“Don’t bend; don’t water it down, don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” -Ann Rice
I was driving back across country from California. It was the second morning on the road. I had reached Kansas around 5 am. Nobody ever has really mentioned anything about Kansas. Well let me just take a second to say, it is one of the most underrated states. It was beautiful. Rolling green fields and hills and just amazing. It’s hard to put it into words really. I felt very at home there, which is not a feeling I get very often.
I was the only car on the highway. I couldn’t see much at first because it was still dark out. Then something amazing happened; the sun started to come up. All of a sudden, I started to be able to make out silhouettes of tractors in the middle of amazingly large fields. There were little oil rigs pumping back and forth. Scattered massive, ancient oak trees with cows sleeping around them. And the colors, oh my goodness, the colors. The sky exploded with beautiful blues and pinks and the greens and teals from the fields began to shine. I had to pull over and just take it all in. I know my words aren’t even describing it properly. I tried to take picture after picture as I sat on the side on the deserted highway, but none of them did the scene the justice it deserved. I felt like I was the only one watching this amazing sunrise and remarkable display of beauty. I wanted anybody else to notice it; to appreciate it. I wanted to share it with someone, anyone, else. It deserved a huge crowd applauding and witnessing this display. But there was no one else to be seen anywhere. As I sat there, in Kansas of all places, enjoying and trying to mentally take in one of the most beautiful spectacles I have ever been blessed enough to be apart of in my entire life, I realized something very, very important.
I took this road trip and during it, in California, I decided that I wasn’t going to write Nick emails anymore. See, I kind of do this crazy thing and I write him an email weekly to just keep him updated on my life, to let him know I still love him, and to try to be a constant in a world of so many unsure and changing things. Sometimes I feel like the only people and things he now surrounds himself with aren’t the best habits and environments, so I just try to let him know that he has always had the potential to be great and do great things and that he doesn’t have to fall into stupid routines and scenes that I know he never really enjoyed anyways. The emails never get a response, but I know that he reads them because of certain signs and actions that he takes through them. I know, a lot of people are going to think that this sounds psycho and crazy and sometimes, I do too. But a very wise person who I respect on too many levels once told me, “Love pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it, even if it costs everything: your pride, your time, and your dignity. There is no dignity in love, there is no too much, and in the end if love doesn’t succeed, it is better to know that you gave too much then held back because other people may think your crazy or pathetic.” So, I write emails.
Something happened in California though that made me not want to write these emails anymore. I was around a bunch of old friends and met some new ones. To be honest, I met a guy that was roommates with one of my friends who moved out there. He was great. He was attractive, nice, funny, my age, polite, considerate, and we had awesome conversations. I liked him, I kinda felt it the first few minutes of conversation. We all went out to the bar that night and had a great time. When I get drunk, I still cry about Nick. I can’t control it, I really, really try but it never works. Without fail, at some point in the hours of drinking, I will cry. So of course this happened. I cried on this guy’s shoulder for a good hour or so, and he just listened. He brought me water and tissues. He didn’t make the typical comments that everyone else seems to make… the get-over-it, the he’s-an-idiot, the it’s-his-loss, and all the other bullshit sayings that really don’t help anything and kind of just make me angry because half of the people don’t even know Nick, so how could they know that it wasn’t my loss?! So this guy just sat there and listened and comforted me. At the end of it all, all he said was that Nick was a lucky guy to have someone in the world love him the way I did. We went to sleep, and it was nice to sleep next to a guy. It really was.
The next day, I had sex with him. I’m not sure if I care who knows it or care what people think of me for saying it. He was a great guy and we had a good time for the rest of my California trip. I know I’ll see him again and I think because of that, that’s why I decided to stop writing the emails. I think I realized why everyone just jumps from one person to the next when they break up. It’s easier than healing. It’s like putting a bandaid over a cut, it doesn’t heal it, but it helps. I think it helps break the intimacy and the feelings that you formed with the old person and gives you new ties to a new person. I can see why other people use this method instead of taking time. Trust me, taking time sucks. Remembering sucks. So why not form new memories and spend your time with someone else?
There was just one problem: He isn’t Nick. We got along great, he’s really attractive, and really sweet. He’s just as smart and probably a little more kind than Nick. Honestly, he might be a better person than Nick. See, even typing that my heart and my head screams WRONG! I dont know. But I do know that it was nice to be appreciated. It’s nice to be back home and get good morning texts from someone, to know someone is thinking about me. It’s refreshing to have missed calls and see silly memes on my phone. For a moment there, I could’ve let myself get caught up in all of this and just stop writing the emails to someone who doesn’t even respond or wish me happy birthday for the first time in 3 years. And for a minute, I did.
Then I hit Kansas. I witnessed this amazing sunrise. I realized that it was very possible that I was the only one who saw it. Then something clicked in my head. It would have still happened and still been just as beautiful if even I had missed it. If I had been sleeping like the rest of the world, it still would have been just as remarkable. The sun continues to rise and create this much beauty no matter the response it gets. If it’s ignored or appreciated by thousands of people, it is constant. It doesn’t change. It tries again tomorrow. It invites everyone to appreciate it everyday, and if no one accepts the offer, it still does it’s thing.
The Kansas sunrise made me realize that I don’t want to take the easy way out. The way out that everyone else takes, the typical move on approach. I know I could. If it wasn’t with that guy, there are plenty others expressing interest. And Nick really isn’t better than all of them, looks wise or intelligence wise or even heart wise. Nick might not appreciate me or my emails or my love, but I think I’ve decided to be like the sunrise. I’m still going to be me, I’m still going to write him emails, and I’m still going to love him… with or without his presence or response.
Maybe one day he’ll wake up for it.