The stars in the sky and the stars in the sea
mean nothing to me.
But the stars in your eyes
let me know I’m exactly where I need to be.
Tag Archives: lesson
The stars in the sky and the stars in the sea
I can’t give you everything I want to; but that’s okay, because you can’t give me everything I need.
If you aren’t the person I dreamt you would be, you can still be you, and I will love you just the same.
Here I am, full circle back to you. My bags packed, I left you. Reluctantly at first, but then I felt free to run. So I ran. I ran and I danced. I didn’t dance with you because, even though you knew you couldn’t dance and only kind of liked to dance, I didn’t like when you flailed about so helplessly. I’m not helpless, and I never was. I told you that. That is maybe why it was so easy to walk away. I found out that you walk a smaller circle than me. You made it back to remind me that I once said “I love you.” I reminded you that you once said you loved me, and at the same time reminded myself that was then. This is now. And now you tell me you still love me and you were stupid to let me go. I didn’t want to tell you, but I did anyway. I was walking in line with another, someone who was able dance. He made me smile like you made me smile. I sent you walking away, bags packed, out on another path. It took me too long to realize that his path wasn’t right. I found out he was good at focusing on us, our happiness, our dancing, our mirror lined tunnel. When I see light at the end of a tunnel, I think sun. Life has told me there will be sun at the end of a tunnel, so I ran and danced on, forward through his tunnel. One day, I heard a rumor there was no light. She told me she was in the tunnel, too, and there was no light at all. I didn’t believe it, so I looked hard. I looked so hard I saw there was no light. The light shone in from the opening of the tunnel, the path I came from. The path from you. I ran back, panicked, to see if you were still standing at the opening. And not surprisingly, you walked away. Now again, I felt free to run. I didn’t run quite so fast this time, being careful that I didn’t fall or disrupt someone else’s track. I’ve been running for a long time, and I feel like I’m getting tired. And here I am, full circle back to you. Have you come back around, too? And now its me telling you I still love you and I was stupid to let you go, even if you can’t dance.
by Max Andrew Dubinsky
I was born with my heart on my sleeve. When the doctor handed me over to my mother he told her to be careful. “He’s fragile,” he said.
Mom cried when she held me, overjoyed at the prospect of raising a son who would be so in touch with his emotions.
My father sat in the corner, shaking his head, already disappointed in me like I had any say in the matter, like I wanted to be born this way.
“It’s not all that uncommon of an affliction,” the doctor tried to reassure him. “Lot’s of men carry their hearts on their sleeves.”
“I think he’s beautiful,” mom said, tears still in her eyes.
When dad had his buddies over from work for the big game the following Sunday, they stood around my crib, shaking their heads and consoling my father with pats on the back, clinking beer bottles together.
One friend informs the men, “My wife says society deems it’s okay for men to be this way, says the world would be a better place if more men were born like your boy here.”
The men only stared.
“My wife,” he shrugged, “she reads a lot. Is always getting these crazy ideas. But still…”
“The doctor,” my dad told them, “said this isn’t that uncommon of an affliction.”
Mom hates when people use that word. Affliction.
I asked her how we should describe my condition then.
“You’re just more vulnerable than most,” she said with a smile one morning cooking eggs and cinnamon toast.
Just once I’d like to not cry when the sun sets.
I was taken advantage of in school. The kids knew I was different when I’d still show up to class in turtle neck sweaters at the end of May.
I cried every morning I got on the bus, leaving mom behind in the driveway like it was the last time I was ever going to see her.
In high school I had no problem dating, but none of the girls took my marriage proposals for serious affairs.
“What about college?” they’d ask.
“We’ve never even been to Europe,” they’d say.
Forget Europe. I’m going to college wherever you’re going.
My condition isn’t for the meek or the weak of stomach. I’ve loved and lost and lost again, more times than any one man should. It’s hard to find someone when you can’t keep your cards close to your chest. What’s the point of keeping anything close to your chest when the very thing you’re trying to conceal is exposed and dirty and bruised for all to see? There’s never been any element of surprise in any of my relationships. I meet someone, and she knows immediately how I feel.
But you, you were different. There was something so understanding about you in the beginning. The day we met you had your hair pulled back and wore that awful orange jacket you picked up at the Goodwill, and I was wearing a sweater that day. So you didn’t know until it got too hot in that coffee shop and I pushed my sleeves up. And when you saw who I really was you said you were glad I wasn’t like the rest, and I asked what you meant and you smiled and said normal is so boring.
But you were a machine, and I was a boy with his heart on his sleeve.
I was relentless and you were unresponsive.
“This has tragedy written all over it,” I used to say to you again and again.
And you would tell me to stop over-analyzing everything. “Just enjoy the moment.”
After you left, I decided to try and see if I could live without it.
Without my heart on my sleeve.
So I cut it off.
And I put in a box.
A safe place.
And I hid the box.
Where no one could ever get to it.
No one but me.
Eventually, I forgot where I put the box.
Eventually, I stopped thinking about the box, or even wondering what life was like living with a heart.
Things were so much easier.
Then I saw you at the bar with his arm around your waist and your hands in his pockets and his lips on your ear, and I felt nothing but the place where my heart used to be.
I felt it tingle. I felt it crawl. Then I felt nothing at all.
And that felt nice.
Then she came along.
There was something about her. I couldn’t quite figure it out. Until she pushed her sleeves up and I saw the scars. The same scars I now have.
I asked her where she put it. Where did she put her heart? Did she throw it away or give it as a gift at Christmas?
“I put it in a safe place,” she told me. “Where no one could ever get to it.”
No one but her.
I wanted to tell her things I wouldn’t normally say. I wanted to do things I’d never be caught dead doing.
And when she asked why I acted so strangely sometimes, I informed her that I couldn’t remember where I put my heart. And for the first time in my life I finally found a use for it.
She smiled and offered me hers.
I shook my head and I pleaded with her to take it back.
“I can’t accept that.”
“I won’t know what to do with it.”
“It’ll only end up bruised, hurt, and worse off then before you left it under my care.”
She said she was willing to take the risk.
I tore through my closets, my car, my pockets, but still, I could not remember my safe place. I had to give her something in return, but nothing other than my own heart seemed good enough.
Finally, one night when we were alone in her apartment, she told me it was okay.
“Your heart,” she said, “you gave it to me. I have it, and it is safe.”
I asked her how this was possible.
She looked at me like she couldn’t believe I’d even ask such a thing. A look that wanted my trust. She put her hand on my arm, where my heart used to be. She touched my chest where I now kept hers, and cared for it as though it were my own. “You still cry every time we watch the sun set.”
It is my best guess that all of you are all looking for leisurely reading this afternoon as you are running around the wordpress playground. It is also my best guess that you are looking to find someone quirky, hilarious, and is able to write about absolutely nothing while telling such a fabulous story you cannot stop. Unfortunately, that is not me.
Luckily, though, I do have a story. It is a true story, in case you were wondering. I’m not exactly sure I want to delve into this topic, to be honest. I’m not exactly sure I want anyone to know any of this except for the few people that had to witness the whole mess that is me.
Back in mid-October, we completed what has been deemed our most difficult class in medical school. It is also the first class, you know, as a sort of a throw you right into the middle of a sumo wrestling match as a five year old. Most people were able to overcome the obstacles fairly well, and everyone celebrated the night the course ended like it was Y2K.
I can easily say this is my most embarrassing moment to date. Somewhere in me, I decided it was a good idea to drink hard liquor- straight out of the bottle. Not too big of a deal, right? I mean, that isn’t the first time that has happened (MOH at bachelorette parties included) and nothing terribly tragic came out of it. Somewhere in that night, though, I forgot to stop. Ooops.
By about, oh I don’t know, the end of the bottle, my poor stomach/blood stream couldn’t hold any more alcohol. I don’t blame it. I wouldn’t want to hold that much alcohol at once if I were my stomach or blood. You all know what happens next, so I will spare you any excess imagery. I also apologize for any imagery I may have created. Anyways… Someone was nice enough to call me and my other intoxicated friends a taxi cab, gave us cash, and sent us on our way. How we got home you ask? I showed the taxi driver my address which ever so handily happened to be written on my arm in sharpie. Genius move, but hey, it obviously worked.
I hobbled up the steps that I’m pretty sure were as numerous as in a football stadium or something just to find out that I didn’t have my house keys. Lovely life. I did the next natural thing anyone would do in this situation: sit and bawl like a two year old. The worst part about this whole situation is that I am not one to cry, like literally ever. The last time I remember crying before this was for a whole two minutes after my ex and I broke up over one and a half years ago. The last time I cried over something so stupid? Never. (I am more than likely lying when I say that because I don’t remember crying much at all as a child, and every child cries profusely.) But here I am, shedding alligator tears on my porch over forgotten keys. I’m pretty positive I threw in some, “I wish I was smarter,” “All I want is to be prettier,” and “I’m so sorry I’m crying right now” comments, but I think I’ll ignore those right now for the sake of embarrassment. There goes all the best “Never Have I Ever” statements. Humpfff. (For all who happened to read Going Crazy, Ladies, please don’t categorize me as one of them so quickly! One minor slip up doesn’t qualify me to that level, right?)
We got my keys back, got inside the house, took off my face and took out my eyes, and got me in bed. I wish for the life of me that I didn’t remember all of this the next day. Unfortunately, I am positive someone would have filled me in on the profuse holes in my memory if I had forgotten because they tried to anyway. That is the glory of drunkedness, there always has to be some responsible, sober deck who decides it is a really good idea to remind you/fill you in on how ridiculously stupid you/all your friends were the night before. I shouldn’t call him a deck because it was his logical being that got me and everyone else home safely that night. That is beside the point. But forgive me, because I seem to have forgotten the point somewhere along the line…