Cross My Heart and Hope to Write
INCLUDING ORIGINAL POETRY, SHORT STORIES, ESSAYS, AND NOVELLAS, ALONGSIDE ARTWORK AND PHOTOGRAPHY
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Saturday, November 23, 2013
I have a secret.
One that I think a lot of people walk around with, but are afraid to admit. Especially men.
Not the atypical, storybook kind of heartbroken. The “pit of your stomach, anxiety for breakfast, spend all day thinking about them, and go to sleep with a sigh” kind of heartbroken. The kind that consumes every waking moment (and sometimes sleeping).
But that’s not my secret.
My secret is… that I love it.
I’ve spent years in this state. Finding every thought somehow connected to a face, a feeling, a moment. To a pair of lips, and eyes, to a smile, to a laugh, to a list of memories. To a girl I told I loved.
She is in every breath, every neuron that fires, every smile flashed. Every fleeting moment of my life, she is there. I can’t stand it, but I can’t let it go. I love her too much.
We live in a culture where not being able to get over someone is seen as a crutch, a flaw, something that somehow makes you weak. You’re not allowed to be heartbroken because that means you’re too sensitive, too emotional, too soft.
But what if that feeling is supposed to be there? What if that feeling is right? Nothing worth fighting for in life is easy, right? Why are we so swift to snuff something just because it hurts so much? Maybe it hurts so much for a reason. Maybe its real.
We were together once. Me and the girl I love. We had a falling out. The worst kind. I won’t go into details, but it was (and is) beyond my heart and mind’s ability to comprehend. The
situation that followed.
I spent so much time trying to resolve it, trying to fix it, to make sense of it, and it became so exhausting that my heart and my mind seemed to make a truce that there was nothing they could do about it. So they let it be, hoping it would solve itself.
But it didn’t. It just became a part of life, a part of the day to day. And I know there are others out there who have one of their own. Who have tried to wrap their brain around it, but can’t, so they just swallow it down and let it become a part of them.
I tried to snuff it. The love I had admitted to her. The promise I had made to her. The promise to always love her. But when I made that promise, I made it to myself too. And I have to keep it. I want to keep it. For her.
The more I strip away the sense, the logic, the reason, the what I deserve, the “right,” the stronger the feeling gets. It can’t be just something ingrained in my psyche. It can’t be just emotional leftovers. It’s beyond that, beyond me; it’s pure.
It’s a choice. All of this is a choice. I refuse to break that promise, the promise I made to her, the promise I made to myself, to always love her. I refuse to be the one to give up on it. It’s not a selfish choice made “for the sake of keeping a promise.” It’s not a selfish choice made for the sake of setting an example to the world, to say I’m somehow better. Because I’m not.
I believe in this feeling. I believe it is real. I know it is. As distant as we are from each other, this feeling is still so strong. No matter what has happened, across time and space, I will always love her. And as painful as it is sometimes, I love that I love her.
I have a secret, but I don’t want it to be a secret anymore. I want people to know that what I feel is real, that love is real, that no matter what they’re going through, no matter the pain, that it’s ok to be heartbroken. It’s ok to keep a promise. It’s ok to hold onto love.
I know there are other people out there who are sitting on something. Something they don’t know what to do with. Something they love more than anything, as much as it hurts. I know there are others like me that believe in the power of a promise, who know that love is not a choice, it’s a responsibility.
I wonder how many people are walking around out there heartbroken…
Sunday, November 3, 2013
I don’t typically share personal subjects publicly on the internet, but I feel it important that this be said. I find it unnecessary that it has to be confronted, but I feel I currently don’t have a choice. I must address this as a point of empowerment, not only for myself, but for others.
I am not gay. I am NOT a homosexual. I am a straight, heterosexual, biological male who goes by the personal pronoun of he. (There will be some who read this and still doubt; I cannot speak for them).
Recently, I have had to explain my sexual orientation more often than I see necessary. I don’t understand why it is so imperative to some that it needs to be clarified verbally (while others no doubt stay silent and choose rather to speculate in their own heads than confront me). Why is it so important? Why is it always, “Are you gay?” and not, “Are you straight?” As if one is more unacceptable than the other. I think it reflects something jarring about our culture in general. But rather than lecture you all on what I feel is ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ I will apologize instead:
I’m sorry my demeanor does not conform to your general standards of masculinity; I’m sorry I choose not to treat a woman’s body like an object; I’m sorry I think more with my heart and my mind than my
dick; I’m sorry I speak to people with respect, affection, and in proper English; I’m sorry I’d rather wait for someone I think is worthy of me than settle for something less; I’m sorry I love myself.
I’m thin, but I’m not weak; I value intellect and compassion over wealth and reputation; I have a big heart and I’m not afraid to express it; I strive to preserve my inner child and not overlook the opportunity to respect another’s perspective.
These may not conform to your standards of hetero-masculinity, but they certainly do not disqualify me from my God-given integrity. I speak for anyone who has struggled, knowing who they are, what they want, and are happy inside their skin, but constantly seem to be challenged by a humanity that wants to throw it into question. I am a straight man, who is proud to support the LGBTQ community, because, however miniscule, I have been subject to the stigma, solely because of the person I am.
I choose to rage against the standards, the norms, the misplaced morality, the ignorance. I stand in earnest solidarity and ask: What the fuck does my Godamn orientation have to do the air you breathe?!