08 July 2018


A cover of I Will Survive is playing on Jesse's laptop. We are in the lounge on our floor of the dorm. I came here to do math homework away from the distractions in my room.

It's my freshman year of college. I'm distraught. I can't remember whether there's a precipitating incident on the day this story takes place—I can think of several possibilities, but don't feel sure about any particular one—or if my feelings on that day were just part of the general malaise. Let's just say I have a protracted and unproductive crush on Jesse's roommate, and have failed to act on it. This is further complicated by my own roommate having similar feelings, but acting on them. The greatest complication, however, is that outside of one month where we hung out often, the object of this crush does not appear to like me very much at all.

The song is comforting. The song is melancholy. I remember sitting in the setting sunlight thinking that this would be an end. Life would change. It would be sad to think about, but the only way was forward. Did Jesse know any of this?

But it turns out, it wasn't a turning point at all.

26 June 2018

To Show One's Hand

"I know this is going to sound weird, but I want it to be my fault. Well, not exactly, but I want there to be some sort of fault component. I guess not even fault exactly. But like some sort of arrived-upon mutual conclusion that there was some sort of interpersonal incompatibility and that meant it could never work. It wouldn't even have to be mutual! It could have been as simple as 'you do this, and I don't like that.'"

"It's like a job interview. They have some reason why they didn't hire you, but they'll never tell you what it is."

"But I do know why!" The tone of this interjection is one of surprise, mixed with a bit of frustration. The response touches on the wrong point. The initial explanation was a meandering one, sure, but it seemed awfully clear where it landed. Maybe it wasn't, or was that an insinuation? "I do have an explanation, and I respect and believe it. It just frustrates me. It's just an explanation that I myself, or some facet of who I am, play no role in. It makes me feel like the world around me behaves in random ways that I have nothing to do with. But that doesn't mean that truth is being withheld. I don't think that would happen; there's no reason for it. It's just a shitty situation. I mean, do you think there's more to this?"

"I don't think you can know."