Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Should Have Loved You More

I recently confronted a boy I once knew, my best friend. I went to his house, armed with a letter in anticipation that he would refuse to speak to me. The entire context seemed so odd, this boy knew me better than I knew myself. He loved and encouraged me, then it all fell apart somehow. He eventually fell in love with a more worthy girl, then I fell in love with someone I wasn't meant to. I don't know how it happened, but I know that he will never forgive me for my purported mistreatment. I know he will never forgive me for refusing to commit to him romantically. I know he will never forgive me for falling in love with someone so similar to him. With that being said, I know that I must forgive myself if I ever wish to move on.

That night, he did agree to speak to me. It was so strange. For that half an hour, standing in the starlit courtyard of his apartment, I felt so totally overwhelmed. I couldn't believe he was looking me in the eye for the first time in ten months. Every few moments, I kept on exclaiming how different it was, how strange it felt. It was a different person standing before me, this wasn't my best friend. His body had changed, his posture was different. I don't know what the hell happened to his speech patterns but suddenly he had a lisp. He said that he never thought of me, that I was simply a blank to him. I just didn't exist. I said I admired him for being so strong-willed, for I could never forget the past so easily.

I write all this here because I have been thinking of the evolution of identity. Can you ever truly let go of the person you were? Do the matters that once touched you in the past suddenly bear no meaning once you adopt a new identity? What happens if that new identity is so thoroughly exciting and convincing, so brimming with musical and emotional success? It reminds me of the last words of a lost musician I once knew:

"That person up on that stage isn't me. In some ways it never was. The projection that you might have about that personality is not in the member of the band you see up there. He's just a puppet. I've long since stopped inhabiting him. I don't belong in there and I never did really."

There will never be a satisfying conclusion to all this, I will never find the answers for which I seek. But I know that I desire that which seems to be impossible for my mood and temperament. I want to change myself as he has, to make myself an identity that is so thoroughly exciting and convincing, so brimming with musical and emotional success. I want to make it so exciting and convincing that nobody will ever care to remember what I was like. How wretched and depressed I once was. I want to be the intimidating one, fearless and without any past.

I want to forget you.

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