This entry brought to you by two fucking yummy bottles of fucking yummy Gulden Draak (237).
This is pretty long, but it's not drivel.
Do whatever you want with that information. Read it, or not. I'm fucking writing it anyway.
I was sitting in this meeting this morning, listening to this lady drone on and on and on about our personality test scores and how they relate to our happiness and our suitability for certain activities. At one point, the lady was talking about numerical reasoning or some shit like that. As I looked at the big bold numeral 10 on my sheet, and I listened to what the lady was saying about how the higher the score a person had, the happier one would be in a technical line of work, I was suddenly struck by the absurdity of her words.
Her words just didn't ring true to me. They just seemed wrong.
That's not right, I thought. I may work in a technical field, but it's not who I am. It's not what I'm most suited for. It's not what I want to be. It's not what I'm supposed to be.
This whole personality test exercise was supposed to give me insight about myself and how I think and interact with others. It was supposed to be a good thing, for me and for the team I'm part of, and for the company I work for. It was supposed to make me a better worker.
I sat there and listened to this lady rattle on about team dynamics and the need for balance and blah blah blah, and I realized that none of it mattered to me. None of it was relevant to me, or to who I am.
I am not a technical person, my resume and training and experience notwithstanding.
I am a writer.
I didn't say I was a great writer, or even a particularly good writer. But does a person have to be good at what they're supposed to do, or is it important only that they do it?
The latter, I think.
Anyway, I used to write. I used to write actual meaningful entries. So what if they were only meaningful to me? I enjoyed the writing, and even more, I enjoyed reading what I'd written. To vicariously relive my own life and my own thoughts and my own feelings through my own written words - that's a pleasure that I've enjoyed for as long as I can remember. When I've allowed myself to do it.
I enjoy it, so I'm fucking going to do it right now.
If you don't like it, then stop reading. But, I have to ask, if you don't like it then what are you doing here in the first place?
I've written about how it began. The struggle that had been lost before it had even started. The stubborn refusal to accept that there were things inside me that I could not control. The night that I died. How I was reborn into a world of pain.
I've written at length about how it progressed, and about how it stagnated and withered and regained strength. About how it seemed to abandon me in a gray place or on a lonely beach.
I've written about the beginning, and I've written about the middle, but I've never written about the end.
That is something I'm about to change. That is an injustice I'm about to correct.
If you don't want to know, then stop reading. I don't know how I can be any more clear than that.
I was sitting on the couch at Rich O's. I'd just arrived a few minutes earlier, and I was still getting settled. My first beer and cigarette of the night had barely been touched. I was talking with UplandWheatDude.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked me.
"Nothing," I replied.
"You seem pissed," he said.
"No, just a little tired I guess," I answered.
"Oh," he said. "I thought you might be pissed because LaptopGirl is in town."
I went numb.
"Oh. Is she in town?" I asked. I wanted to run. I wanted to run and never stop running, but I didn't know where to go.
"Yeah," he answered. "At least, she was in here on Monday."
Twenty seconds later, she walked in the door.
Later that night, in another journal, I wrote this entry:
If I don't write something tonight, I'll probably never forgive myself.
Problem is, I'm not sure what to write.
Anything I write will be inadequate to describe what I'm feeling. Even though I'm feeling nothing, the depths of the nothingness that I feel cannot be expressed in words.
Not by me, anyway.
I had a bad feeling about tonight. This is somewhat normal for me. I'd like to say that tonight, that tonight I felt especially apprehensive, that I knew before I even left my house that tonight would be special. I'd like to say those things, but I won't.
I won't lie to you. Tonight, it was just a regular bad feeling. No better and no worse than all of the other bad feelings I've had every night for almost two years. Just a feeling, a knowledge, a certainty, that I wasn't ready for what might happen. But there was nothing special about tonight. Nothing at all.
I saw you tonight. I saw you tonight for the first time in almost a year. I saw you tonight, and I didn't even know it was you until you turned around and someone pointed you out to me.
We never spoke. We never even looked at each other at the same time, as far as I was able to determine. We simply existed in the same place at the same time.
No, wait. That's not right. Not strangers. Something else.
Something else, because I didn't just carry on as if nothing unusual was happening. I tore my eyes away from you, and I bit my tongue, and I fought back my tears.
Something else, because you didn't fail to see me. You sat five feet away from me, and you ignored me.
I looked at you, when I could. You're a bit heavier now. You're tan has faded. Your hair is shorter. Your smile is as beautiful as ever.
But something was missing. I looked, when I could, and I never did see what I most expected to see. I never did find what I most wanted to find and needed to find.
There were always sparkles before.
Tonight, there weren't any sparkles.
Tonight, there was nothing.
And that's what I'm feeling after seeing your beautiful face again after being denied it for so long. And that's what I'm feeling after hearing your voice after being denied it for so long. And that's what I'm feeling after missing you and needing you and loving you for so long that I can't remember a time when I didn't miss you and love you and need you.
This will change. I'm told that you'll be in town for several weeks. I will not hide from you, so I will see you again. Perhaps, one of these nights, you'll see me. Perhaps you'll acknowledge me. Perhaps you'll speak to me. Perhaps I'll get lucky and die at that moment, while the sound of your sweet voice still reverberates in my head.
Perhaps there'll be sparkles.
I saw her a few more times, before she left. Before she went back to her new life. The one without me. The one where she's happy.
The next time I saw her, I apologized for being such a baby.
The time after that, she sat next to me, because there was no other place to sit, and we talked for a bit. We talked about DaveFest. I told her that I wished she could have been there for it. I told her that I missed her.
The next time I saw her, I wanted to talked to her like we had in the old days. But it wasn't meant to be. There were too many other people, too many complications, too many obstacles. I watched and I waited for an opportunity, but none ever came.
She said goodbye to me while she said goodbye to everyone else. I was incidental. A face in the crowd.
But you know what?
It was okay.
I'd gotten what I needed.
What I wanted, that had fluctuated over the days and weeks and months and years. What I wanted had waxed and waned far more often than the Moon which I used to imagine us sharing ever had. But what I needed, what I needed, that never changed. And what I needed, I was given on a wonderful night in September of 2006.
Fuck all that other stuff. It's too late for any of that. Sometimes I think that it was always too late for any of that. But the thing that I needed, I got.
I got a little piece of that friendship back. Not all of it, for all of it is probably impossible. But I got enough. An inkling of a hint of a suggestion is all I got. But it was enough. Enough to make it all worthwhile.
I once wrote, I just want two more seconds. I believe that I'll be destroyed in those two seconds, but it would be worth it.
When I wrote those words, I meant them. Two seconds would have had to be enough, because I felt that two seconds was all I would ever get. I would not live to see a third second.
Well, things change. Circumstances change. People change.
Tonight, in October of 2006, I still want those two seconds. But tonight, in October of 2006, I don't see them as the poignant and overdue end to a sad story.
Tonight, I see those two seconds as the continuation of a new beginning.
I'm getting my friend back, and that's all that really matters. And the thing is - that's all that's ever really mattered. Every hope and dream that I'd ever had about anything more just muddied the waters and clouded my judgement. Beneath everything else, and towering over everything else, I missed my friend.
It's been tough tonight, writing this. To put a label on something brings, after all, a risk of error and exposure. I've been wrong before. More often than not, in fact. I suppose that I could be wrong again, but I don't think so. Not this time.
This time, there is a calmness about me that I haven't felt for a very long time. It's pretty disconcerting. Like I was born in a maelstrom and I'm suddenly facing clear skies for the first time in my life. It's pretty fucking weird is what it is.
This long nightmare is over. What a strange and wonderful and frightening thing that is to say.
The end. What a delightful tragedy those two words are.