If ever any friend of mine has ever felt I talked over them, ignored them, told too many stories that weren’t true about them, grabbed at them too much for their attention, made them feel second best, or that I shoved them aside because I had something else going on that was more “me-centered” and it hurt their feelings, please know that it was never my intention to make you feel disregarded, or disrespected.
I’m too excited when you’re near me, I don’t know when next you’ll go, so I’m anxious to tell you everything I’m thinking because I so easily forget it, sometimes way before you leave. I can’t let you leave before I get the chance to share with you all the wonderful things I’ve been saving up while you were gone.
I forget that you are just as excited to share as well. I don’t know how to listen to you. My thoughts are racing. I’m sorry.
I’m alone too much. I know no other life. The world all around me is too wonderful and too much. Everything spins me around. I’m turned on all the time. Even my own voice is on volume 10. I can look at your face and not hear a word you’re saying because I’m distracted by the scent of your skin, the bands of light in your eyes, and, look over there! A squirrel just darted up the tree behind you, but I can’t say anything about it because the scent of peonies is riding the wind, and when I blink I can’t understand anything for that moment you were talking.
I don’t dare ask you to repeat what you said. It’s embarrassing to admit I blanked you out. You’re going to hate me for doing that. You don’t deserve to be blanked out.
I can’t tell just any tale about you. When I talk about you, I will make you fantastic. I will worship you a hero. I will breathe into you the poison of a monster if I’m angry with you. You’ll always be poetry to me. I won’t name you. You’ll always have many different names. I’ll dress you up in costumes. I do this to avoid reality. I suppose it’s unhealthy at times, yet it’s too fun to quit. Try to guess who you are. You’re all my friends.
You are fantastic. Let me like you. I know who you really are off the page. But let me dress you up some more. Because I don’t get to play as often anymore.
I don’t know how to get your attention. I don’t know how other people do it. I always think I need a gimmick. I have to perform. That’s what I do whenever I’m in public. Me alone is not enough. And I can’t let the space between us be silent. If you’re too quiet, I panic. I don’t have your attention. You’re not responding. I have always had to fight for attention. I go over looked if I’m not dramatic. I gotta stand out and shine. I must entertain you.
I don’t know how to show or return affection. I really don’t! I have never understood it. Giving hugs and shaking hands is uncomfortable. I never know when someone is sincere when they are touching me. People touch each other for all kinds of insincere reasons, but when I touch, I am for real, and I pick up all sorts of unsavory feelings from strangers. No one gets that. They don’t operate like I do. Do you know me? Or do I have to touch you in some special way, and if I do, will I find out if you really like me, or not?
When I reach out, it’s an awkward dance — was that a real hug of comfort or when you were saying hello, you were really telling me good-bye, right? Like when some people say ‘Let’s do lunch sometime!’ and ‘We ought to meet up…’ and not really mean it, yet I always take it literally and believe it, especially the ones I really want to like me.
I’m alone. It’s the only way I know to be. Only way I’m confident to be. But even I can reject myself… I should not do that. We all only have ourselves in the end. No one else gonna take care of you, who else will love you most?
Do you know I always have to give myself something to look forward to in order to keep going? I’m so busy pushing myself and patting my own back that I forget to see you giving me support. I get caught up in my sorrows, hurts, and past complaints, I can get lost within my own shadow.
And I am always somewhere supporting my wounds, not doing enough to support my healers.
Healers need healing the most. Because they do the most work.
I take a lot out of my healers.
I’m difficult without wanting to be. I wish I wasn’t.
I don’t know how to listen. I can’t listen to you. I’m in a cloud.
Every night I torture myself with thoughts of what I could have said, or should have done, and talk to myself like I would talk to you if I could talk to you one more time before I sleep, as if you are there in the room with me, so I can make things right with you. And every night I cry because I pray so hard that somehow my wishful words could reach you and bring my love to you so that you never again feel like I don’t like you.
Don’t get caught in your own shadow. Remember, somehow, remember, despite what you think you swear you may know about me, I’m in my dark corner of the night unable to sleep, saying out loud my “if only you were here’s” and “what I would do different’s” but knowing that when you break away…
When you say it’s “for now”, it really means “forever”, and I lose track of everything with you not in it. So continue to be in my everything, because you mean so very much.
Without you I would not have been able to crawl out of the pain hole I fell into when my baby boy died, when my mother died, when my aunt died, when my roommate died, when my boyfriend died, when so many others died, and, when I died you revived me, took me to the hospital, held my hand until I woke. Thank you for being there when no one could be and refused to be. You were there when my heart got broke a hundred times. You stayed up with me all night to talk about all the boys who used me. You were the God who carried me home. You were the Goddess who tucked me into bed. Yours were the lips that kissed me on my forehead and bade me many wishes well.
Thank you, a million times, thank you.
— For Mindy