Online dating has become a new way to stare at someone from across the bar, the room, the Mall, the way without actually speaking. We may appreciate the beauty but never to stop and say hello… You never know if the person staring back at you screams internally with all signals pointing ‘yes’. ‘Yes please speak to me, introduce yourself and be as awkward as you can be, so we may speak of this again when asked’.
It’s become a pointless matter of ‘likes’. Perhaps on my end it’s a matter of ‘likes’ without a message. A kind indicator that they are intrigued, interested but never a message. A simple way to let you know that they are curious though not that interested, so I take it upon myself to message first.
Thoughtful messages worded as questions to women that read but never reply. They are not interested for sure but as well hinting that I’m a terrible flirt. I’m too technical, too serious, too textbook and like a teacher asking you about something you’ve written but cannot explain. So I ask ‘why do you enjoy this subject, book or author?’ She most likely will not reply but if she does it’s along the lines of ‘oh I’ve mentioned something that I’ve forgotten’. Or sometimes ‘oh what are you talking about?’ And so the conversations end before they begin.
Though there are few others that’ll happily message back until each one die off as if we had never seemed intrigued. I’m puzzled here. I had asked one person a question instead of guessing and assuming common disinterest. So I had asked her ‘Why do you seem less inclined to talk with me?’
Her answer summarized as:
The way you asked the question. Why do you have to try so hard to ask or to say something. Like I can tell that you are intelligent but you don’t need to be that deep. And I come from a long day and the last thing I need to read is a message I have to break down to get what you want. When I do answer it’s not enough for you and sometimes I can’t respond really with what you’re giving me. So I thought to let the conservations die slowly.
I’ll be honest to say my feelings were hurt. I took to deleting every word or link to who I am as a person. I left my profile blank with only a single picture and my gender and relationship preference listed. I became more sadden that once I had deleted everything about myself and what I wanted the ‘likes’ increased exponentially within 10 minutes.
My feelings were hurt as this is a common criticism that has followed me from childhood. I’m speaking mere friendship seeking on the playground as I had no one but I couldn’t relate to the other children and they too couldn’t relate to me. As one girl came up to me and said ‘this is why no one likes you’ and throughout years ’til graduation day she never liked me. I’m confused; I didn’t understand what was the matter with me. And over time I realized by the questions I was asked from elementary school to high school that they assumed everything false.
I’ve never thought highly of myself in terms of intelligence and manner of speaking. I speak and write a certain way but I didn’t know it was so different from the way others speak and write until I was told and asked. I understand you just fine regardless of your vernacular or broken English I understand you; therefore no need on my end to mock you. I never actually thought anything more or less of you. How do I explain that when I meet a person my mind is free of judgement, entirely blank until you fill in my mind of who you are. I will speak to you as I speak to everyone-with clarity and without assumption. No I’m not trying hard to word my responses or questions as this manner of speaking is clear and concise to me.
But all others read and hear are riddles. As my mom asked my brother and I ‘why do y’all talk in riddles?’ An air of quiet as I sat to think what did she mean… I lookto my brother to see if he was just as confused. A blank expression upon his face. I don’t know but what I say to you seems direct. What I ask seems like an indication that a conversation is wanted. The simple fact that I’m speaking to you, sharing my experience and the like is a way to produce a response for a conversation to flow naturally. However to you and most people this is an oddity.
I’m a firm beleiver that I should be able to be myself as I relate to other people. But then I find that people like me best when I at least try to speak and behave as they do. A headache for sure as I have to actually think and try to be vague-in my mind over simplicity. To have short burst of phrases and one worded responses, or else to read a few sentences punctuated is equivalent to a boring chapter read in that one class yesterday. Then I think it sad to read that a few sentences is considered a chore by most people.
Well then if how I express myself is not to your liking then most kindly I’m not for you. I’m coming to accept that I’m not for most people.
As I go over previous relationships, as bitter memories as they are, they all told me the same. I deserve someone better or someone like myself. Someone more understanding and appreciative that this quirky woman would like to share the world and the night sky with her. So I am sadden, but I’ll wait.
Hair wavy and damp, brushed back away from her face. Her nose is running-decorated in glitter. Now her nose, finger and hair glimmers with colors of blue. “I’m fucked up” she says as her body waves and her thoughts come out aloud disconnected. She drops her phone for the second time beside her foot. She’s searching for something, perhaps a tissue, her lighter, no actually her phone. Again, for the third time she has forgotten something again. She looks down and around; raises her head. A smile lights up across her face-on to find something to drink, preferably water. In the kitchen now to stare at the stove then the fridge. Though she grabs a beer too-a decision to make of which to have first as she quenches both her habit and her thirst.
Lisa looks into her in blank observation. For a moment she studies the girl before her in her body movements mocking the conflicting options going over in her mind. The move for the night was to make plans for a chill night, a smoke session. But now the dealer is too incompetent as the girl explains. She tells Lisa that he deserves his shitty job at Nachos and Bar. Lisa chuckles slightly to hear the girl’s frustration. In Lisa’s mind now going over what is actually unfortunate.
An apology to Lisa is begged as the night extends to another hour without progress. “It’s alight, drink something.” Lisa beckons her to come closer. As she does, for a longing hug and a light kiss upon he lips. “It’s okay, do you need to sit?” Lisa pauses as she rubs the girl’s back. “You seem dizz.”
“Oh no I’m fine, thank you.” The girl smiles again.
Turning away from the embrace, the girl places her elbows onto the island countertop. Her head rest between her palms. “I’m sorry, just I took too many drugs and then I drank alcohol… and I don’t think that was a great idea now that I’m so fucked. I was looking for a good high and now I’m just.. I feel bad.” She raises her head from her palms to sniff, to wipe her nose again. “Do you mind?” Lisa tells her “no, you’re alright with me.”
The girl lays her head on Lisa’s shoulder; brushing back her damp hair now. She kisses her on top her head. “You’re alright with me.”
“Thank you”, the girl whispers. She breaks away from the embrace to search her dazzled, glittered pocket purse. A pack of Marblos in hand now as she searches the living room for her lighter. “I need to smoke. Do you want to come outside?”
Lisa makes a motion with her feet. Bridget sniffs her shoes, paws at her shoelaces. Only startled for a moment, Lisa shakes her shoe -turns to make her way to the balcony. The girl ahead of her, and now the dog picks up into a pace to follow outdoors.
The darkness is approaching midnight.
What source of light allowed is the latter above their heads, a low tone of yellow. A wind chime matching the movement of a warm breeze. The two sit, offering one another a story about their day. As one tells the other, one may have a sense that both here are not altogether right mentally. Something in their respective past has affected them emotionally. And what they do to themselves physically expresses all that is wrong with someone else now a distant, painful memory.
She claimed to have loved you. A simple statement covering all the mischaracterization and lies she wrote, to you, while in admiration. She claimed to love you for you. It was your smile that brightened her day. Your thoughts on the latest news, and all other topics concerning politics to religion. It was your beauty she grabbed, and mastered to then coerce your passions for her body and mind. All the physical and mental affirmation of love claimed to be faithful. ‘I love you’, Elia said straining to hold back. “And if anything happened to you I won’t be able to go further”. She only liked you when you were funny, not like this moping about. She only wanted to be around you because you’re different. And there is nothing more exhilarating than to add color to one’s life.
A young woman experiencing that new phase called love, yet she is already burnt out. What did Elia’s love mean to her in translation? “I love you because your mind is tormented and your life is not altogether”. PAUSE. “I love you because right now, you need to hear it”. A waste of breath. A waste of time and energy put forth to make the best of a toxic situation. Elia cares, but she’s heartless and self-centered. Lisa feels emotionally depleted, now. A love seeming to be the end of everything the future could promise in true love and affection. How to take her mind from Elia’s lies? She tried cursing her name. She tried a new love, yet that proved a pointless effort. Every new love a pointless effort.
Ear buds in, cell phone in hand, Lisa subdues the noise within her mind. Scrolling through her playlist to search for passionate anger and frustration about love. Searching for that song, and those lyrics about the troubles of love on a young heart. The song about that girl so trifling and dishonest about her character; deceptive about the cause of her love. She finds it, plays it. From the low taps of the drums to the shriek of the heartfelt singer she closes her eyes- Elia never loved me.
Elia lays with Dylan. Their love will be celebrated within a few months, so something right and special for him is being decided. Something right… Elia knows she will not find another guy like Dylan, as sweet and with patience so rare to find. He deserves someone better, certainly more attentive and sure of who she is and what exactly does she want. A woman that will treat him as the only person that matters most, adoringly and as a best friend. Elia has a best friend, the one isolate and always troubled and in need of comfort.
You love her dearly but not in the way that it is meant. You please her in every aspect, sexually too. Though in your complicated affair you cannot part from Dylan. To spare his feelings is never a contemplated thought as you love him. You cannot part from your friend as to do so would leave her so devastated, bouncing on and off her habit again. You’re not responsible but you feel obligated-to both. I mean Dylan is for your image, for your parents to accept you. For society to see that you too have conformed to what is right. All that fake exchange of pleasantries and then that dreaded presentation of a ring. What would you say if he asked? A sense of hesitation sits on your mind. To erase everything, shake your head, stand up and walk out. Making your way to the dining room you take your phone. Tell Lisa that you miss her.
After writing Hashtag ‘Talk To Someone’ the thought occurred to me that I should share this fact to two people. I told my mom and I told my only associate. I told my mom that I have a strong desire to just simply walk away. I told my associate that I rather not waste time on another person again, expecting them to be honest and truthful about their nature or character. My mom called me to tell me that, of course, I’m not alone. It’s a mental illness that runs throughout our family, from a grand mother that suffered from a more severe mental illness. Depression is a common illness in my family, something I know my mom to have. She told me that she too becomes depressed, to cry at night. I know the source of her problems, one that refuses to just leave on his own accord. A selfish and self-centered human being, just as the individuals I have encountered throughout my life so far. She told me that she too will cry, only to roll over and to fall asleep. To wake up and to pray that everything will be better. She told me of her distractions too, one that I have been aware of and concerned about as I age. The two parts of the conversation that…when my mom told me that she will cry sometimes, I found it difficult to imagine. You see, in my mind and through my observations growing up, I have never once seen my mom, or my dad cry. Though every time the topic of depression surfaces my mom will tell me that yes, they are human too and that they too express a common human physical response to emotions. I still find it difficult to imagine that my mom is just as vulnerable as I am. Even if I have witnessed her sad, I have never witnessed her to cry.
She told me that yes, as I grow older the more my nature will become challenged. She has always known and accepted that her two children are different from other children. She has had to explain and to defend to her own family members why and how her children are different. Per society standards, as young black people, my younger brother and I fail to be loud, eccentric, or to ‘live in the moment’. We are so different because we both value intellectualism, idealism, concept knowledge, abstract thinking, an inclination to reason and to challenge established norms. All that is considered odd because we are black; all that is considered disrespectful in some cases. An important point to make as this a cause for our experience in being bullied and harassed, as well for others to misinterpret who we are. The greater point here is that we are both quiet introverts, something strange to a group of people that only understand ‘voices are to be raised and heard’. This is my nature, to live in a world that is so loud and demanding for myself to speak up and state your position clearly for us all to hear. What else did my mom tell me? She told me that I am sensitive because I care. And she’s right. I have always been sensitive. I have always been the one to care a great deal about how others are in their nature.
When I care, I care to understand the purpose and point of it all. I am also inclined to apply logic to what is emotional. As I described within my article of confession, the source of my depressed state has always been other people. Not only the fact that people generally make me anxious and uncomfortable, as I am hyper-aware that they have the ability to judge. People, as individuals who are all typically self-centered, unkind, judgmental and rude. I grew up within an environment where the strongest individuals were those that are rude, seemingly uncaring of other’s emotions and careless with emotions. Though they reveal how truly vulnerable they are whenever they feel the need to take revenge on those that may mistake them as weak. That is to return hatred with hate. Or to not concern themselves with the disadvantages of others by forming an attitude whenever asked for a favor, because the thought of being ‘used’ matters more than a person truly in need. It is along the lines of this fact and those type of behaviors that caused me to be sensitive and to care a great deal into understanding them. To understand why such forms of behavior are expected to be justified.
I am to apply logic to what is emotional. If you do not love a person, yet you tell them so as an obligated response within a relationship, why do you do it? What compels you, a person with emotions, to lie to someone else with emotions as well? This may apply to your current partner, spouse, friend, or even child and parent. Why is it deemed an obligation to face another human being and to lie about how you may feel about that person? In this society, or as I’m referring to the United States poor cultural habits, we are to lie to a person in order to spare their feelings. We are to believe that initial honesty within relationships are to be forgotten and regarded as sensitive matter not worth the trouble to share and to tell. Though we are creatures with the urge to tell. Instead of initial honesty, some people may tell a person their true feelings in a more passive sense. Instead of telling the person ‘I do not love you’, the unloving individual will purposefully purchase an item different from what you asked for exactly. Instead of confessing one’s true feelings, the person may lash out in anger over something petty or insignificant. As there are many ways to tell a person that you love them without those exact words, there are many ways to do the opposite. For whatever reason the exact purpose or point of this behavior is not understood.
The question remains ‘why do you do it?’
The idea of trust is foreign. Actually, Pew Research Center has found that U.S. Americans are unable to trust their neighbors more so now than before. This fact is associated to different environments where poverty and [apparent] crime are heavily concentrated and specific. This fact too remains as our society becomes increasingly more diverse and that our economy becomes increasingly dire. On the subject of relationships, we find it difficult to trust another person. And whenever a person expresses a sense of distrust in others, not considering those that are in abusive situations, the attitude that surfaces proves to be damaging. The idea of a lack of trust in individuals initially is the fear that all others will prove to be damaging to the person. Then a vicious cycle has been created. One person refusing to trust may become agitated, rude and the like towards someone that may be honest with their emotions. Then the one honest by their emotions may then become distrustful of others, because of their experience with people that are agitated and rude. So on and so forth until a large population of people warn their children, or to give advice to someone that is troubled-that this is simply how people are.
Then there are those whose fears are confirmed as they are left abandoned in their personal issue to trust. In their minds it is then confirmed that people are not only untrustworthy, but they are just as uncaring as expected. A misunderstanding is then formed as every relationship is either sabotaged or put to a test.
The fear to be ‘used’ is a fear to be judged by others. It seems that within our culture we must display a hard surface that is not easily penetrated by others. This is to say, if we are ever to find ourselves in a situation that causes for the kindness of heart we are told to never let it bleed. If we are to allow the heart to bleed we may find ourselves stripped of our dignity; of our possessions, time, money and body. If we are to allow ourselves to be ‘used’ we may find ourselves weak and judged. The last association we should want to have to our name is that we are easy and vulnerable. And the last thought we wish to have is someone, either closely associated or a stranger, to judge us.
So in turn a person establish clear boundaries of what requests are okay. One may find a person reluctant to give another person in need a ride to work. The reason given that it is their responsibility to have their own transportation, so if I were to forget then oh well. They will know. Of course a favor that is offered is a favor given in kindness. However, this is deed is concerned by how others may interpret the action as being ‘too much’. And by ‘too much’ meaning too easy, too vulnerable, well then anyone can ask this person anything and they will give. The fear to be judged, as applies to this examples and others not mentioned here, trumps the act of kindness.
A Heart That is Gold
It is those subjects and others more personal that causes me to feel disheartened. It is those understandings I have formed that leaves me to be questionable and concerned about others. But my mom told me, too in this conversation-that I will certainly lose myself in them. She told me, encouraged me to find my happy. As she told me about her distractions from reality, or what keeps her going and anticipating for more, I was thinking of my happy. I had written in my confession that walking and writing are my happy. If one ever writes something sad or discouraging it always best to end with something that is hopeful or that it is a remedy. I am truthful in what allows me to escape though. I find my happy in those activities and in exercise. Obesity in the U.S. is another anticipated writing, as it was my personal experience as well. I never knew that exercise, taking a risk to lift something heavy would excite me so.
As I partake in all activities that are my happy, the conclusion then is that I should focus on myself. As my close associate told me, it’s alright to focus on yourself now. Then when you are ready to open up and to allow a person into your life again it will be worth it. If someone cannot accept who you are then it is their loss- to forget someone worth knowing about.
I’m not in the belief that my heart is so pure that I am without flaws too. I understand how my nature can be off-putting; seeming to cause conflict with others. This is true that I am sensitive about the greater sense of human behavior, but as far as individual troubles I seem more bothered by the request to listen and to answer. Well, especially since I assume the person is wanting for an answer to their troubles that is based on logic, rather than to simply listen and to agree. I disregard social cues. I may even belittle a person for simply being human without understanding what all I am saying or doing to that person. I am always willing to add self-criticism in addition to what I understand to be flaws in human behavior. I am human too, of course. And I am guilty of assuming one of those subjects of behaviors listed above. My inability to trust as I deny any chance to have close association with others or to form a relationship of any kind. My attitude then becomes of rudeness and being overcritical of how this too may fail. All because of my depression, pessimism and the like.
My mom told me to find my happy, but to also form happy thoughts. The concept here is that if I accept the negative thoughts that only deepens my depression, then to assume positive thoughts will increase my level of contentment. In that time I may attract the same within my environment and with others to be happy, as my close associate told me. In that case, to find what will work is the ability to find a balance.
Negative emotions seeps way down into the very pit of her stomach. Friendless and without a companion, she stirs the feeling of loneliness within her mind. When existing with an innate wanting for companionship, you feel the isolation of being without another person. When existing within a society that craves a companion for the sake of having one, for the sake of never ever being alone, it’ll torment your mind. Why? She longs for a connection of a likeminded person. She doesn’t believe in souls or soulmates, or anything else of the imagined spiritual world. She craves for someone real and likable for once. But not to crave a body, but of a person. A body is merely a vessel that carries the character that exist within our minds. Have you ever thought about that exactly? The essence of our existence, what makes us the person that we are, is entirely composed of neurons and tissue that exist as the brain. She wants more than ever to crave that person, and to have and to hold dear of that person for forever long. This is simply not possible. She exist among a popular frame of mind that being with someone, rather, is better than being alone. A culture shock as she flip through the books of ups and downs in relationships that cares more for a person’s body than the actual person. She is sick, now, as she too was used by past lovers to satisfy this insisting need to not be alone.
She is bitter. An emotion that cannot be denied as she questions the predators of her lonely sensitive heart. Do you understand her or do you simply want of what you see? Do you like her or do you like an idea of someone so insightful and inquisitive that you cannot wait to master the experience of someone like her? Like her to place on a pedestal, like her to use as someone to make up the time and space left and forgotten by a past lover-or so it seemed. You do not actually care for the person that she is, really. She is a place holder within the chapter of your life, as you navigate your wants and need in a person through trial and error. Her limbs trembling with…stress, perhaps anxiety of meeting someone like you. Like the ones that left her broken, sunken in self-pity and regret that she may never let go. She may never trust again.
To exist alone until someone takes her love seriously.