this is a part of something larger, or at least it started as that, and then I got stuck trying to make it have a point, and trying to make sure the point was correct and virtuous and unassailable, and then I started trying to relate it to a bunch of other things, and then it became much too vulnerable, and now I’m not sure what it is. but I do know that trying to make everything perfect before I let anyone see it is a thing I’m working to get over. so here’s something weird and unfinished and much too vulnerable that I’m very much still figuring out. if you like this, tell your friends, and maybe even encourage them to subscribe. if you wanna read this or more things like it and you’re reading this even though you aren’t subscribed yet, maybe try out a subscription. xoxo
Someone I loved for a long time, someone who almost certainly thinks I’m a monster now and maybe is right, used to say to me “you’re not people.” That’s how we would say we loved each other. “I hate people. Not you. You’re not people.” All those things that everybody does? You don’t do those things. All the stuff that makes me hate everybody? That stuff isn’t about you. Everything applies to everyone, except for you. Every statement is general, but you’re the exception to all of them. I love you. You’re not people.
We were all trying to be special, back then, back when we made up this language, back when we were creating each other, each trying to live in whatever story the other one told. We were all crawling over top of one another, struggling for the light, trying to stand in the exact same square inch at once. We thought we could make love defy the laws of physics and logic; we wanted to build something where disappointment couldn’t reach and where the limits of the past couldn’t touch us, where nothing likely ever came true. We were trying to beat all the odds. We were all trying so hard not to be people. I loved everyone for the wrong reason, each and every time, but I wanted every reason to be the right one; I wanted all the miracles to win, like a kid jumping off of a roof to prove he can fly. We all hit the ground so hard every time. Every time we got up and did it again.
I think I’ve gotten better since then, or anyway I tell myself that I have. I lean into the story that I learned something from failure, that I got to compassion by way of loss, that I learned how to be a person. Maybe I did. But sometimes I still want to believe in love in the worst way. Sometimes I’m still trying not to be people.