the last embassy
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20 February 2003 (Thursday): the last innocent

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn
you love you learn
you cry you learn
you lose you learn
you bleed you learn
you scream you learn

- Alanis Morrisette, "You Learn"

I have no battle scars. Ex #1 was merely a friend with makeout privileges; he and I called it quits as we curled up on a couch together, and stayed that way for another hour or so afterwards. Ex #2, the first love, simply spoke my own fears aloud, and while it was painful to hear, I knew even then that it was wisdom. I was the one to do the leaving with ex #3, a man smart enough to create distance until wounds healed, and possessed of enough grace to let me back into his life eventually as a friend. So I've never been the one left clutching a black void in my chest, trying to remember how to survive nightfall alone. Never had to find the strength to forgive someone for long months of futile aching. Memories of past intimacies never trigger pain -- only fondness, sometimes gratitude.

Outside of dating I'm still the innocent. School, work, people: negotiating them all came to me with relative ease, and if I was never the fastest or smartest or most popular, I had more than enough to get by and fit in. When I set myself to anything it came out decently; when I threw myself into something it usually came out well. Defeat was always temporary, just a sign that I was looking in the wrong direction. None of this hazy uncertainty of what-should-I-do-with-myself, what-if-I'm-not-really-good-at-anything? On another horizon, a new kind of success has always waited.

Lucky bastard. Yes. Sure.

But there's a reason why I can't feel the full impact of a piano sonata. Or be moved to tears by a sunrise over a mountain. Or taste a real sense of triumph. Everything's been too easy for that. The one miracle is Soren, whom I love as though I'd lost him once long ago, as though this were an impossible second chance to say and do everything I'd forgotten the first time around. But the rest of it is a watercolor painting. No heavy black for shadows and depth.

Still...I've many years to go. Something or someone may yet bring me to my knees. This story isn't over.

posted by enjelani @ 10:01 PM PST

Replies: 7 comments

what a beautiful entry. the sentence about soren...i only hope to experience that kind of love someday.

posted by miss lurker @ 21 02 2003 06:44 AM PST

What if it's all in the attitude? One never suffers a defeat who doesn't see a setback as a defeat. You are destined to remain lucky for as long as you live. Good news? Or bad?

posted by beefeater @ 21 02 2003 01:38 PM PST

Hmm. I think wounds that don't run too deep, don't always scar. But wounds that receive ready treatment and good care may not leave scars, either.

And some of us heal faster than others; I know a few people who seem impossible to hurt. Some of them are just really tough; they don't let themselves get hurt, or bear them with such resilience that the injury leaves no burden; and yet they're different from the people who accumulate so many battle scars that they just can't feel it anymore. (Amongst other things, I believe that cynicism is the scar tissue of the soul) But a few others don't incur emotional scars because they're *oblivious*... they sustain wounds but promptly forget about them, never learning any enduring lesson from it. A mixed blessing; they're doomed to repeat the same errors over and over again, but blessed never to feel the pain for long. I can't say that I envy them.

But I think that, on some level, you *do* understand what it means to have battle scars, Enji, even if you don't actually have any of your own, as you say. Maybe it's an unconscious understanding... because when you speak of them, in your own medium, some of us who do have them listen and hear... as though you, somehow, are able to say with clarity that which we know, and yet cannot put into words. It is like struggling to complete a difficult sentence, only to hear you somehow complete it without having heard the first part spoken.

Magical.

posted by m. mellow @ 23 02 2003 11:32 PM PST

you leave me speechless in your eloquence. Thanks for these kinds of beautiful entries.

posted by Sophie @ 24 02 2003 10:02 AM PST

i'm listening
music in the bedroom
laughter in the hall
dive into the ocean
singing by the fire
running through the forest
and standing in the wind
in rolling canyons

i will not take these things for granted

-glen phillips

posted by soren @ 28 02 2003 02:13 PM PST

a clear and kind voice you have. this entry is at once harsh yet gentle, arrogant yet humble, fearful yet brave. i am touched.

posted by bk @ 02 03 2003 08:33 PM PST

wow. just plain wow. i chose a good day to start reading your blog again...

wow.

posted by Liz @ 05 03 2003 04:12 PM PST