Photo by David Banuelos

Maybe When We’re Younger

 

I hear your hatred in my heart-

echoes loud as blood,

the nights we shared don’t ever seem

enough

to withstand the beatings of our souls.

But maybe when we’re younger, we’ll understand

It all.

For every hurt and pain that comes from this

another lesson has been learned.

 

Maybe when we’re younger,

spring will smile anew.

And maybe, when we’re younger,

our loves themselves renew.

 

Destroy me, discard me, regard me as shit-

but once, you loved me (makes it harder).

Forgive me, though I know I don’t deserve it,

and love me again (though I know not to

expect it).

Our hearts we crushed alone in pain as if we

could not know each other. So many

arguments… dark bitterness…

But what’s the point

anyway?

Forget me, and build your wall

and remember nothing you’ve

taught me.

 

Maybe when we’re younger,

spring will smile anew.

And maybe, when we’re younger,

our loves themselves renew.

 

So hate me now, the love can wait until tomorrow.

We sit and stab, while in the dark, ending up killing

ourselves (ourselves). Whatever was the point

any way?

But Maybe,

if we superglue and duct tape everything that’s left

(maybe when we’re younger, we’ll understand

it all),

we might live a little longer

and become a little younger.

Maybe when we’re younger we’ll understand

it all.

 

Maybe when we’re younger,

spring will smile anew.

And maybe, when we’re younger,

our loves themselves renew

Because I know that when we’re younger

a nightmare will have passed.

Maybe when we’re younger-

Maybe when we’re younger-

Maybe when we’re younger,

a nightmare will have passed.

 

-Maybe When We’re Younger

© 1998 Tex Batmart

 

I originally wrote this one day after my girlfriend and I had endured a massive fight during one of our housecleaning jobs. Part of the phraseology had to do with the fact that I was eighteen, and fed up with people telling me that I would understand things when I was older, and part of it was commentary of the age difference between my girlfriend and myself. For me, nineteen years didn’t seem like all that much, but as I slowly work my way to the age she was when we got together, it’s difficult to imagine myself falling for someone so much younger. One’s mid-thirties are a breeding ground for existential doubt, as I have begun to discover for myself; whereas one’s late teen years are so infused by omniscience that it sometimes make me sad to think of all the confidence which I once possessed. But above all, the phrase, “maybe when we’re younger” is a metaphor for shrugging off the nonsense of the grownup world, muting the negativities which experience has bought, and turning back to a more passionate embrace of living in the moment and trusting in your heart. I hate admitting to the youthful sentiment, and it makes me want to travel back in time and kick myself squarely in the nuts for writing such pretentious crap. That being said, however, I’ve also found that the things I write have a tendency to work somewhat for the people and circumstances which they were written to describe, but are more unnervingly accurate when read regarding situations in the future. Somehow I’ve been given the gift of prophecy, but only when it comes to misery to unfold along the timeline of my life. Well, it’s either that, or I’m unable to change the cycle of my behaviors and it’s less prognostication and more living down to my own expectations.

Reading this again, I cannot help but think that I somehow managed to sneak a little wisdom forward. Maybe it’s true that I’m impossible to deal with, and maybe it’s true that I’m more likely to have epic disagreements with the woman with whom I’m completely smitten, but perhaps it isn’t just a matter of being unable to break the cycle of dysfunction. Maybe I really was onto something back then, half my life ago. In this case, it could also be interpreted as a suggestion that we look toward the happier moments of those years ago (which, to be fair, was how it could have been interpreted back then) in order to wash away the stresses of our failures and find within ourselves all the myriad reasons by which we first fell in love. Or it could be that, for some reason, I wanted myself to be more like the principled, unyielding poet/crusader that was determined to bend the world to his authority. It’s like when you’re in the middle of a transcendental hallucinogenic experience, and the universe unfolds before you, serving up its secrets directly to your brain, and you’re determined not to let go of this new level of understanding, so you leave yourself a note for when you’re back to being your regular self tomorrow, diminished and a little wistful at your loss. And it’s then that you look down at that piece of paper, and read the note you’ve left yourself, and wonder what the hell, exactly, you meant when you scribbled down “tunnels though the afterthoughts are the paradox of infidelity. Don’t believe the (illegible) wormholes into consciousness.” I mean, as you are looking at the words, you can remember having known what all of that meant the night before, but like a ten-dollar word, it resides solely upon the tip of your own tongue. And then you go in search of orange juice, and realize that there’s not a single drop in the entire house.

I know from far too many personal experiences that superglue and duct tape can’t fix everything, but I cannot help but love myself for having truly believed that it could. It makes me wonder if I’m a better person than I might have been before, if I’ve stayed the same, or if I’ve somehow sold my soul just to pay the rent. I’d like to believe that I’ve learned some things these past two decades, and that I’m better off for having done so, but I’ve also made so many compromises (not that anyone would believe that if they knew me), put survival ahead of my own self-truth. I guess that I will just have to hope that I know what I am doing (as I am known to reassure those with whom I’m close, from time to time), and that I also knew what I was doing back when I’m pretty sure I didn’t. They say Shakespeare is held in such high regard because he helped fundamentally shape the English language which we speak today. Could it be that I hold the younger me in such high regard because were it not for his choices, both successful and mistaken, I would not be who I am today, and therefore I am indebted to him for my very existence?

I guess the other reason that this poem has stuck with me all these years is that I still have the memory of when I wrote it in the empty spaces of a paper Safeway bag, and that it was the first song which I ever wrote without any assistance. I mean, sure, the melody is love letter to A minor, and I only needed to know the single chord, but it was also the first song that I ever felt comfortable singing, though not in front of other people. Pink Doors O Negative. That was the project that Fed and I had going back then. We recorded a half-dozen songs collaboratively before it became obvious to him that I had no idea what in the hell that I was doing. That wasn’t enough to stop me, but he also knew other people who could actually play their instruments (and keep time), so we just quietly disbanded.

Well, this just got weird. Hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling a little more upbeat. Until then, have a great night!

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