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First, Second, Last

HeartbreakJessie MaComment


He had a lot of scars,

I remember that distinctly. He was reckless with his body, his words, his belongings; utterly careless- with almost everything, but me. Yes, I remember him being very careful with me. (And isn’t that really what all of us secretly wants- to be somebody’s exception?) I remember him as the smoker, the drinker, the artist, the rebel, the free spirit, the masochist, yet pleasure seeker, the last boy on earth I would have thought would be my first boyfriend. I remember feeling pretty, for the first time ever, when he noticed me in Sunday school and introduced himself, and feeling cute instead of clumsy as I tripped over the syllables of my own name and found reassurance in his playful smirk. I remember him calling me his muse; how he’d write about me, to me, for me, on me, any preposition + me; catalyzing my insatiable thirst for the most perfect words to depict even the least perfect things- which persists as strongly as ever to this day (self evident in this very text). I remember him drawing portraits and taking photographs of me, dozens, hundreds, and never being satisfied with any of them- “You’re too much to replicate, even imitate. It makes me blissfully frustrated.” I remember being surprised at how graceful his calloused fingers looked as they plucked his guitar strings, and how his eyes looked curious yet knowing as he sung lyrics he conjured on the spot, and subsequently dedicated to me. I guess that’s kind of what we were, an impromptu, improv melody that just happened to turn out beautiful. I remember my mom hating him. I remember sharing a diary with him, switching off whenever I got the rare chance to see him, and how sacred this secret-keeping, inside-joking, thought-purging, feeling-sharing bind of pages felt to us. Looking back, I used it as a journal, to vent and talk about my day, complain about my struggles. He used it as a never-ending love letter, with each blank page a renewed chance to make me smile and laugh. The doodles, the confessions, the wispiest of wispy feelings made tangible through pen on paper, seemed to preserve what we shared as immortal (and oh, how foolish that word sounds now, when things have obviously died and been dead). I remember him as the epitome of a California teenage dream, donning aviator shades while skating down Huntington Beach pier, sneaking behind our parents’ backs, learning in the sweetest ways what it means to be someone’s something. I remember experiencing with him a love that was playful- but not childish, amateur- but not immature. And I remember.. forgetting. I remember my feelings fading. Waking up from this dream, snapping out of the trance. “After the romance, the real life comes in. Innocence gets dirty, passion gets cold, and youth gets old with cleverness.” I’d been an eager first-time smoker; I packed him tightly in a bowl, puffed hard, and then… the high wore off. I remember him walking away from me, the last time I ever saw him, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Blvd., becoming more and more iridescent with each step as he dissolved into my foggy memory. I don’t remember much. But I remember how he loved me. I loved how he loved me. But I did not love him.



He was always there,

I remember that fondly. As I was left to cope with the unsettling feelings of a come-down, my hands frantically searching for anything solid to hold onto, I found the most substantial of substance in him. The Mania I previously shared was nice- but fleeting. And here, he offered me Storge, Pragma, Agape- the kind of love I needed at a time when the rest of my life was chaotic and unstable. I remember every bit of our 5 years of friendship before the 2 years of “more”. I think that’s what drew me to (and ironically, later, away from) him the most- the familiarity and comfort, the fact that I never had to introduce, explain, or even defend myself in any way; he had known me at every point of my adolescence to early adulthood, and I- him at his. I remember 8th grade group projects and filming silly videos in his backyard, memories I cherish just as much as I do our senior year prom together. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have someone who knew all my faults and still chose to fall, not because he happened to be the Golden Boy, the star of the school. That fact, if anything, made me feel unlucky (but that’s another story). I remember Mondays “Heroes” nights and our mornings at Starbucks before school (venti mocha / grande soy caramel macchiato). I remember cheering him on at swim meets and him cheering me on at cross-country meets, and the joking land vs. water rivalry. I remember him being my partner for everything from our friends’ debuts to school plays and musicals, an implied, understood, default pairing. I remember feeling as if for several years our lives had been two opposite sides of a zipper, obliviously flopping around before our relationship had braided them neatly together. (But maybe that wasn’t such a good thing- maybe I needed more room to breathe, perhaps a button-up style relationship would have better suited me? Our separate identities preserved, with a few tangents that kept it all together?) Regardless, I remember embracing the way our two worlds, our two circles of the Venn diagram created a solid sphere. Because that was what I needed (or, what I thought I needed,) at the time. I remember feeling blessed that his picture-perfect family took me in as their own- his mother treating me like the daughter she never had, and my mother treating him like the son she always wanted. I remember taking his little brother and his girlfriend out on double dates with us. I remember being comfortable enough to walk into his house and open the fridge as I wished. I remember my contacts feeling dry as I drove sleepily back to my house at 3 am almost every night, and the security guard’s ritual salute to me on the way out of his gated community. I remember him as the most grounded and faithful person I had ever met, since I first met him at age 12. Looking up to him as a friend, a teacher, a supporter, a disgustingly talented and stubbornly ambitious individual who refused to leave me behind. I remember him wanting to take me to Europe. I remember him taking me to Europe. Everything from almost missing our flight and losing our baggage, to the hotel rooms that no two 18 year olds should have had the luxury of experiencing. I remember London, each of the 6 shows we watched. I remember Paris, and how the color of the sky each night (which I now realize is a result of air pollution) was more beautiful than the glittering Tour Eiffel itself. I remember that last summer of our high school chapter closing, and feeling the impending doom of things changing. Correction- of myself changing (had I predicted it?) I remember feeling so accustomed to his presence and all the perks it brought with it, that when the time came to part, was surprised to find.. there was no actual love, on my part. Only dependence. Only desperation. Only the despicable truth that I’d loved everything about a person, except the actual person. It guilts and pains me to remember. So I don’t remember much. But I remember how he loved me. I loved how he loved me. But I did not love him. 



I remember nothing about you, for you do not live in my memories. Your presence is present, you are currently floating along the current of ocean waves, waves of my hand, waves in my hair, in the brainwaves that sine and cosine through my mind without end, in the most complicated and frustrating equation. Every bit of our history still feels salient, a bit too raw and real, and even to my own surprise, shows no sign of fading. If anything, with your absence it becomes more piercing, more obvious, more demanding of attention, more tragically perfect as I dissect the who, what, when, where whys of our past. The only question I still cannot answer is “How.” How could you do this to me? How could this have happened to us? And how… we’re still here. How, still, it all comes down to you- all of you, always you. To me, you are not a “him.” You are “you.” I don’t remember you. I know you. I feel you. I love you. I love you. But I hate. How you loved me. 



“You’ll find someone better.”

Conversations, HeartbreakJessie MaComment

“There’s something else for you out there.”

“You need to move on, he wasn’t right for you.”

Hm…  I’m tired of it.  So tired.  My concern isn’t how long it’ll take for me to get attached again, or if I ever will.  Honestly, if Prince Charming came to sweep me off my feet right now, I’d politely ask him to put me back down.  ’Please and thank you, I’m still learning to walk on them on my own.’

I know people are saying what they think I want to hear.  The cliches that feel natural to tell a girl with a broken heart.  But one of my friends told me something so refreshing today.  Harsh on the surface, but so very true:

“You.  Are going.  To be.  Alone.  For a very, very, long time.  Not because there’s anything wrong with you, not because you don’t deserve to be in love.  But because that’s what you know, despite the temptation to stop the loneliness, is what is right and best for you.  You love(d) him, it was raw, real, unprecedented, and as of right now, irreplaceable.  Don’t dismiss how good the good was in order to make it easier to cope with losing it.  You will be in pain.  You will love and hate the solitude.  But there is no one you should be giving more love to than yourself.”

“Thank you so much.  I’m confident that what I’m feeling and doing is right, but so many people like to suggest otherwise.  Thank you for the reassurance.”

“I just repeated what you told me, when I was trying to get back on my feet.  It sucked, but I’m good now.  You will be too.”



To the only boy who's ever seen me naked:

Letters, HeartbreakJessie MaComment

I mean naked. Completely naked.

Several people have seen my body- my parents, doctors, old ladies at the sauna, exes. But this is for the one boy who’s seen my face erased of makeup, my body stripped of clothes, my heart unprotected by its once impenetrable fortress, my soul void of inhibitions. Who’s acknowledged, loved, hated, condemned, cherished, and simply, seen, me. My entirety, uncensored.

To the only boy who has sat backstage and watched my morning ritual, how exactly I transform from the just-woken mess to the product that walks out the door; who’s observed every brush of eyeshadow, each strand of hair being curled, and contributed to the deliberations of which shoes, which earrings, which version of me is best? Who has been so privileged to be the only audience in my awful private concert, belting and screeching at the top of my lungs, the way I do only when I’m in the car alone. Who has witnessed my struggle while choreographing a piece, who has never judged my artistic development, who has always noted my efforts and improvement. Who has gazed at my pen meeting paper, gawked at my mind taking over, peeping under his umbrella during my brainstorm. Whom I have never been even close to shy, in front of, or with, in front of others. Who has noticed, then studied, then tirelessly worked to abolish, my insecurities. Who knows everything I know about my identity, of the past and present. Who knows as little as I do about my future, but hopes the same hopes and dreams the same dreams and shares each thought and feeling as if they were his own. Who has been my confidant that I invested more confidence in than I did my beloved Moleskine. Whom I have placed myself on top of and released all my weight, my anger, my pain, all my anguish, who has felt each pound and ounce of my world on his shoulders. Who has held my body beheld my love. Who has kissed and caressed, teased and touched, wanted and received, every inch of my skin, the darkest corners of my mind, the pores and thoughts I had yet to discover for myself.

To the only boy who’s ever seen me completely naked.

Do you know how much it hurts to look at you and realize that, you

have shown me nothing real.



The things I miss, #1

Letters, HeartbreakJessie MaComment

Beauty fades. And more importantly, it’s commonplace. There have been and will always be pretty girls. So ask yourself, “What makes her, just her, so special and irresistible to me? What do I feel about her that I don’t, can’t, about anyone else in my life? Why do I really love her, a reason that’s exclusive and unchangeable?”

I guess I’m trying to say.. I miss you telling me that I’m independent and strong. That I’m an unstoppable force, charismatic and intelligent. That my jokes aren’t shallow and stupid but have layers of wit behind them. That I’m caring and giving, generous and thoughtful. That I’m friendly and down to earth, all while demanding respect.

You would compliment my mind, the very core controller of my existence. And those were the times I felt truly confident. Beauty became a laughable concept- why would I need to be concerned about how I look when I’m capable of so much more than being a decoration? I felt magnetic. A magnet, no matter what shape or structure, attractive because of its elements.

And I miss how, if you did talk about physical attractiveness, you’d never settle for the word “pretty.” You’d tell me you couldn’t stop staring at the asymmetrical dimples that adorn the sides of my smile. That the curve on the small of my back invites your fingers to trace its outline up to the nape of my neck, down to the inside of my knees, around to the smooth surface of my stomach. That my sleepy eyes come off sultry, and my surprised eyes look like an anime characters’, and in the subtle lighting of my room at dawn, they suck you in like a kaleidoscope. That my lap is your head’s perfect napping place and my fingers tangle into yours like a jigsaw puzzle. That you want to brush the bangs out of my face to kiss me sacredly, “sign of the cross” style- cheek, cheek, forehead, lips. That you find it adorable when I eat, whether nibbling on my food like a bunny or scarfing it down like a wolf. That I dance with vitality and walk with pride, talk with conviction and laugh with a lust for life.

I loved how you always seemed to notice so much more than a 2-dimensional image that can be summed up in a 1-dimensional word.





Heartbreak, Social StudiesJessie MaComment

The downfall of a relationship, even in comparison to the definite end of one, is, in my opinion, one of the most heartbreaking things to go through, or even witness.

Too often I’ve seen different hardships break people down individually- losing loved ones, financial troubles, natural disasters.. events that temporarily (or maybe longer,) rob you of your happiness, extinguish your spark and fire, quell your lust for life, in even the most vibrant and resilient among us. It’s sad, so sad, to see people lose a bit of themselves here and there through the loss of different things in their lives.

But in relationships, the deterioration of what once was is even sadder- because what is being destroyed is something those two people have created and built together, on their own. All the meaningful & feelingful words, glances, touches, jokes, stories, photos…. once vividly and intensely shared between the two is reduced to a faint shadow of a memory that used to evoke so much. I hate to make movie references, but it’s like in 500 Days of Summer, when Tom and Summer are doing all the things they used to do in the beginning of their relationship, but instead of being giddy and giggly, they are gloomy and distant, their conversations lackluster, their intimacy nonexistent or neglected, their company a bit too comfortable, their passion drained to depletion. It’s a fact: a relationship that doesn’t end in marriage always rises, then falls. Builds then breaks. Exists, then.. doesn’t. And some facts are just very, very sad.

This has led me to (besides be cynical,) believe that perhaps people are meant to graze each other’s lives, to touch, bend, and move, bringing to them both pleasure and pain and everything in between, adding to their characters and personalities.

The idea of gravity comes to mind. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, take 10th grade Physics again. I’m kidding. Basically, mass attracts mass. And in terms of people, I get this idea that the more dense someone is, the more attractive they are. That is, the more they are filled with life experiences and skills, capacity for emotion and understanding, stories, mistakes, memories, quirks, anything of substance that they’ve collected over time… the more people they attract, and the more likely they are to attract and be attracted to people of similar “density”. And more significantly, the stronger this gravitational pull will be.

Simply stated, the more substance you have, the more substance you’ll attract, and the more substantial that attraction will be. 

And it’s both great and sad that people are able to experience each other and experience life, accumulating their density over time. But in terms of romantic relationships, I wonder if it is possible for each of us to find someone to be in constant orbit with. Someone whose pull is perfectly balanced with our own, in peaceful, unending, uninterrupted equilibrium. Someone whose existence is personified as a magnet that hugs your existence as a magnet, completely and thoroughly. Someone whose universe runs parallel to your own. Someone that is responsible for your Sun, your Earth, your Moon, and every single one of your stars being alive.