Ficus Follies

Hello, I may or may not be a joke.

You know those kids who stick their hands on still-hot stove tops and then make a total fuss about it, like just the complete waterworks and wailing and everything, and then two days later do the exact same fucking thing and react the exact same way?

I think despite the absence of all of the key specifics, it’s evident where this tale is going, but to recap the journey thus far: I felt, I faltered, I caved in completely. And now I’m wallowing in the residue of what used to be a perfect bubble of emotional (let’s call it emotional) repression, with nothing to show for it except some ticket stubs, a rolling mental track of nervous laughter and stuttered responses, and a growing feeling of something that seems awfully like unease.

It’s not that things went badly. No, instead they went nowhere, and now I’m wondering whether or not it’s worth following through with the initial feeling, but the fact that I’m still vacillating over “Should I/Shouldn’t I” makes me feel like I need another chance to figure it out. Maybe? Maybe. Or maybe this is all an elaborate justification to myself because I, as I’m wont to be, don’t know what the fuck it is I want, or maybe I’m falling into the same old cycle again, doomed to spin like abandoned laundry.

I have a history—for lack of a better word—of going for coldness, for obfuscation and aversion, even though I always proclaim to seek clarity, warmth, invitation, y’know, all those happy adjectives. It’s not that I’m attracted to those apart, or I’m drawn to inner darkness or any of that bullshit, but it’s like, my professed wants and needs so rarely line up with what I’m actually prepared to receive. No, scratch that, they totally line up with what I want, but it’s the “need” part that doesn’t quite zip up right.

I suppose I could analyze my behavior, pull back into a bird’s eye view and roll the tape of my sad excuse for small talk, but I’m not a complete masochist so no. Then, what do I do differently? I know what it is I want in the very end, but how the fuck do I get there? And is this really the right way to be going about things?

Whatever the case, I’m reaching out to the stove again. Ready… set… burn.

(Image: Parakeets 2012 by Ryan McGinley)

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