Secret Pop

Dec 27, 2003

A Life Before Doubt

Acknowledging an emotion can feel like having a house built right on top of you. Recognizing what things mean. Looking inside yourself as if you were one of those phones or watches where you can see all the wires and circuits inside. The intricacies of what actually goes on when you look just fine on the outside. It's a wonder and a mystery.

I enjoy making other people laugh. And there are certain people whose laughter has greater value to me. Whether it's because I never thought I would impress them. Or because I am impressed with them to begin with. There are attentions I crave and receiving them surprises me. It's nice, you know. You like someone and think he's cool and talented and then when he laughs at something you've said or looks delighted by a story you've told, it raises you up a little bit. Improves your posture. And you worry about looking too much forward to that response, as it may be fleeting. And then it keeps coming. And you think, Either I'm really great or that guy just likes me. Is either one of those selling you short? I don't know. I just know that I enjoy being surprised by certain things. Approval I wasn't seeking. Approval I might not have expected to get. Approval I have strived for at length and then finally acquired. That positive response is a currency with me. I don't cherish all applause. Some of it I don't even manage to hear. But the right pair of hands clapping at the right moment makes me relax just a little bit. It's a chance to say, There. That's what you wanted, isn't it? This is what it feels like to be good.

I also delight in cheering for those I like. I love it when a friend gets it right. I revel in the successes of those I care about. Maybe because I feel like we are on the same team, and it only gets better when we all do well. I can fall prey to envy and disillusionment as readily as the next lass, but more often than not, you will find me smiling and saying, I hope you win. There is a competitive spirit in me. But it's like a fuel, that. You can use it to propel yourself forward. Or you can allow it to go all incendiary and it will consume you. And you will expire like some NASCAR spectacle instead of taking photos at the end of the race in all those different hats the winners have to wear.

I wonder how many times I will miss out on the action by saying, No, no. You go first. But then I realize that saying it sometimes makes me happy and that means something.

You were no ordinary drain on her defenses. She was no ordinary girl. Oh, inverted world.
If every moment of our lives were cradled softly in the hands of some strange and gentle child, I'd not roll my eyes so.

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