I’ll go by the name of Nathan. Just Nathan for now. I’m a lawyer. I think too much.
2:53 Am. A full moon outside, it’s that kind of night, gentle white light – stuff that heartbroken poets live for. I’m not a writer, I’ll try cut out most of the adjectives. But this makes sense. Holding a pen on this page that smells so safe makes sense.
A place so safe, you could hide a secret.
I write this with a sigh. Thoughts are flying high, they need a place to land.
Tick. Tick. Tick.Tick. The flashing dots of the digital alarm clock atop my nightstand blink green at me. It’s 2:57 now.
I got distracted for a few. My girlfriend is asleep on my side of the bed tonight. Should have told her not to wait up. How the moon’s glow falls on her face is a thing of beauty. it’s darker on my side of the room. There’s a hint of flutter from her eyelids-a dream perhaps. She has this belief that there’s a theme song to everything, winning or losing, doesn’t matter. Some soft ‘sixty-beats-per-minute’ song playing from her phone-she says this helps her sleep sometimes. Her breathing is slow after heavy weighted exhales.
Oh Rachel, I’m sorry.
Her calm repose state has made me less tense albeit temporarily. Maybe alcohol wasn’t the friend I needed tonight. See, this road of instant gratification is one I least travel upon. It’s for cowards-and tonight-maybe just for tonight. I’m one of those people. A coward. They lied when they said alcohol ‘listens and understands’. It. Does. Not. But it sure does give you courage. Of any kind, really. Like that of ignoring her calls amid rounds of shots of some apricot brandy whose French name I can’t quite remember. Something about it being hors d’age. Bartenders tend to brag a lot. One, two, three…eleven…GIVE UP! …Seventeen …GIVE UP! Twenty-two, twenty-three missed calls. Fighter, this one of mine. She didn’t win today.
Isn’t it all just about competition? Life. You grow up seeing your peers get rewarded for beautiful acts of standing out. Trophies and smiles are synonyms. Winning is the language. So you find out that there are others thinking they are like you. Others who think they are as good as you. Now when you’re young you should let yourself really take this personally. You say, hey this is me! Only me. Nobody can out-me, me! It’s how you think. You have to be the best you there is. I mean, if the world is furiously handing out labels, you fight for all the best ones. YES, diary?
There are two big labels. WIN And LOSE.
For sure we unknowingly fight to be judged as winners. Then something beautiful happens as you grow up-you develop perspective… I could go on, but diary, before I tell you my secret, you have to know what happened. And why you’re necessary.
I might have lost mine today. Perspective. See, my life was getting used to a certain girl, and a certain routine. One that that led to my being receptive to sentences like “I am happy.” “I could get used to this. To you…” “To us.” The world already has a label for when you want someone to stick around and hold you down. Starts with the letter L. You don’t give room for more change, as it had already happened when you found each other. You get comfortable. It’s really eccentric acts such as leaving the house after her, getting back before her that become a habit. Then inevitably, routine. You want to get used to each other, grow together. Some us-against-the-world shit. Today I questioned that routine.
I couldn’t go to what we’ve come to call home. Not tonight. I needed space that questions of “How was your day?” do not provide. At least in that space, I wouldn’t have had to lie. Like I think they did.
When they said it was “high cholesterol- you’ll be fine” and turned me into a vegetarian. Then they said it was ‘’anaemia’’ (and still added you’ll be fine) just as I was getting used to offending my mouth with tomato and pimento salad. When they told me to seek a second, then a third opinion because Nathan “your condition is very rare, and we have to be sure we’re treating the right disease.” These doctors, calling themselves widely-read passing diagnoses like magistrates handing out life sentences. As to how correct or wrong they are, you don’t get to dish out blame. Why should I hold it against them when all they wanted was to be sure?
Weeks of tests, they’ve handed me my correct ‘life sentence’. Seated on this recliner, I don’t think I’ll be fine. This sentence has no space for words like fine.
Dear diary, with this sentence I’m questioning everything…
More specifically, this Rachel routine. As I am in the know of its doomed climax. I bear the burden of telling her the truth. No happy place. That we have much to lose. WE is such an unfair pronoun.
I have to say “WE”, when what I really mean is “I”. It’s “MY” mess yet I have to use “OUR”. And I don’t think that’s fair. I should let her go. How was this even love? How is this condition of mine a win for our future? A conversation I have no idea how to start. I find myself having to babysit the truth for a few days. Lay a firm foundation while practising the lie “No, nothing was wrong. I am fine” And be shamelessly good at it as she is a human lie detector.
Oh Rachel, WE have much to lose. I write this with a sigh. I am so sorry.