“Long time ago” is a dangerous neighborhood. All its season are holograms of perfect world, the illusions of rain and snow and sun, the illusion of hearts still beating under the non-existent skin. The technician of this a weary magic lives beside the empty park in the middle of my heart. He knows the perfect days to make me cry, to make me see. He invents new people, new details. Sometime these are fake stand-ins for the what he has lost in his war against me, all that I intend to forget. Sometime they are what I failed to realize, people I didn’t get to love. Most days I can’t tell the difference between the words I have forgotten and the ones I will never hear again. This town has post offices with stamps of words I no longer mean stuck on its wall. There cars and houses and roads and rivers owned by people who will never die. They all gather on my birthday in the cemetery of one grave. They sit on the endless green grass with their picnic baskets, with the kids I will never have, with the pets I will never keep and look into the eyes that will never look at me. They smile knowing something I will never know.
I planted the idea of a happy family, a happy tomorrow, into the eyes of my mother with breaking tips of my pencils against her granite eye lashes.
I told her the story about the boy who is ever so sad because his parents didn’t care enough, who weeps on his empty birthdays, who weeps into my heart. I tell her I am not so fine myself. Maybe she didn’t hear me clearly, cause she didn’t stop her daily charade of writing her “the last letter”.
I cleared her bed, her table, her words, her being from the perfectly modeled replica of world in my mind. I showed her, “Look, this is how I will look with you gone. Look, look at what you must not do to me.”
She pulled me close, and held my hand for a bit too long, a bit too tenderly as if letting me know, telling me “Look, this is how I look when I am alive. Look, look at me pouring out of myself, dragging my feet even till the end. Look, look at what I can no longer live as.”
And I stood there for a long time, slowly understanding things I possibly couldn’t. I stood there for a long time, till my mom’s face was replaced by that of the ever so sad boy as he held me, letting me cry into him for the hundredth time.
today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine. on a day like this, few calendars ago i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm. i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name. i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt. in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed trying to block out the presence, the weight of the other half of my body clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating. i again forget where i am. i again forget how to stop shaking. if i walk a bit more into the darkness i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one who has a say in what happens to her. a hand slips into mine. sometimes it rests on my waist, and i force myself not to feel nauseated. love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly. love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks. my love is my penance, my apology to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.
please don’t ask me how my friend is doing. we broke up. we broke up the most decent way friends can break up. without deceit, without betrayal, without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs, without stories to hurt each other with, without attempts to patch up things, without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize. i do not remember her till someone says her name and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips, i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her. a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life. when i see facebook notifications with her name, when i get a reminder of her birthday, when she calls me up once in a blue moon to ask a favor for “her friend” without bothering to ask how i have been, what is it that am i supposed to feel? i think it should hurt in some way. i am waiting for it to hurt. i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss. i am waiting for the day I miss her. i want to miss her so much.
It seems I have another friendship to celebrate today
you-who is supposed to be my friend
is nowhere to be seen in the recent calls or messages,
nowhere in the list of people who wish me luck
and bless me on my birthday they don’t remember.
But isn’t friendship more than just
remembering certain dates.
I know that, so it doesn’t matter to me,
so I can let go of such minor details
and not be offended by what you don’t do.
Frankly I also have forgotten so much about you
that even when I am reminded of you
I do not feel much for what we are and how we have ended up.
And I think just like me
you also became aware of my existence
only because of this automated message.
But this is a world where we don’t have to cut ties
to keep distance,
a world where such distance doesn’t necessarily imply
negative feelings or history.
And this grayness of everything that doesn’t go away
even if I am ready look over it.
This grayness that we are prompted to maintain and celebrate
is what is ridiculous to me
and is what makes me sad.