My Brain(s)

Hey Heather, are you near a computer?

Lol I can be, why?

I need a liiittle bitty favor…

“Oh my gosh, Hannah. How does this happen?”

I breathed in and out, “There was no avoiding it, mom.”

“Yes, there was, if you had only-”

My phone buzzed with a message from Heather, I replied and turned to my mother.

“She’s forwarding the information now. We’re going to be fine.”

“But  you always do this, you wait until the last minute and try to fix everything. It never turns out.”

This had been going on for about an hour. “No I don’t, and yes it does.” I said matter-of-factly. Heather texted back. “We’re good, she sent it.”

We were at Office Depot, trying to rush and get several pages printed for my board I was going to use at the science fair in about fifteen minutes.

While Mother Madame picked up the pages I ran to the bathroom to check my make-up. I was sporting the Einstein look for the fourth day in a row, but nothing could be done at that point. I had not slept for about 48 hours and for once I didn’t care about looking perfect. The main reason for my lack of sleep being this:

Left hemisphere. Medulla oblongata marked near the top of the spinal cord.

For Heather’s 17th birthday I made her a tiny baby grand piano of out of paper clips, half a hanger, string, tongue depressors and wrapping paper. It turned out rather beautifully, so I tried channeling my MacGyver-esque piano making skills to make a brain… it didn’t turn out. And I needed a brain for the science fair. So, three days before the fair I ran to Wal-Mart and bought some cheap Crayola clay and, after over a dozen failed attempts, I managed to come up with the brain you see above. I have named it Fornix. Because the only part of the brain I could not get right if my life had depended on it was the fornix. If you don’t know what the fornix of the brain is (I had no idea until recently), I have marked it below:

The job of the fornix, in a nutshell, is to pretty much act as a bridge for communication when it comes to memory storage. For individuals with amnesia, it isn’t unheard of for the fornix to be damaged. So, if we all had the fornix that my clay brain has, it’s safe to say we would all have pitiful memory. Teacher Madame only had the time to view each table for a few moments, so she missed my slip up, thank goodness.

I was placed next to all of my favorite classmates, and ended up getting hushed by several people while talking to a fellow named Jon. I hadn’t seen a couple of them in a while so I couldn’t help trying to talk to all of them, even if I had to resort to hand signals and well-timed facial expressions. I loved being around those people, and I am truly going to miss them.

Now, let’s talk about narcissism. Specifically, my narcissism.

Do note, I’m not referring to the clinical definition of the mental disorder, but the common definition of someone who is over-confident and self-loving to a delusional degree.

I haven’t said anything on my blog before because I wasn’t certain how to phrase it. But I’ve noticed that ever since my mother made it clear about how she feels about my abilities, as well as the lack of support from everyone on my side of the keyboard, my mind seems to have started using a form of defense mechanism. I remember that night feeling like I was at a fork in the road. Either my opinion of myself could begin to lean towards agreeing with her, or I would need to build up the way I see myself in order to protect myself and my confidence in my abilities. Either I go to a community college and make dresses, or I reject that version of myself and never look back. Maybe that’s why all I can think about lately is getting out of here. It’s difficult to remember how I feel about my classmates and how much I love being around them when all I can focus on at home is starting a life somewhere else.

I need to tell you, I don’t think this narcissistic version of me is bad. I don’t tear anyone down in order to feel this way, and my perception of my physical appearance has improved dramatically. I’ve mentioned before that I still have spells of bulimic thinking, and perhaps a more positive view of my appearance, as well as my mental abilities, can get rid of the thoughts for good. But I am worried about this going too far. It hasn’t happened yet, but I do worry about starting to see myself as superior to others. One of my worst fears is treating anyone badly and thinking it’s justified. So, if I ever start sounding full of it, you have complete permission to give me a talking-to. (And ya’ll, I’m not kidding.)

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

A Moment From Today

Albert Einstein Français : portrait d'Albert E...

As I swung my purse and book bag over my shoulders a weight was lifted off of me – class was over. I don’t hate anatomy and physiology, I’ve come to love it actually, mostly because of Teacher Madame, it’s just that I’m a horribly vain human being and, having had little time to get ready for class, I had a hairdo that Einstein would envy. I realized that a sleeve of my blazer was starting to flip into a cuff and stepped outside as I was fixing it, looking up in time to see Kyle walking towards the building I was exiting.

I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks so I raised my arms dramatically, “Hey!” I called over. My bags swung wildly for a moment because of the motion.

“Hello!” He said in his usual proper tone of voice, though upbeat. He was wearing a classic Kyle outfit – white button-up shirt with black slacks.

“How have you been?”

“Very well,” he said as we passed by each other, “and you?”

“Pretty good.” I grinned as I waved goodbye, I would have continued the conversation except I saw the Fit in the parking lot. But it was refreshing to see the fellow for a few moments.

Mother Madame and I had plans to go to Kimbell today (my favorite museum), but the weather and traffic put an end to our plans rather quickly.

Apologies if this post seems a tad odd, I haven’t had the chance to write for fun – the way I write on my blog – for a little while. I did post a few nights ago, as you know if you’re one of my lovely subscribers, but after reading it over the following morning, I decided against leaving it up. Every speck of it was the truth, but let’s face it folks, I sounded downright full of it.

Alright, then, I’m afraid I don’t have much time to write tonight – I just wanted to write something since it has been a little while since my last post. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting next time around.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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

Energy Redistribution

My voice sounds absurd when I’m yelling.

Today was the first time in a while that I had a screaming match with my mother. The good news: these days my temper is nearly nonexistent, so 90% of the time I keep my voice level. The bad news: the 10% of an argument that I just completely lose it, I am the least logical, least agreeable human being on the face of the planet. I just yell for yelling’s sake, because I’m tired of trying to talk someone else down.

I’m not proud of how stubborn I am. Once I have made a decision, heaven help anyone who tries to change my mind. This blog has done wonderful things for me, because many comments have thrown me curveballs and forced me to think about myself in new ways. The very blatant fellow from Kluck It, for example, has always been extremely honest with me on my blog, to the point of actually annoying me on several occasions. But comments such as his that first make me ball my fist, force me to ask myself “What if he’s entirely right?” and every single time I discover, other people see things that I entirely miss. Trouble is, when I’m in the middle of an actual argument, I don’t have several minutes to contemplate every response. I just have a little voice in the back of my mind constantly reminding me ‘Watch yourself, be careful.’

All of those books that I read that annoy my mother come quite in handy in the middle of our arguments. Lately I’ve been applying what I’ve learned from John Gottman, a relationship psychologist who formed the famous ‘Love Lab’ in the 1980’s to study what makes relationships work, and what makes them fail.

I discovered the works of John Gottman through my obsession with Paul Ekman’s books on emotions and micro-expressions.

As I just mentioned, my mother takes issue with the amount of time I spend reading. And when I’m not reading for enjoyment, I’m studying, writing on WordPress or searching for new library books on the library site.  I have no desire to know my classmates or acquaintances at The Center beyond a social level. I can’t pinpoint why exactly. I just know that all of you know me better than anyone else, and Heather knows me better than I know myself, I don’t need anything more. Besides, the library just got in a new book on…get ready for this… the history of typewriters. The history of typewriters!!

I’ve been writing nonstop today. I stuffed my netbook into its case and tried to focus entirely on studying for an exam on Friday, but I kept grabbing pieces of paper and just writing anything and everything that came into my mind. I have no doubt that it’s because of how restless I’ve been as of late. Pacing for no reason, walking up and down the stairs at times to get out some of the energy. Just writing and pacing with a sort of anxious tension in the atmosphere. Like I’m waiting for something to happen at any moment.

I made the decision, if I get accepted into a university up north, I’m going to go.

I made it all day yesterday without thinking about Josh. I hope that I bump into him one day, look him in the eye, and feel nothing. The pain is nearing a dull ache at this point, and he doesn’t seem to be the bright and shining star in my eyes that he was a month ago. But a part of my mind will not stop nagging me, insisting that I let myself imagine what it could be like if I go back to work at Kohl’s and see him every other day or so. And then a more sensible voice will pipe up and keep me grounded, seeing him wouldn’t be healthy for me, and I need to remember that. I need to remember the pain, and how quickly he forgot about me.

Never again, folks.

Until I Write Again,

–Classic/Hannah-Elizabeth

P.S. Energy redistribution is a body language term, referring to someone trying to contain a strong emotion by attempting to shut down body language signals to the outside world, so the energy instead finds itself in a form it wouldn’t normally be in, such as tapping toes, tapping fingers, bouncing knees, and pacing.

Minding My Own Mind

I messed up last night.

Longtime readers will recall that I used to have an eating disorder – bulimia. And anyone who has ever had an eating disorder will tell you the same thing I’m telling you here, that it is impossible to be ‘cured’. Everyone has relapses. It’s addictive when you see results.

I was so sure I was okay, I was so certain. I know I’m pretty now, I know there isn’t anything wrong with my appearance, I don’t feel out of control of my life, the thoughts don’t attack me like they used to. I was alright.

But last night I felt a cloud over me. I needed to write something, I could feel it, but I didn’t want to turn to WordPress and risk publishing something foolish, so I went to my Gmail status instead:

I never felt ready to be 17 – I never felt ready to be 16. I sincerely wish I could be forever young. Tonight I feel my future looking me in the face, with none of my friends nearby or even on the phone, and I can say I feel afraid. How poetic it would be if I could say I’m going to be brave, but at the moment, I am content to be a scared child. Hiding from the world, from my future.

I felt like I would never be ready for medical school – how could I ever be? I’m not brilliant, I’m not competitive, I’ll just be eaten alive. Maybe I could become a private investigator or a journalist. Something fun involving travel like that. I wouldn’t be able to make it all of those years anyway – I’m too impatient to start my career. Oh no! My mother – my grandparents! My friends – my teachers! They’re all expecting me to go through with it. And I’m an idiot when it comes down to it. Horrid at math and physics and chemistry and french. I just know a boatload of medical jargon and psychobabble. I have no place out there in the real world. I’ll crack. I’ll do it to try to make them proud but I’ll just have to snap in the process.

I suddenly went into panic mode and started pacing my room. The most solid part of my consciousness knowing I would always want to be a forensic psychiatrist, but my faith in my own ability to reach that point had vanished completely, the mere idea now a phantom to my vision of the future.

I caught my reflection from my peripheral and looked over to my five-foot vanity mirror. The least you could do is work harder on your looks. Goodness how strong my cheekbones suddenly were. Oh, gosh, my eyes were so soft – they always look sad, even when I smile. My lips are an odd shape, like a tented cupid’s bow. Why didn’t I do anything with my hair? How can anyone stand to look at me? Who would anyone want to date someone like me? An idiot with no looks. No future.

I felt I had to do something.

In a single state of mind I left my room and, after turning on the faucet to make sure I wouldn’t be heard, I made myself throw up.

After I washed up and brushed my teeth (the usual routine), I felt like I desperately wanted to talk to someone. I wanted to go somewhere and cry and talk – ramble, really. My mind was spinning and I needed someone to state the obvious and calm me down. I wanted someone to talk me down from the frenzy going on in my mind.

I didn’t know how to remedy the feeling of idiocy, I felt that the only way to cure myself of the feeling was to start reading. A lot. Start filling my mind with words. Any words.

I grabbed three books – one containing science essays, one on art history, and a book I’m renting from the library on the history of Baylor University. I sat at my desk and just read for a while. A nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me how useless it was. How hopeless it was. I should know every ounce of this information already. It was too late. Much, much too late.

I made a mistake, didn’t I? I silently asked the empty air. I thought of how automatic it had been. Why did I do it? I don’t need to do that sort of thing. I realized I was hugging myself, hunched over my desk as I read each page. I thought of how I wanted someone to hug me and tell me that, yes, I made a mistake, but it was okay, because everyone loses themselves every now and again. It was just me coping with high stress in a familiar way. A way I haven’t turned to in over a year.

This is all horribly humiliating for me to admit. I’ve always been honest on my blog, but some posts are more painful to write than others. I can’t tell any of this to my closest friends or my mother. I’m too embarrassed.

The date of my graduation is coming up faster and faster, it seems. And I feel as though this fact has made me extremely driven, the first thing on my mind when I wake up is the need to devour information. To know as much as possible. To become brilliant. I need to be brilliant. And I can feel with a profound certainty how little I know about anything at all in the universe. There is so much to know, so much to learn, so much to do.

In a bizarre way I love that this pressure exists – the need to never stop seeking out what I don’t know, but I feel an emptiness, like someone in my life is missing. Like I don’t belong here, in this room. Like my feet are caught in cement, like I should be further along in my life. I said goodbye to my childhood a while ago – being around Josh was a wonderful, much-needed therapy for me, but I have doubts of ever seeing him again. I thought I would be happy with the knowledge that he’s in my life, that I would be simple enough that I could accept that we won’t be together, but I can’t be simple regarding this. When I consider looking for someone else, everyone looks so dim in comparison. I meant it when I said that I think it would be nice to have someone to admire and tolerate. And while I know a couple of you think I’m being silly for wanting to show affection for only one guy, I can’t imagine being happy showing affection for multiple gentlemen. I know I’m young and it doesn’t make sense to even many of my friends, but that is what I’ve always wanted.

It is now one in the morning. Logic insists that I wait until daylight, when I will no doubt be in an entirely different state of mind and will decide against publishing all of this. But I feel at though erasing this post from existence would be lying.

This blog is a journal. I can always look back on the past nine or so months, and see my life. I can know I am always honest. I can know that I trust all of you enough to share this with you, and I can trust you to tell me the truth.

Sometimes I wish that I wrote posts like many other bloggers. Browsing recent posts from dozens of bloggers everyday, I see themed posts with bits of humor spread throughout, amusing photographs and witty quotes. Perhaps I would get more readers if my posts were more light-hearted and general. But then, I suppose, the purpose of The Last Classic has never been to entertain. It was created for purely selfish reasons.

I can’t imagine what all of you must think of me by now. I truthfully feel as though I should delete this post and never look back. But I can’t seem to make myself get rid of it.

Until I Write Again,

–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.

___________________________________________

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.

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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