“We are stronger than we think.” I always avoid saying such nonsense. I have always hated words that have no meaning , no real sympathy, words that almost sound like: “shut up! stop crying! we have had enough. don’t make the atmosphere so depressing. we can’t help it. you can’t either. why bring up such topics.” I never wanted to sound like that to anyone. I don’t want to be one of those who consider consoling someone equal to convincing them that what they considered precious, what they considered life shattering was nothing, that what the grieving cares for is nothing.
But then, what are the right words?
“We are stronger than we think.” To spew such nonsense. Even when I said that to her, I wondered why I said that. Have I been surprised by my strength ever in my life? Probably not.
But I remember feeling that my happiest days have walked past me, when I realized the futility of life, of my life, my insignificance. And how I somehow made it to the days where I found something to look forward to, where I found myself between people whom I could love. The fact that I could wait for such days in spite of the misery that was once unbearable must mean something. To wait for something that may never arrive must require some kind of strength. To loose every paradise we stumble on, to bleed every time it is lost and to still believe in the concept of paradise must require something more than the strength we think we have.
When you see me walk towards my grief, towards my past, with my head sinking down, with my hands full of my own pieces, stop me dear. Come to me. Run to me. Call out to me even when you think I cannot hear. Hold me back even when you think I cannot be stopped. Promise me that you will try.
Thank you for seeing my rough and the jagged mind, blood running down my arm, hope running out of my eyes.
Thank you for trying and for telling me when you couldn’t try anymore. You have made me feel that I also deserve decent goodbyes.
You cannot love me.
I could have loved you,
though I didn’t.
But it is fine.
Call me at the end of a tiring day,
when you cannot move one step further,
I will try to soothe your heart
just like you did.
I look at you and I see myself.
I see my weakness, that is you.
I see my failure, that is you.
But if I put it like this
it may seem that you are
just another darkness in my life,
but you are not.
There is a reason that even when my mouth recites
sad stories and bitter words about you
my eyes, my heart only looks for you.
There is a kindness in you
a love in you, for me,
that surfaces, even when you try to hide it.
In your imperfections I see the imperfections of my own love, how I cannot love all of you even when I want to. I wish sometimes I was not this person that I am. Sometimes I wish you were a little less lovely, a little less lovable. Maybe then it would have been easier, been okay, to walk over this love that I cannot let go of now.
I bask in the sunlight of borrowed memory. I grieve in the arms of your dying words. I find another piece of myself to send you away with and I wonder why I feel empty even though you have given me your all.
I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday that though the world belongs to all of us, sometimes it is better to step back, to only take up the space we need. I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility, wanting less, and sacrifice, but I realize now that it was not so. I was told to stop before I anger someone, before someone got jealous, or before they saw the weakness of my gender.
As I stand on the balcony at midnight and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling, as they make their way to their broken homes, I remind myself this is what I am supposed to fled, a person who is allowed to loose their mind, a person who will always have excuse to hurt. This what everyone wanted me to become, someone who is proficient at spotting dangers, who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets, and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.
These days I often hear people say that the new meaning of a powerful woman is the one who walks into misfortune willingly, before she is stalked and defeated by it. Is this the only alternative to what I am living?
I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets I could smile and wish them a good day, without having to fear being misunderstood, without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.
I tell myself stories about why I threw away all that I had, or why everything was taken away from me. How I was too weak, will always be too weak to carry the weight of the gifts that I had. Or how I was never quite convinced that I had something to be proud of. How I was always trying to gauge how much deep my feelings ran for everything that I could only sort-of-love. I can list all similar attempts where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up. But if I had to give one consolidated story of why I was never a failure at anything, why I never succeeded, why I had nothing to show for the years I lived or for the talents that people remember me for. If I had to be concise and true I would say I never made those decisions, I was never aware of how I felt about all the things that bother me now. I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured, the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name, lose a happiness they could have had. Only to be reminded of this loss when it no longer matters.
I hold my fist close to my heart, I hold your hand tighter than ever. How long has it been since we last saw each other? How long before we meet again? These few hours that separates our periods of separation, these hours have become minutes, have become question marks that we pretend we can’t see, have become the silhouette of the better women of your stories, have become the words I never got to hear. They remind me of your skin that bloomed and withered without knowing my skin. I have told myself numerous times that it doesn’t matter. I have tried my best not to be bothered, but it is becoming more difficult to feel that I am still loved by you. And again you kiss me with caution, hold me close, only to let go. Again all I see is you moving towards something I cannot understand, leaving me in a life that I cannot accept.
I wanted to be adored unconditionally,
cared for without limits.
In that dream
there only existed me
and this love.
There was no room for any other mortal human,
no room for weakness except mine.
There was no room for you.
The essays I have written on the wretchedness of this world, they are merely an argument, a poor argument, the only argument I can give when I am confronted by the wretchedness of my own soul, the blood on my own hands, the weight of shame on my conscience, and my inability to change.