it’s been a while since I’ve been truly bothered

but here I am!

MH and I have been weird this semester — shifting friend groups and different schedules, maybe. But also silence that is more deliberate omission than secret. 

Experiences matter to me, and otherwise there must be words. We have neither, really, although we do have the odd gesture of care —

But omission, I think, is the worst of it. I hate the quiet of a disagreement, the silent judging. I want a riotous discussion; I want the chance to make my intentions clear. I want questions, not assuming acceptance and resentment.

Is this wrong of me? I used to think it was a flaw of hers. 

AM mentioned to me a comment about me by a friend of his. Over some casual, frivolous party disagreement. A nothing conversation.

“She really can’t see other people’s views.”

I remembered that conversation. And he was incorrect: I saw his view perfectly clear. I understood it. But I had disagreed. Is it wrong to communicate disagreement? Why does that translate to a narrowmindedness? Is it my tone?

Or are they right?

a conflict

Today, I gave advice strongly, in the way that I do and expect people to push back on. HJ got angry in his passive, slightly agitated way, which I’d only seen once, and it hadn’t been at me. 

That irritated tone clung to me long after he’d brushed it aside and left.

I’m coming to realize that I like him more than he likes me. I’ve never really been in this position. It’s terrifying. It can only end badly. A part of me wants to end it prematurely, just so I have control over it. I’m inclined to push him away, and then I remember that that’s idiotic.

He didn’t text me back in time and it was actually heartbreaking.

a video of HJ

I didn’t think much of it in the moment. I’d spent the afternoon reeling in two distinct housing crises as he watched and offered sympathies. We were about to leave; he’d just finished changing.

This is the video: it opens up sideways. It fumbles until it’s right side up, trained on HJ, still a little lop-sided, or perhaps that is just HJ’s inherent slight lop-sidedness. It’s grainy from the low lighting, which somehow makes it look more like a vintage polaroid than just a shitty video. He is smiling easily, a little awkward before the camera. “Sup,” he says, raising a hand in a geeky greeting.

“It’s really nothing…” you hear me say from behind the camera.

“Cool,” he nods. It’s such a statement, devoid of judgement or anything really but simple affirmation.

And his smile: it is unchanging; it is unconditional good-naturedness. He looks at the camera the entire time — and his look. It’s soft, kind, easy. I watched that video ten times just to feel that look trained on me. I watched it ten more times out of pure affection for his essence, beaming so strongly in that three second clip.

I’m beginning to miss him when we’re apart.