Hooking up with an angry man of color.
It’s a strange experience.
I stared at him for a very long time before I decided to kiss him. I looked into his eyes, that were smiling at me, and wondered how it was possible to have such smiling eyes in front of such an angry interior. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, but I knew that I wanted the company, so I did. I kissed him.
We do not understand each other. It’s funny, because we both seem so happy outside of ourselves. I always saw him as goofy, and he probably saw my projected airiness. But underneath all of that, he is very angry, and I am very sad.
I don’t know if sadness and anger can really go together. His anger makes me sad, and my sadness will make him angry, whether it comes in the form of tears or laughter. I do not think angry people understand my need to laugh, hysterically. I think they take it personally, even as they try to make themselves humorous. My laughter has been the wrong laughter for angry people.
“Tell me a story,” I say midway through.
“What?” he’s shocked.
“Tell me a story,” I repeat, balancing on top of him. “From your childhood.”
“You can’t just ask for any random story.” He’s annoyed. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Just tell me one,” I repeat, and kiss him briefly to calm him down. I’ve been so involved in my thoughts that I’ve almost completely disconnected from the situation, and I need to find a different way to connect with him. This is what I need. A story, to understand.
I spent a lovely afternoon tripping with my friend. It took a while to come up, but once there, I didn’t want it to end. I saw my life so much more clearly. I realized that I view my world as a giant story, with all of my interactions as events, and all of the people as characters. I have narration, and English teachers floating in the back of my head to explain the symbolism of things. Everything has a different meaning, and I just need to understand what those meanings are. It’s not that everything happens for a reason, but rather that there’s a lesson to be found in each thing I encounter. If I were an author, I would introduce characters and kill them off as warnings to the reader. We have the celebrities, whose only purposes are to be celebrated. The child stars who teach us the hazards of living solely for the approval of others. Those white people who are parasites and aliens, coming in with superior technologies and fantastic mimicry, sucking the life out of all others around them.
I often get the feeling that the story in which I’m living is not my own, but rather that my whole life is being lived to make some sort of impact in the story of someone else. I’m not my own main character.
I used to want to create a movie whose beginning was the end of another story. Start with two characters in a car that is driving into the sunset. After a point, the audience realizes that this was initially a triumphant drive. At the end of the first story, maybe the characters had packed their bags to set off to the college of their dreams, or maybe they had finally saved enough money to move away from their piece-of-shit town. The story ended on a happy, expectant, hopeful note, and it stopped before things could become sad, or mundane. Does no one ever wonder what happens next? I do.
My friend left for a bit to talk to her boyfriend, and I waited with another friend for her to come back. When she did, the second friend left to make guacamole and the first friend sat down and started talking to me. I was so happy to see her, and the experience swirled, and I realized that she could have talked us through the end of our movie. Music would have swelled, the camera would swivel up into the sun, and that could have been the end of us. But it wasn’t.
“You said that you and your cousin are both of the crows,” he said, “So both of you are trapped and both of you are free. But how are you trapped?” Hadn’t he been listening to me?
“I’m alive,” I told him. I’m alive, and I really don’t think that I should be.
That’s the difference between the real world and stories. In books, it’s understood that not everyone has been written to make it. Not everyone is supposed to survive to the end. In life, there’s the expectation that everyone will survive, and I don’t understand it. I feel like my character’s course should be coming to its end, but I don’t know how to finish my book. My author is hiding, and I do not know how to find hir to talk. All I have are these English teacher directions, making me analyze the colors of my curtains and look at certain people in my character cast as ghosts.
Thomas was playing soccer at the bottom of the hill. She felt an intense need to call out to him, to go down to him. But there was nothing to say. She’d only be a nuisance, interrupting the game. And then the soccer players were stopping, and Thomas was gone.
She watched the friend walk off, and knew that she would be fine. Sad, yes; but fine all the same. She was protected, and loved, and had her companion. Yes, she would be okay. This was good.
I wonder if it’s better to live off of anger, or to live off of sadness. Anger seems to give you a false energy; it fuels itself, and you by proxy. Sadness begets sadness, but sadness drains you. I’ve never been too angry to move, but I have been paralyzed with sadness. Anger probably makes you more productive. This guy is doing things. He’s organizing trips and creating theater pieces. He’s loud, and known. I am small, quiet, selectively presenting myself to the world. He’ll probably go farther than I do. Still, I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to hate people. Sadness might make me a ghost, but I think hatred makes it easier for one to become inhuman.
Pulling myself back out of my thoughts. This is over. He will be leaving.
“This was nice,” he says. I wonder what was going through his head all this time.
“Yeah,” I say, although I’m not sure. “We should do it again sometime.”
“Definitely,” he agrees.
I am not actually sure if he will come back, and I am not actually sure if I want him to. I’m attracted to him, but also afraid of him. If only he was not so angry. If only I was not so sad.
If only our lives were written in a novel.