In the orange forest of drowning suns I saw your face in the light going out first. I stood with my empty nets, on a boat, with oars that won’t budge, won’t sail away from your closing eyes. I played this only memory I had of you throughout my journey back. When my feet found a ground to breathe again, you had already grown bigger, sadder, scarier, sorrier presence in my life.
Through my dinner that night, I thought up names you may have had, the people you may have loved, the heartaches you thought would never end. I thought of how easily things end, how nothing in our heart can save our heart from this lonely end. Were you thankful or sad that you had to know this, to share this realization with a stranger made of cold eyes and numb limbs?
That night I looked for your body in every ocean I had in me. I don’t know what was the point of this search but I knew I had to do something about you, that my feet had to walk distances because of you, that something in me must hurt more than it did now. That finally I had to die with you, to know what I don’t know now, to know even a fraction of your pain. I was sad and relieved that my need to know you ended there – with that thought, with the steps I cannot take.
I find myself trapped between forgiveness and frustration.
How often have I said that I want to be your strength. How easy it was to say it when I didn’t really know you or me.
But now when your breaking and my sadness is of your making I am fumbling for better words-
words that can show my heart that aches for you and because of you,
words that don’t forget or diminish your own hurt while talking about the parts of me that are finally dying after loving you for so long,
words that show my hatred for my brittle self, for my heart that is not big enough for real pain or real forgiveness.
Now I don’t know to talk about saving you, about loving you in spite of the demon you warned me about, the part of you that is stronger than me and you, together or apart.
As I kiss you I hear the other part of you digging playgrounds in rain, erasing you furiously from your skin, coloring each bruise with paint of happiness, clawing me, scaring me, making me scared for you.
As I kiss you I want to stand with you in your nightmare I want you to have someone beside you for once. As I kiss you I want to run far away from your world and forget this love.
the trees sway behind me they tower and droop and die above the cold parked cars. i hear the sounds that i couldn’t till last night it is music to my ears and “warnings of ruin” to my mind. the green monster, the metal carriage, and their lonely helpless master face the direction of ocean. if we were bigger, if everything before us could melt, if i could understand distances, if i could drive we could have met a love by that ocean, we could have called ourselves friends in that molten world, i could have told them about the human dread of dying, we could have laughed over it, and the tree would have held me and my broken and beaten car in its motherly gaze and we wouldn’t worry whether this happiness could heal us or not.
a broken end with a light (a lighter duller than me) touches me. someone says the magic words, the loathsome words that make me the old alice. i am made to leave the seat, the home, the dream, the rights that are too big for me. they leave me a tiny suitcases filled with fancy dresses made of used socks and handkerchiefs. they are cute, they are kind, they have read their fairy tales right. i have never read the right books, so i find myself unable to thank them or kiss their hands. thumblina says my new belongings in glitter i do not know what this name means or the fate that the owner of this name is meant to find but i have heard it is better than being an alice. (i liked being alice more i liked a story written for my sake.) as i walk into the new forest, towards hopefully my last story or at least a story i can make my own for once, i can’t help but think of all the laughing men, now laughing giants fixing my home to their liking. i can’t help but be a bit bitter looking at my hands that can only build for people like them.
my feet relentlessly insist on burning themselves for the sake of summer mood.
i wear a shirt too big for me. a wear a smile a bit too small. i wear the worry of my parents on my neck.
i feel their fear when i smile back at strangers. i pretend to be the sand that no one can hurt. i pretend to be the sea that doesn’t end. i pretend no man in this beautiful scene would hurt someone like me.
but my feet, they burn, they bleed. my feet that only wanted freedom from the moment i was born, now they make me feel like the mermaid who was not wise enough.
i feel like i am losing a part of myself every time a stranger asks for my name, every time they accidentally touch my skin to fill me with shame and sin. i pretend to be cool, to be understanding, to be blind as i feel like the monster that brings out the worst in people. as i erase my memories everyday to put faith in people whom i find hard to trust.
I am happy. Almost. I leave my bed to sit beside the window that looks over the road. I stare at everything that lives and dies beside me. I will my brain to think of a rhyme that I can gift this world. I feel that my love for this ocean of people far exceeds my loathing. I am almost happy to be alive. Though almost is a big word, a painful word. It is is still smaller than the distance I have covered so far, it is negligible to everything that has ever stood in my way. ‘Almost’ is something I can overlook, as long as I have something to look forward to. I cannot give up on this world even when I should.
From my empty room, from the edge of my personal cliff, I looked into the windows of strangers, looked over their shoulder at texts they write, looked at the pages where their bookmark rests, silently waited at the edge of my chair trying to overhear responses to the big questions.
And all I have known by prying so hard is that there is nothing there. Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand. The same book rests on the same table for years, serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory. No question is big enough to be carefully considered. No relationship is important enough to be held to heart. That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now. That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak if I do not believe in the night that I see. I must unlearn the way I have lived to find a place to belong.
In between the cold beginning and cruel ends that are the parentheses of our lives, there is nothing for me to hang on to. But it helps to know that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity, that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common. And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.
i am a girl who reads too much between lines, especially yours. and your words, they were cold but they were warmer than the pages they were written on. and since i wanted to love you i tried to see your world as one big adventure even when my heart was filled with fear. i tried to do things that might make you happy, to say the words that might put you at ease. though i suffered greatly, being with you made up for everything, or so i thought. but in the hope to be loved i bent a little too much forgot where to stop, i went overboard with the idea of sacrifices and promises and forgot to look at the blood and life i had lost.
“one day he would grow up, one day he would realize, one day his love for me, would actually feel like love“- were the words i lived by. but isn’t it pathetic that even when i have no use for these words, even my soul is more sore than alone, at night when i count the pieces of me, and the numbers just won’t add up, the thing that i am most sad about is that i was so easy to love and yet you couldn’t.
i did all that i must do and now no one asks me what’s next. thankfully, no one burdens me with with their dreams anymore. i am no longer a possible candidate for the worst, for taking over the misfortune of my mother’s life. i no longer have to worry about hurting my parents by being like them or living like them. thankfully, what bothers me, what eats me up is nothing that would keep anyone else awake and that is important.
in spite of this emptiness i write about and this loneliness that seems bigger than this world, all this do not stop me from laughing at jokes, craving for food that i shouldn’t eat, dreaming of another broken love with my only lover, from having a good time – that i will conveniently forget. nothing i cry about, no ailing that lives in me is too large to stop me from living.
i guess i carry an instability in my genes. if my eyes are in the color of sadness, i guess i got it from my parents. and they are lovely people who somehow raised me right in spite of having a tendency to mess up things and their sadness with life.
tomorrow i will probably hate them frequently again but they will nag at me when i reach home drenched in rain, will tell me sit straight and force me to eat what will keep me alive, will ask me to keep my phone down, and sleep a little bit more.
they will not ask what’s wrong and that will disappoint me, but they will let me do what i want to do (sometimes) and they will try their best not to wrong me. they will wish for my happiness, even if they have no idea what makes me happy and that is important.
because though i lived my extended teenage believing that i had no one, but it was not true. i saw no one and it is my fault. even when i thought i was not loved they have loved me silently. though it was a tiring love, it knew no end.