People always seem to be so obsessed with beauty–with physical perfection. The Adonis and the Aphrodite; the essence to possess a kind of je ne sais quois and I wonder if this is what it is like to exist: to constantly be searching for vanity at a level that is considered human but parallels narcissism.
I will never be traditionally pretty and it’s always terrified me but I never really understood why–half in part because I never thought the meaning mattered, and half in part because I enjoyed the idealism.
But this I’ve known: in our own lives we have all defined our core with our own truths, our own guidelines. Sometimes they’re created from happiness and the moments of our life that were sheltered by euphoria and handled by epiphanies. Most of the time, they’re created from those days we can’t force ourselves alive but somehow we’re still living.
I called you last week. You’re doing well now. I’m twenty-one going on fifty-five and you’re still the perpetual twenty but it’s different. Your words are choked with melancholy and I don’t remember this.
“How is your new place?”
“It’s nice! I love it. But I don’t even have a ricecooker!”
“Why not?” We both laugh.
“I don’t know, they’re expensive and I live alone! I don’t like making rice just for me.”
“What’s your address? I’ll send you one.”
The point is that there won’t be a ricecooker. The point is that I don’t send you my address–so that whenever it comes up I can say it was my fault, and not yours. The point is that in these conversations, you’re the mother I’ve always wanted and you’re the mother you always thought you were. The point is, that, now, twenty-one years later I understand that these conversations are as much for me as they are for you.
Lately all my mind is capable of is thinking of how you are all I want.
Except there is no definitive you: just this constant blur of ideologies and tendencies–my proverbial checklist (because people and their personality traits are to be treated like groceries)–the superficial wants and momentary obsessions.
I want the me, plus you. I want the kind of coupling that makes me feel as if I had spent my entirety with you and not apart from you. I want the two dogs and two cats: the five kids and the Disneyland trips that don’t really make sense because our kids are two or three or five and six and will never remember because I still haven’t.
I want my parents without my parents. I want to not want–to feel like you were belonging from the beginning.
You are in every one I meet: vibrating through everything I have ever done.
You are an idea that I was not put here alone–that I am not just me but there is another half, another part–you are the belief that these nights alone will not be the majority.
This is my worst fear, but my greatest resolution.
You don’t exist. You will never exist, because I was not born half of a whole. I was born an entirety. These nights alone were not indicative of loneliness, but just me–forgetting the parts of myself that I loved the most. The parts of me that made me my own whole; my own human.
I am in everyone I have ever met–and they are in me, too.
I don’t know if this is just another level of social media redundancy; another sinew of vanity to self-assurance or a partition from world and mind.
My oldest brother caught me blogging, once, when I was fourteen–and told me blogging was just mental masturbation. That it was something people did to flex for personal gratification: there was no purpose, no productivity–just selfish pleasure. I don’t know if he was wrong, or callous, or if I had just caught him in the middle of one of his moods. But in that sentence I re-evaluated my entire self-worth, regardless of the intent or bias behind his thought.
In that sentence I became ashamed of two things: the only organic talent I’ve ever cultivated (writing), and the only organic conflict I’ve ever formed (my sexuality). In that sentence, I realized the essential nature of my shame.
I’ve spent the past seven years discovering how to come to terms with being the youngest and only female in a male dominated hierarchy; how to come to terms that someone else’s idea of shame could be valid yet irrelevant–how my talents and my body were mine and mine alone.
The idea then, is that this will be me in the one form of expression I’ve ever only understood: in the one place that I never brought myself to be allowed.