Daniel Raquel

By
Even if I were capable of voicing it, I don't think you'd be a worthy ear. My devotion to you has clasped my wrist and shaken me, pleading to be set free it has deteriorated the flesh from my bones. Slowly, I become air, so dense and so empty. You, the one which determined my every voluntary action, to the point in which these and involuntary bore no distinction, you no longer wish to carry this burden. The puppeteer, detached from the marionette you’ve so carelessly handled.
December twenty-seventh, my pulse is only there to signify the fact that I’m still alive. I’m drained physically, emotionally spent. We lay between cotton sheets as your whispers dwindle in my ear. Perhaps our entire relationship is based on the bulls*** that you write in your f***ing “manifestos”, recycled from bargain books sporting a blaring crimson label, frivolously tossed aside. Sold for $5.99, hardly a profit, they just take up space. But that’s a different story. We’re both holding onto each others words. I’m trying to understand what has just happen. I still cannot comprehend it. Three-something AM, Your exit is cued. I pray for the throbbing of my arteries to cease. Your body’s down the hall, but you, you Daniel are miles away. Great Barrington, MA. As if I’m really going to f***ing sleep. Nine thirty-seven AM, December twenty-eight cue entrance into grotesque blue, 2007 Honda Civic. Nothings more suited for some stimulating conversation like the brisk morning after apprehension and the smooth texture of leather interior. The silence poorly masks the resentment.
Daniel is not an ordinary boy. Not in the unordinary way in which he has a magical power, unless the ability to penetrate so deep into someone’s mind that you manipulate their every action is classified as something spectacular. To leave the girl lonely and sleepless at night, writing sorry sonnets and sulking in self pity. Dropping a phone call here and there, leaving her on edge. Never good enough, so pathetic. All of this was barely gratifying; he could toy with these girls on end and never truly achieve the selfish indulgence he’d been searching for.
Anyone was a pawn in Daniel’s head, reluctantly sacrificing their welfare for his sovereignty. I never expected to be victimized, nor had I ever wished to be so captivated. For three years and eight months my heart ached for Daniel, and though I’d often encounter tension between us. The hopes of anything developing were hitting rock bottom.
I suppose if I am going to refer to that present, I must also refer to its past. So I suppose you can say it began on that sorry day when I met Daniel. No, that’s not quite accurate. I was doomed the day I met Jen Hinty (whom I no longer am acquainted with- which is, again, a different story). I befriended Jen about six months prior to my first encounter with Daniel. Jen and I would frequent the local town theater, causing commotion and laughter wherever we went. The world was a giant joke to us. We would spend days swimming naked in the lakes down her street. The fractured moonlight lighting up her womanly figure, I felt so meek and childish next to her. God, I admired her. At night, we’d jump the gated entrances to smoke pot on the docks.
One night, it was definitely too cold out to be there, but Jen, our friend Ariel, and I had been skipping rocks by the dock around two o’clock in the morning. It was the middle of the November and the moon was lit in the most peculiar way, as if not to be a November evening at all. The crisp air sent chills down your spine. The type of atmosphere that it reminds you why you were alive. Ariel said something particularly ingenious, and I muttered something particularly ingenious back. Jen threw her head back in laughter as she lit a cigarette. There we stood under the moon, cussing and smoking and skipping rocks. Had it not been for that damn moon, I would have never thought of it. Slowly and surely, I began removing all my clothing. I braced myself for what was to come, then walked to the edge of the dock. Jen and Ariel’s voices were muffled, as my heartbeat increased I knew that I the only thing I had the desire to do was penetrate the surface. The suspense was too much, and there I went. My hands guided me as the chilling water surrounded my entire body. I felt invincible. There I floated on my back, the moonlight playfully outlining my silhouette. I do not remember what happens next, just that once we had returned to Jen’s house we were all soaked and riding high. I sprawled my body out on her carpet, it was now longing for heat. I draped a quilt over myself and crossed my hands over my head. The three of us listened to Jim Morrison’s divine voice until sunrise. In moments like these, you are forever. Leading a life with Jen Hinty as your best friend makes life seem as if no one could ever harm you. I wish I hadn’t been wrong.
The day I met Daniel, Jen had decided that it was time I had met some of her old school friends. They were all very welcoming; in fact they’ve gone on to being some of my very closest and dearest friends. But Daniel, Daniel was a gem. To this day I cannot put my finger on what drew me to him. We stroke up conversation immediately, and I didn’t know it then but I had fallen for him the second we’d met. “Tell me all about yourself”, he demanded. Why me? Why did he care about what I had to say? I remember how young we were at this time. No one had cars yet. I was twelve; he was roughly a year older. Daniel appeared to be about twenty-five. He chivalrously shared his umbrella with me as we walked to Madison’s mother’s red miniature van and catch rides home. We began writing and calling each other, exchanging polite hellos and meeting in groups of people. Strict social routines that, from the start, were never kept.
As it happens, days turned into weeks. Weeks into months. I was shy, and afraid. Spiraling out of control, Jen had me by the ends of her talons. Never would I even dare suggest the preposterous idea of Daniel and I.. together. Summer 2006 posed different plans. For four weeks, I would attend a camp at a camp in Thetford, Vermont. I had exchanged addresses with several people prior to my departure. I lost Jen’s mailing address. Day nine, my ballpoint pen glides across the paper. I write Connor a modest story about camp and talk about my feelings. I anxiously await his response. Nothing else really matters until then. Day sixteen: a letter arrives. On what it now folded warn composition paper, it reads:

Dear ------,

First of all it will be a couple extra days until you get this letter. I’ve been hiding away in Massachusetts for the past week, and so I just got this letter and will mail it when I get home Sunday night. Sorry if your letter doesn’t have a blue ocean and a sailboat on it, I’m sure you won’t mind.
I enjoyed hearing about camp, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.. most people wouldn’t be able to love themselves and would put themselves in the dirt. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, I’ve been studying and practicing Buddhism and some other stuff. They teach a lot about compassion and helping others… your face always pops up when I hear compassion. You said your friend Lee’s suffering made you feel needed; I think it’d be helpful if you thought about everyone who suffers, they all need you. You will never be un-needed in this life, ------.
And so if you help you friend, you’ll help yourself. You said you felt guilty that her suffering made you feel important, but everyone wants to feel important, needed… I want to be loved so badly. The trick is realizing you are filled with love and you can complete yourself. We’re all gonna die sometime or another! So no ones really that important, haha!
It’s hard to not let other people’s meanness get to you. What helps me is to think about people just being confused. You don’t blame a person for being sick and it’s really people making themselves suffer when they are a**hole motherf***ers. Don’t let me bore you with all this Buddha s***, I suck at it anyway! Haha.. I’m learning though.
I think of you as a person with such love…if you could give that love to yourself, you’d probably be the happiest person around.
ANYWAY! My life hasn’t been too eventful since I’ve been up here in Massachusetts. I just swim and sit in the sun. I can’t complain. I guess the fact that I have a huge crush on Alex T is pretty interesting. It’s quite the weird thing because we’ve been good friends for so long but never that close. I told her how I never could be myself because she intimidated me, she said I intimidated her. I don’t know… she’s in my dreams a lot and I’d love to kiss her! It’s cute. I’m such a weirdo. I’m glad I wrote this letter today, I had a pretty s***ty night and this might have been a big pessimistic sob story.
I’ll write again soon. How long are you gonna be at camp?

I love you!
Daniel F***ing Raquel
(Feel my big hugs!)

So how did we end up here? I was so naive then! Crushed, but I refused to be defeated. I swooned over you. Some days, you took interest in me. It was in his nature to be incredibly fickle, Daniel continued to recycle and replace people. He ever so eloquently manipulated you into falling in love. Creating this persona, it wasn’t real. His smooth tan shoulders did not glisten in the water, as he swam in the lakes of Massachusetts. He did not whisper the most profound words in your ear, or possess the slightest knowledge on the teaching of Siddhartha. He did not make you nervous or giddy or unable to control your own heart rate. He did not empower you enough to stand up to your best friend and loser her.
And that time he drove you home. You remember, don’t you? A summer after he wrote you a letter saying he wanted to kiss Alex T. The summer he wanted to kiss you the night after you both drove to Harlem and graffitied those god damn walls. The same cold walls you would lay your back against, face pressed into your knees, shirt soaked in tears. This was when he told you he was leaving. “Simons Rock,” he said ever so casually “it’s a great opportunity for me.” Why? Don’t go! Silence. If I could have only mustered the strength to yell, scream, kick and fight until he changed his mind. It would’ve mattered, he had already left months ago.
So there I was, Westchester, New York. No one to pick up the pieces. For months, I waited. I flirted with the idea of Daniel’s permanent return. Finally, he came to visit. I missed it. We talked a lot, then less. Winter break came. Remember Daniel? You told me we could’ve been together. Too much mileage.
And so there it, was our first kiss. We got drunk off the stars that night. December twenty-sixth. We held hands as we looked at all the snow. It had really turned to ice, but you weren’t worried. You had no fear of sudden change, not when you were sure it would eventually melt. It’s only relevant to the season, it’ll pass. I’m just another warm body, who you said you loved. Someone who’s only relevant to the season.
Following New Years, you left. You returned to your new life. You let me pass, as I drifted out of yours sight I realized I had never caught your eye. Never had it been me who had made you laugh, smile, cry. It was not me, this person. This person who I had become was a reflection. The world’s mirror, constantly absorbing rays, exuding rays. No longer. I hereby resign from my position. Every word I had wish I had said to you, I no longer wait for the moment in which they will be released from my lips. I no longer think about what you’re doing, who you’re with. I no longer wish to see your face. I no longer abide to your rules. I no longer carry your letters on my person. I no longer carry your burden.
Loud fluorescent lights ring in my ears. Billboards scream. The wind whispers it in my ears. It’s called on to answer question number eighteen on the homework. I use to read it, speak it, write it. I wasn’t convinced. I’ve be more sure. Alyssa. Alyssa. Alyssa.





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