What to expect?

I forgot how much I enjoyed skipping a night’s sleep. Being more disassociated from the outside world, and more attentive to my inner thoughts.

I remembered a conversation I had with my older brother last summer. He was waiting for replies about his job applications, and he seemed decided to marry next summer. He told me he was concerned that these were the last two big things to expect in life, and that would be it.

I had a suspicion that my brother and I shared the same fears, but we were never able to know it. Because when one of us expresses fear about something, the other tries to reassure him and to play it down.

This time, I had no more assurance than: “You never know.”
I couldn’t say more about the future when I feared it more than him. There’s not a moment in my life when I wasn’t eagerly waiting for something in the future. Everything great existed only in the future, as a projected consequence of my planned actions.
But I remember every self, and the diminishing expectations I had as I grew older. My 18-year-old self would be devastated if he knew his future. My 20-year-old self would be disappointed. My 23-year-old self probably wouldn’t be surprised to know about my current 24-year-old self.
I see exactly what my brother fears. In fact, the big things in my life have probably passed. I don’t even know what I expect of the next year or even the next five years.

I told him I will continue my higher education in Europe, that I will apply for the best places. If I get accepted, then I will spend a few years there. Otherwise, I won’t waste more time in education, and I’ll just get by here. He asked me if I still had energy left after all the years I spent away in college, to travel again and learn a new culture. I told him I had no choice, and I couldn’t stay anymore.

Since then, I applied to some places in Europe. But then I asked myself if I really had the energy. More importantly, I asked myself if I was ready to set an expectation and face the outcome a few years later. I have done this so many times in my life already, too many times.
I don’t think any of applications will be accepted.
I don’t think I’ll go, even if one of my applications was accepted.

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A day to remember: after 12AM

The first girl that I knew on a personal level had her first baby this year. We were around 7. She used to invite me to play. Her mom welcomed me, and her dad was rarely around.

I was reminded of another girl recently as well. Our mutual friends tried often to “recommend” us to each other, but she didn’t seem interested and I didn’t change anything. I learned later that she was actually interested in my older brother.
I was asleep, and I was awakened by her voice outside my door. She has been married for a few years now. She was asking her 2 year old son: “Do you want to call daddy?”

Her younger sister, all I remembered about her is that she always asked me questions and always listened while looking me in the eye.

Here we are today: the older isn’t married to my brother, and I am engaged to the younger sister.

There’s also Claire. The first time I was ready, and the first time I envisioned a future and a family of my own.

I don’t know why I find it appropriate or relevant to talk about girls on my birthday. Probably because I will most likely be married by my next birthday.

I don’t know why everyone else around my age is having kids, or getting married in the first place. My grandmother a few days ago was asking me to hurry and get married. She was suggesting that it should definitely be no later than next summer.

She is the only one of my grandparents remaining.

Her husband, who I hated after his death, died a long painful death. It was a medical error, and his leg had to be cut. I visited him. He was on a bed, he was saying in a very low voice: “I’m thirsty, give me water.” My grandmother explained it was against what the doctors said. He had to be given small quantities because of something in this throat, I think. Then, He said that it was too hot, and he asked me to lower the degree on the thermostat. My grandmother waved for me not to do it, and she also explained that it was for his health. She asked me to pretend I was doing it, but I didn’t pretend. He was still awake, and if I pretended to lower the thermostat he would notice and think I was treating him like a child. I couldn’t do it to him.

My other two grandparents had alzheimer since I was a child until they died. I remember they gave me candy every time I visited. The only interaction I remember, is that my grandmother, my father, and I were sitting in her room. My father teased me by saying I should close my open mouth or I’ll swallow a fly. She hugged me and said that I was her grandson and that it would be my father who will swallow a fly.

I see my place within this family, and among us all I cannot find a happy person. Every time I meet them, I stare in their eyes. I know that everyone can smile, but no one can hide misery from their eyes. I don’t know if happiness doesn’t exist, of if it means much less than I hoped.

But at the very least, happiness should be whatever is enough to justify the costs of living. I have no justification, and I lived only because as a human, or as an animal, I fear death. I lived for no reason, and next year I’ll marry for no reason.

It’s depressing to know that after 24 years of living I am either ignorant or knowing of a very unpleasant truth.

I now pronounce you

My dear, I am marrying not for the presence, but for the absence, not to seek, but to avoid.

After I couldn’t get my prize, I wished to marry someone that considered my their prize, and I am not sure if I am doing you good or harm.
Don’t you deserve someone that viewed you as his prize?
Perhaps this is all irrelevant to our legal commitment.

You finish your studies next year, correct? Then let that be the time.
Let there be apparent joy and many people, and let there be none more miserable and lonely than me.
You will be the prettiest girl in the whitest of dresses, the dream of a million men, but not mine.
Let us greet them with firm handshakes and wide smiles, and before long we will age and pass away.

Before long, it would be as if my prize and I have never existed. As if I have never dreamed, never sought, never cried, never waited, and never moved on.

But before all of that, before everything: let me spend another year in pointless hope.
Let me remain free from the legal binding that you are mine and I am yours. Let it not be signed in paper that some dreams can never come true.
Let me wait, and what is there to do besides waiting?