I haven’t written in over a month.
I sincerely apologize. There is no excuse. I have allowed myself to become overwhelmed by work, which in turn has certainly muted the passion and inspiration within. When I leave work, I mostly eat and then sleep. I have not been prioritizing as I should and as a result, I seem to be drowning in paperwork, in responsibilities, and other things that do nothing for my soul. I know I sound like a defeatist, but let me assure you that is not the case. I’m just in somewhat of a slump, but it’ll all turn around.
I’m crediting Gerard Way’s concert on Thursday, October 23rd as the reason for me to begin anticipating the end of my slump. Maybe it was the fact that Melanie and I both decided to wear loose, knit hats and flannel, or maybe it was how amazing Gerard Way was performing, and how he spoke to my very fears and hopes and dreams, or maybe it was just being in New York City, but something about that night changed me, I am sure of it.
WEEKLY WRITING PROMPT #18: “I … love you?”
“I … love you?” she croaked. She had never intended the statement to sound like a question, but she was caught terribly off guard by all of the wide, gawking eyes. She had never intended for this conversation to take place via a microphone in a crowded, dimly lit bar, and surrounded by unsuspecting and incredibly judgmental coworkers. Alcohol was a funny thing, she supposed. It really could make you do and say things you knew would be incredibly mortifying or wildly inappropriate. She didn’t think she had imbibed so much, and had assumed she had been perfectly capable of conducting a rational conversation with the man she had fallen desperately in love with.
It had been doomed from the start, and she would have realized that had she ever stopped to think about it, but she never did because it made her sad, and it made her feel stupid. She didn’t like not knowing things. For example, she’d punch herself in the face – repeatedly, and as hard as she could – if it meant she’d know with absolute certainty whether or not he wanted her in the same way that she wanted him. She would cause bodily harm to both anyone and everyone if it meant she’d find out if he had singled her out for a genuine purpose, or if he had only been lonely and she had been desperate and voila; a friendship had been born out of necessity, rather than authentic affection. On some level, she knew she was probably thinking too much, but the alcohol had cured that, and now it was apparent that she was not thinking at all.
For if she had been thinking, she would never have cajoled the microphone from the karaoke singer, with a smile as greased and manufactured as his hair. Certainly, she would not have cleared her throat to command the attention of the packed room, patrons turning in her direction, sweating drinks in hand. Their faces were patient, polite and interested; they were actually eager to hear her. It was a bold, empowering feeling and she rode that wave of energy like an idiot. Smiling big, like a beautiful, little fool, like an innocent idiot, she stood underneath the hot light, twirling in the dress that was much too fancy for the bar. She was inebriated enough to think she looked gorgeous, which was enough to help her believe that she was also suddenly inexhaustibly charming. She beamed and said, “Hello, hello everyone! If I could just have your attention for just a second, that’d be awesome.” Patiently, she waited until the crowd quieted and heads turned because she thought she could be something cinematic and perfectly romantic, that this drunken moment would be the beginning of everything good. Things like that don’t happen in real life to mousey girls who convince themselves in quiet desperation in a cold bed that they are special and that they’ve been saving themselves for someone truly remarkable. The alcohol had made her forget and so she kept right on talking. “I just wanted to say thank you for coming to the end of the year party, and I hope everyone’s having a great time!” Cheers and catcalls rose from the crowd and she smiled wider. “I would also like to say something to Noah.” She paused to accommodate for the crowd joining her in her search, craning necks this way and that, and turning to one another to audibly whisper and wonder why this stupid fool was looking for someone so strong and handsome and cool. “Noah, are you out there?” she called.
The crowd parted and there he was, Noah. He was embarrassed, never one for the spotlight, so as he walked forward, he kept his face lowered and eyes locked on his feet. She knew his eyes were light and bright, the way the water looks near the shore in the middle of the day, a translucent kind of blue that invites you to run and splash and ruin its tranquility as best you can, but she only knew that because she had stared at them for what seemed like hours on end. He was beautiful and brilliant and brooding and guarded, but he had let her in. That made her somebody. That made her special. She couldn’t lose that feeling no matter what, no matter the cost, the way a drug addict steals from her own mother’s purse to achieve the next fix. She was breathless, watching him walk towards her. He stole a glance as he neared her, his smile fading with uncertainty and it was the way his mouth thinned that made her realize she had been wrong.
This was all a mistake, a terrible mistake. One such as he could never condescend to grace one such as she with love and attention and affection. She had miscalculated, woefully so. And now here they were, in a crowd of friends and strangers alike, with everyone waiting for her to say something. She laughed nervously and croaked, “I…love you?”
Bursts of laughter came from the crowd, with their open mouths and merry faces all blending into one atrocity. Her eyes couldn’t – her eyes wouldn’t focus on the mass of apathetic people before her, but she couldn’t look at him. If she did, she would throw up and that was probably the only thing that could make everything worse. She dropped the microphone and took off, slamming against Noah’s shoulder but not mumbling an apology, only running and running until she get to a far enough corner where she could hail a cab in anonymity, tail between her legs.