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sentimentalrealist:

you’re ten, and you’re bored.

first of all, whose idea was school anyway? you’ve never cared much for anything beyond books, and you certainly don’t intend to spend any more time around people you don’t understand than you need to. class is dull. recess is dull. by this time, school has ceased to amaze you; after all, everything you’ve been taught here was old news to you. a textbook speaks more clearly to you than a teacher. you want more, but nothing’s really the ‘more’ you’re looking for.

you’re twelve, and you’re boring.

in the short time you’ve been alive, centuries have turned, people have died, buildings have fallen. science has uncovered new things and writers have written new books. people younger than you have done more, and you’re stuck in a classroom six hours a day, every day, for the next six years of your life—six years, one might add, to the six or seven you’ve already spent learning. beyond that, what are you? a student; education is all you’ve ever known. you have no friends, no goal, no life. school is boring, but you’re just as.

you’re fourteen, and you’re tired.

life crashed down on you while you weren’t looking, its rapidly tightening cinch winding around your neck like the noose you fight so feebly to avoid. everything that was easy before is just as easy, you know; it’s simply perception that’s changed. everything feels so much harder now, but you’d get it down if you tried. you know this; you’ve learned it, just as you’ve learned to cram study, to brew yourself coffee in the morning, the proper method of bullshitting your way through an essay. you’ve learned a lot, but you’ve lost more.

you’re sixteen, and you’re confused.

things are better. things are indubitably better; you no longer feel the knife lodged into your heart—the nights are less empty, the sleep less dead. your friends are here. you no longer have to do things alone. yet at the same time… can you do things alone? here you are, no skills, no experience. you are better. you are better. but you are not doing your best. you are not achieving your true true potential, and you cannot figure out what the fuck the rest of the world wants you to do that you can do. you learned how to swim, sure, but you’re by no means good at it.

He calls me logical.

It is not meant as a compliment. Rather, it is an expression of perplexity, of faint bewilderment as he lets out ‘godyouarethemostLOGICALpersonihaveevermet’. It is slightly frustrated, or possibly tired; it is even, perhaps, a little revelatory after our short tête-à-tête. Above all, ot is an indicator that he does not understand.

The irony being, of course, that I do not understand. I am what I am, shaped like myself, thinking in the way that I do. I do not understand, and he cannot comprehend how I cannot. If it does not please me, how can it please another? It is difficult to grasp.

Theoretically, of course, it is simple: in one, some aspect of the personality responds positively to a stimulus, while in another, that same aspect is lacking, provoking the opposite reaction. But not so much in practice; I cannot feel excitement as others do for other things, cannot experience the same joy and passion in relation to them. I simply do not care for some subjects, and care overly about others. (This, I feel, must be true for all. I can’t prove it, but it’d be awfully difficult to like everything.)

At the same time… I cannot expect others to understand me if I cannot understand them. And despite failure on both accounts I continue to hope. I watch. I observe. Humans are such interesting creatures. I may spend my entire life studying one and still know next to nothing of their whole self. Indeed, some do; how many of the dead can admit to knowing themselves truly? Wholly? I look at myself and confess contradicting qualities. On one side, confidence. On the other, inadequacy. One should be the lack of the other, yet here they exist, in equal parts. It’s difficult to delve into every angle, every crook. There are too many variables to take into account, and not every one of these is easily accessed.

So I think, I watch, I try to understand. I throw my logic out to the wind and wonder if someone will find it. I lump words together to see if somehow, magically, they’ll form an arrangement that will reveal the truth to me. And I wait for the day I understand someone.

summer 2014

it’s summer, summer, summer and you’re excited, nothing but nerves and anticipation as the clock dwindles down to the last second, the last moment, the last thought of junior year, oh, what a year it was—and there it is, there the clock goes, the bell rings, the students run. there goes the year, and all your emotions with it—

—at least, that’s what was supposed to happen. but that day you sat there and talked and walked out early and even now, only three days later, you’ve forgotten the details of that gloomy summer day. it was overcast, although it should have been sunny. you had had a nice outfit planned out for months (shorts and tank top, suitably but hopefully not too immodest), but to no avail. too sad outside, the sky far too sad. not crying-sad but aching-sad and you knew, you knew how it felt but couldn’t help the resentment that coiled at the back of your throat and manifested itself in the form of spare shorts and a skirt lying fallow at the bottom of your tiny, tiny backpack (so much shallower than the suitcase you were used to—an indication that life was less complicated or less meaningful?) .

defiant, you gathered up the friends you could find, trapped them and yourself in a cage of metal, and threw yourself downtown to where the stores were. you found somewhere to eat, and ate. (the tea was good, the dim sum hot, and the camaraderie strong. and the bill… well, let’s just say there’s always that one person.) and afterwards, you found yourself watching as your friends browsed a retro gaming store, a little out of place but nonetheless intrigued. an hour must have passed as you followed them, their gazes, their conversations and inquiries on obscure titles. (you even had a brief exchange with the man manning the counter yourself, albeit about anime and with slightly differing opinions.)

but as all things must pass, so too did this interlude. both of the store and of downtown. in the end, none of your friends managed to buy anything and you boarded the lightrail a little disappointed in their inability to choose. well, you thought, they’d all probably wind up back there buying something at some point during the summer. and then you’d called your mother to ask hey can my firends come over yeah its the three of them yeah we’re on our way now we’ll get there on our own really thanks bye see you. nine o’clock was more than you’d been expecting, but it was the last day of school/first day of summer so you expected that your mother had been on the lenient side this one time.

but first, games. you suggested that the group be split up temporarily; one to go with you on a personal mission, the other two to go run errands of an academic kind. in other words, you felt guilty that you hadn’t gotten him, your sky, your star, your unrequited love, a gift yet. which just wouldn’t do, it being the end of the school year and him being someone you’d never see otherwise. you felt a bit jealous that the other group got to see him—was going to see him, was in the midst of a journey to see him—but reminded yourself that it’d be just you and him, alone, for a couple minutes tomorrow.

and so you went, and you talked, and you made deals on essay proofreading/editing prices, and you walked, and you crossed the street, and you arrived at the store. a starbucks gift card and, as an afterthought, (dark) chocolate (even though you know he’s not fond of chocolate, you couldn’t resist getting him something you, in particular, like). slight delays arise, but in the end you are marching off to the rendezvous and centre d’importance (and of course your french is horrid, it’s not like you’re using it vis-a-vis tout le temps), to pick up video games and assemble the crew once more.

and as it turns out, you and your partner are the first to arrive (which is probably for the best, since he’s the one with the keys). you watch him gather games, controllers, and one lone console (a wii, which you, regrettably-yet-not-really-because-you’ve-never-really-wanted-one-of-those do not own) and stuff them into his satchel + spare bag. a text arrives, and the other half says only half of the half will be there on time and to go on ahead; right on cue, the third quarter shows up and we board the convenient, localized transportation that sends us directly to our destination—chez moi.

Er, chez nous, now that you think of it, since ta mere appears with food every so often once you’ve gotten set up. add ta pere bumbling through every so often, and you’ve got a house of three which i shall not write in french because that would be indecent and also insinuating something quite unfortunate and, most importantly, quite untrue.

risque jargon aside, you have a sudden idea to invite anyone else who may be free that day; fortunately, someone has the number of another who, free as the wind, wouldn’t object to showing up to such a gathering without prior notice. unfortunately, ta mere would so object, and does once said fellow arrives. perhaps the judgement would not be so cruel if you hadn’t changed into the more comfortable outfit you had been originally been planning to wear, or if you had not neglected to mention the newcomer’s arrival, or if the newcomer had not been, in fact, a newcomer to your—their—house. with these rather disadvantageous details taken into account, an argument ensues, and it’s all you can do to get her to not ban friends from your—their—house forever. (chez moi, indeed.)

(you do change, but you do so spitefully and into an outfit ostentatiously conservative. the less skin, the better—until she rebukes you for that, as well, and you settle for a sweater and sweats.)

all in all, the night does not go as planned, but it does go, and it’s still rather enjoyable. no highlights, only the one lowlight, and overall a pleasant experience.

summer after that, however, has been nothing but a mix of anime and lack of motivation and dating sims and making lists of things that should be done and starting but not finishing. you delivered your gift a day after, getting what you went there for and a whole lot else besides (you cry, after; his words mean a lot and so does his presence, his existence in your life and now that this year is done there’s nothing left for it to do but diminish). you skype, you text, you go through the motions of activity, but you haven’t even found the drive to make it through a single anime yet. and speaking of driving, you’re set to enroll in driver’s ed soon. and speaking of education, you’ve decided to attend the extra ap prep courses but don’t know when they are yet. it’s a mess, when and where and why, and you’re figuring everything out while trying not to waste the precious time you’ve been given, even though every second feels cheap.

summer is here, whether it feels like it or not.

ive been writing essays so long

"We should be nice to other people for the sake of kindness."

This adhers to our assumed moral values. We should be good. We should be nice and kind and loving, because that is the right thing to do. Even if others treat us unfairly, we should show kindness since it would only drop us down to their level to be spiteful. It allows us the mental fortitude to withstand abuse without retaliating blindly. Perhaps we even believe that they will ‘see the error of their ways’ if we act in a martyred fashion.

More importantly, it makes us feel good to do good, even if it may not bring us the highest material gain. Seeing others enjoy themselves as a result of your actions brings emotional satisfaction, rather than residual guilt over mistreatment.

"We should treat others as we’d like to be treated."

This plays to our concept of fairness, of the idea that things are equal (assuring us that if we are kind or unkind to others, others will respond in kind) or at least should be equal (reminding us that if we are not kind, we should not expect kindness in return).

If we are nice, others will be nice. Furthermore, people may like us for being nice and do us a kindness by defending us against those who would rain on our goodness parade. If they are not nice, their malignancy is not deserved by us and we are better than them. They are unfair; we are fair. It may even give us an excuse to treat them the same way in the name of justice—‘teaching them a lesson’ to change their ways.

how the heat surges through my body—how it paralyzes me, proteins denaturing and fever awakening

how the cold ripples as it crawls down my spine; even covered with blankets, even cloaked in heat, i shiver

and i am, i am, i am not myself and the air pressure has risen and the pedestal on which i sat has suddenly crumbled. oh, i am so tired, my dear body. oh, you are so tired, my dear body. how about you and i take a meander down the path to oblivion? we shall taste the grapes of stupor and deem it the finest wine there is. we shall not fall into nothingness, but fly

a letter to someone i shouldn’t be writing letters to

You are the stars, and I am no astronaut.

You are nothing more than an image in the sky, beyond my reach. You are a wondrous figure to me, and perhaps this would not be so difficult were I simply to come closer and see your flaws for myself. Alas, I cannot approach, cannot touch, cannot even glimpse your true nature; my eyes are covered in the gauze of admiration.

Ah, but what if I am the boat and you are the sea?
I must float on, or risk capsizing. (I am already upended, in a sense.) To drown at your feet would be fine with me, although I suspect you would protest. (Would you even notice my corpse, twitching and choked with seawater? Would you check for a pulse? It has been months, and your perception remains at large.)

Either way, you are unattainable. I have no delusions; your priorities lie elsewhere, and, regardless of probity, a terrible thief I would make.

Not even my dreams allow me passage to the stars.

I wish you well in this new year.

you’re ten, and you’re bored.

first of all, whose idea was school anyway? you’ve never cared much for anything beyond books, and you certainly don’t intend to spend any more time around people you don’t understand than you need to. class is dull. recess is dull. by this time, school has ceased to amaze you; after all, everything you’ve been taught here was old news to you. a textbook speaks more clearly to you than a teacher. you want more, but nothing’s really the ‘more’ you’re looking for.

you’re twelve, and you’re boring.

in the short time you’ve been alive, centuries have turned, people have died, buildings have fallen. science has uncovered new things and writers have written new books. people younger than you have done more, and you’re stuck in a classroom six hours a day, every day, for the next six years of your life—six years, one might add, to the six or seven you’ve already spent learning. beyond that, what are you? a student; education is all you’ve ever known. you have no friends, no goal, no life. school is boring, but you’re just as.

you’re fourteen, and you’re tired.

life crashed down on you while you weren’t looking, its rapidly tightening cinch winding around your neck like the noose you fight so feebly to avoid. everything that was easy before is just as easy, you know; it’s simply perception that’s changed. everything feels so much harder now, but you’d get it down if you tried. you know this; you’ve learned it, just as you’ve learned to cram study, to brew yourself coffee in the morning, the proper method of bullshitting your way through an essay. you’ve learned a lot, but you’ve lost more.

i keep writing about me

When I wake up, it’s night.
When I wake up, it’s morning.
When I wake up, five minutes have passed.
When I wake up, fifteen hours have passed.

I sleep haphazardly: on the couch, in a bed; at four a.m., at five p.m.; for two hours or twelve. Some people have people have alarms, and I respect that. I have alarms too. They just don’t always work, aren’t always set, or are simply ignored at the most critical of times. Deadlines are imminent: I sleep for twelve hours. I have extra time to sleep before class starts: I stay awake all through the night. There’s not much rhyme or reason to it all; I am a creature of impulse, someone who, upon seeing a cliff, feels the inexplicable urge to jump.

I can’t even say I have ‘bad habits’, since you’ve got to have habits for that. Sometimes I adopt a normal schedule, one others would probably find agreeable. But it’s never for long. I’m a very inconsistent person and I get bored easily.

I’m talking about myself here. I’m always talking about myself. I’m a bit selfcentered, if you haven’t noticed already. You probably have; it’s fairly prominent. Everyone comments on it. ‘You’re always going on about your own stories but you’re never interested in what others have to say.’ Other people aren’t me. Empathy beyond the entry-level was made for other people. I can’t speak for others, I never know what they’re thinking. I sleep to forget, although to forget what is something I haven’t yet remembered.

This is getting out of hand. This is getting personal. I didn’t intend for that. Hopefully you’ll regard this as some sort of abstract work, something that’s not entirely about me, but about… something. Nonexistence? Apathy? Something, something. Something erratic, unfathomable, illogical. Something I don’t even understand myself.

Maybe that’s what writing’s about. Purposes and all that, right? There’ll be some day when I’m at the top of my game and I can write sentences that are simultaneously succinct and stimulating in the intellectual sense. That’s not today. It’s never today, is it? We’re flawed. Can we ever actually reach our full potential? Or will we—I, bringing it back to myself—always be limited by our doubts, our insecurities, our fundamental weaknesses? Who knows. I don’t.

i write about time

Having an inconsistent sleep schedule is an odd thing. Nothing seems as definite as it should, and you’ve never got much of an idea how much time you’ll have to do what you need to. When will I fall asleep? When will I wake up? Will I sleep fifteen hours or two tonight? (I’m just guessing here, but most often it’s four, then ten, then two, then twelve or some such.) The word ‘usually’ cannot apply in this case, which is a word that I use very frequently.

Personally, it’s gotten to the point that time—abstract at best, inexplicable at worst—seems either to rush by or come to a standstill. I’ve described this with an analogy a couple of times, sounding somewhat like some pretentious hipster dressed fashionably in rags wandering around a side alley in Seattle: time is a train and I am caught in the tracks; I can see it coming but I cannot fully register the gravity of the situation and am powerless to stop it.

Here we step from the discussion of time and sleep to one of time and death. I want to assume that was a decent transition, but that might be hoping for too much. Well, no matter. No one’s going to get any younger here; you can’t exactly rewind time. The two—sleep, mortality—are naturally related. After all, they do look remarkably alike from afar, and plenty of people die in their sleep. Old people, sure, but people. As someone who sleeps a lot (or none at all, for that matter), I think I’m qualified to say that waking up in the night, not knowing where you are, why you’re there, or what time it is, is disorienting. Sometimes, it’s even a little disappointing. I like to sleep. It’s one of my favorite pasttimes, as dull as that sounds. If I could sleep forever, I probably would. I wake up, and it’s like, why. What could this day possibly have in store for me than being inordinately lazy? For what purpose am I awake today?

…For what purpose am I alive now? The counterpart to nonexistence is, obviously, existence. The question is, then, is sleeping really that similar to death? Nonexistence, that is—or at least not existence as we know it. Are we really that close to the end all the time? Or has the train stopped in its tracks? I keep asking questions that everyone’s already explored, that we still haven’t found any answers to after all this time. Time, time, time. Time to think, time to live, time to die. Time to be unoriginal and poke at topics as old as the concept of time.

on the nature of clocks

clocks and time are not synonymous—tick, tock goes the clock, but time is silent.

time is the ache in your bones at dusk.
time is backwards and forwards, and everything in between.
time is vapor in the wind, flowing, moving, impossibly fine.

clocks are finite; they shatter,
spewing shards of glass and wood and god-knows-what-else onto the floor for the living to step on

(shit! the man cries out, his foot dripping blood onto his oh-so-white carpet. he cares more about the carpet than his feet.)

time dips and flows, sinks its teeth into existence.

time changes, and is, in return, changed.
the elder no longer counts the days gone by;
the adult hides, days flickering out as the sun goes down like so many lights;
the adolescent laughs at the idea of numbered days, invincible in youth; the child knows every second, every minute, every hour as if it were the first in creation.

the clock will lull the baby to sleep, but only time may say when.
out of sync, it is nothing but a broken metronome, and a moon that has fallen out of orbit is no moon at all.