Please don’t love me too much. I know you like me. I think you love me. I know you stay awake at night thinking about me. I know you kept all my texts. I know you want to spend all your time with me. I know whenever you saw some little things at the store, you couldn’t help but thought of me. But please don’t love me.
I’m not that good of a person. I’m foolish and selfish. I like you enough to stay but don’t love you enough to stay forever. You are probably the best thing that have ever happened to me but I didn’t dare to try. Because I like you. If you are in my hands, I may hurt you. I know I will, because I’m foolish and selfish, and I know you love me. So don’t love me too much.
I feel guilty of your love and your care. It’s like feeling guilty because it suddenly rains. It’s not anyone’s fault but it feels like I create a sin. I’m not that strong of a person, I can’t carry your love. It’s not a burden. It’s a gift. It’s a gift that you wholeheartedly present to me with both of your hands. I don’t deserve that gift. Please keep it for someone that deserves it better than me. Please keep it for someone that isn’t afraid of loving you.
Please don’t love me too much. For I can’t return your love. My heart still skipped a beat when you said you love me. But it wasn’t from joy. That was my heart aching for you. Oh sweet bee, why did you love me? I’m cold and heartless. If I don’t love you, I don’t love you. I can’t try. I don’t fall in love. I’m like a tree. If you didn’t strike me with all your lightning when you landed, then I’d forever be a tree that just stood there. I wouldn’t ever fall.
Please don’t love me too much. I don’t love you but I care. I know who I am and it hurts me to know you love someone like me.
She told me if I had met her during a different time in our lives, we could have been together. I told her I didn’t want to be an asshole but I had to call bullshit on that. We were not Romeo and Juliet. We were not criminals. And even if we were Romeo and Juliet, there were still Romeo and Juliet. And if we were criminals, there were Bonnie and Clyde.
I wasn’t a naive boy who believed love could trump everything. I was a guy who believed in himself. We didn’t live in the ancient times where people got killed over things like this. I made enough money so wherever she was I could always afford a trip. Or even moved there for her. If her parents hated me, I could get us a place for our own. If I met her when I already had a girlfriend but she was the one I loved most, I would choose her. It would be hard but nothing complicated. If I loved her most, I’d do it for her. I expected the same from her.
When we met, she had a boyfriend. It was days of going behind his back for us. I kept it casual until it didn’t feel casual anymore. I asked her what she would like to do now. I told her I would do it for her. She told me if we have met during a different time in our life, then we could have easily been together. But now things were too complicated for her. She didn’t know who to choose. I left. If she did love me most, she would have chosen me. Things were ultimately just that simple. I’d carry the storms of life for her if she loved me. But she didn’t love me enough to choose me so I left.
Then I met you. I waited for you to finish med school in the South. I flew to visit you often. You also came to see me. After school, you moved here to be closer to me. Your parents didn’t like me. They wanted a Southern boy. But we didn’t have to stay with them in the South, I took care of us just fine right here. Loving you was easy. Being with you was not at all complicated. I had to wait for you. I had to fight for you. But that was all the things I was willing to do.
I was a greedy man. I didn’t just want to be loved. I wanted to be loved the most. I wanted every time you thought about me, you didn’t just love me but you also chose me. Between giving up on me and walking the easier path, you chose me. Despite everything in life, you chose me. As long as you still chose me, I’d be there for you. I’d shoulder the burden of life for you. I’d give you my heart to break if you wanted to. Because you were my ultimate choice.
I remember the sound of water. The way it slowly crashed through the pebbles and slipped through the rocks calmed me. It wasn’t a waterfall with intensive water falling from miles and miles above. It wasn’t the calm lake that remains so serene too the point of being cold. It was a little creek with water running through, soft enough to calm my mind but lively enough to know it was there.
The creek had no name. There was only one creek in town and everyone knew. Nobody needed to put a name on it. I would climb down the side of the road, and hid from the cops to walk under the bridge to go to a part of the creek that no one ever came by. There was nothing there but trees, the sound of running water and silence. I came there for the silence but the water movement made me still feel alive. I came there to write my poems. I came there to sing alone. I came there to get through my first heart break. I came there to fill myself with homesickness. I came there to take my senior pictures. And sometimes I came there just to be. I wasn’t there to be a great philosopher that trying to be part of nature. I wasn’t there to be anti-social and avoiding people. I was there to be alone with my thoughts. That little creek on the side of the road was when I figured I needed to learn to keep myself company. If there are too many thoughts and too many noises in your head, may be the way to go is to listen to them all. I liked myself because I learn to like how I think.
When I was in high school, I swore to leave that town as soon as I graduated. I did and I never looked back. But sometimes, I still think about the lively silence of that creek, about how my young little teenage years were there.
A quick write on the topic of place that inspired me. A fun prompt from Go Dog Go Cafe.
Dave came to the bar late. He said he was busy doing something till 10 pm on a Friday. Right! He was probably fooling around with that girl again. I already told him she was notorious for being kind of a slut. She wasn’t there to stay. But well, Dave was a sweet guy to begin with. It wasn’t really a surprised that he would get tricked.
“Hey Dave, over here!”
“Hey sorry! I’m late!”
“Dude, you’re late to your own Dbirthday party.”
“You can’t say it’s a party when it’s only me and you!”
“Hey hey, it’s because I’m all here for you! I’m the nicest!”
Dave just smiled before pulling a chair out to sit next to me by the bar. It was the Friday before break and the bar in a college town would normally be empty. So at 11:30pm there were still seats at the bar.
“Dave, ok ok. Choose your poison!”
Dave laughed. He shook his head a little.
“You can choose. Choose for both of us too.”
I turned around to grab my wallet from my purse. I took out my credit card and pushed it towards the bartender.
“Two shots of Grey Goose please and keep the tab open.”
“You don’t have to get me Grey Goose.”
The bartender brought out two shots of Grey Goose and he took my credit card. I gave one of the shots to Dave and lift my own shot up in the air.
“Nah. I said I’m buying you your first legal shot. I’m not being cheap”
Dave smiled and lift his shot in the air too. We clinked our glasses loudly.
I was sitting in the front desk at the box office. I always had a mixed feelings about working on show nights. I got to dressed up very nicely. It was an unspoken rule for the theater people. It was not a movie cinema, it was a theater. And show nights were always the special nights that everyone put all their best efforts in to make happen. To show respect, you at least look decent at the theater. That was the good side. On the other hand, I had to work nights. Nobody wanted to work nights, but I was ok with the extra cash. So I ended up working quite a bit of show nights.
If you thought all the people that came to the theater were rich and well-behaved, you were wrong. Theater was a little pickier of a hobby because it did require some extra money to afford the tickets. But all the people who showed up to only watch one shows, all the rich people that thought they were better than others, all the weird people, they were still everywhere. The two things I dreaded most about working show nights were: before we let people into the auditorium/the actual theater and right after we turned off the lights. Just like many other theaters, we didn’t let people come into the auditorium when the lights were already off and the show was about to begin. Having to keep denying people their “rights” to come see the show when they had their tickets was never an easy thing to do. So much yelling. On the other hand, many people came to the shows early, sometimes because they had to pick up tickets from the box offices or because they had to wait to their friends to come in together. That was also a problem. We kept them all waiting near the box office area, in the lobby because the auditorium wasn’t opened. And they always came up to the box office, constantly asking for when they could get in. “Why can’t you just let us in now?” was a constant. Again, did I mention they were rich?
I was in the box office, sitting in the front desk. I was politely taking care of a line of people trying to pick up their tickets. It wasn’t anything bad. I was having a decent night. Then it was an old gentleman’s turn. He was so tiny. His curved back made him look even smaller in the faded light of the theater. He came to the counter and he greeted me with a smile. I always liked a polite customer. He said he hasn’t seen me around. I said I worked show nights sometimes and may be we just missed each other. He said he came for every show, he had a season ticket. And I knew immediately why he was in line waiting for me. Season ticket holder often had their tickets with us so they didn’t have to keep a big stack of tickets with them. I asked him was that what he needed help with. And he said yes.
“But…,” he called for me while I started turning away to look for his tickets. I stopped and asked him what he needed.
“Uhm…I won’t need both the tickets,” I said, “our…my season ticket had a pair and I only need one today.”
I found his envelope with his season ticket. There were always two tickets for every show. I asked him if he would like me to keep that ticket for someone else that would come in later.
“No…,” his voice got so quiet, “it was for my wife but she passed away recently, and I don’t need that ticket anymore.”
I got quiet. He knew he said something that made the atmosphere awkward. He quickly added “But don’t throw it away. Please give it to the next person that come in and need a ticket. My wife would like that.”
He was still smiling but my heart ached. I gave him his ticket. I watched him walked away into the darkness of the auditorium. His little body seemed even smaller and my heart was heavier. I thought about all the things I complained about in my life and all seemed so trivial.
I was never into the idea of re-reading and re-watching. I knew many of my literature folks love re-reading their favorite books, and many of my movie folks like re-watching movies. They do that in their good days, and even more so on their bad days. When you read something or watch something the first time and they gave you a good feeling, you would love to re-watch and re-read that wonderful thing, looking for that good feeling again. Especially, on bad days, since you know exactly what feeling that old book or movie delivered, you looked for it to soothe yourself. I don’t do that often. And I’m not that pretentious to say things like I don’t feel sad or doing those things are for the weaks. I’m saying, when I’m sad, I would rather just sit there and cry. I don’t read books to soothe myself. That’s just me.
I read when I’m relaxed and I have time. And just like everyone else in this world right now, nobody has enough time. So I want to spend those few spare moments to read more and read something new. Same with movies. I rarely ever have an urge to re-read or re-watch anything much. But, I’m here to talk about an exception. And I don’t re-read that book for sadness or happiness either. I re-read that book because I grew.
When I was 17, I read the Awakening by Kate Chopin. To simplify, the book is about a woman who supposedly had everything well and right: she came from a good family and then married into a good family. She had a kind husband, but he was often occupied with work. She was friend with a more modern and open woman who taught her things that she couldn’t imagine a woman could do. She then drew and played piano, exploring her own self interest. She had an intense affair with a young playboy guy, who eventually left her. In the end, the book was had an open ended ending with her jumping into the water and contemplating suicide.
I came from a very happy family with a loving mother and father. We were not perfect, but my parents were there. I also left home for school when I was 16. All I could think of was if there was anyway I could go to school without having to leave my home I would definitely do that. And this woman, this woman in The Awakening chose to leave home for herself and for an affair. She was willing to leave her two small children behind. When I was 17, I remembered writing a full on essay disagreeing with what she chose. I’m 27 now. It has been 10 years. And I sometimes thought about the book. Life had changed me. It changed the way I looked at the book. It changed the way I looked at her. I still don’t agree with all the choices she made but I understand much more about why she does what she does. And I appreciate that as a process of growing, of being less naive and knowing life isn’t as black and white as I used to think it is. And I would sometimes reread things to see how far I’ve come.
Sometimes you are just sad. You’re melancholy sad. You don’t need to think about anything in particular or need an actual good reason. It’s that feeling when you listen to a song or when you watch a movie or when it rains. When you listen to a touching song, you have this feeling rising up in you. It feels close but it’s not sadness. It’s a melancholy feeling of you sensual soul pinching your heart. That’s why it aches but never actually hurts. That’s why holding a cup of tea while watching the rain warms your soul.
When I was a teenager, that feeling came more often. I couldn’t tell you how many essays and poems I wrote about rains. Now, I hate rains. It’s wet, windy and gloomy. But sometimes when I was in a good mood, I found those mild sadness again. And when that feeling came I tried to fully submerge in it. I would stand there watching the rain through the window. I just stood there and stared, and not think about things much. To me that feeling is the romantic side of the mind. If’s the same feeling of when you watch the waves crashing the ocean shore. You can’t help it but have those feeling in you. And remember, its’ the romance.
I read a little article recently about calling out your emotions. It’s a circle that tries to explain and name every emotions we can have as a person. I understand that it’s a good tool for mental health but in a normal daily, I really appreciate the vagueness of a feeling. That no-name feeling that suddenly washes through you sometimes and you can’t control it. It comes and pinches your heart so you know that your heart can still shake the time calls for it.