Maybe you’re reading this, but if you are, it’s okay

Well, that was the most short-lived relationship I’ve ever been in. Welcome to the world of adulthood, or something like that?

I’ve been– lost, since the official Handing Down of the Word took place. A little lost. Because it seems like I should be in some sort of emotional state in the aftermath, but I’m not. I’m just– well– I just *am.* No adjective. And according to Kant, being is not a predicate, so where does that leave me?

I’m not angry, not bitter. I’m not *thrilled*, either, obviously– I guess maybe a little sad, sad that I drove him away. Ironically enough, it was my fear that I wasn’t good enough for him that, in the end, made me not good enough for him. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that shit. But I suppose that’s what happens; one person once upon a time tells you you don’t deserve to be in a relationship with anyone, you don’t deserve to be loved– you end up dating a string of guys who are nice enough but who have considerable flaws and who don’t treat you exceptionally well, and then you meet someone about whom you, oddly enough, have no reservations whatsoever, and king of kings, he likes you and you start dating. And the whole time, you keep telling yourself that this is too good to be true, that it’ll only be a matter of time before he sees what an undeserving, unlovable mess you are, and so a part of you starts preparing for that time to come and in the interim, sits in the corner filled with anticipation and dread.

As happy, as incredibly happy as we were, I still needed– so much– constant reassurance that we were okay, that I was still wanted and missed. But I was too proud and embarrassed to ask for it, so of course he didn’t give me any, so of course my worried little self took it to mean maybe we weren’t okay, then, and maybe I wasn’t still wanted after all. He picked up on the unspoken paranoia and, when it didn’t go away, felt the need to get out. Who could blame him? Everyone needs validation, sure, but in my case, the validation needed can be too demanding.

Right?

I’m so hesitant to even think about defending myself because if I’m justified, the implications are– something that would hurt even more than this break-up itself. But sometimes, I wonder if the lack of validation from him wouldn’t have affected me so much had I not gotten the exact same validation every single day from other people in my life, from friends, family, strangers. I was getting the words I wanted, needed to hear from every single person except the one from whom I wanted to hear them more than anyone else. But I hated the fact that I needed the validation so much– I hated acknowledging the existence of any insecurities of mine– that I kept silent. And maybe that was the fatal mistake. Then again, it’s just as probable– more so, in my mind– that if I *had* asked, that would have driven him nuts as well.

There’s really not much more to say. I’ve no intentions of devising a Great Plan! on how to "win him back," since he made it quite clear that he is firm about his decision, and I have been in a very strong laissez-faire/que-sera-sera mentality ever since having moved back to Las Vegas. I feel guilty that I’m not torn apart by this loss of him from my life, especially since I wanted so much for him to be around for a long, long time– though this placidness could just be a form of shell-shock and massive heartache could very well kick in some days from now. Truth, in the five hours leading up to when he called me to deliver The Talk, I couldn’t stop crying (intermittently) because I was so sure of what he was going to say– and then he called, and he said it, and my voice didn’t even waver once during *that* conversation. And strangely enough, it’s when I’m *not* obsessing over this, *not* analyzing everything he said and everything I said and the ways in which we said it all, that something in my chest starts to tighten and tremble.

But presently, it just seems to me that the ease (well, "ease"– when we were on the phone, I did try to make a case for him to just give us a chance, but by the end, I just sighed and shrugged my acquiescence) with which I’ve accepted this loss indicates that what I had with him must not have mattered very much to me, when I have never believed anything except the opposite. I didn’t get to see him very often, true, but when we were together, I cherished every second.

We had a good run. We had a *great* run. He made me breathtakingly happy and it’s safe to say that I brought a good amount of happiness into his life, too, for that short while– and what’s to be regretted about that? We should all always be so lucky, to be able to make someone else in this world that happy.

He wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last, and this– this, this a calamity it shall not be.

I guess I should go take down that voodoo worship altar of him in my bedroom closet, now.

(Kidding. I don’t have a bedroom closet. It’s in the coat closet downstairs.)

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Five’ll getcha ten that I can wheedle him into letting me, too

It’s one thing for someone to come home to his apartment after a long day of driving and teaching, only to find that– much like a restless dog who starts chewing up everything in sight after too many hours left to its own devices– the sassbot of a girl who’s visiting for the weekend has liberally covered all the kitchen counter surfaces with crayon drawings of flowers, citrus fruits and a game of hangman.

It is quite another thing for that someone to not only magnanimously leave it all intact for the duration of the weekend, but to indulge it as well:

To his credit, the only thing he did when he first saw what I’d done to the kitchen– and he saw it as soon as he walked in– was smile, shake his head and denounce: "You’re such a *nerd*!" Which is true, but this was coming from someone who reads chemistry and physics books for fun.

Anyway; when he told me he was going to take a shower, I suppose a funny look must have passed over my face because he was on his guard in an instant. I denied anything out of the ordinary, all wide-eyed and innocent-like, but he still shot me a glance of suspicion before disappearing down the hallway.

I sat on the couch, holding my breath and waiting.

About fifteen seconds after the bathroom door had shut, I heard him burst out laughing.

And, I mean, I guess there are weirder things that he could have to put up with, things worse than me making ridiculous certificates and posting the one with his equally-ridiculous nickname emblazoned across it in big bold lettering on the Internet for all to see, things worse than enduring my vocabulary consisting of little more than "jelly beans!" for an entire evening– not because I *wanted* jelly beans, but because "jelly beans!" is really, really fun to say– or my enthusiastic clamoring for us to walk the four miles (one way) to Studio City to go to Pinkberry (and thank god he didn’t humor me on that one). [1]

And, yeah, I could see *some* logic in Jeremy’s suggestion that all this is tolerated in the hopes of keeping me "from putting an orange peel on his head," except when you think about it, it’s ridiculous to think I would ever attempt to make an orange hat for a human. Oranges– especially this year, after the bad winter crop– are too small for even a second’s consideration.

Melons, on the other hand– that’s a different story. That’s a story of infinite possibilities. Oh, man, can’t you just see it? Cantaloupe crowns and watermelon gladiator helmets…

Oh MAN. My fingers are itching in delight already. Hooray for summer plans!

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Obviously, his has his *real* name on it

Before I post anything else related to this past weekend, I just want you to see what I made while I was in San Diego:

I made this primarily because:

  1. I had little else to do at 3 a.m. in a city that isn’t 24/7 friendly (in Poway? Even the GROCERY STORES ARE CLOSED)
  2. What’s the fun of being Level 5 Certified if you don’t have a certificate to show for it?

The first thing I did when we got to his place was open my laptop and show him the image– had I been able to connect to a color printer in SD or had his printer been working, I would have presented him with an actual paper representation, but alas, digital had to suffice. But soon, soon he’ll have a proper tangible certificate, and it’ll get framed and hung on the wall right next to his college diplomas, except a little higher up, because *clearly* being RHL-L5 certified is a hell of a lot more impressive to and influential in society than a Master’s.

I don’t know if I’m just lucky that he’s so easygoing and agreeable with my oddball little antics, or if I just keep trying to push the envelope in oddball little antics to see where his breaking point is– or if he even has one. To date, I don’t think I’ve even seen the guy go through the *motions* of a blush.

Anyway. Once I get over the mind-boggling complexities of reaching ALL the way over to my left to get the camera out of my purse, reaching ALL the way over to my right to get the card reader out my suitcase, then putting it all together to get the pictures (read: crime scene evidence) onto this here computer, you’ll have more testimony to his ever-steady good humor when it comes to me.

Hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine was, Internet!

C6-H12-O6

I asked him point-blank Friday night: "What are you?"

On the one hand, I know perfectly well what he is– he’s the guy (note the definite article– he’s not just *a* guy) I’ve been seeing since late February and whom I fully intend on continuing to see, exclusively; on the other hand, however, that’s a mouthful of a titular description. I ended up deciding (jokingly) (maybe) to introduce him to people as my Red-Hot Lover, Level 5 Certified, because damned if that’s not impressive. He should have his certification badge in the mail pretty soon, so if you have the audacity to question his abilities, he’ll be able to whip out the badge and shove it in your face. BAM! Level 5, baby. Only 42 more to go.

Anyway. So, yeah. It’s an odd thing: I’ve dated, sure, but for almost a year-and-a-half now, I haven’t had a boyfriend, so it’s– awkward– to feel that word rolling around in my mouth. I’ve chewed on it a couple times but haven’t yet spit it out (swallowed it? this analogy is getting a bit out of hand), haven’t yet felt a comfortable familiarity in its taste. Boyfriend. The word’s just sitting here on the tip of my tongue, waiting patiently to be released into the aural world, the complete opposite of the word that has suddenly eluded you and for which you furiously wrack your brain, weeding through all the synonyms which are equal in definition but not connotation, not weight. I’ve *got* the right word, got it on the first try, but because I was never searching for it in the first place– it came here unbidden– I don’t quite know what to do with it.

I’ve put off telling people about him, about us, for a good while– not for lack of want (trust me; I’ve wanted nothing less than to stand on rooftops and shout it all to the world), but because I wanted to be sure this wasn’t a shooting star experience– amazing, enchanting and wonderful, but ultimately ephemeral and unsubstantial. The newly re-awakened scientist in me demands proof before making any claims about anything, but when you unfortunately agree with Hume, assumptions are more or less all you have. Even making plans with him for a week from now– to say nothing of plans for months from now– flies under the assumption that we’ll still be together then. I can’t claim to know *anything* here, but– I’m okay with that. I’m okay with taking stabs in the dark and hoping time will prove me right.

I’m happy, Internet, happier with him than I’ve been with anyone in a very long time. This? This is better than the deliriously happys of before; it’s a grounded, solid, stable happy, a reliable happy, a happy I don’t have to worry about coming and going at its own whim, a happy that isn’t superinflated so as to shadow out little unhappinesses and undesirable traits that, when otherwise exposed to light, tell me this is not where I ought to be. It’s not a happiness in spite of, but rather a happiness because of, and, oh, I couldn’t imagine it in better terms than that.

Only Hume-an (HA! I’ve been waiting for *years* to write that!)

Some people like to claim that Jesus is their homeboy; I’m not one of those people. For a couple of reasons, obviously– the major one being, I roll with Hume. Not that the two are *rivals* or anything, not like it’s really a matter of *choosing*– it’s just that, if I WERE going to have a homeboy of theoretical nature– oh, forget it. If you’re not going to try and keep up, what’s the point in explaining?

But, Hume. All *you* need to know about Hume so far as this post is concerned is: pretty much everything you think you *know*? Hume says you don’t. And all the things you admit you don’t know, but you’re pretty sure about and have reasons to justify thinking that– NOPE! Hume says your so-called reasons are bullshit (well, he’s a little kinder about it, I’m just paraphrasing here– seriously, keep up). Why? Because, in short, there’s no proof that the universe is consistent, and for all purely logical purposes, there’s nothing preventing the universe from completely turning in on itself at any given moment. The past is thus irrelevant from the present is irrelevant to the future, and as time is unwaveringly and consistently pressing forward, we are thereby living in a constant state of random happenstance.

Put another way, what’s true right now, right as you’re reading these very words one by one, will not necessarily be true by the time you finish reading this sentence, which would be… now. And just think about it: maybe it’s true right now that you like strawberry cheesecake jelly beans, which incidentally you’ve liked your whole life up to this point. All the same, there’s *nothing* in a logical universe preventing you from suddenly ceasing to stop liking them at any given moment.

On a much more devastating note: it may be true right now that those you love are alive, healthy, happy and well. A logical universe dictates that some or all aspects of that truth can be invalidated in a split second. It happens to people around the world every single day.

It’s a pretty crap way to live, to be honest, because you end up never allowing yourself to rely on anything, never allowing youself to form or maintain expectations of anything– or anyone. And it’s *safer*, sure, but– still crap. I’m betting Hume was a real downer to be around.

Actually, you know what? I’m not even sure that this is an accurate portrayal of Hume at all, and I’m too lazy right now to Wikipedia him. I’m pretty much just modeling Hume’s philosophies based on what I remember from the courses I took for my Phil minor THREE YEARS AGO, the highlight of which in my memory is:

When A happened, B followed (past)
A is happening (present)
B will follow (future)
————————————-
LOGICALLY UNSOUND D0ES N0T C0MPUTE

Or something. I don’t know.

Ha ha! Get it? I don’t know! Yeah, but neither do you. I’m done.

Silly willy-nilly old bear

Granted, my two main sources on the subject are this book and this book
(I’ve had and adored them since I was 10), but I like Taoism. I like
its simplicity and its rather existential take on life and the world,
its sort of laissez-faire, everything-is-one,
let’s-be-in-harmony-with-the-world mindset. Which, um, sounds kind of
hippy-go-fairy when I write it like that.

In any case, Taoism is one of the closest things I’ll acknowledge when it
comes to personal affiliation, though I won’t go so far as to call
myself a Taoist (I don’t like labels; labels = confining, and god knows
how fickle I can be). It always makes me think of this passage from
"The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle" (or is it the other way around?):

"Oh, bless you, my boy," said [Polynesia], "you’re always
safe with John Dolittle. Remember that. Don’t take any notice of that
stupid old salt. Of course it is perfectly true that the Doctor does do
everything wrong. But with him it doesn’t matter. Mark my words, if you
travel with John Dolittle you always get there, as you heard him say.
I’ve been with him lots of times and I know. Sometimes the ship is
upside down when you get there, and sometimes it’s right way up. But
you get there just the same…"

In sort of that same thread, I– like countless others– am quite fond
of Paulo Coehlo’s "The Alchemist." It was mentioned in recent
conversation so I picked it up last night and re-read it; it’s a
comfort read, with its maktub and its suggestion that "[w]hen you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."

But the thing is, sometimes, it just sounds so– so easy. *Too*
easy. Too easy to sigh, shrug, step back and just let it all be. Too
easy to say, "Things are the way they are," too easy to leave it up to
the universe to steer the way. Surely there are things in life worth
fighting for? But how do you determine what they are? And how do you
know, exactly, when *to* fight? Because yes, sometimes, it’s true:
sometimes, there’s just no way to hold back the river. But how do you know?

Actually, I have that second conversation with just about everyone

"So did you date a lot in high school?"

"Umm, *no.* I never got asked out in high school. Well, except senior year, I had a boyfriend then, but I had to pursue him, and that sucked. Otherwise, though, no. No dates."

"Lack of self-confidence, you think?"

"…No… you know, it was just kind of a weird thing, the boys just didn’t show interest in me. But! Outside of high school? I was *constantly* asked out by all these older guys, like, guys in their 30s and 40s. The ones my age didn’t want me. Only the creepy old men wanted me."

[teasing] "Oh, like me!"

[earnestly] "Oh no! You’re not creepy."

*****

"What do you feel like eating?"

"Food."

"But what *kind* of food?"

"Edible food…"

"O-kay… what kind of edible food?"

[beat]

"Tasty edible food!"

"Oh, well, now we’re *getting* somewhere."

D to the E to the L-I-C-I-O-U-S

Hamburger Hamlet has a killer California Salad (highlights: candied pecans, dried cranberries, avocado). Word to the vegetarian wise: don’t order it without any modifications thinking you’ll just take what you presume will be large strips of grilled chicken (because that’s what you see in your mind whenever you think of chicken in a salad; thanks, McDonald’s) and set it aside for someone else (read: your dining companion) to eat. Because the California Salad? Has its chicken cut and mashed into tiny, hard-to-distinguish-from-everything-else-in-the-salad bits.

Still. *Killer* salad. And really good shoestring fries.

*****

There’s a gelateria on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade called Angelato Cafe— over 100 flavors (which, given that there were fewer than 100 offered inside, I assume are rotating flavors) including Nutella and Green Apple Caramel. The latter tastes just like those green apple caramel suckers (mmm) and is fabulous.

And! The gelato is served in adorable little plastic cups which are TOTALLY worth holding onto, which I TOTALLY would have kept myself, but it was kind of windy and we were heading toward the pier at the time and my hands were already full with my sunglasses case and my camera (neither of which, it turns out, I ended up using), so I’m sorry to say I threw mine out. I couldn’t even recycle it because there weren’t any recycling bins around (kind of ironic, given that the Promenade was hosting an extreme Earth-Friendly event that day).

*****

And King’s Hawaiian Bread tastes infinitely better than normal (which is pretty fabulous, it should be noted) when you’re doing dishes and silently obsessing about it in your brain because there’s half a loaf just *sitting* there on top of the fridge, and, oh, even cold and plain, it’s JUST SO GOOD, and someone sneaks up from behind and surreptitiously slips a piece of said bread into your mouth.

Those tricky mind-readers.

So partake already

It was yes!

And actually, it was a yes in formation starting all the way back in the beginning of December!

This should have been Annexed, sure, but I’m in the mood to force you into partaking, somehow, in my blissful glow.