As my relationship with Jacques moved forward things got very dark very fast. I do not want to make excuses for the events that transpired or discuss the underlying reasons. I only want to show some snapshots of my own stupidity during a one week period in February. If a man were to say these things to me now there is no way I’d stay; I’d be gone with a smile and a wave and a sigh of relief to get away from that hot mess. But as a teenager, to walk away from a first love is to die a thousand deaths, each one more poetically tragic than the next.
(2/22/94 3:58 p.m.)
(A continuation of much introspective rumination, or “Belly-aching” as it is also known.) Something’s wrong. I told [Jacques] after school that he’s acted weird all day. He said, “I know.” I asked if he’s just been in deep thought and he said yes. I asked him what about and he said, “I’ve just been thinking about my life.” I said, “I thought you were upset with me for something.” (Because he was always upset with me for something and I usually didn’t have a clue as to what I had done. I didn’t know it at the time but it ususally had nothing to do with me; I just always ended up in the crossfire of a completely different war.) He didn’t say anything and so, joking, I said, “That, too!” and he said “yeah.” I asked him if he really was upset at me and he said, “I don’t know.” I told him I had to go and he started to leave. I said, “Don’t I get a kiss?” He came back and said, “a small one.” He kissed my quickly and I said, “all I’ve gotten today are small kisses!” and I was joking and I said, “You and your deep thinking!” and we were walking away. He said, “You’re being a whore!” and he didn’t turn around and smile at me like he usually does when he says stuff like that. I said, “I am not!” I thought he was joking but now I’m not so sure. (Seriously? The girl who had only been with him and knew diddly-squat about sex was being a whore? Well, that makes the kind of sense that doesn’t. Truth was, he’d say things like this if I spoke with one of his guy friends. He’d also say it if I wanted to make out a lot, which was a very strange response for a teenage boy to have. But I have already discussed the “Jacques dichotomy”.)
(2/23/94 7:54 a.m.)
(Please let me apologize in advance for my potty mouth but I was finally, rightfully pissed. Of course I didn’t tell him, I only told my journal, so fat lot of good it did me.) Well it’s fucking 1st period. [Jacques] didn’t meet me beforehand. I saw him walk by in the alley and look down the hall. I ran after him and stopped him right before he went in the hall. I grabbed his bag and said, “I want to know what’s wrong.” He laughed and said “nothing.” I said, “Don’t fucking lie to me.” He said, “Really, it’s nothing. I guess I just need some time by myself.” I said, “Why didn’t you say that instead of just walking off?” He said, “I just thought of it.” I stood and stared at him and then said “okay” and he said C-ya” and we left. (I read this and I can only think, “the balls on this guy!”)
(2/24/94 6:50 a.m.)
(I really should have been paying attention in Honors Chemistry; perhaps I would have gotten better grades. Instead I lamented cornering Jacques again and forcing him to talk because I ended up getting answers I didn’t want.) He said, “We don’t have anything to say to each other anymore. I just don’t see this relationship going anywhere except for us splitting up.” I said, “There’s no way for me to change your mind, is there?” He said, “Not until I control your life. But . . . I love you too much to do that to you. It wouldn’t be fair to you, or to me, and I wouldn’t do it.” He started saying something about becoming the kind of person he doesn’t want to be. I said how and he said, “By punching you and hitting you, it’s just the beginning of something worse. You don’t know what goes through my head when I do those things. I think ‘I bet I could punch her right now.’ Not that I want to. I’d never want to cause you physical pain in any way . . . I’d probably kill myself if I did. But I might, and I don’t want to [. . .] “I just don’t think I should affect your life so much. How you’d hurt yourself if we broke up. I just don’t think I should have that much to do with your life.” [. . .] I love him so much it hurts me to hear him like this, and it hurts me even more to know that I’m part of the problem. I never wanted to hurt him or cause him pain or anything. All I wanted was to love him. It feels like I’ve failed at loving him. (I read this and I cringe. My instinct is to explain away this behavior and to stress that I was never for a moment afraid that he would ever hurt me. But I have to let the words stand on their own, and on their own they are terrifying. If any young girls in my life read this and they only take away one thing let it be this: if a man ever says things like this to you, you run far, far the fuck away from him. You do not pass GO, you do not collect $200, you just fucking run. I was incredibly fortunate that I was dealing with a very confused boy trying to work things out in his own head. I was lucky that he never acted on his impulses. A lot of girls aren’t lucky and I should have had the sense to get away. Before [Jacques] I had always been the strong one, the self-assured one. After him, the me that I was disappeared. I now barely recognize the person writing these lines. Things could have turned out so much worse than they did.)
Addiction (2/25/94) Because that’s what it was
I depended upon you
me the love I so
desperately needed. Why was I so freakin’ desperate?
I expected you
me as unconditionally
as I loved you It wasn’t healthy but it was love nonetheless
I hoped for you Hope isn’t usually a bad thing
with me. You made the promise
a thousand times Because I kept asking him to
Those were just words
when you thought the truth
would burn me
I expected you
to love me, then
I should have expected nothing,
Then I wouldn’t have been disappointed. This is when I became the eternal pessimist
The Poet’s Fancy (2/27/94) Lamest title ever
My mind laughs at me. Because I am a moron?
I am so dull
as to be soft.
I have no rough
edges. Actually, my elbows were rather pointy
If I am hollow
do I live? Lame rhetorical questions should be banned in poetry
My shell should crumble.
I should have ended.
I am a photograph.
I am candlelight,
roses, And whiskers on kittens . . .
and all the words I can never say.
A part of me rubs off
on everything I
Love songs are like heart attacks, Line lifted directly from a Baby Animals song
They kill me.
I think I’m disintegrating.
I have to say that it’s difficult at times to read the words in my own journal. They are very raw and they bring to mind an image of someone I have not been in a really long time. I will say, however, that this broken , sometimes hopeless, usually hapless girl did eventually have a happy ending. So perhaps that’s reason enough to move forward?