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02.04.01 2:34 a.m.

"Anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life and love shouldn't be one of them."


  -I don't know, possibly me 



Falling Up

NOTE: This entry was created on 3/17/01 from a letter written to Eileen.

This isn't at all easy for me to say. It should be, but it isn't. It's pretty much all I thought about today (but in a non-obsessive way. I lean away from being obsessive about anything). In fact, it is so hard for me to say that I can't write it.
I know, that's a cop-out. Arrest me. I tried writing it and I got as far as "I am falling in" then my fingers refused to cooperate further. But perhaps that is all that needs to be said.
I am falling in.
Or perhaps, I've fallen and I can't get up.
I don't want to be. Not when I am only this ethereal smoke surrounding the word "friend." This person Eileen wants and needs but is scared to have. Every day, it grows like a zygote. Did you know they grow billions of times larger than when they are first created? This does not bode well for me.
That's slightly hostile, I know. I apologize and I stand by my promise to not try to push her into anything she is not ready for. I wish I could sit my heart down in a chair and give it a lecture about the importance of patience and how trying to rush into relationships with girls who have never really had a serious relationship tends to make them flee and therefore make us (the heart and me) rather sad to have lost them. But my heart, like a petulant child, would refuse to listen. Little children and petulant cardiac muscles tend to be rather immediacy centered. And amazing girls named Eileen are not, understandably so.
But that is not why I am writing this. I am writing it because... I think of her as my girlfriend (I am going to have to learn enough French that I can find a term I like better than "girlfriend." It reminds me of what one calls the girl they just snatched a kiss from on the playground in fifth grade).
Whether I should or not is open to debate, but really not the issue here. I want to share her pleasure and pain, even now. I want to be the one she tells her day. I want to be that last call before she falls asleep.
She confessed to me the loss of her aunt, and I thought only of consoling her. Of easing this confusion and pain, because I cannot endure not helping her. Not as I would a friend, but as I would an angel.
A part of me, however repressed, was five minutes away from getting in my car and going to her so that she could cry on my shoulder, or do whatever it is she needed to do on my shoulder. I think I will always wish I had.
Today, I sat on my bed and I looked out at the air as though it were her. I am dramatic, so I should be pardoned. I tried to explain to the Air Eileen how I felt. Tears began streaming over the bridge of my nose (my head was on the pillow looking out, otherwise they would have streamed down my face.)
I am not in control, I make no secret of that. I think all semblance of control slipped once I confessed to her that she alone hold sway over my heart. Foolishly I surrendered the reins of my emotions in this respect, both to her and fate.
Like a soldier trapped behind enemy lines, I repeat a mantra in my head reminding myself of my name, age, and experience. Reminding myself of the information that should be necessary to regain my strength. But they only way to truly get any of it back is to pretend for a moment that every day, she doesn't become more important to me. I refuse to do that. I will not give over an ounce of this to feel in control. Call me a kamikaze of the heart (oh, please don't, that is so cheesy and I already made one soldier reference in this entry.)
So here I sit, 2:30 at night/in the morning (depending on your perspective) confessing that I am at a Bjorkian level of lack of control about the one person who put me in this tailspin. (That might constitute a third soldier/war reference...) I sacrifice a lot in order to not pop through the sheer force of my feelings. I pretty much give Eileen Estella-like power over the pips on my soul (Okay, I made a Dicken's allusion and a moderately clever pun, the war references can be forgiven).
I would say here that she may very well run in fear and I wouldn't blame her. But I know from my achingly limited experience of her that she will not run from me because I confess... emotion... to her. She may be passing brusque for a moment to give herself a little breathing room, but she will apologize before I even realize the intent of her words.
So, she will not run away, in my opinion. Because, well, there are worst monsters to run from that Monsignor Adoration and not many better to run to. Well, that and that she feels it is beautiful to be with me and I can't ever forgive her marking my heart like that. She'll have to work it off in trade.
Oh, I deviated from the true intent of my letter again into thinly veiled romantics. Curse me!
Today I sat and read, mostly the end of an Anne Rice book. And as I read it, I slowly felt this sensation creep into me. Was it hunger? No, for I do not crave any food. Yet my insides are empty. Perhaps I was thirsty... you know what? I can abandon this course. You know where it leads. A blind epileptic monkey knows where it leads. I figured out that I longed for her and I was... stunned isn't the word, exactly. A bit disappointed, but pleasantly. Disappointed because, well, she has not made any sort of commitment to me. After recent experiences, I decided that I would hold off on giving any parts of my away before said person explicitly asked for them. Yet my heart was packing an overnight bag. But pleasant because... I'm falling in.
I told you I thought I had the potential to with her. This doesn't mean that I yet am in. Vampires cannot enter uninvited according to popular mythology (and the writers' on the WB to prevent huge logic holes). Or that I ... her. But I am on that train (what? You thought it would travel by Greyhound Bus?).
See, I am holding off on saying that word in context of her because I want her to know when (oh drat, I didn't type "if" I didn't even THINK "if." I'm screwed.) I do, I completely mean it. I will not throw it away. And when I do say it, I am hers, in one way or another, forever. See, that's all committal and scary. Not my intention to crash her dimension.
You know, never before did I write like this. When I was wee and new at the whole concept of romance and relationships, I wrote silly "U're rilly cute 'n stuff" kinds of letter. And with Kate... I just didn't. They were not appreciated. But, shockingly, I realize I am typing about her and you get a deluge of emotionally sopping sentences.
Even though Eileen is really cute and stuff.
One of my friends said today, after telling her of Eileen in the same terms I would use to write to her (Eileen), that I am in the process of writing the great American novel about her. I thought you would find that sweet. So, back to the point... maybe a recap is in order:

V/O ANNOUNCER

Last time of "Days of Our Knights"

Cut to

INT. XEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

XEN is talking to air while he lies on his bed

Cut to

INT. XEN'S ROOM - DAY

Montage of scenes from last Sunday's episode where XEN is kissing EILEEN's neck and face.

V/O XEN

(Whisper)

If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

Cut to

INT. XEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

XEN crying to the air and reaching his hand slowly out to it. Whispers of what he is saying can be heard, but they are unintelligible. When it looks as though he is stroking an invisible cheek...

Cut to

INT. XEN'S ROOM - DAY

Scene from last Sunday's episode where XEN is sing Rent with EILEEN. No speech is heard. In the background, an electric guitar is playing Musetta's Waltz from Puccini's opera "La Boheme." It fades out. Their eyes connect for a moment and you hear the words "No day but today" come from the CD player.

Cut to

INT. XEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

XEN blows the air a kiss.

XEN

...So this is where I am, but I don't know where you are. I know you are not ready to hear this and I am not quite ready to say it but I...

XEN cries louder into his pillow

Fade to black


Shall I sell Joe Esterhauz the rights now?
Well, it is late (I say that frequently in these entries. Perhaps I should try writing one when it isn't very late.) and I should go to bed in the unlikely hope that I will get to see her tomorrow, if but for a few minutes.


reading: The Witching Hour , Anne Rice
listening: the lilt of Eileen's voice in my ears
wanting: You get three guesses, the first two don't count
interesting thought: The stars are more brilliant when the air is freezing me to the core.

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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