I'm not sure why she effects me like this. I guess it's partially because she pierced my defenses like they were nothing. Just dandylion fluff on the wind. It was like she had stepped out of some small town in the midwest with the friendlyness that is SO fucking rare in this city of dry-blood memories and bitingly bitter dreams.
I felt real. For once in the past 7, christ going on 8 now, years I felt fucking REAL. None of the falseness that permeates my world day in day out. My relationship with my mother is SO fucking fake we might as well be cardboard cutouts. I do shit for her and basically do what she says but there's no emotional connection on any meaningful level. I stay in her house because I'm afraid of spending the huge amount of money it would take to leave and being left without a safety net, and she lets me stay becuase she's too guilty and complacent to make me leave. There's no THERE there, just fear of change and vague feelings of duty.
My school life is intellectual junkfood. Getting A's for C class effort is momentarily pleasing but leaves me with plenty of mental fat. I rarely feel as sharp as I can be and my attention span has frittered away to almost nothing. I can do well in a world of lowered expectations and people who are stupid enough to party away the night before a test, but that means nothing. Providing mediocre effort among the relatively intelligent doesn't lead to the spectacular. And yet if I can get a 3.9 on minimal effort what reason is there to attempt to go full bore? It just seems like a potentially frustrating annoying situation and I'm not ready to risk it. You can't make a 3 course meal from a pack of ho-hos.
My friendships have all gone sour or shallow on me. I don't know if I've ever had what I would call depth in friendships, but at least during high school I had frequent connections and similar experiences. I don't KNOW anybody anymore. Maybe Jeff, except that the nature of the relationship is so FUNDEMENTALLY unbalanced that it just doesn't count. I pay him, he's my only shrink and I'm just but one face in a sea of patients for him. It's not something I can rely on or use too often, I can't take advantage of his good nature, seeing as he already puts himself out for me. Beyond that...well...there's a void deeper than space. And I'm alone out there.
I'm nowhere near what I imagine myself to be, I look at old pictures and I'm thinner and my eyes don't have the black smudges under them, but more importantly I'm ENGAGING my environment. I'm part of the world. I just don't feel that way anymore, I'm like a ghost wandering through my old haunts watching how they've changed and waiting for a mortal to see me and take some pity. But I don't feel real.
And then I saw her and she smiled like land rising over the horizon to a ship lost at sea, and brought so MUCH flooding back. Canoes on the placcid waters of Lake Rangely, carnival rides, night time in the woods with the frogs chirping and the stars shining with the promise of a million unexplored cosmos far beyond the scope of my imagination.
LIFE. REAL life. Life in the sunshine and the out of doors where traveling is not hell and not everything is a detonator for the mom bomb. She brought the memories flooding back like Tennis Balls from a machine, one by one hitting the same soft spots over and over.
I'm not sure why she does it to me, but each time I see her it's like she's the only clear object in a vision field blurred by years of tears, a high definition digital picture in the midst of an impressionist painting. But clarity comes with a price because I see MYSELF in that picture too, not as the impression of who I once was or who I may in the future be, but who I am. Pale, flabby, alone, and lost. And I know that as beautiful as she is and as much as she moves me I can not have her. She can show me kindness and interest but ultimatly we are on two different levels, at two different points. She is in the full blossom of adulthood moving towards the security and complexity of intellectual labor, and I'm still a floundering consumer of the type of knowledge she's busy learning how to produce.
I wish I could wind the clock forward a few years and meet her as equals, I'd give up whatever pleasures the next couple of turns around the old sun might have to offer just for a chance to approach her on eye, rather than ankle, level, but that's not how life works. So this is a strictly look but don't touch situation. And I want to touch her. I want to lead her by the hand to show her the vivid green of a mountain top that CAN'T be that green if she's not there to see it, I want to listen to the loons cry over the lake where the ashes of my father are buried and for once not be ALONE in it, but it's all just fantasy in my head. Like so much of my fucking life. Dreams without substance.
And the thing is that emailing her and just asking if she wants to get a cup of coffee seems like it DIRTIES the whole thing. It's mapping the fakeness onto one shining spot of reality in a shrouded existance. I know it's never going to go anywhere, no matter what I want or do or say, and playing out the game seems...stupid. But abandoning hope is so damned hard, especially when it's so damned rare.
Of course I can't tell her the truth. That'd be unfair to both of us. I can't say "For some reason my mind has latched on to you as one pure, real person in a world of falsehoods and filth and I may seem just like some barely post adolescent dork but I'm actually a unique and brilliant man complete with offbeat sense of humor, deeprooted sensativity, and the kind of morality and willpower that you're going to really crave in about ten years when you start to understand just how immortal you're not and someone who can appreciate the various layers of beauty that exist within every drop of rain will seem very desireable." It's not the sort of things people say. So instead I have to talk to her from within a plastic shell of "How was your trip?" and "Oh I'll probably be a psych major" and it feels so WRONG because of what she has come to mean to me. She is, as unfair as it probably is to put this sort of label on another human being that I know so FUCKING little about, an anchor to the world of colors and dreams that I one day hope to return to. She represents the REAL world that might be out there, where I could get married, have friends, and actually mean it when I smile. She represents something that even in this depression fueled fantasy world I have constructed I CANNOT deny. Sunshine on a cloudy day? An escape from all these swathes of grey I keep swimming in.
A reason to keep breathing and striving and FIGHTING the light which seems to be dying all around us.
Yeah, she means that much and I don't even know her phone number.
So that's why she keeps bouncing around in my head day in day out and that's why just saying "Hey Erin, wanna get some coffee" seems like jumping off a diving board without checking for water in the pool.
And the fact that I want her so bad she permeates my dreams and CAN NOT have her is why she needs to disapear into the shadows, let the greyness fill in behind her, and not be part of my life. Because as long as her face and voice are still clear the shroud which protects as well as distorts is still lifted, a little, and I can feel the sharpness of my pain. So I sit here and type and listen and cry and wait for her to recede again. To get out of my head. But she won't, not yet...not for a long time yet. Every reminder means that much. Goodnight Erin, wherever you are, I hope your dreams will be better than mine. I hope your world has no shroud, and I hope to god you never feel this loneliness with a percieved (and probably falsely so) medicine so close at hand but so far from capacity. I hope nobody does.