hello, your face isn't loading.

hello, demolished building.

i stormed out of her house (what's the point of living if you aren't constantly making a scene, even if it's only for a one-person audience?), and surprisingly, she chased after me. what made me do it? i was sick of her passive-aggressive comments, how making me feel like a fuck-up came so naturally to her. i had dealt with it for so long, it felt good to shrug my shoulders and just say, you know what. fuck it. like quitting a job that's too stressful, or else too boring, one that just doesn't pay.

i can't always be there for you, she said. no one can. it was one of those moments where a character in a movie, or just somebody normal would say, yes, yes i can. i can find someone who will always be there for me, and put up with me, and love me for who i am. but i'm me, and like taylor swift said (minus the expletive), this ain't fucking hollywood. fine, i said, i'll just be alone. i meant it, too. i spent a year doing just that at my parents' house. i talked to my parents and my cousins (sometimes not even them) for a full year, and no one else. i learned that year that being alone didn't even matter. in our backyard i cut branches and i quoted there will be blood, sometimes aloud: i just want to make a lot of money, and get away from everyone.

hello, woman working behind the counter.

you broke my computer, he said. what are you even talking about, i asked. you fucked up my computer. this went on for some time, and i didn't know where he was coming from. i considered him my best friend, so i was naturally curious as to why he was ignoring me. i let it go, thinking he'd come around after a little while. that's what friends did, right? they'd get pissy about something, and then, without either party having to apologize, it just went back to normal. that's how i learned it, anyway. like back in third grade, another friend and i had a fight at a school carnival. don't even remember what it was about, or what was said, only that neither he nor i apologized. it was understood: all was forgiven. let's just start talking again.

but that's not how this shit played. guy claimed i broke his computer, and that's all the motherfucker said to me. we had latin together. i instant messaged him. we have latin together, i said. are you just gonna ignore me? he replied, yeah, that's the plan. so that was freshman year. my best friend from junior high went into the same classroom with me, and we didn't say a single word to each other. we treated each other as though we were strangers. every time i fucked up, got an answer wrong in class and father whitten gave me shit about it, the class would laugh, and i'd look over, just to make sure he was laughing, too.

hello, bulletin board full of flyers.

the same thing happened in college. there was this loud half-black girl i befriended. everything was going along great until, one day, i realized she had borrowed a bunch of money from me, never paid me back, and furthermore, she always made me feel like i was just someone she kept around until better, cooler friends came along. it was just little things. like how i had this great epiphany once. i went to the piers and rode a ferry. i listened to clarity while reading man's search for meaning. i remember at the time that i was completely at peace and had discovered something important. the rarest kind of insight and experience i've ever had or felt. it filled me with something inexplicable, and for the first time ever, i was happy. i told my friend about it, and she said, yeah, i've had that happen. no, you didn't, i wanted to tell her. you never fucking have.

fed up with her bullshit, and feeling like i had been taken advantage of, i just stopped talking to her. my old friend from junior high did it, and i got over it, so i thought, fuck it. i'll just do the same thing he did. i thought of it as some sort of reincarnation cycle shit. someone cuts me off from his life, so i do it to someone else, and so on and so on, until we're all just completely disconnected. but then i had more great epiphanies (it was sophomore year of college, after all), and i knew that i couldn't do that to someone. i didn't want to be that kind of person. we had a class together, cultural anthropology, and we didn't say a word to each other all quarter. then, one day, i saw her walking up the stairs to the cafeteria. she walked past me, and didn't even look at me. it broke my fucking heart. i didn't want to be a ghost. i didn't want to be dead to anyone. sure, i was gonna end up dead someday, but not fucking now. dear god, not now. i wrote her a sincere letter, and i apologized. we hung out a few more times, but it was never the same after that.

hello, swedish medical center.

there have been others. coworkers, classmates, teachers, friends, etc. people that i've known for a little while, and then boom, poof, vanished. what am i supposed to do with that? i wrote a story about kairos (senior retreat) once, and in the story i said how it was all bullshit, that my classmates and i all had this great connection, and then, just like that, it was all over. ever the optimist, my writing professor said, yeah, but there's something about being able to open up like that and even just have that connection. not everyone can do that, he said. i didn't care about possessing that ability, though. i'd rather have some fucking friends.

and then there's eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. that final scene at the beach, and he says, this is where i last saw you. and he knows it's their last memory and he's afraid to death of losing it. there's nothing else he can do, though. clementine asks what they should do. and since there's nothing he nor she nor god can do about it, he says, enjoy it. and that sucks. to me, that's just not good enough. completely unacceptable. but i guess i'll never fully be able to live in this world until i can figure out how to do just that.

there's this part in the elegance of hedgehog that involves a choir. the narrator is an unhappy girl, but when she sings in a choir, she's utterly transformed, and suddenly, there's beauty in the world. she says something along the lines of, why can't that moment just be life all the time? a harmony of voices singing a song so beautiful it softens the hardest of hearts. i read that shit, and i knew exactly what she was talking about. paloma josse said exactly what i had been thinking my whole entire life.

lately, i've come to realize that i am just now learning how to deal with disappointment.

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