people > places > things

Ghostin'

Jessie MaComment

the hallway

You just came out of a room. It was lit—dimly, but lit. You shut the door behind your back and find yourself staring into a seemingly endless, pitch-black hallway.

Of course, it’s likely that there is another room down this hallway. Several rooms, actually. In time, you’ll catch glimpses of light spilling out from their doors, inviting you to enter.

There is light ahead. There has to be.

But it doesn’t feel hopeful. It doesn’t feel exciting.

It doesn’t even seem believable.

Because all you have in front of you. right now. is darkness.

And the only discernible light is coming from behind you. From that door.

The one you just shut.

Of course you can’t help but look back at that sliver of light. Dim as it is.

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This is how it feels trying to move on after a breakup.


a breakup isn’t an event; it’s a process.

The conversation can be an event—if you’re both disciplined enough to keep it at that.

But the distance between committing to end a relationship and actually finding peace with it… that, my friends, looks like a blind marathon down a hallway of full of nothing but darkness.


then, you start to see

Maybe the next door you find isn’t your Soul Mate. But maybe being in his room—with different colored lights—teaches you some new lessons that light your next steps. Maybe the wide-open gates of your family and friends lines your entire hallway with a blanket of warm sunlight. Maybe you find a mirror that reflects your own light, and you realize it’s actually kind of beautiful.

Wherever it comes from, it starts to lift the darkness.

Each step forward becomes lighter, easier.

But—

something inside jerks you back.

You turn around

and almost have to squint.

Because now, from here,

the light from behind you has become a faded flicker.


what’s real, to us

In the world. In life. As much as we try to believe there is…

There is no set reality.

There are only individual conceptual realities that exist in our own minds.

If you bump into a stranger on the street, quickly apologize, then go on your separate ways, then completely forget about that incident—then that stranger does not exist. In your reality, at least.

(This is the whole basis of Coco—but applied to the living, too.)

Things, people, memories. They are only alive if we keep them alive.


Moving forward, opening doors, discovering new light—all of this feels amazing.

And yet—

Me, as I existed to you.
You, as you existed to me.

I can feel them dying.


and i don’t want (you) to die

Every moment. Every other moment. Every 10 moments.

All the sweetest, most perfect mornings. The silly inside jokes. The electricity when we locked eyes. An embrace that felt like home. Even all the fighting and crying.

The emotions that once consumed me… They all feel a bit strange now, like it happened to a different me. In a different lifetime.

But I’m not ready to let go; I’m frantic. Grasping.

Please come back, please stay. I look through our old pictures. Re-read all of our conversations.

It was here. It was real. We were... I’m running back to see if your light is still there.


I know, baby, that this is not how life works. You’re the one that taught me that.

I’m only ever supposed look forward. Let the natural momentum of time carry me through the darkness. I should try to get to a place where I don’t feel the need to look back anymore.

But for now. Just for a little longer.

I want to stay here. With that faint light.

Savoring every last memory of us.

For as long as I can keep us alive.


“This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon, when things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look for yourself.”    — Duane Michals, 1974

“This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon, when things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look for yourself.”

— Duane Michals, 1974

5 months later. Half a world away.

When people have truly loved, we do this strange, masochistic, sort of masturbatory thing where we hang on to the pain from the loss.

Because the weight, however heavy, still holds the last remnants of the love. And in the twisted logic of someone sobbing into their pillow, this is the only way to keep the door from closing fully.

Were we happy? At times. Healthy? God no. But it was us.

And whatever shape or size, all of it… Was real.

How could I not.