He was tall and handsome and uncannily fascinating. I remember drowning into the dark brown oceans of his eyes, that sparkled with something unmistakeably like joie de vivre. His rapid-fire talk shot thunderbolts somewhere deep inside of me; just sitting there, listening to him casually navigate through feminism and Rachmaninoff and having him play me Bach with his long delicate fingers, I felt more alive than I ever thought possible. I’d never imagined a person could have such an impact on me. Yet there I was, synchronizing my breath to his, experiencing the mysterium tremendum. He was everything I’d dreamt of, embodied.
Naturally it didn’t take but a single meeting for me to fall for him. Or rather tumble over him. I remember being in an inescapable trance for a whole week. No matter whom I laid eyes on, I couldn’t locate a single high-school boy my age that could even remotely be compared to him without insulting either of them. He was so much more. Older. Mature. Witty. Sophisticated. And so much less. Less needy, rude, uneducated, inappropriate or problematic in any way.. My mind kept going back to that Arctic Monkeys line: “I was so severely underwhelmed I thought I might never recover”, only the adverse applied to me. Overwhelmed would be an understatement. So much for irony. Ha.
But that’s the thing with obsession; it only takes so long to backfire. My heart, reeking with exhaustion by my incompatibility with seemingly everyone around me, planted the seed of this mythical, unapproachable creature that my brain magnified to a sickly degree. Soon enough I was crafting absurd platonic scenarios of us together, orchestrating all these profoundly deep and philosophical conversations we’d have which would explicitly confirm once and for all how perfectly aligned our souls are.
Imagine my surprise when, after a tiring rehearsal in front of my crappy mirror, I swept by his house only to discover him consumed in that stupid life-sucking video game that caused my eyes to nearly roll out of my head whenever it was mentioned by my male classmates. Or when I overheard him swear like- pardon the double entendre- a bitch. My biggest pet peeve. Or when, somewhere along the downhill roller coaster, my eyes were open to how bitterly self-centered he was. All of the sudden the fortress of deception and projected feelings came crumbling apart, shattering and crushing my lungs that bled with disappointment and unmet expectations. There’s always a hamartia after all. It’s not like Hazel hadn’t warned me.
You might have guessed the moral of my tragic downfall by now. No matter how utterly superior a person might appear under your lovestruck vision they’re just as flawed and scarred and confused an animal as you are. Assuming otherwise is destructive and hurtful not only to you but to them and your relationship as well. Because it’s one thing to admire and appreciate someone’s existence and another romanticize them and attribute your desired characteristic to them. Having reality draw their picture and then embellish it with your projections of how they should ideally be to meet your needs. Unless you wish to wake up one day next to someone who’s the merely the caricature of their self-at least the self that you had manifested and locked in a dark corner of your mind, too scared to face the truth. So destroy the manic pixie dream girl/boy ghosts from your life before your idols turn around and 500-days-of-Summer you.
“The fundamental mistake I had made(..) was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine a precious thing. She was a girl.”
© 2015 Reef Magazine