Part 3: Junior Year
New possibilities were still somewhat similar to old infatuations, in which case there was no real point in steering away from such a valiant and highly moronic effort. I was too used to everything at that point. Each feeling of hurt became somewhat more so a part of me. I was addicted to my heartbreak as if it was the same as all the other drugs. I thought that possibly it was all a test. It was just a way for me to wait until the big Hollywood ending, and yet I couldn’t write a movie cataloguing all the moments that led to my eventual decision that year. She was a mistake of an undeniably high caliber, and yet it still felt much simpler to lay the blame elsewhere. It was bad timing or possibly the world spinning in a counter-clockwise direction, making all my slow steps forward seem as if they were taking me back to familiar places full of less than marketable memories of loss and overly-glorified depression.
I don’t know why it took me so long that year either. Maybe it was the shell I was comfortable living in, painting my walls with hieroglyphics of possibilities, stones left unturned. In short, I suppose I was waiting for her to grow up like I thought I had. I figured that eventually she would simply wake up and realize one day that life isn’t about what isn’t happening somewhere. It’s about what’s happening specifically somewhere. She found other places to waste her time, cataloguing photographs of less than familiar faces. People she thought knew her, and yet they were all somewhat fickle.
The ones that would survive the test of time would only be worn down by the people around them, much in the same way that I had grown more than accustomed to those who were constantly encircling me. They were there to listen to all of my bullshit about her, my minor complaints eventually snowballing into full-fledged annoyances. I was stuck with the satisfyingly dull pull of venting whenever I felt like it, whenever the moment was right. I think everyone just grew accustomed to it. They saw me as that guy, and when she was around they saw the worst parts of me as that guy slowly resurfacing every few minutes or so.
I slowly started to hate myself. It was inevitable that somebody like her would do that to me. They would tear away at my insides until there was nothing left. I hated those around her, though. They were exactly like her, and as I saw it all as something bigger, something that I knew would happen, but wasn’t necessarily sure I was ready to buy into such an extremely easy-to-grasp concept, I eventually decided that it wasn’t right, that it would never be right. I decided to try and exile myself from her. Our paths wouldn’t cross. I would avoid wondering about what was going on, what was happening in her life. She could do whatever she wanted, and I was less than thrilled to hear about it.
Maybe all of it did hit me sooner than I thought. There were tons of moments where I found myself more than a little bored with the concept of listening to her debauched tales of life, her escapades in hardwood floored apartments dancing around diminishing possibilities and settling on those that she would never truly know. Maybe I never truly knew her. Perhaps there was a time earlier, in the years before, where at one particular moment I saw her as something bigger than all of it, as someone who at the very least could serve as a muse for some grand manifestation of pixels, but it didn’t work like that.
In fact, I couldn’t even think to dwell on such previous feelings of juvenile heartbreak, attempting to spawn them into something beautiful. Instead, they were just there to linger, and eventually die out. I don’t love her anymore. How could I? We’re different. We’re possibilities lodged together out of fate or possibly diminishing will power. In any case, this year, this junior year was a turning point of divine caliber. It was a chance for me to see her out of her element and the same was true for me. While she would attempt to tear me down to size, bringing up past moments of embarrassing clumsiness, I would slowly realize that it was the only way she could save face. We were in different worlds, different times, and all of our previous moments were now awkwardly shoved in a blender. They would spin and turn; occasionally being brought up at parties or in passing living room conversation, but none of it mattered. We were torn apart, and even the last ditch effort didn’t do anything other than send me spinning in another direction.
This direction wasn’t necessarily a new one, and yet I didn’t fully realize how incredibly soul sucking the whole process would be. Favors turning into possibilities of friendship, eventually slowing down and formulating into something more so familiar. It wasn’t like loving her this time, though. No, this time it was a completely different. A more gradual and highly confusing process that I still haven’t even begun to reflect on yet. It’s impossible to do so, it keeps spinning round like any carnival, and I can’t simply avoid it.
I can’t look at the ad in the paper and choose not to go, or move to another town, hoping for some much-needed peace and quiet. The wheels will eventually start heading in my general direction, not allowing me the time or energy to get over any of it, and it’s not her fault, this new one. It’s never been her fault. It’s mine, because I am more or less so used to the pattern by now that irregardless of how things supposedly change, or what they change into, it’s still somehow the exact same. I’m still that guy at the end of this year, and probably at the beginning of all the next ones.
My headphones are my solace, songs scattered over different formats, all the old ones that used to remind me of the earlier years now remind me of the years to come, the hurt, the anguish, all the bullshit happening periodically and over and over again. It’s not like I’m complaining, though. In fact, maybe all of this is good for me, and that’s exactly how I felt at first. At the new beginning I couldn’t see any of it sputtering off in the wrong direction and even now I don’t see it that way. It’s not like I’m the problem, although sometimes it feels like I am. It’s everything else. It’s the way they all are, those that I came to know and those that are faded photographs. It’s all of them, and they’re all an intricate part of this elaborate and highly coincidental mess.
Of course, I didn’t hate any of them at the end of this long and winding turnstile. No, at the point where her story comes to an end and another one starts, I was happy to simply be feeling some of the same feelings for a different person. It was reassuring, and yet all the more complicated. Whereas before it was a lot simpler, none of the others were quite like me, now and even when it started it felt somewhat unsettling. All of the others this time were like me, or at least trying to be somewhat different, maybe a little cooler, a little more sure of themselves. They weren’t in love, though. No, they were just going through all the familiar motions that they were used to. They were pretending to be different, they were trying, passively attempting to leave an imprint, and some of them have been more than a little successful at it.
Not this year, though. This year was about the end and the beginning, about the movie that I don’t want to see again. It was about all of that, about both of them and no one at all, and it ended with the possibility actually seeming like something it was. A possibility that wasn’t just pretending. Maybe I’m rambling here, but I guess I just wish somebody else would get it for once, and not just say they get it to reassure me of my all-too familiar way. I want them to actually get it. To understand that maybe, for once, and only once, I was happy pretending like I wasn’t when everyone kind of knew that I was.