You are the wings I need
You look at me as if it was the first day, we see each other and it’s only been a week. Hey, Friend. A lot has happened, you know? I feel like I am running on fumes, desperately trying to keep my head above the water. Sometimes it’s hard, and people think they know you, but they don’t. They see the happy moments, but they don’t see the struggles. How do you feel about pancakes?
You are the one, the sun, the light of day
I try to smile, but it’s just not coming through. I love how sometimes, smiling becomes involuntary movement. Like, last week I looked at my friend for a millionth time that day and we just couldn’t keep a straight face in a serious situation. But not today, today it’s almost forced.
They say that the week before your vacation is always the toughest one, but it feels like this entire year so far is “the last week before vacation”. When we spoke last week, it was all about why not now. Nothing has changed in that regard – I am ready, now; to dream a little bigger and bolder.
This time it’s your turn to make the coffee, as I rest my head on the cold table for a minute. The headache is 3 days strong now, but I am used to that buzzing feeling inside of my skull. It’s not even that annoying. And I don’t even care which mug you will pick for me, just take whichever you feel.
You are the wings I need to fly away
Anxiety truly works in the most mysterious ways – funny how it makes you keep your shit together at work, but lets you crumble down on your way home, in a bus. I feel your hand gently rubbing my back. Someone once told me to give in, just one. To let the darkness consume me for a moment, so I can face all my fears.
But I am not sure if that is a good idea, at this point. Actually, you know what? Maybe let’s skip coffee today, maybe I will have a cup of tea instead? And maybe I will get these pancakes started. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I know you wouldn’t let me skip it.
This past week was bitter-sweet, really. I feel more and more exhausted but the comforting thought is that I am not the only one. For the record, just because I called it a “comforting thought” does not make it sweet. This one is bitter as hell, because my heart aches for my friends going through the same bullshit situation. I mean, I would gladly take it all in just so neither of them has to suffer.
The water boils and you lean against the counter in silence. It’s way too quiet here, I can’t stand the sound of my thoughts. I am deep in my Bad Bunny era, you know? Ojitos Lindos on repeat gets me through most of the days.
We never knew how to forfeit
But we always knew how to talk shit
My Friend, if talking shit would be a national sport, I think my “team” could compete and get pretty high. A chuckle! Ha, I think I still got it, eh? Soft sounds of the song fill in Vandalore as I prepare the batter. Do we want blueberries or not? I think there are still some left in the fridge.
You know, I think I started healing this weekend. I know damn well I couldn’t do it on my own – I am not in the best place right now. I spoke with my godmother on Friday and she was trying to find me a good medicine and as she was reading the possible symptoms to find one, she mentioned “not being able to be alone, looking for physical contact”.
It’s funny how we evolve. A year ago, I would just shut everyone out and slowly lower myself to a pit of despair. This time? I couldn’t bear the thought of being on my own, I didn’t want to watch The Office for the hundredth time, you know? I sigh, letting out an insane amount of air. Honestly need to stop holding my breath so much.
You hand me the cup of tea – it’s the orange one with Stormtrooper on it. Good choice, I must say. I do feel like a clone sometimes, and if Clone Wars taught me something, it’s that there are people to whom clones (us) are expandable.
We never knew how to perfect
But we always knew it would work
At least the sun is out, right? I mean, I truly am a completely different person. Wait, not even a person – a sunflower, okay? And soon I will channel that beautiful energy and make a potential out of it.
See, the secret to perfect pancakes is to make sure you whip the egg whites good. That is what makes them fluffier. Many people think the secret to anything is love, but… Let’s be real. It’s probably the whipping technique.
You watch my every move with an extra dose of interest. I know you are worried and alerted, ready to act at any moment. And I appreciate that, I really do. But I have an important question: can we listen to that song one more time? I know, I know – I’m obsessed but you have to admit, Benito has something, no?
The batter is ready and I can start the real magic of not getting oil burns. I hope you are hungry, because I obviously made too much. Well, we can eat some tomorrow, right?
We never knew how to fake it
But we always knew how to break shit
The first batch is on the pan and I sit back down. You know, I think I made a good choice watching the Alien series now. I mean, it was scary as hell but for some reason I felt completely unbothered. Maybe it’s because I am anxious as it is.
I have to admit though, it’s a pretty good series. Not the one I can willingly watch just like that, but when it’s going to be on… I might consider it. Unlike freaking Top Gun. Hey, don’t smile at me, okay? This has nothing to do with Tom Cruise, okay? I…
I actually can’t believe I fell for that. A small smile forms on my face and I shake my head. You sneaky little bastard. I guess you really will do whatever to make me smile, huh?
No but I think what really got me through this classic series was the company – M., having my back (and hand, for that matter) all the time was exactly what I needed. And? In 3 weeks, I managed to watch 5 new films. No comfort-watching! I still have almost the entire season 3 of The Mandalorian to catch up, but damn… This is progress.
And it might not seem like it, but it really is a big deal and definitely a good sign. Like I said, I think I am slowly (but surely) starting the healing process. Suddenly I freeze with the spatula in my hand. Do you know how all this looks? Like I’m recovering from a nasty breakup.
Oh, deep conversations at the Waffle House!
I flip the pancakes and turn my gaze to you, knowing I got your attention. You know how every bad situation in your life can split into 4… Let’s say bowls, because yes, we have a bowl of pancake batter here.
So, bowl one is filled with feelings of loss, sadness and loneliness. It’s the darkest one, you can’t believe that whatever happened, happened (AM I QUOTING TENET? MAYBE). You are in denial. Second bowl is full of rage and hatred. You are frustrated and angry.
Third one is filled with resignation but also a feeling of defeat, slowly turning into acceptance. This is where I am right now, barely keeping my head above the water. Now, I am lucky enough to have friends who are willing to keep my chin up, so I don’t drown. And the best part is? They want nothing in return. Yes, I know it’s obvious in any friendship but still, sometimes I feel like I’m too much.
This bowl sucks, let me tell you this. It sucks because you realize exactly how much you lose – how much of yourself you sacrifice for… Yeah, for what? For the idea? The glory, the fake recognition? It’s not worth it, Friend. Not worth the sanity of what’s inside your mind.
First pancakes land on your plate and your smile widens. As it should, I don’t make pancakes for everyone, so this is special. And as you eat, I plunge into a thought: I cannot wait to reach the fourth bowl.
Headstrong father and a determined mother
Oh, that’s why some nights we tried to kill each other
The fourth bowl is going back to someone who you used to be, before that something happened. It’s finding your roots and reconnecting with them, slowly coming back to life. It’s the realization that as long as you know that you still have yourself, you will never be alone.
But you know, happiness multiplies when you share it, but misery fades when you share it with someone. And I don’t mean to make someone else equally miserable, but just… Reach out and pour your heart out. If you are lucky, your best friend will hold your hand and hug the tears away. And they will know exactly when to hold your hand again.
Your look betrays curiosity, but I shake my head – there is no timeline for how long you can be stuck in each bowl. It all depends on the situation or the heartbreak. It took me 2 years, 2 months and 17 days to get from bowl 3 to bowl 4 after my previous heartbreak.
However, I think it is super important to ask yourself that question from time to time: why not now? I mean… I mean, why not? This resonates the strongest when you are centimeters away from going under. Trust me, I know.
No, I can’t slip away in the night
Maybe someday, you’d meet me in the deep end
And hey – boy, did I find a new coping mechanism? Absolutely. Turns out, reggaeton works perfectly when you need to numb your intrusive thoughts and want to look cool while doing it. We both chuckle, knowing how insanely stupid it sounds.
There is something about the music, though. I snap out of this moment to make sure pancakes don’t burn. I should probably eat something too, right? This time it’s you putting them on my plate and making sure new ones get on the pan. Team work really makes the dream work, no?
My hands hugged the tea mug, looking for warmth. People really think they know you, because they are part of the little fraction of your life. And based on that tiny piece, they will judge you and tell you that you shouldn’t complain because your life is pretty freaking great. Truth is… I know it is. But just because I share happy moments, does not mean I don’t struggle.
It’s funny, you know? The insincerity in people’s questions. How am I? You really don’t want to hear the truth, you are hoping I will reply in an effortlessly funny way, so you won’t have to deal with the harsh reality.
Should I lay down and die
Without you by my side?
With sigh, I look at the pancakes you placed in front of me. Don’t worry, I actually am hungry right about now. And it’s been ages since I’ve had any so… One less worry for you. Is it too late to ask for that coffee?
But you know, as Tom Hanks once said (or maybe was it his therapist?): this too shall pass. Whatever it is – the most amazing, exciting moment in your life or the lowest deck. It will pass, because things truly are temporary. And sometimes it’s not worth wasting time. I know it’s easier said and done, but… Nobody said it’s not okay to mope around for a minute.
Take it all in, the sadness and tears. We’re human, right? Crying helps. And sometimes, if you are lucky enough, the tears streaming down your face will be tears of happiness. One step at a time, one day at a time, Friend.
You know what we should do? Go for a walk. But not around my hood, not back to my parents’. It’s been way too long since we took my ultimate favorite walking route. And since the sun is out and we have no other plans, let’s grab the best ice cream in town and open the season. There is still potential to have a great spring and even better summer.