I Don’t Even Know the Question

What can I say about finals week… Sleep deprivation, I guess. Lots of anxiety. I might have heartburn? Who knows. But I’m ready to get the hell out, even if it’s only for 12 days.

So I’ve had this interesting dilemma. As you know, I like to write, and I’ve always hated reading and writing love stories that are entirely based around a relationship rather than some other major plot points (Nicholas Sparks doesn’t count as plot points, I’m sorry, he bugs me). In all, or at least most, of those love stories, you know who the person will or should end up with, if it works out yay if it doesn’t what a tragedy. Real life isn’t like that. There isn’t this be-all-end-all person that you know you should be with. Some people might like or dislike some of your romantic choices.

As someone who enjoys reflecting on her romantic choices, I had an idea. What if I wrote a book that had a realistic amount of love interests, something that took place over several years, and they all had their strengths and flaws, like regular human beings? I bet you different audiences would have different feelings about who the main character should end up with, and sometimes it’s powerful not pleasing everybody. Like I said, it’s realistic.

However, my dilemma. I have based my story, my characters almost entirely on my life story. Part of me wanted this, in a sadistic yet cathartic way. I enjoy romanticizing my relationships; it makes them more fun to miss. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how hard it might be to go through all of these old emotions.

It’s important to me as a writer to accurately describe when someone is devastated by a loss, to embody just how empty she may feel. Of course, as I draw from personal experiences, I draw from personal emotions, and I didn’t understand how hard that would be. It’s literally just feeling sorry for myself again, something I don’t enjoy doing very often. I think the book has turned more into a letter to my exes, which could be very dangerous.

I’m barely halfway through my first boyfriend, and I’ve had to hold back tears, something I never thought I would have to experience with him again. But I suppose that when you are truly attached to someone, when you genuinely loved them, those feelings are going to come back no matter what. Not in a meaningfully romantic way, just as a reminiscent nod to the past.

It also doesn’t help to write these emotional moments to this song, but I suppose both are rather beautiful experiences.

I’ll let you know whether or not the book is worth publishing. Perhaps it’ll just become a memoir. All I know is it feels good to write again, especially when it means reflecting on your past choices. Sometimes you catch something you missed the first time.

Love

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Gale of Regret

I’m one of the last few people at the bar again, my head slack in one hand, the other gripping my whiskey. I’m so tired. I can feel the weight behind my eyes, heavy on my face. If only I had just gone home sooner.

I had never wanted to stay home. I ran as soon as I got the chance. And now I’m sprinting back, as if that will make up for my early departure.

I remember the days we yelled at each other. We weren’t a broken pair. I was young and he was harsh. He pushed me because he loved me. But I didn’t want his motivation. It wasn’t mine, it was his. And so I fled. I left him. I left them. It was enough to make me run away. I couldn’t stay there anymore, in that beat up, broken down old house. I had seen enough sunrises, wasted enough cloudy days in the fields. I needed to be somewhere new, somewhere they couldn’t find me. Somewhere they couldn’t force their motivation on me. I needed to find myself, my own motivation. And when I stopped running, I met the love of my life, even though she doesn’t know it.

I remember hearing the news on the TV, and it barely crossed my mind, what it could mean for me. For him. Until I got the call. My beautiful, strong mother. Alone.

My strong-willed father. Gone. Off to war. He’d already done his time.

I should have been there. I couldn’t even take his place. I can’t tell him what I have accomplished without him. Not without him, just without his pushing. He was always in mind. He became my motivation. The driving force behind what I thought I needed to do for myself.

And now he’s gone.

I loosen my fingers from the glass, slide off the stool. And I go. I keep running. Except this time, I’m coming home.

 

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Gale Song.

Side note: It’s been so nice to get back into any sort of writing that isn’t academic. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to write, to tell the unwritten story of someone sitting inside my head.

I have grown a new appreciation for The Lumineers because so many of their songs inspire me to write scenes that appear in my head because of their ballads. Truly inspiring. Even if it’s nothing special or dripping with talent, I feel like I am liberating someone that has been pressing on my mind, desperate to get out. To be heard. To be understood. It feels good.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

Autumn Rain

The sky is gray again. Maybe I could sleep all day. You’d think my hollow chest would allow me to float – somehow it’s drowning me in my own bedsheets. You’re with me wherever I go. On the leaves that trickle down on the wind. The click of heels on concrete, your red high heels you used to wear when you wanted to dress up and pretend we were rich. I can still feel you on my skin. Your warm cheek on my chest. Your bare stomach under my own. I curl into the blankets a little tighter, knowing I can’t let myself think of you anymore. But I’ve been trying to forget for months. Cigarette smoke drifts in through the window, and I feel my chest caving. I glance out the window at the waving red trees. The colors of fall inspired you. People walk by, their clothes drawn tight to them. There must be a storm coming. But a storm is already here.

Fiction inspired by The Lumineers’ Slow It Down.