Wednesday, August 10, 2011


You do not exist. And for that, I am sorry, but accepting.

It’s nobody’s fault. Regardless of what Disney movies will tell you, happiness isn’t just hanging around, waiting for you to tap it on the shoulder and make yourself known.

I’ve been on this planet for 30 years, and I’ve seen a couple of things. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot, because who is the judge of that? An astronaut has seen everything the human eye could ever gaze upon. A biologist has seen things that most of us will never see. An artist sees things that only exist in the imagination. Doctors and priests have seen miracles.

I’ve seen a couple of things.

I like to think of myself as observant. I used to think of myself as an impartial observer, but that’s never the case. It’s impossible. The more you observe the world around you, the more it changes you. And the more it changes you, the more it changes the way you observe things. Some people choose to only see good, some, only the bad. But I think that most of us fall in the middle: we want to believe in good, but the world makes it a full time job to try and prove us wrong.

I say all that because there’s one area in which I’ve always tried to be a wide-eyed, na├»ve believer: soul mates and the fact that there’s somebody out there for everybody. It’s an easy and satisfying thing to believe in. No matter what you look like, no matter how you act, what you believe in, how you smell, the amount of body hair, religious beliefs or Angry Birds score, there’s something out there who will always say “yes” when it comes to you.

Of course, the easy counter to that, which I’ve always used to temper my optimism, is that while it’s possible for that perfect person to be out there for you, statistically, your chances of meeting them are about as likely as…well, your chance of meeting your soul mate. And how often does that happen?

And now, we come to You. You are an ideal. A hope and a dream. You are what people strive and yearn for. And that makes You powerful. Very powerful. So much so in fact, that people refuse to give You up, or even the idea of You. So instead of just being happy with the concept of You, they pervert it, subjugate it. They try to take pure happiness and turn it into something they can control and own. They warp their own thoughts and desires. They’d rather think that You aren’t metaphorical. They want You to be real, to be there to comfort them after a hard day, take care of them when they’re sick, suck their toes when in a nasty mood. Basically all the stuff in wedding vows, (the toe-sucking is in the vows, right?)

But You can’t do any of that stuff, because regardless of all of Your power, You’re not tangible. And I think that deep in the minds and hearts of people, they may have an inkling about that. And they are not happy campers. If you rob hope from people, it makes them crazy. So, instead, they choose to see You in others. They’re willing to compromise in the name of love, and to convince themselves that they have met You. Time, age, experience, these are the teachers that weigh heavy on people, causing some of them to compromise, to settle.

I thought I met You 15 years ago. I blinded myself to any other truth. Much like those who choose to see the world through rose-colored glasses, I felt that I had made my choice. And even better: You chose me to be Your soul mate.

Too bad that’s not how it works.

Years of fighting. So much anger and revenge and drama and games. But mostly sadness and wasted emotions. Obviously, she couldn’t be You. If she were You, there would only be happiness and running through meadows, and my heart warming up enough to find puppies cute, instead of seeing them as soccer balls. So, I lied to myself. I convinced myself of something that I knew wasn’t true.

The worst part? I tried to see You as much as I could in her. I honestly did. Even past the point of everybody else giving up.

But that wasn’t enough. I started to see You in most of the women I dated. I took the concept of the “one” and I spread it across all the women I knew, the women I met and ones I just happened to see. I could see You in a smile, a stance, a smell, the eyes, hair, height, weight. I realized that I was trying to put You together like a puzzle from all the women I knew. Each woman I have ever dated, kissed or even longed for, held at least a piece of the truth that I sought from You.

But I know better now. I’m only 30 of course; I’m no sage, or even a wise man (I’m barely even an adult). But I’ve seen a couple of things in my life, and while I’m pretty sure You aren’t going to pop into my life any time soon, I’m happy that You’ve been able to convince my friends of happiness. Because, while I think You’re an evil trickster and imaginary, I also know that They need You to make the world turn.

So…keep up the good work, You. And take care of Them.


Anonymous said...

This is amazing, Joshua. My favorite blog yet.

ggbg said...

I once theorized that we're actually only in love with one person. The love we feel for them gets shifted on to others as time goes by. We fall in love, they fall out of love, we find someone else to distract us and some of the emotions we had for the previous person gets transferred to the new. The belief and the hope and the joy for/from the person who left is now for the new person. It will change over time, but essentially, it is the same core feeling for the first person.
So I guess every guy I've ever cared about and every emotion for another person is rooted in the crush I had when I was in kindergarten. Odd, because I know how that guy turned out and he is an ASSHOLE. Which actually may support this theory a bit. The first guy I fell for who, at age 5 probably wasn't a raging asshole, nonetheless turned out to be one. Which is every guy I've ever had feelings for. And oddly, most of them wind up being conservatives. I'm a glutton for punishment. Glad to know it started when I was 5.