Nobody’s going to like what I have to say here. I can sense it already, even as I sit here writing this, hours before even one person will read these words, I can almost feel the disapproval. The first time I wrote down the words “sex is not some kind of sacred thing” I felt disappointed in myself. When I was a girl, I thought true love and the mysterious act of making love went hand in hand. I was taught in church that sex is something to be shared between two married people. Not so long ago, when I still believed in the God of the American church, I cringed at the thought of not having saved myself for my husband. But now that I’m free of that dead God, my childish dreams, and my marriage, I’m beginning to see things I once held to be of the utmost importance in a new light: my son will be my son no matter what happens between his father and I. Love is seldom for ever. Marriage is the most foolish decision a person could make at a young age. The God being praised at the church I was saved in is dead, or at least quite senile. Sex is not some kind of sacred thing.
I’m not going to delve into my personal affairs as I am wont to do in situations like these. If I could just open up the flood gates, so to speak, and spill my confessions for the world to read, I would. Without a moment’s hesitation. I am not ashamed of my decisions. Not proud exactly, but not ashamed. But it’s not just my confession to make. Another life is tangled up in mine, so I shall tread carefully.
Life is cold, random, and utterly without any meaning aside from the meaning you give it. This isn’t to say I don’t believe in God. I do and I don’t. I don’t like to talk about it. My point is that one day life might go fine. It might be just swell for a long time. And then, one day, you wake up to find that the world has come crashing down around you. The house lies in shambles around your bed, insulation and support beams have crashed down onto your vanity, roof shingles lie on your dresser. The walls have fallen in, and in the distance you can see that the hills have crumbled, and beyond that the mountains, and the wind carries on its back the hot sand and dust from far away deserts. In those moments when the reality of the calamity has begun to take hold of your senses, when you realize that there is no going back – broken windows cannot be put back together, splintered wood cannot be repaired, and you are too small to put the mountains back to rights or build back up the hills or stop the wind from blowing – you can either wonder what you did wrong or dig out the dust pan, the broom. Start filling trash bags and tossing them aside until you uncover the foundation and start again. That is what I mean when I say that you need to live, even of life kinda sucks. Part of living is facing a calamity greater than what you think you can handle or understand and hacking away at a solution as best you can.
You share this life with other people. Most of them, virtually all of your fellow human beings, will pass by you without making the least bit of a difference in your life. And then some times you meet someone who does. Maybe you fall in love with them, maybe you don’t. But here comes this person, this completely separate life form with his own experiences and ideas and pet peeves and hopes and dreams, who makes you feel just a little more alive than you did before. Suddenly the fine threads of your completely separate existence become intertwined with that person’s at the most distal ends, and the longer you stay close the more tangled up you become, until your heart aches and you find it hard to make sense of what you’ve gotten yourself into.
But I digress.
My point is, people are flawed. The concept of love is a silly thing when you get right down to the bones and marrow. It requires you to believe that another person could be perfect for you. Your life and happiness could be made more complete, more valid, if only this person would be your forever love. But that person will hurt you. Let you down. And the closer you get, the more it hurts to be hurt. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being hurt is part of life. Embrace it, just as you would embrace bliss, happiness, contentment. Learn and grow from it. But don’t be so silly as to think that a person who hurts you again and again, or someone you can’t help but hurt, is the person you’ll love for the rest of your life.
I learned this lesson with my marriage. I was silly enough to marry young to a man I liked to do drugs and have sex with. I figured it was the next logical step. And after that, I would have a baby and settle into adulthood. But let me tell you, there are many, many days in adulthood. The hours move slower but add up faster, and gradually the realization begins to sink in: this right here is the rest of my life.
I will say it again, sex is not some kind of sacred thing. Sex for the sake of having sex is silly, promiscuity is reckless and dangerous. Two factors should always weigh heaviest when lust takes hold of your senses: trust and desire. Trust, unlike lust or happiness or anger, isn’t something that just happens. It takes time to build, and it should never be taken lightly or given freely. And you must also desire to share that closeness, not just once but again and again. Sex should not be a means to an end, but rather a natural part of live and living. It is the most beautiful, chaotic, wonderful thing we are capable of creating, and the basest of human instinct. Without it, there would be no life. Love is not a prerequisite, either, or at least not that forever love that makes two people promise one another the stars.
If I could give you any advice, it would be this: own every moment of your life. Make mistakes, go into everything you do heart first, and sort out the resulting problems head first. Friends and lovers come and go, and so does money and comfort, just like summer gives way to fall, and fall descends into winter. You could die tomorrow. Shit, you could die today. And so could your mother, or your brother, and every person you love. Don’t hold grudges, forgive again and again, don’t concern yourself with material things that will most likely outlive you anyway, and never be afraid to fail or get hurt.
Let the smallest threads of your existence become entwined with other people’s. Never stop to wonder what could have been, or what should have been. And don’t look too far into the future, either.
Life might be chaotic and cold, but living is what you make it. I’ve chosen to make my life my own. I’m done being the supporting character in someone else’s story.
Someone said that the act of writing fiction is like making a million confessions to crimes you’ve never committed. In the future, The Midnight Disease will include bits and pieces of my work in progress: Lucky Number Five. It’s a romance of sorts, I like to think of it as an anti.-romance. I got all energetic about the three thousand or so words I’ve pumped out in the last few days, and perhaps the themes of what I’ve written influenced this a lot more than I meant for it to. But whatever. I hoped you loved this, or hated it. Keep reading and you’ll get more of the same.
[ my muse today was Gabriel Gadfly’s Breaking and all of the words scrawled in my journal since last friday. devil his due.. ]