You can say anything into the tempest.
My girlfriend recently asked me, in a sideways no-pressure-just-curious sort of way, why I didn’t have any posts about her. I smiled and kept writing. I needed time to formulate a reason, not to lie a clever lie but to ask myself the question for the very first time.
A bit later, still-no-pressure-just-curious-and-just-to-be-clear-not-to-sound-like-a-princess, “but you’ve wrote about your ex-girlfriends, your dog, your roommates, and their girlfriends.”
I smiled. “Baby c’mon. Thats a novel I’m still penning.”
She accepted it for the time. And what’s notable to me is that she was just curious, not seeking some ego-aggrandizing show of affection from me. And this is her very personhood–her near lack of personhood. Often I cannot tell where she ends and the world begins. Her skin, thin, not in a prickly manner like mine, but sheer, permeable, a welcoming membrane through which light of the world gently meanders in and easily emanates back out.
Her first move after spilling milk is to giggle softly. Her second move is to smile upside down, arms resigned limp to the side, engulfed in a wave of acceptance of the instant past, body awash with a grace needing a better writer than I to describe.
One Saturday afternoon Lyss made us sandwiches of avocado, onion, and cheese. Excitedly, I brought my jar of pickles to the table. I dolled out one for Lyss and one for me. Ritualistically, I ate one bite sandwich, returned it to the plate, ate one bite pickle, returned it to the plate, no breaks, no eye contact, focus locked on the lunchtime Netflix show. Sooner than my pickle math calculated, my pickle was no more. And I still had plenty of sandwich. Must be an off day, I figured. Then it happened again. And then again. I was now three pickles deep and still had-length of sandwich left. Absurd! I looked to Lyssie for help. She smiled gratefully and right then I pieced together the extent of her treason.
“DAMMIT Lyss! My PICKLE!?” She looked confused.
“You’re STEALING my pickle!?” Her confusion persisted.
“I thought you were putting them there for me to eat,” she chuckled, “I was thinking it was so cute!”
Smiling innocently at me, I frowned cynically back at her while I reprocessed the situation to render final judgment. She looked down sadly. Regret instantly flooded my belly, so I retreated from my frustration with gusto, trying quickly to explain my pickle-to-sandwich-ratio preference/neuroticism. The logic didn’t make sense to her. And it no longer made sense to me. She read into the situation something that didn’t exist, in exactly the same way that I know the asshole in traffic singled me out. Except, what she read into the scene was a nicety and my instinctual interpretation of her sweet translation was a conclusion of trickery.
I was reminded once again that the local weather is of our own choosing.
Hello, my name is Ben, and like many of you, I am a confessional writer. I’m a millennial with a blog. I mostly write complaints, and Alyssa, this is why I have not written about you.
I’ve got gripes about my job, bills, and well, adulthood in general. Like you other millennials, I write with the vague understanding that minds as innumerable as the stars came before me and grappled with the same coming-of-age I-too-shall-pass saga, a struggle, for example, that our grandparents’ generation surmounted way back when they got jobs and started smoking a pack a day in middle school.
I’ve read all the articles about us millenials. Half conclude we need to grow up and drop the narcissistic delusions. The other half praise us for our tolerance, conscientious behaviors and the fact that we all plan on buying hybrids once we can scrape together the funds.
Instead of acid, we’re dropping hits of memes, brain-altering messages to live lives of passion, experience, and presentness (but make sure the lighting is good so you can record it all). Story goes, Hippies and Yuppies fucked, had a hipster. Hipster child cringed each time perfectly compostable material went to the trash bin, mourned the minerals who could not yet return to their soil home, spent disposable income on gallons of beer and wine, and owned a swath of reusable coffee tumblers yet somehow managed always to come home with white paper cups sheathed around the middle with cardboard and capped with plastic.
Like you, perhaps, I’m increasingly finding originality a vain struggle, and I host this inner tension between We Are All One and Ah Fuck It All The Same. I recycle in earnest, when it’s convenient. I judge people driving big-ass gas-guzzling trucks from the driver’s seat of my own truck that gets about 17 to the gallon and never has a passenger during the weekly commute.
There’s really little I know beyond the mental confines of my brain. Its all I have to Write What I Know. And, apparently, to purge It is to cleanse It. So here I am, a confessional millennial writer. I’ve got nothing new to say and I say it best when I’m wine-drunk, hung-over, or over-caffeinated, conditions precedent to breaking down the barriers between me and the keyboard.