Dear future me,
You’re the person I am forced to live each day for, the name I’m choked up to my throat with when I fail to be diligent, the face that I pray will hold a prettier, more confident smile, the winner’s smile; the type that can ‘light up a whole room’ instead of be judged by boys that won’t even remember my name. You’re the hound that lives under my bed and inside my covers when I sleep, keeping me up until 4am, just prodding at my chest, my twitching spine, on my eyelids shut so firmly to just convince myself for a millisecond that maybe I’m mistaken- maybe, just maybe, you will come kindly. But I open my eyes again, first slowly but now immediately because I have more to lose than before, and in that moment, as I shudder and tug my covers closer to my twisted stomach and racing heart, I know with every fiber of my being that you will not come to me. You do not love me yet. I am told that I must live for you and chase you until I reach you. Then you’ll love me for the things I’ve done.
It’s a crazy thing, living for someone. Living for you entails sacrifices that I’m never ready to make and the type of selflessness and patience that I know I don’t have. We’ve both heard it one too many times, not to let someone become your everything. It’s dangerous. Every sign you give me, whether it’s a shift of your eyeballs inside their squeaky-clean sockets as I imagine you looking me in the face or the sound of your laughter reminding me that I have a purpose, resonates inside the neurons of my brain and threatens to block everything else out of my vision. But future me, that’s not how I am, so it hurts! It hurts to say no to painting all night with black coffee and Rachel Yamagata on repeat! It hurts to sacrifice the immediate adventures beckoning for me in every corner and the non-adventures telling me to sleep a little longer, ‘what more is there to life, anyways?’. It hurts that we don’t even know each other and maybe never will, though I still am obligated to chase after you, laughing in my hopefulness all the while like a fool, but that’s the only way I know to live. And for that I will always hate you.
But, then again, how could I ever truly hate you? You force me to hold back hot tears when I hear my mother’s ill voice on the phone, the sound of her voice telling
… . You force me to brush that boy out of my head to focus on my work to make sure I don’t lose you. All those mornings back in … when I used to wake up feeling like I wanted to die because of the obsessive-compulsive disorder that made me do every action over, and over, and over again bring me back to you because whenever my mind and body tried to betray me, I knew you would always be there in whatever form.
One day you’ll stop for a while, turn around, and see me standing there right behind you with weary grey eyes with asymmetric wrinkles carved on the sides and a crooked smile showing the black void in my mouth where my yellow teeth used to be. And then you’ll finally take the timid step toward my body and greet me and congratulate me with a kiss, sucking the remaining few wisps of life out of me. And then we will be in total harmony and unity and I will know that I have caught up with you after a lifetime of mad, wonderful obsession.