De ce que Votre Coeur Desire: Chapter Thirty-Two [part one subtitle]

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De ce que Votre Coeur Desire: Chapter Thirty-Two [part one subtitle]

Chapter Thirty-Two
What am I: Part One

All my life I have been waiting for something to change my life, something to make my days seem worth it, like my life wasn’t meant for someone who actually deserved it more than I did. I wanted to find the answer to all my questions in one single frame of time. After meeting Gerard, I knew that request wasn’t possible and it would never be. My questions on life couldn’t be solved in a blink of an eye; it will take all of life itself to answer them. Gerard never told me this, he never hinted at it, he simply opened up to me and was willing to help. That is the best part of it all, although some help from his was provided I figured it out on my own – but one question, the biggest out of them all was still nagging at me. I couldn’t drop it and move on, I needed an answer. Gerard had given me one before but it was too mangled and complex for me to understand.
I looked down at my chest several times before speaking again, “Let me try again.” I said, talking about the topic from before. He cast a grin at me then began to paint again; humming some tune I didn’t know. He did that a lot; sometimes I thought he did it just to confuse me. I pushed that out and away from my mind. I pulled all the focus I had lost back into me and stared down at the new canvas I had stolen from the corner of the living room. I hope he didn’t mind, I used a lot of his supplies, and he had to pay for more once he ran out. I suddenly felt self-conscious. Thankfully Gerard didn’t notice, or maybe he did and he was just letting me solve things for myself.
I knew he didn’t mind buying more of what he loved, but I would imagine savoring the items was all the more cunning. I dropped the paint brush that was still littered with wet green and orange paint. I sighed letting out all my stress and worry. All I needed to do was place this thing to the other thing and then I would get a picture of a…thing. I thought about this, said it over and over again in my mind. It wasn’t that hard. I knew I could do this. So many times before I’ve doubted, I didn’t want this to turn into a reply from the past. I grunted and got to work. I was angry, but to me, that was the best time to do art – when you were fucking pissed at the world. Some would say that’s when the demon comes out in you, that all your hate is being put onto the brush and the surface your painting on making your finishing product disgusting, horrible – but not in the sense it is ugly. Gerard said himself that there was no such thing as ugly art, but in the sense that it meant something bad. Like it was showing everyone your hating feelings and making everyone who looks at it feel sorrow and pity and then angry themselves. It was like a portal to an artists mind, their work. I wasn’t going to let this happen, though. I was going to change that way of thinking, I was going to paint when I was angry because I wanted to.
I made no sounds the entire time. Only the quick strokes of the paint to the canvas surrounded Gerard and I. This is what it was all about, art. I couldn’t see that before but I wanted to achieve what he had so badly! I wanted to be able to see the way he saw things. I wanted to be just like him and know I knew why – because art is what we were about, everything we were doing was about art. Gerard – in his own adorable way – was teaching me art in it’s finest form – through his own personal experiences – he provided me with confidence I still lacked, knowledge I had missed, and memories I would never be able to forget. He was an interesting one, but that’s what I liked about him so much. He just didn’t give a shit.
I love thinking about random things while I was painting. It gave my mind to rest, knowing I can trust my hand to do the work and my brain could wander to things that meant purpose to me but in a good way. I closed my eyes for a second, breathing in the smells of his apartment. The name nicotine smell hovered among us. I hadn’t see Gerard smoke except for that one time. For the power of the stench which evaded his apartment I thought I would catch him in the act a couple more times. But no, nothing. It was like it was just apart of him, but nothing he actually did on a regular basis – it was just there, along with everything else he had to offer. There was nor ever will be a definition for Gerard. There are only facts about him that lead to questions; questions that people will have a hard time answering. I smiled after I opened my eyes. I found my gaze had shifted by mere impulse over to where he was sitting. He was still hunched over, his nose up against the surface of his piece, moving his hand slowly, dabbing his brush into a fresh glob of paint every couple of breaths he took. He was so fucking focused and then I thought of myself. I was here staring at the man letting my wrist and fingers to the work while not even paying attention. I trust myself, though. I wasn’t completely oblivious to what I was doing. Unlike most, when rage strikes it does not engulf me. I simply use it to my advantage. Sometimes the feeling is too strong to conceal and this is when I am at my worst, but now was not one of those times. I actually felt the heaviness of the emotion ease off of me as I checked at my lap to see how I was doing. The anger I once held inside me was now pure stress, and soon, with a little bit of luck that stress would turn into nothing.
I squinted my eyes, I had forgotten to blink. I fucking hated it when I did that to myself – get so into the moment. Then again it was comforting to know I had lost myself and had forgotten an everyday essential action. I shut my eyes tightly again, afraid of what I had produced on my canvas. I knew I was finished my creative outlet had long dwindled but I had not noticed in my hypnotic state of zoning. I laughed; my thoughts were turning crazier. I scoffed out loud which Gerard heard. He perked right up, ignoring the fact the scoff might not have been a queue for him to jump in. “Are you done?” His question was sincere, no rush to it at all. I smiled, tilting my head to the side before conjuring up the courage to look down at my final piece. Gerard threw in a quick grin, letting me know that whatever I felt, whatever I thought, the thing I created would be beautiful. I then looked down, feeling my neck strain and not being able to wait any longer. I gasped. I felt heat pool within me. It looked terrible. The essence of Gerard was not an easy thing to create, I knew that for a fact – but this meant so much to me! How could I have messed it up a second time? As sappy (and slightly weird) painting the man was I wanted to do it. I felt something swell inside me about just the pure thought of it. But I had failed twice in a row! What the fuck was this? I flexed my eyebrows, contorting them into lines I never thought possible. I could see Gerard’s expression out of the corner of my eye. He looked worried like I was about to explode. He was preparing for it. Damn good idea, too.
“What the fuck, Gerard!?” I snapped my head to him. He scooted over to the side to try and see my picture. I snapped my neck back and turned the canvas, letting his eyes wonder everywhere. They darted from right to left, up and then back down. “What the fuck!?” I had had it. I wanted this; I wanted this more than anything. I had gotten Gerard back, now I wanted to keep him – in soul and in art. I shot him a look, searching for any seeable evidence that I hadn’t done a terrible job. But he was so hard to read it was almost impossible. I wanted to be like that! I wanted to be unreadable, I wanted to know all the things he did, act the same way, talk the same way! I wanted to be an artist like him so I could be free spirited and untouched, un phased by the ugly world! So what if he had a drinking problem? He stopped and I have never caught him again! He was the one to come back for me. I was the one who waited, why did I fucking wait? Not because I was giving him time but because I was scared. I was ashamed, completely utterly ashamed. All I wanted to be was something. Not just another person in the world who hated their life and them self.
Gerard began to open his mouth but I cut him off before he could say anything. “Who am I really, Gerard? I’m not an artist, I am not a hero. Who am I!?” I was referring to him, of course. He was an artist, and he was my hero. I wanted to be the same to him and to a lot of other people and more importantly, to myself – but I kept on getting in the way of my dreams. Why? Why was I doing this? I just can’t figure that out. “You’re Frank Iero.”
“Damn it, Gerard! You know what I mean!” I was in no mood for his games. I wasn’t interesting in being treated like a five year old. I didn’t want to play anymore. He just gave me a look, one filled with sympathy, wonder, but not one hint of sadness. “I’m going home.” I barked. I got up, leaving the ugly monstrosity on his floor. “You can’t go out, Frank. Not in this weather.” He pointed out the window, he was stilling sitting casually in his garden chair but his voice with anything but casual. I sighed after putting my hand on the knob. He was right. It was down pouring, thundering and lightning like crazy. It wasn’t uncommon for Jersey but I for one didn’t want to walk in it alone and I wasn’t going to make Gerard come with me. I turned back to the center of the room. “I’m tired.” I said with a monotone voice. “You can sleep in my bed.” He said getting up and standing next to me. He led the way, stepping carefully around my painting while I practically stopped on it as I passed by.
When we reached his door I became hesitant. He was offering up his bed – “I’ll sleep on the couch, Gerard.” My voice was colder than I had wanted it to sound. He cocked his head looking down on me instead of being level. I felt like a child again, being told where to go by their parent, but when Gerard spoke again his tone was friendly and not demanding. “Frank, please, I insist. You brought me home when I was drunk and offered up your bed to a complete stranger. It is the least I could do.” He pushed open the door. It was the first time ever being inside of his room. I had snuck a couple of quick peeks my first days here, but never had I been inside of his lair. It was black walls all the way around except for the one right of me when we walked in. It was a bright shade of blue. It caught my eye right away and I gasped. His room was more clean and neat than the rest of the house. I was impressed. It was cozy, small, but in a good way. His bed stuck out in front of me. I almost tripped over the end of it, still staring at that wall. There were no pictures or anything hanging up, there was no TV, only a dresser in the corner and a bed. A bay window sat across the room from the door. In the day time I imagined light blasting through awakening the man from his deep sleep. I liked it. It felt like I belonged. “Thank you.” I said, casting a smiling gaze at him. He did the same. “But we’re not strangers anymore, Frank.” And then he left me in his room alone and in the dark. I turned to look at him walking away but found he was doing the same. Our eyes met. I shut the door but I didn’t lock it. I climbed into his bed with my clothing still fully on. I was perfectly comfortable keeping all my garments on. I was still in another person’s house. That would just be awkward. I laid there for a while staring up at the black ceiling. Yes, even the ceiling was painted. I closed my eyes and never opened them back up. I was exhausted and I just wanted to fall asleep.