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“She doesn’t like to spend time with me. Or anyone else. I annoy her. She wants to be alone. She wants to be with me, but she wants to be alone. She likes to be by herself. Other people make her anxious. She feels like she’s pretending all the time, she feels like she’s turning into someone she’s not. But she said she loves me. I think she still loves me. I have hope. Maybe she needs some space. She said she can’t see me, it would be too hard for her. That she would want to kiss me. I told her that she should, then. She said we should just be friends. I’m going to tell her I can’t do that. I can’t be her friend. I’m going to talk to her. I think it will be okay. I’m going to see her tomorrow.”

The dark, sad boy talks to me on the phone. It’s been a long time since anyone has ever called me to talk. People don’t do that anymore. People don’t have anything to say.

It all sounds like everything I’ve ever heard before. He wants to talk to me, he wants me to listen, and I want to help him. It’s not good. It’s not a good situation for him. But he’s young. He doesn’t really listen to me. He wants it to be okay. He wants people to be better than they are. He wants his solution to be simple.

I’m not very good at this. I stutter and mumble and he laughs at me. But he understands. He catches on. It’s all simple, really.

He says “fucking” a lot. He uses it as an adjective, all the time but still unexpectedly, and I wince. “Yeah, the fucking phone.” “My brother is a fucking asshole.” “This guy is fucking funny, fucking funny.” The cursing increases when he’s happy, and decreases when he’s sad, along with all of his other words.

I decide, during the phone call, that I like this about him. I like people who are different, people who have things to say, people who say things in their own way.

“I fucking love Mega Man.”

“What is Mega Man?”

“It’s a game. It’s fucking hard.”

We talk for a few hours. I look at the clock and the time is passing and he says, “Wow, it’s midnight already.” A button is pressed and we leave each other. I become alone. It is quiet and dark.

I think about him, and people. How easy it is to enter someone else’s life. How easy it is to affect them. To care about them. To worry about them. To help them. It’s simple, really.

“It’s going good, so far,” he says.

 

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1. The only person who needs to believe in you is yourself.

2. If you hang around cool/interesting people who do cool/interesting things, you just might become one of them.

3. If you say yes to everything you want to do, and you say no to everything you don’t want to do, you will eventually find yourself in the place you want to be.

4. Try not to be one of those people who get excited about getting unexciting jobs.

5. Why is ending a phone conversation so difficult? It looks so easy in movies, people say cute things and hang up. In real life, you have to be all: Person #1: “Ok, good talking to you.” Person #2: “Yep!” Person #2:”Talk to you later.” Person #1: “Ok!” Person #2:”Ok, bye.” Person #1: “Bye.” No! Why?! No!

6. Finding something that you are truly excited/motivated about is the best feeling — sort of like finding a purpose for your life. If you’re not excited about what you do, do something else!

7. If you think hard enough about anything, it becomes very strange. Like bowling, for instance: throwing chunks of rock down lanes of super-waxy wood and knocking things down. What? Who thought that one up?

8. If it feels like everything in your life is changing, you’re doing something right.

9. If you spot a guy randomly carrying around a guitar, stop whatever it is you’re doing and follow him. Trust me.

10. There needs to be a hand signal for “Don’t smoke that’s gross”, or, “I was only staring at you because you’re polluting the Earth”. This is why everyone needs to learn sign language. Think how useful that would be!

1. If you want to talk on the phone with someone, you must like them more than an average amount –   because who talks on the phone?

2. “Before I know myself, seek not to know me.” Did I just quote Shakespeare?! Oh god! Who am I?

3. Money is useless. However, it just so happens that people are willing to trade you good things for it – like books, education, flowers, and plane tickets.

4. Sometimes I have to translate words in my head – like when British people use the word “football”.

5. How accomplished I feel in a day depends heavily on how many emails I send out. You too?

6. It’s easy to regret the things you’ve done, but what you really should be focusing on is all of the things you didn’t do! You’re welcome.

7. Say what you mean or say nothing at all.

8. Don’t be afraid to go it alone. Sometimes your friends/family aren’t into the same music as you are/don’t want to road trip to New York/hate shopping. Don’t miss out on that opportunity just because no one would go with you – no matter what it is. (see #6)

9. Meeting a new person is pretty much the same as traveling to another country/planet/universe in your head. You can never know too many people – they expand your understanding of the world and your place in it.

10. Have you seen the movie Everything is Illuminated? No? Well, you should!