We were trying so hard
Hard to survive
Cause even though we were young
We had to stay strong
No matter what we went through
It was me and my crew
And that's how it went...
When we were kids.
The old Ludacris song slowly began to fade as the lyrics softened, then, in a bizarre and almost startling transition, the ipod chose Disturbed's
Sons of Plunder
as its next random song. It blared through the headphones loudly, though despite its thick, distorted, and frankly noisy sound
compared to most other songs or bands of my choosing, Disturbed was still a favorite of mine.
When Puff Daddy's I'll be missing you
played, I sighed, staring emptily into my new laptop's huge, luminous screen. Every thought that'd been
burdening me all throughout the day weighed down upon me again. Friends and family flashed through my mind, making an uneasy, sick sensation spread
subtly through my stomach, and into my heart.
What a life to take, what a bond to break, I'll be missing you.
I bit my lip, gulping, the caffeine beginning to hit me full force. I'm never able to sleep at night anyway, so why avoid coffee? Its the only thing
that makes me think clearly.
Every single day, every time I pray, I'll be missing you.
Memories began to resurface from the murky bottom of my subconscious, and, strangely, I allowed them to. Images played through my mind like a movie on
fast forward... and as usual, the thoughts came and went far too quickly for me to grasp any of them for proper examination... memories and paranoid
delusions cluttered my waking thoughts, and I heaved a deep breath, forcing all the sudden, mad feelings down.
As if this wasn't enough, Garth Brooks's To make you feel my love
began to play... a song that has the rare ability to bring me to tears... I
don't know what it is, but... that song gets me...
I steal a glance at my sleeping fiance, someone I've loved dearly since middle school. The one person who can make me get out of bed, make me clean,
cook, write, draw... make me care at all, really.
More faces appeared in my mind, all passing by too quickly to focus on.
My fiance and I often joke that we're the same person... we share many similar feelings, beliefs, and values. He's always had a sort of emotional
dedication to the idea of friendship... loyalty to friends.
So have I.
Back in the past, anyway...
He and I didn't exactly grow up the same way, though. I gave up on having true friends a very long time ago... when the schools and neighborhoods in
which I lived made it very clear to me that I was unworthy of such companionship. I was not a person, I was a dirty, pathetic little thing. Not a
thing with feelings, not a thing with ideas or wants or the desire to cling to other people, no... just a worthless, stupid thing, with a big red
target painted on my forehead that only I was unable to see.
You know what loyalty got me as a kid?
Jumped, called names, stolen from, punished, ridiculed... and honestly, I hate the way I sound when these thoughts come to mind. I sound like the
biggest, whiniest emo punk, unable to handle the harder things in life. But you know something? When you're sitting alone in the dark, thinking about
everyone and everything closest to you, and attempting to make a big decision regarding them... you tend to think about some pretty serious crap, and
memories serve us with wisdom... the wisdom which gives us the ability to reason, and to make decisions. No better teacher than experience.
My cousins were the closest things to friends I had, but they didn't care much for loyalty.
See, people will target you if you have any shred of decency in you. If you harbor any ounce of empathy, love, or mercy, that is the only clearance
the shills need; and they will attack, because they know you will not retaliate. You are nice, which makes you weak, pathetic, and childish, and you
deserve everything the world plans to dish at you.
Living in the projects was the hardest place I learned this lesson... the lesson that passiveness or innocence is the enemy of the world.
And despite all this, some stupid, arrogant, clueless piece of me clung to the idea that--somewhere, far, far away from my family and I, there were
wonderful, loyal people who had the same crazy, childish ideas as me. That friendship should be unbreakable, that you shouldn't stab your friends in
the back, call them names, steal from them, etc etc... and along my search for those people, I was hurt, time and time again. I know I'm not unique in
this respect--it happens to everyone. But it still isn't right. Its the madness preferred by the general whole of society.
I never imagined I'd be sitting here, engaged to marry the first friend I ever made, and pondering on situations regarding many other friends I've
made over the past few years. Bizarre, weird, misfitting friends, but good ones. I never imagined I'd marry my best friend... I never thought I'd be
married at all, honestly. The world imprinted me at a pretty young age with the idea that all relationships are anything but romantic and loving--that
no people are loyal, all couples fight, and marriages never last. I never could have thought that friendship and romance would find me.
I never dreamed they would come with so much attached, either.
It never occurred to me that with companionships come challenges--I didn't think of that, I prepared to be alone.
Friendships aren't as strong as they ought to be, or as some claim it to be. Friends fight--sometimes physically--feelings and flesh are wounded, and
people hurt each other, just as I always knew they did. But its different than I thought.
With a mixed, misfitted conglomeration of friends who consider one another family, who share differing values but alike principals, who differ in
sexuality, political beliefs, spiritual beliefs, and will power, come some unanticipated yet unavoidable conflicts. Who's right? Who's wrong? Who's
fault is this? Who's the source of our problems? Why does this keep happening? Why do we keep fighting?
And with the unevenly yolked beliefs of these close people comes confusion, frustration, and anger... and here begins the fighting, the regression,
the identity confusion and the madness which constantly overwhelms an unsure mind. As the longer these differing individuals are in one another's
presence, the more they bring question to the beliefs of one another, the motives of one another... more and more of their sanity slipping out from
under them, and they can't even see it...
Before you know it, you're keeping certain friends away from each other, because they don't like each other... because they will almost assuredly
fight if they are around one another. You are standing mid-center of these misfits, you, who prayed for companionship as a child, and who can't let it
go no matter how much it eats at you, no matter how complicated, unhealthy, and utterly intolerable the situations become. Desperate to salvage this
supposedly loyal bunch of individuals, you refuse to burn bridges... you... you pathetic, weak, spineless little loser...
I never expected my own
loyalty to be the wavering link...
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