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These Clanging Bottles, Those Echoing Lights by Emmett Mottl
 

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  • The lights were strobing in the distance; the echoes of pop hits on the radio pulsating red - stop - red - stop: the slow beat of a morse code map across the lake. I needed something else to think about as I clutched my wine glass and my shaken self-assurance on the balcony, clouded by the tang of cigarets that I have no idea how to smoke. I could see headlights, barely enough stars, and I could see that I was wrong. I wasn't alright. I was sick and plagued with doubt and insecurity and some damned desire to try and make sense of everything through half-hearted poetics. There isn't anything poetic about half-empty wine glasses or half-empty hearts or a half-empty city when you are trying to distract yourself.

    I've held your hand and shown you who I am and what I believe in. I've run away in my mind, and back again, and back again because I am truly terrified of self-exposure coming so naturally. Of how easily secrets and desires can be spoken with your eyes.

    I want to travel and go far away and watch the sun set in a thousand different places, watch people through a thousand different coffee shops. To sit and read books and bottles with you all over the world.

    I wish I could explain the fear, the anxiety, but I can not. I can't explain how happy I have been to find something so wonderful, or the pain and disappointment of it fading out like the radio lights. Everyone wrestles with doubt and questions and a hope for the future, and I am not alone in that.

    Romanticism, as a writing style, is almost always filled with people trying to find their self through grand, sweeping statements about their connection to the world and each other. They climb a mountain and proclaim themselves a poet. They fall in love and call themselves heroic. Do you know why? Because it is easy. It is easy to get lost in dreams, to try so hard to make the dream world match reality that you begin to forget which one is actually there. It is an escape.

    It is easy to look at radio towers and fall in love with their simple flashing, to make a story of it, have it fit neatly inside an idealized world. I don't need to tell you that the world isn't so easy, or lie and say that things always work out perfectly right away. The dark edges along what has already been explored will always be there, always ahead of us. They will sit there and give us doubt about who we are and what we are doing and who we are with and why we are doing it anyway.

    I could spend the day looking into your eyes and be happy. I don't need my vocal filler of poetics or lame jokes. Just you.

    Truthfully, I panicked. I panicked. I said that you didn't care when I know damn well that you do. I'm sorry.

    You do.

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