Maybe it’s not entirely obvious. I had sort of thought that by now it would be, but maybe I haven’t spelled it out for you. So here it is. All spelled out.
I don’t have a lot of good things in my life.
I haven’t for years. And for a long time I stopped caring, stopped noticing. Good things are only good things in relation to other not-so-good things. We judge the good in contrast to the bad, and the bad in contrast to the good. And when you go long enough without any good things coming along, you sort of forget that you haven’t seen any good things in awhile. When you spend all your time stuck in ugliness and negativity, you forget what it feels like to be happy, what it feels like to be optimistic, what it feels like to believe, if only for a second, that tomorrow isn’t going to just be another total bag of shit.
And in a way, it’s good that you forget all that. Because it’s the only way that a life like mine could ever be bearable. If I had to spend all of my time thinking about how much I’d lost, how much pain I’d been through, if I found myself constantly reminded how much happier, how much more fulfilled, how many more reasons to be alive the people around me had, I’d probably go insane.
Maybe I have.
Maybe I have and I don’t know it. Maybe I have and I’ll never know it.
Something must have kept me going, in spite of everything else. Something must have kept me going, even as I wanted to throw in the towel, give up on the world, spit in the face of God. Something must have kept me going.
I can’t think of what that something could have been.
At least, until now I couldn’t.
Now I can tell myself, I kept going for this moment. Now I can tell myself, I kept going for Summer, because if I hadn’t kept going, then I never would have met her, never would have had her slip into my life, never would have felt the warmth in my heart that I had thought would never come again. Now I can tell myself that the reason I kept myself alive was because, on some level, I knew that eventually I’d be glad to be alive again. That I knew that something was going to happen, something inspiring, something beautiful, something that would fill me with light and joy.
But seriously, fuck off, I didn’t know a thing.
Love makes you dizzy. Love makes you giddy. Love makes you lose your judgment and your common sense. I was watching as all these things slipped through my fingers, and all the while, love made sure I didn’t care.
Fine, I thought. I’ll be dizzy and giddy and stupid. I’ll be all of those things, and I’ll be glad to be, just give me something real. Give me something I can care about. Give me something worth staying awake for, worth staying alive for.
Because it’s been so goddamn long since I had anything that made either of those things worthwhile. It’s been so goddamn long since I had anything good in my life.
And I know it’s a risk – a massive goddamn risk – to put so much importance on one person. To give the keys to my salvation to Summer. I know that sometimes giving yourself a reason to hope can be the worst thing the world. Because as long as you stay at the bottom, you can’t get any lower. You surround yourself in what you know, and what you know is awful and ugly and meaningless, but at least you know it. You’re never going to be surprised by it. But sometimes, when you see the light that hope can give you, I don’t think it’s possible to do anything except follow it. Even knowing better, you follow it, looking for a way out of the darkness, looking for a way into something, anything else. Looking for a way to find meaning again. Looking for a way to feel alive again. Looking for a way to justify the fact that you’re still walking on this earth, still breathing in the air, still taking up space.
Sometimes you can’t help it, even if you know better.
Hope will come at the strangest times. And when it does, it doesn’t matter how low you are. You’ll grab it. You’ll hang on to it. You’ll cling to it like your life depends on it. Because, you know, sometimes it does.
So, yeah, I dropped about a page on the novel tonight. Not significant in any way, shape, or form, but there it is, up above, printed for all to see.
90% of it is...well, I'm not gonna say shit, because I haven't really gone back and looked at it, so maybe it's not. It sure feels a lot like a rambling, misdirected sort of thing, though.
Having said that, I like the last paragraph. And that's...uh, yeah, pretty much it.
Here's hoping I can get off my ass over the Christmas holidays and actually get a bit of writing done. It's killing me to watch this book drift out of my hands.