wanted to show you the stars

sometimes it's like if you imagine a fish that knows it's caught and knows it's gonna die and it still thrashes around a little bit from time to time.

i miss him tonight, that's just natural right? i mean, it seems like the most natural thing in the world, to me. you loved someone, really loved them. their big feet and their dirty fingernails, their messy hair, glowing eyes, and their words, most of all their words. and how they played guitar for you and skated around even though they're twice as old as the other skatepark kids. and how they were the best friend you could ever wish for and the worst idiot boyfriend you couldn't walk away from. they are deeply and permanently flawed, and they are shining beautiful, and all of this is true.

when it ends then you can breathe more, you can breathe deeper. you can be in your life and stretch out in the bed, your toes can feel the corners. you can feel your strength, you can feel the corners of your self too, you can push them out a bit, play with their shape. you're more fully occupying yourself but it's sadder, too, at first it's really very sad. loneliness and freedom are different words for the same thing. you only call it freedom if it's what you want, and at first you don't want it.

but maybe one day you're helping your friend move and this song comes on. maybe it's his favorite song from this one record you listened to all the time together. and it's about somebody leaving, it's about saying goodbye. and you hear two notes of it and you lose your breath for a second. maybe that's because suddenly you realize it's been awhile since you thought about him. it's been awhile since you really really missed him, you can't remember the last time you cried. and that is its own kind of sad, so you skip the song and it's okay but for the rest of the day maybe you just feel like you're thrashing around a little, out of your water.

maybe it is a shock to realize that loneliness has become freedom.
it's strange how the mind & heart do not coordinate their movements.

another strange thing is gratitude, how we express it and how we respond to it. the friend i helped move, we were wrapping her dishes up in newspaper in her kitchen, stacking them carefully in boxes. and she said "thank you so much for helping." and without thinking i said "no problem" and then it hit me what a bad response that is. to this expression of gratitude, it's a brushoff answer. "no problem"...that's not even true. of course it's a problem, loving people, loving friends, sometimes it's work. but work can be good, too.

i'm not explaining it well. i didn't explain it well at the time either and i felt embarrassed and so i stopped.

she understood it sort of, she said "you're not doing it 'cause you love to do it." and i said "no, i'm doing it 'cause i love you." she's a bestfriend friend by the way, i don't always tell all my friends i love them so easily. although perhaps i should, perhaps it would be a happier world..

anyway, i'm not trying to say that helping someone pack is some grand thing, i'm speaking more generally now. what i'm saying is...do good things for the people you care about, because you care about them, and then let them be grateful. don't play it off by saying that what you're doing is easy, no big thing, whatever. it is something, that's the whole point...that they are worth it. respond gracefully, respond in kind. say "you are so welcome." even if it's small. you want them to know that with you, all they have to do is ask. it's that simple. and it always will be.