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.

Goodnight,

–Hannah-Elizabeth

Not For A Lack Of Words

Hello All,

It has been a rather hectic few days, and I wish I knew how to describe what I’ve been feeling.

Perhaps the maddening part about starting to fall for somebody, is the initial few weeks when you can’t get a read on them, so an emotional roller coaster ride takes place and you read into everything they say. You’re hypersensitive to any response and second guess every other thought. No one told me that you never grow out of it. As long as people keep coming around that you fancy it’s going to happen. Over and over and over again. And with my personality, I need to hold back every few seconds just telling him point-blank how I feel, because as I’ve mentioned before, when I like anything about anyone, I want to tell them. I’m just an impatient little kid in that way, jumping around, waiting for the green light, never one to really stop and think.

On another note, Mother Madame, Brother Dearest and I went to the zoo today for the first time in almost six years. I would have stayed home and studied, but the Fort Worth zoo has a lovely museum inside of it (cough cough, with A/C) and we live only twenty minutes away. The zoo is sort of like sporting events for me, I don’t enjoy the actual experience, but I do love watching the reactions of the people around me.

Alright folks, I’m going to make up for lost time and try to focus on studying.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

2,291 Words In This Post (It’s Not Worth It!)

I’m so stubborn and pig-headed. Once I focus on a goal, there is no way to reason with me, I can’t even seem to get through to me.

People affect me too much, because I let them, because it makes me happy, but perhaps believing that something is insane should not immediately inspire an impulsive action, but rather slow the decision-making process. I seek out sayings and people and memories that can help me justify to myself the things that I want to do, and I talk myself into believing I’m proud of my impulsive actions. But jumping out of a plane without checking for a parachute doesn’t exactly make one poetic, wise or even intriguing. It makes them naive, it makes them stupid, and it sets them up to turn to emotional wreckage.

Everyday has a million different possibilities. No one can predict the exact outcome of any week, month or moment. I want to believe I have a certain amount of patience and willpower, but there comes a point when I can no longer delude myself.

I don’t know where I’ll be when all of this is settled, I can only hope what I hope for now and hope I won’t change my mind out of impatience yet again. My choices change day-to-day – more than that, hour to hour. Because of people. Because I want to jump out of the plane, but I don’t want to get in anyone’s way.

I’m not worried about regretting the things that I’m going to do. After all, at least I can say I tried, I asked, I sought out, I leapt. It isn’t courage, it’s the denial of fear. Just don’t think about the height of the leap, the strangers below, the danger involved, don’t even shut your eyes and give yourself a shot to imagine how things might go wrong. Just look down, jump and hope it all pans out. Nevermind that you’re afraid of heights, your life is down there waiting, people are down there waiting for you, they just don’t know it yet. Surely they’ll get attached if you give them a few months.

___________________________________

I suppose I should explain myself, why I disappeared from my beloved little blog for over a week without a word. Spring break is partially to blame. Heather Madame and I had one little adventure after another. Including wandering through a forest and happening across the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring, peaceful meadow that seemed to come right from the pages of a fairy tale. I ended up really chasing a butterfly for the first time in my life…goodness, I didn’t know I could act like that much of a dork (this butterfly was like a tiny bright yellow ninja with wings,) I don’t know what got into me, really. After we had skipped rocks (well, Heather skipped rocks, I sort of just violently hurled them at the water,) climbed a giant hill covered in various green plants, and ran away from (okay, fine, I ran away from) an odd-looking frog in the grass (I bet it was deadly…) We decided it was probably best to find the car before it got too dark. But, as we began walking towards the trail, I saw a flicker of bright yellow in my periphery. I looked over, paused, stared at the butterfly for a moment, and then the chase began. This isn’t normal behavior for me, so when Heather suddenly heard an odd amount of rustling behind her and turned to see me hopping around running after a butterfly, she burst out laughing and had to rest on her knees for a moment from the sight.

“Hannah! You’re not going to catch it!” She called over.

“I know!” I half-yelled, half-laughed. And then I caught it. “Ha!” I held up my hands in victory. I walked over to Heather, we stared at it for a moment, and I let it go.

“You know,” I said, “I suppose I never really considered what you’re supposed to do when the impossible moment arrives when you actually catch a butterfly.”

For the past four days we’ve been impulsive little kids, I even whipped out my previously dormant pun-making superpower over spring break. It annoys Heather a lot (every time I think about it I start laughing, including now,) but I was in an immature enough state of mind that I didn’t let that stop me. This week was the first time in years that we were that carefree, for the first time since Ryleigh left our lives, we entirely let loose and were irresponsible and immature and impulsive. It was, in a word, therapy.

“Hey Heather?” I said, hopping from a muddy hill onto a stack of large rocks by the river.

“Yeah?” She picked up a nearby stone and turned it over in her hand.

“Let’s not talk about our families or guys today.”

“Sounds good.”

“Good.” I paused and stared at the water for a moment, “No men.”

“Unless it’s someone we can only say good things about.”

I chuckled and glanced over at her, “You mean someone we know just well enough to only know positive things about.”

“Yes!”

“Excellent.”

We paused for a moment, just thinking. Heather looked to the trail, took a step forward, and we continued the day of adventure with our agreement laid out plain and clear. And we stuck to it.

Things that also happened over spring break: we went to a couple of bridal shops and Heather tried on a few wedding dresses. The dress we both firmly believe is ‘the one’ is the most expensive of any of the dresses she took a fancy to. $1,299…Heather finally agreed to let me help pay for the dress (with Carlisle still in basic training and no other close friends besides me, Heather is doing the impossible and trying to plan a wedding and find them a place to live entirely on her own. And she’s doing it all in five months.) We also marked off another list item (number 18: Go to a restaurant we’ve never been to and try a dish we’ve never had.) We took a stroll around downtown Grapevine (I love Grapevine) and had lunch at an adorable italian cafe. I made sure to get an autograph from our waitress (I should also mention – I’m trying to get 100 autographs in 2012, only 95 to go!) We wandered into a dark tunnel marked with graffiti (okay, maybe we only took several steps in before running out, but that still makes me a rebel, right?) We had a picnic and ate way too much candy (darn you, Walgreens and your 3 for 3$ deals…) We managed to catch up on Ghost Adventures and return our library books, of which I had 36. The process of getting the books from my bedroom floor went something like this:

“Oh! And this one was due two weeks ago.” I said as I handed French Essentials for Dummies to Heather. My arms were already full.

Please tell me this is the last one.”

“Oh! And this one!”

“Alright then-”

“Oh! And that one!”

“Okay-”

“And that one!”

“Well-”

“And there’s just a couple more by my desk chair.”

“Hannah!”

“Yep?”

“You said you had a few library books!”

“Yes, yes I did.”

“You didn’t say you had an entire library!”

“They add up rather quickly… Oh! And that one by my window!”

I will literally pay dearly for my love of library books and hate of library due dates:

______

Josh text-messaged me again (the latest text arriving two minutes ago.) I’m back to being on the fence about staying in Texas. But, honestly, I don’t trust my own judgement these days. All I can do is what I’ve been doing my entire life – just taking things as they come and adjusting my plans accordingly. If something happens during the Summer, I will stay, but if not, I’ll move forward with my plans to leave the state. You may have noticed that I’ve been asking for advice more often than I used to, this is out of a childish desire to have other people make tough decisions for me, because I don’t trust myself. I know it’s absurd, and I know I shouldn’t handle big choices by turning to other people to make up my mind for me.

I hope I can explain this in a way that makes sense.

I know who I am, who I want to be, what I want out of life and what I’m looking for in somebody. This is constant, this is steady, this is defined and it is unchanging. But above this cut-and-dry foundation is my emotional life. The things that I want but can’t have, the people I want to reach out to but who wouldn’t understand, the person I want to be with but can’t currently try for. Mixed about these two levels is the day-to-day varying levels of emotion. Ever since childhood I could look at someone when they were speaking and feel what they were feeling (I was a dreadfully emotional child,) and now after all of my studies my ‘spidey sense’ about what people are feeling is amplified. Throughout a conversation if I’m watching your facial expressions, any fluctuations in your emotions I can not only read but feel on a milder level. I can’t stand conflict because when I fight with somebody I see not only basic anger microexpressions but bitter disgust, and without fail it’s like a slap to the face. I’m sensitive to vocal tones so when I hear the tension and resentment in someone’s voice it makes me physically ill instantly. I’ve said it before, but perhaps not as strongly as I should have: people affect me on every level. It’s very easy to get inside my head and I’m admitting it here, it is very easy to manipulate me.

All of that to say, on level one I am always entirely alright because I see the world strictly in logical terms, it’s my common sense, my anchor. It is the reason that even in my most frantic posts, a bit of sanity slips through. Level two is more of a soap opera character wrecking havoc on my peace of mind.

I vanished for a week because I became aware of these two levels of my personality with the odd, rather erratic third level… *Cue lightbulb* Well, I feel like a dummy, I just realized how similar this is to Sigmund Freud’s theory of the ego. Not in terms of consciousness and memory, mind you, but the notion of having a logical ‘I want, but cannot have’ state of mind directly next to an immature ‘I want, and I will have’ state of mind.

Sorry about the sidetrack. In a nutshell, I disappeared because in the middle of the stress of life as of late, my mind is doing that annoying nonstop spinning thing it does, Heather and I started having what we call ‘mini-vacations’ around town and at our favorite spots, which tossed in little patches of peace of mind and genuine happiness. When I write, my life pauses for a few hours, I realize things about myself and my thought process gets flipped upside down. I walk away from every post in a sort of daze, and dive back into life, or otherwise collapse into a pile of books on topics no one cares about and avoid the outside world. I thought since I was so carefree for the first time in years, the last thing I needed was a life-altering realization about anything. I finally knew of the existence of the two levels, and I didn’t want to do anything that might make the emotional level start thinking too much. I would consider writing a new post, but then I would remember, if I published anything, I would have to say goodbye to my mindless bubble of peace and quiet. I logged on out of curiosity a couple of days ago and saw a couple of comments from WordPress friends of mine wishing me well and worrying about me, I checked my e-mail and found messages from other WordPressers asking how I am (and I do hope that this has always been a given: always feel free to contact me if you have anything to say about a post that you don’t want to comment on, or if a thought occurs or even if you just want to send me an e-mail ‘just because’, you can find my e-mail address on my gravatar profile) At once I decided to write a new post explaining my silence, but for the first time in a long while, I stared at a white screen and no words appeared in my mind. No words. I rarely get writer’s block when it comes to The Last Classic. I can just pull up a screen even when I don’t feel like writing and the next thing I know I’m writing a ridiculously long post, I usually wrap it up and publish it in about three hours altogether.

I’ve been writing this post for three days. And 80% of what you have just read I wrote in the past two hours. I’ve been just deleting and retyping and deleting over and over again… Overall, my return to my blog has been a long one, and rather unpleasant. This is certainly not my finest work, but I had to get the ball rolling again somehow.

Alright then, Heather Madame and I are going to get up early for church tomorrow and I should get some rest. I leave you with this:

All of you have never failed to make me feel loved, valued and respected. And thank you for showing your concern and keeping up with my life.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

A Letter I’ll Never Send

We were so alike, that’s why it was that incredibly easy to see a future with you in less than 24 hours. We both move fast, too fast emotionally, that’s part of the reason we got along so well. We’re both too emotional and romantic and dream lofty dreams. You were logical where I failed, though, I didn’t expect you to be, but you were.

More than once have I seriously considered contacting you and telling you that I want to try again, because we made sense, perfectly good sense, we were so alike. But I suppose I know we’d both drive each other entirely insane in no time at all. We are too alike. I need to remember that. And the root of my contact would be a want of a reason to want to go somewhere. I think I know where I want to go if I leave Texas, but I suppose it would be nice if I went somewhere where I knew someone was waiting for me.

But the point of this little note that I swear I’ll never send, is to say that I know I put myself too high up. I like to think I’m down to earth and I truthfully do try to see the best in everyone without even realizing I’m trying, but apparently some part of me thinks so highly of itself that it holds a potential suitor to higher than fair standards. I like to think that because I’m young and I can ‘afford’ to be picky that this justifies how judgemental I can be. This is currently the only aspect of my personality that I refuse to tolerate the existence of.

I didn’t understand why you contacted me a few months ago just to tell me how well you were doing. And honestly I wish I hadn’t burned that piece of paper with your phone number on it, I want to know you’re still doing alright. I want to know if your father is still driving you up the wall and if you still feel isolated from the rest of the world.

Sometimes when I think about you I just see a wonderful human being with a sensible mind, warm smile, and a fascinatingly conflicted soul. But then there are other times, when I remember why I left us behind, because you never cared for literature or compromise or college. All of the things you advertised, that you were an intense, philosophical, driven, well-read human being, turned out to be lies except for when you were writing.

I don’t regret breaking it off, but I do regret meeting you. Because you did care about me, I just couldn’t stay because the whole thing was a train wreck waiting to happen, and I could see the end of the tunnel the day we began. You were so incredibly and fantastically charming that I would forget for a day or two what I truly felt, no one can withstand that amount of admiration without forgetting who they are for a moment. You fall so quickly for anyone, though, so I knew as I read your monologue on the girl you met three days after I broke it off, you would be just fine, and I wasn’t the first young lady you called ‘brilliant’, ‘stunning’ and ‘breathtaking’.

I suddenly felt so ordinary that I started to hate you a little bit.  And writing all of this now, I do still want to say that I’m sorry for not being the person you needed me to be. Like me, you have so much love to give, and you were just seeking out someone to give it to, it just never mattered who.

I suppose that’s a key part where we’re different. I hesitate. That hesitation was perhaps the voice in the back of my mind that kept telling me to make a run for it when you were moving us along so fast. You jumped right into forever. I was being cautious while trying to be who you wanted me to be, because I liked knowing you were happy.

I don’t know why I find myself here at one in the morning writing to you, I suppose I just wish that I had known what I know now. It was never about me deserving better than you, it was about both of us deserving different.

–Hannah

Call Me Crazy (Or, Just Call Me.)

This would be day four. Day four of being awake past three in the morning. Being awake past three because I can’t stop thinking about Josh.

I know what I need to do, I’ve been fantastically logical in my actions about the whole thing. I’ve left him alone and have decided to wait patiently until late May when I’ll see him again. I’m not a patient person, I never have been (and if I’ve ever claimed to be, I was flat-out lying,) but I’m perfectly content to be patient in this case, and restrain the constant impulse to send him a text-message every hour.

I was so restless tonight that around midnight I found myself pacing my room (my room that I had just spent an hour rearranging because of said restlessness) just thinking about him. About his voice, his face, his walk, his stare. Dozens of books from various stores and libraries lay scattered across my floor, leaving to the imagination any range of scenarios that could have led the area into a state such as this. As I walked I scooped down by one of my windows and picked up The Psychopathology of Everyday Life by Freud, I flipped it open and read a few sentences as I paced. I reread the words when I realized that I couldn’t understand any of them – not that they were no longer legible to me, it was simply that I couldn’t sink my teeth into any of them, wrap my head around the phrases, make sense of a single concept. They were just words. Just black against white. Nothing more. I tossed the book aside, making my cat jump upon hearing the slap of one book cover against another. The feline looked up with murder in her eyes for a moment before returning to her nap. I picked up another book, which ended up being French Essentials for Dummies, I didn’t even bother opening it before tossing it away, much to the fury of Abby Num-Nums. My mind sent me into a flashback, Christmas Eve, as I was snipping away behind my register (using receipt paper to make snowflakes) I saw him watching me with a tired, contemplative expression in my peripheral. I looked up and smiled, waving with the scissors still poised in my right hand. He nodded and smiled back. I thought to myself how he must like me, and went back to focusing on my task.

Just when I think I’ve pulled my mind away from a memory, I’m sucked back in. And there comes a point every half hour where I ask myself if I can make it four months without doing something downright stupid.

A lot can happen in four months. I remind myself. You might just find someone else. Then I see his face in my mind and I drop the idea. I’ve never felt this way about a guy before.

I’ve been turning over every single moment I spent with Josh, like a part of me is looking for some deeper meaning, a hidden message, something in his facial expressions I missed. Maybe a moment I couldn’t remember previously, like when you switch to Monk when you see it on the TV guide late at night and discover with an understandable dose of joy that it’s an episode you’ve somehow never seen before. But I run the idea around only to find myself right where I started. I’ve seen this episode before. Darn.

All of this to say, simply: I miss him.

But suppose he made it clear from day one that he felt the same. Suppose he were to call me now at three in the morning and say he cares about me. Suppose I’m out and about tomorrow and he walks right up and says he stopped into town just to see me. What could I do? I couldn’t do anything, because I don’t even have a silly license. We couldn’t date anyway because until I’m 18 all gentlemen must get 100% approval from Mother Madame (and I tell you now, this is not possible. So far my relationships have just happened suddenly and somehow end up private the entire time. They also all end up distant and 90% of communication is done through a digital medium.) By the time I am 18 (July 6th) Summer will be about over and I’ll be off to college, and then what? There doesn’t seem to be a window of time where it would work out. And that’s assuming he’ll still fancy me by July.

This, dear friends, is the point in time where my mind gives me the most radical idea, just to see how it seems to fit. The idea being that tomorrow I just call and say the following:

“Hello Sir, just wanted to let you know that I’m crazy about you, and that I haven’t slept in about a week because I’ve been up pacing and thinking about you. How I think it’s funny when you get annoyed, how I love the sound of your voice, how I love how you treat your family, how you know what you want out of life, how I loved the way you’d lean back against the register with your arms crossed and your head slightly tilted when you were tired, your eyes seemed softer when you were tired. I just wanted you to know all of that because, see, I miss you more than I’ve ever missed anybody in my life, and I can’t very well imagine anyone who could deserve you. Except (if I’m being honest,) me. I think this is just something you should know, because you make me happy, and I know I’ve made you happy once or twice. I suppose I hope this is a bit of a shock, a pleasant surprise, actually. Have a good afternoon.”

A radical idea indeed, but it felt nice to put all of that in writing.

Goodnight,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

I Will Spare You A Plane Crash…

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

An absence as I walked among the leaves.

An absence as I said my goodbyes.

An absence as I watched the absent, raising my hand in a ‘farewell’ as he looked away.

I will not be seeing him again until January – I had hoped this fact would cause him to wander closer to me, not farther away. He had never been this far away. He had been watching me here and there, like usual, but at the final minutes before goodbye he found himself in another room, in the midst of people not often his companions.

Glance.

Turn away.

The end.

It isn’t the end of the world, of course. But still, clutching my jacket close against the wind in the peak of the Wintery tone of the morning – I looked to the window panes where, just beyond, I knew he sat. I knew he was looking back at me, even if it was just a gut feeling. And I knew that, even if I couldn’t see him, as soon as he saw me looking into the panes he would glance away in a moment of shyness. He’s sweet and…simple, like that. Just as he can turn into a witty, clever human being mid-conversation in class. How odd, that only recently did I realize a single thing that I genuinely fancied about him, only to receive the sense that he was backing away. Why wasn’t he in his usual spot beside the bookstore shelves? Why did he say goodbye to everyone but me? Oh, hush up Hannah – if he has moved on then that is that. Why wallow? Are you going to pity yourself now? Feel sorry for your could-have-been love story while losing yourself in frozen Cool-Whip and clips of Tim Conway on The Carol Burnett Show? Well, if I’m honest, yes. I think I will feel sorry for myself for a bit. Logically I know this is life, and I shouldn’t let this moment of finally feeling my heart open up for someone in vain ruin any potential future relationships. But still – I had started thinking about what I enjoy about him, instead of always wondering what he liked about me. I’ve finally come around to see we’ve gone full circle.

____________________________________________________

“What would you do if you were stuck on an island, and could only bring three things?” I asked suddenly. Shania looked up at me as she rung up a customer – an older, handsome gentleman in a sharp suit. The area in Kohl’s was empty except for the three of us and a lone woman working at Customer Service an earshot away. I had stepped in to help Shania bag Mr.SharpSuits items when her vocal tone had become less than respectful. I had just spent eight hours of peacemaking with rowdy and impatient customers, and I winced when I realized one of our own was treating one of the company’s beloved customers this way. I just walked over to her register with several sheets of blank wrapping paper and started wrapping and bagging the man’s three glass bowls.

“You can’t bring a cell phone, a boat, any type of communication. Just three things.” I said. She looked perplexed. I looked up at the man, who was grinning while getting his credit card from his wallet. “What about you?” I said impulsively, “What would you bring?”

“Well,” he said, “Probably you since you’re being so entertaining.”

I chuckled, “No food?”

“Would I be allowed food?” He asked

“Yep – anything you want except for a way to get off of the island.”

He tilted his head to the side, “Is this supposed to say something about my personality?”

I shrugged, “It would tell me something.”

“Then I would bring a ball of string, a hunting knife and my best friend in the world.”

I placed the bowls into the bag and looked up, “And who would that be?”

He looked down at his left hand, “My wife.”

I nodded, “Good for you-”

“What does that say about me?” He asked, steely grey eyes piercing into mine as an amused smile kept his features soft.

“I’m no psychologist,” I said, “But, I think it means that you’re empathetic, a family man and a good survivor – a sharp dressed one at that.”

“What about her?” He pointed to Shania as I handed him his bag.

“I haven’t answered yet.” She said, “I think…Food, water and…my boyfriend.”

“What does that say about her?” He asked.

“I think,” I paused and turned to her, “I think you understand the essentials of life, and just want to be happy.”

Shania handed him his receipt and he made his way to the door, “Good observation.”

“Merry Christmas!” I called over.

“You too, thank you.” He called back.

I felt oddly numb – that was something I had always felt I would do, but never had actually been presented with the proper circumstances. Stepping in and changing the mood of a moment from a negative to a positive. In the back of my mind I was pleased with how it turned out, but I wondered if I should avoid thinking about it, to avoid a silly dose of pride.

I’ve decided that I want severe change – I want more than to want to be happy and venture to be the person I want to be only when it is convenient. I feel that I should be more involved in my environment, in where I am, in what my own aims and thoughts are. There is more than waiting for a moment to arrive, and why not cease a fleeting moment upon me, instead of planning to in the distant future?

It’s time to plan a new experiment for The Center, and seek out topics of research and everyday adventures. I’m finished sitting around daydreaming when I understand fully that I am capable of more. I’m more than who I am when I’m waiting for Chase to do something every week for me to analyze, and who I am when I follow the basic script of ‘how do you do’ in life. I’m amazed at how quickly people at Khol’s will turn a simple transaction into a 2-minute therapy session… What if I gave strangers such therapy that they obviously crave (minus the 200$ credit card bill)? Perhaps this is the start of an experiment idea. Perhaps I could ask basic questions and see what deeper meanings make themselves known. Perhaps questions that make old men grin into their billfolds and tilt their heads like curious puppies at someone young enough to be their offspring’s offspring.

_____________________________________________________

Friday, December 9th, 2011

On the market.

I blinked rapidly for a moment – did I really just think of those words to describe myself?…Well, yes. Because I am.

But why think it? Are you going to go out hunting for a guy now?

Heavens, no! I’m me – I don’t seek out guys, I don’t even care about dating, or, ah, I didn’t. I still don’t.

So why were you just thinking about being ‘on the market’??

I don’t know! I’ve been working for eight hours straight and the strain of repetitve bagging movements alongside the tedium of inquiring “Do you have any coupons?” has finally made my little brain snap! But I am not going to date any time soon!…Unless Matthew (Chase) pops up in my life, and even then I don’t think I would date him – if I’m being honest.

I heard Gladys giggling across the registers. Gladys had trained me from day 1 and has become a second mom to me at work.

“What’s so funny?” I said, chuckling. Gladys has the most infectious laugh of anyone I’ve met.

“He’s got his eyes on you.” She said, still giggling.

“Who?” I looked around, no customers in line for the evening rush.

“My son.” She said, a twinkle in her eye.

Oh no.

“Really?” I said, shifting uncomfortably, “I didn’t notice.” I needlessly opened a new pack of large plastic bags to avoid eye contact and halfway hide behind my register.

“You didn’t see him standin’ here gaping at you just now?” She seemed severely amused.

“No, I must have tunnel vision today.” She turned back to her counter, still smiling.

I’ve become good friends with Gladys’ son, David (a fellow employee). He’s fun to joke around with, banter and all that. I had gotten the impression that he liked me, but I didn’t want to run the risk of reading too much into it. He is amusing and laid-back, two qualities that I do, generally, enjoy in a male friend. But he’s also immature and impulsive, more like a brother than (anything even close to) anything more.

Maybe you should ask him out – you wanted to date a guy for fun once upon a time.

I resisted the urge to slap myself across my absurd face, absolutely NOT!

How on earth do you expect to end up with anyone if you don’t give guys who like you a chance?

I already have given guys a chance! And the majority of them ended up being juvenile narcissists. I want to date someone I actually want to date.

You shouldn’t be so picky.

I’m only 17, Madame, I have plenty of time to be picky.

Well, that is that, then…

“I can help the next customer!” I called over to the forming line.

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Saturday, December 10th, 2011

31…11…25…clink

I smiled with victory when I realized that I had not yet forgotten the combination to my locker at work. After several good tugs my messenger bag finally escaped from the metal prison and I dug through for my little black book as I reentered the break room.

(Note – my little black book is, literally, a little black notebook, it has a small pocket on the last page where I hide my money.)

I sat down by the vending machines and noted (with an unhappy stomach) that I had no bills left, and had only brought my Vitamin Water Zero (terrible tasting stuff, mind you.)

“You look lonely sittin’ over there.”

I looked up and saw David with a fellow coworker, Laurence, sitting at a nearby table.

“Not really,” I said, “I have my book, and my phone.”

He cocked an eyebrow.

“What?” I said pitifully, “They make good listeners.”

“Why don’t you sit over here?” He asked, patting the chair next to him. I winced inwardly.

“I’m really awful dull,” I said, “and I’m just going to be checking the schedule the entire time.”

“I don’t care, I want you to sit over here.” He punctuated his point by hitting his closed fist on the chair’s seat.

For lack of a reason to deny his request I stood up and walked over, “Alright, but I’m not going to be able to talk much.” I said, keeping my tone light. I grabbed the weekly schedule binders and flipped them open needlessly. I had already written down and memorized my work schedule, I just suddenly wanted to avoid conversation. I flipped open my notebook to a page with my schedule copied down.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“Double-checking my shifts for next week.” I lied. This was odd for me – it has always been a rule of mine not to lie to my friends, but it came naturally, and I wasn’t about to confess.

The three of us sat in silence for a minute or two before he spoke up again, “Why aren’t you talking to me?”

“I’m sorry,” I said sincerely, “I’ve been told that I’m a quiet person.”

“Alright,” he said, crossing his arms, “Whenever you wanna talk, that’s cool.”

Laurence stood and walked out of the break room suddenly. The rest of my fifteen-minute break was spent trying to amuse David while not sending any signals that could be misread. But I knew that obediently sitting where I was told to in the first place might not have been my wisest choice.

Whenever I pause and think about dating David, I feel slightly repulsed at the notion, even more so when I suddenly see Matthew’s face in my mind in comparison. The difference in their presence, their phrasing…the way they talk to me. It’s so extreme.

Sunday night I worked late with my closest work friend, Seema. Me and her have bonded over our similar situations – hers being that she likes a guy who works at a gas station near her house, and mine being Matthew. Last night we came up with nicknames for them.

She smoothed out a new stack of plastic bags in between our registers, “Well,” she said, “I don’t need him, of course, I just want him.”

“So,” I said, “He’s your chocolate.”

“Exactly,” she chuckled, “Or better yet, he’s my Häagen-Dazs ice cream. He may not be the most expensive and hardest to get, but I’ve been settling for the little bitty containers of BlueBell for a buck on the bottom shelf because, even though I reaaallly want the Häagen-Dazs, I’m just too lazy to go get it.”

I laughed out loud at how serious she sounded, “I have to call him that now, you know.”

“I know..Häagen-Dazs,” she seemed to be trying out the name, and liked how it sounded, “Then your guy needs to be called something, too.” She thought for a moment, “since he knows chemistry he’ll be called something sciency, like CO2.”

“CO2 and Häagen-Dazs.  I like it.” I said.

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Overall, this post has taken five days to write. Due entirely to hesitance – just a pause of one moment to the next, double-checking my intentions and phrasing. Honestly this newfound drive to recreate myself has been born of my inaction regarding Matthew. I wish dearly that becoming fond of him hadn’t been so much like pulling teeth. I suppose I just kept wishing that I could meet another Last-December-Matthew, when I saw him for the first time and was charmed instantly. I just don’t want to open my heart to anyone ever again until I feel that way again – a part of me says with a large amount of gusto that I have the right to hold out for the moment of being charmed… But back to my point – I know what I need to do next in life, and that is simply to pursue life, and do everything I can to be the best that I can be. I suppose, come January, I want to be a different person.

It is a tad odd for me to write about relationships – the entire topic was very nearly unheard of on my blog until these past couple of months. I suppose I’ve never felt that I needed to tell you all about the males in my life, but now some part of me finds the need to place everything out in the open, a sign that there is something I’m going to figure out regarding this topic.

In a way, this blog has become my companion – I needed to discuss my current situation a little here and there the past few days and this page before me has been waiting for my explanations and rants.

I’m entirely (dare I say the word yet again?) honest when I’m here. And I think that’s why I love my friends on WordPress with a special fondness – because all of you read who I really am and yet still find pride in being associated with me. The sort of friends people seek out their entire lives, who prefer them the way they are beyond the veil of social politeness. I sincererly appreciate all of you.

Goodnight,

-Hannah-Elizabeth

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P.S You would think that a devoted letter-writer would be superb at the simple act of replying to comments in a timely fashion – but apparently my calligraphy skills far surpass my ability to efficiently communicate through the web. Truthfully I will try harder to reply much faster – you’ve taken the time to read my blog posts and lay out what you think, the least I could do is reply to what you have to say. I sincerely apologize.

P.P.S What would you do if you were on the island? 3 items/people, no way to get off – assume you’ll be trapped for the rest of your life…Choose wisely (or unwisely, your choice.)

Perception

Some human beings live to be 100 – and others survive mere hours after their emergence into the world. In either and any case, the people that love them the most will always say that they died young. Age has never been a factor accounted for in the cases of the old, and is the only thing considered in the cases of the young.

Pocket watch, savonette-type.

Image via Wikipedia

When I die young, I hope I’m remembered for what I did, not what I could have done. Suppose I die young at 20, or 50, or 80 – I hope time is not considered. Because while character is reflected in actions, it’s also reflected in presence. (I mean that one should be remembered by the impression they leave on others.) Perhaps I’m just an awfully overemotional person (who am I kidding? I am just an awfully overemotional person,) but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t wonder how I affect other people.

What on earth defines character? If reality is perception and perception varies with each and every individual (we don’t even have any reasonable way of knowing that we feel the same emotions in the same way as other people – we have only vague descriptions we give each other to describe the pain of losing someone or the joy of discovery,) then does not character vary – the essence of character, that is? Is it a tad useless to seek out traits of honorability when honorability cannot be universally defined? Yes, I see that the questions are absurd, and it takes only a few moments to answer them. But I still ask them anyway because they seem to me to be worth asking. It seems like people forget to ask – or otherwise never wanted to in the first place. I suppose then I should wonder what sort of person would ask absurd questions like that if I’m asking them. Questions that seem to have answers before I’ve finished writing the last word.

I know it’s absurd to sometimes feel an inherent need to teach people when I have little to teach, and to seek out something with no name, shape or purpose. Often I feel the same way as I did when I wrote a small while ago, “I suppose I’m looking for something that I will know when I see it.” A sense of belonging in a moment, of certainty that one isn’t aimlessly wandering throughout space.

And, that would be my ramble of the week.

__________________________________________________

Yesterday I had class at The Center. I was certain that Chase wasn’t going to show up, but several minutes after class started a door at the back of the classroom creaked open. He poked his head inside and a gust of cold air took advantage of the opening and swept through the room. I knew instantly it was him by the shade of his caramel hair in my peripheral, confirmed upon my glancing over.  His expression was one of a child whose hand was just caught in the cookie jar as he looked to Teacher Madame – he’s rarely that late to class. After he stepped inside he took a seat next to Marshall, who sat directly behind me to the left (I decided to take one of the seats in the front.) Class went by rather quickly, and Teacher Madame and I ended up talking after class for a few minutes, and directly after the mutual discovery that we’re more alike than previously believed, she lent me a couple of anatomy and physiology books she had purchased recently. I stepped outside of the building, and upon realizing on the walk to the center’s cafe how much time I had spent talking to Teacher Madame, I found myself thinking Well, you’ve wasted time you could have used elsewhere. But when I thought for a moment, I quickly snapped back, No, I didn’t. Just because I wasn’t talking to Chase doesn’t mean I’ve wasted time – how on earth was it wasted, anyway?

I stepped inside and glanced to my right to see Chase sitting at a table by the window, his laptop sat open, fingers poised at the keys. He looked at me for a moment before looking down at the screen. I walked into the restroom and checked my appearance. Tired, certainly. I had woken up early again to spend more time getting ready – three hours spent trying to look beautiful so any pretty I managed could be displayed for ten minutes before I had to leave for work and he for economics.

Thing to be happy about… I realized I couldn’t work up anything specific (it’s routine now that everyday I think of something to be happy about), so I thought simply, today will be a good day.

I ran my hands under hot water for a few moments, the temperature was colder than is comfortable inside the cafe and I was nearly shivering. Instead of wearing one of my usual trench coats or a thick blazer with my grey slacks I had on a forest-green Ralph-Lauren hoodie and (you might not believe me) jeans. I have not worn jeans in public for, bother, I can’t even recall the last time. But the hoodie and maroon-red blouse were much more flattering to my figure than a boxy blazer, same goes for the jeans. I haven’t tried to look pretty for anyone in a while, but the sudden change in appearance seemed natural. I even bought new make-up and whipped out my new Chi flat-iron (which is rather handy for styling natural-looking waves…ahem…) for no other reason than to look better on Wednesdays. I could almost laugh at the utter oddness of it, I wonder what he would think if he knew all of the trouble that goes into those ten minutes.

After I dried my hands and stepped out I saw Claire behind the counter in her usual barista attire.

“Claire!” I walked over to the counter and saw Chase suddenly look up, “How you be?”

She smiled broadly and nodded, “I be good, girl! How you be?”

“Great, thank you very much.”

I saw a friend of mine step outside of study hall and I started speaking with her, and then Claire again. I was aware of every move Chase made, when he shifted in his seat or turned a page in the book he had out and glanced up for a moment, but I didn’t want to stop talking to Claire or Marie (my friend from study hall.) When I would think back on it later, I would be equal parts happy and regretful.

While I was talking to Marie, I saw Chase start putting away his things, looking up once or twice and finally stepping outside and walking to his class. I was going to come up with something, and say that I was going to wait for my mom to pull up outside (so I could meet him at the door), but Marie was in the midst of a sentence and it would have been rude to suddenly leave. My time for the week was up.

When my mother pulled up I realized I hadn’t changed for work yet, so I ran inside the bathroom and changed into my grey slacks and a long-sleeved black shirt with one of my pocket watches around my neck.

“Claire!” I ran out of the bathroom and grabbed my scarf and grey knit cardigan. “I am in a dilemma!”

She ran over, completely baffled.

“Alight,” I said, putting on the cardigan, “I need help for what to wear to work. Should I wear this, or no cardigan and just a scarf?” She had me try a couple different looks before settling on the scarf.

“Thank you very much, Madame!” I said as I stuffed my items into my bookbag and headed out. I scanned the campus for any clues as to what building Chase’s class might be in.

For a moment I felt disappointed, the next ten minutes wouldn’t arrive for seven days.

“How was class?” Mom asked as I got into the Fit.

“It was alright.” I said, buckling in and looking over at her, “Nothing new.”

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic