So here I sit.
Wondering where the wonder went. Wondering what made everything so easy before this year. If it was a guy to call mine, or if it was a larger circle of friends, or lack of too much stress. Wondering where the zeal and excitement for things went. Wondering why I get more of an emotional kick-start from reading a QUOTE about love, than actually being on the path to love. Wondering what happened to being so easy-going and positive. Wondering what changed me from an extrovert to an introvert. That caused me to hide behind fake glasses because I ran out of eyeliner for fear of what people thought.
Fear of what people thought.
That’s incredibly insane. That’s never been something to stay on the tip-top of my mind. I’ve always been a ‘do-me’ sort of person. I cared about what people thought in the way that I wanted to please people. I wanted to do things to make others happy. I had never really been the sort to cower in fear from other people’s opinions. And I suppose I didn’t realize exactly how much it bothered me until last night at Prom when I was sitting in my vehicle crying, staring at the clock, because I didn’t want to go in to a building alone, for fear of what people thought. And that’s when it hit me. Rarely do I give up that fear. With a very certain few circles. To include a whopping total of five people, and one social network site. I just don’t understand where the line blurred and fell apart. I’m not depressed by any means, I’m just sort of scattered. I want someone to unscatter me. Which, I do have. I have those five people. I have the three-five minutes certain YouTube videos give me of peace, and the nights with friends that make everything not a worry, unless it’s to talk about how we all mutually hate someone/something. I just want a chance to start over, I suppose. I don’t want to sound like every other teenager on Facebook, but I really do want to get out of this town. I want to go off to college, and make a new canvas. Because the one I have painted right now is an odd one. I’m not someone that everyone can’t stand/hates, and I’m not someone that absolutely everyone goes out of their way to talk to. I’m not someone that really gets talked to, period. I don’t get asked to dance, but if someone does say a few words to me, they do generally think I’m awesome. Their TBH’s say so. I get Facebook likes, but I don’t get smiles in the hallway. I don’t get second glances. My canvas is an odd one, right now. I fit in no social circle, and after the group of friend I have at this school leave, I’ll really have nothing at school. People tell me “it’ll be okay, you’ll make friends.” No. I won’t make friends. It won’t be okay. Not for another year or five, when I can forget the feeling of driving away from a prom knowing that not a soul asked me to dance. No guy said “wow, you look pretty.” Nothing. Until I can forget that feeling, it won’t be okay to have no major circle to fit in to. I just want to go off and start over. To be me and lose the fear of what others think. Because this is the most scared I’ve been in a lifetime. And for the longest amount of time, as well. It’s just so strange to float from day to day, then realize a year’s gone by since you haven’t floated. Since you’ve been anchored. It’s an odd and frightening thing to sit and think and wonder how much longer you’ll deal with it. If it’ll smooth out in a week, a month, a year and forty-three days, if it’ll smooth out at all. If maybe you’re just stuck in this rut of floating. That the wings that were once on your heart don’t flap like they used to, and the anchor on your feet just sorta floats in the water now. That maybe, if someone ever cared to make a video of your life, it would be one of those indie-films with the ukulele music for a soundtrack, with a lot of the ‘staring-out-the-rainy-car-window’ scenes.
So I sit here. Wondering where the wonder went.
DATE A GIRL WHO READS
by Rosemarie Urquico
(In response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date an Illiterate Girl)
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”