Press ← and → on your keyboard to move between letters
Time Travelled — almost 10 years
A letter from April 28, 2011
My life has gone to hell. I hope you moved on and forgot all about it. Like a bad dream. If that's the case, let me give you a recap. I went to Europe three days before my grandfather died. I loved Europe. I saw many beautiful things, met many wonderful people from all over the world, and learned so many new things. However, I fucked up way more than I anticipated (mostly due to unregulated alcohol consumption) and caused a lot of trouble for my dear friend who gave me a place to stay for ten days in Hamburg and my parents. After all the wonderful things these people have done for me. I feel so guilty about it. Every time I think about Europe, the good memories inevitably fade into the bad memories. I can't stop beating myself up over it.
Anyway, I came home, moved into the co-op, and started college at the University of Michigan. I made so many good friends. I hope you're still in touch with them and that they care about you.
I'm majoring in art & design at the moment. Art school is hard and in general, I don't enjoy it. Not because the art school here is bad, but because I'm not making the most of it. I'm not as good as everyone else. I want to get better, but I feel like I'm so behind, I might as well not even try. I have so many great ideas flowing through my head, but not the skills to make them materialize. What a shame.
I fell in love with a boy for the first time last year. His name is K.K. He's a third year biomedical engineering major who was born in Istanbul, Turkey and raised in St. Joseph, Michigan. He has that Turkish nose my high school art history teacher told us about and I never believed it until I met him. He's tall and muscular. His face is average, has kind of bad skin, wears glasses, and has short dark brown hair. He has no fashion sense whatsoever, but not in a bad way. Really bad fashion sense is below having no fashion sense. He just wears average clothes and average shoes and drives an average car. Does that help you remember? Well he isn't average on the inside. He's brilliant, kind, gentle, lively, thoughtful, wise, witty, hard-working, brave, humble, He doesn't drink or smoke and doesn't like big parties. Just a really solid, good guy. A rare find (especially since he's never had a boyfriend and is still a virgin). He just recently came out to his parents. I often wonder if he struggled a lot with coming out to them, in ways I could never imagine, since my parents have always been supportive in that regard. He speaks three languages: English, Turkish, and Science. When I hear him talk about science, it's like he's speaking a Romance language I can't understand. I could listen to it for hours.
The only thing we have in common is that we like reading Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and Ursula K. Leguin, and we like watching anime (coincidentally, we like many of the same titles). We watched anime together a lot. Right before winter break, he invited me to watch an anime he had just downloaded on his homemade "hackintosh" computer. He literally built the thing from scratch. The anime was called Macross Frontier. It was the most frivolous, repetitive, nonsensical, confusing, awkward piece of trash production I've ever seen. We watched the whole thing. All 26 episodes. Approximately 10 and a half hours. I could tell it was going to be bad from the start, but he insisted that we wait and see if it gets better. It got exponentially worse. The truth is that I paid very little attention to the show and mostly stared at him. I was infatuated. I loved everything about him. His boring jeans and t-shirt, his high white socks, his plain tennis shoes, his loud obnoxious laugh, his effeminate hand gestures (the only thing that would ever give him away as gay is his hand gestures), his wide shoulders, his large pecs and arms, the thick veins cascading down his forearms and into his large hands and long fingers. I could only imagine what he looked like underneath his baggy clothes, but I could tell it was just like Michelangelo's David. I wanted to know his body like my own. I wanted him to learn about mine. I wanted him to want me, to touch me, hold me close to him, to kiss me, and undress me. I wanted him to lick my body from head to toe. I wanted to close my eyes and feel every inch of his body with my hands, so much that I could paint a picture of it in my mind. I wanted us both to sweat, salivate, and breathe heavily. I wanted feel his throbbing cock on my lips and tongue, poking at the back of my throat. I wanted to hear his primal pants and moans. I wanted him inside of me. To carefully insert himself gently and slowly. I wanted him to jerk on my cock, while our bodies are thrusting back and forth. I wanted him to do whatever he wanted to me. I wanted my body to be his playground.
Then I wanted to lay in bed with him, under the warm sheets, with our arms wrapped around each other and legs and feet tangled. I wanted him to stroke my hair. I wanted to fall asleep like that and forget about the outside world. I wanted to drag him into my secret world.
I learned that he likes young, skinny, feminine-looking boys. Petite frame, lean muscle, long limbs, delicate hands, defined collar bones, jutting hip bones. Like Dontello's David. The way I looked when I was constantly dieting in high school or when I starved for the whole month before I left for Europe. I started exercising and dieting more seriously again. Constantly counting calories and wearing my body out on the elliptical machines at the gym. I wasn't losing weight as quickly as I wanted. I started throwing up my meals. It eventually became an everyday thing.
I slipped some anime DVD's under his door before I went back home for break. At home, I spent the majority of my break in bed, fantasizing about him and our future together and masturbating constantly. Feeling lustful, and blissful, my stomach constantly in knots. My mind was exciting my body and my body was exciting my mind. I had such vivid dreams about him nearly every night. Many of them sexual. In one of the dreams, we were walking together in a beautiful wintry setting. The sky was bursting with vibrant yellows, blues, and greens. I was walking ahead of him. He walked closer to me and put his arm around me. I was startled and stopped. I looked directly into his brown eyes. I started to cry. He embraced me and held me close to him and my cries became more intense. It was the happiest moment of my life.
I felt so connected to him. Even though he was far way in Texas during winter break, I pretended there was a psychic connection and that we were destined to be lovers. I was the delicate, refined prince and he was the brave knight. He would rescue me and take me to a far away on his stallion.
He sent me an email thanking me for lending him the DVD's. He was thinking about me. I was ecstatic. That gave me hope that he felt something too. I decided I would make a painting of my dream and give it to him instead of awkwardly confessing my love to him.
I finished it shortly after I got back to Ann Arbor. It didn't turn out as well as I wanted. It certainly didn't do justice to the dream I had, but it was something, and the message in it was obvious. I even wrote on the back, "For K. Love, M.."
He didn’t say anything to me until a few days later. He thanked me for the painting and asked me what it was about and asked if I wanted it back. He must have not have seen what I’d written on the back of the canvas. I told him to keep it. I felt so heartbroken that angry he didn’t understand it. At that moment, I knew he didn’t have feelings for me. Not only that, I didn’t communicate my feelings clearly enough. I felt worthless as a person and as an artist. I wanted to kill myself.
The next day I wrote him a letter explicitly explaining the painting, and my feelings. It took him a week to write back. He said he he’s not ignoring it and that he needed time to collect his thoughts. It took him a whole month to collect his thoughts. That whole time, I was on edge.
Fast forward a month later. He knocked on my door. I let him in and he sat on my bed. I was sat in my IKEA chair. He apologized for taking so long. I was still angry at him for that. He told me he didn’t have feelings for me. He told me it wasn’t because I wasn’t attractive, or wasn’t smart, or wasn’t interesting, and that there was nothing wrong with me. “The chemistry wasn’t right.” He said he even considered dating me because he wanted to be in any kind of relationship, but that wouldn’t be good for me. It would be for all the wrong reasons. I would give and he would take. He told me not to take it personally. I didn’t know how to respond because I didn’t believe anything he said. I couldn’t say he’s a liar. I still knew he was just being nice. I was angry that he wasn’t honest. I was even angrier that it took him an entire month to come up with these lies. The moment became unbearable. I felt the tears welling up and I abruptly told him to leave. I turned my chair around and started to cry. He got up and stood in the doorway for about 10 seconds. He asked if there was anything he could do to help me. I said nothing and tried to cry as quietly as I could, trying to hold it all back until I after he left. I didn’t want him to feel bad or pity me.
He left. I cried profusely for hours and hours, harder than I’ve ever cried in whole life. I was physically drained, but the pain was relentless. And then there was my heart. Just bleeding all over the place. Before this happened, I never realized that love truly does live in the heart. The actual organ, rather than some metaphorical thing that everyone talks so lightly about. My heart literally felt like it was punctured. All of my organs hurt. Everything down to my bones was sore. I couldn’t even think about how sad I was because my body hurt so badly. It was as if the world had ended. The past and future dissipated and the only thing that was left was pain. I felt alive.
It’s the end of April now. I’m still not over it. Every time I see him, I still feel pain in my heart and in my stomach. I put on a happy face and act as if nothing ever happened. He still makes my heart sing, but then my mind steps in and reminds my heart of reality of my situation. That’s when everything starts hurting again. I just got really good at masking it.
I feel so stupid and worthless. I tried so hard to impress him, to be beautiful for him so he would have reasons to love me. It was all for nothing. Just wasted unconditional love. He didn’t notice I had lost fifteen pounds and bought new clothes and underwear and was wearing eyeliner to and foundation and was trying to stop biting my nails and was plucking my eyebrows and the hairs on above my lips and was using Nair on all of my body hair. No one else noticed either. I had a mountain of unrequited love. I wanted to stick it in his heart and wanted it to come back to me, and then I’d stick it back in him and then back and forth and back forth. But now it had nowhere to go. It turned malevolent. It ate away at my mind, body, and soul until I became nothing. I had failed.
I hardly cared about school this semester. I was aware I was falling behind, and wasting so much time and money. I was buying random stuff on the internet every day. I felt guilty. I felt weak. I wanted nothing more than for time to stop. I thought the only way I could do that was to kill myself. This terrified me. I checked myself into the mental hospital.
The mental hospital was a nice break, and everyone I met was really nice. I liked being around all of the other crazy people, especially the bipolar patients. They made me feel alive and gave me hope. I think they helped me more than the doctors and the drugs. I got out of the hospital with a $2000 bill and new bottle of Prozac. My family and friends were worried and everyone was trying to find out what was wrong with me.
I started back at school, a week behind everyone else. All of my professors and GSI’s were more than accommodating and wanted to help me in any way they could. I still couldn’t get ahead. I still had no will to live. I was seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist at the free university psychological service program before I was in the hospital. I acted like I was getting better when I really wasn’t. I kept reassuring myself and everyone around me that I was getting better. It was an subnconscious decision. It was the only way I knew how to deal with this situation. I honestly didn’t realize I was lying to myself and everyone until my professor told me to really examine where I was at with my work. I was nowhere. I was just pretending I could finish, but I was struggling with school and everything else. I wanted to get through the school year and move on. I was tired of being depressed, so I acted like I wasn’t. Most of all, I didn't want to fail again. I failed anyway. I eventually got down to two classes and couldn’t even manage that.
It’s all over now. This was my first year of college. One big fucking disappointment. I need to find a job so I can support myself in Ann Arbor over the summer. It’s not going well. I’m scared of failing again. I’m in this vicious cycle of fear and doubt and self-loathing. I’m on a different drug (bubproprion). It works on serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. I feel better for a few days, then I drop off. She ups my dosage, and I feel good for a few days, and then it drops off again. Psychiatry is such bullshit. Maybe it’s because I’m not doing anything to help myself, but my mood is still low. I wake up low, my day is low, and my nights are lonesome and agonizing. It’s hard to do anything when you constantly feel this way. These lows are more powerful and pervasive than unbreakable habits.
I’ll be moving into a room in a different co-op with my cousin soon. I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent for the first month. It’s due on the 2nd of May. Even if I find a job today, I still don’t have $400 sitting around to pay by then. I’ll probably have to ask my parents or brother or my cousin to help me out, but I don’t know how. I just keep ignoring the problem and tell myself it will work itself out. I know from past experiences that is not a good approach, but I don’t know what else to do.
Where do I go from here? I wish you could tell me exactly what to do in retrospect. You know how this all pans out. You know now the best way to go about this. If you could only tell me exactly what my options are, and tell me what decisions I’m suppose to make.
Enough about my shitty life. What’s it like to be you? Most importantly, are you alive and well? Are you a famous artist? Do you have a PhD and live in a big city somewhere and can afford to buy designer clothes and are you hanging at weird parties with B-list celebrities like Björk and David Lynch? Do museums and art investors buy up your work at Christie’s? Do they make coffee table books about your work? Do they feature your art in the New York Times, and all the major art magazines? Do they call you a genius? Have you been able to preserve what little beauty you have? Are you 120 pounds with a lean figure and a six-pack? Have you been loved yet? I hope you’ve been loved so deeply by so many different men you can’t even remember some of their names. I hope you’ve had hours upon hours of wild animal sex. I hope you’ve had countless, mind-numbing orgasms. I hope your first time with someone you love was as good as you’d hoped. I hope you’re no longer afraid to fall in love, getting hurt, and making mistakes. I hope you don’t have too many regrets. I hope you’re living fearlessly. I hope you’ve been to many crazy parties and nightclubs. I hope you’ve danced until you’ve dropped. I hope you do lots of psychedelics and that they’ve taken you to many different worlds and dimensions and back. I hope you’ve seen more of this world too. I hope you’ve seen real poverty and the destruction of war with your own eyes. I hope it made you more compassionate. I hope you have enough to give to the less fortunate. I hope you’re doing your part in saving the environment. I hope you’re still concerned with human rights and animal rights. I hope you’re not overwhelmed by how quickly the world changes. I hope you can keep up with technology. I hope you’ve learned more left brain stuff like math, science, and computers. Even just a little bit of that stuff can’t hurt. I hope you have time to sleep well. I hope you’ve maintained your close friendships and made many more close friends. I hope your parents are proud of you. I hope you can help them retire in Florida. I hope they’re healthy and happy. I hope your brother is successful, healthy and happy too. Were you able to “marry” Julia, so she could come back to the U.S. quicker? I hope Sara is still your soul mate and that you haven’t grown apart too much. I hope she is still kicking ass. I hope you can travel with her to Prague, Kenya, and Argentina. Have you made plans to go to Ushuaia, the city that’s the very end of South America (“the end of the world”)? I hope you’ve gotten to see all of your favorite musicians in concert. I hope you’ve heard lots of awesome music that makes you feel all the happy chemicals in your brain. I hope I can still dream. I hope I can remember all of my dreams as if they were real life experiences. I hope I have intellectual and spiritual epiphanies. I hope I can believe in God. I hope you’re doing your best. I hope you’re laughing a lot. I hope you are happy most of the time.
Yourself… 10 years ago