Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Conversation Between Friends


"So you think I'm in love?"

"I didn't say it like that. But I was just teasing."

"Okay, seriously what do you think?"

"It's not my place to say anything. It's your decision at the end of the day."

"I know, but I also want to know what you think."

"No you don't. You just want me to confirm what you believe so you can feel better about yourself."

"So you think my emotions are easy to read?"

"Girl, please. I've known you since what, we were five? I could read you as if you were a book. Even if I met you an hour ago, I could still tell if something was up."

"That's debatable. I'm not that transparent."

"Okay, let's get down with examples. Take the girl you were talking to before. You act like you no longer care who she's with, but really, you're still hurt that she didn't fall in love with you."

"That's incorrect."

"I don't believe you."

"The only reason why I acted like I didn't care was because I thought it was hard to be friends and have romantic feelings. I felt like I could only choose one."

"Yeah, it can get hard sometimes to draw the line. But it doesn't change the fact that you were hurt when she started seeing someone else. You always seem to want to exude this cool, chill persona, as if no one can hurt your feelings. And that's fine, it's a way of living life. I'm just saying that you don't have to pretend when you're with me. Or even if you decide to pretend, just accept the fact that I know how you're feeling, even if I don't say anything.

Also, I know how it feels when someone doesn't pick you. Having feelings for anyone that's not reciprocated hurts like hell. But even though I sort of understand why you feel the need to lie, there's no need with me."

(a period of silence)

"I hate it when you word situations like that."

"Haha. You know you love me. You just know when I'm telling the truth."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Open Letter to a Friend



I don't remember how we met. It was definitely in elementary school, but other than faded memories of you running around at school, but other than that, I don't remember much else. You had long golden hair, much longer than it is now, which always seemed to get in your face when you ran from one classroom to the next. From what I remember, you were a bit arrogant. Even at five years old, you knew your self worth.

I don't think we were friends back then, though we would tell people we were because our parents told us to be nice. I was extremely reserved, and you were extremely outgoing. Sure, we talked to each other occasionally, and probably played together, but we were never "friends". At the time, I don't think it could have worked anyway, we were too different.

I grew up nerdy and with extreme self-image issues, which were masked by self-deprecating jokes that I threw out as a defense mechanism. (Even then, I had a talent for insulting myself). It was unsurprising that you grew to be a social butterfly.

There was this one memory that I have, of you coming out at the ripe age of eleven. This was particularly funny now that I look back at it because when you had accepted who you were as a person, I had no idea of the person I was. I thought it was great that you managed to surprise the school, even the teachers, into accepting who you were. It was an achievement.

And this triggered something in me. I couldn't exactly point to what it was at the time, or maybe I didn't want to, because to admit the truth would mean facing truths that I was not ready to accept yet. Maybe it was envy, envy of your ability to not give a damn about what others thought of you. Your ability to be happy with who you were.

I remember feeling very envious of you. I couldn’t admit it to myself at the time, or I didn’t want to, because to admit it meant accepting a few truths about myself I wasn’t ready to confront yet.  And looking back, I realize that that was precisely what I felt envious about. Your ability to be happy with who you were.

It's not as easy as people think it is, being happy. Sometimes it takes a lot of bravery.
We started talking more at a dark time in my life. I had just lost my friend, and I was struggling with self loathing and depression, and you were still yourself: outgoing, confident, and most importantly, happy. Just like you have always been.

Memories of us talking about life and how you had everything to look forward to, while I didn't have faith in my future and where my life would go. It seemed like we disagreed on everything, but the fact of the matter was we felt comfortable talking to each other about things that mattered.
Our talks became an almost nightly tradition, sometimes I would look forward to it at the end of an otherwise boring day. And, in the midst of these conversations, what started as a casual friendship turned into a true friendship.

But, like most things, we changed. Our life values changed, and what relationship we had built weakened over time. The changes seemed small at first, and the gradual disintegration of our friendship barely noticeable, but it happened, and neither of us could have done anything about it.
This continued until the moment when our friendship was tested, and because of its weaknesses, it broke.

At the end of the day, I can't blame you. Your decisions are yours, and being true to yourself is the best thing. I didn't hold a grudge, just know that I am still your friend.

Sometimes I catch myself wishing that things were simpler, and that whatever problems we had can be solved by picking up our phones and talking to each other. But sometimes, it feels more complicated than that.

However, I still have hope that, given time, things will settle down and we can continue our friendship where we left off. Maybe in a few years, when our lives have progressed, we can still find space and time for each other. But even if, in this lifetime, there never comes a right time, when time and silence and growing distance erases the possibility of a friendship we could have had, the fact remains that in the twenty years that I've lived, I had met someone truly special in my life.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dark Sky



When I was in high school, the school in the neighboring city decided to hold a dance that included students from neighboring school districts. One of my teachers had a nephew named Henry who was my age, so she asked if I could go with her nephew to the dance as his date. The thing was she didn't say the word "date", she just asked if I wanted to go.

I took a few days to think about it and ended up deciding that if I wanted to stop not being sure about my sexuality, I had to start going out on dates with guys. So I walked into her classroom and said I would go.

Things started out fine. My dad decided to drive us, so I picked Henry up at his house at 5 pm. We didn't know each other, so the ride there was extremely awkward. He tried to initiate conversation, but we both knew that we were forcing ourselves to talk. It was definitely one of the most uncomfortable situations I have ever been in.

When we got to the campus, I just sat at a table in the corner of the event. Later he joined me at the table, and we sat some more. We didn't speak this entire time. To this day, it was one of the longest nights of my life.

Fortunately, I knew some girls at the school, and they decided to come to rescue me from Henry, who was the worst date created in history. He looked like he understood. I made up a few half-hearted apologies and ran off with the group of girls. I never looked back to see if he was still there.

After meeting up with a couple of friends, I just went out by myself and stared at the various couples hanging out. I think I just felt sad more than anything. I tried to go back to Henry and sit with him, but there was no point. With my friends beckoning to me, this situation just kept getting more awkward by the minute.

So after a while, and sat down on the grass. My dad wasn't outside. I called him and he said that he'd pick me up before midnight. I still had to find a way to waste the next couple of hours.

I remember leaning back and staring into the sky, and it looked like a deep gray marble. After a while, I had a strange feeling like I was falling. I straightened back up with my heart beating quickly in my chest. I felt like I sensed loss, even though I couldn't explain it. I definitely felt lonely.

Henry and I never spoke to each other again. The few times we saw each other, we acted like we didn't know one another. It was just an uncomfortable situation all around, one of which I'm glad to never have had to repeat again.