2020-12-13 01:02:55 (UTC)

stupid rock that i hate that i have also been harboring for 4 yrs

"Bird Wings" by Valium Aggelein

December 13, 2020 Sunday 12:03 AM

I never thought the day would come, but on the phone a few hours ago, Isaac asked me if I still had the rock. And I was quiet for a few seconds. And then I lied.

"What rock?"

He said, "The—you know what? Nevermind, it doesn't matter."

I asked him why he gave me a rock, and he said, "It was supposed to be about how you can make anything mean something."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he'd remember something like that. And I mean, I do still have the rock and I remember that conversation vividly, because I thought about it a million times and wrote it down too. Probably in here, but also in fiction, and also in pieces in notebooks or somewhere buried in my google drive (the receptacle in which all my work from before the fall of 2019 resides—when I got a word processing software that was a lot more useful and didn't have such heinous loading times; I can't believe I ever used to write in google drive lololol).

Yes, I remember he handed me the (stupid fucking) rock, which is actually just a glorified chunk of gravel spread haphazardly in the non-essential space under the bleachers at the university's soccer/football field. He was all, "This means something now," and I was so annoyed by that. Unfortunately, he was sort of right and now it harbors all these terrible memories of him, represents for me everything about him. I'm sentimental, so I kept it. Of course I did. No, not only did I keep it—it sits on my desk in the little dish attached to my lamp. It's been in that same spot, through 2 dorms and 4 apartments, since 2017. Well, at first it was a permanent resident in the pocket of my coat, but eventually I decided to give it a real home and, yeah. It's been here since. It's not an accident. Unfortunately, it's one of, like, 2 rocks that I care about (the other being this fist-sized rock that is shaped like the rock in Over the Garden Wall. "That's a rock fact!" I want to paint the face on it some day but I've had the rock for a long time now and I haven't done anything, lol). I don't *treasure* the rock, or even like it, necessarily. It's ugly and it's not comforting in texture (chalky with awkward contours). But it is what Isaac chose to fuckin'... horcrux. Or whatever. Apply significance. So I keep it close to me.

Not that I will ever admit any of this to him. I don't want him getting any ideas. Reading into it. I don't know why I've kept it like this, but I know the motivation is not romantic so much as it is lonely. And regretful. Or not regretful, lol. I'm not close enough to 2017 to feel like I can exact any control over it, or to feel even as if it were my life. Not regretful. Nostalgic, is probably closer.

Just knowing he remembers kind of makes me want to throw it into the ocean, but that's a very dramatic gesture that is ultimately empty of motive. So, you know. Not very satisfying.

I won't get rid of it. I probably never will. I don't really like that about myself, but I also keep a small framed picture of Laney on my bookshelf even though we haven't spoken in, like, two years and I have little desire to interact with her beyond liking her insta photos. I also still have an empty tide stick in the same lamp dish, but it hasn't been used since freshman year. The only emotional significance THAT has, is that once my freshman roommate's mom got a stain on her shirt and I offered her my tide stick and she was thankful; it made me feel nice. But, like. That's not why I keep the tide stick. I keep it because I hate throwing things away unnecessarily and if it turns out one day that I need the tide stick then I should... damn, nevermind, I should really fucking throw it away. I'm gonna do that now, lol.

This is all to say: I'm crazy and it's not that deep. This, a conclusion that I direct at my paranoid self, who is frantically trying to understand why the HELL I would lie about something so small to Isaac. Because it's not small!!! It's small to *me* but not really to Isaac. Or it could be a small thing to him, but it could also mean something larger for him and I just—don't want to risk having a tender exchange where we're all like, "Ah, what crazy kids we were," as if at 17 I wasn't just as dumb as I am now at 21.

Wow. It's now almost been 4 years since he gave me that rock. Time, amirite? Anyway, fuck, this is really bothering me, isn't it? Oh, well. I'll write this entry, get it out of my system, and then it'll stop plaguing me so much. I'll remember every time I look at the rock, as it has manifested itself as a sort of memory waystone (rather, touchstone—I looked up the word "waystone" to see if it was real and turns out it only refers to the Minecraft mod I used to use way back in the day LOL).

I think I'm talking around this particular lie because I don't want to talk about the weird turn our conversation took later. I am stupid because I definitely drove the conversation into that turn, because something is wrong with me. Something antagonistic in me. Can't help poking at the swollen seam and then I recoil when it bursts. I don't even really want to write it here, because if I forget in the future, I want it to stay that way lol. Not to say it was anything particularly terrible, but here's the thing: I just... don't want to waste my brainspace on it, the way I'm doing now. I've already had a similar reaction before—at least a year ago, I think, although I can't remember exactly *when* it happened. It obviously wasn't with Isaac, because we didn't really know each other then. So cross-referencing the two situations, I at least know the source of my bad-feelings is not related to jealousy (I am always worried that I'm accidentally romantically interested in Isaac, but the more time goes by the less likely that seems—week long delusion in June aside). It's actually more related to ego.

Okay. Glad we sorted that out. Figured out the source of the broad ache. And now we can forget about the dumb rock and we can go write and then read and then go to bed. Cool. Cool. Coolcoolcool.