It’s astounding to me how universal emotion is. Every feeling, every thought in the wake of an ending is mirrored across the expanse of human experience — an unbounded fractal revealing the same truth: we all care.
I often forget this.
I forget that there is nothing new under the sun, that nothing is inherently special. We attribute meaning to people and awards and memories and events, and that makes them matter, if only to us, if only for a time.
I rattle this nonsense off distantly, as if there is even a difference between inherency and attribution. When it comes down to it, you matter. You matter to me. And whether I feel that because you told me I was beautiful, or you cared enough to wade through the minutia of my cluttered mind, or because you simply do matter, regardless of my personal perceptions, there’s no questioning the significance of you.
And there are so many yous. Everyone is someone’s someone. Multiple people are multiple peoples’ multiple people! I feel towards you and you feel towards them and they feel towards him and he feels towards her and she is me or any other person who’s ever cared about someone else more than they think they should.
And we feel bad about caring because of the connotations that come with it. Caring suggests vulnerability, longing, desperation, affection for something or someone who might not reciprocate the same back towards us. And so we say fuck it, I don’t care, you don’t matter to me, I’m over it.
And this is absurd because we all care! Maybe not about the right things — we long for people we shouldn’t, give our time to people who don’t deserve it, dwell on thoughts of people who have long since emptied us from the recesses of their minds. And maybe it’s subjective truth, attributed truth, truth that only matters to us. And maybe it is healthier to let go and forget — delete them and move on.
But maybe there’s an alternative to saying fuck it and erasing the past. Maybe it’s okay for things to matter. Maybe it’s okay to care because there is a universal similarity in the fact that we all harbor our subjective truths.
It is not a weakness to care. And I say this loud, and violently, so that I don’t balk under the weight of my own insecurities and doubts. It’s fucking difficult to let be be the finale of seem. But I believe in that finale — in the ending of pretense and false complacency, in the lie that you are stronger for hardening yourself towards the beauty of the flame blown out too soon.
Fuck “fuck it.” Grasp the extinguished wick between your fingers and feel its dwindling burn.