Hiding Sick

"Responsibility means you don't run away when someone asks, 'Who did that?'"
-Aunt May of Amazing Spider-Man

Whenever I'm along with my thoughts, like in my car or in the shower or even just sitting look up at the stars, I think of some of the stupid things I have done in my past and I curse at myself.
Fuck! Why did you do that? You're stupid.
And well, a certain something has been eating away at me for a while now. Something I wish I thought before I said. Now we all have those times, when our tongue moves faster than our heads. Me? I do it almost everyday. I can think of about three times it happened tonight. Sometimes I thought it just thought it made me genuinely honest. But most of the time it just makes me genuinely stupid. So what's this one stupid thing that's got me beating myself up every night?

About two months ago someone I really cared about (maybe still do) got blindsided by something horrible. She lost her brother in a motorcycle accident. After gathering up the courage to do something, I wrote to her. A short e-mail with the subject line: "Whenever You Wanna Read This" While writing that e-mail, I thought about all the people I had lost in my life, almost in tragic succession. My grandfather died in high school. My uncle died during the start of my freshmen year in college. My cousin disappeared at the beginning of sophomore year, and his mom (my aunt) died on the week of Christmas. My grandma died during Thanksgiving break in my junior year. And my friend died the summer after my senior year, before I could show her I crossed.
Every year in college, something bad appened. With that in my mind, I felt I had my share of tragedy in my life and I thought I had something to offer her. I don't know what exactly, but something.
In that e-mail, I had the wreckless audacity to say: "I know what you're going through."

Looking back, I didn't know what she was going through. And I still don't know.
Maybe I was too sure of myself living through the bad and coming out good.
Maybe I was too sure of myself at all.
In the end, I was wrong, and I had no right to even think I knew what she was going through.
Sure I lost all those people in my life, but none of them were a brother.

Everytime I hear about meeting up with her, or even the possibility, I get this major panic attack.
I'm lost for words, and part of me wants to run the hell out of there and into the other direction.
Pretty cowardly, huh? But after realizing the stupid things you said, you just want to run away and hide.
Hide from the shame. Hide from the guilt. Hide from the repercussions of what you said. Hide from the reminders of how stupid you were. Hide from the responsibility of your actions.

And hiding is a safe place to be. It's so easy too. You don't have to think about the negative "what if"s that bombard your brain and making you second guess yourself. And I hate second guessing myself. It makes me feel so weak. I mean if you're unsure of yourself, then how can you be sure of anything else.
Running away is just so easy.

But just because it's easy doesn't make it right. And I know the right thing to do. I gotta own up to what I did and fix it. And if I can't, it's alright, as long as I own up to it. Because it was me behind every stupid thing in my past. And if I hate second guessing myself so much, I can start fixing it by owning up to the actions and words to the people I am responsible to in my life.

I am responsible for everything I said and did in my life. And responsibility means not running away when someone asks "Who did that?"

Scars and Bandages

After another night on the town, I even got a little time to myself at a local bookstore.
After getting back home and winding down a bit, I decided to call up a friend. This friend just broke up with her boyfriend, thinking about how she can't say "I love you" anymore to him. I don't need to hear words to know she loves him, I can hear it in the way she cries on the other line.
Now these two are both very good friends of mine; they both carry some of my own secrets. He seems to be adjusting well; keyword: seems. Her, she's torn up. After hearing her out on the phone, crying while she was talking to me, I couldn't help but feel for her.

Relationships are a funny thing. Me? I haven't been in a real relationship for as long as I can remember. But tonight, I really want this to work out for her.
Whenever I call the guy, he's as regular as rain in Spain (is there really that much rain in Spain?)
But whenever I call the girl, she's torn up. She really loves this guy. I can just feel it...
Now I never really believed in luck, but this guy is so lucky to have her; someone that misses the crap outta him. I think he misses her too, but he's jsut to proud to miss her back. Even though technically there aren't with each other write now, their thoughts are there. And I'm thinking "Wow, I want that."

Senior year of high school, I thought I found that exact thing. Two weeks and and there was a fall-out. No better word for it. It was like a nuclear bomb dropped between me and here, shattering what expectations we had in eachother and slowly killing off what hope was left. I saw her on September 11th. She was across the room in 5th period: Romance Philology (and no that isn't a typo) crying. And something deep inside me was telling me to go over there. I never did. We talked later in the year and grew close, eventually ending up on the same page. We liked each other. And I was ecstatic to have someone think of me, to believe in me so much. After the bomb dropped on us, I was devastated. She saw me differently. I saw myself differently.
And the girl who once see me as a hero saw me as a menace. That was my first love story.
I opened up my heart only to get myself ripped apart from the inside out.
What a scar, right?

Now I'm 6 years older. 6 years stronger. 6 years wiser.
Would I go back in time and change it. Maybe I would go back to that day in September and get my behind up and go to her... and just say goodbye after that. I can't do that, but a guy can just think of the what if's.
Life throws you a lot of pitches. Some are slow and straight. Some are crazy curve balls.
But sooner or later, you're gonna have to take a chance and just swing.
Just swing!

Unfinished Business

So, here I am back in New York.

Well, actually I've been back for a week now. I just haven't written anything because, well - there really hasn't been anything to write about. Nothing really big.

Nothing really exciting going on lately. I guess that's fine. It's nice to have quiet nights around town. But it really leaves me hungry for some action.

Being back in New York made me remember all the things I got going for me right now. My brother. My friends. My future. My life is New York. Sure California was fun and all, and it's always good to have a change of pace. But I guess I feel like Dorothy, minus the red hair, ruby slippers, blue plaid dress and the ovaries.
There's no place like home.

EMT training is going well. Being away for a weekend did set me back and now I have to make up loads of work including child and infant CPR. I began comparing studying out here and studying in college. In college, you have the repercussion that if you don't know your stuff, you'll get a bad GPA and a hurt pride. Here, if you don't know your stuff, you could lose a life. Lives depend on my knowledge and experience. Wow...
Lives depend on me.

Man I love this stuff. Anyways, my little brother is away at college right now. We talked a little bit tonight about his faith. He wonders if his faith was his own authentic decision or maybe he was just going with the family flow. I told him this is one thing he is going to have to find out on his own. After all, things like a relationship (especially a relationship with God) can only be understood by two people: you and them. People on the outside can't really know what you two have got going for yourselves. Only you to do.

Two friends of mine have broken up. A guy who is like another me; we even share the same birthday! And a girl who I admit, I've always been awkwardly attracted to inside and out, but has become a friend who gets me. The guy is a lot like me, sometimes finding himself alone with his thoughts and ambitions. The girl shares with me this sense of responsibility; a resonsibility outside of herself for the people around her. It's sad to see this happen. And being a friend of both, I want to see them both happy. But what can I do, right? This is between them two. All I feel I can do is hear them both out and be there for both of them. This is between them...

My best friend is even doing pretty well with his romantic life. He's getting to know this girl. So far he likes this girl. She's driven, smart, and has got her head on straight. And I'm happy for him, but at the same time I'm a little jealous I guess. I mean seriously, when's it my turn?

I know, it's kind of pathetic and even a little emo for a guy to be thinking about a girl. But there's not even a name or a face to go with the girl I have in mind. God, am I becoming desperate? Wow, I hope not. I guess I'm just looking for someone. Someone to inspire me. Someone to cheer for me. Someone to fight for. Someone to die for. Someone to tear a hole in this endless night. Someone like... like... I don't know who. People tell me, "Don't worry about it. Just wait around and she'll come around. Don't look so hard." I fucking hate hearing those lines. And I'm not even looking as hard as people may think. Psh, cop out advice. And most of the time you don't want advice. Sometimes you just want to be understood.

One of my biggest fears is that'll end up old and alone. Even though I play the hero, sometimes I can't help but feel alone. But hey, I have no room in my head for a pity party. There's a lot of better things I should be thinking about. Life's too short to pity myself away licking the same damn wounds. I just have to suck it up, pick myself up off the ground and live. Live dammit. Live...

So hear I am back in New York. Same old goals. Same old responsibilities. And that's why I'm back here instead of living it up in California. Because in New York...

I got some unfinished business: my life.

Birds in My Ears and a Devil on My Shoulder

Currently listening to: Cute is What We Aim For - "Risquè"

I've got birds in my ears
And a devil on my shoulder
And a phone to the other
And I can't get a hold of her
And what's a crush to do?
What's a crush to do when he can't get through?

Life's been a handful lately. I'm still "in between jobs". When people ask what am I up to lately, those three words are my standard reply. Job-hunting for anything lately just to pay the bills. On top of it all, EMT certification is a lot heavier than I expected. I'm barely staying on top of it all. I need to pick up my game.

This weekend I'll be going to California for my cousin's wedding. I've been missing out on a lot of family business lately. I missed my cousin's wedding reception after they were married in a court room and then I missed her wedding shower for the church wedding in California. When I was a kid, this is a cousin I used to want as a big sister. I thought if I stuck around her enough, she'd become my sister. So this time, I'm making sure I make it out there.
Unfortunately, I'll be missing my best friend's birthday party. I feel like shit for that.

This trip came earlier than I thought. My mind's been such a mess lately, that I can't keep track of what day of the week it is. Real smooth, huh?

But in about 24 hours, I'll be making my way to the West Coast.
And besides family out there, there's someone else out there.
Some girl in California.

I met her in Chicago. Her sorority and my fraternity were having a mid-year national conference to discuss some business. And what goes with these little "business trips" are parties. I met her outside on the night of the first party. I met her meaning, "I just got her name". Nothing more. Nothing less. Just another name. Just another girl. By the next night, I was sitting on the side, being your typical emo wall-flower, when another fraternity brother tells me to go out there and dance with a girl. Well, I didn't want to look like an idiot, so i grabbed the hand of the girl I met last night. To me she was just a less dolled up version of the girl I really cared about. I was surprised that I even remembered her name. So we danced.

We danced.
And when we ran out of moves, we made up our own. We talked. We sang along with the songs (at least the words we knew). We danced. We saved a girl who had a lit cigarette caught on the cuff of her jeans. We showed each other our driver's licenses. And we danced.
We danced for almost 3 hours of that floor.

There was a point in the night when went to the ladies' room. So I stood there and talked to some fraternity brothers. She came back, and now I had to go. When I got back, she was talking to some of her friends. And I stood there. I just stood there... waiting, completely knowing she'd come around. And sure enough, she turns to me, smiles, and walks straight back to me. We sat down and chatted it up some more. When her legs brushed mine, my mind went nuts.
We exchanged numbers and when I got back to New York, she texts me:

Oh man, everytime I hear a song from last night on the radio, I think about dancing with you.

When I read that, I smiled and laughed to myself thinking, "Wow, there's actually some girl on the other side of the country thinking of me."
From then on, we talked to each other every week. There was a time she actually came out to Philadelphia for a convention for her career. We played hooky, and spent a day in my city.
I brought her flowers. We ate rice pudding. We rode the ferry together. We kissed in the city lights.

Confessions, by definition entail some kind of dilemma. So where's the dilemma here?
A boy from New York and a girl from California meeting in Chicago. What are the odds?
Distance is complicated, but it's not impossible.

She has a boyfriend. In fact, it was one of the things she told me that night, even though it was one of the last things.
I've been pretty secure on my identity as the good guy. And i know good guys aren't scumbags. In fact, on our way to the ferry that day in the city, I got a call from my best friend who just broke up with his girlfriend of almost three years because she was cheating on him. That call was like an alarm sounding off in my head, "What the hell are you doing?!" From that moment, I felt personally responsible for everything that happened to him.

See, this isn't a bitter-sweet love story. It's about a promise I made to my friend. A friend who I hurt.
I promised him that I wouldn't follow through with her. And for the most part, I haven't.
People see me as the good guy. She sees me as a great guy.
And good guys - great guys, don't home wreck.

As amazing as it was, having a girl think about you - even though she's on the other side of the country, I can't do it.
But a good guy whose life is New York can sit up late at night remembering a girl whose life is California and just think...
Good guys get the girl. Good guys get the girl.