I’ve been through a lot these last days, but what I have to talk about tonight is simply more important. I’ve learnt so much that I won’t even mother putting the usual three morals. You’ll find out in a minute.
My homework for holidays was to chat with two native Anglophones and record it for Phonetics class. Since I lack time, money or social skills for that, I went the easy road: I asked my uncle who lived in the USA for ten years. For the second one I wanted something even more authentic, so I went to Whovie, because have I ever mentioned how beautiful her British accent is?
So Yesterday I went looking for her and I found her on her car reading fanfics on her iPad (how on Earth can she do that when we’re 42°C outside?). We talked about her favourite TV show (guess who? I mean, wh- forget about it, you know it’s Doctor Who), and then we started arguing about River Song and things got as crazy as they always are. Anyway, we ended up watching fan videos shipping Alex Kingston with I-don’t-know-who from Grey’s Anatomy (Romano, I think was his name?) because I just love to hear her when she goes mad fangirl. And I see the tomatoes being thrown at me so I’ll just skip to the point. While we were watching those videos I thought of something I had wanted to ask her, and we had one of the most interesting conversations about love ever happened in Spanglish, because it’s easier to talk about those things in a foreign language, but sometimes we don’t have the words.
“There’s something I don’t get about you,” I said. “You’re so much into romance, you watch it and read it all day, every day. Then, why are you single?”
She stopped to think for a second.
“Well, I just… I don’t see myself with a couple. Any time I think about the future I see myself alone; maybe raising a child, but as a single mother. I don’t see my life actually living with someone else.”
“Don’t you want to find love, like those couples on TV you watch all the time?”
“That doesn’t happen. Love is not epic in real life.”
“But how do you know?” I wasn’t going to give up so easily. “Maybe there is epic love out there, but we don’t see it because we’re here, watching Youtube videos on the back of a car instead of looking for it. We’re the secondary characters of someone else’s song.”
“I don’t know; it’s just… I don’t want to go looking for it. I frankly don’t know why you do.”
“Because you never know when it comes; maybe I’ll find it in sixty years, or maybe I already lost my chance. But if I give up I might never know.”
“Well… I don’t know. It’s just I feel like I’m too young for it; I wouldn’t want to get married before being thirty, there’s so much I have to live yet. And besides, I don’t want to stay here.” She put her iPad down and looked at me in the eyes. This talk was definitely about us, even if neither of us was going to admit it.
“But what if that person wants to leave too?”
“Well, even if that were the case- If the plan were to leave with me, that would be selfish. And even if he or she had the exact same dreams I do, which is highly unlikely, do you have any idea of how difficult is travelling with someone else? Legally speaking, I mean.”
“I… I don’t really know. But you’ve seen Doctor Who; it’s always dangerous to travel without a companion.”
She half-smiled. “I know. But I don’t see the point in dating when I don’t look for love. It would be just cruel. One of us -and most likely not me- would get hurt. I don’t want to go kissing frogs. I know there might be some princes, or princesses, out there, but I don’t think that’s my thing.”
Now, the thing with this blog is that since none of the characters know this is being written, I don’t get their consent for talking about their private lives. All I can talk about is things they would let anyone know, and my opinions about them and their situations. So, given that this conversation took place in a semi-private space, where nobody could hear us, and I don’t really know what she’d share with most people, I can’t write down the rest of the conversation. It wasn’t long, but it was personal, and I don’t think Whovie would be happy if she found out that I put it online.
There’s something, though, I can say, and it’s that after that I won’t see Whovie the same way. I used to see her as this awesome girl who could do anything she wanted no matter what, but when I heard what she had to say, all I could think about was “this girl was hurt.” She didn’t say anything about that (not that I’d post it anyway), but I could see it in her eyes, I could hear it in her words, and I understood why I can relate to her more than anyone I’ve ever met. Someone once told me that the reason we fight all the time is not because we’re too different, but because we’re the same. And now I knew why.
Whovie feels about herself the same way I did in my darkest times. But while I let it out for everyone to see it, I wrote it down, I embraced The Cold like a shell that could protect me no matter how much it hurt, she did the opposite. She put it in a little corner of her hearts, and she became the exact opposite. Her whole self is meant to protect her from what hurts her, not dodging it, but letting it bounce. But we all know what happens if you bounce something on a shell long enough, and there are the bumps, invisible but still damaging her.
We never talk about anything private. We can’t trust people, that’s another thing we share. I blame bullying. She blames human nature. So when I felt my voice was starting to crack, by mutual agreement I went to get a taxi while she left in her car. I don’t know if she noticed or I just got lucky, but I’m glad we did. I wouldn’t have been able to keep talking for too long before doing something very stupid.
Today Whovie explained to me the difference between people and persons. She says that persons is the correct plural of person, but people is used instead, because that’s how English-speakers talked for so long it became their nature to see themselves as a people, like a tribe. And sometimes I wonder why things happen the way they do. Why do we meet a lot of people, and no matter how unlikely, in all those people we find persons, we find individuals who become so important for us, but mostly, who remind us so much of ourselves. And maybe that’s how it started, maybe it all began with the first persons who saw themselves as a people. Because we’re all so different, and yet we can be so similar to others, even if we’re born and raised in different times, in different places, in different worlds. And from now on, I won’t just see my relationship with Whovie as two persons, because it’s more than that. We’re a people, a small one but a special one, and whatever happens in the future, either we date or split or marry or kill each other, I know this. I know that I’m not alone in the world, I know that there’s someone out there who is like me, who understands me and whom I can understand. I know I’m not an alien, or a robot, or a secondary character. And that link is enough to live for. So the next time The Cold comes after me, I will be able to face it. I will look it in the eyes and say, “I know I’m not alone. You can’t hurt me anymore, I have a reason to live. I know there’s more people out there like me, and I’ll find them, and I’ll marry one of them, and I’ll be happy, because now I know I can. Now I know it’s not my destiny to be alone forever. Because one may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel. I’ve seen angels before, and I’ll find mine.”
So, I found it. I found my happy thought, and Dementors are not something to care about. All I wonder is, if my Patronus is not a wolf, what could it be?