Saturday, February 28, 2009


"...but I need you! Can't you see that?" I yelled, but she thinks she's got me figured out. She thinks I'm see-through; she thinks I'm glass. Little does she know that I'm tinted. I'm the one fooling this time. Doesn't she know that I am the connoisseur of one-liners and one night stands? You can't work a worker, and you can't outthink someone who hasn’t for years.

She smiled that smile that would go great in
L.A., but nowhere else. You know: the cigarette-smoked, coffee-stained, blood curdling, beautiful, sparkling, movie star-esque smile. It’s the type of smile where you either want to choke her, or run before she chokes you. Typically, I wait it out.

"Lauren, are you even listening to me anymore?" I proclaimed, already predicting my answer from a mile away. She saw the blink. There is no way around it.

The funny thing is I was never like this before. I was very run of the mill. My underwear used to have "Sage" written on every tag (it’s a nickname. My mother calls my Paul. My father doesn’t call me much), my socks had X's on them to know which ones are mine. I did the same thing every day, just to make sure I was still alive. I went through the motions until I got motion sickness; then I did it again.

But that one nihilist of the female race changed me, and I want it back. She owes me a pen for my undergarments, coffee and a cigarette for every single morning, and a good thousand hours of sleep.

Morrissey used to write about girls like you. He wrote albums just thinking about girls like you. You made him famous. You made him money. How dare you! Who do you think you are? Where are my royalties?

The difference between me and him is that I am real. I am talking from the heart; he is talking from the Walkman, the mp3 player, the iPod, or whatever other hipster electronic music device you have. I am talking from that abyss in my chest, the one that you had no problem deserting.

I always remembered how to spell "dessert" from "desert", because you always want two helpings of "dessert", which contains two S's. But, after much thought, being deserted twice wouldn't hurt so badly.

I used to spread gossip around the school about you. The handwriting on the bathroom door was mine. I couldn’t believe that you never found out…apparently your mascara went to your brain.

Or maybe the smoke made a thick layer covering it.

Or maybe the tight jeans cut off any circulation you had.

Or maybe you just aren’t as bright as I gave you credit for.

The idea of you and me couldn’t have ever happened. Let’s be real, here. We’d be one half eloquently beautiful, and ¼ love disabled. The other ¼ I’ll leave up to the imagination.

I remember when you walked in that night. You were the stereotypical gorgeous female, wearing her stereotypical gorgeous dress, walking in her stereotypical gorgeous style. Then, there’s me. You know, that one boy that just kind of stands there? Too dignified to be a loner, but not even cool enough to be a wallflower.

You left as quickly as you came in. And then, even before the door shut behind you, you were back again. Where are you now, darling? If history is repeating itself, I’d love to give Big Ben a piece of my dirty little mind. I’d love to tell him how he’s ruining that little speck of patience I had left, and once it’s gone, he will pay for it in blood.

Or time.

If all this is is a game, then call me a cheater. Call me a crook. Call me anything you want. I will play Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun, but the gentleman I am, I will let you go first. Don’t thank me, it’s only common courtesy.

It was at a Christmas party on December 21, 2003, and little old me, I was just waiting for something disastrous to happen. I was just waiting for someone to walk through the blizzard going on outside and come steal my heart. I was just waiting for someone to take off their coat, walk up to me, and say "I’ve been just waiting for you my entire life. Take me now; I’m yours." I wish I were still just waiting.

We started off with some small talk.

"Hey, I’ve seen you around before."

"Really, top honors in your class? Congratulations!"

"You’ve had that muscle in my chest since you came here. Let’s go."

Okay, maybe the last one didn’t happen, but it should have. There’s a more than likely chance that it would’ve scared you away, and none of this would’ve happened. Right now, I would’ve been sipping coffee loaded with sugar, watching late night infomercials while faking happiness.

Instead, I’m sitting here at a bus stop in downtown Baltimore, contemplating getting on or not. It’s a new game I play: "To Ride Or Not To Ride". I’m a modern-day Shakespeare, I know, you don’t have to tell me.

I’ve started writing this diary of sorts in hope that you will one day find it and get a look into that sick little head of mine. Actually, if I had the capacity to put down everything in my head, psychiatrists would want to study me. I’d be a neuroscientist’s dream.

Anne Frank named her diary "Kitty". I will name this one "Jaguar", because I’m not as innocent as she was. That poor girl went through hell and back during World War 2, and here I am, whining and crying because a little girl broke my little heart.

Boo hoo.

I remember when we drove to Clemson, South Carolina in March 2004, just because we could. We had the senioritis mindset, and we couldn’t be proven wrong. We rode with the windows down because we wanted to be free. We were free.

"Ugh, this song reminds me of my ex. Turn it off, please," you said about The Beach Boys’ "God Only Knows".

Little did you know, I put that song especially on this mix because it reminded me of you. The score is now Lauren – 1, Sage – 0.

In Clemson, we didn’t know anybody; just the way we wanted it. We were nothing more than a couple of tourists. You were nothing more than an arrogant woman with an agenda to fulfill. I was nothing more than a fool in love. Scoreboard? Lauren – 2 Sage – 0.

I made you a mix tape a month before you ended us. You ended us. I don’t remember much of it, except that I began it with The Beatles’ "Eight Days A Week" and ended it with Ryan Adams’ "Come Pick Me Up". I remember it took me two weeks to put both sides in complete order, without having any sort of awkward silences between songs. I walked by your house the other day and saw it in your front seat. The score is now Lauren – 2, Sage – 1.

On August 15, 2004, you asked me where I saw myself in ten years.

"Right here with you in my arms, celebrating the ten year anniversary of you asking me this question", I responded quickly.

This cunning hero only got a chuckle out of you, but that’s not what I was aiming for. I bet by now that you’ve heard through the grapevine that I was half-serious about my answer. Okay, more like 75% serious, but either way, I wasn’t lying. And you laughed. What the hell was I supposed to do in that situation? Honestly, back me up against a wall, why don’t you? So, I laughed with you. I played it off like it didn’t mean anything to me. But it did. But you did. Ladies and gentleman, Lauren has just scored one million points, and I don’t believe that this game is going to go in the favor of Sage. From all of us here, goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Jaguar, I fear that someday, I will never find someone as great as she was. The way the Christmas lights reflected off her eyes, or the way her hand always found mine. The one problem I always had with that was that they never fit together. I consider handholding to be much like a puzzle. Our hands were never able to piece together. I guess I really don’t have to worry about that much now, huh?

So, here I am, still sitting at that same Baltimore bus stop on this beautiful, stormy day. I think I’ll ride today, like I thought I’d ride for the past month. I always have to keep myself on my toes. I consider myself a Forrest Gump of sorts; except for the box of chocolates (I’m allergic) and the wise sayings (I’m allergic). But, I do enjoy sitting here, and I’m really not too bad at Ping-Pong. I also want to run across the country someday, and if I don’t die, it’d be a beautiful experience.

Lauren, I’m writing this because I don’t know what to say whenever we talk in person. On those rare occasions when we do talk, that is. I should by now, though, considering phone calls from you always go the same route.



"What do you need?" This is where I put on my tough-guy voice. Such a man’s man.

"We need to talk."

"I think you’ve said enough."



If phone conversations were a talent competition, I’d be William Hung. That’s for sure.

I remember waking up to an ambulance speeding by my apartment complex. When you hear sirens and hope to God it’s for you, you know you’ve met the gutter life. But, I found that it wasn’t for me, but it was for little old Mrs. Judy Karan down the hall in 14B (they say it’s 14B, but it’s really 13B. We all know it, we just don’t like to say it). Don’t worry, she’s fine. I just hate that old people always seem to take my glory away from me. You’re old enough to have had the attention before, Mrs. Karan! Andy Warhol claimed that everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame, so damn it, why couldn’t you let me have mine? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad she’s fine. I just think that she did it for the attention. She spilled that water that she was probably using to make her morning tea and she slipped on it. What a conniving old hag!

I drove down to Annapolis today just to walk around the harbor and feel the history. I drove down there, and all I felt was carsick. I don’t mean to sound cynical, because I love this city. But, I always seem to hype it more than I should. I always imagine this beautiful scene, with bare trees and white grounds, with the brisk air whipping my face. But, it’s August, and it’s so hot that even fire is afraid to go outside; for fear that it would sweat.

Past the hair hanging in my eyes, all I seem to notice are all of the lonely people there. I saw maybe two couples holding hands, but it wasn’t in a loving manner at all. It seemed more dysfunctional and depressing than it did loving. I saw these pleasant, lonely people, and it seemed like they had not a care in the world. Then, a light bulb went off in my head. I don’t need you, Lauren. I don’t need you one bit. To me, you aren’t my air anymore. You’re more like the IRS; everyone tries to avoid you until you go after them.

Lauren, what I’m trying to say is that I’m done beating myself up over what could’ve been. Would of, could of, should have. I’m just so sick of being down about you. I’m young, willing, and able. I’ve never needed you; I’ve only thought that I needed someone to be someone. I am someone. Well, at least I’m going to be someone. Watch out for me all over television someday. Notorious or famous by my own means, I will be famous none-the-less. Besides, I have nothing better to do.

So, Jaguar, this is the end of our friendship. I’ve laughed with you, I’ve done a fair share of crying with you, and without you, I don’t think I’d be here right now. Jag, I’m leaving you at the bus stop just so someone can find you and maybe you’ll help them out like you did me. A wise man once said, "Confidence is key."

I would love to shake his hand, and say, "Thank you for everything. You help me more than you’ll ever know."

Final score: Sage – freedom, Lauren – loneliness.

1 comment:

Lukas said...

I remember reading the original waaaaay back in high school; I like where it went.