I Panic

I Won’t Let Go

I published this to Tumblr a while ago:

I lie awake at night and wonder if things would be different if you were here. You make me want to be next to you, to feel the thud of your heart next to mine. I want to hold your hand while we regale stories of our lives to one another that we’ve already told. I want to listen to you tell them over and over even though I know how they end.

I want to sit next to you on the floor, our backs pressed against the sofa, arguing over who should get up and flip over the record, because honestly it’s just been spinning for the last five minutes, no you get up and change it. I did the last one. I want to put my head in your lap, so you can shield me from all that is dark. I need to know that all is not lost, that you have not gone. It’s become cold again, and there is no shoulder here for me to bury my nose in, so it can escape the harshness of winter.

Occasionally I think to myself “Where is he? What is he doing?” I know you feel it too. I know because you tell me. You do not do the typical male thing and act like you don’t care. You don’t wait around for me to say it first. You just say it. And I love you for that.

And one morning, I’ll get the call. “I’m here.” You’ll whisper into the void that stands between us. And I’ll rocket from the warmth of my bed to see you. You’ll be standing in the lobby, snow in your hair, cheeks red from being bitten by the wind. I’ll turn up the collar on my sweater, and guide you back into the cold.

But the weather won’t matter. The time won’t matter. The fact that I didn’t even bother to change from my pajamas won’t matter. Nothing matters when it’s you and I together. Nothing matters except together.

Together.

I don’t understand why we aren’t there now. I don’t understand why it hurts so badly. We parted, and I lost part of myself. No, it was taken from me. We left each other, and part of me was stolen, and replaced with part of you. That’s what we do, you and I, we take parts of each other and try to construct the other out of the jagged, broken pieces. Please, watch your step. There is glass everywhere.

I can see you in the jokes I make. Or when I hear the song, you’re there. And it makes me want to smile so big that my face cracks, and it makes me want to shout my anger from the mountain tops to anyone who will listen, and it makes me want to curl into myself and sob until I have nothing left, but tear stained cheeks and exhaustion to pull me out of this place without you.

I don’t understand. Help me to see the growth. Guard me from the people trying to tell me that absence will make my heart grow fonder. I cannot be any fonder. You are my brother. You are my family. You are a piece of my soul. And you are missing from me.

And it hurts.

I need to know that there will again be a time where we are together. Where it is you, and I, and some old Beatles record floating softly through the air while we breath in that funny offbeat unison we pick up when we’re together. I have to know that there will again come a time when your shoulder is there for me to hide my face in from the cold.

You are the light at the end of this tunnel, and I can barely see you. You’re there, and I know because I can feel your warmth.

So, just keep running my way. Just keep headed in my direction, and I will continue to sprint in yours, arms open wide. ready to embrace you, and hold you, and tell you how beautiful you are, and how much this experience has made you into a better man, even if you can’t see it. I’ll tell you everything we are too afraid to say out loud. And I know you’ll say it back.

That’s how this works. That’s why this works.

You are me, and I am you.

Until our paths cross again, and the weight of the world is shared between us, instead of having to bear the pain alone,

I love you. I miss you. Hold tight, I’ll be right there.

Take Care

I wrote the last post about my tribe. This one’s about them too. What can I say? They’re damn important.

Life is so completely terrifying. Junior high was ridiculous. High school was a sprint, not a marathon, like we were led to believe. THe fact that in two weeks I have to move to a new city and live with three new people makes me feel so completely alone. I know I’m not, but it doesn’t change the fact that I can feel the darkness closing in, and I’m suffocating. I know that when I resurface things will be different. I’ll be different. My perspective will be gawky, and bleary, and new in all of the good and bad ways that it can be. The best I can do now, is hold my people as close as I can when all I want to do is keep them at an arms length so my chest doesn’t hurt so much.

I can’t do that, because we have to take care of the people we love. No one can do any of this on their own. Take care of your people. Laugh at their dumb jokes. Feed them when they’re hungry. Hold them when they cry. Realize that you have people in your life who want nothing more than to see you happy. A lot of them would do anything to make that happen for you. They squash down their own discomfort for you to be happy. They step out of their safe place to please you. They genuinely take interest in things that you care about, because they care about you.

Not everyone is going to love you every time. Some people though, they’ll love you all the time. Find people who love you, and take care of them. Let them take care of you.

There is a way to tell if the friends you have are these people that I write about. Imagine your worst day. I know it hurts, but just try. Imagine yourself at your absolute lowest point. Are these people that are willing to sit next to you on the sofa in your worst moment, and watch bad TV, and pass you kleenex, and just hold your hand while you lose your mind? If the answer is yes, then you’ve found them.  Congratulations.

It took me three years of junior high, and almost four years of high school to find these people. I’m not sure where I go from here. I’m not sure how I form relationships like these. You see, I lucked into these relationships. These people are good, and wonderful, and kind. They take my feelings into account. They take me feelings onto themselves in an attempt to make my shoulders a little lighter. They don’t have to, they just do. I am surrounded by people who have been sown together at the broken ends.

Find the people who you love, and who love you, and take care of them. Understand what they need. Hear what they say to you. Reassure them that they are not alone. Take the time to tell them you love them, because for a lot of us, in two weeks it all changes. Take care of them because they make life more bearable. Let them take care of you.

Tribe

For four years I did my best to push through high school. I tried to only get as close to other people as absolutely necessary for survival. I wanted to get in, do well in school, and get out.

Just keep looking for the light. The light that is college, and interesting people, and intellectual conversation. Just keep searching for the light. There has to be a way out of this tunnel.

And I made it. I survived high school. I had a few friends, and managed to alienate everyone else. It was a very successful experiment in social interaction. Except then they came along. They came along with there similar taste in television. And their complete openness to everything. They just go around loving me for no good reason. And the two of them who won’t be moving into college dorms on August 24th are going to tie me to this town. This town I tried so hard to escape, unscathed. They’re just going to be here, caring about my well being and making sure I’m happy. Nate’s going to be too far away for everything. I mean, honestly, what were we thinking? And don’t get me started on Goose. She’s just going to move to Akron and we’re going to be more than five minutes away from each other. That’s just no good.

I don’t want new people. I don’t want forced intellectual conversation. I don’t want the light. I want them.

I need them. I can’t even begin to fathom not having them at every turn. And sure, I’ll meet new people, and I’ll have cool things to do with them. But nothing will beat spending Friday night at home, talking over a movie in our pajamas.

In our own completely ridiculous way, we’re a family. I love them. I’m not sure I can handle leaving them too.

Our parents spend the first years of our lives raising us into people. They hope that they make us functional enough to move on and find our own tribe.

I’ve found them.

Stop Light Living

My whole life has been a series of reaching average childhood goals like walking, talking, learning to ride a bike, not dying of pneumonia or embarrassment. I’ve been stuck reaching these mundane milestones, and apparently I got bored enough to stick a few extras in there.

I leave for college in about ten months. My friends say that this is the fastest ten months of my life. Based on the schools I’m looking at, in a year I could still be in good ole Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, or Florida. In a year I’ll be learning how to be a doctor, I’ll be doing something that could very well change the world. But I can’t focus on it. I’m sitting at this red light right now. And not in a bad way.

I’m sitting at this red light, and I’m basking in the warm sunlight. I’m perfectly happy to sit at this light for the next ten months. I just have to remember that, when the time comes, I have to take my foot off the break and slam the gas. It’s going to be a blurry haze of college applications, and test scores, and scholarships essays for the next few months.

I’m doing this whole college thing the way I learned to ride a bike: wildly excited and absolutely terrified. I couldn’t be happier.

Worry

For the past three days I have been absolutely positive that I was failing my college chemistry class. The following inner monologue went about in my brain:

I’m failing. f a i l i n g. That is a major problem. Okay, well I’ll just go check my grades…Oh SWEET JESUS this is not high school, there is no grade checking. So just do the averages of all the grades…..WHY DO I KEEP GETTING 27….crapcrapcrapcrap. My folks are going to kill me dead (insert more panic)” 

So as fun as that was, I’d really rather never ever ever do that ever do that again. Nothing is fun about worrying so bad that you don’t want to eat (not even cake or mac and cheese) or play soccer or do anything other than refresh your computer screen until midterm grades appear.  That’s just not good for your health. Or mine. Yeah, really bad for my health. I’ve neglected other things. Not because of worrying, mostly just because I’m lazy. BUT! While I was worrying about being to horrible at chemistry to become a doctor and figuring I’d have to spend the rest of my life becoming a writer (gah) I could have a) cleaned my room b)cleaned my car c) gotten decent sleep d)all of the freakin’ above. Right now, I could be in bed trying to disable my brain from firing equations and science through my head. Instead though, I am writing for you. At 20 minutes until tomorrow, I’m writing. Because it’s so much easier than trying to shut off my brain.

Oh, and for you nosy people, I am in fact NOT failing chem.

For you who worry: 50% of the stuff you worry about, never happens.

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Goodnight Children