With Or Without You (Causation) Essay, Research Paper
With or Without You
“See the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side. I’ll wait, for you. Slide of hand and twist of fate, on a bed of nails see makes me wait. And I’ll wait, without you, with or without you, with or without you. Through the storm we reach the shore, you give it all but I want more. And I’m waiting for you, with or without you. With or without you, I can’t live with or without you.” (U2 3.)
My name is Jack. I want to tell you how I feel right now, but it cannot be placed into words. You can only put yourself in my shoes and imagine what I am going through right now. By understanding the causes, you can understand the effect. Maybe you have been there too.
My story starts four months ago, on a cold, rainy mid-July night. I was walking down the street in my hometown, West River. There is a woman walking my direction, crossing the street. As she reaches the curb, a car makes a turn right behind her driving through a large puddle that has formed on the side of the street. The car’s tire makes a wave that forces the bag the woman was carrying to crash onto the sidewalk. Feeling bad for watching, I was quick to assist her in collecting her belongings that escaped from the bag. I extended my arm to give her a soaked book, when we made eye contact. It was an old girlfriend; it was my first love.
There were girls before her, and girls after her. But our relationship was different, more complex. We were in love, and we were young. When we were together the first time, I was leaving on a family trip to our cabin for two days. I spent four hours the night before in her mother?s back yard just saying good-bye. When your sixteen, you do not think that you are less than two decades old. We could handle anything, but that can be proven wrong, because we could not handle true love.
We were too involved with our separate lives to stay together. She lived with her mom, I lived with my dad, I had my group of friends that I had known forever, she had hers, and both of us had jobs. We lived in different towns, went to different schools. To see each other we had to spent an hour searching for each other. Her mom gave her a curfew of 10:00, the same time I got off work. So every night that I had to work, I could only see her at her parents house where I had to put up with her mom telling us to be quiet so she could sleep. So eventually we separated.
Like any story that lacks a complete ending, there is a sequel. In the real world, fate is the author. Now I am not a religious person, I attend church on holidays and a few weddings and funerals, but no one can escape fate. How else did we run into each other that night? Only minor things happen by coincidence. Running into each other that night was a big turning point in both of our lives.
We walked under the city lights telling dumb stories and catching up on old times. I learned all about her best friend, Karen, and her new love interests. I told her how my friend Nick moved to Colorado. As much as we both tried, we were too overwhelmed to listen to each other. We found ourselves outside the Perkin?s where we went on our first date. Eager to get indoors and out of the rain, we went inside. I asked how her mom was, she asked how my friends were doing. Then almost simutaniously, we realized that it was exactly two years since the first day we met. After, I walked her home and I kissed her under the porch light at her mother’s house.
Good times, old friends, and new laughs, summer goes by too fast. It was time to move away to start college. But we were deeper in love than the first time. It was not starting all over again; instead we picked up where we left off. She left notes underneath the windshield wiper of my truck while I was at work, I replied the same way. I begged and pleaded until Diane came with me.
Now we are on our own, away from friends and family for the first time in our lives. Over two hundred miles away in Palm Hill. It was our own little paradise. My parents could not tell me to be home more often, her parents could not enforce a curfew. Living only with each other, we did mind coming home because we could relax. No more people to yell at us. Diane and I had no one to listen to but each other. All the stress of parents was gone.
The real world hit us like a hammer hits a nail, financially pounding us in the ground. We had no one to take it out on but ourselves. When bills came in the mail, I had to figure out how to pay them. Her gas tank was always on empty, she came close many times to not making it to her destination. Both of us got so stressed that we would not speak for an hour at a time. We were both in college and supporting each other with low income part time jobs. I went to the University of Palm Hill and worked at the Shed, a small restaurant where I washed dishes. She went to Palm Hill Technical college and worked at Sylvester?s Superstore, a local department store. As much in love as we were, tension built as time passed.
Diane was sick. It was not a common cold, it was not the flu, it was nothing that showed physical signs. It ran in her family, and it was catching up with her. She had mood swings when we talked. She was depressed and would always talk about friends and family. You could say that I was driving her crazy.
She had a plan to move in with some friends from college. A new beginning was the medicine that she needed badly. We were still in love, but gradually falling out. The news came to me like a stake in my heart. In our busy lives, we never saw enough of each other. Now she would be further away, and deep-down I knew that our relationship would never last. The night we agreed to separate, few words were spoken. Part of me wanted to leave her. I would be better off on my own. That would be easy to handle, but part of me loved her to death, and could not let go. Diane felt the same way, whether she knew it or not. We laid in bed, holding each other, with tears rolling down each of our faces.
Here I am now, all alone on top of the highest building in Orange Hill, a nearby city. Telling you the story makes me think of all the causes and effects. The car?s tire that knocked Diane?s bag to the sidewalk caused me to help her and eventually make eye contact. The fate that caused that to happen at the time we were passing by on the street. When I was leaving for the cabin, Diane and I spent four hours in the driveway saying good bye. Our involvement in our own lives when we were young and living at home with our parents that caused us to separate the first time. Ending up at Perkin?s by chance and the rain that caused us to go in. Picking up right where we left off causing us to be deeper in love than the first time. The feeling of having all of the stress of parents gone because we moved two hundred miles away. Then the bills that made us financially poor and we ended up taking the stress out on each other by not speaking for hours. Diane?s mental illness that was caused be heredity, but made worse by the stress that the real world and I put on her. Finally, Diane?s decision to move out caused be all the tension, and causing us to drift apart emotionally, physically never seeing each other, and mentally knowing our relationship would never last.
Inside every cause and effect is another cause. Life is complicated, not black and white. Enough causes can lead to a larger effect. Diane, I can’t live, with or without you.
“My hands are tied, the body bruise she got me with. Nothing winned, and nothing left to lose. And you give yourself away, and you give yourself away. And you give, and you give, and you give yourself away. With or without you; with or without you. I can’t live, with or without you.” (U2 3.)
U2. ?With or Without you.? The Joshua Tree. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. New York: Island Records LTD, 1987. Track 3.