31. James Wants You

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I strongly believe in this saying: “Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.” Perhaps there’s a more eloquent way to state that. But perhaps I ate way too much chicken alfredo and I’m in a food coma. And perhaps I’m struggling to eavesdrop on my neighbors yelling at each other in Cantonese because Rick Ross is also screaming beneath my window. (I don’t mean to be a honky but I have counted the n-word three times already.)

I also believe in this: life is too short. I don’t have enough time to do everything.

You will upset someone whilst trying to please everyone.

Let me get to the point:

Tell people what you want. I am trying to incorporate this more into my life. It’s difficult. I understand that. And conflict is scary. But what’s scarier is living with a million things unsaid that are just bouncing around inside of you until you explode one day because of something small: “BITCH, WAITRESS, I SAID SCRAMBLED EGGS NOT OVEREASY! FUCK, HOE!” We don’t want that. And “fuck hoe bitch waitress” doesn’t want it either.

I know how it feels to not say what you want. It’s actually kind of painful. Kind of really painful in the way that I feel like a pushover. Some people like to say, “You’re too kind”. I would love to believe that. I think I’m kind. But I think I’m also a bit of a doormat that people wipe their shoes on… except that I smile while they do it. When I don’t get what I want I tell myself whatever I need to in order to pacify myself: “Choose your battles.” “It doesn’t matter that much to me.” “This is healthier.” “I don’t wanna ruin Fuck-Hoe-Bitch-Waitress’ day.” “Runny eggs are more artistic than scrambled eggs.” And sometimes I really don’t care. Sometimes I compromise because I really want to make someone else happy. But sometimes I actually really want something. And I just swallow that want and say, “When it’s something I really really want, I’ll do something about it.”

But that’s not good. That actually makes me angrier than not getting what I want. Because then for the rest of the day, I will call myself rude names. “Coward”. “Pushover”. “Pussy”. And I’ll say, “You’re gonna die unhappy if you keep this up. Is that really what you want?”

NO. No. It isn’t what I want, Mr. Rude Inner Monologue. I want to be happy. So. How does that happen?

Say what you want.

No one will ever read your mind. Miss Cleo was your best bet and now she’s in jail for a bad Barbados accent. So you’re shit out of luck. Say it.

Instead of trying to stomach the disgusting runny yolks of eggs sunnyside up, say, “Excuse me, I actually ordered scrambled eggs. Thank you so much!”

Instead of going to McDonalds and looking at a chicken nugget cross-eyed so it looks less like vomit and more like yummy terds, say, “I actually really want Indian food. Let’s do that. Do you mind?”

Instead of being snippy with someone you really care about, say, “Hey, I’m sorry if I snap at you. I have a really bad headache, I’m really stressing about packing and I’m scared of everything.”

If you had a really bad day, ask for a hug. If your back really hurts, ask someone to give you a quick rubdown. And then ask them to massage your back. (HEYO MASTURBATION JOKE! I MAY HAVE EXITED PUBERTY IN THE BODY BUT NOT IN THE BRAIN! BOOBIES ARE FUNNY!)

Say what you want. Or else you are dooming yourself to a life full of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. Maybe you’ll blame your friends, but it’s not their fault. How can someone fail to give you what you want if they never knew? If you never give people the chance to follow through that’s your fault.

Also: no more speaking in code.

Before I left WI to come back to NYC, I was having a hard time seeing all my friends. Permission to speak candidly? I have a lot of friends who don’t hang out in the same social group. So I spent a lot of time trying to make everyone happy around me. And I kept getting this: “If you don’t have time for me, I understand.” But it didn’t feel like that. It felt like, “I really wanna see you, and I’ll be sad if I don’t see you.” But why don’t we say what we mean??

Because life is scary. And it’s risky.

When someone asks you on a date and you say, “I’m busy, maybe next week” you better mean that. Cuz otherwise you’re giving that person false hope which is more rude than saying what you really mean, “I’m not interested in you in that way”. Or, “I’m really invested in this other guy.” And when you’re seeing someone and you lose interest in them, don’t say, “I’m really busy this week”. Say what you mean, you f*ckin’ cowards. Say, “Hey, I was really horny when I met you. My boner thirst has been satiated. Aloha.” Say, “I’m a douchebag that’s incapable of feeling human emotion, and I don’t know how to attach. I’m sorry.” And when I confront you, don’t say, “…I was sick?” You deserve to have your dick chopped off cuz you’re a sorry excuse for a man. Just tell the fuckin’ truth.

When you break up with someone, just do it. Sugar-coating might be nice in theory but it’s really harmful. Cuz if there’s one thing that hurts more than heartbreak, it’s a bottle of heartbreak followed by a shot of hope. Just say why you needed to break up. Do. Not. Give. False. Hope. Just cuz you wanna be a good person. That makes you a shitty person. Because you told lies to someone so you could sleep better at night. Sometimes people suck. There are times in my life when I have sucked. Sucked REAL bad. And I had to go to bed knowing that I did a shitty, shitty thing. And I lost sleep over it for a good week or two. But I made up for it. And I know I’m not perfect, but I’m definitely not as assholey as I felt then. Being an honest asshole is worse than being a lying asshole. Cuz if you lie to me, I’ll never know what you really mean. I’ll always think, ‘He said this but maybe he meant that”. Life is full of uncertainty. The least we can do is tell the truth.

When you wanna know the answer to a specific question, ask it. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t ask a generic question in hopes that the person will magically read your mind and answer it. Chances are that the other person KNOWS the question you’re not asking and they will purposefully NOT answer it. So. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to know the answer to this question?” If so, then ask. Ask, “Are you seeing someone? Is it serious? Are you over me? Do you ever think about me involuntarily? Is it really over? Are you sorry?”

And most importantly: say how you feel.

“Hey, when you talk to me like that it hurts my feelings.”

“Hey, when you use my first name like that it feels really condescending.”

“Hey, I was really upset that you bailed on our plans.”

“I love you.”

“Hey, I get really anxious when you’re not here.”

“Hey, I really, really miss you.”

“Hey, I really want to be taken care of.”

“I’m scared.”

“Hey, I want you to be my boyfriend.”

It’s hard. Life is really hard. It’s hard to put yourself out there. Saying how you feel is like eating an entire strawberry cheesecake on your own: you don’t know if you’re gonna feel better or worse after you do it but you’re pretty sure you’ll feel worse. And it’s really hard to put your feelings out there, cuz you don’t know how the other person is gonna respond. Starting a conversation is easy, because there’s nothing at risk. “Hi my name is Booger, I’m a friend of Spackle. What do you do for a living? Oh my god, I don’t know what that is but you smell like cash so I’m gonna keep talking to you!” You have nothing to lose. But saying, “Hey, I can’t stop thinking about you. Lying in bed without you is like lying in a padlocked coffin underground except my room smells less like worms and more like the Tostitos crumbs that I’m definitely lying on. I like you too much and I don’t know why,” is hard. When I say, “I wanna be with you. And I wanna talk about you all the time and show you off to the world and laugh with you all the time,” I don’t know what you’re gonna say back. You might say, “Yes yes A MILLION TIMES YES” or maybe you’ll say, “I don’t feel that way,” or maybe you won’t say anything. Or maybe you’ll say, “I can’t.” And all of that hurts. It hurts if you say “no”. It hurts if you say “maybe”. It hurts if you say “yes”. It hurts if you say nothing. Because I know that everything ends. If you say “no”, it ends now. If you say, “maybe” it doesn’t start or end and my heart makes this face: :-/ . If you say nothing, I say nothing but my heart keeps asking my head again and again until I drown it with cholesterol and dairy. If you say yes, it’s still gonna end. Maybe it won’t work. Maybe we’ll break up in a month because we’ll end up in different places. Maybe you’ll move (on). Maybe we’ll get married and then get divorced because you can’t handle the way I refuse to look at the negative side. Maybe we’ll get married and live happily ever after for 60 years, but then right after the words “The End” you’ll die of Alzheimer’s and I’ll wish I would die of heartbreak. In any scenario, I’ll have to live without you. (Even if I die first, I’ll have to know that I might leave you alone some day which would nearly kill me anyway so I’ll tell my fragile heart to push that thought out of my labyrinthal mind.) No matter what you say in this instant, this whatever will end. Maybe in 1 week. Maybe in 3 months. Maybe in 9 months. Maybe in 3 years. Maybe in 60. It will end. And I will be sad. For a while.

We like to think that when we leave someone’s life, we leave a huge cater inside that other person that they have to spend months reparing. We like to think the damage we have done is irreparable. We like to think, ‘They still think of me.’ But it’s not always true. My heart, like Celine’s, will go on. Scientists say that the liver is the only human organ that can regenerate, but I have proven them wrong over and over and over. I’ve given my heart to someone that left. But I wasn’t left with a crater where my heart once was. My heart regenerated. It healed over the open sores. And my heart isn’t the same as before; it’s better. It’s stronger. It knows what it wants, and it knows what it won’t put up with. Yes, it hurts like a motherfucker uponst a motherfucker uponst another motherfucker.

But at least I can say that I put myself out there for someone I really cared about.

And I’m doing it again.

And I’m not giving up. I don’t know if that makes me a headstrong romantic or a blind, pathetic fool. But I do know that it makes me brave.

I want to be with you.

James.

(Read below picture.)

(Nothing is smart and nothing makes sense. Living is stupid if you’re gonna die someday. But I wanna be stupid. With you.)

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