I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth and I wish I didn’t. I heard, on some NPR show or another, that we remember the bad things that happen to us because the bad things can kill us. I found this to be one of the better explanations I’ve have heard for why we remember the shit that happens, but not all the delight. In the interview, which I believe was Fresh Air, but I’ll have to keep at this process of remembering to see if I can uncover who was the subject of the interview, the writer/filmmaker or whatever he was said beautifully: we read 10 rave reviews of our film, and forget them all. we see one bad review, and it stays with us for years.
I have in my head right now these memories of W, a first love, for whom I will always be dumb dumb dumb. I’ll have to see him, or rather, I’ve very likely to see him this October. And I can’t help but feel that whatever I am, fat, thin, successful, unsuccessful, pretty, ugly, tired excited, depressed, ANYTHING that can be attributed to me will be under fire. That was what it was like to know him at the tail end of 90s. And even though I’ve lived a million lives since then, even though, he, as a person, is of little interest to me, still the pain from then, that embarrassment of being prosecuted, constantly, for not remembering facts from history class, for never having learned other facts, for listening to the radio and knowing by heart several pop songs–
I was, simply, a product of the world I was in.
Looking back, it is impossible for me not to cast his animosity on one side, to sheer class snobbery, and on the other, to an ugly vindictive nature. Did he hate me, simply, because I hung around, clung to him, liked him? Did he punish me because he thought I was so much more, and then I wasn’t, felt his disappointment required revenge? Was he ashamed, simply, that the girls he admired, the smart ones, were not into him?
[And because I always, like a bad habit, turn things around, and try to see from the eyes of whomever I can’t understand, I wonder: was his hate then like my hate of my mother now?
There’s a time to leave. A time when someone looks at you with such hatred and disgust that the only answer is to turn and walk away and never come back.
There’s another bad taste, this one left from my last writing group.
I can’t stop turning over certain incidents, puzzling over what felt to be an undeserved animosity. Perhaps, like my mother, I simply can’t see, can’t let myself see, what misplaced word turned someone against me.