Michael Daaboul. 26 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Digital Designer & Creative Writer.
Michael Daaboul. 26 y/o from Australia/Melbourne. Digital Designer & Creative Writer.
I was cleaning my room and stumbled upon a box with pictures of my ex, letters and ripped letters from me. Even the wrapping from gifts. I didn’t stumble upon it, I knew it was there, under my bed. I like to think I ‘stumbled’ upon it.
I have been conflicted whether or not I should throw the box out. You know, almost effectively consolidating that part of my life into oblivion. Sure, I have the memories, but how long before they fade? I used to keep everything. Anything that represents sentimental value, and I mean anything. Something she touched, notes she wrote, text messages, emails, pictures, wrapping paper, ribbons, envelops, chat logs whatever she was a part of.
I deleted most of these things because I had lengthy negotiations with my mind and heart. After replaying back many memories and adding up all the shit that happened, I came to the conclusion it was not needed. I find that hard to accept. Mostly because I hold on to emotions and the past like an aggressive form of cancer. In my opinion if you don’t inject meaning and feeling into everything you do, especially relationships, than there’s no point.
This is why I have such a hard time eliminating things and people that were a significant part of my life. I have repeatedly removed emotional splinters so I could continue to carry on. After all, why should I keep a part of her in Pandora’s box when she removed me in a heartbeat?
What am I exactly holding on to? A fake ghost in my dreams who smiles at me, holds my hands and we walk towards the sunset? That’s not her. I’m falling in love with my own perception of what I want, not what she is in reality. In reality she doesn’t exist like that and I keep these lingering pieces inside the box as if she was really like that, someone amazing. She appears in my graduation photos, in the family shots because there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would be with her until the end. I have no doubts. When she graduated, I wasn’t included in a family shot. That action didn’t speak volumes to me, it was a tumour subtly planted on my lungs, ever so slowly taking my breath away.
What’s in front of me is my past and a thousand torn pieces of coloured paper that are my letters that I spent days perfectly crafting for her. I took the shredded pieces when she ripped them without any sentiment. A fit of rage that spoke more of judgement than a human emotion. It has taking me a year and with all my calming thoughts and memories vividly growing as the days continue, I am still contemplating whether or not this box of broken dreams and empty hopes should be removed. It was with a heavy heart and always is to part way with not only my past but a time where true love existed. What holds me back is emotion and every nostalgic memory attached to an anxious feeling when it comes to her.
Does emotion hold me back? If there was no emotion I could freely destroy and forget everything and anything without a single thought. That’s great. At the same time, I might as well not exist because if there’s no emotion, what’s the point? There isn’t any point. I would rather be broken a thousand times and sit in a rabbit hole for all eternity than to be living in a state of numbness, placed in an abandoned city cesspool filled with dead cold hearts.
After all my words, I continue to stare at the blue striped box, the box I used to put her very first gifts in. I would eventually part ways with what’s inside, one day. I can no longer stand to read what she used to feel as that was in another time, in history where you will find only me; and if it was your history and you young lady, and you sir and your daughter and your son and your father and your mother, if it was your box that only you existed in where it was made for two, why should you stay there? There’s no one there anymore, absolutely no one but you and your maddening thoughts.
She has moved on, departed from your box and destroyed every word, gift and hand-crafted letter you ever gave her. She kept nothing, absolutely zero.
And yet, with all of my madness, and poetic words, the box still stares at me and taunts my every effort to remove it from my heart. Haunting me until my sanity overcomes my emotional burden.
This is what it feels like being an actor.
I have a huge following, lots of fans and they adore me. I can tattoo my whole body and my fans would find it sexy, in reality, they don’t like their boyfriends getting tattoos and they don’t like tattoos, either. I’m an exception. I can get away with murder because I’m gorgeous and famous.
I take drugs, I smoke weed and LSD. I have written a novel because I’m creative when I trip out. My fans don’t mind that I take drugs, because I’m successful, but they wouldn’t go out with someone who takes drugs. I’m an exception because I’m hot and my social status makes me, oh god, fuck worthy.
Before I was an actor, no one wanted to know me. I had a few friends and that was about it. I spent most of my time with family.
On set, it’s a different story. I do fuck actresses, crew members, extras it really depends. Most people think it’s a job, you’re a professional, and it’s what you do. My wife has accepted that I’m an actor and I have scenes where I may have to kiss my acting partner. She says there’s nothing to it, it means nothing.
That’s not entirely true. We have several make out scenes and my romantic interest on-screen comes to my trailer to practise how it should be done. She’s in a relationship. We kiss and we enjoy it. It doesn’t just happen on set. After a few sessions, she stays the night in my trailer.
My wife doesn’t know this.
After we finish filming, this fictional relationship doesn’t continue. We know the code, what happens on set, stays there. No one knows, of course, everyone else in the industry does. It explains why actors and actresses aren’t bothered too much, as they’re both kissing and practising in their respective films.
Most times when the set is getting ready, I have a lot of time on my hands to do whatever I want. I could call my wife, but I often find myself chatting up cute female extras. I prefer to do that, because they’re new, attractive and I’d rather do that. I smile and go along with whatever they say, it’s horrible, but I like what I’m doing.
Before I became an actor, I used to throw around a particular question to friends, family members and random people I would meet on the train if they could go out with an actor. It surprises me even now, that they think what we do is just acting. Yes, it’s acting, but are we so narrow minded that when we’re kissing someone on-screen I’m not going to feel anything at all? That I’m not going to enjoy it? That it’s okay because I’m acting?
It’s not. You’re not kissing once for that scene, you’re rehearsing a hundred times. Maybe we needed to rehearse a few times so I could breathe in her sedating perfume and taste her lips one more time because it’s addicting, but we enjoy it so much, we can make out all night.
My wife doesn’t know though, at least the audience will get a pretty authentic scene demonstrating love and raw emotion. It’s acting though, remember?
I’m an actor, doesn’t mean all my human urges and emotions are stripped, but, I reassure my wife, it doesn’t mean anything, I’m only acting. As long as I can make it okay, everything is okay. It’s perfect. All her friends say don’t be so insecure, you’re paranoid and just because your shitty friends did that, doesn’t mean he will. The fact remains, we’re all shitty. Trust is an important component in relationships, but in this scene, we’re gorgeous, we’re fabulous.
Maybe that’s how I really am? Maybe being an actor gives me permission to feel and do what I want to do without the taboo involved. Perfect, I’m an actor, fucking brilliant, literally.
It’s the same as actresses before you call me a pig, they get as much action as I do. Some have fallen in love and got a divorce.
I think it’s terrible, I’m terrible, but now people laugh at my stupid jokes because I’m famous. I laugh like a hyena because you’re hot and you have a big penis. It’s great really, no matter what I do in my personal life or how much of a shithead I am, I’m a sex god, because I’m hot.
I remember going out with my ex one night, well, she was my girlfriend then, ex now. We were at a bar (I wasn’t famous then) and a hot waiter approached and said some lame joke which was a subtle cheap shot at me, ex laughed in hysterics (of course, penetrating my point further) while I thought it was rude. She said to me I had no sense of humour. Fucking hilarious.
Guess what? Now I’m that guy, I’m not even funny, but because I’m such a gorgeous actor, I have a sense of humour and all those restrictions for the average underachiever and struggler is removed.
This is what you’re here for. For her; you will fall in love the moment you see her. A picture, in person, wherever the opportunity arises, you will fall in love. She will be a complete stranger to you, but that’s the last thing on your mind. That’s it, you know this is what you want, and you will soon find out you’re what she wants.
You will find out her name, and you will think it’s the best name in the world. You will love every letter that makes up her name. You will love her voice, the way she looks down and locks to your eyes again. You will notice that silly smile on her face and sudden bursts of laughter that she makes when she’s being comfortable with you.
You will know her birthday, you will put the reminder on your phone and set an alarm 2 weeks in advance and spend days, without giving it away, how to make her one day special for her.
You will listen to every word, you will absolutely love her opinions, and you will want to know what she thinks about anything. You don’t care what you do, as long as you’re with her.
All her history, what she did in primary school, what she still remembers. What she did in her teenage years, what she values in life, her goals and dreams. What movie she likes, her favourite food and stare into her eyes because you can’t remember when you have seen brown look so amazing before. The way her eyes look through your heart and capture the butterflies that sink to your stomach.
You will write down all her sizes because everywhere you go, you want to buy her gifts and you want to make sure they fit. Shoes give you the most trouble, sometimes she’s a 7 or 7 and a half or maybe an 8 sometimes. Not because it’s a requirement, but because you want to give her everything and you want her to smile all the time. Even though her cheeks might get sore, it’s the only pain you will tolerate.
You will message her 3 a.m. at night because you’ll know she will be up, for whatever reason and she will respond because you’re the only person who knows she will be up at this time. This synergy you have created, you will message when she’s about to message you. This uncanny situation, with everyday, you both feel like this.
He will know your weaknesses and make a mental note to protect you in every way so only your strengths show. He will know what you dream about because he listened to every word you said. He will know your fears and doubts because he caught every tear that fell from your eyes.
He will finish off the lyrics to a song you have forgotten and then hear your sudden burst of laughter to your amazement that he still remembers those songs from the 90s.
He will know about this lingering fear that you have, that one day you will die. When you lay your head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat, he knows you fear growing old, but that’s why he holds you every night. He knows it may be his last time he gets to hold you. That’s why he wrote I love you to every message you received. It wasn’t a signature for every message, but if it was, it was from his heart.
All your bad habits he will see, as you shy away from them initially, you become comfortable because he finds your imperfections perfect. The only time imperfection can equal perfect.
Most importantly, he will know your heart, your soul. He has already mapped out your body and keeps a mental outline of your smile.
When you slept, he spent hours looking at you, admiring how calm you are. Your chest slowly moving up and down and your lips slightly opened.
Then something happens along the way.
Something … .
Both of you become strangers again; the only difference this time is, he still knows everything about you. A stranger knows you better than your parents, your siblings, your friends and everyone who mattered to you living in this world. There’s no one else that knows you more than he does.
He mapped out your entire world and made a mental note of it.
Something else happens now.
You can’t remember her voice that clearly, the sound is fading. Her sudden bursts of laughter are silent. You’re not sure if her birthday is on the 9th or the 19th and you’re not so sure if she still dreams about travelling The Universe?
At 3 a.m., you’re not sure if she’s sleeping or awake.
When he sleeps, he wakes up and there’s a shadow where you used to sleep.
And with everyday that happens to go on, it feels more surreal that everything he knew about you was in another place, another time, in another moment locked away in his history. He doesn’t even know if any of this even happened anymore.
Until one day, he can’t remember a thing.