The Difficulty of Want

I’m so tired from wanting things so badly it hurts.

When you want something so badly, and you think about it so much that the imagined images become as vivid as memories, and you start seeing pieces of it in your dreams in the night and your ears perk up at the slightest mention of it anywhere, and your chest tightens from anxiety because of the uncertainty, you can’t imagine life any other way than the way in which you’ve been hoping. Any other road just doesn’t exist, if it cannot be done, you’re left standing alone in a mist of nothingness.

–From my post, “Swayed By The Moment”

The past year I’ve learned how deeply I can feel, and I started dreaming bigger dreams. My imagination has never been so alive, my creativity has never been so present.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to wake up and be completely alone. What would I do? I would find ways to connect with people, because I can’t live without the knowledge that I am not alone. And then the thought repeats itself and the idea turns into a Groundhog Day-esque idea, what if I try again and again to start friendships and make connections and wake up to discover that any place I had in anyone’s heart vanished overnight?  These people would recognize me on the street and know my name, but I would mean nothing to them. If I were run over by a bus they would mention to their mother over the phone that they knew me, but they would not miss me.

There are so many things I want to say here.

I feel everything so intensely that it has started to become beyond draining. Because of my dreams I have a lot of wants, I have a lot of expectations for myself. More than anything I just keep waiting and hoping and dreaming of things. And I’m so restless and tired and the past few nights the feeling has turned to something like heartbreak. And I find myself wondering what it would be like to just buy a ticket to anywhere and run. Just run. Just go and drop off the face of the earth for a few days. Don’t worry about a thing in the world, just run and simply exist somewhere for a little while.

I’m sick of my emotions. I’m sick of wanting things so badly it hurts.

I’m proud of my massive imagination and my drive to accomplish something meaningful that I love, but I just can’t do it right now. I can’t take this absurd constant intensity that is always building and building and know that I am incapable of doing anything about it.

I just want to go numb for a while, find a way to silence the constant crowd of different thoughts and stop the wheels from spinning for a bit.  I just want peace.

I want simple.

Anything is simple if you look at it from far enough away. Like a pointillist painting with thousands of tiny dots that all morph together as you back away. I know my situation is simple from afar. I’m just too close. I pace all day and work on my project ideas and clean and pack and wait until I move into my best friend’s home and get a job. I’m just going mad and I’m tired.

As it usually goes, I will feel better in the morning.




“Let’s Never Do That Again.”

Hot, humid wind whipped through the streets, the beams of cars in the distance dancing along the curves in the road. Night was falling as we stood in the middle of an intersection, dumbfounded.

“Heather, how did we get here?”

She turned first this way, then that. Fear flashing across her face.

“Where?” She asked.

Here.” I said calmly, “Right now.”

She understood what I meant and shrugged. “I have no idea.” She glanced back at the bridge enveloped in trees and vines, “Should we turn back?”

I looked up at the closest street sign and didn’t recognize the name. “I don’t think we have a choice unless we want to get ourselves into a worse situation.”

We started for the forest and I realized I couldn’t see past the bridge. I looked down at the keys and pepper spray in my hand and remembered that several months ago a jogger was raped in these woods.

Heather had the same thought, and I detached the canister from the key chain. She placed the sharpest keys in between her fingers, reminding me of a certain comic book character, and I took the safety off of the pepper spray.

Midway across the bridge I couldn’t make out anything, I could only see lights here and there. Madame surprised me by walking confidently in the direction we needed to go.

“You can see?” I asked, grabbing her arm for guidance.

“Yeah,” She said slowly, “Can’t you?”

“Not at all.”

Every rustle of a bush and twitch of a leaf or little furry creature in our periphery suddenly turned into a potential attacker. Hardly half an hour ago this place seemed to be filled with families and joggers. Now there was no one to be seen.

Heather Madame and I thought it would be fun to go jogging after stopping at Starbucks earlier today (we were out and about looking for an outfit Madame could wear to Carlisle’s graduation from basic training in the navy, and we brought along our workout clothes just in case we had enough time.) When we first arrived it was sunny and humid and refreshing in an odd way. But, obviously, two hours later cloaked in darkness and dominated by veiled panic, the place didn’t seem quite so dandy.

“I wish we had a guy with us.” She said suddenly as we walked down a worn trail.

I chuckled nervously, “I was just thinking the same thing.”

As we approached a freeway underpass Heather suddenly froze and gasped. I looked over to see a flash of pure terror in her expression.

I looked to the underpass and couldn’t see anything. I felt her arm muscles relax suddenly and she exhaled with relief.

“What is it?” I asked, trying to keep my voice casual. Meanwhile a voice in the back of my mind was screaming bloody murder to just run like the wind and mace anything that moved.

“I thought I saw a man, but it was just a shadow.”

My mind played for a moment on the contrast between how much we wanted a man with us to protect us (feeling comfort , relief and admiration towards a male figure) while simultaneously fearing one with, let’s just say, bad, intentions would appear out of nowhere (feeling fear, stress and expecting bodily harm from a male figure.) The really good guys vs. the really bad guys.

“It’s just your mind trying to make sense of ambiguous stimuli.” I said (I realized a moment after I said it that I had just accidentally quoted a Rorschach inkblot exam textbook.) “Just remember, if something happens, we are not helpless.” Just then I nearly tripped on a root but caught myself.

“I know.” She said as she glanced around nervously.

We eventually found ourselves in the middle of a worn trail in the woods, taking turns glancing behind us out of paranoia. I felt a spike of panic every time I thought I felt a presence nearby. I was fascinated for a moment by the fight-or-flight response, and wondered what chemicals my brain was releasing to make me feel this afraid (I know, it’s odd. But even when I feel bored or jealous I wonder what my nerve cells are up to.) The digestive system slowing down for a bit as blood is rushed to the legs and arms for running or fighting, shots of adrenaline as the sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear, making the subject jumpy and hypersensitive to information from the environment, the re-

A beam of light appeared behind us, and I paused for moment when I realized it was someone on a bike.

“Excuse me, ladies.” A man’s voice said as he passed us. I caught a glimpse of a uniform and a belt that would make Batman proud. I looked over to Heather and saw her looking at me with the same emotion on her face as my own, an expression that can only be described as YES! A cop!!

Nevermind that said cop was riding away into the darkness, there was a police officer within hearing range. And to top off the relief, we heard cars passing by and turned the corner to see the part of the jogging trail that runs parallel to a main road.

On the drive back to my house Heather said what we were both thinking: “Let’s never do that again.”

So… that’s all. Nothing bad happened and we took quite a few memorable videos today (none on the trail, unfortunately. We were both disappointed that we weren’t able to capture our little potential-slasher-film/potential-Star-Telegram-front-page-news-adventure on camera.)

Until I Write Again,


Explaining ‘Dazzled’…

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

William James (aka, the unofficial love of my life.)

Hello All,

I am currently at The Center.

I just realized how difficult it is to work up a post whenever I’m here. Usually when I write a post I’m in my room with the partition shut, hunched over my desk with green tea or a cappuccino nearby. It’s personal, comfortable, closed in, certain. But being here I completely access my school ‘social self’.

I suppose I should explain what I mean:

William James (a man who is considered to be the greatest American philosopher and psychologist. Longtime readers of The Last Classic will know that I am very much smitten with this particular dead guy,) believed that we have a different ‘self’ for every situation, beyond just one self that is ourselves, that is, myself. Have you ever noticed that you act and think differently with your family than you do with your friends? You could say that one is your ‘family social self’, and the other would be your ‘friends social self’. James believed that we have a self for every person and situation we encounter. James once said:

“Properly speaking, a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind.” (If memory serves, this is from The Principles of Psychology. I wrote down the quote in my little black book but apparently didn’t see fit to write exactly where it is from.)

Also, it has been proven that certain memories are more easily retrieved when certain stimuli is present. Like when a scent or song gives you a flashback from childhood. All of that to say – the state of mind that I am normally in while I write my posts is not easily accessed while I’m at The Center, which would explain why my writing seems a tad odd (at least to me.)


I am back home, sitting at my desk, with my green tea…ah, all is right with the world.

I had a brief conversation with Kyle. I really hope that we stay friends after I leave Texas, I can’t quite put a finger on why I feel an odd admiration for him. Not a romantic sort of admiration, just…I’m not certain how to describe it, I feel respect for him and, I suppose, very intrigued. He seemed much more comfortable around me today, hopefully I’m growing on him. He wore a blazer – a navy blue blazer with gold buttons on the cuffs, it looked like a smaller version of one that I had bought at a church yard sale last year ( the one I bought is very large, probably meant for a rather, ah, wide, grown man, it’s just the fabric is very lovely –  like the sort of fabric that can be found on the 1950’s blazers at Whistle Stop or Memories & Treasures, the world’s greatest antique stores and two of my favorite places in the potential multiverse…anyway, I used a seam ripper and removed the shoulder pads so it would look a bit better on me, turns out I just look like a child who decided to play dress-up.)

I was sitting in the study hall reading through my notes for anatomy and physiology when my blazer-radar (I’m convinced that by now I have a blazer-radar, don’t try to convince me otherwise!) caught the smooth movement of fabric in my peripheral. I looked up to see Kyle starting up the steps to the cafe.

“Hello, Kyle.” I said casually. He whipped his head around and grinned when he saw me. “How have you been?” I asked, watching for any signs of discomfort.

“Very well, how are you?” He said in his usual composed manner. My impulse was to be blatantly honest and say You look very charming today! And particularly handsome! But something (common sense, perhaps) made me feel that it would be a bad idea…


He turned back to the door for a moment as one of the managers asked him a question, and I thought the conversation was over. Next thing I knew he was leaning over the table, shockingly close to me, scanning my notes and asking, “And what is it you’re studying today?”

I had forgotten exactly how piercingly blue his eyes were. He must have been raised in an area with a large population, he just has a smaller space bubble than you. I told myself. Still, it was more than a bit unnerving having that smile and those eyes and, most importantly, that impressive blazer suddenly a mere five inches away. (I was sort of extremely jealous, his blazer was obviously of superior quality to mine.)

“Oh,” I said, “Just something I should have studied last week.”

I looked up at him again, feeling not intimidated, but somehow nearing overwhelmed (perhaps ‘dazzled’ is a better word.) The tables had been entirely turned! My shoulders were raised and I could feel a sheepish smile on my face the entire time. I continued the sentence when I had already completed it, “For anatomy and physiology today. How is the day so far?”

He smiled with his incredibly white teeth, “It has been great,” he said. Cue intense eye contact and suddenly extremely sincere sounding voice, “how about yours?”

“Fine.” I said pleasantly, I could tell I was blushing. Before I could say anything else someone asked for his help in the bookstore.

“Do excuse me.” He said before promptly leaving.

I looked over at the only other person in the room, a girl who I had never seen before. She was watching me and grinning. I chuckled uncomfortably and tried to focus on my notes with little success.

After his sort of shy behavior the past few weeks the last thing I had anticipated was his response today. Perhaps what struck me was how incredibly sincere and unguarded he was. I have a feeling I’m forgetting part of the conversation, usually I’m much better at recalling things people have said. I suppose the only way I can possibly accurately describe that minute or two, is, put simply, intense. I pride myself on predicting behavior. When I’m out in public I always eavesdrop on conversations and I’m able to predict where the tone of the conversation will go. So Kyle completely breaking from his pattern of behavior was completely unexpected. This brings to mind something Heather Madame said to me when we were talking several years ago about me being unable to wrap my head around why Ryleigh left:

“I guess people aren’t as easy to figure out as you like to think they are.”

I was offended at the time, because I still thought that no one was unreadable to me. I now know that everyone is unreadable sometimes, and some people are just unreadable to me.

Sometimes I have so much to say that I can’t seem to start on a topic before another one is much too eager to make itself known, so I find myself in a rut with a headache… I have a feeling I’m going to be up late writing a massive post. Because this one doesn’t feel even nearly complete.

Until I Write Again,


I Have Regained Sanity (For The Most Part)

Hello There…

Alright, so, I have chocolate-oatmeal-walnut cookies and Heather has finally replied to my frantic texts (the latest of which said simply “BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!”) and calmed me down (I dare you to find a proper response to my text message, for I am convinced only Heather possesses such a superpower.)

I’m not going to work at Kohl’s again, I’m going to try to get a job at The Book Carriage, where I’ve wanted to work for ages. And, since Josh stays with his family during the Summer and his family lives in the same city as me, if he wants to see me he can stop by The Book Carriage, but I’m not going to start turning my life upside down (again) for (a very, very attractive and nice and funny and witty and really really really great hugger and attractive…ahem…) somebody who has contacted me only once in over two months. Even if a part of me is still swooning over him, I know what I need to do, and I need to follow through with my plan to get an education up north and form a life elsewhere. Maybe things will change over the Summer and I’ll change my mind, that’s always a possibility, but honestly, I know that I’m beautiful and I have a heck of a brain on me, and I don’t want (or need) to be an adoring puppy anymore for somebody that never just came out and said he cared about me, that game hurt and it only made my mind spin.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a fresh cup of mint tea waiting for me downstairs and a new issue of Psychology Today to finish before bed.

Until I Write Again,


P.S. The Last Classic has officially reached 100 subscribers!

Lovely (Encrypted) Letters

Silly me, I thought I was going to be able to sleep without writing a post.

I got a letter today from Heather Madame:

It takes about a month for any letters from my pen-pal in Spain to arrive, so it’s always a fantastic day when an unexpected letter arrives, especially from Madame. So I grabbed a sheet of my favorite paper, sat down in front of Royal (my typewriter that currently sits on the floor by my desk) and started tapping away. I text-message Heather every day, so there was nothing really new to say, except for the obvious, but that never matters. I also added in a favorite little game of sorts to the message. I read once about secret lovers in the 1940’s who would hide messages to each other in their letters by putting a tiny dot below certain letters, so when the intended recipient got the letter, they would write down all of the characters with a dot below them, in order, and reveal the actual message. I had nothing to hide, so I just came up with something we always ask each other in our notes, anyway, and scribbled random french words here and there while I was at it (learning french is on our 20 before 20), ‘le lard!’ means ‘bacon!’:

In case you’re a new reader, you may not know that my “ongoing war with my thyroid” is referring to my hypothyroidism. Oh! Also, here the code I mentioned. We created a nomenclator using some greek characters and the original nomenclator used between Gilbert Gifford and Mary Queen of Scotts while Mary was imprisoned by Elizabeth (if you don’t know the down-low between those folks, grab a copy of The Code Book by Simon Singh, I’ve read that book a half a dozen times and I still love it):

Heather’s letter was exactly what I needed today. As soon as I saw her name on the corner of the envelope I went skipping up the stairs. I only read and write letters while sitting at my desk. You would understand if you saw my desk. I bought it from one of my favorite antique stores, it was simply made for reading and writing letters… as for the skipping, I found this to also be essential to the perfect letter-reading experience.

Alright, it looks like writing every single night is going to become routine, no matter how much I tried to avoid becoming a daily writer. You shall never wonder what I’m up to, because I’ll always return here, and I will be unable to stop myself from telling you all every little thing about what I think.

So, same time same place tomorrow, then?

Until I Write Again,


Suppose I Pick Door Number Two…

Alright, here I am, and here is the rant.

I’ve been wrestling with a decision. I spoke with my mother over tea this morning, sipping cucumber white (I didn’t even know until last night that such a flavor even existed) from my ‘I Heart Branson’ mug that I bought at The Mansion Theatre when we went to see Tim Conway perform. And I asked her suddenly if there would be a lot of conflict and resistance from her if I decided to leave Texas. I was expecting an hour-long lecture on my naiveté and how dangerous it would be and how no other state compares to Texas. But instead she looked suddenly looked at me with a facial expression of utter perplexity, and said she would never stand in the way of something that I wanted to do.

I know she wants me to stay home and go to TCC (Tarrant County College,) because it’s just what people do around here. And the whole thing sounds very pleasant. I could work at The Book Carriage (one of my favorite places on the face of the planet – wait, no, one of my favorite places in the universe – wait, no, one of my favorite places in the potential multiverse) take a few classes and get to see Heather frequently. And suppose my godchild is born in the next few years, I’ll get to see her (or him.) I know Heather doesn’t want me to leave, she’s my closest, most trusted friend. And I wouldn’t leave if she wasn’t getting married.

Oh, bother, I don’t know what I’ll think about any of this even tomorrow. But that talk we had at the lake sparked something in me and now the thought of going elsewhere won’t leave my mind. And after this morning’s talk with my mother that rid me of my fears that leaving would cause a rift in our relationship, it seems like such a bright option. I suppose the way it feels at the moment, is that the chapter I’m living in now is about to be over, there is no essential reason for me to stay, and with this realization that I will no longer need to be here, I feel horribly impatient to leave.

“You’ll just get tired of the weather, you won’t like the cold after a few months.” Mom said, stirring her tea as I brought up the two states I had in mind.

I spoke carefully, “I don’t have any affection left for the Texas heat. I never liked it much to begin with. I love the rain and snow and being cold.”

“You’ll hate the snow.”

“I hate the heat.”

She stared at the counter, expressionless. I had come downstairs with a plan of action. To keep the tone lighthearted, to remind her how much I love her, and to get her on my team.

I could never expect her to wholeheartedly agree with me on this one, but I was endlessly grateful for the green light I had been given. I walked over to her and hugged her for the fifth time that hour.

“I love you, mom.”

She mumbled what I should hope was ‘I love you, too.’ and started unloading the dishwasher.

I went upstairs to my room and saw a new text-message from Heather Madame on my phone. I presented the idea to her again, throwing in certain things about the cities that we both love. Like hiking trails, downtowns with antique shops, bookstores with clearance shelves and little cafes. Above all others, Heather has been the most supportive person in my life since I’ve known her, but the entire notion of me leaving is a special circumstance. She has stopped suggesting TCC, but her replies are leaning neither for or against the idea. I never would have thought Heather Madame, aka Watson, Bubbelz, Macho Taco and Heather Weather would ever completely be on my mother’s side about anything. My mother still doesn’t completely accept Heather’s role as best friend, even after five years.

It has been an extremely difficult day for many reasons, and perhaps all this is, is just fight-or-flight kicking in and swaying my thinking into making me believe that I truly want to leave when, beyond the tension, I want to stay.

But at this moment, I can honestly say I cannot imagine staying.

When me and Heather were thirteen, we created a plan that we were certain would spell out our lives. We were going to go to the same college, split the rent for an apartment, go on double dates and cry to each other when we’d get hurt by some dummy who would break one of our hearts, we’d go out on the town every weekend and watch movies late into the night, help each other study and go on little adventures like we always did ever since we first met, we’d eventually meet a couple of nice guys and get married at about the same time. It sounds silly now, but it was our ultimate dream back then. Less than a year later, Heather Madame met Sir Carlisle, and less than two weeks after that, they realized they were meant to be together. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t been witness to the whole thing.

“You won’t believe what he just said in the chat!” Heather whispered excitedly. Me and Rye were on a three-way call with Heather one night about a week after she met Carlisle and started messaging him through Facebook.

“What is it?!” Rye asked.

“Certain people are in the room,” which usually meant her parents, “So I can’t say.”

A song popped into my head and I started humming ‘I Think I Love You’.

That’s it!” Heather squealed.

“I think I love you?” I asked.

“Yes! Dang it, Hannah!”

It was apparently Rye’s turn to squeal, and I only wished I was witness to whatever happy dance I was certain Heather was doing.


Alright, I’ve managed to lose about three hours typing all of this. But my goal has been reached – I feel a bit better and my mind is spinning less. I really should get back to the books.

On Saturday I’m going to give my laptop to Heather for a week or two, and rely on the computers at the local library (which is also one of my most favorite places in the potential multiverse,) so I may not post again for a short while. But then, who am I really kidding? I can hardly go an hour without writing something on a nearby surface, and never half a month without at least typing up a draft of a post.

Until I Write Again,


Stream of (Irrational) Consciousness

Heather Madame & Myself 2/11/2012

“I think if you don’t, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if?'” She said simply, “Wouldn’t it be better if you knew?”

We sat, woefully unprepared for the gusts of icy wind that swept across the lake. Despite quickly losing feeling in our extremities, we gripped our mugs of coffee and sat perfectly still atop a small hill facing the body of water. The topic of conversation too top-secret to discuss at home.

“I know I have a monologue in me of everything I want to say to him, but,” I chuckled without humor, “he has no idea about any of this. About the sleepless nights, the blog posts, the conversations…About how many choices I’ve made based on some silly infatuation.” I winced when I saw his face in my mind. “He has no idea.” My last late night chat with Madame Emily (a fellow blogger who lives in another state) still lingered in my mind. Most of the time what Heather suggests that I do mirrors exactly what Emily advises, but this time it wasn’t the case.

When the conversation veered to the topic of college, I asked Heather something I’ve never point-blank asked anybody in my life:

“What should I do?” I stared blankly at the lake. And I sincerely wanted her to tell me, command me, make up my mind for me. A group of ducks huddled together in the water, several of them occasionally daring to wander away from the group. They didn’t last long alone before returning.

“Oh, wow.” She said, “No pressure, right?”

We both grinned and she spent a moment in silence, contemplating.

“What did you want to do before Josh? Before you knew where he went?”

“I didn’t have a plan before Josh. I was just grouping together universities that looked pleasant. UT Austin has really nice surroundings, but UT Dallas has a program for a double major in biology and criminology…Maybe I should just go out of state.”

“Up north?”

I nodded, “Emily said it snows. And it would give me a clean slate. A start of something on my own. Away from here.” I was going to add ‘away from Josh.‘ but I realized with a dose of relief that his existence for the first time in months wouldn’t be the seemingly all-powerful force that sways all that I do.

I looked at the foolish ducks wandering off into the cold, only when they decided to branch out and away did it seem to hit them how alone and unprepared they were. But then, maybe I was giving too much credit to the adaptive thinking of ducks. Maybe they branched out because they knew they could come back to the warmth of the group. “After I get my bachelor of science degree, I could always come back to Texas.” I could tell the idea of me moving across the country didn’t sit well with her. The notion has never seemed too grand to my mother, either. I hardly know the framework of how to work out such an operation. But if it ends up being something that I know I want to do, I will find a way (hopefully.)

We tossed the idea around for a bit, I would start to imagine what it might be like, to just wake up in a place entirely unfamiliar. Alone. Knowing no one and no one knowing me…It seemed like a breath of fresh air. But then the common sense of Heather (and mom) would remind me that the grass is always greener, the snow a little deeper and the excitement only temporary. But I can’t help wanting to do something extremely irrational and downright idiotic like moving out of Texas on a whim. Every now and again, throwing caution to the wind and hopping out the dang window while I’m at it seems like a good idea. Heather will be married and, I suppose, if I can’t be with Josh then I have no reason to stay. All I need before med school is a degree in science, where I get it means little.

I know I’m thinking foolishly at the moment. Not enough sleep, too much coffee and a lot of fear about the very near future can do that. Also, I’m 17. This means my frontal lobe, a crucial part of our brain that handles executive functions such as our organizational skills and the ability to consider potential consequences of our actions, hasn’t fully developed. So, one could say, I’m currently mentally unable to realistically consider the possible serious downsides of moving so far away… Fun fact.

I wish I could skip ahead the next six months. After talking with Heather (when we returned to her Jeep and the feeling returned to our hands) I decided that I’m not going to work at Kohl’s again in the Summer. Instead, I’m going to try to get a job at a little bookstore/coffee shop that I’ve been admiring for ages in Roanoke. Heather pointed out that, if I do return to work at Kohl’s, I’ll only be existing for the days I end up working by Josh. I’m still crazy about him, it still absurdly hurts to know that I’m forgotten. I cried about the whole thing. I can’t believe I did. I mean, my goodness! Crying over a guy. It seems so petty. It seems so undignified. I can’t go back to Kohl’s because I can only get more hung up on him, I can only find more reasons to admire him. I wish I had never met him. I could never be angry at him for any of it, as I previously mentioned, the fellow has no idea. But I’ve never felt this way about somebody before, and falling for someone from afar is a painful process. How can I think the sun and the moon of anyone, and contentedly accept complete silence. That was the plan, to wait in awe until Summer… Leaving, running, escaping from Texas sounds wonderful at the moment. Just something new and different. Perfectly irrational, but all the same, wonderful.

Perhaps that’s what I want now, I want to run away.

Alright, I’ve been working on this post bit by bit for the past seven hours and I’m afraid I have gotten very little done elsewhere. So, I leave you here, with this juvenile stream of irrational thoughts.