On One Hand

March 10, 2006

Sidewalk Confessional

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:31 pm

God I want this relationship to work so bad, so bad that I don’t know if I could walk away from it even if I needed to. I love him. But when we sit down and try to talk about what’s wrong, (which is a real novelty, I might add, to date someone who actually doesn’t mind talking, who doesn’t hang up the phone when I say I was hurt), when we talk like that I have no idea what he’s saying. I try so hard to sit there and listen and I don’t see it, because what he says sounds too much like what I am saying, because what he says sounds too much like saying nothing, just “I hate this conflict” and no real explanation of what the conflict really is.

No, I do get it sometimes, I do say we are making progress when we talk, but then he thinks we are not making progress so I must not be getting it and I throw up my hands and say I’ll never understand.

And it hurts me to death that he has this aversion to my friends, because I have spent hours and hours trying to bond with his, to the extent that I overstayed my welcome, my presence too strong, too forceful, and now he expects me to somehow make it up with them but the only way to make it up is to make myself scarce and I guess that’s what he thinks is part of the problem. I wish I got some kind of credit for the fact that I’m doing the best that I know how.

But no, that’s not the real problem, it’s just a complaint. The real problem is I am no good in relationships, that once I like someone it stops being fun and when it isn’t fun you’re just addicted. I don’t laugh and joke, I care too much, I don’t give myself the freedom. Most of my friendships, relationships, whatnot, are short-lived. My family, they stick around no matter what, but of course any outsider can see that aside from my dad and I, my family and I don’t get along. My mother and I fight, my sister and I are awkward trying to overcome years of rivalry, and the rest of the family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, well – I am very quiet at those gatherings. I love them but I am quiet, listening, hearing the stories and not really being the rude and crude and center-of-attention me that I am with my friends. Which isn’t bad, I just don’t think that they know me.

I do have friends I’ve known for a long time. The main difference between those friends and the short-lived friendships of college years is that my good, old friends aren’t ambitious. It seems odd but it’s true, they love the moment, love life, love earning five-fifty an hour, are content, and they don’t cling to the distant future, which, I hate to break it, never comes, I’m saying the distant future only retreats and all you really live in is the present.

Clay and I need to do things together, which we don’t do. He says he wants to know me more. But he doesn’t ask me, he doesn’t even read my journals, which would be a start. He isn’t nosy, I wish he was nosy. I wish he could see me in my natural environment. That would be amazing, for him to know me as I am, with my friends. But he is averse to my friends, a quick circumstantial judgement he made that they’re all the same, and after six months of dating he has spent time with my friends twice. Twice!

I hate to say this but I really think he’s just not interested in my friends because my friends don’t have to do with his resume, with his future, his career, which is only realized through time spent working and chatting with film and theatre majors, not my lame anthropology and womens’ studies and sociology friends. His career/resume/involvements (one word) is very important to him. He is, to steal a phrase, “hyper-involved.” His career – it is his life. He spends 70 percent of his time on it and he hasn’t even started a career yet, a junior in college.

It sounds like I’m cutting him down, just for being career-oriented, for being just like any college student, just like any American (who he hates, ironically, the Americans). But I’m the same about the career. So much of my life is poured into writing. Really, all of my life, every moment, is traceble in meaning to “that thing that I do.” And I think the difference for us is that writing, to me, is a much bigger thing than just the degree I’m working on. Writing isn’t words on the paper. It’s how you connect, bring together, all the lost and fragmented pieces of life. It’s how you make the world a Whole. Bringing things together. And so, to write, I make friends. I do things: I fall in love, I talk smugly about Clay, I sing in the wrong key, I drink beer, I write for the paper, I smoke cigarettes, I work out and then stop working out, I try cocaine for the first time, I hit my head on the ceiling, I pound my angsty fists against the quivering card table, I hear my families’ stories, I read the Baghvad Gita, I throw up over the side of the porch, I love my mom and my dad, I wear my ex boyfriend’s underwear, I speak to my coworkers in terrible Spanish, I cut onions until tears run down my face, I plan trips, I fall out of trees, I try to make up with my astranged sister, I slip playing kings-cup and spill all the vodka, I laugh, I talk, I listen. Because that’s what I view as my career; take the parts, make a life, mess it up again and again, learn, listen, and then sit at a keyboard and share.

And somehow I think he and I can connect. Clay and I, we have hope. I do writing, he does film. They’re both about telling stories. They’re both about sharing little moments with the world, and both have a powerful yet undefined purpose for all of humanity. If only he would see it the way I see it, or maybe I am the one who needs to learn, maybe I get him wrong, but if that’s the case it will all come in good time. If only we can bring our minds together, to touch.

Because I love him, I told him once and then took it back later because he didn’t respond, but I do love him. In truth I’ve whispered it thousands or hundreds of times into his hair or over his chest, and countless more I’ve confessed it in his absence. His blue eyes, his tall, lanky body, his hands, always dirty, his wide smile, his laughter, his mind, his heart. I love it. I want to pour myself into it and make it work between us. But I’m coming to terms with the fact that the only person in the Universe I control is myself, and that means preparing myself for faults in others, because I can’t change the facts that they will and do have faults, and are undependable in the end.

Maybe I have to remember again what I once beleived and then forgot, that I have to keep pushing, walking over the nails, the pins, the scorched pavement, without protection, to keep doing what I think I need to do in spite of those faults, to pretend, to dream that we are all perfect.



  1. I want to be your friend matt ..i think it comes easy to talk to you your understanding and give good advice even though you say what constantly..your cool i like being around you and its so easy to talk to you did u see us sunday we were pretty much talkin to each other and that was it..ur cool to be around and i understand how u feel.. see ya at work..and i have to work sunday morning so i will be there instead of just driving up to chill wit you lol

    Comment by snapperjunky — March 11, 2006 @ 3:46 am | Reply

    • lol thanks. Well put. You don’t have to say you want to be my friend because I already assumed we would be. I have a good time with you too.

      Comment by ononehand — March 11, 2006 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  2. i dont even think kids over 18 should have the right to smoke.

    btw, stop trying to call my cell and then lying about it on LJ.

    Comment by lackingquality — March 13, 2006 @ 10:28 am | Reply

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