naivety

i guess this is a letter to young me, and as old me having dominion over young me, and the fortune of being older and equipped with technology and the dream of possibly time traveling by watching too much sci-fi, or something- and possibly giving you this letter.

dear little boy,

this is older you. and if you don’t believe me, read this letter and I’m sorry for telling people you thought you could handle the worlds pain, silly goober. but here it is: (sorry if you don’t understand a word or two, but by now you’re probably reading dictionaries, soooo not so sorry)

here i (we) am (are) again.
i was naive when i was a boy.
i (we) still am (are)! but… not quite as adorably
with good intentions
but i have a story
my family used to tell me about the bad things happening around the world
how people suffer when they die
when they’re hungry
when they’re raided from their homes
how i should be grateful
i had food. and a house.
i was okay. i would run and be happy!
i used to feel so empathetic
energetic. endless energy.
truly a kind soul that wanted good things for everyone
as a boy i thought i was superman
i’d tell myself,
“god, can you let everyone’s pain in the world just affect this one little portion of my body? for ten seconds! i can handle that i promise! don’t listen to my mom! i’m strong! she’s just trying to protect me. i don’t want people to feel pain. isn’t that good?”
of course it never happened.
little did, little me know, that, the wish i made that day
wasn’t a smart one
sometimes i feel it came true, but as an adult.
as if god is too busy taking orders from wishes and prayers, and he finally got to me when i was
20 something.
god didn’t ask me if i still wanted it, despite being two decades old.
god just gave it to me. expedited delivery.
it just hit me.
or maybe it didn’t.
maybe this is just the pain and suffering my family told me about
maybe it’s normal, maybe
as a child you need to be hugged and loved
so so so so hard that the love has this everlasting effect that sort of negates the pain you eventually feel
i wish there was a way you could measure how strong you are
nobody gives a shit, though.
how mentally strong you are.
you can measure your physical strength.
but what about your mental strength?
i want to get stronger, still
every time i conquer the unconquerable
i feel a sense of happiness. relief. strength
but i can’t help but wonder… if the same person a year ago would crumble under that pressure?
what if the person i am now can’t handle something in two years or two months from now?
i know it’s dumb to think of the future like that
but i just want to be prepared
i want to be able to continue to feel
how a little boy version of me did, at one time
sometimes, glimmers of that boy shine through
the man i am today
but it’s short lived
how do i sustain such confidence?
how and what can i learn from a boy?
a lot actually
that boy is this man.
that boy dreamed of a man like me
to help him be the man like me
but he didn’t want the mind numbing obstacles
he wanted to not cry through it all
that boy used to count the days he didn’t cry
one month i haven’t cried
65 days, wow.
day 276 i haven’t cried
day 290
almost a year
i never made it a year.
but as i got older, my cry calendar fell beneath
my credit card mail, my tax returns
and love letters by many women
and well, i marked x’s on a lot of days
as i got older
got discouraged
so i threw it out
i wish i could tell that boy, that his cry calendar
was something he didn’t need
and what he did need was someone to cry on
a shoulder, so to say
I’m sorry for the shoulders i inadvertently cried on
the ones that approached me because they saw a sweet boy
and not someone who used you as a pillow to cry on
i didn’t mean to, i just couldn’t hold it in
i do apologize
but I’m starting to cry less now
think less now
i don’t ask god anymore for my old wish
rather i ask for strength
to help myself, first. so i can help others
there’s a reason airlines want you to put your oxygen mask on first
cause if everybody was helping each other it’d be a fucking mess
or if one little boy tried to help everyone at once
then everyone would asphyxiate
help yourself first
then you can have your wish
strong, little boy. kudos for never wincing or grimacing at anything, from your first shots, to playing bloody knuckles to breaking bones, hands, and the grueling, over the top body routine, you did in your teenage years.
you are strong. no doubt about it.
but love yourself first, little man. I’m sure 37 year old me will tell me this, too. even if I’m too believe by everyone that, i do indeed know it all. (that was sort of a joke)
if you can love a little more. fucking do it.
i cant wait

love, 27 year old leonardo.

i love you

(ps hug your family and friends more often. don’t half ass it)

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