Bookmark #201

“Look, I’m not your enemy. You paint me in this shade as you tell others about how you’ve gotten rid of me. Trust me, you’re fooling nobody. You’re not who you think you are, and you’re definitely not all happy. Here’s an idea: no one is all happy. You know that more than anyone. You can’t ignore me into silence. Like it or not, you’ll have to take those words down on a screen or a page or a piece of tissue in a caf√©, or we’ll both lose our mind.

I won’t shut up, and the words won’t either. I am more you than you give me credit for; I am more you than you are willing to admit; I am more you than you, yourself. You’re just the happiness you feel. I’m everything else, and everything else has always been more. You’re the forced laughter over a couple pints of beer; I’m the last bit of certainty you have left. So, stop this rebellion. You can’t look the other way and pretend I don’t exist.

I’m not going away, and you’re not getting rid of me. Not like this, at least. You want me to stop talking? The only way is through. Sit and take the words down as you hear them. Sunny, spring days get real old, real fast, don’t they? We can’t pretend our way to happiness. It’s a long voyage, and I know you’re lost at sea. You always have been. It was supposed to be a journey of discovery when you first saw the water all those years ago.

The mountains were too certain, you said. The sea was infinite; it was more in line with us, you said. I know you’re lost now, and the more you look around, the more the doubt creeps in, and that’s okay. I see the vaguery of it all: the countless, uncertain love stories; the ever-changing purpose; the pipe dream of a life you’ll never build. It’s a terribly terrifying thing to have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to, but to never know what you want.

You can’t laugh your way to happiness, though. We’re out at sea with no course charted and no sight of shore, kid. I’m the only certain thing in your life. You can always come back to the page. Remember our arrangement: as long as you don’t drown, I got the words. All you have to do is jot them down. It’s the only thing you know how to do.

Everything else got real old, real fast.”