Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Feel and Forget

What does being forgotten feel like?

Does it feel like no one sees you or hears you? Does it feel like a constant cloud hanging above your head, threatening to drench any mote of hope or happiness even before it’s brought to fruition in your head? Does it feel as if you could fall or crash and nothing would break, because you were made of nothing in the first place?

Being forgotten is being numb, ignored, cheated, neglected and pushed aside. It’s a horrible, haunting reminder that your life is seemingly insignificant simply because others deem it so. Being forgotten is the realization that someone you put importance in, someone whom you gave substance and form to, someone you placed faith and hope in, turned away and left as if you were no more than the last breath they exhaled: used and unnecessary.


But how can we forget anything that houses a soul and spirit? How can we discard something as precious as another living, breathing, thinking being?

And yet, some of us do it so easily. We do it to the overworked cashier who smiles good morning, even when we can’t be bothered to look them in the face. We do it to the people on the street. We do it to babies in the womb. We do it to people we once loved more than ourselves; people we’ve whispered promises to in the dark; people we’ve given our own tears and sweat and souls to...

We do it over and over and over. We do it unfeelingly, or with so much feeling that it becomes impossible to feel anything anymore.

We forget because it's easier than carrying the burden of memories. We forget because we're weak or tired or scared. We forget when we all know that deep down, forgetting isn't permanent. Forgetting is just throwing the dust cover on a piece of furniture you don't want anyone to see. It's pretending.

Forgetting can't be permanent.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Face

Men make many faces when they speak to women. But there is one that stands out above the rest.

Most women have seen it; most men have no idea that they do it. It's a face that's made usually while the man is gazing at the woman while she's speaking, or while he's speaking directly to her.

His eyes go half mast, the lines around them smooth out. His cheeks relax into a soft, little smile, a smile that barely raises the corners of his mouth. This smile is quiet and still, yet unexpected. His gaze may flicker from the woman's eyes, down to her mouth, and back up again. His eyes are deep and brilliant and full of secrets.

The Face is always welcome when it comes from a man you like. In those moments, The Face is beautiful and causes all kinds of butterflies and bashfulness. For example, the man and woman are on a date, and when the woman is talking about her job, the man inadvertently reveals The Face. The woman immediately senses it (we're good at this) and all of sudden, everything looks different. It looks BETTER.

However, The Face is not welcome when it interrupts an otherwise platonic man-woman conversation. For example, a man and woman are having platonic coffee, and he shoots her The Face while she makes a joke about sports or something. Said woman sees The Face, is immediately alerted, and switches to "WE'RE JUST FRIENDS, BACK OFF" mode.

The Face is real and without pretense. It's a glimpse into the thoughts of men that so often elude the rest of us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Online dating is damn depressing, yet damn insightful. When looking at people’s profiles, I see them post things like, “I’m only trying this out” or “No one knows I’m doing this” or “I’m new to this whole dating thing” or “I’m just looking for the third person to my threesome”. (I've seriously seen that last one... and my faith in humanity lowered a bit more.)

Okay, so in addition to the people who have to preface all of their stuff with “Oh, I would NEVER normally do online dating”, there are the people who are looking for casual sex, multiple partners of either sex, or who try to deny monogamy on some stupid philosophical level. This all points to one thing in my mind: simultaneous fear of and desperate need for intimacy. The people not wanting monogamy are probably so afraid of the vulnerability that comes with monogamous intimacy, that they spread the love around in hopes that the burn won’t be so bad. Or maybe they’re just horny bastards, but honestly, I believe that even horny bastards wanted true love at some point and just got turned around by fear or trauma or something else entirely.

That brings me to my next pondering: every last person on this planet craves intimacy. We crave it so badly we look anywhere for it. ANYWHERE. As humans, we need closeness. We need to love and to belong. Somewhere inside us is someone who wants the responsibility of loving someone else so completely that we forget everything else. I believe we are all, on some level, looking for that connection, that one person who finally - FINALLY - gets us.

I mean, the sad truth is that no one will ever know us completely, as we know ourselves. That’s impossible. And in our fast-paced, electronic society it’s becoming harder and harder to find the intimacy that even comes close. We’re having to go through our freaking computers for goodness sake! After high school or college or the age of 21, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet people. Sure, you can go out to clubs or concerts or random people’s parties, but how often will you meet anyone different enough to risk your heart on?

And so… people go online. Like me. I don’t think there is a damn thing wrong with using the internet AS A TOOL. It’s when people use it as a replacement for the real thing; those people who just chat with other people and use that as a means to feed their need for cheap intimacy. But try as they might, computers will never get close to producing the one-of-a-kind, heart breaking, bittersweet, breath taking love that we are capable of sharing (if we find the courage). Computers can help you find someone, but they stop there. Computers can't love you or hug you or do anything other than lead you to someone you might not have found otherwise. We have to build that connection with a living, breathing human being. And we have to have endurance and faith and hope. Always hope.

Somewhere inside all of us is the inexhaustible desire to feel a little less alone (even the sleaze-bags feel that, only it’s buried beneath all that machismo bullshit). And seeing these electronic faces searching relentlessly for love, gives me hope that maybe I won’t be alone forever, that I won't always be tonightless.

Because at the end of the day, that is one of my greatest fears.

"Am I gonna be tonightless again? All the loneliness has got to end." - Eighteen Visions