You should date an illiterate girl. Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her. Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale or the evenings too long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed.
Begin to notice. Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same. Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.
Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent of a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, goddamnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick. Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals.
A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.
Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness. Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers.
You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you.
On Friday:Okay, you have a lot of homework to do this weekend so you'd better split it up evenly each day. That way you'll get the hard stuff out of the way and you'll be able to relax on Sunday and not worry too much about the coming week. It's really important that you do this stuff and not fuck around, just sit down and power through it. It's going to work out really well and you'll feel really accomplished and you should just really take initiative because honestly if you don't you're going to get super overwhelmed and then you'll end up stressing on Sunday night and not getting any sleep and then you'll be tired during school and it really is just a vicious circle so, come on, you got this, you can do this.
Drove to Tylers in lots of traffic, stopped for In-N-Out, got to his place, set up camp, met parents.
Went to Bass Pro Shop, which is FUCKING HUGE. 2 stories of hunting/fishing/grilling/camping/out doors shit. I felt very at home, which is a little concerning. Then got a tour of the town. Rancho is filled with fucking shopping places everywhere. I wish I would have realized that I had my camera the whole time. Then went back to his place. Made pumpkin pie, ambrosia, green-bean casserole, chicken, and baked potatoes. Awkward dinner with his parents. Then sleeping.
Skipped Black Friday madness and headed up to Mt. Baldy. Not prepared for snow. Went up on the ski lift to the top of the mountain, played in the snow, hit Tyler with a lot of snowballs, made a snow man, breathed in some nice mountain air. Went to a dinner for lunch because I was craving Shepard’s pie. Greasy as all hell and Tyler and I felt dead for the rest of the night.
Despite this, he took me back to Bass Pro Shop so I could buy some .22 LR bullets and 12 gauge slugs for my Dad for Christmas. Yes, I am buying my dad bullets for christmas. WTF. Anyway, then wandered around Victoria Gardens, this huge shopping mall, and ended up buying tons of air freshener stuff from Bath and Body Works. My room smells like cookies atm. Some of them will be stocking stuffers for the folks. Then went back to his place, got a message from David, cried for a few hours while Tyler tried to calm me down. Finally passed out.
Got up, ate breakfast, then went out thrift store shopping. I had already spent a shit ton of money this weekend (I ordered my mom an ipod shuffle for christmas as well), so I went to the ATM and limited myself to 40 bucks. Awesome 40 bucks spent on:
1. An almost new copy of Kafka’s “The Trial”
2. A tall, sexy pair of brown heels.
3. A pair of black-ish jeans.
4. 4 pairs of earrings, 2 I actually wanted.
5. A mini cupcake tin
6. A nice copper-bottom saucepan like the kind my parents have.
After, we went to a Mongolian BBQ place that was pretty good, despite the fact they kept playing these weird versions of popular songs composed entirely of bells. Then we toured some christmas lights, went back to his place to pack up leftovers, and made it back to SD in 2 hours. We then watched TV and did homework til 4 in the morning, where we mcguivered me a bed out of couch cushions and promptly passed out.
All in all, pretty awesome weekend. Now back to finals hell.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to process information. Like last night when I received a troubling email from my ex, explaining that he no longer wished to talk because separation was the only way he was going to move on. This makes sense. This is a logical decision. I understand where he is coming from.
I just have no idea how I am supposed to process this.
It’s hard even accepting that this is a possible scenario. Since we’ve met, the two of us have never been without contact for more than a few days. The one time we had to go a week without correspondence was one of the worst in my entire life. So imagining the rest of my life without one of my best friends is difficult, nay, impossible.
And I know it’s for the best. I am trying to move on with my life, because I know that at least right now, things wouldn’t work out between us. Both of us have bitter memories and grudges. Both of us have hurt/been hurt fairly badly. And both of us have a lot of growing up to do before we are ready to try something serious.
But god, it’s hard.
I know we still love each other. I know we will not forget how special our time together was. I know that he was truly my first love, the first person who understood, the first person my soul had a deep, boundless connection to. I am hoping he is not my last, and I am hoping I can find someone else who can make my heart fly and ache this much. But for now, I have to try my best to let him go. Even if it feels like every piece of me is breaking. I have to get healthy. I have to invest in myself. I have to be supported. I have to be safe and sane and happy. And right now, those should be my priorities.
I hope we can be friends, David. I will always love you, and there will always be a place in my heart just for you. Nobody can ever take that away.
My parents couldn’t really afford to fly me home this year, and I thought I had plans with David and Jon, but both of them decided to go home (because us breaking up is, I suppose, enough justification to ditch my ass and leave me down in SD alone). So Tyler was nice enough to offer to take me home to his place.
His family is scary. It’s just his mom and his dad. His dad is nice, his mom…well, it’s not that she’s a scary person. I think I am just naturally scared of mothers who aren’t mine. His house is super seventies and despite the fact it’s in a huge suburban city, it’s got shitty brown carpet and wood paneling that reminds me of my old house and makes me feel better.
This is the first thanksgiving I’ve ever spent without my parents, which is a little bit scary. I miss them, even though I will see them again in 2 weeks. I dunno. The holidays, for some reason, always make me very nostalgic. I miss the mountains and the rainy school days and the trees and how everything always smells so beautifully fresh just after it rains. The air is thicker back home. More full of life, and each breathe is so crisp it stings. I miss that.
But here is nice too. To be honest, the two of us have been spending so much time together that a holiday apart would probably just consist of me texting him all the time. We aren’t dating yet, but we might as well be. It’s become a sick dependence of mine, in some ways. He’s always there when I need him, I can always talk to him, and he’s wonderful at calming me down. The last thing I do most nights is cuddle with him before he either drives back home or passes out on the futon on my floor. I feel safe and protected and okay when I’m with him. It’s nice. Like if I gave him my heart, he’d fix it, make a case for it, and never loose it or break it. That kind of trust is nice to have.
Sorry for the following rant, I’m not having a terrific day and short of punching this bitch right in her god damn face, this may be the only thing that will make me feel better.
Dear stupid bitch,
I hate you. And you know what? I knew I was gonna hate you from the minute we met at that party that one time. You just give off this weird, bitchy, judgmental vibe which I freakin hate. But now all this living with you is making it much worse.
You know who you are.
You bitch about how people leave stuff around, put shit on “your shelf” in our SHARED fridge, and yell if we don’t take out the trash in one day.
YET YOU leave your heels on the fucking floor for a month, leave food out and put your shit on other people’s areas and didn’t take the trash out for like 3 days.
And you being a hipocrite is actually the least of my complaints about your stupid, annoying, bitchy little face.
You leave hair in the shower and then blame it on me WHEN I AM THE ONE WHO FUCKING FOUND YOUR HAIRBALL BEFORE MY SHOWER AND HOD TO PICK IT UP. You talk behind my back to our other room mates about me. You fuck your boyfriend (who, by the way, clearly is a dick, isn’t that attractive, and doesn’t give two fucks about you and is just using you for sex) IN OUR SHOWER, WHILE WE ARE HOME! That’s fucking nasty. As least wait until we aren’t there. I can hear you two from my fucking room. You cry obnoxiously loudly all the time. You make awkward bitchy comments because you are insecure, but don’t have the fucking courage to say it to our faces so you leave a series of rude sticky notes around the apartment. You expect everyone to follow your rules when we established a set of rules at the beginning of the year. You awkwardly look through your room mates underwear drawer, which is creepy and inappropriate. And in general, you lack tact and any social ability to be decent to another individual, you selfish fucking bitch.
Next time you want to make a god damn comment to me about something, why don’t you come and find me and POLITELY ASK ME TO MOVE MY STUFF, so I can say “Oh, sorry!” and move it. You know, instead of leaving a bitchy message for me to find. Because I swear to god, if you fuck with me, I will knock you the fuck out and break your scrawny ass in half. I am sick and tired of you being a bitch and I dont give a damn if I have to live with you for two more quarters, I FUCKING HATE YOU.