I’ve something to confess. I caught myself reading something I shouldn’t have been reading. I caught myself reading your journal. I came into your classroom to cover for you, just for a few moments. I came in to watch your students while you ran down the hall. And my fingers couldn’t help but touch the open pages sitting on your desk, so white and naked, colored by the outpour of your thoughts.
And I read something that made me stop. I read this: This is my dream job. And this one sentence, among all others, was written with such flair! It was written with pride, and joy, and fullness of spirit. And my first thought was: I wish I could make that statement and mean it. But my second thought was: I soon will.
Following this was a sense of urgency, as if I had to do something immediately, right now. Something to remedy that first feeling—an antidote to the dissatisfaction. And that was when it registered in my head that, scary as it may be, and time-consuming as it may be, I have already made the right decision to pursue my true desire, so that I might also have my dream job.
I am leaving this place in a few days. I will be gone from this hall… these halls… forever. I will leave these halls for other halls, where someone will be standing at the door to welcome me, rather than the other way around. And believe me, I will never look back!
But… before I go, I just have to say… I apologize for desecrating your privacy. But, this is something you must understand. This desecration of your thoughts was an impetus for mine. Not that that was ever a good enough reason for me to read what was so profoundly yours. But then, you left the open pages, like a blossoming rose, right beneath my fingertips. And what could my fingers do but touch, and brush, and caress? Do you know what I mean? You probably never will. And you will probably never forgive me. But I will thank you forever. Because your joy was my momentary misery, before it turned itself upon its head and reminded me of my joy, as well.
I see you after… how many years? I make it a point to look at your face. I look. I understand one thing: You are the incarnation of Desperation. You are the discarded lover gone mad. You are lonely. Alone. Feeding on long-lost memories. Holding my name between your parched lips. Murmuring it secretly, so it sounds like the squealing sands of a violent desert storm.
You can’t erase my absence. You can’t erase my presence.
It is not because you hate me that you wish to make me suffer; it is because you love me.
But, no. This is not love. This is Obsession. Consumption. Insanity.
I want to say, You are pathetic. I do not want to make the effort.
I recall how you loved listening to your own voice. I recall how no other voice but yours mattered. Now, there is no voice inside your throat. Your desperation has petrified all timbre.
I recall how you gazed at your own reflection, so lost in self-love. Was what others lavished on you not enough? But for you, nothing was ever enough. Yours was always the need for more.
I recall… it doesn’t matter.
As I close my eyes over these memories, a persistent question saturates my vision: What is a word for who YOU are?
I have no words. Or, rather. I have no energy to seek the words. Or perhaps… I have no desire to expend the energy.
One blink, and you are black tar inside my eyelids.
I discarded you, so long ago. And what I discard, I never recover.