Forgive me. This is a bit dumb, but I wanted to write it down so that I can try to remember it. Bear with me. Or don’t. I mean, I don’t wanna bother anyone. Not that anyone does or should read this. Anyway…
I’ve been having this terrible feeling. It’s like these spiny, smoky phantasms have been creeping around in the background, and they took some toxic something and poured it right into my soul. I don’t know what that means. I realize that I was wrong to judge Lily, though. Maybe sometimes we judge people to protect ourselves, but that doesn’t make us right. Not that it makes us wrong, but I also don’t think that it really makes sense to judge people. Doesn’t it say way more about us than about anyone else? That’s why I feel guilty again.
I find it easy to blame people. I do it all the time. When someone does something that’s different from how I’d do it, I think that they’re immoral or stupid or unfair or unthinking or something. Of course they have their reasons and of course they’re either thinking about what they’re doing or they’re just too stressed out to think. We all know that feeling when we’re all jittery and insomniac and our skin feels like it doesn’t fit us right and it feels like we’re not supposed to be in this world right now. Well, at least, that’s how I feel. I guess other people feel it, too, but maybe not everybody. But like I was saying, when I’m uncomfortable, I blame someone for it. If someone does something and I feel hurt, I assume it’s because they shouldn’t have done what they did. It’s easy to decide with a heavy index finger that someone should be held to my standard, but that doesn’t make sense, does it. It’s harder to come to the conclusion that, for weird reasons, I feel bad, and I’d probably be better off if I figured out what that was about and if I figured out how to deal with it.
To anyone not as stupid as I am, this’ll all be obvious. Sorry.
Sometimes men do this. Sometimes women do it. Sometimes non-binary people do it. White people, black people, Asians, etc. But, I don’t think that people are wrong when they point out that straight, white, cisgender men tend to act violent and entitled. It feels unfair. I hate it. I feel the disgust in someone’s shoulders or the way they avoid looking at me or how they say as few words as necessary if I say something or ask a question. It makes me feel alone. But that’s also unfair of me. I think everyone’s emotionally insecure and all that. I mean, I’m those things—all those things: male, white, straight, violent, entitled. I’m sorry. I don’t ever wanna hurt anyone. Maybe we all are those things, but for some reason, we seem to breed these men to act this way, and so I guess that’s part of why I act this way. Hopefully, I’m not too bad.
I’m back at school. It felt like I’d be in Europe forever (I managed to get outside Europe a little bit, but that’s not the point), but I’m back in reality now. It’s so weird and complicated. Sometimes, people don’t trust me and it makes me feel bad, but people probably look down at, and dismiss, people for being different from how I am more often than people look down at me, so I guess I shouldn’t blame people. I mean, I don’t know what anyone’s going through. If I lived everything that someone else did, why would I think that I’d make a different choice from them?
So, why did I treat Lily this way? Well, I guess it’s because, really, I’m in love with her. I mean, there are a lot of songs about love and movies about love and even books about love. So many. So many! But, I’ve felt some love before, and I don’t know if it felt like a book or a movie. Sometimes, pretty close, but how do you write a feeling? How do you show a feeling? I can’t reach into you and put a feeling there and you can’t, either. What I noticed about Lily is that I did the thing I always do. I did this violence. I strangled and suffocated and killed the lifeforce in our relationship. I’m not saying that she was perfect. You’ll remember my complaints about Lily, but weren’t they so petty? Why was I mad? I was mad because I love her. If I could point out what, to me, appear something like imperfections, then maybe it’s not all my fault. I think that secretly (to others, but more importantly, to myself), I tend to blame myself for everything. Not exactly. I just have this eyeless little bug that sits in the back of my brain and it just slowly gnaws and drools back there, and all it does is constantly convinces me that I might be judged and I might be blamed and I might be wrong. In the end, it’s like I’m not good enough for anything. But, I was good enough for Lily. That’s why she was with me, you know? She chose to be with me. She made her choice, and for her, it was right. I decided that I wasn’t good enough for her. Sometimes, she was confusing and sometimes she was unfair. But, you know, everyone is those things sometimes. It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. Sometimes, it’s okay to let someone be a bit childish. She can be pretty childish, but that’s just my opinion. Maybe I’m doing it again. I mean, it’s not even any of my business. The thing is that I want to be with her and I always wanted to be with her, but I was stubborn and proud because I was scared. I felt alone and I felt guilty for just existing. I felt that she would definitely leave me. I made her decision for her without even realizing. I feel a bit stupid for it, but that doesn’t help.
No one’s perfect. Lily’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. But also, everyone and everything just are. Maybe that makes them perfect. I often think about this YouTube video I watched of some British guy from the seventies. I think he basically says that everyone’s already perfect always. That sounds weird, but when I think about it, it feels right. We sometimes do things that aren’t helpful or that are inconvenient or whatever. We’re all neurotic, sometimes. We all get distracted. I let my doubts distract me. I need to love myself. I was unfair to Lily and I kept her from having the relationship that she wanted to have with me.
I keep writing about God. For a second, I wanted to do something dumb, like I’d ask for God to intercede or I’d say that we’re all God together or something like that. Maybe that’s all true. I dunno. Do I believe in God? People ask me this more often than you might think. I think about it. I ask myself. If there’s a God maybe God shows herself most clearly in the spaces between two people, especially when they feel that indescribable vulnerability that we call “love.” I want God to be like that, and when God is like that, it’s really that God is giving us the gift of allowing us to give to each other. I want to give to Lily, but maybe I fucked it up and maybe it’s never coming back. There was something so warm between us. I really think that we do respect each other and admire each other. I really think that we both want what’s best for us. Maybe she’s mad at me, too. Maybe she’s frustrated and maybe she feels betrayed. She wouldn’t be wrong to feel that way, would she? Maybe she feels a bit insecure and a bit guilty. Our relationship didn’t work, and it’s always sad to sit along the shore and watch a vessel slowly char and wave around and topple over as the ashes and the fumes spread around, eventually dispersing until there’s nothing recognizable left. To me, that’s what it felt like between Lily and me. What happened to the transcendent, beautiful gift that we occupied together? Where is that thing? It’s never coming back, but I’d like to build a better boat if I could. I watch her from a distance, I cry, I wish, I pray. I feel guilt, I mourn. I hope and I hang my head.
I wrote this about blame, but it’s really about guilt. I want to change my name. Joey is dead. I want to have no name. Everyday I’m a different person, but I want to have this familiar soul beside me. No one could be for me what she is, and I don’t want anyone to be something else for me. I just want to learn to forgive myself and to show her that I can be patient and that I can give her the kind of love we all deserve. We’re all broken a little bit, and I just want to secrete for her the little bit of glue that can help to hold her together when she’s mad at me because she’s mad at herself because she’s mad at her dad from when she was eight or whatever. I mean, who knows how these things work? I just want to be good to myself and to be good to her. I want to work with her and to come up with strategies for how we can be good to each other.
But, I guess that can’t be. Not right now. I have to accept that and it’s so hard. I’m back at school and it’s hard to focus. I just want to talk to her about all of this. For hours and hours. I want to know why she’s mad at me. I want to tell her why I’m mad at myself. I want to hear what I did wrong. I want us to talk about what we can do to behave differently. I’m just going around in circles now. I just wish that things were different.