It Means “I See You”

The best stories jump off the page at you. They could’ve happened to your neighbor, your best friend. They could’ve happened to you. Maybe they did. Maybe they are.

When asked to investigate what Vlepo translated to in class, I was taken aback by the translation – “I see you”. How often is the reader simultaneously doing the reading and being read? This added layer of awareness made me excited to continue reading and discussing Everett’s work. A good author allows the reader to get into the mind of a character, but a great author allows the character to get into the mind of the reader.

I had plans for the weekend, but these past few days had felt so deeply wrong and impossible. It was strange, because the adjustment to college had been going seemingly well, but it was the dynamic with my boyfriend in Buffalo that was getting in the way. I talked to every person I talk to when things go wrong. I assessed every detail, thought of every solution, tried them all – in theory, things would’ve been fixed. But they weren’t. 

So I went home for the weekend and broke up with my boyfriend of two years over FaceTime. Initially, it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I was sick and tired of the back and forth, the “should we” or “should we not”, the distance, feeling like I was the only one that was hurting, the only one that cared. It felt like I had my best friend and my own life back, and we talked for hours, smiling, laughing, and breathing again. I listened to the song “Clean” by Taylor Swift over and over again. I can’t wait to feel that way.

But it comes in waves. It comes in brutal, soul-crushing moments of vulnerability – I am only human (and a writer) after all. But there is a sense of peace with this pain, because it has an end.

So Sunday, I was alive and awake in sitting in Starry Nites Cafe in Rochester, catching up on the homework I had put off. I was trying but struggling to get lost in my reading when I stumbled across a line that said what I was thinking and feeling but couldn’t find words for – isn’t that the best?

On page 49, Everett writes “It’s not much of a life, though, is it? – representing a thing.”  I suppose that it is a human experience to chase an idea and a feeling rather than something tangible – but it’s time to be Kat again, in relation to no one but myself.

It means “I see you”. It means that I pursue my studies as my studies pursue me. It means that for the first time in a long time, I am being seen. One day at a time. One chapter of life – and this psych homework I’m procrastinating by writing this instead – at a time.

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