A Short List Of Disjointed Thoughts On Being Easy To Forget

A Short List Of Disjointed Thoughts On Being Easy To Forget

1. There’s a theory I’ve heard several times that if you’re friends with someone for seven years, that means you’ll be friends with them for life. In my now-adult relationships, I have two of these supposed lifetime friendships. One has practically become the brother I never wanted and I see him every week and he is who I would call if I needed to hide a body. The other is my longest friendship and even though we don’t talk every day, the second we pick things up it’s like we’re 12 again—nothing (other than knowing how to dress ourselves and no longer crying over boys who gave us dolphin necklaces from Claires for example) has changed. And when I think about these relationships, these lifetime friends, I can’t imagine a single thing that could end having them as major staples in my life.

A while ago, I had a should’ve been a lifetime friendship end. The details are juicy but honestly not important to the point I’m trying to make. She did something that irrevocably hurt me, I pulled away, and then it became clear she was making the choice to not look at the cracks she created in our friendship foundation. And so this relationship, this “should be a lifetime” friendship, ended. Even though it had well-surpassed the seven-year benchmark by several years, choices were made and we’re no longer in each other’s lives, even peripherally. That connection is effectively gone and dead.

But that’s the point of relationships—romantic, platonic, and everything in between—isn’t it? You choose them. You choose to maintain them, to water them, to nourish them. You choose to say that they’re important to you, even when it’s hard or uncomfortable. And when you stop choosing to be an active, engaged, and effective participant, that’s when they’re over. But it’s ultimately, always, a choice.

So there’s this theory that I’ve heard several times that if you’re friends with someone for seven years, that means you’ll be friends with them for life, and I truly think it’s bullshit. I think the mark of a lifetime, or a potential lifetime, friendship is when two people consistently choose to show up for each other. Whether they’ve been friends for months or if they remember what the other looked like during their scene phase, they choose to be there for each other. Especially if one needed help with hiding a body.

2. Isn’t it insane how every person on Earth’s hair smells entirely different? I am undeniably grasping at what is probably a logical equation of pheromones, shampoos, and the minerals in their home’s water in an effort to make some sort of a metaphor. But from the trail a new lover leaves on your pillows to the way you used to be able to catch the scent of a stranger who brushed against you on the subway, it fascinates me how something so simple can be so different from person to person. It’s something. A good something.

I know they say smell is the strongest sense associated to memory. I think if I had a superpower I would have the power to bottle the way a person smells in an effort to control my ability to forget them. Some people would collect dust, never to be touched again. Some people I’d revisit when I felt nostalgic, kind of the way a ghost checks in. Yes, still undeniably leaning into this analogy in a way too much way.

But then there are some people I know I’d never need to bottle up, because some people are instantly unforgettable. Sometimes from the first “hey how’s it going?” to the first time you see them walking across a parking lot, you know there’s that quality they somehow posses that will make them impossible to eradicate from your head. That even if all you caught was a trace of them in the crowd, you’d remember them immediately. It’d all come back all at once and wash entirely over you. The good, the bad, the unsaid and the rest. It’d be right there, instantaneously. And that’s…well that’s something. Definitely something.

3. I recently learned that both my life path number and my tarot card number are 22. And as someone who was also born on the 22nd and coincidentally has a doctor’s appointment on the 22nd of THIS month, that was pretty wtf to learn. So like every other millennial who is self-diagnosed with a case of Going Through It™ I immediately Googled what it means when you keep seeing the number 22.

Apparently, the angel number 22 is “very powerful” according to various sites that look like they were somehow constructed on Geocities. It’s encouraging me to react to conflict with gentleness and diplomacy. It’s saying that I can turn my dreams and desires into reality. 22 is telling me that I’m a master builder, and I have the power to manifest things in my life.

I don’t think I necessarily believe any of this. I think what it probably means is that I need to get better at coming to terms with things without having and giving in to the impulse to Google the hidden meaning in innocuous details when I’m feeling lost and shitty and confused. But maybe 22 will prove me wrong. Maybe there’s some master building at work here, and I just haven’t been able to find it yet.

4. What do you think will happen to the reply guys and the people who stalk our Instagram stories even though they don’t talk to us IRL when social media eventually implodes? When they no longer have easy access to feeling like they know the lives of the people who live rent-free in their heads. Do you think they’ll have to finally listen to their therapists and go outside and eat their vegetables and get hobbies that don’t include pretending they know someone they very clearly do not, or do you think they’ll become actual, physical, linger outside of the building staring at the door hoping to catch a glimpse of you stalkers? Hopefully the former. That’s all.

5. Thinking about dying to me is not scary. The thought of just ending it all gives me the same feeling as when I hear a car alarm go off unexpectedly. It’s a little “oh shit” but nothing really dramatic. Sure the thought is maybe startling, a little off putting, a little jolt in the day. But I don’t find it panic inducing or really, well, scary. Maybe it’s my long history with mental health and depression and the suicide radio that is always playing a little something just for me in my head. All of this to say, death really doesn’t freak me out.

What scares me is not mattering. Impermanence. The fear that lives in the back of my brain with the suicide radio on loop is that no one cares. That all of this trying, all of the vulnerability, all of the work to unlearn the idea that opening up to someone is useless, all of the letting people in even when it goes against my basic instinct, will ultimately be for nothing.

I am scared of fading away and eventually being completely and utterly irrelevant to anyone who was once important to me.

I’ve always thought it was interesting how when we talk about ghosting we focus so intently on the person who cuts the communication. I don’t feel like the people who walk away are the ghosts. The people who disappear from our lives with no warning or seemingly overnight? Not ghosts, no. When you think about it, the person who is being dismissed? That’s the person who’s haunted. That’s the person fading away in a way they never asked to. That’s the fragmented person, the one who is disappearing even when they wanted to stay. That’s the ghost.

I feel like a ghost a lot. Like I’m in a room full of people flicking a light switch back and forth as fast and as randomly as I can just hoping someone notices. I’ve always said that I’m great with a crowd—I can turn it on and put on a show and be the life of the party and impress all of the strangers and have them say, “Wow who was that girl?” at the end of it. But did any of those people actually see the real me? No. They saw the lights going on and off repeatedly and said how cool it was without ever really getting to the source.

I was talking to a friend once about how I’ve created a persona of being an open book while actually never telling anyone anything at all. I’ll talk about (almost) whatever you want. Sex, dating, blood, gore, guts, conspiracy theories, childhood trauma. You name it, I can talk about it. But I’ve gotten incredible at diverting the attention in a way where I’m only revealing select details that pertain to me. You’ll walk away feeling like we just had a therapy session, but you actually walked away telling me everything about you and coming away with nothing about myself.

I’m scared that no one really knows the real me, and they might not but that’s absolutely, entirely my fault and own doing. But scarier than no one knowing me is someone getting more than I typically give and having it not matter enough to them to remember.

I just want to matter. And not in a little sense. I want to matter enough for someone to see the lights flickering and for them to not only not be scared by it, but for them to care enough to figure out why I was flipping the switch in the first place.

I think I’m tired of feeling haunted by my own self. Because I think, if we really get down to it, that’s the scariest feeling of all.

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