I must give.

It is a strange thing to go through life knowing you need, and scrutinizing every face, every street corner, every whispered secret for a clue – what is it I need? You can never reach the point of trying for the thing, because you cannot even begin to identify the thing. Ten years can be lost this way; most likely, entire lives are lost this way regularly. But ten years is enough for me.

We all hear the platitude, “It is better to give than to receive,” but we do not think much about it. When the adults told us this, we understood that giving makes one a “good person,” and that this is something that the adults were trying to make us want to be. But forget all of that, assume that Jesus didn’t believe in good people, only good life, and read the sentence again. The statement is a paradox. The resolution is simple: giving is an experience, itself a thing that one can have, and you want to have it. You need it. So take it! (Or, rather, you know…) People will say, if you want to be a writer, just write. Perhaps this is good advice for one who wants to be a writer, but I do not think that is what I want. I want to give my ideas and my passion to others; I want to change the world. So I will just do that.

I had a dream last night that I was living at my mother’s house, and she was telling me some story about my “father’s phone call,” which she was angry about. I looked at her and told her she was insane, and I told her that she tries to force us to love her through anger and threats, and that her whole world was negative, and that I wanted nothing to do with it. And, of course, she told me I could leave her house then. I woke up as the thought crossed my mind, “How many times will I have to go through this? How can I not have escaped this yet?” After all, she has been dead for four years, and I told her ten years ago that I was leaving, never to return. But still she is in my head, in waking life as well as dreams. When I was fully awake, I wrote this essay.