Things I now remember are mostly absurdly simple and painful. Like the last time we met like this, you had a white suitcase that seemed like your new pet. It looked at peace with the snow that was getting on your nerves. When you smiled all I could think was now you cannot bear the weight of your old green bag pack, now you cannot bear the winters I am part of. All I could think was that you are growing old somewhere far without me. I didn’t know that the next thing I would have to do, after facing such sad realization, would be to smile for my sake more than your.
Things I now recognize are are only those that I don’t know how to fix anymore. Like today as I helped you out of your heavy white coat, as I made the coffee of your liking I kept staring at your small form and your frightening transparency. I looked at the scribbles of black marker at the corner of suitcase. I wondered where were you when you drew that. At what point of your journey you could no longer pretend this was a life of your choosing? Is your loneliness so overwhelming that you are not afraid of buying and ruining whites? Is your loneliness of my making? Is that why you wear it so dearly?
Her floor had always been the color of the season I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life. The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers The pink, red, yellows, and greens, women who only know youth, women who only grow younger the kind of woman she wanted to be (what a small impossible dream) and she almost is. And now that she can never change would she be happy? When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”? I shatter the home of her missing goldfish in my haste efforts to pick them up and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper that my eyes can’t handle. I try to put them away, wanting to throw them away now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me or anyone for taking away too much of her. I want to try it. i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me. “let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief. “i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve” shouts back my anger and my love. I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed. Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket, her last mistake, her last breath everything spilling out, everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.
With each day crossed out. With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe. With each hand that passed into mine, with each hand that moved onto the next too easily, I realized I knew how to dance to this tune that used to frighten me once.
Another stranger, another potential lover, another sun that has already grown cold, whispers in my ears – words I do understand.
I search for a harmless smile in my bag. I hang it carefully on my face. I turn myself into a gift, into a substitute of love for this person – who is dying like me, waiting like me, for something, anything to fill the time left.
I couldn’t help but to love you, this you, that from your darkness pushed me away, tried to save me from my choices.
When I told you that I loved you for your selfless honestly, you made up your mind to leave.
You told me as you packed your bag that all honesty is not selfless, that while you pushed me away you knew that I would love you even more.
As a goodbye you braided my hair with the flowers of your tear. You left me with a letter, when you robbed me of your shadow, with ink dipped in concern, saying that you wanted me to be better than your second chance, a daily pill to forget what you are, a shoulder to bear your burden. That only by rejecting the luxury of being loved unconditionally, could you ever learn to love and see me as a human who can bleed by loving too much. That your leaving might be the only true gesture that shows what you feel for me, that it is the only thing you can do for me.
I didn’t see her pack her bag
but I knew it was definitely hers,
from the way she could drag it with such an ease.
The same ease with which
she dragged most things in her life.
Her face twisted and moved
till it found that smile
that said, “Ignore me, I’m happy”.
As she hailed her taxi,
I tried to count the days it would take
for me to give up too.
I counted the roads that must pass
before we do not have to think
about the depleting years in our hand
and lonely dreams in our diminishing vision.
There was no joy to wander,
to pack my bags
with belongings not entirely mine
and to have a bagful of borrowed stuff,
of borrowed time.
Living on the kindness
that I didn’t deserve.
Each new handhake
echoes of heartbreak
from the future.
I knew where I was going
and I knew where I was taking them.
And that made me hate this ordeal
of trying to memorize the names
of all these new people
who will be soon forgotten.
My heart was never broken.
My home was never broken.
At least not the type of broken
that can’t be repaired.
I do not have shelter of such excuses.
I chose to stay,
I chose to love
and I chose to move away.
I choose to live with the list of names
to the end
than to see them walk away.