Friday, April 20, 2012

Eye for an I...do

It was one of those moments when the world around you stops. The air suddenly becomes thick, as though the particles of time are laboring to remain stagnant, giving you the sensation that if you turned your head in either direction it would be like spinning your finger through jello: the fragments of space would rip off in contorted chunks and re-stick haphazardly to neighboring fragments. I've seen it depicted in cinema as having a harsh light suddenly fall on the person experiencing the sensation, the remainder of the room fading out or even going black, and perhaps there is even a sharp focus and swift zoom on the person's face. It was one of those moments, and as it happened my heart was caught up in the camera close-up and jello-filled air and it drifted into my throat. I swallowed it down and ignored the moment.

Nothing had happened. There was no change in the consistency of the atmosphere; he didn't just look at me like that.

But he had.

The trouble with being a perceptive theatre/English major is that moments of anomaly do not go unnoticed. Each instant of my life is fodder for a character--whether one I stand proxy for on stage or one I create on the page. I had a phase in the fall in which I took detailed internal notes on every wound I received, on the off chance I would need to describe such a wound in a short story or novel someday. It is therefore impossible for me to ignore that when he looked at me the air was wrought with such a change. Nor can I shun the fact that it happened more than once.

But I am known, at least of myself, to be a hapless optimist when it comes to the realm of love and the opposite sex. I have learned from experience that the look may very well imply attraction, but there are many false motives that underlie it. Thus far, out of 5 such fellows who have heftily dished out such looks, I have only properly interpreted one and a half of them as actually romantically inclined. The half is because I'm not quite sure if he was really interested and just very shy about going for it, or if he was just the kind of guy that looks at all of his good friends that way. Therefore who am I to assume any different of this recent man?

Granted, the last to have given this look was in fact quite interested, but as he was more moody and touchy than a cat in a bathtub, I didn't eagerly dive into that relationship.

I was intending to be more vague with this but, alas... It is hard enough for me to look at him when he speaks without feeling my blood vessels are rearranging under the flesh of my face to spell visibly in cursive the words "I am utterly positive I love you. And I would be genuinely content to bear your children." Add in the factor that nine out of ten times he looks at me with that searing look that should only be accompanied with the overwhelming desire to run away with the person the look is given to, and you can see why I'm a complete wreck. How could I ever ignore how I feel when I'm constantly reminded in the way he looks at me?

I am determined not to let my optimistic self grab this notion and run with it, playing out ways he could corral me into a relationship.

Easier said than done. You try admiring a fellow in the fifth grade, see him randomly as a senior in high school, and now finding yourself with a severely logical excuse to see him for 2-4 hours a week at very close proximity and not be twitterpaited to some degree.

Just try.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Get to Where I'm Going

I have moments where I feel as though I want to take my soul and sever it from my body. Not in a suicidal manner, but in a desire to be free. A hope to fly. I often wonder why I can't simply shed whatever it is that holds me bolted to the ground. I stare out windows in moving vehicles and my mind reaches through the trees and clouds and finds a place where I am alone with nothing but myself, a place where I have achieved a fresh start--a fresh thought--and there is nothing limiting me from being.

I often think of Virginia. I roll the word in my mouth and as my tongue presses it against the roof of my mouth the juices leak out and seep like a narcotic into my system, and I feel. I'm taken to there, to Virginia, that same place my mind travels when the world outside my window isn't enough. It started with Jason Mraz. His story of uprooting and forsaking everything to shed the old and build the new with nothing but biology and telephone wires tying him home; to be in that place where he could Be. It inspired me. He went east and found it: California. It sucked him in, it called him back, it altered his life completely. Being, myself, already in the western portion of the continent, I began to feel that if I were to find what he found, if I were to ever let go and shed what blocks the light from my eyes, I would need my own California. I would need to go east.

So I named it Virginia.

But as the years have passed it has become all the more clear that I cling so desperately to Virginia not as a geographic ideal, but as a state of Being. It may well be that, should I ever truthfully set foot upon Colonial soil, that my expectations would only be half-met. It's not about the plantation houses or the cobbled walkways anymore. No, there are too many dreams hanging off the unlimited branches of the legionous trees. Virginia is where I will be once I shed the clutter that wraps around my ankles and binds me at my wrists and grips me, fettered, to the stonework of my own soul's dungeon.

But as fixed as I am on the idea that Virginia will render me emancipated, I am unable to pick the locks here beside these mountains. My entire self is convinced that to find this Utopia and to breathe the breath of liberation I must first forsake these surroundings. It is as though once I traveled such a distance as it would be to reach Virginia, it would be too hard to return for all the clutter and chains the strangled me back home. I would be free of it all.

Alone with myself.

I'm afraid to do it without the physical abandonment of this place. I am afraid to reach Virginia without reaching Virginia. Instead I look out windows and let the man who used his California to change my life carry me to where I stand outside the limits of Virginia, ounces from the entrance, seeing all I'll have when I get there, but unable to shake the shackles enough to take the step.