Only a couple of times has a dream made me wake up with the same distorted face of my imagined counterpart. Slowly finding out my brother died, going through the first couple stages of depression within an REM stage of a tuesday night cycle. Everyone around me was so calm, theyve all accepted it, except for me. Was i crazy? How could this happen out of nowhere? He was so healthy, and then..
I could feel every fiber of my being wishing i could see him again. Wishing i could have watched him grow like we have been doing all these years. Memories of distinctive conversations, inside jokes. I couldnt stop thinking about his PhD or his future adopted kids. Couldnt stop thinking of the grief my parents must be feeling as they calmly explained to me what happened. I cried and screamed, all within the walls of a quiet, frozen Tala. The madness that i was spiraling into was something i couldnt even imagine as i type this. It was only till i was forced to experience it as my own reality that the true weight of the situation burned into me.
The feeling of waking up to a familiar scene..the slow, yet fast, realization of where I am, what THIS universe’s reality is..
Waves of relief and happiness flooded me before my body had time to produce the torrents of tears streaming down my smile as i think about how much i love my family, and why i dont say it enough.
I want to text him right now, but it’s 3:55 AM and, thank you thank you thank you, he is sleeping.
It’s easy for people to criticize while they’ve never been through the shit themselves
Not too long ago I used to swoon.
You know, that swooning, dancing feeling you get when you feel like the stars align at just the right position to reflect a light in your once dull eyes.
I would collect similarities, connect the corners, into a warm quilt of heart beats and burning cheeks.
But similarities don’t equate love. Similarities aren’t meant to combine together in a zipper of mirrored images. And when mutual feelings come together like the horizon of sea and sky, you need to wonder exactly how deep is that sea of conversation, and how vast is that sky of possibility.
I used to have a list, innate at first, written down once or twice at girlish conventions in preteen times, then reformatted and reimagined within the grand corridors of my immature mind. Who doesn’t have a list?
I would have easily, easily feigned a connection to anyone that remotely resembled that list. Of course, it’s spelled “feigned” here and now. But it used to be spelled “match”. As if some algorithm for romance and future happiness existed between two straight columns of attributes and interests awaiting matching socks. The similarities between so and so would be checked off, like a crossword box.
Today an old man asked me about the book I was reading. And I replied. Total of maybe 7 lines each, and that was our conversation. Change up the situation to a guy around my age, and change my mentality to the tala before she can begin to imagine typing this. I would have looked at him, eyes crinkled from that refreshing smile of new encounters, behind my pitch-black pupils a lens that is silently matching my data and Stranger’s data together in that algorithm of romance.
It took me more than a few good hearts, unique minds, and priceless conversation for me to break the list. To not swoon over the slightest similarity, but rather, listen to what that attribute means to them. To not look at someone as a hypothetical partner, but gaze at their aspirations and how they’ve molded themselves using their talents, their interests. Not how their talents and interests correlate to my own.
To appreciate a person.
The second I stopped trying to see qualities of companionship and compatibility, I started seeing the quietest corners of even the loudest souls. And it is beautiful.
But not in the, beautiful, perfect for me. Beautiful to describe them and only them. A radiance I never would have seen had I limited my vision to a list of superficial talents and attributes and generic personality traits of a teenage love story.
What’s your favorite time of day and why? Where do you go to just think? How much does your family mean to you? Who are you when nobody is watching?
The answers to these are what makes me fall. Not swoon, fall.
Because my version of love can’t be created necessarily through the similarities I see in a person, but their own uniqueness that I would want to listen to and share for a lifetime.