Hot Air Balloons

Before I begin, I want this piece to be a little more special than some of the others. I want to transfer the weight inside of me into something worth reading, not only for Sam Gaglio, but for you, the reader, the audience of this scene in my life. I want to tell you a story without fiction, and through that, impose onto myself a more full perspective. Because, at the heart of everything that has characterized these past four months lies a certain suffering. And inside of that, there is meaning, an even more terrifying entity.

Embrace for impact.

A typical Monday night except for one thing in particular: I decide to take the bus home from school instead of walking. Then I got pretty sentimental. But it was the kind of sadness that, at its core, is light, and blissful, and calming. I suppose that’s a bit of a paradox in itself, but I hope you can follow nonetheless.

I caught a glimpse of life in its whole. It was a sudden moment that ended just as it began. It was so quick to occur that, if I hadn’t thought twice, it would have fleeted and disappeared in an instant, like the imagery of a dream. Time, by nature, is curious, but for just a tiny, momentary pause, I fully grasped all of its mysteries. And then, the knowledge was gone.

It hit me, though, of that I am sure. Before I elaborate, I have to rewind the tape, to January.

The thought of the following four months without her left me paralyzed. To add to the stillness, the inevitable all-consumptive beast that is school had just collapsed onto me, crumbling all around. In that moment of decision, I knew that misery was inevitable. The logical brain saw the challenge ahead, something to which its always been uncontrollably attracted. “You cannot defeat me,” it said, “because I have never lost”.  The pain of future memories, however, began to take shape, preparing for their relentless haunt. I was forced to choose, not between ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Rather, between ‘one’ and ‘the other’. This forked path will continue to follow me every day. It’s funny, thinking back, that the things you’d like most to forget end up being the ones you remember best.

Fast forward to March.

My heart is impressionable, like a white sponge. In the midst of all the mayhem, it is convinced to have finally found the antidote. How quickly it was proven wrong.  I tell myself that my energies are pure and should be fed to my priorities. But certain things, I’ve learned, are in their essence out of control. What I remembered: I did everything I could. What I will constantly forget: I did everything I could.

Am I making sense, reader? Can you follow?  Fast forward to now, right now.

It is Monday night and two wicks of a white-sands candle are burning to my right. I have been swallowed and spat up again, a constant regurgitation of my person. Each week has been a struggle so deep and difficult that, now, looking back, I surprise even myself with my strength. If I were a boxer, the metaphor lies in the knockout. If I were a swimmer, I have drowned. If I were a robot, I have been unplugged.

But I am a lover, and right now, I am also unstoppable.

The reason I got so sentimental on the bus is because I was stricken by the impermanence of everything around me, and even the temperance of myself. What I mean is, even though my difficulties have outweighed my pleasures, none of this will last forever. What I mean is, after a certain amount of time, nothing that I was seeing on the bus will exist, at all. What I mean is, I fell in love with the realization that this, too, will pass.

But this magic also brought disbelief, something that has been stirring my cynicism. The question at hand: why? I don’t want to know why we’re alive; no, not at all. I want to know instead why we are so evil. I ask, why are we so cruel? Why is it that, something that seems so obvious and pure to me is so rare to occur? I want to give you an example, reader, because I want you to understand.

Lately, I’ve been holding doors open for people. I don’t know why this doesn’t happen more often. It’s really a simple act that stretches outwardly, creating a cascade of courtesy. When followed by a ‘thank you’, the event turns even brighter. Why don’t people hold doors open for each other?

Lately, I’ve been trying to love everybody more. But so many people cannot accept this love and do not know how to give it back. It has become my purpose, to simply love as much as I can, but it’s the hardest thing I can imagine to accomplish. Why is it so easy to hate everybody? Why does everybody make it so easy for me to hate them?

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of ugly people. Why do men find dark pleasure in the physical? Why have I done the same? Why do women paint their faces and follow the material? Why aren’t people themselves?

Where does the heart go when the body blooms?

What I mean is, why do I feel like, right now, I deeply understand the importance of living and feel terribly alone because of it?

So I got off the bus and walked home in the sleet. Then I sat down at my desk and lit that candle and started writing all these things. Every day for the past four months I have been forced to give my everything for some things that, in my eyes, don’t matter at all. I have never been more frustrated and defeated in my life. I have never been so perplexed by the mere lack of passion and energy and creativity and personality and general awareness of people than I do right now. Can’t anybody see that we are going to die pretty soon?

Am I the only one who wants so badly to be alive?

This is the epitome of my disappointment.

Recently, I talked with a life mentor that told me to prepare for disappointment, because it will meet me at every step. Once I see the light of May, I only wish that none of this ever happens again. That heartbreak never has a chance to get the best of me. That something as demanding as this semester never takes hold of my life and chokes it to the bone. That, in spite of everything I’ve proven so far, none of it matters if I don’t finish strong.

But I know it will. I know that this world has the power to break me, completely, and smash all the pieces. I know that I’ve chosen the hardest thing of all to stand by everything that I love. To be voluntarily and completely transparent, a vulnerable target for the arrows of my adversary. I know that I will fall again, harder each time, until nothing is left.

Yet I smirk now, reader, because I know that I will win.

“You cannot defeat me,” yells the heart, “for it is my function to bleed.”


It’s a couple hours since I started writing and my eyelids are falling to the floor. In my delirium, I hope some sort of cohesion emerged from the ramble. And that you can relate, at least a little bit. I felt good in writing tonight, though, so that alone is enough to make it worthwhile. To summarize: I’ve had a hell of a semester, and a lot of the fight is still left in April. But I have come to peace in that, and at the end of all of this, my endurance will be self-evident. I think I’m just a really stubborn kid built on a system of a beliefs that won’t budge. I’m restless. I care so much about things and people and life and love and I really just want everybody to do the same. I suppose the only way to attack that, then, is to keep doing me, fully. To embrace the individual, in the hope that others catch on. It reminds me of a video that I made when I was away from home in 2011. With that, I leave you. I hope you watch it, reader.

I love you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s