…because I don’t want things to be “closed.”
Who agrees with me? When you let go of a best friend, a lover, a colleague, a mentor–when a relationship falls out and you’re left picking up the pieces, you say you crave “closure,” could move on better if you had it, but in truth, you don’t want it at all.
You don’t want it because it means it’s really and truly over.
This is especially applicable to love, or things like it. When the ship sails or the opportunity is missed or you fall in love only to fall short, in the ashes of what once was or what could have been, you stand and say you want “closure” but in truth, it’s a cold consolation. Why? Because ideally, love never should have ended. In your fondest fantasies, the affection found continuance into friendship, blossoming into romance, until it settled sweetly into that long desiring of companionship, that comfortable closeness that means you are built to last.
But then it doesn’t, and all you can ask for, all that’s left, is “closure.”
I guess I understand why people crave it regardless. On instinct, we need everything to be neat. We hate cliffhangers, shows that are cancelled before all the “loose ends” are tied, movies that are “open ended” and don’t tell us, in the clearest terms, what happened to so-and-so and did such-and-such really die? If something is well and truly over, we have an almost pathological need to know how it ended. All the questions have to be answered because once they are, we can set our minds to rest and just maybe there won’t be anything left to keep us up at night anymore.
This is in theory, of course. In practice, no matter how much “closure” we get, there will always be “what ifs”–the alternate universes in our brain where what we most desire (or most fear) happens. We keep trying to write “The End” on the whole business (becoming addicts of closure, demanding more), but it the what-ifs keep it spinning off into new storylines, new trains of thought, new endings…
…which means that, really, we can never have “closure,” not completely, but that’s beside the point. The point is that even the illusion of closure, I don’t want, because I don’t want to only have the what ifs keeping me awake at night. I want this to be an ongoing series, confirmed for at least a few more seasons, with a potential spin-off and a long-term contract. I know the storylines have to keep changing and evolving and expanding into full arcs and subplots, because change is the nature of humans. I’m not asking for things to stay the same, to go back to how they were, to stay static and preserved like insects in amber…
I’m just asking for things to continue.
Continuance means that the characters keep interacting, that no one is killed off, that midway you or I don’t quit the show and give up and pursue a career in Korea as a popstar. Continuance means that despite the awkwardness, the plotholes, the improbable fiction that has already happened (including a few unfortunate arcs which I sadly, cannot erase), we keep on interacting within this universe, hoping for the best, growing individually and together.
Continuance means that I won’t have to experience awkward silences, pangs of longing, a slight chill whenever you (yes, you; you-specific versus the you-general I’ve been using so far) pass and all I get is a shopworn smile or a wave or (worst of all) nothing at all.
So forget closure. I don’t need a rehashing of what went wrong and what should have gone right and why we never happened/stopped happening/aren’t friends/stopped being friends/were two ships passing in the night and all those old clichés. I don’t need the answers to the questions that (I have to admit) sometimes haunt me for short stretches. I don’t need to have a tearful conference where I pour out my heart to you and tell you how I wished we could have had it all, rolling in the deep (Adele, 2011). I don’t need your reassurances, my pleading, your stress, my anguish. Most of all, I could live without that drama that is “closure.”
What I do want, however–need, in fact–is the hope that things will eventually mend. Return, if not to normal, then a new sort of normal. That, hypothetically speaking, two people can pass each other without wincing, or be able to text each other with “Hey, want to hang?” without worrying about subtext or stalkerness in the spaces between the words and letters. That we can be friends, because really, that’s all I ever wanted.
I don’t need closure. I need you. More specifically, I need you and me. Not us–us is an entirely different, and delusional, entity. You and me is a good place, a platonic place, a space between heartbeats where hearts don’t have to beat any faster than normal. I need that space, because it’s the space where we can have sanity or something like it, where drama need not exist, where awkwardness goes to die.
I want to be able to laugh with you and listen to your stories and not have to edit what I’m saying or thinking for the fear of freaking you out. But maybe that will never happen, so I’ll settle for being able to talk to you without being afraid that you think I’m weird (say it!). That doesn’t change the fact that I miss you, that I want to see you, that seeing you makes me happy (when it isn’t agonizingly awkward, in which case it makes me sad) and that talking to you makes me even more so, because seeing you and talking to you means that we can be normal instead of high melodrama. It changes nothing, but it’s good enough.
Maybe we can never be close friends, but I hope that this isn’t all that we’ll be–awkward and vague, in need of that magic pill called “closure” to make things better (when really, it’ll just make things worse). Closure is akin to closing the door, and I want it wide open. I want open endings and a friendship and a future where, granted, we will not ride off blissfully into the sunset, but we will, at least, be able to hug or hit each other, insult each other for fun, and altogether feel better instead of worse for knowing each other.
Until then, I won’t ask for closure, because I refuse, I refuse to have things closed.