On Relative Time

Peoples’ lives are like clocks in the way they are counted. We call everything up to halfway through as counting up and everything after as counting down. Time moves differently for a man in his 20s than it does for a man in his 50s. The weight of time bears down more heavily on the young man (this young man) because there is so much to do that the idea of wasted time chips away at the mind every day. But this does not mean the old man is not, too, carrying the weight of time. He’s had time to do what could be done, whether or not he’d done it. But now time forces itself into his thoughts and says, “I’ll be gone soon.” And this thought forces him to decide to either do more or reflect on what he hadn’t done. And this thought carries the weight of the world as the world carries its weight.

I wrote this two years ago, and I’m re-reading it now, and it’s so bad that it’s good but not very good at all. In my opinion. I’d recommend your best local therapist.


I talk about a new holiday

The new clicheé with Valentine’s Day is the notion that one “should show their love every day instead of just once a year.” And it is not that people are not doing this; admittedly, it is not daily but it is way more than once a year (anniversaries, birthdays, CHRISTMAS). However, the general consensus is that people are often so caught up in the ins and outs of daily life that acts of love seem to slip through the cracks, and it is only by the next Valentine’s Day that the differences are noticeable; things that change gradually never receive attention until there is nothing else to give it.

So why not help the general public? Establishing a second Valentine’s Day could be beneficial for the opinions surrounding the health of the institution of marriage. One of every two marriages ending in divorce is such a staggering statistic that trying to comprehend it in the scope of its occurrence in the United States is like trying to picture every single dollar bill one would receive if they were to win the lottery. (Not that damn Powerball. That would be ludicrous.)

Forcing people to tend to their relationships several months apart is not exactly micromanaging them, but it is a definitely a nice push in the direction of happiness, if we define happiness as dependent on a well-managed and well-tended relationship. What seems to go wrong for most marriages is that people lose that initial spark and subsequently lose all hope for their marriage or they get so jaded by their partners and their own lives that revisiting the foundation of their relationship ends up being like trying to live back at home with mom and dad at 45.* Allowing people to think about something important more often is key. I understand from personal experience that consistent reinforcement is the only way to develop a habit; heck, everyone knows that. The old (and possibly unfounded) saying is that it takes thirty days straight to make a habit. It is not thirty days, but twice a year at months a part seems like the next best alternative for the 120 million-ish married folks in the United States alone.

I am not saying this is absolutely necessary; hundreds (thousands? millions?) of couples everyday find ways to create joy in their lives. However, people are forgetful, or rather, they adapt so well that new things can sometimes lose their glow. Reminders without a snooze button have their way of convincing people to get off their asses and move.

So. The technical stuff. I suggest that this holiday be around the middle August. Maybe second Friday of August. It should be called something related to its purpose, like Nous Day (“We” Day). Obviously not a federal holiday. The representative colors for treats and stuff are red and goldenrod. Or maybe like some lavender and navy.

* I have absolutely no idea what marriage is like. I don’t think this was my worst guess, but it certainly wasn’t my best. This is my moderate-level guess.

I talk about bad writing

Bad writing may be just as valuable as good writing. Honestly, I do believe that it is just as crucial as good writing. I don’t know the proportions, though.

Actually, as I think about which of 51/49 or 60/40 or 75/25 is most appropriate, the idea that it doesn’t necessarily need to be constant is dawning on me. Maybe writing can actually be 75% bad writing at the beginning, at which point it hits 60, then 51, then 49, and so on. And then maybe writing peaks, and then it falls but not nearly at the rate that it rose, and surely it won’t ever fall as low as when it started, right? I can’t imagine a person writing for so long and somehow just becoming bad at writing (again).

Anyway, I started this post with the intention of saying that I want my writing to be bad right now. If it’s not, awesome. If it is, then I’m glad; I want to be a great writer, and the way most people improve, myself included, is by first being just garbage. I want to get my mistakes out there so I can learn from them more quickly.

I talk about a song on the Moana soundtrack

I think there’s a certain thrill in anticipation of listening to a song for the first time, expecting to like it, particularly when the song starts just the way that’s right for your ears and only gets better.

I have abundant expectations for Moana. A Polynesian princess? Hell yes! And for the soundtrack, Alessia Cara recorded How Far I’ll Go, which is pretty fitting considering the state of the popular music world right now. She has a unique voice in that the timbre is the appeal, not necessarily her sheer singing skill. She just sounds good. The song has clear EDM influences in its production, and the chord progression is very common in pop music. So it’s easy to like if you don’t completely abhor EDM music and its subtypes. My only complaint is that, though the key change is not unwelcome, it was not very well done; the transition could’ve been much smoother.

This kind of music, specifically the mood the chord progression creates, particularly in the context of a Disney film, make me excited to fall in love with another story.

On Sparks

“We were never in love, but oh, God, we could have been.”

You are the last to leave my room, though I tried to nonverbally the whole evening to ensure that this was not my intention. We stand and talk about nothing, but it all sounds so clear when you say it. I do not know why you are still here in my dorm room or why I do not know what I am feeling. I am usually so able to remain outside my consciousness and stay logical, but right now I understand only that our words are knocking on a door we are not allowed to open. What we are doing is not flirting; at least, it is not flirting in the form that I am so used to seeing.

You see, what we are doing is the ghostly, also intangible version of flirting; whatever normal flirting is, cut in half, minced, ground, and then grated through a cheese grater after the customer says “Enough” after 0.5 seconds. It is so light that I can barely see it is there. I have only the slightest hint of confirmation when you say you should shower so you step outside my room.
You are standing in the hallway when you bend down to tie your shoe. I bend down too because I plan on untying your shoe because I want you to smile at me. But as I crouch down, waiting eagerly, starting intently at that damn shoelace, I notice you look up, your face much closer to mine than I think either of us expect, and your eyes are wide and outshine any other feature on your face. You stare at me with a slight grin on your face. This is when I know. Bad timing though because this knowledge takes over me and I freeze. I do not know where to look so I stand.

I do not think moments like this happen every day. We had moments of sparks while we spoke of nothing in my room, but this was a flare, brighter than any spark and just as quick to evaporate. But flares can leave scars on the surface. That is what you have done.

I want to think that this was all coincidence and that my search for something remarkable is polluting my thoughts, but I have to believe this was a real moment of electricity.

I talk about water families

Family in the important sense of the word.

I have a very good friend whose family basically adopted me, but the thing is that even if I were never to have met them, they would be my family anyway.

My friend has always been my sister, and her brothers and sisters my brothers and sisters, but even though we did not meet until about a year and a half ago, people like them have been the world for decades.

I think that is the beautiful thing about family. They have been family all along.

On Nights

Nights without stars do not interest me.

The moon knows this and so once a month she shines beyond all the stars of the night.

It does not say much of me to dismiss a starless night, but it says less of the moon who thinks she must wait a month before shining her light wholly and brilliantly.

Though, I can say the moon is held highly because who else can brave the unending army of stars and appear to us even brighter than a universe?

I talk about old love

I am a firm believer in love, but I think, when it comes to romance, that I am looking for someone with whom I feel a warmth between a furnace and a candle.

When I imagine the kind of love I want to have today and tomorrow and twenty and sixty years from now, I see the bursts of light appear periodically, the kind of light that fills me up like the sun behind clouds. I also see the flickers that speak in the silence, quietly asserting its own presence. But mostly I see the steady fire around which people share themselves. I call this fire old love.

To me, old love is not necessarily love that has lasted or love by and from our parents and grandparents, though it is not unlike these things. Specifically, I consider old love that love which, like wine or good friends or meaningful habits, has aged into elegance; that is to say, excess has been eroded away. What remains is love that burns steadily and can be sustained easily.

Old love is what I see when I think about my future. It is what fills me when I think about my past. And when I find someone who burns with such a flame, it will be what I see in my present as I close my eyes and feel my heart.

I write lyrics, 1

I wanted to fall in love

With no one but you

I saw you in Adventureland

Even then, I knew

My future flashed before my eyes

And all I saw was you.


A warm night in summer

Twilight burning out

I could feel your presence

Change the air around

The air inside my lungs

Electric now


I wish I had a ring back then

I’d marry you every day

You’re why I believe in love

I dream you feel the same

I think I have always known, but the best way for me to hone a craft is to put in the sheer time. So this is me, putting in the sheer time.

Tonight, my goal was to write the lyrics to a song. I have done that. There is no melody or accompaniment, but those were not the goal tonight.

13 Dec 15

EDIT: I think a 2,1,7 – 1,7,6 approach may work here.

I talk about a proposal idea

My Proposal: a draft.

Quiet love, I think, is my favorite kind. Of the millions of kinds of love out there, quiet love strikes me most frequently.

And Sara Bareilles has a performance of Coldplay’s song Yellow, and all I could feel during it was quiet love and a need to write.

Some pretext:

  • Please just assume that all the following feelings are reciprocated. It is much more fulfilling that way.
  • Play her cover of Yellow while reading.
  • The lyrics within the writing shouldn’t dictate your reading pace.

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