February 21, 2013 by Debbie
My dad told me that he and my mother were proud of me today. I told him that I had to drop a class, Spanish. I had been afraid to tell him because I knew he would tell me I was Puerto Rican and that I shouldn’t have a problem with my Spanish class. Instead, I was told that I had made good life decisions up until this point, that when they were my age, they were dealing with having had kids a little too soon. He mused that he had perhaps made numerous mistakes in the process, but that he cannot now regret them.
This is the age in which their first son, my brother, took his own life. Genetically speaking, perhaps I should be worried.
Especially given that I find myself thinking the darkest of thoughts at the loneliest hour, and I wonder if I have made the right decisions up until this point. I wonder, sometimes, if I could do it all over again, would I do it in exactly the same way? Would I like my regrets read at my funeral, my mistakes written on my gravestone?
How, if some day or night a demon were to sneak after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you, “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything immeasurably small or great in your life must return to you – all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over and over, and you with it, a dust grain of dust.” Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or did you once experience a tremendous moment when you would have answered him, “You are a god, and never have I heard anything more godly.”
If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you, as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “Do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would weigh upon your actions as the greatest stress. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
February 11, 2013 by Debbie
I can tell you which chemicals are responsible for your sadness or your anxiety and I can explain to you, in great detail, how eating less sodium will make you less on-edge.
However, I cannot tell you why you are sad the same way I can tell you why your leg jumps when you tap your kneecap hard enough.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 4, 2013 by Debbie
I have started this post and closed out of it at least ten times. It feels like I have forgotten how to write, how to tap in to what’s at my core and put it into letters and spaces for all the world to see. This is my advance apology for trash writing… I mean, all my writing is sort of trash, but this one is exceptionally so.
I think it’s a symptom of a bigger problem, though. I think the bigger problem is that I have forgotten how to share feelings with someone at all. I was browsing through some things that I wrote in years past, and I have realized that I have been alone for a very, very long time.
What’s the problem? Why isn’t it working? Well, I can’t trust anyone, for one thing. That’s a separate discussion for another time, however. Further, I’m not attracted to people who would be attracted to me, because I don’t think they’re qualified to consider themselves attracted to me. What they see when they look at me and what I see when I look in the mirror are totally different things.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 8, 2012 by Debbie
When he was asked whether he had any girl or boy to wait on him, [Diogenes] said, “No.” And as his questioner asked further, “If then you die, who will bury you?” He replied, “Whoever wants my house.”
- Diogenes, from the Lives of Philosophers, translated by C.D. Yonge
I once called off work for an evening, rearranged an entire weekend, bought a new outfit, planned an elaborate date, and sacrificed time with a best friend in order to make time for a girl who, as it would turn out, would lead me on for two weeks and leave me confused with a new outfit and no one to impress. If I have learned nothing from the experience, it is that I cannot get that time back. Those seconds, minutes, and hours that I spent with this girl who may or may not be in my life next week are moments that I can never get back.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 6, 2012 by Debbie
You were already wearing shoes and you were ready to go out – you just needed a jacket. Then you tripped over the shoes. Those old, beat-up shoes that you don’t wear anymore because you forgot you had them. You stare at them for a while, and you realize that those shoes really go quite well with the brown belt you have, and they complement the brown-and-white plaid pattern on the men’s shorts equally well. Why don’t we just wear these shoes for a while? No one will know how old they are or where you got them.
You slip into that old pair of shoes, and you’re flooded with memories: memories who gave you the shoes, of the first time you wore the shoes and the reactions from all your friends when they noticed you were wearing a different kind of shoe today. You wore them all the time. You probably wore them every day for months, to the point where, now, the shoes are worn out. The heels are almost worn through because this was before you knew you needed to wear arch supports to keep your lower back from hurting, and the color has faded from spending time in the sun and being washed in high-efficiency college dorm laundromats.
“Falling in love” sounds so accidental, like tripping over an old pair of shoes in the closet while you were trying to find a jacket. If you tried on those shoes that spent so much time being forgotten, you wouldn’t expect them to betray you: to contradict your outfit, to be too casual or too dressed-down for a social event; to tell everyone the stories the shoes have seen, the rumors the shoes have heard.
When you accidentally fall in love with someone, you trust them immensely and, unfortunately, trust isn’t something you should accidentally give to someone. Trust means a million things: a hundred pairs of old shoes in a hundred closets; iced coffee late in the evening followed by rainbow bow ties; accidental encounters on public transportation; Spanish translations in a lecture hall; memories that last an eternity.
But trust also comes with broken promises and failed attempts. Like the old pair of shoes in your closet, trust gets worn down and misplaced until, one day, you trip over it while looking for a skeleton in the closet. Why don’t we put these shoes away, now, for something that better fits your feet?