearly every way.
Hometown, as he shall be known from now on, was so much like me and yet just outside of me that I couldn’t help but be completely enamoured upon first look. Oh, and he looks just like Help!-era McCartney. Impossible to resist.
Oh, and, of course, he told me I looked nice and smiled at me a couple of times.
Truthfully, it was more than that.
Long talks, inside jokes, mix tapes, late nights, and La Crosse…romantically, it was all too much.
But, things were different in 2009. We were on the verge of actually trying together. Sort of.
“He’s the guy. He doesn’t make me feel inadequate or embarrassed or small or too big. He makes me feel like me…but more nervous. All excited. He’s the guy. I think I’ve had long enough to think about it and my conclusion is not only clear but accurate.”
I was so excited to tell him, in a few months, how much I cared for him and how I was ready to take the next step with him. How much I trusted him.
Well, I did. And he agreed. And he came to visit and I showed him my town. And, a few weeks after he got back to Minneapolis, Hometown told me I was getting ahead of myself. He couldn’t be with me. We’d just have to exist in the ether, neither one of us crossing state lines for the other. Because our friendship is the most important thing ever.
And I was so mad.
Exactly one year later, I wrote…
“Hometown and I are just what we are and, while there is a connection, I doubt it will ever go beyond just being friends and I really don’t think it should anyway. We’re better off as friends. We only work as friends.”
I still feel like that.
And he is one of my best friends, if only because he’s stuck with me through my irrationality, our romantic flames and fadings, our remarkable taste in music, the distance.
Going on six years now, Hometown and I have been friends. And, really, that’s better than lovers though that was pretty nice, too.
I guess You have to realize where the wonderful is in Your life and accept it for what it is when it happens.
And he still tells me I look nice and smiles at me at couple of times a year.
And I can’t wait to go home and listen to records with him.
Oh, and just so You don’t start thinking I’m totally a hapless romantic, here’s a journal entry from April 27th, 2008.
“Oh, I got a new hairdo and it makes me feel so cool.”
This was when I got bangs and a shag haircut thereby bidding farewell to the last eight years of Colorado and last seven of my indentured servitude to the jam band scene.
Hello, Chella Negro.
So, what does it all mean?
I think, perhaps, I’ve realized that the energy I’ve put into finding love, cultivating it, making it work, doing whatever it takes, and telling myself whatever I need to hear to keep it alive has been severely misdirected.
Can I take a stand and say, “No More!” right here and now on Tumblr?
I can try and try but there will always been some impossible boy who tells me I look nice and smiles at me a couple of times.
And my pupils will dilate and my brain will buzz and I will set to dreamin’.