Monday, September 5, 2011

The real meaning behind Toto's 'Africa'

    Pop songs are meant to be popular. In every era of music, you could say that there was a formula to making a song that would be a 'hit'. The record companies knew this, and that's why you hear so many similar sounding songs from any given year. If a new style or new 'sound' is becoming popular, replacing the one from last year, there is a mad rush to capitalize on the fad for as long as it lasts, until the next fad comes along. I say this because it seems like this is where non-sensical lyrics come into play most often. They focus on creating the song as quickly as possible, and what's most important for radio play is how the song sounds as a product, not necessarily the words and meaning behind them. In some eras, these fads were started by artists who through their originality changed the taste of the music consuming population. In other eras the fad was a well thought-out plan, a business model for creating 'artists' rather than waiting for someone to come along. One the most notable examples of this latter era would be the late 90's to early 2000's. Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, LFO, etc. This era of music was ushered in by a producer, Lou Pearlman, rather than the artist. In an ironic twist, Lou Pearlman got into the music business thanks in part to his first cousin, Art Garfunkel. Garfunkel (along with Paul Simon) belonged to an era of singer/songwriters that grew organically thanks to the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, etc.
    I say this about pop music not because I believe that Toto's words are meaningless, nor are they of the class of singer/songwriters from the 60's. I'm trying to illustrate that within certain times a lot of popular songs sound similar, and the effect of that is that songs will begin to run together. Songs don't necessarily become hits because of their lyrics, but rather because of their 'feel'. Most of the time, we will decide if we like a song by it's feel in the first 30 seconds. If it passes the feel test, we may listen to the lyrics, or we may not. I've recently been exposed to a lot of songs I thought I knew, but I didn't actually know. I remembered the feeling and groove, but not the lyrics. When I really think about it, I don't think I ever knew the lyrics. I just absorbed the catchy hook.
    'Africa' was released on Toto's 4th album, eponymouly named "Toto IV". It reached number 1 on the Billboard charts in February of 1983, while I was still in utero. I vaguely remember hearing it when I was a child. At the neighborhood pool, the only radio station that offended no one (but also didn't please anyone either) was the adult contemporary station. This was one of the songs that they played. So now, when I hear 'Africa', then get past the awesomeness of it's groove and the unforgettably catchy hook, I listen to the words in the verse for the first time. Do you know the words? Or do you, like me, only remember 'Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you', and 'I bless the rains in Africa'?
    According to David Paich (keyboards and vocals) the song is about "a white boy trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past". I have a different take. I believe it's a very subtle song about making love with someone for the first time. Doing it. Getting it on. Bumping uglies. 

Just for reference, here's the song:

The video could be another post entirely on its own.

But we're looking for the meaning behind the words here, so here we go.

First verse:

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me toward salvation
I stopped an old man along the way,
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say
Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you

    This has nothing to do with Africa (the continent). Look at the lyrics again ... see?
    This sounds exactly like the lead-up to a romantic rendevous. To make things easier, for the purposes of this post, the male character in the story of the song, also the narrator, will be known as 'he' or 'him'. The object of his desire, the female, will be known as 'she' or 'her'.
    The 'drums echoing' are the primal, insistent, instinctual beat of his libido; the male equivalent of a biological clock that started ticking long long ago, in the jungles and on the plains of Africa before we were the species that we are today. We can tell that this will be the first (hopefully, in his eyes) sexual encounter between the two. His plan is to seduce her, tonight. He has invited her over, but has not yet told her of his intentions. He has talked to her without exposing his beating drums of desire, which is why all she hears is the echo of some quiet conversation, the conversation they had before she agreed to come over. On her 12:30 flight.
    Before I continue, I have to raise the point that if a wing, or anything else, is moonlit, there is no way for it to reflect stars. The moon is the brightest object in the night sky and by it's very nature obscures or renders obsolete the light from stars, especially when one is talking of reflection. We must agree here that this simply means that it is night. Let us continue.
    Before she gets there, he has to run an errand. He walks down the street towards the corner store, guided by the arched streetlights hanging over the gutters like wings (!) to pick up a six-pack of Bartles & Jaymes, his salvation. Inebriation will  absolve some of the sins which he hopes to commit tonight, if all goes to plan. On the way back from the store, he is excited. He is ready to converse with anyone who might come across his path, including an old man waiting for the bus. The old man appreciates his exuberance, it makes him feel a little nostalgic for his younger days when he was excitedly anticipating the arrival of some young female. He (the narrator) asks this old man if he has any words of wisdom, any tidbits that will help him in his upcoming conquest. The old man laughs mirthfully as he shakes his head. The best advice that he can give is to hurry back. Though the young man is assuming he alone is hearing the echoes of the ancient drum beat, the old man knows that she's been waiting for him to make his move, and probably has been for longer than he knows.

    So now we come to the chorus. If you did not know the title of the song, the only thing that remotely resembles a reference to Africa so far is the sound of the marimbas at the beginning. The chorus will give us Africa in name, but the first two lines resemble the sentiments of a traditional love song.


It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa 
It's gonna take some time to do the things we never had

    This is the most important part to deducing the intent of the lyrics. There is only one other reference to the continent of Africa other than naming it here. Until the third line of this chorus, there has been nothing to reference a place, and we can tell even from the first line of the song that he is using a metaphorical device. We don't assume that he's hearing the echoes of actual drums, he's referencing an idea. So, what is the metaphor he is trying to express when he proclaims that he blesses 'the rains down in Africa'? What is Africa?

    The Vagina.

     Yes, you heard me right. The Vagina. The immortal originator of all that we are. Where life began for everyone. The hot, sticky jungle that gave life to you and I that goes back all the way to the hot, sticky jungles of Africa, where we became a species. Africa is the motherland, the bounty, the life-giver. "The Dark Heart of Africa" when said aloud stirs semi-erotic images in the brain and erotic ones in the loins. She is the receiver and the reason for the beating of drums. Can it mean anything else? Are we to assume that we're suddenly talking about a piece of land when it's obstensibly been about a man and his feelings for a woman up to this point? I think not. I also think that 'gonna take some time to do the things we never had' is pretty clear, when you look at it this way.

Second verse:

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside
Frightened of this thing that I've become

    Here in the second verse we have the other reference to Africa, Kilimanjaro and Serengeti. We'll get to those in just a minute.

    It's here that he is becoming more consumed with desire. Earlier it was likened to the echo of drums, but now he is expressing it in a more primitive way, comparing it to dogs crying out. He's longing for the company of one other, the need for that one taking him further down the evolutionary ladder, to a time before he was man. He knows that he needs this to happen tonight. It is in the other reference to Africa that we must make our second biggest metaphorical leap. He has described a mountain rising out of a barren desert, and compared it to Olympus, the home of the gods, the kingdom of Zeus. If Africa, the Mother-God is the vagina, here we are shown the phallic mountain of Zeus the philandering Father-God. An enormous erection of stone towering over the dark wetness of Darkest Africa. His romantic quest is almost fulfilled, and yet he is now doubting himself right before the moment of truth. Is this what he actually wants, the stark physical act? Is he not the man that he thought he was, striving for the great love of body and soul; is he another wretch weakening resistance with alcohol? Yet again, I think not.

Chorus repeat:

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa 
It's gonna take some time to do the things we never had

    It is here that we find the meaning to the first two lines of the chorus. He is not the wretch who will take the body without the soul. Although his entire night has been leading up the penultimate moment, the climax, the coup de grace, the old-fashioned romantic notions bring us (and he) back to why he has been planning this night. There is no one that could take her away from him. He will push back against the multitudes that may come to her. He doesn't just want to feel the sweet rush of rain from Africa, he blesses it. He blesses the giving of that place, her place, and he wants her to know what it means to him.

    Hence this song.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crying Out Of Both Eyes (country song)

When I met you
I didn't know myself through
I didn't know the meaning of love.

But you felt good to me
I was too blind to see
You weren't my angel sent from above.

We went out every night
Had too much to drink
We kissed, and maybe more,
In the dark
It all felt so right
You holdin me tight
I never thought that we would ever part
But reality came
When you took my name
Now everything's broken
Including my heart

Our first big fight
Was on a summer night
And you broke the handle
When you slammed the front door

The next times were worse
You hit me with your purse
And broke all our glasses
On the kitchen floor

Well one of those shards
Hit me in the eye
And one hit me deep in the heart


The tears they came pourin
From the pain in my right eye
It teared up all night
And in the mornin' after that fight
I decided it was time for goodbye.

And now I'm crying out of both eyes
You can't say that I didn't try
And I just want you to know
That the last thing you could throw
Away, was my heart
I'm crying out of both eyes

(repeat chorus)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Head Over Feet

There are a lot of reasons why I love this. Firstly, it's a great song (in my opinion). It's an expertly crafted pop song, but the lyrics in their specificity give it a greater meaning.
To craft a great pop song (lyrically), I feel like an artist could either speak in generalities that can be interpreted in many different ways to gain a broader appeal, or speak intimately and on a small scale (first one that comes to mind is Bob Dylan). Writing about the small things in relationships between people is difficult; it demands a very intense focus on experiences that you are supposed to lose yourself in with another and breaks them down and examines them. This focus is my favorite part of novels, and can often be the main focus or purpose of a novel; to slow down the rush of feelings that accompany intense moments and preserve them in a fashion that shines light on our human experience. 36 seconds into the song, she sings "You ask how my day was". Before this line, it was a general account of a man pursuing a woman, but that one line zooms in on a part of the pursuing that is important to one person, in this case the author of the song, which would be the one singing it. It takes an abstract idea and brings it closer to what all of us experience in one way or another. There are general things that I find attractive in a prospective mate, but it's those small things that really make the relationship blossom or break the relationship from blossoming. Something as small as smiling when I walk through the door and asking how my day was can save a relationship when times are tough. This theme of taking a general idea about relationships and then focusing in on a small part of what makes it special and what makes it work goes on throughout this song. At 1:55, "You held your breath, and the door for me" is another example. So to move on now from just looking at the crafting of the song, let's move to the video. First of all, it's all one take. This is rare for a music video. There are artists (and directors) that try to create this, but also allow for the shots that make it possible for post-editing to create the illusion of a one-take shot if it wasn't possible for it to happen because of a number of factors... extras, inconsistent delivery to the camera, any number of reasons. So seeing that it's one take, you think of how many takes it took to get the one that was decided upon as being the best. This might take away from a music video for some, but for me it adds to it. 
The music video is an inherently dishonest experience. I think by now everyone knows that the audio track that is heard on top of a music video is just that... on top of the video. It was recorded before the filming of an experience to go along with the song; the video is an after-market piece of advertising to help sell the song, thanks to MTV. That's not a bad thing, just the way that it is, and I think some fabulous pieces of art (yes, art) have come out of the niche of adding moving pictures to music. But when we see Alanis moving her lips and tongue on the screen, it's not the same thing as her singing in the studio recording this song. This video and her performance does a great job of highlighting this psuedo-experience. She is completely inconsistent in what she lip-syncs to and what she doesn't. She begins with a delivery that matches the delivery of the audio, and then lets it go. They're not trying to fool us into thinking that the video is the experience of the singing of the song.
This does two important things: It allows us to disassociate from the video to listen solely to the song, and it allows us to disassociate from the song and focus on the video. This may be the most important part of a successful video. It makes us want to watch it multiple times because the song and the video have two different aims. I almost want to compare it to a live concert. There is the music, but there's also everything else going on around you. There's a dichotomy that's happening in the brain, and being limited as we are, we can only focus on so much at one time. How many concerts have you been to that you wish you could go back and experience so that you could either pay attention to only the music or only the concomitant happenings? This video allows us (because it's preserved) to go back time and time again to narrow our focus to different segments of the experience.
What may be the most important factor is Alanis Morisette herself. She starts by looking into the camera with no fear. What I mean by that is that she stares as if she's looking in to YOUR eyes, not a piece of glass. She's giving herself up for inspection. I think this is the most important part of a person who is successful in performing. This could be Alanis Morisette, Freddie Mercury, the guy that does karaoke at your local bar. You feel like you're allowed into another person's life, and it's such a powerful experience, because most of us don't let ouselves go unless we're completely, completely sure and have some measure of control over the audience. Think of yourself when you meet someone for the first time. You won't necessarily give all of yourself to that person, you want to keep up the image of yourself that you want to portray. It's not until later that you feel comfortable enough to let yourself go enough to let them know who you really are (if you think that they're worth it). Maybe that's why we have such a celebrity culture... We idolize those people that are able to give themselves to us unconditionally. Maybe that's why Jesus is such an enduring personality. He gave all of himself without expecting anything in return (and now I'll just steer clearly away from Jesus). There are so many moments of her performance in this video (not the song) that she shows (what I perceive as real) her own psyche. I see in different parts of her face and her delivery almost all of the parts of girls that I've been in a relationship with. I have a few examples that I want to highlight.
Right away, at 00:23, there's her slow sleepy eyes as she says "You treat me like I'm a princess" immediately follwed by a genuine smile. At 00:40, she stops singing along with the song, which helps seperate this from most other music videos. She looks away and down to the side. You could extrapolate and say it's related to the lyrics of the song, this part, because this is the first time in the lyrics that she's admitting that she may have already been won over. I've admitted this to people I've been interested in before, and it's something that's hard to say while looking someone in the eye. You want to look away so that if you are rejected, the full force of the denial doesn't hit you directly in the heart. She also starts to shake her head along with the shaking of her right leg. Is this her natural reaction to letting go of part of her ego, telling someone how much they mean to her? Or is it just impatience and possibly boredom in singing the lyrics to the song however many times it took to get this performance in one take?
At 1:20, the second chorus, she stops singing along again, but this time doesn't look immediately away. This time she looks directly into our eyes. If you've told someone once that you were invested, and weren't turned down, the second time you may be a little more bold. You give a little more of yourself, but maybe not all. And now she has no relation to the camera at all at 1:29. This can be like any number of girls I've been in relationships with, and there's a secondary reason that makes this point in the video so compelling. I'm not going to try to cover the first point, but the second reason is that she's not perfect. This is the point where you can see and start to notice that her hair isn't perfect. There are strands that don't quite make it into her ponytail. Maybe after you notice that you notice how little makeup she's wearing. You can see the small slight perfectly imperfect bumps on her face that make her not have a perfect complexion, but make her that much more human. I don't expect perfection from everyone I meet in life, but I find myself expecting it in my entertainment. If a girl in a video or a movie is not perfetly gorgeous all the time, I notice it and I find myself wondering why she's not perfect, because it seems as if that's the standard that we have set. At 2:03, we have the harmonica solo. I'm not totally sold on this part of it, but everything else in this video makes me okay with it not being totally great. I think it's another example of this director highlighting the difference between recording a song and making a video, because it's obvious that she's not actually doing the harmonica solo. This may be a time filler so she doens't just stare into the camera for 20 or so seconds, but I would have preferred her just staring into the camera for that time.
At 2:35 is the reason that made me fall in love with this video. She comes out of the harmonica solo, and is just singing for us. The line is "You're my best friend, best friend with benefits". It's a damn cute line. What makes me fall in love with it is that I smiled at that line the same way that she did. I think this is why I love this video so much. If we can have similar smiles to a line like that, then she's enjoying herself as much as I am. I said earlier that part of why I loved this video was the light that it shined on the difference between the recording of a song and the making of the video for promotional purposes. This sharing of an expression between myself and the artist makes me feel less like a consumer and more like a partner in crime. It makes me feel like she is enjoying the song, and enjoying performing it for the benefit of the camera, and the camera operator, and the director, and is yet another example of her giving up part of herself; the honest enjoyment in an experience that makes certain performers so compelling.
3:23 is just another example of the difference between the video and the song, where she's talking to whomever is behind the camera, instead of to us, the prospective audience, with no relation to the song that is still going. It's a beautiful sign of strength in the director and in the artist herself. This entire video has been concious of itself, but it's here that it expressly expresses itself as only a representation of reality, not reality itself.
From 3:45 to 4:22; Alanis, you have pretty eyes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


In the mood to write something something something. Got to think of something quick before I lose the urge, before I feel tired, before I check Facebook and get lost, before I run out of booze. Should I write about my life?
No, that's boring. I think I can put a good spin on it, but everyone who would read it already knows about my life.
Should I write a poem? No, I hate poetry.
Should I write a piece of fiction?
Maybe. I hope to write fiction one day, and be a successful novelist and live in a fancy house and wake up whenever I want to and just write and make love to my wife and play with the dogs and the kids but what fiction do I write? Do I start the idea I had the other day when I was half-dreaming/half-hallucinating on the couch? Where characters came to me that I was actually interested in and wanted to know more about? No, I shouldn't write that on here. I should save that and work on it for myself, in preperation for me being a successful novelist. Should I write some little piece of fiction?  A short story perhaps? Perhaps... But mostly I feel like rambling. Stuck in the place where I'd rather talk about what I want to do or don't want to do instead of doing or doing something else.
Crafting a short story is hard. Do you fill it full of action, or do you make it a meditation on a very small subject; or not neccessarily a very small subject, but a small fragment of time that pertains to a large subject? Let's give it a try.
Thinking (smoking a cigarette and drinking my gin).

(finding some good background music)

(Mozart, but still smoking.)

Lay down. Soft. Adjust. Exhale. Was that a noise? No. Voices. Engine. Is she home? Oh my God. Go to the opening! Wait for opening to move. Is she here!? I hear you! I hear you! I'm here! Where have you been? I'm here! How did you leave why did you go come here now i want you i need you

That was a dog. That was my dog. I'm not happy with that. It's the creative process. I really don't want to leave it up, but it's already there. Don't judge me.

It would be a lot easier to just write about what happened with my day. Because it happened, and I don't have to make it up. The older I get without exercising my imagination every day, the more it goes away. What did I imagine as a child? Well, mostly fighting scenarios... pirates vs. pirates, good vs. bad, ninjas vs. anyone. Any plot could be written, you could make up anything from the wild west to space to dinosaurs to war..., to love. But does the plot really matter all that much? My favorite novel is about a 40-ish man kidnapping and raping a 12 year old girl repeatedly (I can't believe I just wrote that sentence). It seems like the story is secondary to the style of the writing. Nabokov said something to that effect, so did John Popper. "It doesn't matter what I sing, as long as I sing with inflection."

Olivia. (looked up most popular girls names last year, and that's my favorite of the top 5) What does Olivia do? She's a bartender. Maybe she goes by 'V'. She really doesn't care that much what you call her. She's about 5'5", and thin. She doesn't try to be thin, it's just the way her metabolism and her genetics have worked out. She's 26 years old. She has dirty blond hair. It's naturally curly, but not to the extent that she usually styles it into. When younger, she kept it long, and straightened it in the morning before she caught the bus for high school. Her parents couldn't afford to buy her her own car, she never had a boyfriend with a car in high school, and she didn't get along with many girls. She likes her hair shorter now, and if straightened it might reach her shoulders but she loves her curls, and every ex that she respected at some point liked her better in curls. After she gets ready to leave her house her hair reaches down just below the tops of her ears. It's a dirty blond color, but it looks more like brown with lots of blond streaks on top. She doesn't dye it, but she knows that there's more of a contrast in her hair when she stays in the sun for an extended amount of time and she loves the contrast in her hair without having to do the work of dying it. She likes to wear t-shirts and jeans. She is caucasian, but has a skin tone on the darker side of that spectrum. She spends a lot of time outside, and is pleasantly tan. She loves to wear pastel colors on top, and they compliment her skin very well. She's not a fan of wearing black. She wears t-shirts with ironic messages or pictures.

Okay. That's Olivia (for now). She works in a bar. What does the bar look like?

This is a suburban bar (meaning it's in a shopping center). It used to have more than one entrance, but the other has been closed off so that one of the dining areas can be semi-secluded. The main entrance is in the center of the space that the bar has taken up. It has a double glass door, but the right side stays locked and only the left side opens and closes. When you walk in, the first thing you notice is the dining area. It is immediately to the right. There is a floor to ceiling wall on your left. You are in between 2 walls; the large one to the left and the half wall to your right. The 'hallway' is 6 feet wide and lasts for about 15 feet. The half wall abruptly ends and the dining area is open. The dining area is probably 30 feet wide and 40 feet long. There are 12 tables, circular, low, and made of a richly stained wood. Directly in front of you is the main bar (of the front area).

Listening to Pandora, and the ad just totally threw me out of it. Dammit. I can see this bar, but there's so much to it I don't know how to describe it the right way. Maybe I should take a narrative walk into the bar, in someone who has been there before, not someone who is new to it. Look at it through the eyes of someone who sees it as a feeling more than a place.

So this is me doing work. I'm inventing my life, and the life I want to invent is that of a writer. I'm trying to write every day, no matter what it is. Fiction, non-fiction, reviews, critiques (yes, I think there's a difference between those last two).

And now I'm tired of writing. If writing was my job I think I could pump out a whole lot more, but it's not, so maybe I can pump out more in a shorter amount of time with more practice.

I wrote something something something tonight, so I'm happy for that. I like Olivia, or V. I'm going to spend some more time with her.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I hate you people on Facebook.

Sometimes I hate all you people on Facebook.
Maybe that's my own fault. maybe I expect too much of you. Maybe by the time I finish typing this I'll have a better idea of whether that's the truth or not. I do post a lot of different things, but I actually think that most of the things that I post are interesting. Should I have my own scale for what is interesting or what is not? I want feedback. I hate feeling like I'm just throwing ideas out into the ether, with no chance of any intelligent response coming back. So how would I try to prejudge what will get a response and what won't? Should I look back at different things that I've posted, see what has gotten the most responses? Should I post the most viewed videos of the day according to Youtube? Should I post polls? Should I post my heart? Something ridiculous that people can't help but comment on?
I don't like talking to a vacuum. I recently pared down my friends list on Facebook so that on my friends list I had only people that I actually talk to or people that I might be interested in talking to, and people that I thought that if I was to call them or send them a message, that I would get something back from them. I got rid of all the people that I was friends with on Facebook just because we went to the same high school. I got rid of all the people that I was friends with just because I met them at a bar a few times. If I see those bar people again and I have an actual interesting conversation with them, then maybe I'll friend them on Facebook. I'm not collecting people, I just want people to actually interact with. I don't always have time to see people in person. Most of the people I'm friends with on Facebook are on Facebook pretty consistently (I have no one in particular in mind). I see them as being online, because they have their chat icon right underneath my picture, lit up in green. So should I take anything from it when I post something and nobody responds? I can get past it when I post music videos and nobody responds, those aren't that compelling; however, I don't just post any crap that may fancy me at the moment. I post music videos because they speak to me in some way. And I don't always say something above the link to that effect, but even if I do, most of the time it gets ignored.
I don't post anything controversial, mainly because I don't have a strong opinion on anything controversial. I lose interest in arguing about bullshit topics faster than the half life of some esoteric atom that only someone well versed in chemistry or science would be able to reference. I've been posting up some blogs that I've been writing recently, and they're mostly like diary entries. I've had no response. Is it because no one has anything to say? Is it not any good? I have a view counter on my blog website, so I can see how many people have looked at my blog, and when, and even what state they are in (no one has commented on my blog on the blogsite either).
So do people just not comment? I see people post some insipid inanities about their day and they get 10-15 comments about whatever they're talking about. Is it just different friends? Is it just that we are all too busy to keep up with and try to respond to a post; are we too busy to make up something snarky or interesting to say on someone else's comment or status update or blog? What is it that stops people who are online from commenting on other people's online face? Their online reality? One of the reasons that I wanted to get rid of people that I didn't actually talk to was that I wanted people of quality, people who I thought might actually care about what I say or post, or people who I would actually talk to at a bar. Most of the time the only people I talk to on Facebook is people that I actually talk to in person or people that are far away that I would find some other way to talk to if there wasn't Facebook. Is there a reason for Facebook, other than an ego boost? Maybe if I meet someone new and I friend them on Facebook and they look at my wall they'll be impressed with the diversity of music that I play, the witticisms that I add as my frequent (but not crazy often) status updates. Is that what I'm doing?
Well, as far as that rhetorical question goes, no, I'm not doing that. I enjoy communicating with people online because it allows me to be a little more in depth with people. I'm able to more fully complete my thoughts if I'm typing them rather than speaking, where there's the possibility of being interrupted. There's a deeper quality in that kind of communication, one that if people took the time to explore online, I think that the internet could be a much more inclusive place.
I got rid of the friends that I had on Facebook that I only knew of from high school (not people that I was actually friends with) because I still didn't actually talk to them. Maybe I knew better or they knew better then, in high school, that we just didn't mesh very well. As much as it pecks at my feelings and self esteem to post something that's personal and true to my heart to the general public and get no response, it hurts just that much more to send it out and have the people that I actually care about disregard what is inside of me. People can make the excuse of time constraints, but really, if you have time to get on facebook, you have time. You have time to respond to someone that you know, someone that you may have loved at some point, someone who you think you could love, someone in your life who you know means more to you than just clicking the (way too easy) like button.
Should I be edgier, should I bare more of my soul? Should I be more carefree? Should I not care if there's a response to what I post, should I just do it no matter if anyone responds right now?
To the last rhetorical question, I'll have to say yes. I went through a phase of not posting anything to my Facebook, because what I was posting was not getting any response, and admittedly it did eat away at my self-esteem. I thought I was adding to the conversation with my meaningful message, but your lament against stupid people (so original!) gets a bevy of consoling responses. So I stopped posting anything for a while, because I had status update anxiety. What if nobody thinks this is interesting? What if nobody comments? What if I know someone would comment but they won't ever see it because they have too many friends and it will get buried amongst the others? And I do comment on other people's posts. I'm not a black hole of attention. I try to comment if someone hasn't already said what I'd like to say, or if a joke comes into my head as soon as I read it.
But really, fuck you. Fuck you if you don't comment. I'm writing some things that are completely true to myself and I'm proud of them. I'm not going to stop posting, I'm not going to stop writing because you have no response. This is my diva moment up on stage, stopping the concert to berate the audience for not cheering loud enough. So fuck you again. I may not deserve your praise yet, but I do know I deserve your attention, because I give you mine.
And no, I won't send you a happy birthday message on your birthday because Facebook tells me to do so. If I didn't know it was your birthday because we don't see each other in real life or communicate at all except for half-ass stalking on Facebook, then any message is false.
This is why I don't believe in Facebook. It allows half-ass friendships to be the norm, to be acceptable.
So I'm not begging for comments or responses (maybe I am). I just wish that it could be the same as it would be if we were together, in the same room. Unless you had a really low opinion of me, you wouldn't allow the things I said to just float out into nothingness, you would respond. Maybe this frustration I feel is because I've been trapped alone in front of a computer since Thursday and I haven't gotten the normal human interaction I would have gotten if I had been able to go out into the world.
When I get on Facebook, I'll leave it open just in case someone wants to send me something or responds to something that I have put out. Do you do that? Am I just needy? What do you want out of this online experience?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This is not a show that I go to. I don't go to see popular bands, and I don't like big venues. I went because a job got finished earlier than expected, I didn't have to be too productive the next day, and some of my best friends invited---coerced---plagued me---asked me to go. They have invited me to other concerts, and I've always declined. I don't like riding with other people. I like driving my own car. I get extremely paranoid letting other people drive when there's alcohol or pot that may be involved. I imagine the worst possible scenarios happening: accidents, police pulling us over and taking us all to jail, and now I have to explain to my parents why I'm in jail, my brothers and sister don't look at my the same way, I have to go to mandatory counseling and have a stain on my record for all of my future.
I was able to get past this feeling.
We drove to the amphitheater, all pre-partied up, and we had no accidents and did not get pulled over. Phew.
In one of the many surrounding parking lots ($20.00? How do you sleep at night? [on a pile of money]) we got directed into our spot by a Justin Bieber look-alike and pre-partied some more.
At times, when I don't go out and do a lot of new things, or go to new places for a while; when I see the same people over and over again, I forget the incredible variety of people that there are in my geographical vicinity. I forget how many different beautiful girls there are out there. Just in the immediate area around our car there were at least 15 girls (not to mention half the population of the concert), each appealing in their own way, whom I had never seen before. And I would like to take a moment to thank the fashion designers throughout history. All of the styles that have come and gone and then come back (though I hope that capri pants would vanish from the Earth never to return) that have led us to where we are today, where when girls get ready to come out to a Kings Of Leon show at Lakewood Amphitheater they decide to wear thin summer dresses, no matter how many outfits they have weighed and debated over in their closets.
Everyone that comes to the show is part of the experience. There is no doubt in my mind that the audience plays a significant part in a concert, as to the individual experience of the concert being a success or a failure. There will always be douchebags, and there will always be loud douchebags (they often go hand in hand) and there will always be people that complain about the amount of marijuana smoke floating around them, as if they've never been to any concert before, ever. (have you ever been to a concert and not smelled the sweet sensemilla? [barring christian music shows, of course]). There will always be people who dance like no one's watching, there will be people who know every word and sing at the top of their lungs until their voices give out, there will be teenagers using the anonymity of the crowd to make out ferociously for the duration of the show before they get picked up by one of their parents and have to remain chaste in the car on the way home.
There seemed to be a small number of douchebags at this concert, tonight. It was not the ratio I expected when heading to the show of a currently popular band. This statistic bouyed my spirits, and with the help of two too many gin and juices I was able to completely leave behind my paranoia still clinging to me from the ride there. We happily strolled in, tickets (computer printouts...I can't remember the last time I had an actual ticket to a concert) at the ready. Security was a breeze and we headed for the lawn to claim a spot for our blanket (the girls' blanket. Guys stand at a concert, no matter what.).
Now, one of our party was in the middle of an epic (yes, I said epic) night. Amongst some relatively modest drinking done by four in our party, the epic one had downed half a bottle of Jack Daniels while posted up against the rear bumper of the car in our Bieber-ish parking lot. Not in mixed drinks, not in shots, but with the bottom of the bottle aimed to the sky. She was composed all the way to the eventual spot of the blanket, and then passed out. We'll come back to her later.
We were able to hear the very last song of the opening band, Band Of Horses. The only thing I know about them is that Cee-Lo covered one of their songs on his most recent album. I wish I knew a lot about every band, and since I'm typing this on a computer with an internet connection I could have done a little research to provide some interesting or illuminating information about this group of gentleman, but they're really just not my style so I won't. We settled in just in time for the break between bands. There's usually no telling how long this period will last, and I always hope that it will be shorter rather than longer. Because of the rule about guys sitting at a concert I have to remain standing even though I have nothing to sway to so that I can transfer my weight to my left and right foot so that neither become too tired too quickly. I decided to go buy some beers ($11.00 a piece? How do you sleep at night?[on a pile of money]). We were on the right side of the lawn, towards stage left. I decided to head for the closest ATM. Normally I carry cash with me. When I say normally, I mean I've paid cash for everything for at least 2 years. There's always a possibility that something will be cash only, and I am the guy who always has cash. Tonight however, no cash. I made my way down the stairs and discovered that it was out of order. Shit. A helpful employee of the venue told me that there was another ATM on the other side, all the way across . And so I walked there.
There are only two ATMs at this place, so naturally with one out of order the line for the other was excruciatingly long. This was not an ATM with a dedicated dsl line, by the way. This thing worked off of a dial-up connection. I stand behind 26 people waiting to pay whatever exorbitant fee the purveyors of this particular ATM have decided on and try to remain patient, and enjoy the sights, and soak up the excitement hanging all around in the air. So after waiting in the line for the ATM for nearly 20 minutes, I find out that they take debit cards at the beer stand.
Hey Hey! Whaddya know!
I jump ship from that line and head to the equally long beer line. I wait.
I make friendly banter with a 21 year old couple in front of me, and after 30 minutes the headliner starts to play. This doesn't phase me too much. I'm not that familiar with their catalogue and the songs that I will recognize will probably be played at the end. I reach the front of the beer line in the middle of their 2nd song and gladly, gladly place my order. I hand over my debit card and when the cashier swipes nothing happens. So he tries again, running it back and forth in the reader. Mmmm. Still nothing. I do so hate to be the one holding up the line. He tries the plastic bag method. Where you take the card and wrap it inside any sort of plastic bag that's handy (clear trashbags work as well) and the bag magically takes care of any problems that the machine has reading your card. That didn't happen this time. My card was unreadable, and I had no beer and they were on their 3rd song.
I go back to the ATM line, oh yes. I eventually get my money, get the beers (by this time the line was non-existant) and make my way back to our spot. After being gone for over an hour, I had some difficulty finding the rest of my group, but I found them without too much trouble. Concert on!
The sun had just slipped underneath the tops of the trees, lowering the temperature considerably which was a blessing on a 93 degree day. I started my left to right foot rocking, along with the beat, and settled in (standing, of course).
For a while the concert just goes along. I enjoy myself, listen to songs that I don't know but that are good. I took a few good hits off a joint that was floating around, and I started floating as well. We were pretty far back on the lawn, and so I would watch the large screens to see the musicians. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the video displayed was of a very lo-fi quality, which enhanced the experience for me. Either the camera was filming in black and white or the projectors had been washed out from years of use and the effect was almost nostalgic. The projections were to the left and right sides of the stage, with each picture being about 50 ft. by 50 ft. The conctruction of the concrete walls were such that the backdrop had dividing lines in it running vertically, about every 15 feet. Since the camera was following the swaying of the musicians, these lines seemed to travel and jump across the picture, as if it was filmed in the early days of moving pictures. Picture Charlie Chaplin.
It started to feel to me like it was one of my nights. I will be at home alone, smoking and sipping on a beer, with good music on, but without it being in my face. But now I had some of my best friends with me along with thousands of other people. Going to a concert can be a group adventure, but for me, whether or not I come with anyone, it's a mostly solitary experience. I let myself fall into the live instruments, and the singer, and I feel the lyrics in a way that I never have before, and it brings me further into myself. What's fun about seeing it live is that I get to dive deeper into myself but with a safety net so I don't get lost. At the end of the song humanity reaches out to me again, I hear cheers and clapping and whistling, and some girl asks me if I have any other cigarettes, and I give her my last two because she's hot. Then I go back inside for the next song, and reflect. And this night I was reflecting on the friends that I was with. They're like a rag-tag conglomeration of scappy personalities. We've all had disappointments and keep on fighting the good fight, letting our faith in the innate goodness of people keep us open. I suppose many groups of friends are like this, but my group feels special to me.
And, to finish up, we'll come back to the epic night of a girl in our group. She had been asleep on the blanket until the last song before the encore. We rejoiced in her return to the living. She came up smiling and happy, and there was a simple honest joy in all of us that she got to see some of the band, tempered with a not so simple and honest joy that we didn't have to carry her all the way back to the car. But mostly it was the simple and honest joy about her being there with us. The concert ended (they played the songs that I knew  for the encore) and we made our way out of the gates and to the flood of cars making their escape. I gave our epic girl a piggy back ride all the way from the gate to the car, at first out of overall excitement and happiness, but then just as a test of myself; I wanted to make it all the way. I don't care if she weighs 90 pounds, it gets hard to carry someone for that long; and just like there's a rule about guys standing at a concert, there's a rule that no girl is too heavy to carry. Ever. If you have to grit your teeth, you do it.
And now I've had the time to write this because somehow I sprained my ankle during the concert but pot and alcohol and adrenaline didn't let me know it until the next morning.
Crutches are terribly uncomfortable, but in this case they are worth it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prelude To A Kiss

I see something in you. I don't know what it is. I think you're attractive. I see your smooth skin and I want to feel it's softness against the roughness of my own face. But it's not just the way you look. I like your clothes, your simple blouse and the way it curves around your breasts and clings to the sides of your waist. I love your hair. It looks so soft and touchable. Your hair looks soft the way that I can never understand, the way certain girls apply the right amount of shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and after shower product that leaves it soft and smooth yet together, finished. I love the way that you present yourself, your simple makeup. It's a balance of accentuating certain features and focal points on your face without looking painted. The way that that I can tell how much you take care of yourself without looking like you were trying too hard. It's almost an indescribable combination of care and planning vs. impishness and naturality.
   This is not what makes me come in for a kiss though. I see this attractive combination of features at times, it is not too too rare. What lies beneath is what draws me in. The natural/pampered/cared for/nonchalant look comes out of a worldview and confidence that I find incoriggably contagious and irresistable. It's the secure sense of self that makes me make the decision to make a move.
   I never do make a move, if I think that I will be rejected. But there's something in you, and something between us tonight that makes me unable to help myself. While at times I am the confident, nonchalant, but well taken care of person that I find so attractive in you; that is not the person that I bring with me everywhere.
   He is but an occasional visitor, an out of town relative or long lost friend who shows up unannounced to surprise me, when else but when I least expect it?
   I, at this moment, was not receiving a visit from my friendly familiar, the ghost of the perfectly self-realized version of myself. Tonight was a regular night, and I was not ready to attract anyone, let alone someone that I am so attracted to. You have caught me quite by surprise, tonight, special love.
   I know that you are attracted to me, as well. I can see it in your eyes. Not in the normal 'look you in the eye' way, however. I practice that daily, with many people of no consequence, as I'm sure you do also, throughout your day. This is a direct eye-scrutinizing expedition that's happening between us now. We look into each other's eyes, not only to show how involved we are in what the other person is saying, but looking deeper, looking past what we both know is probably a facade that we both show to other people, to other new people, people who we aren't sure have something deeper inside, something that says
"It's okay to let go. I'll be careful with you."
   So now I swallow, and lick my lips. I slightly bow my head (you're probably shorter than me) and slightly lower my eyelids.
   The bedroom look, if you will.
   I move my head closer to yours, forehead leading. I close my eyes as I reach your hair with my eyebrows. I go to my right, to the left side of your skull, rubbing softly through your perfect hair as my left hand cradles your neck on the opposite side. I slide my hand around to the point where skull and spine meet, just below the hairline, gliding along the soft and shorter hairs that can never make it into a ponytail. I bring my head left,  heading towards your right side. I keep my mouth safely away, to delay what I really want to have happen. I let your eyebrows; first your left, then your right, grace across my forehead, low enough so that my nose brushes against the bridge of yours, giving pressure but not enough to catch or become uncomfortable as I cross your face. After I reach your right side, I come back towards the center, and lower.
   This time I grace your lips with mine. Mine have started to dry out by now, the intensity of my anticipation beginning to stay the normal moisture levels of my body. I have primed myself for something more than surviving.

Writing At The Bar

So here I am again, writing in a notebook instead of on the computer.
That would be more precisely writing in a notebook at the bar. Harkens back to my days in Athens, actually. That night turned into a semi-good one. Writing at the bar started a conversation with a bachelorette party which led to me making out with the bride-to-be repeatedly. Still some of the best kissing I've ever shared. She had the same tongue instincts that I did. The moment with which to initiate the tongue escaping the palate through the lips, the forcefulness with which one shoves their tongue into the other person's mouth, the appropriate amount of time to twirl tongues in a tango around and around before breaking off to kiss again, lightly on the lips; then pulling back just far enough to look in your partner's eyes before going in for the kill, again. I doubt this night will end like that one.
   There is a current that runs from that night to where I am today though. Most notably, the fact that I was making out with the bride-to-be. She was literally betrothed to another, and I knew this going in. My most recent relationship, which I actually didn't know was a relationship until we mutually decided we couldn't talk anymore, was with a woman who was a former bride-to-be; in other words, a wife. I've already explained elsewhere how our relationship blossomed and then suddenly died, so I won't do it again now. But the worst part, now, is that I didn't realize the depth of emotion that I had for her until it was over. I had to experience the "in love" feeling at the same time, and so acutely, with the pain of losing it simultaneously. It's quite an awful feeling.
   I have a not-too uncommon lament then.
   "Why are all the good ones taken?"
   I know many females, and invariably the ones that I am attracted to are already with another. Even if I don't know beforehand, eventually I will find out that the smart, attractive, funny girl who I've been having a great time talking to has been with their other for a while, or years, or since kindergarten, or since they were born the same minute at the same hospital in different wings and they've been soulmates since before they took their first breath.
   Well now, I don't know where to continue on to. This whole train of thought leads to a dead end, one where there's no one to be with, except for that one person who's out there who you just haven't met yet. You know, the one that you hear about from friends and strangers when you're single and expressing frustration at not finding anybody.
   Well, I'm about done for now, and no taken ladies have approached me, entranced by my hipness of writing while in a bar.
   "Hey, who is that deep guy who came out to the bar and is writing furiously in his worn and tattered notebook?"
   At least I allow myself to imagine at times that this is what a girl would ask herself when she spies me cuddled up next to the touch screen gaming system.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Email (unedited)

ok. I don't know where this email is going to go. It's being typed as I type it, like all of my emails, total train of thought.
I know what you mean, first of all, about feeling pointy. I like to touch on things you brought up in your emails before I get to my ramblings, which I truly enjoy.
But right now I can't think about anything except for your last paragraph. Probably not what you wanted, but I think that it's good for us to talk about this.
I'm not totally sure about what all my feelings are, and I wasn't going to write back tonight, but I decided that it would be easier for me to be totally honest and quite possibly very awkward if I typed it out to you while I was trying to figure it out for myself.
I'm going all out, full honesty here. I have a lot of faith in trust in you. (and you're right, Travis is being very awesome about not having a problem with us communicating so often, and so deeply. I would probably not be okay with it if I were in his shoes. I do think though that if the person my significant other was talking to was 3,000 miles away it'd be a little bit easier to deal with than if they were in the same state.)
When you and I began talking over Myspace back in the day, I was definitely interested in you, and I thought that we could have a fulfilling relationship (but that word fulfilling doesn't really describe it correctly. I'm trying to think of a better way to describe it, but I just can't. I thought that I could be happy being with you and that I could make you happy). I guess I don't make it obvious when I'm pursuing someone, so if you didn't know that then, I understand. No biggie.
I stopped trusting Jeremy after he started pursuing you. I had talked with him about really liking you and wanting to see if I could start to make it happen, and then a week later he started talking to you behind my back. It feels juvenile to describe now, but I'm forging ahead anyways because this was what was happening at the time inside my head. There was one night when he was picking me up from work because I had decided to walk. He told me about about him taking dinner to you (man this feels so teenagey now) and because I know Jeremy I knew that that meant that he was pursuing you, so I called him on it and he said that he was. So once we got back to the apartment that we shared at the time, I told him that he could go and fuck himself. I told him "Fucking do it dude. Give it your best and I'll give it my best and we'll fucking see what happens." And then I left to take a long drive. When I got back, he was sitting there waiting on the couch and he said to me that he only told me about what he was doing behind my back to see what I would do about it, what my reaction would be. He said that he wanted to see if I would fight him for And he then said that I had passed and that he was going to back off.
I didn't believe him. I trusted Jeremy with everything about me, I trusted him implicitly, his word was stone. But when he said that, I couldn't believe him. I could tell when he was telling the truth and when he was lying, and right then he was lying. At that point I think we had about 2-3 years of seeing or talking to each other for roughly 8 hours a day and I knew the difference.
So in the moment I just decided to play along with his explanation so that we could continue living together but it was never the same between he and I. We lived together for another 2-3 years after that, but I still think about him lying to me while he was sitting there on the couch, and that's one of the reasons that I don't try too hard to reconnect with him now.
So then you moved to Jacksonville. At the time you and Travis were seperated and you didn't know for sure that you were going to stay married, but you did and that was okay, because I believe in marraige and hate when people just give up, especially when there are children involved. I moved on and actually ended up falling in love with a woman from New York online.
I've thought about that relationship a lot.
"How could I fall in love online?"
"Was it real love?"
Well, yes, I do think that it was real love. I'm somewhat removed from it now, so I've had a lot of time to think about it, and I think it was the realest love that I've found so far. At least for me. We connected solely with our minds, and she opened her heart to me after I opened mine to her. We would talk or type for hours on end, literally 6 hour phone conversations, and we would be typing messages to each other still, while on the phone. Playing word games, and writing little couplets and mostly enjoying playing and rooting around in each other's brain. I've never felt so in sync with anyone, and it was from 1200 miles away. There was nothing to distract us from who we both were at our cores. There was no sex to fill us full of endorphins that tell us that this is awesome. (I often wish that I would have not tried so hard, or at least held off for a decent amount of time before Susanna and I had sex, and started a physical relationship. Maybe if I wasn't so worried about getting laid, I could have seen the traits that ended up making me fall out of love with her. I feel that it was a mistake to begin that physical part of it so early, and it's not a mistake that I will repeat. Maybe. Things happen. I'm trying hard though.)
I didn't cry over losing love with Susanna. I cried because she didn't love me enough, early on. I could see how right we were for each other (at the time) and she was aloof. This was the reason I cried for Susanna. When I lost Jenny (New York) I cried so hard it felt like something broke inside of me. I was heaving and sobbing while sitting in my pickup truck with my brother trying to console me.
I have a female friend, her name is Dana ***** (if you want to facebook stalk to see what she looks like). She and I met while we both worked at **** ****, a doggy day care and boarding facility. She was not very talkative at first, but our friendship started on the day when her husband left her, without any warning. She needed to go out for a drink and talk and so I was there for her. We both talked about our relationships, and at this time the relationship between Susanna and I was definitely on a downhill slope. We both were able to look at ourselves and what we were both doing wrong, and we admitted a lot of our faults to each other. This is a really good way to have a platonic friend. I know how she is in a relationship, and she I, and for this reason neither of us is interested in the other in a romantic way. Even though we both left **** ****, we still talk usually at least once a week. We'll go out to a bar, or go to a movie, or eat dinner at her place and watch a movie and there's no question about whether one of us wants something more. It's pretty nice to have that kind of relationship with at least one girl.
So a few weeks ago, she took me out to a bar for my birthday, so she could buy me a couple beers. I started to tell her about you, and pen-palling, and how excited I was to get your next email and she said "Uh-oh".
"What do you mean uh-oh?"
I don't remember exactly what she said, but it was something to the effect of "You've got feelings for her if you're that excited about hearing from her."
I have thought about it. I have thought about where us talking like this will lead. I am very susceptible to falling in love with smart women who think that I am interesting and/or funny.
At the time when Dana raised that point to me, I said to her that I hope I don't have any feelings for you that way. I couldn't say for sure what my feelings were. I was trying not to think about it. I wanted to just let things keep going the way that they were, and have it never come up.
I have an empty heart. I can't love anybody right now. In all honesty, you are the person that I am closest to being able to love. The feeling is there, way down deep. I wish it weren't because then I wouldn't have to say it. I guess it has been there, for I don't know how long. When I wrote to you a little while back that I wanted to know something about Travis because I didn't know anything about him, it wasn't just that I didn't know anything about him, it was a need to have a person attached. If I allowed myself to think of just you, alone, then it would be easier for me to what I'm doing right now, blowing up a friendship because feelings got involved.
I really meant what I said at the beginning of this email. That I wasn't sure where it was going to go, because I've been thinking about this today. And if we hadn't already built up the level of trust we have now, then I wouldn't be writing this, wouldn't be sending this, and I would just bottle it up and pretend like everything's cool and laugh it off.
I don't want to love you. I don't want to throw away (like I feel I'm doing now) what it is that we have going with writing to each other. I hope that you know how much I enjoy writing to you and having you write back to me. I don't really feel like I have someone that I can confide in, someone that understands me; or if they don't understand what I'm talking about, then they are willing to hold off judgment and try to hear what it is I'm saying. That doesn't come along often. I have learned a lot about myself through writing to you. It makes such a difference to feel like someone is involved in how your life turns out, and not because they have to be; but simply because they think you're valuable. Your life means something to the world, in their eyes.
Maybe it could be unhealthy, spending my time with you when I could be doing something else, here, where I live. I have thought about that. When I sit down to write you an email, I do feel like I'm spending time with you. Maybe that's crazy. No, that's not crazy. I picture you sitting across from me, looking me in the eye and digesting the words. I make facial expressions and shrug my shoulders when I write, as if they add something to what I'm trying to get across.
So I just don't know. I just ruined how it was before. I have to be honest with myself before anything else. I really would like to keep this, I just don't know if we can. Because of me.
You are unattainable. You are happily married.
So, you will have to talk to Travis about this. Maybe we can't keep talking.
I hope you don't think that I have been thinking this all along, or for a while. I haven't. I sat down to write back to you tonight because I didn't want to leave you hanging in the breeze, bringing up that kind of conversation and not getting anything back and having to wonder. I'm not signed in to fb right now, and what I'm scared of, the reason I'm not signed in right now, is that you will have posted something really nice on my wall without any idea of what I'm writing, hoping that this isn't the email that I'm sending to you.
So I'm not logging in to fb after this. I'm going to send this to you and (I feel like such a huge asshole saying this right now) let you decide what you do with it. I wish I didn't have feelings for you. And after I'm done typing this, I'm going to go lay in bed and read, and think that I made a mistake, I don't really feel that way and I wish that I could take it back. And then if I was somehow able to magically delete it without you being the wiser, the very next time we talked I would feel the same way again and have to supress it or say it in an even more desperate way because I didn't say it when I first had the chance.
I'm glad that you brought it up.
I hate that it came up.
I don't hate that I feel the way I do, because it is absolutely life-affirming for me. There are people out there that are worth my mind and my time (if I can sound like a totally full of himself egotistic prick for just a sec). I don't actually feel like I'm some super intellect or some very special person who deserves ... everything that I ever wanted.
I don't know how to end this email. I don't want to end this email. I soon as I end it, that means that I have to send it. That really really terrifies me. It may mean that we don't talk anymore. That we can't be friends on fb. That I won't get another card, and that I won't get the chance to send you anything. I won't be checking my fb until after I get your next email, because ..... I don't know what's going to happen.
I went to trivia tonight, with Vig. I haven't really talked to him about pen-palling because that's just not the kind of thing that he and I talk about. We talk a lot about music, and cars, and guy stuff. I said to him something that I hope isn't true. I was thinking about how I felt and I said that I wasn't going to stay out late tonight because I had to write the most important email of my life. The only way that's true is if we don't talk after this. You and I aren't going to be together. You're with Travis and you have two beautiful children together and you may adopt another which I think is amazing. You love him and are so in love with him. I'm not in love with you as the end-all be-all person that's perfect and made for me. I think I could. But I don't, because of my heart and because I keep myself from getting hurt, especially since I have with experience with very long distance things (I'm tired of typing relationship) and how hard they are to actually make happen, unless someone wins the lottery. I don't know how you nag. Not to say you're a nagger, but everyone does in some way. I don't know how you argue. I don't know how you kiss. I don't know if you'd hold my hand whenever I wanted to, or if you'd want to do it all the time because that's how you are.
I've surpassed my own record for longest email. I'm going to be very sad as I go to bed tonight, because I feel like I've probably just closed a chapter on an absolutely great time in my life. It won't be the same after this. Innocence is lost.

Love always,