How Weak Are We?
Updated: Jan 10
"How Weak Are We?"
I can’t be there.
I’m not allowed.
The people there, they are all the same. Homogenous. With tired, judgmental eyes, seeming to be bored and disillusioned with life and one another, giving up on anything they were once passionate about. I couldn’t be further from that.
But you–you somehow fit in so well with them outside our little confinement. It’s almost scary.
Your hair matches theirs, your height the same. Even your experiences are theirs to share.
If one were to look at you all together, in some pretty picture frame, he wouldn’t notice a difference. You mix so perfectly. There would be no skeptical questions asked because you physically match, outfits carefully selected, stringently covering any showcase of individuality.
Yet, I’m here.
And I stick out like some splash of color on a starry night. No, not that positive. I stick out like an abrupt pause, some fragment of a sentence that is amplified to the listener due to its incorrect nature, no other words daring to come after. If one were to see a picture of us, he would immediately point to our lack of uniformity. If we were together, questions would be asked. We couldn’t go anywhere without someone stopping us, trying to understand the confusing situation that is our relationship.
Maybe it would be easier if you just went with them. The quiet, energetic gossip, the obvious dislike, and the poorly-executed discretion as soon as we get into the vicinity--that would all go away. You would never need to explain yourself, ever. You would grow up and marry someone easy, living a quaint life in a white picket fence house. A true snow-globe world where you would be never be sad, never questioning your life, never unhappy. But, I don’t think you’d necessarily be happy. And I don’t mean that to be selfish; I don’t say this just so that you’ll put me first or because I am particularly delusional when it comes to my own self-worth.
It’s just that, if, in all your culture of conformity, you ever liked me--some foreign intruder–-then I think you were always kind of longing for an escape.
I’ve already given my ultimatum. I’m waiting. Here. At this beach. I usually hate beaches, but this one is attractive for some reason in the night. The cold sand is so… romantic--even if I can hear the obnoxious yelling of drunk people coming from the bars.
You’re there. With them.
I’m waiting outside, on the sand.
Eventually, you come out.
I can smell your alcohol breath before you are even in close range. It’s pretty evident. With your hands raised up in surrender, you tell me you’re not willing to fight. With you in your drunken state, alcoholic particles composing my surrounding air and finding their way into my chemoreceptors, I believe it. You tell me it’s not worth the fight every day for you. You need some classic stability. As if you have never had that before. I, in my sober head, can’t relate to you. I have never done those things-drinking, physically swaying, and talking with slurred words.
“I’m sorry,” you say, a moment of genuine connection in between your sporadic blinking and awkward gestures.
“Yeah, I am too.”
You solemnly walk back to where you came from.
So, I turn, and go too. Numbing my feet in the cold sand, I walk five feet into the ocean. I feel the murky, malleable ground under me as I stare out at the moon presiding over the endless blue.
I have a feeling you see this too. The never-ending blue, the pale white moon. It’s one of the only things we both see in the same way—a rare similarity of ours. The magnificence of it humbling our own existence--our inferiority to it--is virtually the only characteristic we share.
I look back, and, sure enough, instead of conversing with your friends, swearing over some inane football game, you’re there, hunkered over the gate, peering out at it too.
And I can’t help but smile. No matter how over we are now, I know that I came closer to you than anyone like me ever could. We did the impossible for a while.
And yet, that still wasn’t enough. And yet, even though I consider myself a rather pragmatic person, I begin to cry. All because of questions, gossip, and propriety.
How weak are we?