Whisper 2.22

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Dear me,

Now that Shannon’s said she doesn’t want me to write her, I don’t know who to write.

What I want to say, I don’t want to share with anyone, except Shannon. But she says it’s silly for me to write, since she’s right here. If I’ve got something to say, say it.

Only how do I say it when I don’t know what I want to say?

That’s the beauty of writing: I can explore, shift around, pose it one way, pose it another, and maybe, on the fifth run through, I’ll stumble upon my truth.

I can come upon what’s true for me through painting, too. I wonder if Shannon would let me give her my artwork?

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While I was back home, I felt so close to Shannon. Through my letters, I felt we’d found a new level of intimacy. I shared things with her that I’d never shared with anyone. I let her see my inmost heart. Sure, her replies were often single words–but I could feel her through the writing, as if each stroke of her pen carried her to me.

Now she says don’t write. And I have a feeling I’ll hardly see her while I’m getting this degree.

I’m confused about what we are.

I’ve decided while I sort out our relationship–what it means to me, what it might maybe mean to Shannon, and what’s going on to create this weird distance between us–I’ll meet some other people. It never hurts to make friends, right?

There are some neat people at campus this year. I like the guy Kenyan. He’s got a rad Afro and a really intense gaze.

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He came over for a bonfire party we threw, and I found him out watching one of the squirrels. Reminded me of the stories Mom used to tell about Uncle Shea.

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Melvin Moon is pretty cool. He says his uncle Anoki knew Mom.

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Jaclyn in still here. She’s still working on her phys ed degree. I’m really happy that we’re in the same degree program now. We have classes together, and we’ve been talking about squeezing in some extra workouts. I’d love to train her.

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I’ve been hanging out with all my dorm-mates, too. Campus life feels so different to me, this time around. I’m actually meeting people and doing all the typical college things.

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Like soccer.

I met this interesting-looking older guy who reminds me a lot of the famous artist Harwood Clay. This guy’s not an artist, though. He’s another phys ed major, back for a second degree after a long career as a pharmacist.

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He knows Shannon. Everybody knows Shannon, it seems. I invited her over to our bonfire party, and she spent the entire time out at the bonfire, talking to all my dorm-mates.

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And that brings up what I don’t get. Wouldn’t you expect that she would want to spend time with me, even if we were part of a group? But she doesn’t seem to. I never see her alone.

I don’t get it. I really thought that we were something to each other. I knew not to ask her to go steady–I mean, she was always really clear that her freedom is the most important thing to her. But I thought we enjoyed being with each other. I guess I sort of thought we were maybe in love with each other.

Now, she seems to be talking to everybody but me. And she asked me not to write.

I wish our social lives could be as simple as the squirrels’. They race around, chattering in their little squeaky clucks, and play tag and steal each other’s acorns and generally have fun causing mischief. And obviously, their attempts at romance work because back when Mom was a student there were only two, and just tonight, I saw five of them.

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If I were writing Shannon–which I’m not, and probably never will again–I’d write something about charm. I’d write about how I feel when I’m around her, which is that I could spend every moment with her, listening to her stories, looking in her eyes.

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She has this way of looking past my shoulder when she laughs that I find completely and utterly enchanting. I’m charmed.

Since I’m not writing to her, I’m left circling around my own feelings of disappointment. If I were more more interesting, or more of a rebel, or more intelligent, or better read, or less naive, or more adventurous, then she’d be charmed by me.

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But as it is, I can blow my pungi all I want, and the snake remains in the basket.

I’m trying to work my way around to something positive out of all this, but all I feel is bummed out and confused. What did I do wrong?

I guess I’ll just end with what Mom used to tell me when things were tough:

Hang in there.

Love,

me

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