He stepped down from his ‘cloud nine of the day’ as I stepped out from my house made of last drops of rain and at the intersection of fleeting memories we fell in love. That is what I tell my friends when they ask me about the moment I was tempted to end the sadness of my life.
I tell them about the words I borrowed from his lips, his borrowed tongue that helped me eat a bit more. How I taped his adjectives on my mirror so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself.
They sit with me on the table I can’t bear to share with my love. They stare at me, as I ask them what to wear, how to hide my poison, how to hide the crack at the elbow, the bruised collarbone, the split lip, the ache in my heels, my frayed wings, my broken voice and all other reminders of what love has done to me, and what more love can do, if i just let it in again.
They tell me it is all healed. They tell me it is all past. They hold their skin against mine to make me see that the cracks are all in my mind, how everyone looks just like me, how everything wrong with me is now the norm. And they laughed when I looked at them with concern.
They dropped me at the restaurant and vanished at the farthest bend of the road. As I dragged my feet towards another story that I will never get to complete, another tragedy that suited only me, I looked back and tried to think of all the things that these kind friends of mine suffered as they hoped and wished and lied to themselves. The exceptions they now considered normal, the wounds they cannot even see, the pain they cannot call pain, the love they cannot bear to leave- I tasted these facts in every spoon of artificial sweetness I fed to my mouth that evening.
the one thing i can’t be is honest. though there are many other adjectives that stare at me from their balconies at midnight as i walk and crawl through the dirt road, through the pool of lights, crying and shouting and breaking dreams in every home that i pass by. i hear them shaking their heads with disapproval and hopelessness. i look at their hazy shadows and try to hate them in equal measures but i don’t because they are so easy to forget. but this honesty, this honesty that people expect vexes me. this expectation makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts all because it is so simple. all because the ones who ask me of this through their tears are not mere observers but are the ones struggling to stay close to me fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday. they are the ones who deserve honesty. they are the ones i don’t deserve. but my dishonesty is not only for this world. it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well. so again, i wake up in their arms with another lie ready on my lips. i hug them with with my true love and my false heart. i don’t try to make it right when they are in shambles again because there is no fancy way to put it, there is no beauty in what i do, there is no promise i would keep. there are only people who i leave. even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.
You are gone and I try to hold the spoon like you used to. I chew my food with my left molars as you did. The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.
You are gone and you are happy (probably). So I memorize name and phone number of your every friend, I recall the fondness you had for them. I wear your feelings when I meet them, I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me. I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places, how I was non existent in other folds- folds that used to hold you so well.
You are gone and I am gone (or that’s what I think). I am my work, I am my songs, I am the adjectives you made for me, I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it, I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand. I am what I am fond of. I am mostly just you.
You are gone and I fear there is no one that can stop me from growing into you.
the metal melts on my tongue. this must be the fever that everyone warned me against. now i will never know how to die properly.
i used up every drop i could find on this planet to make the broken trees in me grow. and there are so many, so many skeletons with stunted growth.
i read we need not only the sun, but also the leaves, the green to make something that can fill our stomach. that light by itself can only gift hope . how long can one live on hope? just long enough to hate everyone who has a piece fleshy fruit stuck in their teeth.
the only way to live properly i am told is to become the the tailcoat of someone better than me. i must make someone’s life easy, must become a photocopy machine for their blood, must cry silently into the sink as i clean the dishes at night to live a proper life.
but it is too late i guess, i have lost the plan i was told to follow obediently, the only color that remains on my skin are the ones i was born with, the unflattering shape of my body won’t be bought with the coins of love in any shop, my finger, my unshapely hands have become un-holdable.
the adjectives, the rumors, the sad future of mine they falls like pieces of metal on my ears everyday and yet they are not the words i can say, or accept. these word, this metal melts in my mouth they say i will die a sad death, that i will die as i have lived – by myself.
beauty may be only skin deep but lack of it goes deeper than that. so deep that you end up learning to want things that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about. i wish i could remember every face that was surprised to know that i am okay with looking older than i am, surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats especially when i have got so much of it. every morning i wake up they hover over me like faceless shadows with black markers, drawing over my body showing me all that is wrong, giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at, hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern, whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me. it made me wonder that maybe going under the knife wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers. that maybe i am supposed to love myself only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love. i would have understood if they cared, if they actually meant good, but they don’t because they know nothing more than my name and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions. i want to say they are wrong, but i have suffered their gaze for so long that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see. there are days that i obsess over a passing comment. there are days i beat up myself for being like this. i starve and fail, i try to get over their words and fail, i try to hate myself and fail. i want to say it doesn’t matter but it does because i am tiring myself out by trying to see something good in me, by apologizing to myself, by trying to save my heart while they burn my body in the woods.
He may have thought
that I looked self-obsessed,
which I am.
She may have thought
that I am bitter with life,
which is true.
My friend once thought I am cold.
Now she believes I am kind.
She was wrong then.
She is wrong now.
For all the adjective that they
they found to replace me
were either misleading
None of those words were me.
But they don’t know how to define me,
without those words.