Prep for the upcoming week, do all the things I have no time to do – or, more realistically yet, all the things I keep telling myself I have no time to do – during the week. Hide in my little cubicle of a room, where I feel safe, where I shut myself off from the rest of the world. Analyze and reminisce about past events; fantasize and daydream about impossible future events. Wash my clothes, dry my clothes, fold my clothes. Wash my hair, comb my hair, dry my hair. Drive around, put some gas, wash my car. Organize and throw away, read some books, make some lists. It’s the same things, but with a little sense of inner peace – just a little.
In the meantime, texts with my boyfriend. Think about how we’ve known each other for sixteen months, and have been officially dating for over ten months. I’m always thinking about things like this, doing some math, help pass the time. Wonder if he will ever propose, but knowing I wouldn’t care if he doesn’t. Knowing, with certain fear, that we’re okay just like this – seeing each other around twice a week, living separately, each of us busy with other things as well, not being too committed, too attached. Well, who am I kidding – emotionally, of course, I am very attached, since he’s the best I’ve ever had. And he keeps reminding me that every day, every time he texts me, exactly at 4 pm (give or take a few minutes), telling me to get home safely from work.
And I try to be the best he’s ever had, too. Not bring so many problems, not give him too many headaches – I’ve learned from my past mistakes. I sometimes wonder if I allow “too much” and then remind myself that I’m not perfect either. Get along with his friends (the male ones, of course), get along with his family. Be there when he needs me, allow him to be there when I need him. And plan, of course – for the future, for things to do, for ways to keep it exciting. Boredom, monotony and dullness scares me. It’s where everything goes to waste. Burn some candles, do some breathwork, stretch a little. Blow away all these thoughts – I’m not my thoughts, these fears aren’t real, everything will go to waste either way.
And then, a text that brings me back to right here and now.
“Have you heard of the shooting?”
My heart instantly sinks. Well, no, of course I haven’t heard of the shooting. It’s why I stay away as much as I can from social media and the news – I don’t know how to deal with the “real world”, with everything that happens. It’s why I burn my candles, read my books, daydream. I also wonder which shooting he’s referring to, because the weekend before that, we had been at the beach and I had heard noises very similar to shots going off, and when I asked him if he’d heard that and what it was, he had acted so nonchalantly. Everyone else acted with nonchalance, too, as if I was the only one who had heard that.
“No, I haven’t, stop, amor.”
Of course, by “stop” I mean “stop telling me these things, don’t talk to me about these things, stop reminding me of the real world.” We talked just a little bit about it, and then I ignored him, mainly because I had nothing else to say. Yet also, I didn’t want to keep talking, not about that at least. A while later, him asking me if I was okay. The truth: I had stayed in my bed all that time, thinking about all this stuff, trying to take a nap, trying to shut myself off from the world. So, no, realistically I wasn’t entirely okay. Yet I told him I was. Because, who knows – what can he do anyways, about all the things that aren’t under his control, about all the things that happen and affect me a little too much? So, I just pretend some things don’t really bother me, or at least not that much. Don’t want to bore him with my sensitivities, either.
Yet, a few days later I bring the subject back, because I had learned something about the shooting from social media, and I wanted to discuss it with him. Of course, I wasn’t “trying” to learn this – these things just pop up, they’re everywhere, one minute you’re seeing someone have fun at the beach, and 0.5 seconds later you’re reading about a mass shooting against black people.
It’s also getting kind of old. Same old problems, same old protests, same old complaints, same old hatred, and I just don’t know where I belong in all of this. Where do I belong? How do I play my part? What do I do? Trying to ignore this stuff only helps avoid my feelings, but nothing else. It helps no one else but me. Sometimes I wonder if it really does help me.
And then, praying I don’t hear about it at work. Because, well, there’s only so much you can do to try to avoid the news and avoid social media, but you can’t help the conversations that go on around you. You hear about it all – the politics, the wars, the suicides, the robberies, the shootings, and it’s a never-ending list of mishaps, a never-ending list of life just being life. “It is what it is.” Yes, but why can’t it ever be another way?
Prep for the upcoming week, do all the things I have no time to do during the week – wondering if I will ever find out how do I belong in the midst of this madness. Trying to convince myself not to take myself out from all this madness.