one/one/twentyeleven

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I wish I could say that what I miss the most would be my childhood, but the truth is far, far from that. Don’t get me wrong. I do have fond memories of my childhood. I did like building forts. It was something my brother and sister would do when we were a lot younger and bored. I was also the sort of kid that can get lost in the world of her stuffed animals and legos and cooking sets. I would orchestrate all these elaborate stories for the characters I’d create, and grownups could leave me alone for hours as I packed all my toys into a plastic car for an adventure out in the garden.

I do miss that. Getting lost in a world that I create. If I think hard enough I can remember the trance I’d place myself in. I’d be so caught up with the dialogues I’d make one G.I. Joe say to one of my dolls. I’d have tales of kidnapping, betrayal, amnesia, cooking parties, and endless trips out to the “jungle.” The closest I ever got back to that world was when I wrote my first short story this year. Rather than have stuffed bears and outlandish scenarios, I drew up characters from my experiences growing up and from my friends’ personalities. These characters of fiction that I created kept me spellbound for days. You couldn’t tear me away from my writing pad (as I’m one of those writers that still write by hand sometimes) because my story was taking a life of its own. I drafted their histories, the way they looked, their zodiac signs even, and I just imagined how they all interacted with each other. In my mind, they became real. As if they were my dearest friends.

Then from that moment, I realized that magic never really left my life. For a long time, I was just so caught up with everyday life that I lost sight of the things that made my life worth living. To me, it was magic. It was all about possessing a sense of wonder and being able to see the world in an incredible way.

So, what do I miss then? I miss intimacy with a lover. A lot of people would regard that as a sign of weakness, acknowledging that life is missing something when you don’t have a significant other. I’m one of those, and I’ve been hesitant to admit this side of mine ever since I excavated myself from the toxic heap of endless relationships I threw myself into.

The last time I had a long-term relationship was early in 2008, and since then I’ve been flying solo, sometimes going on dates with some guys or hooking up with my ex’s again. Those never lasted long, especially with the hooking up, when you end up feeling emptier than what you began with. It’s not the assured nookie or the constant companionship I miss. I just miss looking into the eyes of someone who just gets it.

Someone that I can share the kooky observations I make about life, without having to fear them getting weirded out. I miss being on my bed with someone, side by side just staring at the wall, discussing philosophy, life, and god knows what else. I miss that. More than anyone would ever realize.

In one of my favorite graphic novels “Blankets”, author Craig Thompson illustrates a scene where he and his younger brother Phil were walking in a field near the house they grew up in. Craig remembers that as kids, he and his brother discovered an otherworldly cave there and explored it. Then as days went by, the earth kept caving in, burying that hollow space in the ground until one day, they just came across flat ground.

Craig:But that memory is so dream-like — too eerie and beautiful and cryptic to be true. I’ve long since catalogued it as a creation of my subconscious.

Phil:No. It actually existed. I was there.

Craig:And that’s my comfort — that someone else was there and experienced the same thing. How else could I know it was REAL, and not merely a dream?

I’d like to think that I don’t romanticize this connection with senses of heightened idealism, that float too high up from reality. I certainly don’t go around looking for it anymore. This sort of thing cannot be forced. It just happens. I miss the moments when you find your back on the ground of a damp field with someone and you guys are just gazing up into the stars waxing about existence and the infinitesimal. I miss long drives along a quiet, cold highway singing songs you both love. These are all quiet, simple moments. These are the moments that give me the most joy. I think far too much time has gone by for me to easily believe that these things have happened.

Even rarer is something I classify into the class 1 experience, that moment of tension before a first kiss. When the air feels electric and time slows down and you get more sensitive to every single sensory experience… down to smell, taste, touch. When there’s no alcohol or drugs involved, when it’s the right person.

It’s the first day of January. The first day of year 2011. I start this new decade feeling really sentimental. As I carefully wrap everything up, I guess I also have another thing to request from the universe. Some magic again, please. Something real. Like blogging in the midst of a raging New Year’s Eve party.

***

Maybe I am finally coming to terms with my need to grow up or maybe there’s something about being Zen right in the eye of festivity that gives me a more heightened sense of self-awareness. Like finding order in chaos. I figured I did what I did (or used to do) because I was afraid of being ordinary. I figured “expanding my mind” by way of illicit substances and lazy interactions was out of the ordinary. Ordinary is a relative term, and I get myself into trouble by carelessly tossing terms like this to people, places, and things.

All those times made for good pictures and for interesting stories, but few ever made it to be cherished in my heart. It hardly ever made it there because I couldn’t impart parts of myself through all that talk about drugging, drinking, and being dope. What I accomplish is me simply scratching at the surface and feeding my ADHD. Strangely enough, the moments that made it to my heart involved the most mundane things.

Like the times I’d be in bed, staring across his face intently, and divulging all my secrets, and reaching to interlace my fingers with his. Or whenever I’m sitting in the sidewalk, resting my head on her shoulder, and discussing our theories about the stars and the planets. Or whenever we’d have quiet meals at home, where we’d laugh about our day and unearth more stories from our childhoods. Or whenever we’d walk the dog, tugging the leash and taking in the scent of the streets right after it just rained. Or whenever we find a patch of grass to lie down on and end up listening to the quiet and the sound of our breathing.

I still enjoy my reckless, obnoxious, inebriated fun every now and then – the sort that has me hurling beer bottles at walls covered in graffiti, but it hasn’t been the utmost importance anymore. I think all this time, I’ve been wanting to pull off normal and be rid of all the hysteria and the sparks that shoot off from it. Better the hysteria than the mundane, said my former delusions.

I was afraid for nothing. I realized I didn’t have to look that far. I’ve been waking up everyday now.

I am so much tamer now.

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