You shouldn’t fall in love with someone unless you are sure that you have room for them in your life forever, and you shouldn’t keep the pencils just next to the Scotch tape if you are made at all uneasy by the notion that all the gifts you ever give will have eraser shavings all pressed and suffocating on the wrapping paper.
I once told a boy that he was the only person I’d believed had ever been in love with me. What I meant was, “You are the only person that has ever been willing to put up with absolutely anything from me,” but even that wouldn’t have been right. Maybe, “You are the only one in my life right now that will still touch me softly when I have proven to be nothing but cruel,” or, “I am such a miserable, lonely person, and I have learned to manipulate and tear at anything that might temporarily help me to forget that I am forever scraped away of my top layer of skin, and you somehow don’t seem to mind my incessant ripping away at you. You remain inexplicably devoted to that helping to forget,” or even, “At this moment, we are lying in your bed, and there is a part of me that believes that that means something.”
He doesn’t answer my calls anymore.
There is a man in New Jersey that does not know what I mean when I say that my dinner tastes metallic, like blood. There is a man in England that does not know what I mean when I say that my face feels chapped around the edges and tapped out. There is a man in Jordan that knows only my name and how to play the violin. There is a man in my bed that does not know what I mean when I say that there is a man who knows what I mean when I say that I am not sure what I am, but I don’t know where he is.
In each of your paranoias, there is some truth. No matter what they tell you, there is no freedom or comfort that comes with acknowledging this. There is a virility, there is an insurgence, there is an angry fever, but there is no freedom, and there is no comfort.
You are such a tiny thing, and you hold such heavy guilt. I see it as seeping through the pores in your long face, as streamers of pus that shoot out but stay connected. It is always just beneath your skin, and it is loud so that you cannot even ever hear the forgiveness. It must be such a thing to be you and never know that you are so much more than what you have done.
Somewhere in the multiverse you are, a world is ending. Its earth quakes and water rushes, and it is starting to crack and crumble at the core. You can connect this, if you’d like, to the feeling you have now of having hit your head (at your birthday party) on the corner of something sharp and the warmth of the blood at the surface and the shiver of all eyes on you. You can connect it to when you were 14 and falling in love. You can connect it to a foreign war someone mentioned to your mother when you were in utero, to the spidering of glass in the car accident that will one day kill you, to everything, anything, nothing. It doesn’t matter. You’re right. It doesn’t matter.
But you should never think that it means that you don’t.