Nothing’s Gonna’ Get Me Down

“I don’t think too much about what the future holds
I know I want to spend my time with you.”

The greatest proof that I have of my spiritual and mental growth spurt is my new ability to remain silent. As a naturally vocal person with a love for words, I once believed that those words were my greatest weapon. But I began to learn that silence is sometimes even greater and I was able to really put that to the test on Friday night.

Seeing your face was so strange and bittersweet. I was so nervous. So much has happened since we last saw each other face to face and the roller coaster ride continues. What I would have done, though, if all those people weren’t standing right there. What I would have said…I just wanted to throw my arms around your neck and hold you so tightly, but it’s not time for that yet. So, instead, we had an awkward, hesitant, two-second hug and barely even looked at each other. In due time…

I went home that night feeling emotional, yet triumphant. Through all the years, all the tests, every public encounter we have had in the last decade, I have come out of every single battle feeling beaten down and defeated. But on Friday night, I finally won! The war isn’t over, of course, but I can definitely see now that I have the upper hand. What other reason was there for me to be attacked like that?

She doesn’t want me to think that the songs are about me. That’s what she told me. Well, they’re not about me, they’re about us and I don’t think; I know. I don’t need the opinions or approval of all these outsiders who don’t understand. I never have. But I just think it’s funny that after all this time, this is finally coming up as an issue. What’s even funnier is that I’m supposed to feel threatened and intimidated. I’m being mocked by people who don’t even know me, who think that I’m delusional.

That’s quite all right with me, though, because I know the truth. Certain other people, however, are in obtuse denial about the reality of the situation, which has been pretty obvious for quite some time now. Stop clinging so desperately to this hopeless situation that you’re in, and stop embarrassing yourself. That’s what I wanted to say, anyway. But instead, I stared back at her, silently expressionless. I then said a few kind words to her in response to whatever else she had to say, then cut the conversation short by turning and walking away. I rejoined my friend, whom I was so rudely and physically shoved away from and we joyously danced the rest of the night away.

Meanwhile, she returned to her obnoxious singing (screaming) and thrashing around, visibly frustrated and pissed off by my response, or lack thereof. Her ugly friend whom I’ve never even seen before tried to spoil my night by throwing her beverage into the air to splash on me and my friend. I was hardly offended at all. Make it rain, bitches! Victory is all mine!

Of course, that wasn’t the only reason I was feeling good. I got to stand in that room and watch you play. Some of the songs you chose for that night were for me. The only time you ever really even looked up while you played was to look at me.

Addicted…oh, that song. The first time I ever heard it, I was nineteen years old, sitting in my bedroom at my parents’ house, messing around on Myspace. I saw that the new songs were up, clicked on the title, listened to the intro chords, then heard your voice (I thought at first that it might be a song of Jim’s.) By the end of the first chorus, tears were streaming down my face. Never before has a piece of music evoked that kind of emotion from me. To hear you play it on stage the other night, after all these years, and to gaze into your eyes as you sang to me sent that same wave of emotion rushing right back over me.

To hear your newer songs of the pain that you have felt more recently was a confirmation that the deep anguish I went through after our falling out was never once felt alone. The entire time you stood before me, I felt that old, familiar, aching tug on my heart, as the tears pooled in my eyes and all I wanted to do was reach out and touch you. But I can’t do that yet.

Still, despite all of the yearning and the pain of still having to hide, I felt connected to you, because after all, I always am. I ignored the ridiculous, drug-fueled, drunken antics of all the fools around me, and all of the misguided hatred toward me. I felt nothing but love in my heart and I walked out of that place with a smile on my face and my head held high. I got to see your face one more time upon my exit, and again, it was awkward on the outside, but it didn’t at all bother me. I know that I’ll be seeing you again real soon.

But next time…I want a real hug.

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