So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

I was away for a few days. There’s so much that I’d need to say in order to get you all “up to speed” but I have to remember that this is only me, writing for myself. I will say anything for anyone else – I type fast, I talk fast, and these posts can be pages yet only take me 20 minutes (as long as I don’t scroll back to check myself). It’s a stream of thought through coffee. Did you know betta fish were actually designed (evolved, whatever) to live in puddles? We put them in clear water because they are beautiful and we, assholes, want to look at them. I didn’t design this analogy, it just occurred to me. Analogy for exactly what, I don’t quite know, there are so many hanging around so you can pick one.

I feel like my past is dissolving behind me, and I don’t like it. I have to figure out why. Why am I having such a hard time moving forward? It’s not like the past was all that awesome or anything… it was, but it’s still over. I feel like I get overly sentimental all the time, and maybe I do. Unfortunately, my points of reference for how to properly handle the past have been given to me by my parents, who just fucking don’t.

I feel like I need to hold on to points of reference, to the memories. I don’t want to become an old person who just repeats the same 5 key stories of their lives, that become more and more meaningless every time as every reference, every person or appliance mentioned, every punchline to the contextual joke of the era or area, becomes ever more obsolete. I also feel like no one will believe me – it’s been a trip. An unbelievable trip.

I wonder how many people that I talk to are wrestling with this same feeling, but stifle it under dull conversation, knowing that anything deeper about them will never be understood. And I wonder how they come to terms with that feeling. Because I need advice, so that I can do it too.

I type fast, and I talk fast. But not fast enough to get everything down. I try to get it all out, and then find a place to put things. I’m trying to hold onto a thought long enough to figure out what it means, to me, or to anyone who might be watching. I have to remember that there’s no one watching, and to just live my life for me. Why am I still compelled to edit for grammar, or add extra iambic alliteration to regulate the reading rhythm? Why did I even bother to put a click counter on this page? I’m struggling to not to answer my phone… I really should get up before people start calling, or at least before they get out of work. Struggling to stick with this, but I feel myself losing it… it’s a losing battle. I feel defeated, and I feel left behind, swimming in my thoughts (there goes the fish analogy again, I wonder if I knew when I downloaded all these fish photos for no fucking reason) and left behind in a puddle of feelings while the rest of my life flows on past.

I have a lot of feelings today. I want to record them and remember them, because I feel like there’s lessons in there that I need to hold on to, so I don’t make the stupid mistake of romanticizing things and making the same tragic mistakes over again. Specifically this time, about my ex.

That’s a big story there, and I realize it when I mention it to anyone. Depending on the points of reference and the intended target, the summary (it’s tough to wrap 17 years into a summary) sounds completely different. Usually, he just sounds like an asshole. Even now I’m trying not to backtrack (yes, this sentence was added as an addendum) and start making excuses for him, reasons that are actually understandable to nullify every time he absolutely, and utterly failed me and fucked me over. This time, he is just an asshole.

Where have I been? I was running some big errands, and helping some of my amazing friends. Some people are just so awesome, at times in your life where you *really* need someone awesome, and these particular friends saved my life. I know that sounds extreme, but I do mean it. These people saved my life, just shy of in the literal sense as far as my physical being, but they certainly did save elements of it so that my life made sense for a little bit. I just wish there was more I could do for them, I feel like I didn’t do enough, and didn’t do as much for them as they did for me. I know not everything in life is a perfect transaction… supposedly, with karma or whatever, we make up the difference as we go. There are other people that I could help, and hope that they come to deserve it later. But I specifically want to repay them. And I feel like I’m losing them.

There’s this feeling, I have, when I see people. People go through big things in life, and sometimes when they see me I know they’re afraid they’ll never see me again. And I can look at them and say, no, I don’t feel that. I’ll see you again someday. But this last weekend, when I looked at my friends, who had been there for me when I needed them, and said goodbye, it felt like goodbye. I cried all the way home (I usually do most of my crying in the car, and I know that’s definitely not as safe as it seems) and fought with myself the entire way not to just turn back around and see how much more time I could hang on. To Everything.

The goodbye it’s self was rather unremarkable. But I could tell that they could feel it too. I could see it in their eyes, that fear. And I felt like I had to record every detail of those moments, whatever they were, the color of their gloves, the number of their eyelashes, the volume of tears welling up in their eyes, because I needed to remember what they look like as I would never have any more encounters with them to build the memories that I’m going to need when I am lost and have to remember that there are actually good people in the world and yes, I have met some. Otherwise I wouldn’t believe it myself. I don’t want those faces to fade.

I wish I had put time into making those memories sooner, before tragedies and time hit us, so that I could remember us during good times instead of just the last time. I wish I could hang on to the memory of what their eyes looked like without that last goodbye fear. Do you know what it looks like, when someone is tracing the outline of you with their eyes, trying to decide what the most important features are, which ones have changed and which ones never do, because they’re trying to make that image the cover of the book they’re about to close.

I remember all of the times I’ve seen someone right before they died. I’ve always tried to be upbeat, but now I know that they can see right through that bullshit <=== I swear so much I’m wondering if I should put a content warning on this page.

Maybe it’s not really the last goodbye, maybe it was just a mutual fear, maybe my fear was contagious. Maybe it was just cold outside, or too early in the morning. That’s what I’m trying to tell myself, but then again, I’m remembering to trust my gut, and it’s got a really good track record.

My ex didn’t show up to say goodbye. I wonder how he’s reconciling that in himself. Does he not feel that these people saved his life too? Do those events in his life not carry the same weight? I remember that these people also helped me at times that *he* didn’t. They took on more responsibility for me and my wellbeing than he did, on more than one occasion. Maybe he doesn’t even feel the level of gratitude that I do for them. Maybe he never cared. About them, or me. Maybe he doesn’t feel that he’s worth saving, and as a result the act of saving him is just incidental and worthless. Maybe he doesn’t believe it’s actually the end, or that somehow someone else, like these people always did, will save the day for him and he’ll get to make it up later (there I go, making excuses for him again). And consequently these are just random people to him. I wonder if he’s just people to them. I wonder if they care about him in the same way. They seemed to, but I’m not in anyone’s head except mine so I don’t really know.

Anyway, my ex is an asshole. This last time, and there have been so many last times, I really felt it. Fuck that guy. I want to remember this feeling for the next time that I see him, so that I don’t miss him. He’s nothing, just a person, and not a point of reference for almost everything that’s ever happened to me in my life, all those great things. All those absolutely unbelievable things that stop everyone else dead in their tracks and don’t even get a double blink or a turn of the head from him. He’s one hell of a story too, after all. When I remember that there are good people in the world, I want to picture my amazing friends and not that asshole that just happened to be hanging around in the background of everything. He’s just a person. He’s just an asshole.

And I guess, thinking of it that way, I am too. After all, I didn’t turn my car around yesterday. I just cried all the way home, by myself in my car where no one could see me and see that I actually did care. I’m struggling not to imagine that he does the same thing, that asshole.

I have not managed to get myself into therapy. Is this good enough?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Anna says:

    The fact that the feature image is pixelated when enlarged is also a wonderful analogy for what I’m describing here…

    I have a little pause when picking images, I usually just do one at random and am dissatisfied with it, but when I spend a minute thinking it works all too well.

    Thank you, random fish photographers on the internet, for being so awesome.

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