by Christine Wild
Sometimes when something horrible happens, you rethink everything about yourself, your life and the people around you. Well, nothing horrible ever happened to me. So I wonder why the fuck I keep asking myself an infinite amount of questions continuously. The thing is, I have no moral compass so to speak. I was lucky, in a way, to be born with an undying loyalty. A quality one would expect could make a wonderful girlfriend and wife out of me. Instead, I am the friend. You know, that great friend you can always count on, your mom away from home, the one that will always be there when you need her, on your side through bad and worse? That one. However my morals per se are at best questionable.
I want to tell you my story. My problem is that it is difficult for me to tell a story – with words on paper- without panicking. This inner anxiety that borders terror, I believe is due to an intense consciousness of words and their meanings. See, sociologists teach you that everything, including language, is socially constructed. The problem is these teachings take place in a classroom rarely conducive to real learning. As a person with a passion for learning, in class and in the streets, I always try to analyze those things that appear so self-evident. Well, yes we invented words. Thanks for that lesson.
The trouble is language is our primary tool to explicate ourselves to others. When I say that “I’m hungry”, you know what feeling inside of me I am describing. When I say that “I will be fine”, you know you are being instructed to stop worrying, even though that is not actually found in any of the words that I uttered. Words have this fascinating power in that we are able to fashion them everyday, to an extreme level of accuracy, to serve our purposes. They are also able to destroy you in a matter of seconds.
No, I don’t love you anymore.
You see when something horrible happens you rethink everything. If someone died, there are no words. You just hug the people in mourning. When a part of you crumbles, people do not always know about this silent death. This part of you had no chance to express its disappearance. So you are left with all these emotions and unfathomable energy. To understand and process them, you are supposed to translate them into words. If you use the wrong ones, you will not receive what you need from others, or do the things you need to do for yourself. Can you now understand my dread?
I once went through a very challenging relationship. The kind that comes so slow, you did not even know it was coming. The kind that takes your breath away. And then it is gone. In seconds. Suddenly your life is right back to where it was before you ever knew the person existed, and all you are left with is that fuckload of emotions. Love comes so slow and it goes so fast, they say. Well, love has a large family. Amongst hate, anger and bitterness, there is friendship and honest caring. They look alike; they feel reminiscent of each other. They express themselves very differently. Still the one distant member of the family that is often left out goes by the name of lust. We are taught not to like or trust lust. Lust is a deceiver. We forget that lust is the bastard child of passion and love. We are taught that these three are different and extremely important to differentiate. That is the problem with words. They do not encompass all the grades, shades and various degrees of coexistence.
So when I spoke of my lack of moral compass before, I was referring to those black and white morals your parents, and generations before them, expect you to hold on to. This ethical code we are supposedly born with, an idea of right from wrong. You know, the Golden rule? Do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself. Well I call that rule, and the full code that comes alongside it, crap. I cannot count on my hands the times that I have been hurt, disappointed, betrayed in ways no one could ever wish for oneself. Most of those times were unintended too. I was just road-kill. That is the worst about moral codes. If we were indeed instinctively aware of them, we could not physically be the selfish, self-interested and self-involved beings that we are. I think Hobbes was the man.
Therefore, this book is not about your traditional should’s and should-not’s. This book is a compilation of my stories. It is about the people that are and once were my people. It is about growing up too fast but never growing old. It is about sex. It is about the friends that help you remember it. This is not a love story. It is the memoir of a twenty-something year old cosmopolitan, with her heart on the road, and sometimes at her sleeve.