You’re floating away on a cloud of nostalgia so soft and snug, yet sharp and stinging. It’s like the perfect pillow that forms to your head and envelopes you in its comfort, but somehow you don’t notice that there are nettles inside. They prick you and you bleed, but you don’t want to leave the cushion of comfort and something more – that something your life is lacking now, something you once had but can never regain, can never even grasp, not even just once more for a brief moment. So you let yourself sting and bleed and you don’t cry out – no, the crying is on the inside. You let yourself drift and be carried away by the pleasantness of it all at the same time as you are pierced and pulled down, dragged across the earth through the rocks and dirt. Because while a part of you sinks, another part flies. It’s a strange and paradoxical state of mind, nostalgia.
While I will not say whether this is all true or made up, I do want to clarify that the *emotion* was not fabricated, for if it were, I certainly would not have been so cheesy and full of clichés. Thirteen “you”s are not necessarily thirteen *different* “you”s, but this deserved thirteen separate “confessions,” if not more.
Confessions to those I’ve loved and to those I didn’t quite.
1. Because we were a secret for so long, I had a really hard time being with you in public once we could actually be seen. To me, we only existed during the midnight walks, the phone calls that lasted until three in the morning, the rides to nowhere in your shitty old car, and the countless hours spent hidden in my covers.
2. Even though I have no intention of you and me ever being an us again, I sill get a bit of a thrill knowing I could have you if I wanted. I feel as if I have some sort of special claim on you or some permanent place in your heart, and even though it’s selfish, I like to remind myself of this every once in a while.
3. You made me do things I never thought I would do, be someone I never thought I would be, and what’s even worse is that I thoroughly enjoyed it and only experienced inklings of guilt. And because of that, if some day we could possibly be together, though the chance is slim, I would turn the opportunity down; I let you behave badly with me despite having her, but I would never be with someone whom I thought would do that to me.
4. I worshiped you once, was completely infatuated with you and the idea of getting your attention, but now I find you absolutely pathetic. At one time any interaction with you made me delightfully nervous, and when you placed your hand under my chin and pulled my face towards yours, I couldn’t imagine anything ever comparing. Now, just the idea of you and your distorted perception of your self-worth disgusts me. But I almost pity you, because you’ll surely end up alone since no one ever even comes close to being good enough for you.
5. The first time you kissed me was brilliant, to be sure, but the best moment for me was the long hug goodbye that night, when our bodies couldn’t have been pressed more closely together and my heartbeat was speeding out of control. I felt so emotionally connected to you, and I didn’t think that was possible for me. I still feel a little sad wondering how things would’ve been had they worked out and remembering how the contact simply ceased and everything dissolved with no real closure.
6. You were the first person for whom I ever went out on a limb, who fascinated me so completely in such a short amount of time that I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I had such high hopes; nothing had ever been so long-lasting but so rarely occurring until you, so I thought it might be real. But you disappointed me. You didn’t give me just enough to tease me and make me desire you all the more; you just didn’t give me enough, period.
7. I had fun with you and all my feelings were legitimate, but I never had any intentions of it turning into anything serious. You had a reputation, and I’m pretty sure you only had one goal. So I let you believe that, just maybe, you would get what you wanted in time and once things progressed. But you were never someone I could actually see myself with long-term. It’s okay that you were trying to use me; I was pretty much using you, too.
8. I am absolutely terrified by the idea that my feelings for you will never go away, but it also scares me to think that I could someday forget about you. I don’t know how or why I still care about you so deeply after all this time. I don’t know if I project my ideals onto you and my perception of you is really just a skewed version of reality. But it kills me that nothing has ever happened between us, nothing that truly counts by normal standards at least, and I want nothing more than for you to come home and show me that you still want me, too. I want us to finally have our moment.
9. You broke my heart so quickly simply in trying so hard not to hurt me. All your concerns and advice, all your baggage that you didn’t want to subject me to, just made you even more perfect and one hundred percent more desirable to me. Despite all the mixed signals and confusion, the envy and the wish that you wanted to be with me, too, what made me the saddest, what made me actually want to cry, was the thought of you going back to her and letting her treat you so poorly. You don’t deserve that at all, and she doesn’t deserve you.
10. On one hand, I desperately wish I could see you again, but on the other, I know we left things off on the perfect note, in the loveliest way, and I don’t want to risk souring what is so fantastically dreamlike and seems to be once-in-a-lifetime. You were stimulating and amusing, gentle yet pressing. You were the epitome of everything I’ve ever wanted in a guy and exactly how a guy should be, and you reminded me not to settle, to keep searching for someone who both deserves me and is deserved by me.
11. It was meaningless and half-remembered. No, it was even less than that; I only have glimpses of it in my memory, and I wish it would have never happened. It’s truly not your fault that I resent you as much as I do, that I feel needlessly and unreasonably angry whenever you’re around, that the slightest idiosyncrasies of yours make me sick. It wasn’t really anything you did that made my early feelings toward you completely flip. I’m sorry that I detest you now, for no real good reason; I’m just glad you’re completely unaware of it.
12. I never knew I had unresolved feelings for you until you moved on for good. Knowing that and seeing you two together made me miserable. Being around you guys was practically unbearable, but it would’ve been worse not being around you at all. So I suffered through it, even though all I wanted to do was sit alone and cry about it, cry over you. I’ve never had the need to be particularly convincing or persuasive before, but I really wish that, somehow, I would’ve been able to change your mind.
13. I still get touchy when your name comes up, and I feel flustered whenever I happen to see you somewhere. I think I still hate you sometimes, but other times, I think I might still like you. I sometimes miss you, as strange as that is. And I wish I could’ve been different, could’ve been better. You were the first person to make me trust, to make me feel comfortable with another, to make me open up. You were the closest I ever got to love.
Sitting on his grandfather’s lap
Bouncing on one of his knees
The boy took off his baseball cap
As the man gave him a squeeze
The child begged for a story
The grandfather surely complied
A tale of his younger glory
The days of choosing a bride
Too soon the boy broke in
Inquiring about a snack
The old man reached into a tin
Then closed it with a clack
He gave the boy a stick of gum
Beemans was the brand
The boy asked where he got it from
But was silenced by the wave of a hand
“Chew this, but listen here,”
The grandfather told the child
“Your grandmother – she was quite dear
Especially when she smiled.”
He went on to describe how they first met
A tear brimming in his eye
“Grandfather, your face is wet.
Why is it you cry?”
The man paused to choose with care
Words to describe his spouse
And answered with a sharp intake of air
“She was my Minnie Mouse.”