When I was in sophomore year of high school, we were asked to write a book about our lives. A book narrating our birth, our stories. A book introducing ourselves to the world.
I remember pouring my soul into that autobiographical project. Being the shameless, self-confessed (oftentimes narcissistic) writer that I was, I wrote paragraphs after paragraphs, convinced to myself that I was writing something important. I saw my life sharply on a smooth, linear, uninterrupted path. I summoned my memories as effortlessly as breathing.
Ah yes, the good days.
My book received the attention it so demanded, before it eventually died a silent death and was buried in a pile of boxes that I would soon forget as soon as high school was over.
I keep thinking about that book lately, trying to remember the last time I saw it intact, trying to remember if I actually saved it or set it into flames during one of those fucked-up nights prior to moving out of the house and going to college.
I keep thinking that maybe, if I try to write a sequel for that book now, I probably wouldn’t even come close to finishing a sentence or two before everything in my life dissolves into a puddle of mud.
I keep trying to remember a certain point in my life and attempt to narrate to myself the important events that happened from that point forward. Like that wretched evening my parents drove me to my college dorm and left me forever, or the sunny morning of my first day in my first job. But all of my relentless efforts at recollection only disintegrate into mist the moment I attempt to remember things, and instead of memories, what I am left with is a blank canvas — a heavy, assertive blank canvas reinstating itself into my every word, every motion.
When I was younger, I was so certain that nobody could ever snatch away my memories, both good and bad. But here I am, not even halfway through this lifetime, and already forgetting a substantial portion of the decade.
Sometimes I remember things and think to myself if they ever really happened in real life, or if they ever only occurred in dreams, or less never occurred at all. There is always this dizzying distortion in my head, constantly blurring the lines between what I know and what I remember.
I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted. And god, how I prayed so hard to the Universe for me to have them. But when the Universe finally answered the call and gave me the things that I wished for, I was more than surprised to find myself escaping from it all, running and caterwauling as I scramble for the nearest exit door.
It took me such a long time to come to this brutal realization: that I am completely selfish and that I am madly in love with no one but myself. Everything that I thought I wanted was only a makeshift mechanism designed to sustain the brutal love affair that I have with my self and my delusional ideals. I built a wall around my heart, almost like a line of defense against the possible casualties of real love and real relationships. My high moral standards and my impossible expectations of other people only served the purpose of keeping me ten million steps away from everything. until I am no longer anything that is capable of feeling any form of love or sympathy, but only this formless phantom hacking into the mind of the 19 year-old me, stealing away her hard-earned memories.
If I were to write the next part of that book, it would probably come in a form of an apology, a series of letters to people I have abandoned because I
was am completely selfish, to people I have let down because I didn’t know any better than to be a stupid, selfish, life-sucking curse to people I meet in life. But most importantly, an apology to myself for never really knowing what to do with her. I’m sorry I fucking do not know what to do with you.
And I fucking do not know how to end this, except maybe by greeting everyone a Happy Halloween and happy last day of October. And by everyone, I mean no one.
Our specters — they walk alone, search alone, haunt alone.
Sometimes I count time. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I could ever do.