November 28th, 2003

into this night i wander

The past is forever changing, but few realize it...

They never bother to teach you anything truly worthwhile in school. Math, grammar, chemistry, how to play hockey. Sure, those might come in handy one day, but they don't help you get through the problems of life. They never teach you what to do if you find out a friend is dying of cancer. They never teach you that you deserve overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a week unless you fall in that small group that doesn't qualify. They never teach you that movie love and tv romance is a sham. You have to learn all that stuff on your own.

It was nearly 2 am when I drove by and saw that her light was still on. There was an immediate urge to park my car and walk down the street to her house, but I resisted it, opting instead to slow my pace to 20 mph while trying to tell myself that the idea of stopping was foolishness. In the movies, the hero would stop (typically in the pouring rain) and throw pebbles at her window to get her attention. She opens the window and he declares his undying love for her. Or she answers the door, they look into each other's eyes for a 3-count, then they embrace and start kissing, declaring their love without saying a word. You have to wonder where film writers get these ideas because they definitely don't stem out of life in the real world. Show up unexpectedly at 2 am to the house of an ex and there is a chance that you'll piss them off, even get the cops called on you. A night in jail isn't tempting to anyone that isn't homeless.

I drove on by, wishing she'd been at the window as I passed for just one glimpse. It's for the best though. Had she been there, had she seen me and smiled, I'd have wondered what that smile meant. If she'd frowned, I'd have wondered why she hated me. If she'd looked past me like I didn't exist, I'd feel like she never cared at all. Anything I gathered out of her reaction would've been hearsay anyway. How could I know she saw me at all? How can I expect to understand the look on her face that I only saw for a split second while passing by? I'd wonder about it for no reason at all.

If she had been there and I had seen her, what then? In the movies, you'd expect the hero to stop the car in the middle of the street, get out, and they'd do that whole run/hug thing. He'd pull flowers out of nowhere or swear his love for her or something equally mushy. She'd cry and cry, declaring her love for him. It's not all that easy. If I stop, she might come out. We'd stand there looking at each other awkwardly for a few minutes, talking in short sentences. At best, we'd hug and I'd leave. At worst, she'd make a snide remark, I'd get angry, we'd argue about something stupid, and matters would only be worse. Love can't be repaired these days. Sometimes we try. Sometimes we think we can succeed. But in the end, most of us fail.

They never teach you what to do about a broken heart in school. They never tell you what sort of tape is best for mending it, what sort of glue is best for piecing it back together, what sort of alcohol is best for drowning it in during an early spring rain. If they did, maybe I wouldn't be toiling over everything. Maybe I'd be a well-adjusted banker or lawyer or some other responsible member of society. I'd have a home with a wife and dinner on the table at 6:30, with lunch waiting for me in a pail in the morning. I'm not well-adjusted. I don't want to live a routine with a zombie. I want someone just as poorly adjusted as I am whom I can spend my time with. Until then, I'll just keep going through this same cycle of trying to find the right combination of things to make my heart function again. I drove on, hoping that one day none of this would even cross my mind. I'm too tired for all this.

loosely based on this, with a shift of story.
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows - Low (cover)
Seriously though

I seem to have lost my instinct for life. Do you have any to spare?

The problem with knowing me is that I'm not real. It isn't just a me thing, this applies to everyone, but I think it applies to me in an even larger manner than your average person. People get an idea of who you are based on your actions and your words. When you're constantly cynical, they assume you're a cynical person. If you're always seeing certain types of movies, they assume those are the only movies you like to see. If you have a certain job, they assume you enjoy working in that field. Take my family for instance. I get the occasional call or email asking for assistance with a computer. They assume that I like working on computers, since that's part of my job, and so they're ALLOWING me to do something I enjoy that'll help them. They mean well, but they don't know that I'm only a fan of working on computers as a hobby that works out to my benefit. If I'm working on one in my spare time, I want it to be for me. People always accuse me of being cynical or pessimistic. No one ever sees through it though. No one ever realizes that I wear cynicism like a cloak to hide the fact that I'm overly optimistic about things. They don't see that I use it to protect myself from pain from being too hopeful. I'm reminded of The Who's Behind Blue Eyes. No one knows anyone, they only know the sum total of their perception of a person's actions and words, from which they base their idea of who that person is.

Who I am is a lie because no two people know the same person. I'm still discovering new things about myself every day. I'm still changing every day. Hell, I'm not the same person now that I was an hour ago. The naysayers out there will use this all as ammo against me, claiming that I'm purposely different to different people. All I can do is shrug in response. If you didn't know that you were a thousand different people at once, then you're a fool.

There was no point in writing all this. I was just thinking about it and decided it was worth saving for my own good.

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm tired and I am cold
And I am naked and alone
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows - Round Here (live)

(no subject)

I guess I ought to head back over to Jen's parent's place for the night. No plans for tomorrow. I'll probably just head home after Lucy is fed and put out for awhile. I gave the briefest consideration to going out Christmas shopping tomorrow. Not even shopping, just meandering. People watching. *shrugs* We shall see.