“I hope that our few remaining friends give up on trying to save us. I hope we come up with a fail-safe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us. I hope the fences we mended fall down beneath their own weight. And I hope we hang on past the last exit. I hope it’s already too late. And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here someday burns down. And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away, and I never come back to this town again. In my life, I hope I lie, and tell everyone you were a good wife. And I hope you die. I hope we both die.”— The Mountain Goats, “No Children”
“With a palmful of stars, I throw them like dice. Repeatedly, I shake them like dice. And throw them on the table, repeatedly, repeatedly, until the desired constellation appears.”— Bjork, “Desired Constellation”
I was searching for the perfect words, & I found them. The problem is, the perfect words are words I can’t say, or rather, shouldn’t say. Crap. They’re not even mine, but still! What do you do when that happens?
What I mean is, a lot of times when this happens, I’ve already taken the necessary precautions in that I’m already relying on other people’s words — as a safety net, you know? So when someone says or thinks, “Is that about me?” I can say or think, “Of course not! They’re just lyrics!” or “No, it’s just a quote from (insert song or movie here).” It seems fool proof. But then I realize most people aren’t that naive. Someone like me doesn’t just haphazardly select the words of others to fill up space or because I simply “like” them. Someone like me carefully selects the words of others to describe my feelings when I can’t or shouldn’t.
“I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”—- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
“I read persistently. I swam in books as a child, and at some point it becomes quite ruinous. It gets to the point where you can’t answer the door without being heavily analytical about it. But ultimately I think they’ve proved to be positive weapons for me.”— Morrissey, 1984
I often say that I wish I could write a letter to my future self to remind myself that looking back doesn’t always mean we’re looking back to a better time (although it seems that way, because we naturally romanticize the past); that things weren’t always as bad as they seemed to be; that everything, despite how much we persist & disbelieve, will be okay.
I can’t believe there’s a website that does this for you — it’s genius! It’s called FutureMe.org, & you can actually write a letter (well, an e-mail) to yourself as far into the future as 2060!! Could you imagine what it would be like to get something like that from yourself years from now? It’d be almost like an artifact, assuming you keep the same e-mail address as the one you request to have this letter sent to — and that your future self keeps checking it. Oh, & of course you have to hope your future self doesn’t delete it, thinking it’s spam. Or that our technology doesn’t change so much that the form of communication we identify as e-mail doesn’t become obsolete. HAHA. But still, despite all of the possible things that could go wrong here, I think it’s a pretty neat idea.
Perhaps I’ll write something to myself in about 10 or 20 years. I hope the message makes it through, & I make my future self cry happy tears.
“If I stand too close I might fall in, but if I’m too far gone I’ll never win.
If you believe in me I might just wanna spend some time with you again.
I’m afraid I tend to disappear into an anxious state when you draw near.
There is no reasoning — it’s quite a silly thing, but it’s the way I’ve been for years.
So I will understand if you don’t stay. They say I’m great at first but then the magic fades into an awful hue of dismal views and pessimistic attitude.”— Motion City Soundtrack, “Stand Too Close”
When you’re a writer, you have to know when to let an idea simmer over time before you can truly flesh it out. This is an idea I’ve been toying with for years. I’ve revisited it countless times — trying to work it out because writing is a tool for me to dissect complexities until I can make some sense of them for myself. Sometimes you just need to backspace and scribble out what you thought was good to achieve something better. I think this one’s finally ready…
The worrier is a warrior who doesn’t know it. She’s too busy worrying to be brave and gallant in the traditional sense — that’s where the warrior is needed, like a helping hand you didn’t ask to help — an equal who, if you’re stubborn, serves as both competition and assistance. Like a wave and the shore, they both oppose and coexist. The worrier battles the act of worrying and the warrior battles everything she (both the worrier and the warrior) worries about, thereby jeopardizing the worrier’s very existence (because a worrier isn’t a worrier if there’s nothing to worry about). This confuses the worrier. What if the worrier and the warrior battled each other…who would win?
Such a battle could never come to be. Besides, this apparently oppositional but truly complementary relationship does not allow for a clear winner. In fact, it only allows for a loser. Their shared battle scars create a connection which extends beyond these two words’ similar spellings. Their shared purpose is the battlefield where they overlap comfortably. They need each other. The worrier needs someone to worry about her, to fight for her — the warrior. And the warrior needs someone to fight for — the worrier. Over time, she becomes both: self-sufficient, yet somehow dependent from within.
It seems tragic to depend on yourself so much, in such a way that seems almost schizophrenic for lack of a better word. But the day the worrier and the warrior turn on each other and fight to the death would be the truest tragedy. There would be everything left to worry about and no one left to care…