Tuesday, May 29, 2012

i am good.

There Are Things

My life is very routine at the moment. I’m still looking for a job. My family thinks I’m indifferent about my unemployment but really I’m cracking up. I want yellow nail varnish but instead I spend my money on a birthday cake for my mother so I can say, “I am not a bad person.” With no money and therefore no internet access at home, I’ve been going to the library everyday to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. I’ve been silently fuming at the noisy children and I’ve been almost falling asleep staring at a computer screen, listening to the same songs on my iPod, resenting technology and life at least twice a week.

I wake up, I eat breakfast, I take my medication, I drink a cup of coffee, I have a shower, I go to the library. I come home from the library, eat dinner, read, take a nap, watch TV, write, watch more TV. It’s not particularly exciting but what can I do? I’m looking for a job and that aside, I guess I’m furthering my career by writing constantly and contributing to social networking sites with my mundane (and often vulgar) musings. With no money, I can’t go on all the adventures I’d like to go on, but with a library full of free books, I’m doing the best I can. I’m considering turning to exercise too, just to feel like I’m achieving something.

On the bright side, because my life is so very predictable at the moment, I can’t get into very many predicaments. This can only be a good thing. It’s difficult to ruin your life when your life only consists of books and carbohydrates.

I’ll be twenty-one soon. I’ll be a twenty-something. That’s a new era. I think in eras. I’m not a teenager anymore and I’m glad. Those tumultuous teenage years are the worst. And I remember all the times I begged you to take me back and what was the point? I’m cringing now thinking about you. I used to think you were the most important person in the world. And now I realise that I am the most important person in the world. When I loved you, I neglected myself. And now look. I’m in college and I’m trying to build something beautiful. Trying to build everything beautiful. It’s difficult, of course it is. But I think it will always be difficult for me – I’m always over-analysing and trying to be romantic.

I dunno, man. I just look forward to taking off my bra at the end of the day. I don’t want hugs and I don’t want kisses – I want to be self-sufficient. How do you deal with jealousy? I felt this awful sting of envy earlier, a mixture of love and need and want, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m a feelings kind of person insofar as I can identify what I’m feeling, but I’m fucked if I know how to process it.

I guess I’m feeling sad right now. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s not sad, maybe it’s all kinds of feelings. A pot of boiling emotions on a two ring hob on a tiny cooker in a grey room with a concrete floor. Maybe I’m being ridiculous. I’m always being ridiculous. I just want to drink wine and talk poetry with someone.

I often think, “I can’t do life,” or “I’m not in the mood to do life today” because it feels too hard. It feels like hard work. It feels like an effort that I just can’t make. All I want to do is sleep and eat cake and drink wine and write. But life requires more. And sometimes I get exhausted just thinking about it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

stories.

I don’t have much of an imagination. I’m creative and I like making things and I can visualise the way I want my life to be. But I can’t imagine worlds. I can’t imagine people. They never seem realistic. I’ve always loved writing. I don’t ever remember not writing, I don’t remember not loving words. Throughout Primary and Secondary school, I loved writing stories. I wrote poetry and short stories and I won prizes in little competitions. I don’t know if my stories were any good but I used words that the other twelve-year-olds hadn’t heard yet and I guess I made an impression.

I remember in First Year in Secondary School, the Fifth Years held a poetry competition for us. Our poems had to be based on Hallowe’en, which was just around the corner. I didn’t win the competition but my poem got read aloud to the rest of my year. Thinking about it now, I guess it seems pretty bizarre – my poem was about playing with a Ouija board on Hallowe’en night and being terrified of whatever spirits I’d conjured up. It must have seemed strange to our seventeen-year-old hosts: I remember the girl who read out my poem stumbling over the words “ethereal” and “occult.”

In our First Year English class, we were learning the basics: we were learning about how diaries work and, as homework, we had to keep our own. From what I remember, mine was a minefield of latent teenage sexuality: I was besotted with a boy who used to take the same school bus as me. The chronicles of my non-love-affair with Bus Boy made my teacher laugh and probably made my classmates cringe. I was trying to be funny, even then. Using my life as the punchline. I wish I still had the notebooks and copies that contained my teenage mind, but I threw them all out a couple of years ago. (Maybe I’m more of a minimalist than I want to be.)

I tried to write a proper short story a while back but none of my attempts had a resolution. I write about things that happen to me, and that’s an on-going story, I don’t know how it will end. I know how certain episodes end and I can wrap them up nice and tidy, but I can never imagine a story with a decent ending. I can’t conjure up realism – I just live my life in a bizarre manner and that’s where the story comes from. If I ever write a book, it will about my life. My life is pretty average but strange things happen to me all the time. Not strange, even – just awkward and funny and stupid.

Friday, May 25, 2012

teef.

Teef
I got braces on my teeth in January 2011, amid heartbreak and moving into a new house with new friends in Limerick. I existed on a diet of Weetabix and bananas for a couple of weeks and woke up in the middle of the night in agony with my teeth clenched. It was a pretty horrific time, and all for the sake of vanity and American-style orthodontically straight teeth. Over a year and at least twenty toothbrushes later, I’m equipped with elastics and a metal mouth that would rival Hannibal Lector. I brush my teeth several times a day and I can’t wear lipstick with confidence because it gets embedded in the ceramic of my braces and it’s not as easy as running my tongue over the braces and hoping it’ll remove the pink gunk. It doesn’t. And I look like a tool.

But after all this oral hygiene, there’s a reward, right? It won’t be long before I’m free of metal for at least twelve hours of the day and I’m excited. I’m excited for a brand new set of gnashers. I’ll flash a smile at every Tom, Dick, and Harry I see. Shiny, red lips and sparkling, white teeth. I’m excited! I’ll floss with ease and I’ll wear my retainer and I’ll get my teeth professionally cleaned. Everything will be teeth and nothing will hurt. x

Thursday, May 24, 2012

sick.


Did I ever tell you about the time my boyfriend came to my house after having spent the day drinking with his friends? Let’s pretend my boyfriend’s name was Peter. My mother was away and we had the house to ourselves. I wanted kisses and cuddles and maybe some eroticism but Peter wasn’t able to remain conscious. Wonderful. He fell asleep on the couch while I watched Sex and the City. After about twenty minutes, he stirred. I was just about to scold him for being a crap boyfriend and an even worse house guest, when he erupted. An ocean of vomit hit the linoleum floor. He lay back down. I was stunned.

The sick was watery and covered almost every inch of the floor. I snapped into action. At the time, I was going through something of a love affair with newspapers. My heart broke at having to use my beloved copies of the Irish Independent to mop up the bile and cider and chicken that had poured from my boyfriend’s lovely mouth. I put Peter in the bathroom and instructed him to direct his flow at the toilet bowl, while I cleaned the sitting room. When the lino was free of the mass of the vomit, I started on Mr Muscle and Domestos and didn’t finish scrubbing until I was sure the sitting room was free of the sour smell of Peter’s stomach contents. Peter wasn’t even supposed to be in the house, let alone desecrate it.

I spent the next hour on the phone to my best friend, ranting and complaining about my useless boyfriend. When I returned to Peter in the bathroom, I found him slumped and asleep over the toilet bowl. I set up the Z-Bed mattress in the hall and put him to bed. I didn’t want him sleeping in my bed – I’d only just changed the sheets and he smelled like debauchery. But as he started to sober up and return to reality, he wanted kisses and cuddles and I obliged. (Remember how I needed his approval?) And next thing, we were in my bed and my clean sheets were no longer clean and I was still mad but I wasn’t mad at him anymore – I was mad at myself.

That was four years ago. Bizarre things like that happen to me on average once a fortnight. Other nightmares include arguing while drinking cider, sleeping with the wrong people, fainting in the supermarket and having to go to A&E, being insulted by Dylan Moran … The list is non-exhaustive.  If you ever talk to me and ask me if I have any news, rest assured that the answer will be yes.

Image from Hanging Rock Comics. (Click through for source!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

hairy girls have feelings too.

I mentioned the other day that I was thinking about letting my underarm hair grow. I also said it to a couple of friends to gauge their opinion on it. The general consensus was that, no, I shouldn’t let my underarm hair grow. Girls shouldn’t have underarm hair. Girls are supposed to be smooth and soft and shiny. It’s so arbitrary though and I don’t want to buy into it. In fact, since people have expressed their disdain for my new adventure in Challenging Gender Roles, I’m all the more enthusiastic about it. It bothers me so much that we are trained from an early age to believe that women look and behave a certain way and that if you don’t subscribe to that, you’re not really a woman – your femininity is in question.

The difference between sex and gender is that sex is a biological thing, and gender is more psychological – it’s who you identify as. And because no two people are the same, and everyone has different values and beliefs, to break life down into simply “men” and “women” is very restrictive. In the opening scenes of 500 Days of Summer, the narrator tells us, “There are only two kinds of people in the world: men and women.” I disagree. Holy androgyny, Batman! Some people identify as a little bit of both, or maybe neither. I have a vagina and I am a woman, but I have a lot of qualities that aren’t particularly feminine: I fart a lot, I have more arm hair than the average girl and no desire to remove it, I eat a lot, I often sit and stand with my legs apart, I talk about racy things, I shout in public and I’m not very ladylike. I identify as a woman though. I don’t think I can be boxed into behaving a certain way in order to qualify as a woman. If I don’t behave the way society expects women to behave, does that mean I’m a man?

I love my femininity. I love being curvy and I love that I have the capacity to have babies and I love the way my brain works. I love make-up and I love my biology and I love my sexuality. I can relate to other women I know and I can relate to the collective woman, but I resent being told that I need to fit certain criteria to be seen as a woman. So growing my underarm hair is an experiment in Challenging Gender Roles and an experiment in bravery. I’m scared: I’m nervous about going to the beach or wearing sleeveless tops and I’m concerned about getting dirty looks from strangers but that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s important to be scared and it’s important to challenge things that we think are inherent and things that we’re taught to accept. Accept nothing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

arts degree.

Emma WellYellow
Yellow 2Yellow 3Yellow 3_0001Yellow 4Yellow High Res

These are some scribbles from my college notebook. Maybe I’m reading too much into this but doesn’t it look as though I’m overly concerned with love and with identity? (And also Death Cab for Cutie and the Antlers.) (I am.)

this makes sense.

20.5.12

It’s 5:30 am and I’m awake and I’m making promises I can’t keep. Maybe. Sometimes I think I’m subtle, you know? Sometimes I think that everything I say here is much too vague. Too vague and ambiguous for anyone to know what I’m talking about. Then I realise that some of you know me better than I know myself and you know exactly who and what I’m I’m talking about. And I guess subtlety was never my strong suit.

I do this thing a lot where I pretend that I don’t have feelings. When you jokingly insult my brother, he sometimes says – “Imagine if I had feelings.” I say that a lot too, except I mean it. Or I pretend to. If you were meeting me for the first time in real life, maybe you’d think I was off-the-cuff and I wasn’t too pushed about anything either way. I pretend that I don’t care what anyone thinks and I pretend that I’m the most selfish person on the planet. Which probably explains why people think I’m very selfish. I don’t know. I guess it’s that old cliché again – I just don’t want to get hurt. But I’m bored of that cliché.

I’m so in the habit of not having feelings. I know that there are a lot of people in this town who don’t like me because of things I’ve done or things I have failed to do. I should care, but mostly I don’t. So maybe I’m not pretending anymore. Or maybe I am pretending and it’s so convincing now that I actually believe myself. I believe myself. Maybe it’s like my psychotherapist said, maybe I just don’t take myself seriously.

Or maybe it’s 5:40 am and I’m confused and lonely and I don’t know what I want but I know it isn’t this. It isn’t any of this. I don’t want this guilt bearing down on me all day every day; I’ll just use it as an excuse to berate myself and look for attention. You know this. If you don’t, you’ll know soon. Maybe you don’t know me at all.

I miss my college friends. It’s only been a couple of days and already I miss Niall and Francis. I miss the simplicity and the very bizarre nature of our friendship. Spending time watching movies and reading library books is all well and good, and it’s reminiscent of a sixteen-year-old me, but it’s not the me now. It’s not me at all. Twenty-year-old Emma likes drinking and laughing and shouting and running around in the dead of night. I still like movies and books and the romantic life, but I want more: I want adventure. And no one here has enough time to give me.

And you reminding me of all the ways in which you were perfect and all the ways in which I was terrible – it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the past and I doubt it will change the future. It doesn’t particularly change the present either. It just makes me feel awful. And I’ll take that Awful Feeling and I’ll run with it and I’ll indulge in it. That’s me being selfish. Maybe I want this pain, you know? Maybe I like being sad. Maybe H wasn’t wrong.

But I think everyone likes being sad on some level. It’s indulgent and romantic and dramatic. It takes a certain type of person to enjoy that kind of thing and I’m sure I could name five or six suspects off the top of my head. But whatever. I mean, don’t be embarrassed – sadness is beautiful, like everything else. My tattoo says, “There are no beautiful suicides,” not because I believe that, but because I want to convince myself of that. But I can’t help thinking that it’s the most romantic thing in the world. I guess that makes me an idiot. Or selfish. But we already know that to be true, don’t we?

I’m rambling. I just want things to make sense and they just don’t and I’m in all kinds of trouble. My brain hurts and I’m almost crying while watching Countdown and suddenly my life feels like it’s supposed to: I am exactly the type of person who would cry while watching Countdown at six in the morning.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

social fashion.

This summer, I secured an internship with the wonderful people at CollegeFashionista. I’m a summer Style Guru, going around photographing lovely, well-dressed boys for the Let’s Hear it for the Boys category on collegefashionista.co.uk. I can’t wait! As part of my internship, I’ve had to jump on the bandwagon of every social network imaginable (probably).

You can now find me on:

Also, check out The Magic Position on Facebook for photos and updates and to join in the conversation!

hypocritical shoes.

So you know how I mentioned that we shouldn’t be buying into the whole Material Possessions Will Make Us Happy thing? Well, yeah, I mean, that’s ideal, right, but in reality, in the Western World, retail therapy is a real thing and how could I say no to these gorgeous floral print Dr Martens? I couldn’t, is the answer.


At €140, these babies weren’t exactly a bargain, but I mentioned before how I feel about investing in a decent pair of shoes. Dr Martens are renowned for their durability so they’re well worth the moolah my darling mother spent on them on Thursday. Not only are they bang on trend, but they’ll last for years. I love the delicate, girly pattern and I love how it contrasts with the masculine structure of the boot. Happy days!

Maybe I’m a hypocrite but I don’t care – I’ll happily be a hypocrite if I get to wear these beauties all the time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

buying self-esteem.

The Magic Position has been very text-heavy for the last while. I apologise to those of you who enjoy pretty colours and pictures – I do too. I’ve been feeling very philosophical of late and that’s the source of all the paragraphs and ideas and thinking that just goes around in circles. But I think it’s important to be self-aware. Post-modernism and all that. Sometimes I think that I should blog a certain way in order to be successful – you know, promoting products, featuring pictures of nice clothes and nice foods, being concise, having a point … But then I think that the reason my blog is popular and enjoys the views it does is because I’m honest. There’s no promotion (except when it brings in the moolah and who can blame me in these trying times?), there’s very few posts of me showing off all the things I’ve bought, because, number one, that kind of thing doesn’t appeal to me, and number two, I so rarely buy things that aren’t food and alcohol.

The idea of a “Here’s What I Bought with all My Money” post just seems like showing off. It seems like people are hiding behind material objects and I find that sad and lonely and uninspiring. Don’t get me wrong, when I was fifteen and my family were a little bit better off financially, I used to splurge. I’m embarrassed about it now but I used to only drink bottled water and only shop in River Island. I had all these things and I wasn’t particularly happy. Now, with less money in my bank account, I borrow books from the library and I wear clothes that I’ve owned for about three years (if, please God, they still fit), and I look for bargains everywhere. I don’t mean to sound Holier Than Thou but I’m beginning to realise that most people in the world and most things in the world are just trying to sell you something. It’s so easy to get caught up in that culture of owning as much as possible but it so rarely, if ever, makes people happy.

Fashion magazines, for example: I love fashion magazines for the colours and the style and the beauty tips but I bet you know from experience that most of what makes up a standard issue of Vogue is advertisements. You realise that fashion magazines are really just vehicles for selling products. I only buy fashion magazines these days when I want to look at pretty pictures and even then, I’m sceptical: fashion magazines are also trying to sell you a prescribed idea of beauty. I don’t look like the girls in magazines so does that mean I’m not beautiful?

My soon-to-be-psychologist friend, Niall, explained to me about the Ideal Self, the Ought Self, and the Actual Self. Your Ideal Self is the person you want to be, what you want to look like, what you wish your personality was like, that kind of thing. Your Ought Self is what society wants you be – or maybe, what you perceive society wants you to be – what you ought to be. Your Actual Self, then, is the real you. No pretending, no nothing. Self-esteem arises from the gap between your Ideal Self and your Actual Self: the bigger the gap, the lower your self-esteem. For some reason, that explanation has made things appear more practical to me.

I will never look like the girls in the fashion magazines. At least, not without the help of a dedicated plastic surgeon, and that’s not the route I want to take. More than I want to look “perfect,” I want to comfortable with my own body. So I’ve decided that I’m going to consciously re-define my Ideal Self, in terms of what I already am and what I can actually achieve. Why can’t I decide that the way I am now is the Ideal Self? Then my Ideal Self and my Actual Self are exactly the same and my self-esteem sky rockets. It sounds wonderful. It sounds possible.

I don’t want to be the type of person who buys into what the media tells me is beautiful. It’s so arbitrary and so detrimental to the self-esteem of every woman on the planet. My Ideal Self is comfortable with her concept of beautiful, is a healthy weight, curvy, plain without make-up, dry-skin and all.  And that’s me. Perhaps minus the healthy bit – but I’ll work on that. Not for the sake of “beauty,” but for the sake of health. (Also, I’m considering growing my underarm hair, for experiment’s sake. Challenging gender roles and all that.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

13.5.12

I look at my right arm and I think that it’s a blank canvas. It’s bare except for the hairs. Too much for a woman, too little for a man. I’m on the cusp of everything. Maybe I’m being too sentimental about my arm hair. Maybe I’m being too sentimental about everything these days. Without internet access, I’ve been reading a lot. Reading and re-watching old DVDs. And re-reading old books. I will never forget the summer before I turned seventeen. I read important books. I read books that shaped the me now, I have no doubt about that. And I’m going to re-read those books. They make me sentimental and sad but in a way that’s so addictive. I guess I’m a sap.

I’m naive. I’m so naive that I’m embarrassed for myself but what can I do? I’m reading and looking for a job and trying to remain hopeful. I’m being greedy. I’ve gotten this idea in my head and I won’t stop thinking about it until I achieve it. And I might never achieve it. Because it’s not just up to me. I forget that other people have feelings sometimes. And that’s not in a vindictive way – I just get so concerned about myself and my feelings that I forget other people have that same capacity for pain. And I’m sorry.

My bare right arm. Blue and pale and untouched. And my left arm that tells a thousand stories. Or, rather, the same story a thousand times over. Silvery white scars and angry red scars. And nothing has changed. I have a tattoo that reads, “There are no beautiful suicides.” Some people think it’s redundant. Of course there are no beautiful suicides – suicide devastates families and there’s nothing pretty about the kind of sadness that drives people to take their own lives. I agree. I agree that suicide is an ugly word and an ugly thing, but if you’ve never been the kind of sad that prompts suicide, you won’t ever see the beauty in it. And you are so lucky. But if you have been that sad, if you’ve been awake all night feeling empty and hopeless, then you’ll know. You’ll know that solace. Apparently, Nietzsche said, “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it, one gets successfully through many a bad night.” If you’ve felt it, you’ll understand. If you haven’t, you won’t. I hope none of you understand. I’m just trying to convince myself that it’s not beautiful. It’s just death.

I don’t know why I’m talking about suicide. That’s not what I meant to talk about. I meant to talk about getting drunk alone and loving someone. I haven’t gotten drunk on my own in a very long time, and I fall in love on a weekly basis and I never know what’s real. The last time that I really hurt someone, someone I loved and loved me, all I could think about was that Jack Kerouac quote:

“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another ‘til I drop … I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

I felt like that. I like quotes. I love quotes. I must have hundreds hidden away in a notebook. I read them when I feel a certain way and I find the quotes that match how I feel and I know that someone else felt this way too. I highlight the important ones and I paint others and I keep adding to them. And they draw a picture of some other romantic world that I don’t live in. Dramatic love, drinking, poetry, madness. I guess I do live in that world from time to time but mostly I’m in a routine. I’m nearly twenty-one. I should be doing something. Something big. But what am I doing? I’m thinking about people I’ve loved and I’m making a poor attempt at getting a degree in English and I’m trying to bulk up my CV and my portfolio but I’m thinking, what’s the point?

I always imagine my life to be more romantic than it is, you know. But it’s hard to feel romantic around iPods and laptops and internet access. It’s hard to feel romantic while wearing braces and watching movies you downloaded illegally. Sometimes I want to be bohemian, whatever that means. I want to write and drink coffee and be comfortable with not wearing make-up. I write and I drink coffee and I second-guess myself and I am so self-conscious. I want things to be simple. But things can’t be simple when I owe money to the bank and I can’t afford new, on-trend clothes. Things can’t be simple when I’m worrying about being in fashion. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be someone who worries about clothes. But then, didn’t I say that I wanted to be a fashion writer? I do. I like fashion. But I feel like a fake because have you seen what I wear on a regular basis? Thrift store t-shirts and that tights and shorts combo that’s long since been dead in the water. I’m a bad example. So, despite the fact that I know what looks good, and I’m pretty okay at throwing words together to make a nice sentence, I’m a fake. Would you take style advice from me? Probably not. So I think I’m a fake.

And I think I’m not good at anything. I’m not good at selling Airtricity. I’m not good at getting people to donate to Clean Water Action. I’m not good at shaving my legs regularly. Maybe I’m bohemian without even meaning to be. If you gave me a lot of money right now, I’d become material. I’m already very material, though I’m trying not to be. I’d buy things and I’d imagine that they’d make me happy. But of course they wouldn’t. I think that this is because I’m not used to having money. But, if I was, I’d sometimes buy a new dress. I’d stay in bed and drink coffee and read books and occasionally go out for dinner with some nice boy. I’d wear lipstick and a pretty dress and I’d shave my legs. How very idealistic.

If there was a point to this post, I have lost it in the process.

Monday, May 14, 2012

the beauty of a woman.

There’s nothing quite like the thought of a visit to the local beauty salon. In fact, it’s infinitely more preferable if the salon isn’t local at all.

That way, you can at least be assured of some decent time away – even if it is time spent in the car. Such appointments are much anticipated and built up beyond all reasonable proportion. There are not many who can promise rejuvenation, rebalancing and relaxation – all within an hour’s appointment slot.

The anticipation is overwhelming. Images abound of time spent lounging in a pristine robe, or of peacefully contemplating the meaning of life from the tranquillity of an infinity pool. The expectation heightens to a heady mix of heat and empowering aromas, with a sensory experience of the regenerating benefits of the earth’s natural elements.

Sadly, the much anticipated experience often fails to deliver. The hour – more often than not – isn’t spent enjoying a state of bodily bliss, but rather a frenzy of fuss and fidgeting. It’s a constant battle trying to avoid the overwhelming urge to peep out from under the eye mask, just to check that you haven’t actually been left for dead. This state of turmoil is largely due to the soft hand placed briefly on your shoulder and the parting, whispered words, ‘just relax.’ If your nose doesn’t itch, your eyes will water with the acerbic essential oils, and you’ll either be sweltering on a heated bed that’s burning your bottom, or blindly foraging for another towel to put over your freezing shoulders.

To add insult to injury is the whopping great bill at the end of the experience – by which point your ears are likely to be bleeding from over-exposure to Peruvian panpipes. The alternative doesn’t really offer much by way of inspiration either. Salon-style treatments in the comfort of your own home are neither relaxing nor faintly reminiscent of a spa.

It’s impossible to recreate an ambience of earthy opulence when you can’t stop scrutinising the mouldy tile grout in the bathroom. A rebalanced woman does not tut as she drips water and exfoliating body scrub all over the carpet, whilst frantically searching amid the vax spares and accessories in the under stairs cupboard, in a bid to hunt out something suitable with which to pummel her cellulite. It’s also unlikely that Carole King on repeat will do much to help in this quest to feel like a natural woman.

This post has been kindly sponsored by the lovely people at Isme.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

love.

Last night, I lay awake in bed thinking of job interviews and Scotland and you. Thinking that I love you. About eight months too late, by all accounts. And I know it’s my fault. I know that I turned this love into something nasty and unrequited. But I’m used to getting what I want. Sort of. I mean, I’ve never had much money but I’ve always been lucky and I’ve always been resourceful. When it comes to relationships, I’m the same. Plato and Eros. I think I’ve forced people into loving me. And I want to force you to love me. Because when you did, I was bored or oblivious or indifferent. And now you don’t love me and I love you and I want you to love me back. I want to make that happen. But, for the first time ever, I feel there’s nothing I can say to make you love me again. I’ve never been much of a doer. I’m a talker. Actions speak louder than words? Oh well. You’ll have to settle for my nattering.

I miss you. I love you. If I had you now, I would worship you. Or maybe I just think that. Maybe I’m fooling myself again. Maybe I don’t love you and I’m lonely and I want someone to cling onto. And maybe that’s all I’m capable of. Maybe I’ve grown out of love. Maybe love is a made-up thing for passionate teenagers.

The first time I was in love, it was love. I thought it was love. It still is. But it’s not the kind of love that lasts, is it? It lasts when you’re sixteen and you’re rebelling against your parents and it’s risky and risqué and you’re always horny and sex is new and exciting and you think that means love. But maybe it’s just infatuation. I knew that I would travel to the moon and back for my first love, but part of that was because he didn’t feel for me the way I felt for him and I so desperately wanted his approval. I’m sure he loved me but he wasn’t addicted to me like I was addicted to him. And maybe that’s not love. Maybe love is more rational.

The second time I fell in love just proves my point – irrational love doesn’t last. Like a flame, it burns hot and fast and then it’s gone. One gust of wind and it’s like it never even happened. That’s what happened to me. My second love. I think I loved him for a long time before I even really knew him. And he was so mysterious and geeky and cool all at the same time and I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. I was in love with him, I was sure of it. I could see his flaws and we had our arguments but I loved him. Or I was infatuated with him. Either way, that love was intense. And brief. I haven’t seen him in over a year.

Maybe what I think is love isn’t really love at all. It’s obsession, infatuation. Chuck Palahniuk said, “What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.” I want that. That’s love to me. Of course, it’s not healthy, but it’s passionate, isn’t it? I want passion. But maybe that’s not what love is. Maybe love is just caring about someone and wanting to spend time with them. But I have friends for that. I have lots of wonderful friends who I care about and eat pizza with and fart with and love.

But love is different. Eros love, surely, means passion. It means drama and arguments and make-up sex and tension and all that other youthful stuff. The stuff you do when you’re seventeen and you’re drinking cider from a plastic bottle with your teenage boyfriend and you’re arguing with each other because you’re on antibiotics for a cold and he thinks you’re being ridiculous because who needs antibiotics for a cold, for God’s sake? Is that love? It’s aggressive and it’s passionate and it sure felt like love at the time. But I’m nearly twenty-one and I’m cynical and more mature and I’m more assertive and I’m also happier. I don’t think I could have that kind of argument with a boy now.

Then again, I thought I was in love a couple of months ago and when I found out that I wasn’t, or rather, that the love was another in a long list of unrequited, I beat myself up and I cut myself up and I set myself to self-destruct. And maybe that wouldn’t happen if someone actually loved me. I have this habit of falling in love with people who don’t or can’t love me back. Maybe they love me in their own way but it’s not enough. So I strive to win their love. I want approval and I want someone to tell me that I’m wonderful. But when I get that, I don’t want it. I’ve had boyfriends who, for whatever reason, thought I was the bee’s knees, and they don’t feel significant now. I wish they did but they don’t. I want to be loved but I don’t want to be loved. Being loved bores me. I want it so badly and when I get it, or if I get it too easily, I don’t want it anymore. It’s too easy. It’s not dramatic enough. I don’t want to be childish but my idea of love hasn’t changed much since I was fifteen.

I want healthy love. I want you. I’m still so sure that I can make it happen but maybe I’m fooling myself. Maybe what I’m really doing is learning a valuable lesson. I’m learning real love and I’m learning not to toy with people’s emotions. Christ, I miss you. We had such a real life thing and you understood me and you loved me, I know you did. But I ruined it. I had to. It was too much like happiness and I wanted destruction. But I miss you and I want to be happy with you and I want to make you happy.

“A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.” (George Jean Nathan)

I want that for us, you know. I want to be sleepy with you. I think I can do that now. I think I can love you. I want to love you. I want to give you my time and my energy because you deserve it. You are so wonderful and I’m sorry. I hope you read this and you understand everything that I’m not brave enough to say. Know that I’m sorry and I love you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

humans as animals.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on Cracked.com. I’m not a comic or a video game nerd, and though I enjoy movies, I’m not fanatical about the science or the weird facts behind their making, and politics is just too complicated for my little brain. I invariably end up on the articles about people: the science of flirting, why we think the way we do, why we do the things we do, how our brains often trick us. That kind of thing. I find all that psychological and physiological stuff fascinating. Hanging around with a soon-to-be psychologist helps as well – any questions I have about how mental people are, are often fired at my friend, Niall, who’s taught me about histrionic people, how a sociopath and a psychopath are the same, and about the different ways you can motivate people.

Because of all this psychological banter, I’ve been sourcing everyone’s actions to chemicals their brain. Back to chemicals. But I’ve discovered a glitch. And maybe it’s because I’m not a psychology whizz kid and I haven’t yet had time to ask Niall about this particular facet of the human psyche. Everything you read on Cracked.com is hilarious, no questions asked. It’s also educational and informative. It’s very scientific. It relates everything that we do as humans back to the desire to be wanted, and the need to reproduce, which is fair enough. I get that. I get why heterosexual girls wear perfume and dresses and all that. I get why heterosexual boys try to act macho – not just because that’s what society wants, but because it’s what girls want. Girls want strong men with strong genes who can take care of them and their offspring. I mean, that might not be a conscious want, but it’s there. If you believe in all that primitive stuff. The problem, I think, with all that primitive stuff is that it leaves a gap where love should be.

You know in 500 Days of Summer and Summer says, “You don’t believe that, do you? … There’s no such thing as love – it’s fantasy.” I could never get my head around that. How can you not believe in love? Love is not a tangible thing but you know when you’ve felt it. But then maybe it’s one of those things that your brain tricks you with. Maybe all it is is chemicals and pheromones and nothing special. But I find that hard to believe. Not that I think it’s unlikely, I just don’t want to believe it. It’s tragic. Chemicals. Love doesn’t feel like chemicals. Maybe that’s its greatest deception.

But if love is just chemicals, just an illusion to encourage us to reproduce, fair enough. I mean, my brain is too uninformed to argue properly about this kind of thing. I can see both sides of the argument though. I get it.

What I don’t get is self-destruction. I don’t get suicide. Not in terms of humans as animals anyway. There’s that rumour that lemmings commit mass suicide, but we know that’s not true. But humans often commit suicide. Far too often. And I don’t get it. Well, I do. I’ve felt suicidal a hundred times. I get feeling awful and wanting to just leave. But I don’t get it in terms of humans as animals. From that biological and physiological point of view, we are here to reproduce. Self-preservation and all that. So where does self-harm come into the equation? I know that it’s a coping mechanism, but I don’t get why we need it.

I know that we are not the only animals to feel emotional pain. I know that a lot of other mammals have allegedly shed tears for their dead. We do that too. But do you think that they blame themselves and they turn to self-destruction? And if they do, why? What’s the scientific reason for slicing your arms or jumping off a bridge? I guess we want to end it all. But what is “it” anyway? Something arbitrary. Capitalism, probably.