Let's see, other than that, I have nothing to say. I still have these hives/rash/whatever it is and I am not pleased. I'm super busy with rehearsal/work/school/debate/everything.
Oh yeah, and I'll be eighteen and legal a day from tomorrow! Crazy, I know. Besides getting a tattoo with my sister (I'm a bad-ass, I know!), what should I do for my birthday? Any ideas?
Here's something I wrote for AP Lit that people have suggested I share. I'm pretty proud of it, I guess. It's supposed to be inspired by Faulkner's style of writing, especially in As I Lay Dying. (That explains the weird similes, random references to nature, italicized parts, stream of conciousness run on sentences and repetition, the fact that when I read it I imagine the narrator with a twangy accent, and modernist theme of the limitations of language). It's not really based on any personal experience (I mean, come on, I would never be caught dead doing something as sappy as cuddling while watching the sunset over the bay...although that does sound nice). If you've read the novel, you'll probably see some parallels to Addie's chapter, although it's definitely a bit more optimistic.
In the afternoon, when school let out after too many tick tick ticks of the clock, I would hurry through the muddy field and muss up the ends of my pants while I waited for him to come. I sat on the curb and pulled up patches of rotting grass from their roots. I’d run my fingernails along the thin, green fibers of the blades; they came apart easily as though waiting for someone to trace their seams with just enough care to rip them apart while keeping the delicate surface intact. Later on, I would forget and nervously dig my front teeth into my nails with each forward lurch of his car and he’d look at me with eyes that made my hands shake.
My sister always said that we’ve only got so many thoughts with meaning, and that love was all about wasting it on one person. And when I rested my head on his shoulder and breathed in the smell of me and him and the scents we wore for each other, I wanted to give him all of my meaning, because the rest of the world didn’t deserve to know me and I didn’t deserve their knowing. When I squeezed his hand and the sun fell orange and pink over the dimpled bay, the water stretching out for as far as I could see, I felt like maybe he let some of his meaning swim in the darkness of my grass-stained palm and maybe it wasn’t a waste; and then he’d look at me with eyes that made my hands shake.
It was worst when I lay alone in the dark. Sometimes I wanted to let my phone ring forever when he called because the hum reminded me of him but his voice formed a face and I could see his eyes that made my hands shake. I couldn’t wait to run through the muddy field and muss up the ends of my pants to see him, so it didn’t seem right letting the phone go on like that. So when he mumbled his hellos that came faint and static through the telephone lines, I would tell him that I loved him and sometimes he’d say it back and I could see his eyes. Somehow it didn’t seem true or real and my words never made it through the wires to a place where he could reach them. They splattered like rain drops when they left my mouth, soaking my clothes so that I couldn’t move and beating the floor with noise that drowned the whispers of what those four letters were supposed to hold. If I had his eyes, I could see those symbols float up in the air and watch them turn to liquid, losing their structure until they fell lifeless onto the floor and into the darkness where I lay alone.
But when it felt true and real the words wouldn’t come. I rested my head on his shoulder and squeezed his hand, but I couldn’t say anything because each time I put the letters together they got stuck in my mouth and it seemed like there was more meaning between our heads and our hands than in what I was trying to say. We would lie there and the sounds would dance on my tongue, but they tasted rotten and recycled and I hated the first person who said “I love you” because they stole it from the rest of us so that every time we said it we became liars. They made four letters hold a million nameless feelings that were only mine and that would never cross the gap created by the first person who said “I love you”, so there seemed to be more sense in just resting my head and squeezing his hand than watching my feelings, crippled by words and shapes, fumble across that gap like a bird with captive wings.
Then all I could do was dream. Because when I said it I couldn’t feel and when I felt it I couldn’t speak, I closed my eyes and imagined myself resting my head on his shoulder and squeezing his hand as the sun fell orange and pink over the placid bay. I asked:
“How much do you love me?”
“I love you this much,” he said. I smiled up at him and his eyes didn’t make my hands shake. They were hollow and clear like water and I could see deep down into his thoughts and I understood just what this much and love meant. They were mine and his and ours and there was no gap and no crippled words and it was bright and I wasn’t alone. I looked into his eyes and I knew him and all of his meaning; his eyes didn’t make my hands shake.
When I woke up, the meaning was gone. That was when I learned that my sister’s lesson was no good because my meaning could never be wasted; it couldn’t even be shared and it couldn’t run out. Because my words were crippled and my hands shook when I could not understand the thoughts and unknowable meanings that floated above our wordless gap. Love was nothing but shapes and sounds that had been used and recycled since forever and he and I could only guess if something existed between our bodies and our thoughts; our resting heads and entwined hands and our muffled conversations in the dark.