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12.16.99 12:20 p.m.

Night with its shattered teeth attempts to speak
My pen is present but courage left via the sink
And I'm sorry I snuck up on you from behind
I'm sorry not all my love letters did rhyme
And I'm sorry that Jesus died for my sins
And I swear to God, it won't happen again
And I'm sorry if it was my swerve that tempted you to sway
Oh well, sometimes it be that way

And Romeo was a very nice man
He said "Sweetheart, I don't think you quite understand"
And I'm sorry if you had to explain it like this
I'm sorry I was a point you were destined to miss
And I'm sorry I spoke to you irreverently
Down in the hollow by the old olive tree
And I'm sorry if my heart breaking ruined your day
Oh well, sometimes it be that way

I said "Oh well, I got nothing left to sell
This love was a bell that rang unheard in the air
I was bound to find out that you didn't care"
Said "Oh well, sometimes it be that way"

And Aphrodite with her neon lamp
Kissed Neptune - they put her face on a stamp
And I'm sorry I used it to mail a letter to you
I'm sorry I'm glue and the rest bounces off of you
And I'm sorry not even this jet's metal wings
Could get across these simple things
And I'm sorry if I ever sang your name in vain
Oh well, sometimes it be that way

And Goldilocks - well, she knew three bears
They all ate oatmeal and tiptoed upstairs
And I'm sorry I never got to find you like this
Sleeping like a baby and swaddled in bliss
And I'm sorry for all the times
I forgot to imply something in between the lines
And I'm sorry if I ever caused you pain
Oh well, sometimes it be that way

I said "Oh well, I got nothing left to sell
This love was a bell that rang unheard in the air
I was bound to find out that you didn't care"
Said "Oh well, sometimes it be that way"

And shadow's long fingers - they dance on the wall
Electricity chases its tail in the hall
And I'm sorry if my arms to you were just empty rooms
I'm sorry I never could comfort you
And I'm sorry St. Petersburg is a miserable town
And I'm sorry if I am bringing you down
And I'm sorry if I ever caused you pain
Oh well, sometimes it be that way

And flame licks the air with its silver tongue
Night has many hands but I have just one
And I'm sorry I walked in on you unexpectedly
I'm sorry I didn't serve you Chamomile tea
And I'm sorry I didn't always have a match
That could start a fire big enough for your heart to catch
And I'm sorry if it was my swerve that tempted you to sway
Oh well, sometimes it be that way
Oh well, sometimes it be that way


  - Jewel, "Sometimes it Be That Way" 


Created on 7/19/01 from a letter written to Kate.
I feel like Kate doesn't really appreciate me; that she sees me as a problem to her mental health. How many of her psychological problems does she vicariously tie back to me? This is not what I want in a relationship.
Honestly, I so rarely feel that I am actually her boyfriend. Instead, I feel like a burden. She seems to not want to be with me, and she just can't get around to saying it. She wants to go off and "play." But after she plays, has she solved anything, or has she just put a Band-Aid on a flesh wound? This isn't a game: it's life. Hers and mine.
I don't care that she is only 18. That's no excuse for her behavior, nor does it make any sense in this context. What is that supposed to mean? I am only 19. Two days ago I was "only 18." That is rather old. Aside from that, she herself has told me how mature she feels. Her age has nothing to do with this. She is not 18, because she does not consider herself in terms of years lived on earth. She never did, until she thought it could be an excuse for why she is confused. Well, it isn't. An eighty year old, Chinese man could have the same problem as she is having now.
I am not that much older than her and I feel like I have this a lot more together than she does. Why is that? I grew up in an equally as fucked-up household; I went through very hard times. I've dealt and see the beauty.
It feels to me like she is changing lately, but not evolving. Shying more and more away from me. She is a very big (read as: intelligent, wise, strong, spiritual, willful, independent) girl; she should be okay with the idea that I love her, that I am attracted to her. She used to be. But then, she claimed she was fucked up. It's almost like she is hiding behind these words to avoid intimacy with me. I so rarely feel anywhere near as close to her as I want to. She pushes me away in a hundred different ways.
I really do not want to be doing this. I want this to be a mature, loving relationship. I don't want to have to worry that if I kiss her on the nape of her neck, she is going to act like I brutally raped her. It is wrong to treat me that way. That is not a relationship. It is an emotional prison. She cannot use my emotions against me, to lock me in. I won't let her or anyone else do that to me.
She knows I love her more than anything and would fight until the death for her. That is exactly what I am doing. We are, or at least were, so far past love that the light from love took a million years to reach us. But I haven't felt that way lately.
She has tried to make me feel guilty for loving her in the purest way possible. I will not EVER feel guilty for wanting to kiss her. Both she and I know that I deserve better than that. I should feel free to talk to her about anything on my mind, not have to worry that she is going to decide that I am hateful and she is scared of me. I am not hateful by my very nature. I can get angry, but I deal with that. And I can get offended, but I deal with that too. I admit these faults, and am working on them.
She can act scared of me if she wants, but it is only herself she is scared of. I would not and could not ever hurt her. I can't hurt almost anyone, it's against my humor and would make me ill. This is known innately, so why does she act like I am this violent creature? Life is frankly far too short to anticipate the move of some chess game I am not playing and I will not do it. If she wants that sort of a relationship, she has obviously missed her station. This is the station for "Open, nurturing, caring, sweet, life-long, pure, fun, passionate, stable, magical, unique, true love."
I do not think she is the way she is because I am her first and only boyfriend. That is bullshit and I can only hope we both know that. You don't need to have dated many to know the truth. She has matured on her own, gone through her own pain. She does not need empty relationships, and I should hope she does not want them as a life lesson. If she thinks she does, than I really think she has changed far too greatly and that I do not even know her anymore. She needs to stop using that as an excuse. The last thing she needs right now is an excuse. I beseeched her to be honest with herself, even if she is not being honest with me (I am not claiming she is lying to me in any way). Trite as it is, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. Until she knows that, truly, she can't get better. And she has yet to actually say that she has a problem, she still is blaming. She can't blame outside forces. She should not be blaming at all. That is an impediment to growth. I wish she could accept that she has a problem and seek help. And only SHE knows how to do that.
Goddess knows, I have tried to help her and I shouldn't have. She has used me as a crutch, whether she meant to or not. I am no one's crutch nor do I try to use people as crutches (unless my leg is broken).
She has to live her life. Celebrate that she is alive, not fucking mourn it. Not seek her answers in books or others. It's okay to consider ideas in books but don't say "That's exactly how I feel" and point to a novel. Because she doesn't. She is real. She has lived a radically different life from fictional characters (at least the ones I've read).
She is a great person, whether she believes it or not. So often, I am completely in awe of her. That she exists so close to me. That I can touch a person who can go on for hours about socio-politics with such wry and witty observations, and still be very sexy. I mark myself such a lucky man that I am even her friend, let alone her only love. So you can see how it hurts me when she pulls away from me.
She feels as I do, I know this. But she is letting demons overcome her. She has to know that she is far stronger that any demon in her head. She has to fight them. She taught me to fight mine, whether she knows it or not. She taught me to be a genocidal demon-slayer, and I am eternally grateful.
Yet she, herself, let these piffles encompass her. Demons are tiny, weak things. They know this, and just hope you don't. Listen to your inner-truth, soul, heart, whatsoever you please to call it. But do not live in a world of doubt. Do what makes you truly happy. If she doesn't, she'll end up a bitter, middle-aged woman, regretting the life she could have had. I simply cannot see Kate doing that. So why does she let these doubts goad her into behavior that makes her morose? Fight back. If not for me (and I would actually be both flattered and disappointed were it simply for my benefit), for herself and her inner self. I love her, and deep down, she loves herself passionately and eternally. She needs tyo accept it.



reading: the words in scars
listening: my own gentle sobbingwanting: Kate to be whole and happy
interesting thought: Every day is a fight to be yourself and you can never give up.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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