On One Hand

October 25, 2004

On Holiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:49 pm

I lost the energy. It slipped away the way a weak buzz does when you sober up. The lights go on, your consciousness that was woozing around the room returns to its tight little bundle inside your brain. The flow of verbs and adjectives and the concentration needed to weave them into passages has been cut off, leaving me standing alone naked in front of a minimalistic backdrop. The flair is gone in the head of a pin.

So now I must change focus. From words to images. From ideas to activities. From screens, keyboards, pencils, and paper to cameras and bare hands pressing against bare flesh.

The leaves lost their romance. Swirling around trunks and treetops, they’ve gone from messengers of the season of love and stories to bits of plant cellulose caught up in nitrogen air. They’re dying, and in death they utter to me their last message: You tried too hard. A million tiny voices whisper in unison. You tried too hard, you pulled at space for feelings and it gave you more than you could find words to describe. You felt the feelings and you got caught in their fixation. You got caught using the same words over and over again, the same thoughts over and over again. How many times in the last month did you talk about “a new energy” or stars or planets being aligned? How many times did you paint the spirit of the day as the search for an intellectual romance? You described the same feelings with the same metaphors in the same context despite the spectrum of connections you could have made, because your mind was caught up in the flow of a swift current that traps you in and turns you around, turning in place and moving around fast without moving at all. It’s true.

There has been an image in my head for a month and it’s all that I’ve spoken of. In it is me, walking in an autumn attire through a swirl of brown oak leaves, surrounded by campus buildings, down a concrete path with browning grass and transitioning trees on either side. I’m walking toward another boy, some kind of close romantic friend. The love between us is obvious, and mental playfulness the predominant energy that keeps us there. He’s holding a book. We laugh. We kiss. The image is limited but the feeling is expansive, encompassing the whole campus and the whole city and the whole world moving in a certain way, invisible over the edge of the image’s finite field of view.

The image never came true. I wanted it to. I wanted it so bad I got addicted to the fantasy, and now it has grown stagnant in my mind. The image must move out, letting me move on and forcing me start over from scratch, because there may be no romantics like me to come any time soon. God do I want that, for someone who thinks like me; a boy willing to hook up or fool around not because he’s horny, not because he’s in lust and seeks the carnal nature of things, but for the experience, for the knowledge and wisdom to keep for later, found in exploring the depths of passion and contours of each others’ bodies. We connect.

I may find someone, but chances are he won’t be into it for the same reasons as I am. I’m having my need for experience met only with myself as he’s having a different need met with his own self, and we’re each having sex only with ourselves and just happen to be in the same room and touching each other.

The essence of my personality seeks connections with other people. This is the deepest level of what I need in life. It’s how I define my life, my experience – the factor of review by which I look back at each day and ask if it was worthwhile. I may have to accept a better union with myself instead, or perhaps turn back to God – who is always reaching back – invisible and undetectable to me.

I have to stop writing for a while. I think it would be good for me to take a break. The phases of my mind form a clear pattern: spend one month writing, one month gathering the experiences with which to write. I’ll still be around, saying things, but I won’t be making a point to say it pretty.



  1. You have a great gift of articulation. Enjoy your haitus… you will be missed. You’re sensational, in every sense of the word.

    Comment by zendocrescendo — October 26, 2004 @ 1:10 am | Reply

    • Well I won’t be gone, I just won’t be forcing myself to write pretty things when it isn’t coming.

      Comment by ononehand — October 26, 2004 @ 4:19 am | Reply

  2. It seems not only with the passing of time must our fantasies change but our fantasies also change with the passing of seasons. I mean, who really wants to kiss in front of a fire place when its 110 degrees outside.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 26, 2004 @ 1:21 am | Reply

  3. Sutton recently wrote an entry that read:

    “I want to watch the snow covering the Firs, so thickly falling through the air that the valley below is unseen, raising my perception of altitude by 20,000 feet or so. I want to walk to the Greenhouse and tend to the tomatoes, pruning off the dying so the living grows stronger. I want to come back into the house, shaking off the snow, pull off my coat and notice him watching me, smiling, and asking me to come sit by the fire. I want to fall asleep in his arms, awaking once or twice to put more wood on the fire, seeing how truly beautiful his sleeping face is.

    This is what I want, not a 9 to 5. Not a purposeless scratching of a living to support my ungrateful 2.5 kids and a wife with fulfillment issues. Not to volunteer for overtime so that I can pay off my midlife crisis sports car and girlfriend on the side.

    I think homosexual love is something deeper than a hetersexual couple could ever experience. Love in the traditional sense evolved for logistical reasons. A strong attachment between a pair increased the chances that their offspring would survive. But gay love is without this underlying evolutionary purpose. It basks in the fact that love, in the physical and emotional sense, is based PURELY on attraction, on the beauty of giving your partner the most indescribable pleasure only because you love him that much. No instinctual desire to sire children, and to provide for them so that they may someday become parents of their own. Gay love is something beyond that, something much more beautiful in its innocence, much like a grade school crush.

    I feel like the world around me is being knitted closer, a higher thread-count woven around me. No more loose strings leading to no where. I’m finding my place in it all.”

    If only you two were a few miles closer.

    Comment by iwishedforyou — October 27, 2004 @ 12:21 am | Reply

    • Interesting. I can identify with what he’s saying. I still want kids, though; that’s important to me. I’m sure we will find respective counterparts regardless.

      Comment by ononehand — October 27, 2004 @ 3:08 am | Reply

  4. The Struggle

    Matt, if journalism isn’t your talent, it must be close to it. I enjoy reading your journal every few days. So, take a few days off. I know too well the tragedy when I force creativity. How it feels so good when it flows, and how it feels so frustrating when it doesn’t!

    Comment by buddyoverstreet — October 27, 2004 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  5. How many romantics could there be in Colorado? Perhaps eventually you’ll find yourself in a larger, more liberal metropolitan area.

    Comment by tempur_tempur — October 27, 2004 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, you probably know how I used to feel about New York. We’ll see what happens. Maybe if I became as good a writer as I’d like to be I’d end up in New York, though personally I find that a little pipe dreamy. I just need a good job first.

      Comment by ononehand — October 27, 2004 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

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