This Room

I’m going to miss this room, this crazy, neurotic room. This room where we’ve eaten, slept, laughed, cried, sat, watched, played, lived. This room is my favorite room of all the rooms I’ve ever been in. This room is home.

I have made some of my favorite memories in this room. This room knows my secrets, and I trust it to keep and remember them all. This room has taken blows. This room has had its ups and downs.

This room has held our loneliness and fears. This room has laughed with us and watched us fill out application after application after application.

This room has helped me make decisions, good and bad. This room has seen us party and mourn. This room bears our scars and holds pieces of us.

But when we leave, this room will go on without us in it. This room will have different inhabitants, perhaps strangers who will become best friends. This room will live on, and so will we.

On Crushes

A friend keeps reminding me that I’m boy crazy. I definitely used to be. I used to wear my heart on my sleeve and have at least one crush per month. I would whisper my secret crush to anyone who would listen because I’m bad at keeping secrets and trusted most people back then. But I’ve learned my lesson. When you tell middle school friends about your crush, they’ll yell it out at the lunch table and you’ll be mocked by said crush in freshmen English.

Crushes tell you they’ll break up with their girlfriend for you, and you think that, first of all, he’s telling the truth, and second that this is how healthy relationships can start. Crushes draw gross pictures of you on the whiteboard. Crushes ignore you, crushes are gay, crushes just straight up don’t like you.

So I don’t have crushes anymore. I haven’t allowed myself to have a crush for quite a while. And life is simple; lonely sometimes, but simple. Sometimes I miss the bountiful hope that came with each new crush, the smiles and whispers and blushes. But most of the time I am happy that the hope I have now is not dependent on whether or not a boy smiles at me.

I have not given up on love, but I have given up on fake love and substitutes for true intimacy. I’d rather have nothing than synthetic puppy love. My next crush will be more than a crush, more than infatuation. My next crush will not be a crush at all, it will be mutual connection on a deeper level. Because crushes aren’t real, so I’ll wait for true love.

Can You Not?

Can you not joke about us being an us? Even if I don’t like him, thinking about me being an us is too much to get my hopes up for. To think that he and I could be a we is so good it hurts.

Can you not say we’d be cute together? I’ve already thought that. I don’t want to think about it anymore, it’s too painful. I’ve thought about us going to events together, how he could ask me with a rose, how he might get down on one knee. But he doesn’t.

Can you not say we both have flaws? You don’t understand. His flaws are earthly, the kind of flaw you can overlook with no problem. My flaws are crazy, intense, the type of flaw you can’t stop looking at. I could probably live with his, but he couldn’t live with mine.

Can you not tease us? It’s so hard to be in a room with someone who verbally says they don’t want to be with me when you suggest it. I laugh it off, because we probably wouldn’t be a good couple anyways, but it kind of sucks. I get it, he doesn’t like me, we’re not meant to be.

Can you not talk about our shared interests? Don’t you know I’ve already imagined us cuddling and watching our favorite movie? I’ve already thought of the possible inside jokes, the road trips with our soundtrack.

Can you not be you? The you that’s sometimes adorable and sometimes naive. Sometimes funny and sometimes overexcited. Sometimes rebellious and sometimes angelic.

Can you pick a side so that i can? Please pick the side that makes me like you less, the side that makes it easy to laugh when she pairs us together. The side that i can make fun of when you’re not there, the side that couldn’t keep up with me. Please stop doing mysterious things that interest me. Please stop liking things i like and being a great guy. Please go back to liking her and being innocent and gentle and young.

Disappointment

I’m disappointed in you. You used to tell me you dreamt of working with girls like me, showing them how to be strong and kind. You used to hold me accountable and teach me lessons. You used to say you weren’t dating, you said you’d take a year off, you’d focus on yourself. You promised a lot and didn’t come through. You used to text me daily, now you won’t answer me at all.

I’m disappointed in you too. You used to drive me around and tell me about yourself. You helped me live here, and now you’re gone. You used to send me updates and laugh at my silliness. You helped me through dark times. You supported my crazy ideas.

I’m also disappointed in you. You have it all together, and that together doesn’t include me anymore. You used to meet up with me and let me tell you funny stories. You tried to set me up with a guy, and I was so happy, but it fell through. You let me volunteer in your office, and now I don’t know where your office is.

But I’m not really disappointed in any of you; I just miss you all. I can’t send you my writing, I can’t talk to you about my selfish desires, I can’t text you when I’m lonely and want a shoulder to lean on. You all grew up. You moved, you started a business, you had a kid. I didn’t want you to grow up and move on. I wanted to keep reading with you, eating with you, talking with you.

So I guess I’m not actually disappointed in you; I’m disappointed in me. I guess I have some growing up to do.