"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Jesse...Puzzles

The Eve of 3/21 - Puzzles

Dear Jesse -
I just listened to a message from you; you told me that you happened upon a diary of yours from your teenage years. “I was one fucked up kid,” you laughed. It’s rare that you use the F-Bomb, so I am assuming that reading your history really rattled your hidden skeletons. Ironically, I too perused some old journals of mine today, while packing up books in my apartment. The entries that I read were so disturbing. Not particularly in content, but the inconsistent thoughts, language and handwriting were indicative of my problems, not yet diagnosed by a psychiatrist, but medicated by me.

In reading your diary, did you find that history has repeated itself? Can you see a pattern in your behavior? Can you see a pattern in your fears; perhaps you see a pattern in how you prioritize things?

I found this entry from 10 years ago, when you and I were juniors in college, and I was dating Dave. Do you remember Dave? He was a fine art major at University of the Arts in Philadelphia? He was a talented guy, and I adored him ...but it bordered unhealthy. He was a temperamental artist himself, but my digression from bad to worse in our two year relationship, he couldn’t even deal with.

I became delusional; I remember. I would concoct bizarre scenarios in my head about Dave and his art school affairs, and they would become so real to me that when I would venture to Philadelphia on the weekend, I would obsess over my mental concoctions, and when I would arrive at the bus station, I would sometimes walk around the city for two hours before I would go to see him. It was the only way that I could calm my racing mind. Usually my smiling facade would fade eventually over the weekend, (appropriately after countless bong hits) and my deluded thoughts would manifest themselves as vicious anger, or tears, or jealousy.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to clean with a vengeance, then take an unusually long shower in an attempt to cleanse the bad thoughts. A third-person perspective of my behavior must of been laughable … either that or unnerving. One entry that I wrote eleven years ago says it all:

9/17/93 - 2:53 am
I wrote, “I’m so sad. I think that I make him sad. I don’t want to. I hate faking things. If our distance comes between us, I will die. How come love has to feel like a root canal? How come my car doesn’t run? Why were we split? I’m sick of crying – I just wish I had him right here. I just want to hold his head in my hands. I hate hurting; why can’t we be together all the time? Why am I so stubborn? Why am I so unattractive? I wish, so much to be curled up like a puzzle in front of a fan, with a cat sleeping at our feet. Please make it stop.”

I’ve blocked out a lot of those feelings, and I think that’s why that journal entry repeats itself for every relationship that I had for the past decade. I wonder if that is the case for most people. I thought that we are supposed to learn from our mistakes, right? I guess that it is contingent on whether or not we open ourselves up to suggestion. We have to be pliable in order to transcend our bouts with darkness; rigidity will only keep us floating in an anchored boat, with just a distant glimpse of the white, sandy beach. This is what I have learned.

Love, Ana

(Download Joanna Newsom... she is a remarkable... upper right...plays the harp)

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