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September 11, 2018 Tuesday 5:07 PM
Looking for the water tower on google maps because it is a symbol of home for me and I want to take it with me, kind of, but I have no photos and there's only one on the internet. And the one on the internet does it justice, I guess, but it misses the context of my hometown and the way it can be seen as you're driving back home, right there, on the top of the hill like a mom waving from the front porch or something I don't know. And how from Albany you can squint upriver at it's phat blueneeess or from Thatcher on the cliff you can put quarters in the binocular machines and find it way out there a pale little alien spaceship above the trees and barely recognizable and definitely not significant. Just something to look for if it matters to you, I guess.
I remember Isaac and I used to walk around that area because that's where he lived—the suburbs on top of the hill. I lived way east of that, I think in the area where the houses are much older and taller. He lived off the golf course which we walked through a couple of times and one time we sat on the bench to watch the sunset (which is frequently very pretty where I'm from) and I thought he was going to kiss me. I didn't like that. An old man walked by with his dogs and said to us some bullshit, made me uncomfortable (probably called us "lovebirds").
Isaac used to talk with his chin kinda up—yeah, kinda up. I remember him smiling with his eyes slanted down his face like that at an angle. Don't remember a thing he was saying, but I do remember when his face looked like that it was usually a noncommittal joke of some sort. I also remember his eyes being kind of light and hazel through his eyelashes. I feel kind of sick when I think about it, and I always end up grimacing. Isaac is a very pretty boy, but god, I don't like thinking of his eyes like that. They were always very intensely trained, like he was studying you. For someone who did not give A Single Fuck about school he was really smart. He thought he knew everything, though. At once called himself stupid, and I believe he believed it—but then why was he so sure of himself? So trusting of his perception of the world?
One time he tried to tell me that evolution didn't make sense. He'd read an article about how apes' skulls aren't the right—shape or something? I don't know. By now it has been, what, a year and a half since we "dated"? And almost a year since we've spoken (he changed his number as far as I know, which sucks because I do still care about him and think he's talented and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday when he turns 19 in a couple of weeks—it's like that Granddaddy song "A.M. 180" and how he doesn't want to subject to change his/her name because he wants to find him/her again when "something good happens," only Isaac's single point of contact for me was that phone number and now it's not there. I don't know where else to find him. He's like a depressed old man; very resistant to technological progress. He doesn't have a facebook or an instagram or probably even an e-mail that he checks frequently).
ANyway, point is, it's been too long for me to remember his argument. I just remember being very upset that this was his belief—as if his single half-assed investigation into the origin of humanity somehow proved more truthful than centuries of observations and experimentations and discoveries. As if things that do not immediately make sense cannot possibly be true. It was like that episode of Futurama, where the anti-evolution group posits that because no archeological link between ape and man can be found, evolution does not exist. And Farnsworth explains that there are actually tons of fossils documenting the transition from ape to human, but then finally the anti-evolutionaries find a place between the fossil and modern day man in which they can say "where is it?" and because it hasn't strictly been found Farnsworth must be wrong.
And I know that that episode is more about how you don't have to ignore evolution as a theory in order to believe in god as well, and it is all about fallacious lines of thought, but yeah—in this case it reminds me of Isaac. I got frustrated and could barely explain the various texts I'd read (including Origin of Species) that support the theory of evolution. Also, there is a shitload—a SHITload!—of evidence in its favor. You can't technically say "proven" because science doesn't like that word, but yeah. In that moment, lmao, I lowkey realized I need to love someone who doesn't trust their own beliefs blindly like that. I need someone more discerning. So far many people have failed in that respect, but I'm pretty positive I've failed them in a lot of ways too.
So there's Isaac, with his chin up, holding my hand in his—and I could feel his grip through my glove. He didn't wear gloves, even though it was freezing. Trudging through snow up to our knees. He asked me to hurry up because he was cold. I got annoyed because I was going as fast I could in my heavy steel-toed boots and, I don't know, maybe he should've worn more clothes? Chin up, chin up. Stubble against my cheek and really happy that I had a pimple on my back because to him it made me more human. I didn't share that sentiment, felt all gross inside. Remember crying on his floor in the dark using toilet paper as tissues—him on the phone telling me he cleaned the toilet seat because he pees on it all the time and he didn't want me to have to sit on the pee—him giving me this ugly-ass rock and saying I would keep it because it meant something now, he'd imbued it with meaning just through the act of choosing it and then presenting it to me. He didn't say as much but this is what he meant when he said "this means something now," and I was angry but I had it in my pocket for a long time and now it's on my bookshelf and I fucking hate that rock. It's a stupid and ugly rock. But I keep it because it reminds me of Isaac, and Isaac is special even if he sucks. He, unfortunately, was right when he gave it to me. And I was lying when I said I wasn't sentimental like he was: I am. I'm just more in control of my emotions (which should tell you something about him). How could I not be sentimental, with a memory like mine?
Couldn't sleep at night because "love" gave me anxiety. He gave me one of his favorite stuffed animals which is probably still in my bed at home—it's a green dragon—and I thought it was stupid but cute. Everything about him and his environment just made me sad, sometimes. It was so small. He never left his room, it felt like—never talked to his parents—never thought beyond himself too much because he was too sad and fucked up, and he had been alone for way too long and was still kind of alone even when I was there, and because he was so alone he stayed kind of young in a lot of ways regarding social interaction. The first time I tried talking to him in advanced art class junior year—because I thought he was cute—it was to ask him what sort of music he was listening to. He stared at me and took out his headphones and said "what." I asked again and he said "classic rock" and I said, "Oh, cool, what band?" and he answered and I was uninterested but I tried to fake it and he nodded while looking me up and down, slanted his chin with a little suspicious smile and walked away. I told Liv he seemed—weird.
We ended up sitting at the same table because somehow Liv had befriended him (she is really talented in that way). We didn't talk much but we bonded over similar interests, and I started to paint him once but I was only able to capture the basic shape of him until I gave up. Never could get the face right, and never really tried hard enough anyways. I had pictures of him on my old phone but Ethan lost that phone and now those photos are gone forever. I wish I had them because I love Isaac and I want to look at him when I can. Not love like romantic love—love like I love the things that are lost from me now, but had once had an impact (good or bad). I don't want new photos. I don't know who he is anymore, and he probably still has that ugly unkempt beard. Last winter I saw it as he smoked weed in the cemetery and I sat in the passenger seat of his car and then we got chicken nuggets and they made me kind of nauseated. Back at his house watched China, IL. I hate that show. Sat a respectful distance away from him instead of cuddling like we used to. Bed was in a different position, etc. I remember being bored and I didn't like his jokes.
At the end of the advanced art class we didn't talk but the next year he said he thought about me all summer and I said, "I thought you hated me," and he said, "No, no. I liked you a lot. I thought YOU hated me. You barely looked at me," and I said that that was because I was "having a rough time" and at that point in the day I "didn't feel like talking to people." Which was true. Even if the way I wrote it just now made it sound Not true. He didn't seem to believe me, which maybe you won't either, or maybe you will—I dunno. Was I depressed junior year? The answer is I was always depressed, lmao. I'm—not depressed now? Or I wasn't for a few weeks (how nice). Now I am anxious which will surely lead back into depression, as is the familiar path. That's okay.
The point of all this was to say I told Isaac, once, that I really loved the water tower (for reasons I still cannot sufficiently explain) and he said to me that his mother lives near it and that he can see it out his window when he visits her and right now I'm on google maps and I can't find it, not used to looking at it from above, but I did find his house and his backyard and his pool, under which he once spent months digging a hole in the middle of the night to grow this plant (I told him that was crazy and he said "I'm kind of crazy" which, actually, reminds me of the kinds of things Goose says to me—"I'm crazy, Vanessa" and he really sort of is, if crazy is the same as illogical). And I can see the golf course where we walked. But I hate those places and I hate being home. I just want to find the water tower, which I love for some reason even though it doesn't make sense and home is not a good place for me anymore.