Believing In The Right Things

Dear Peter,

You were perfect. The golden-curled golden boy with promises grand and seemingly impossible. I followed your shadow, like the centuries old light chasing the star as it streaks across the sky, pure and trusting, if somewhat lacking. Fairy dust and moonlight, and oh the stories! The wind in your hair, the breeze cradling you as you flew, flew higher and further, flew to where I too once belonged.

You believed. With all your heart you believed; believed in me and believed in you and believed in what we could be one day; believed in all the castles and dragons we would conquer and all the glory and honor. And you flew. Higher and further.

Fairy dust floated down when you shook your hair, and there was always some in your ear—they could never scrub you hard enough to get it out completely; no amount of soap and bubbles would wash the magic out. The boys looked up to you—oh how they worshipped you; sweet, bumbling, poor little lost things wanting so much to be what you were…but Lost you called them and lost little boys they were. You didn’t see it; in all your perfection you didn’t see what they weren’t. Didn’t see how they were too young to know it and far too naive, too busy bustling about in the paradise you perfected for them. You were kind and funny—they loved you! We all did Pete. But once the moon peeked out, you flew.

I used to ride the wind with you, all it took was slight Tinkering now and then, and we’d soar above the clouds and dip down again to gaze down upon the city lights. The world laid at our feet and we were both so, so young! But you loved it too much—or thought of going back down with more hatred than should have had place in your tiny, happy heart—I saw it. I saw it the first time I took you along with me and heard you laugh, I saw it and should have stopped—that laugh wasn’t yours, it wasn’t, it was happy and carefree but it wasn’t yours; but before I knew it, I was chasing your shadow. But only because it was the only part of you not volitant in the darkness. Isn’t that funny? That while you glided in the star-strewn dark, your shadow pranced about in the candlelight and no matter how tightly you sewed it on, even that creature of darkness needed an escape from the hollow nights. You loved it too much. I should have put an end to it.

But all it takes is once. And so you flew. Higher and further. Until one day you found a piece of land; glowing with the haloed light of the stardust on its beach. You came back and told me you’d found home. You laughed and it was you again, and I thought you’d come back finally. That maybe you did really find home and realized it was right where we stood. After months and months of you flying into the night, I was finally seeing you and your lovely face with its lovely smile. You asked me for stories, like you once used to long before you flew out to make your own. We stayed up that night, and for once, I wasn’t worrying and you were home.

Fairy dust and moonlight and the next night you were off again. The boys followed you—they would’ve followed you to end of the world and walked right off the edge if you’d let them; but only you and Georgie returned and how he glowed! The boys weren’t coming back. You went every night and came back with stories of pirates and treasure hunts that you and the boys went on. You laughed and asked me to come along. I did. It was beautiful, the island. It was your paradise and the boys were happy. Morning came and I asked you to take me back. You told me you were staying.

Told me you were dying in that world and that you didn’t belong there anymore, were Never coming back—told me I didn’t belong there, not with all my stories and fairy dust. But I did and I came back and never flew again.

I never saw the boys after that one night at the island spent pestering the pirate. But every once in a while, if I stayed up long enough, I would see your shadow, opening and closing the drawers of our room, touching my muddy shoes and the soft sheets, dancing in the candlelight. If I stayed awake long enough, I would see your shadow home. And when you flew in to take that rebellious part of you back and softly crept up to my bed and peered at my face, I would shut my eyes tight. Pretend to not see you and turn around to fight the tear that threatened to fall every time you kissed me goodbye.

petes

Love

P.S  I’m sorry you never got to see what we would become, never got to see the dragons and adventures that came long after.

pete

Yours Truly,

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Teen-o-ritis Is A Real Thing Right?

This is not just the drama queen in me speaking. For once.

I’m a textbook case. Of what I have no idea, I just know that I am one. Sometimes when you walk there is a sudden pain in your foot—searing and quick, like the kind you might get from stepping on a pin or a pointy rock—but there isn’t any external or known internal wound to cause it. It’s just a phantom pain with no origin or story, there is just the consequence of going through eye-watering agony as you flex your foot this way and that, trying to work it out. I am a consequence of something. Of something terrible that left me devastated, ‘cept I don’t know what it is.

I mostly just pushed it aside for the past few months, thinking I was just going mental; slowly descending into the abyss of confusion and consequences—the biggest and most painful of all being me and all that I am. I have the trust issues of an abandoned kid, the cynicism of a divorcee, the random thoughts of a bitter, albeit silly, philosopher and the world views of a man whose world was ideal, yet I’m none of those. I’m a normal 16 yr old with a normal family and a normal life. I’m not a bitter person; I don’t expect the worse—really, I don’t. I don’t expect it. I’m optimistic about the things one ought to be optimistic of. I’m scared of things one oughtn’t to be afraid of.

So, I don’t make sense. I don’t understand myself sometimes. I don’t know how to say it, and I never know if I’m making any sense, I just don’t understand myself. I find myself thinking these thoughts that never crossed my mind about things I don’t even know of, and I have no idea who I am, or why I am. I’m a character who has all the personality traits, but no backstory to explain their existence.

People have reasons for being messed up—broken families, broken hearts and broken lives—I have everything bright and shiny. I don’t understand myself. I don’t know why I have trust issues—I like everyone, yes. And I never think about them distrustfully, I just never let them get too close. I’m this person they think I am, except I know that’s not the real me because if it was, then I would be simple and understandable and trusting. I’m not saying I put on a facade, no no, I don’t pretend or act like someone else. The person they know is me. But not, at the same time. I like them and I believe in the goodness of people and all that jazz. I just never get truly close. I feel gratified when something goes wrong, and pray that it doesn’t at the same time. I don’t make sense.

If only it were as easy as that...
If only it were as easy as that…

I’m a result of something. Something meaningful and rational–it’s what I hope for anyway. Because I don’t know me. And it’s not just the usual not knowing who you are as a teenager thing, it’s something else. Something is wrong and I don’t know how to fix it because I don’t know if it counts; I don’t know if any of it is real—really, if all this is just in my head, then that means nothing is wrong, right? But something is. I know it is. I think it is.

'I keep thinking I'm a Big Mac with fries...'
‘I keep thinking I’m a Big Mac with fries…’

I’m a textbook case. Of depression? Anxiety? Teen-o-ritis? No, not any of those. I don’t know what it is. I don’t make sense to myself, I live the life of someone else, think the thoughts of someone else, wish to be something else. I have no story. Nothing to lend me…personality. No hardships, no good luck, just a messy mediocre. I’m a consequence of something important; something that hasn’t happened yet, and perhaps never will.

I think too much.

Ne…Me…it’s all the same

There once lived a girl. Let’s call her…Ne. Ne was never one of those kids who found school a bore. She had good friends, teachers who always offered her a smile and was fairly good at her studies. School came easy to her. Studying she found fun because she hardly ever had to put in any serious effort. She had her whole future planned out. Life was good.

…Until it wasn’t. She lost all momentum and crashed suddenly and horribly.  Doubts consumed her and fears ruled her. She was so worried about the future that she never even noticed the deplorable state her now was in. Grades fell, motivation dwindled out, easy became impossible. She found herself frequently avoiding her friends and hiding out in empty classrooms.

Before entering high school people told her how hard school was going to become. How she should get serious now. How eating ice cream and reading Paulo Coelho the night before the exam was no longer going to be acceptable. How if she didn’t change her attitude—and change it fast—then she was headed for failure. She paid no heed the first few months. Was still the easy going girl who didn’t believe in the “But my child, how very naive…”s or the “Are you sure…?”s or the “It’s hard, you know. Its time you buckled up”s. Until suddenly, for some strange reason she did. She believed them. Believed she was headed for failure. And so got serious.

But there was something those people didn’t tell her. They didn’t mention the fact that they were idiots who were so blinded by their own fears and insecurities that they were incapable of seeing the light. Sure they thought they were doing Ne a favour…but were they really? Is it necessary to break people’s bubbles and bring them crashing down to earth? Why can’t we ever just acknowledge hope and courage without calling it stupid? In ‘Her First Ball’ by Katherine Mansfield, the exhilaration and joy that Leila feels is trampled all over by the words of the old man. The old man acts as the reality check, telling her how her first ball is simply the beginning of the end; that her first ball was only the prelude to her last. Leila is devastated, confused and angry at the old man. But as a new partner whisks her away, as she finds herself twirling to a new song, she forgets all about the old man and immerses herself in the now.

But our little girl Ne, simply couldn’t. She was devastated, confused and angry. And she stays that way.