Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tangible

Now Playing: Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me

I have a Harley Quinn plushie now.

Strategically placed over the best encyclopedia ever.

Once, back in high school and for Valentine's Day, a boy gave me a rose painted to look like a poké ball. I appreciated it a lot, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't as much as maybe he wanted me to appreciate it. He liked me, but I was still in a complicated Something Or Other with another person. I also have never been into Pokémon--never played any of the games, never watched the show, fell asleep when my friends put on one of the movies. One of my best friends hated Valentine's Day and felt especially lonely during the holiday, so I decided the rose would make her much happier. (Plus she actually likes Pokémon). I gave it to her during pre-calculus and it seemed to lift her spirits a little bit, so I never even got to keep the rose for more than a few hours.

It was, however, the only thing a boy had ever given me. Until that plushie.

It sounds shallow, but gifts are really important to me. It's not about wanting the people you love to shower you with the most expensive, most extravagant things, it's just nice having a physical manifestation of how you feel about someone, be it a friend, a relative, or a romantic partner. It's more about effort than it is about the actual object. My best friends, my parents, my brother--they've all given me gifts that show me that they know who I am, what I like, what I care about. Even asking, "hey, what do you want for your birthday/Christmas?" says a lot about how much someone cares about you. They care enough to want to get you something you will definitely love.

But though I've had a few relationships, I've never been with a boy who gifted me something. I never thought about it, but severing ties with people who hurt me but never gave me something tangible probably helped speed the process of getting over them.

Anyways, I got the plushie on Monday. And it was really weird for me. Because it was perfect in a lot of ways--I'd already talked his ear off about Harley Quinn and the original Batman animated series and my excitement for Suicide Squad. And I'd had to miss SuperCon due to bad planning on my part, and he knew I was a little sad about it. It was a nice gesture. Nice, sweet, and--at least for me--unexpected. Because I didn't expect him to actually listen to me all that much. I ramble a lot and I deem so much of it inconsequential, I imagine most people do too and toss the words away. And here's a sweet reminder that it's not always that way.

But I am who I am, the Ruiner Of All Sweet Things, and I can't help but stare at it and wonder the worst.

I'm imagining myself twenty years from now, stumbling upon this post (assuming it still exists and that I am still alive), and sighing while thinking, "you over-dramatic piece of trash, calm down. It's a fucking plushie."

But I'm stuck thinking about the way the material complicates the temporal. And yeah, okay, that sounds really stupid. Not to mention pessimistic. I don't want to think about me and this boy as something that is temporal, but thinking of it as permanent doesn't seem any better an option either. It's too early for either of those thoughts. At the beginning of things, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to put weight on either side of that scale. Or even look at the scale. You should stand back and wait and see, over a period of time, where it tilts on its own.

This ugly thought process of mine is some sort of defense mechanism. Back during last New Year's Day, I wrote this silly rambly post where I equated the way I handle my novels' story structures with the way I handle most aspects of my life--blur in the beginning, hyper-focused on the middle, a total incoherent, rushed mess at the end. I said I didn't think of the beginning of things or the ending of things, but I don't know if I was either lying to myself or if I've become this way over the course of the last few months: while I may not be able to properly picture endings, I do think about them a lot. Like. In theory. As concepts.

My life right now feels like it's made of temporal states. That's just a product of my age and situation, I think, but while the rational part of my brain says, "yeah, it's just cuz you're young and directionless and still figuring things out", another part of my brain assumes this is how it'll be forever. I could follow the pre-planned steps for an All American Life, be forty, married, with kids, a house, and a career, and it won't give me a sense of security and acceptance. Instead, I might still be obsessed with focusing on how it's all temporal and why it's all temporal.

So now I look at Harley and wonder idly how I might feel about her in the future. What she might make me recall--and if unpleasant feelings will accompany those thoughts. Regret or sadness or longing. Or something.

It's so early, it feels wrong to be so pessimistic. Especially because I understand that if I start with this overly cautious mindset, I'm more likely to self-sabotage rather than shield myself from any possible pain. Can I teach myself to be an optimist? At least in little things.

Like maybe I can't yet imagine looking at this silly, cute little plush toy and always feeling happy because of it. But I can picture always feeling fondness for it, whatever may happen, whatever may or may not end.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:29 PM

    @_@ This is so cute. You'll have to make a slooty post to compensate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... @_@ if... If you say so. I guess I don't wanna fall behind on the Sloot competition.

      (my phone automatically capitalized "sloot". Too. Perfect.)

      Delete

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