notes on grief

Finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short book, Notes On Grief. 

Called mom today. She said my Godmother’s cancer continues to spread, that my aunt is probably going for surgery again, my grandmother currently underwent surgery, my sister – I think she needs me right now. But I cannot be there. 

Notes on Grief, when her father dies, Chimamanda is unhinged. What is life’s meaning when life’s meaning gets subtracted? What is left when everything is taken? In her Notes, she remarks on the surprise, the futility of condolences, the upside-downness of the process, practically unchanged since the dawn of time, of how we deal with our loved ones when they die. 

In her Notes, she shares stories about her father. This is a Eulogy maybe, or an obituary. He seemed like a loving man, and I came to show admiration for him upon finishing reading the novel. 

Out in Colorado somewhere, I bought apples, bananas, beef jerky and snack bars for our trip to the Sand Dunes. The bagger packed my new purchases and when I tried to tip him for his help, he declined. He said, I already have too much money. 

Maybe I do too. Maybe I haven’t considered the fact, but I already have too much money. And then what? 

I sat on the porch as the morning breeze cooled me. That’s when I read the first pages of her Notes. When I embrace solitude, good things happen. But I am always running away, playing a constant game of tag with it. So I became depressed again, playing over unwanted memories of failed relationships. I never thought I’d waste someone’s time. After all, I never felt that way toward anyone. But maybe I did. 

Now who am I to become? What am I to do? It’s only me, and me alone, to face this long, winding road. 

losing…

They are all crusted into my heart like plaque that’s settled long onto teeth, a layer of sediment. These emotions are not easy to bear. I need help, and I don’t know who or how to ask. But I am up again tonight, wandering, pacing the hallways, the solitude haunts me. I download instagram, and then I erase it, and a few minutes later its on my phone again. My phone is a source for this disconnection I feel with myself. How ironic, but also, how unavoidable. 

I am hurting deeply inside. My conversations with my mother are so inconsistent, and they are not much better with my sister, with Johanly. The feeling that I may have passed away, and knowing that their life continued without me. All there is is maybe a few miles between us. But between me and me there is only time. What happened, why it happened, and how? The story unfolded in its own way. 

Recall the excitement of new jobs, new adventures, and before things got heavy how I smiled. Writing about the depression doesn’t help, and in some way it may reinforce it because it reminds me that I am not fixed. The feeling of brokenness, like a sound coming from an engine that used to purr, and now you hear it struggle to perform its basic functions. I feel a cough, beyond the sleep deprivation. I feel tears, I miss mom. I miss them all, and I don’t know how to get it back. 

It all ends. The women in my life, they’re not checking in on me. Remember those good morning texts? Remember, but how could you forget? All you can do is remember. Remember the time Natasha laid in your arms, and you felt close like friends, like the secrets you had shared were safe. Spend the rest of your life trying to convince someone to love you, when it’s you. Answer! Wake up, and say that you love yourself. Jump high off the ground! Run fast! Please don’t get old and tired. Please don’t get old and tired. Please. 

I urge you, write a book. Who cares if it sucks, but you have to. If you want any chance at the next decade being one that you’re proud of, please start writing. Make time for your studies. Start saving away your money. Don’t stray from your goals. Set goals again. You used to set goals every month, and now you don’t. Did you forget how meaningful that process was for you? Please don’t forget it.

I’m pleading with you, Ledimir. I am the voice inside, and we need to wake up. Don’t waste your time. Be intentional about every moment. Live out your dreams. Become intensely focused because that’s all you have. So forget instagram, forget facebook. Forget the junk food. Stay away from it at all costs. Save your money. Don’t spend it wrecklessly. Stop with the sugar. Stop with the late nights. Write for you. Write because it is your only salvation. 

Forget her. Forget all of them. Let them go. The best thing you can do is let them go. Let them all go. Please. Let them all go. 

You can change the story, but you have to commit to it. Only you can commit to it, to building your own program and going your own distance. You have to make the choice and no one can make it for you. 

What are you going to be sad for? For what happened with Ivan. He doesn’t care about you. Jeremy doesn’t care about you. Even Wascar, he cares, but not like he did. And this is your fault. Your fault entirely, and why you will end up alone. Who will love you? Who? 

They say everything you write is sad. Who cares? Life is sad, but I will fight. I mean, you will fight. The problem of consciousness, it’s like a mirror that’s absorbed its reflection. We both stand on one side now. You and I both, searching for something. Searching, always searching. Life is an endless search.

Do you understand what it feels like to feel complete? To no longer need to search? I didn’t think you did. But you need to find out.

I owe this much to you. I owe that much. Stopppppppppp. Shut up! Let me please just breathe, because I can’t anymore. I simply cannot, and I don’t know how it will go. 

Kim, what did I do wrong? All I did was show love, but it was never going to be enough. I don’t make money like you. It was hard for me to afford our dinners, lunches. I am not established in my career, and I am barely sure of this one. What did I do wrong? Why should I care what you think? You don’t really care about me either. 

I said I love you on like the 10th day. Fucking idiot… It just slipped or something. I wish I didn’t mean it, but I did. Caroline said the same things. Are you a person who truly loves or are you just one to catch feelings. The times with her were the worst. Even the good ones. Who am I to judge the past? 

Caroline… when you gave that guy your number… I still remember how much I hated that moment, and then you called me someone else’ name. Sheesh. Fucking – what did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong?

Diana, Bryant? Fuck… And then it’s like what about me though… What was I supposed to do? I am the one that moves on quick, but now its too much to bear. I needed to process things, and they are all in there. Cementing into graver problems. Writing. Writing is your salvation. 

Write. Write. Write. Write.

Homeless. I see it. But Goddamn, I want to avoid it. I cannot manage my money. I am struggling to manage my money and time. I am struggling to manage my time, and I am afraid. I am deeply afraid of the future. 

Oh Kim, I thought we had a good time at the aquarium. We left it on a good note, but it’s not good right now. There is too much, so it’s not your fault. There are tears that are too afraid to leave my eye right now. So they stay seated where they are at, and I cannot cry. I cannot force a tear no matter how hard I try. 

I left Boston, and I should have stayed because I was learning how to process it all back there. Until I slowly started to disintegrate. Could that be what is happening now? I am withdrawing again, avoid all people. The conversations are superficial, and I have so much to do. So much, but I cannot. Cannot focus. 

Leave the instagram alone. Close the tabs on your phone. Make it basic again. You don’t need all those features and apps. Make it just so its the minimum. 

Remember when that was ok for you. Now you have added more and more, but leave it to a minimum. Don’t worry, what is important will find its way to you. Maybe leave Strava and that’s all. You don’t need the others. 

exi

The old man watched as the boy struggled against himself. His great challenge was not the task in front of him, these were merely obstacles in his way. He had to find a way to overcome the limitations which he had placed on himself.

The old man remembered his own struggles with fear, how it would leave him paralyzed, unable to act, and defeated. Much the like the boy in front of him, the problems that plagued him were ones he had played such a large role in creating. But what were the origins?

Was the old man solely responsible for the beliefs he had grown so faithfully to accept? Was he truly weak like he believed? Had his intelligence actually been so limited that he could not see this firsthand? Here is a question, if you’ve gone crazy, like truly lost your mind and experienced dementia, how long does it take for you to find out?

Questions were all the old man could offer, but what the boy needed was answers. He wanted to know things for certain. But is there anything that fits that expectation? Could we truly know anything for sure? We can hope to know, but not much more than that.

When the old man asked the boy, what was stopping him, the boy said it was just that he was too tired. He needed more sleep, and he wasn’t getting enough. Then the old man recommended that he go get some rest and try again the next day. 

As the next day arrived, the boy returned rested and ready to conquer his challenge. But this time, he failed too. So the old man asked him what went wrong? The boy said he didn’t eat a breakfast, and that he didn’t drink enough water. The old man sent the boy to get some food and drink, to get rest.

The next day, the boy returned with a stomach full of food and having drank the right liquids. He was rested and ready to go. He had never felt better, but again, he failed. Now the boy was confused. He couldn’t say why he was failing, and when the old man came to ask the question, he dropped his gaze and said he is not good enough. 

When the old man, who had done this over 1,000 times approached the boy, he said, well good. Now that you know you’re not good enough, take a rest. Leave the task, and never come back again. I never want to see you try, and I don’t want you to even think about coming back. 

At this, the boy cried. He went home and he had no appetite, he couldn’t sleep, and he ignored his thirst. The boy had felt so sad, because even after each failure, he loved that he got to try. Now he couldn’t even experience failure. 

The next day, he wandered about aimlessly, and this continued for several days. The boy began thinning, waning, nearly disappearing. Everytime he looked back where he would stand, tears would flow down his face. He looked at the old man, and the old man pretended that he didn’t exist. He never returned his gaze.

One day, after many such days, the boy returned to play the game. He failed again, but he still tried. The old man still didn’t mind him, but the boy thought less about that. All he wanted to do was try. 

When it came time for him to return home to sleep, he didn’t notice it. He fell asleep at the game, and he missed meals, and he forgot to drink water. He didn’t talk anymore, he just played. Try after try after try. The voice inside of him grew bored of calling him a failure, and he stopped believing he was not good enough. 

The old man had to pull the young boy away to get his attention, and when he did, he confessed that the game was meant to be hard, impossible to figure out, that nobody really had the answer. Everyone wanted to know the meaning of the game, but that no one acknowledged the game meant different things to everybody. The boy could barely keep his attention, he wanted to return to the game. So the old man said to him, Son, you’re done. You have discovered the meaning of the game. 

At this the boy paused, what he had found in the game was so much more. It was validation, a personal weapon that killed the doubt he created. He loved it so much, he tried to fill all of his days with it, and he did. 

Eventually, he grew up to become an old man too, and he understood. The point is not to succeed, it’s to do it over and over again. Day after day, because that’s all you know. 

close your eyes

Close your eyes, again. Time moves slow if you give yourself space. You allow yourself to explore different avenues, and you keep an open mind. 

In the morning, the alarm snatches you from the dream state you inhabit. A place where you speak in the tongue of snakes and black crows, elephants, and rabbits. The trees sway, dancing in unison, to the tune of the wind. A water ripple extends, sending waves that expand to the outer. 

Close your eyes, again. Time moves slow if you give yourself space. You allow yourself to explore different avenues, and you keep an open mind. 

In the afternoon, the sun baptizes you with the warmth of its rays. You see the unseen, the haze of illusion as you travel the streets. The heat dances up and down, curving the roads, blurring the vision. The water turns to vapor, bubbling first, then vanishing. The seas dry, the leaves wither, the trees spark and fire erupts. What’s left is a torched mess, an abyss.

Close your eyes, again. Time moves slow if you give yourself space. You allow yourself to explore different avenues, and you keep an open mind. 

In the night, your eyes tire again, leaving their strength, emptying their resolve of the day. The pupils dilate, and the mind’s game begins. Inside this vast expanse, spirits and demons dance. The past reappears in fragments, and the future camouflages and deceives. The stars above shine, and you see what they once were, relativity. The water soaks and glimmers under the moonlit sky. Who is the man who paints the moon at night? Where has he gone? Who will turn off the lights?

Close your eyes, again. Close your eyes, again. Time moves slow if you give yourself space. You allow yourself to explore different avenues, and you keep an open mind. 

blindness

I prefer to keep my eyes closed so that the tears would have to force their way out. I say I prefer as if I had a choice in the matter, and as if my eyes weren’t forcefully shut because I was not ready to see what I was beginning to see. 

The deterioration of the mind is sudden. By the time I am become aware of what’s happening, I am halfway gone – and without realizing it, I am lost, unfound in a haze of confusion. This is what I did not want to see, the tragic end to a life that began with boundless potential.

As a youth, I stared intently at the pieces of a chess game, pieces so controlled and with no agency. Perhaps they were made of the same stuff as we, having the poor to influence change, but unable to decide for themselves. I stopped believing in free will because I understood that we created games that mirrored life, and the games we most enjoy are the zero-sum kind. 

In these games, there exists binary relations between winners and losers. Winners excite us, inspire us – losers, there is a lesson somewhere to be learned. 

I spilled my coffee on my previously white shirt. The stain has left me sour, and I am unable to shake the feeling away. While my coworker talks to me, I start to think about the stain and whether it will be permanently there, married to my shirt, never to be separated until death or a drowning in a spinning vaccuum with a tide-pod extraction. The shirt shall be replaced now, and I am none too happy with the coffee this time either. 

I still order the oat milk latte with caramel flavoring that was her favorite drink. I don’t know why we hold on to things that people pass on to is. We accept behaviors and our entire personalities evolve. I went my whole life without knowing what I would order at a coffee shop, now I don’t think, I just say the words and the drink is prepared. But today’s coffee didn’t taste so rad, it actually made me want to attempt to slurp it all in one sip. What I actually did was toss the rest of it in a garbage can. 

She said I text like a book, and when people ask me why I don’t write, I tell them that I am a coward. Perhaps I believe this about myself, but I shouldn’t. After all, maybe I am just not ready for the writing that I am meant to write. Even as I write these long incoherent sentences. 

I disintegrate, and I cry. I am timeless at once, wandering in the past, lost – have I died yet. What if I didn’t notice when it happened and I am making my way to an Angel. 

I am missing my Guardians. My Wascar, my Ana, my Johanly, my Jeffrey, my Nelson. I am not abandoned, but I cannot find them here. I am alone, and my eyes have to remain closed. Because I am afraid again, and seeing is painful. So very painful.

a pause for reflection

As time passes, I become more aware of my struggles to deal with emotional scars. I began writing in happyperson, this blog, because I had a feeling that my life lacked meaning, purpose, and a sense of direction. I was not a happy person, and the only way that I could become one was by writing. 

I do not always know what I want to write about. Sometimes, like in this sentence, it’s fluff. But the fluff is, in itself, an effort to understand. This journey seems to be designed in that manner, so I push on. And I wonder what will come from writing these nightly posts? What will I discover, down the line, about myself and my place in the world? 

This blog can be categorized most succinctly as an existential journal. I share my thoughts, the things that I usually wouldn’t share with anyone else. I allow myself to be vulnerable, write poems, and share goals. 

There are truths that are so difficult to accept, and you cling to the hope that they may not be true. We create illusions to escape, and sometimes we create diversions. I notice myself trying to escape my thoughts a lot. I scroll through Instagram, I listen to music, and I sleep with my phone beside my pillow. Because being alone is really hard sometimes. 

In boot camp, I felt alone. I made friends there, but sometimes it just felt lonely. In my solitude, I wrote. We didn’t have much alone time, but that’s when I realized, when I am alone – I write. That makes me a writer. I wrote letters to my mom, Gely, Kathy, Jeffrey, Eric, Caroline, and Sammie. I wrote a letter to Sammie, and she replied – I clung to that letter because it gave me hope, reassurances that I mattered out there to someone in the world, other than family. 

For some reason, I never really felt sure about the letters with Caroline. It bothered me that they were typed. I didn’t ever share why. Sometimes I get sensitive about the smallest things. I wanted a hand-written letter, personal memories, I wanted to know what flavor coffee you were drinking, what it felt like to get caught in a thunderstorm while going out for groceries. I wanted to hear about the new candle you purchased, and what the smell reminded you of. 

I am in some regards a tortured romantic because receiving a letter should have been enough. But I oftentimes acknowledge a fatal flaw is my inability to accept people as they are. I place undue expectations, and sometimes what I fail most at is acknowledging that this is not a problem with the other person or with me. But this is a problem of compatibility – you know what you want in a partner, even if you don’t think you know what you want. This leads to inevitable conflict.

I didn’t touch a single photo on the day we parted ways. I’d see Caroline’s picture on my dresser as I put on my uniform in the morning. I’d have her letters in my desk drawer, and I every time I would lock my phone away I would see them in there. On the day when I finally decided I would erase one photo, I put my head down and cried. The moment was painful, as I acknowledged another failed relationship. 

It was a time when I needed a hug, or maybe a friend to tell me it was all going to be alright. That I would find someone special, that time will heal the wounds. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the silence filled the room as tears made their way down my face. I took the pictures off of my corkboard, and I took the letters out of my desk. It made one big pile, and then I erased a photo on my phone. 

Scrolling back through time to select memories to destroy – why do we do such things? If I were really to love every part of me, then I should have loved who I was in the moments when those pictures were taken. I should have kept them to remember a relationship that brought smiles to my face. Because even the bad ones have some good memories. 

I didn’t though. Those memories will live only in my mind until they expire. One day, I may be somewhere and remember being there with her. But these days, I would have to think hard to reach those places again. I would have to travel backward through many more memories. 

I recently reached out to a girl to ask her to join me for trivia. She let me down easily, but I know that even if I think I want another connection I am not ready. I have wounds still, I have problems and issues I haven’t addressed. Even if I did have a chance to explore a relationship with Sammie, it would probably suffer because of those issues I have failed to address.

What I mean to say, is that in this recent and past relationship, I failed to hold myself accountable and I believed that the key to a happy relationship was just finding a more suitable partner. While there are fatal differences, like misaligned values that can keep bonds from strengthening, the truth is that an incomplete, unfulfilled person will not be complete, happy by introducing to another person.

To think that that is the only discovery I made is overly simplistic. That is a discovery, and a lot of people acknowledge that when they share advice, but it is one of many things I failed to understand about myself. 

Instead of building new relationships, I think I should really strengthen my relationship with my mom, my friends, my sister, and my Dad. I am alienated and distant, but that is a tale for another time. 

Tonight, I will drink my tea and maybe read a book. A cozy bed awaits where I will lay my head to rest.

evading sadness impending gloom

All of life summarized, the rush to get to somewhere unknown will consume your peace. 

Every moment seems to bear an equal weight of importance. When I tell the story, I stop at every sign and open every door. I am seeking a truth that may have gone hiding away. The past is a labyrinth in which I sit down and weep. 

Today we talked about past lives and permanent dispositions. Can a child be born sad? Can sadness be inherited? I had always believed that it could be cultivated, and after so many years of attention and nurturing in that manner, become that way. But a sadness in-grown, and not merely adopted, that is a hard pill to … you know the saying.

Where do our thoughts come from? How do we crack the puzzle of our mind, eliminating intrusive thoughts? How do I move forward from where I am and open myself to something new? I need to give myself space and time to relax – somehow, someway, into the space within myself. I need to relax. I need to ease back. 

Have I processed enough of the past to make living in the present bearable? Now, when my writing becomes more question than answer, I start to think that something is terribly wrong. But here is my theory, it will get fixed, but not today nor tomorrow. But where do I place these hopes?

I sat at the book store, and I was able to get some work done. But I drank my Chai Tea with the expediency of a New Yorker. The weight of the world builds knots of tension in my body. I only want to do what I need to do to make progress, but I look back and all I have been pleading for is a moment of rest. A moment to put my phone down, close my computer screen, and return to me. 

I missed you, Natasha. I didn’t know that I did so much, and then tears formed in my eyes. My eyes, which grow tired and worn, but not from seeing, from not closing enough. From too much of it. 

I always thought I cried too much for a guy. Somehow, not being able to speak led to more of that. I cry when I think about hugging my mom again. I wonder, with honest concern, whether that will happen again. I used to be able to stroll to her room in my apartment and lay down beside her. She would place her arm around me, or I would just snuggle underneath her. That warmness, love. 

We are too often buried in minutiae. When nothing really matters, and here I go tip-toeing towards nihilism. Everything matters. The two bitter extremes. 

I wish I was on good terms with all the people that said they loved me. I need all of the love right now. I need it from people I don’t believe it to hear it from anymore. I need it from my mom. I need it from dad. I need it from myself. Not in the form of a text, or a phone call. I need a hug, a handhold, a head rub. 

I let the day sleep, but I was too tired to reach for it anyway. Tomorrow will begin a new week, I will be renewed soon. 

the tuesday before we give thanks

I find myself preoccupied wondering where to begin the deconstruction of this seemingly long life. Could I begin at the moment of consciousness? When I experienced thought for the first time, what was the world like for me? I have to imagine that the separation of my parents was a particularly narrative-shifting event. Even as I am haunted by the thoughts of their coexistence, I wonder what actually happened. I can figure out the timeline mathematically, there are documents with dates, marriage licenses, divorce papers. But I can’t figure out the in-between. Day 1, they were presumably happy, what newlywed couple isn’t? But by year 10, they were at the doors of disaster, friendly goodbyes were not going to happen. Instead, we’d get decades-long alienation and grudges. For me, I inherited confusion and mystery, and aside from that a heavy feeling of incompleteness.

What I think I am missing the most is closure, but the roots of my low self-esteem could not have originated there? Sure, I am curious about their decision. How much thought did they give it? Was it impulsive? Did it take others by surprise? Did they sit at a table to talk, to weigh the pros and cons? I cannot figure that out, but much worse is the understanding that they will probably never admit their wrong-doing, or right-doing. But here is a confession, as much as I cannot come to terms with the absence of my father during my upbringing, I cannot imagine what life would have been like to have him present, caring, supporting me as I came of age.

My identity was crafted on my lack of a male role model. In response to his absence, I became dedicated, enamored with the idea that I would be a good man (my mom had painted him as a bad man, though there are disputes to her claims and evidence to the contrary). I would treat others well, speak honestly, engage with the world in a positive manner. There were male figures that inspired me to be better, but no one to have dinner with me, or take me to a ball game or a museum. No one was around to share enthusiasm in my interests, to spark my curiosity. And in that sense, having no dad provided certain freedoms – that I wouldn’t be exposed to his interests. I could make myself my own version, and lay a grand foundation upon this empty canvas. Because dad, as I know him now, doesn’t really go to museums, he’s not into basketball, he doesn’t know about competitive swimming, doesn’t read philosophy, isn’t versed in mathematics, has no curiosity about speaking German, or German people, nor about any book, or activity I’ve shown interest in. It is entirely possible, that just like the other members of my family to whom I feel alienated and apart from, he would just be one more person I could not relate to.

But am I supposed to be thankful these holidays? If so, for what? The world seems so arbitrary. Everything that is could have been another way, and what meaning would that have? What I think about when I say is that life goes on when you are gone, right? But what it would have been if you had never been is just the same, Life. But perhaps that’s the thing to be thankful for, that no matter the outcome, the happenings and circumstances, I got to experience a unique version of life where I didn’t win all the time, and I didn’t get more attention than I needed.

I don’t know, to be honest, where to begin the work that I have to do to discover who I am. At this age, I am afraid I will never find that out. Another conversation, of how I went from where I am at back to square one, because I got far out enough to see this isn’t the right path either.

am i disintegrating

i can hardly feel in touch with myself anymore, as it feels that what was once a thing is dissolving into many things. And it’s happening all at once like little marbles dropping from a sack and bouncing in all directions and heights. I can barely stand to be alone for longer than 5 minutes.

I cannot say that it is fair to put it on you to listen. You are fighting your own battles, and we journey together always at the risk of becoming too co-dependent. Why? I seek the love of the one who nurtures me, but never the love of my self. Does the sun also seek the warmth of other stars? Or does it feel entirely alone in it’s vast expanse? 

I wonder, and then I cry. Because some truths turn out to be gargantuan, large enough that they’re inpronouncible, hard to pronounce. But I don’t denounce the fears, I am just aware of the dangers of choosing to go there by your own will. Because some people can be thrill-seekers like that, and to go to the cave of pain is something of a craving. But I can’t take more right now. I need a good night of sleep, a moment of respite, a feeling and reassurance that everything is going to be alright. Even while I disintegrate. 

For some reason this outcome has felt inevitable. The universe only knows entropy, and all life will cease at some point. Which begs the question, what’s the point anyway? Why suffer for a suffering that will soon end? Why feel the pain that will flee away later anyway? But we’re not as logical as we think. Even me, all I do is think and ask questions. I’m hardly qualified to meditate on life’s deeper truths, or to sit in a room quietly by myself. When I encounter pain, I like to walk slower, but also on the other side of the street. 

Why not run away from it as fast as you can? Or why not charge towards it and eliminate it on sight? That’s what I mean. Some people are thrill-seekers. I, on the other other hand, find it hard to run away because if it spots me it will catch me faster and come with vindication. And should I confront this monster, who knows what the outcome will be? Probably just more pain and suffering. Interminable doubt. 

Today, I am writing, and tomorrow morning I will be swimming. That’s the only hope I have left. 

have i learned to suffer?

Have I learned to suffer yet? I think that I have. I have navigated rough seas in search of peace, and I have travelled distances long enough, obstacled enough, that measurement becomes difficult. In search of, peace? 

But have I learned to suffer? And what is there to gain from such an endeavor? Why would anyone want to learn to suffer? One might think that a more suffered soul is more calloused, like the palms of a weight lifter who has gripped steel on too many occassions. Or calloused like the foot of a traveller who has walked a journey too long.

So there is that benefit. But have I, myself, learned to suffer? Everyone says they know pain. Everyone’s pain is unique, so I may say that I have but I have not grieved. I have never experienced, and god forbid, a death of a loved one, or, and I never will, a miscarriage. That feeling of having the entire air sucked out of you like a fast-deflating balloon. Where the air goes, who knows, it just becomes a part of the rest. All that’s left is the flexible plastic that once floated and bounced and danced around, and if you didn’t watch it carefully would threaten to float away in search of… who knows…

But even though I haven’t felt the great loss, or the terrible panic, could I still say, with confidence, that I have learned to suffer? When sometimes I feel more that I have forgotten. I lie comfortably on my bed, in an air conditioned room, and my thoughts are peaceful. I write sonnets and sing them to myself, and I laugh at my own jokes. I forget about the world for long periods of time, the world of pain and suffering, the hunger, the problems, the massive death counts, and I live like life is truly worth living and the problems are far far away. 

With all of this ignorance, I ask myself, have I learned to suffer? Have I ever suffered? Sure, I cried in my discomforts. I grew troubled by lies and my inability to tell truth from truth, and it has never been that simple, but that’s what I hoped for. But I truly became ignorant, a resident of my own private oasis. I felt lonely too, but I had friends to call. So I have never been truly alone. And my dreams, so vivid and alive that sleep has been like a cheap vacation. I see the hours pass by, I see the time all at once. 

suffering

what is it like to suffer?

who can define it? 

i’m not sure I can tell you.