She Chose Somebody Else

THERE’S POETRY in the shoes we wear and the striped shirts which dangle from our shoulders; in tired eyes and aching bones, in loneliness and looking for somebody to hold.

I’m alive to convey the poetry in existence, for I see this all as beautiful: the passing train, those at the end of their days, what they and I have become. Defeated, maybe — with our chins held high holding it together.

What a gift to be young and grappling with love. That’s poetry — not words, not a description — but being itself, the color of our connectedness; music in our pain; static in the cool emptiness which gives us form, air which lingers in the silence between us, waiting for our voices to break it.

What are we?

Animals. Humans. Friends, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, parents. Lovers. Layers of masks and adopted roles.

Moving through a sea of souls in the station on a Friday night, heading to Kyoto to clear my head.

Our days conclude. We steep these hubs of humanity — the station, restaurants and bars, sidewalks and moonlit streets — like clouds diffused on the precipice of a storm. Nightfall.

Friends in high school uniforms laugh wildly and beside them is a man, mystified by the station’s signs.

My eyes dart forward.

A girl walks with her phone in front of her face and combs the bangs of her hair. We flow, weave, drift amongst each other; why on earth are we here.

I look around. I’m different on the surface and that’s why I’m here — but it’s also apparent how alike we are, for your heart rages like the one in my chest.

It beats. Your smile makes me smile. Your friendship embodied in laughter reminds me of my own. How I need to hear that laughter again, not through a phone but as flesh and bone; I need my brothers to hold.

What are we.

Manifestations of love, of the silly and irrational, beautiful and dark; that’s what love is, wonderfully irrational.

We’re just people.

Rolling through twilight on the train to Kyoto; no longer just a trip to Japan — this is life and I’m living it, grappling on the other side of the world from what I grew to know.

A girl I couldn’t get over chose somebody else.

The question in my head caused my mind to drift when I just wanted to enjoy being there, hanging like the friends I thought we could be.

Facing fears, facing myself, my shadow, my light; sensing something was different I asked and she told me. She fell for another guy.

We were friends and at one time more, and my emotions for her remained complex. I had so much love to give but she couldn’t commit. And now she has; it isn’t me.

Because I’ve come to see that the heart works in ways we cannot explain, and it’s okay. A weight’s been lifted. No longer holding on, twisting inside for what might be.

Bitterness ain’t what I’m about, not gonna waste my life wishing it was any other way. I love being me — and me, and you — we ain’t for everybody, for if we are we’re for nobody.

We may succumb to that or see it for what it is, a miracle. Still, it hurts, less each day; it’s okay. Don’t need to pretend I’m above feeling; that moving on is as easy as saying goodbye.

Life and love are messy, and when I hear a song that makes me think of her I may smile or delete it. In the words of Ernest Hemingway:

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.

The sun rises like a friend to help me find myself again.

Whoever you are, something exists in you which dwells in no one else — a perspective, a set of eyes which view the world both inside and out, unlike any other.

We seek community, friendship, love. Often that may curb our individuality, that longing to be liked draining us of ourselves. We forget that we are special, too.

Be you and nobody else.

Those who do the same will find you.

Shine on the good days and the bad, so you may one day leave this earth and a mark will remain, not needing to be anything more than an impression on another’s heart, a scratch in the sand, a crater in the moon, which only you cared to understand.

We are gonna make it through.

We are gonna make it through this.

I can breathe again.

So in love with this process, yet sometimes it feels like I’m alone when I’m anything but. My family is behind me. My friends are in my corner.

I’m a writer.

I feel deeply.

I love with my all and refuse to close, no matter how I wish I could.

That’s why I hurt for others, for myself, for this world — I’d rather hurt, my heart in rage, bleeding on this page than feel nothing at all.

She’ll always be a friend; but I gotta walk away for me.

Maybe one day we’ll be back in Japan, Canada or America, Europe or somewhere we could never possibly imagine, and our kids will play together.

It isn’t me, and that’s okay.

I thought that made me weak; I thought that made me less than him, less than who I thought I was…

You’re stronger than you could possibly realize by showing, by sharing, by leading with your heart.

Within me is an ocean, a galaxy of stars, an insatiable fire coursing through my veins; it’s anything but hate.

It’s love, the deepest reverence for this experience.

That’s what I’m most proud of.

Not the shit I’ve done, nor what I have, but who I’m becoming — in our difficulties we become who were truly, ultimately meant to be — stone by stone, broken heart by broken heart, smile by smile.

My body’s enlivened with ancient emotions, arising in the silence of the night. I stand in the foothills of Kyoto.

The air is crisp.

I hear the crickets, the bugs, croaking, whispering. I’m alone. Lanterns illuminate an empty, shadowed walkway. At the end is a large wooden door to nowhere.

This still feels like a dream. It is.

This was my dream; this is my dream. This is what I’m chasing, this feeling, oneness with myself, whole, not from what I’m getting but from what I’m understanding.

How beautiful the waves of life can be — flowing with them, my soul mended by the highs and lows — it’s more than I can comprehend.

It feels at times like I’m just trying to hold the fucking pieces together. And I am. We all are.

That’s where we shine, where we learn. Through our cracks the light shines through, held together with every inhale, every deep breath, every smile or daring act of love.

We remain.

My pain doesn’t make me bitter.

I want to see others happy and succeed, because I know I’m meant for that, too. I know there are others hurting, and I know I can help ease that pain.

So that’s what I strive to do.

I went to Kyoto and met somebody else.

I complimented her style and asked her to okanomiyaki.

We had wine and laughed the loudest at a rooftop bar.

We danced goofily to a street performer along the river, ripping the violin.

She didn’t know what I’d been through that afternoon. I didn’t know the complexities of her story; but we were there, two human beings opening up our worlds, stitched together with laughter and pain and a chance to be ourselves again.

And on the river, the night cold and us shivering, we kissed.

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