On my closed hopeless eyes you placed your lips and something in me broke open. And I burst from within, from all my prisons. From all my pseudo homes I heard myself crying.
I heard the the noises of television in the heavy air of my living room die out, I heard myself breathe. I heard the knocks on my door and found all my lost selves staring at me one second, embracing me the next.
They told me it could be the blue moon, it could be the cyclone that is running wild, it could be the end of earth predicted too many times, it could be flowers-that-no-one-loves blooming in our land, it could my restlessness and fear of being left behind, it could be you.
As you sink into the couch, forgetting the nail you painted seconds before, as you look around frantically for remote, as you leave the evidence of beautiful color on my skin, I realized, that I found in myself the honesty to say out aloud, to tell you, to accept that it is probably you.
His face lit up with the death of every colorful explosion in the sky. He hates this sky on other days (among other things). Today he loves it, this darkness, this crowd, even me. (Maybe not me, but it doesn’t mean anything to me now. But in moments like this I am reminded of the “me” who would have wanted his love or at least be part of the world that can be loved. The ‘past me’ shakes off my hand and stands there looking at him as if he is her sky, but only finds the signs of deaths that have nothing spectacular about them. I stand there looking at my sadness, his sadness breathing the air and living some sort of life for once.) He stands there looking at the sky through my silence, through my awe, awe at his simple happiness. (How long has it been since he has loved anything with his breaking heart.) He stands there looking at the sky even when curtain of stars resurface, even when the screams of children dissolve. He stands there abandoned by the world and yet happy. (I stand there abandoned by him, by myself and yet happy)
When I speak of what I thought my life would be like, what I still want to be if I was not dying in my skin, they give me a funny look as if I am seeing things.
And frankly I am seeing the only things that give me hope. I am aware of their imaginary status and how separated by time they are from my life.
But I wish instead they would just smile along as if I am a child who speaks of ten professions in one breath and not remind me how I am losing out in life as a woman just because I am trying to breathe as my dream once in a while.
Don’t tell me of your love. Tell me you’ll leave tomorrow and stay a day more. Move an inch closer when I take your name. Let me not believe you sometimes and smile when I do. I don’t want love, but I will try to want it, if you try to want me slowly and cautiously. When you put on that random radio station let me stare at you as you dance, breathe as if I am not here, let me see who you are without this want for me. Smile when you catch my eye and kiss me if I smile back.
she traced the light on my chest pulled out everything that stung- the swings, my feet, the shadow i decided no longer to play with.
the comparision table of veins and arteries copied into my notebook. the eraser and pencil that helped me document in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.
a page torn, and then another, and then another. pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.
she stayed up nights trying to free me as i stuggled and begged not to empty me. she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean, words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.
so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped. “leave me alone” now hurt me more than her. i opened my eyes and cried for her work was done, now i was no one, now nothing was mine, not even my pain, not even her.
she dusted her cobweb skirt, placed a kiss on my forehead and told me to breathe, breathe in everything that i didn’t think i had the right to.
she told me to breathe and to never forget what suffocation felt like. it helps in becoming kind, she said.
as she wiped clean her traces from my life, i felt better, again i was full. i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out. being full of her, i refused to breathe, because i wanted to keep it that way.
I roll down my window hoping for the first time that I knew how to drive so that I wouldn’t have a confused witness to my impulse of moving forward by a mile and falling down by a heartbeat.
“Is everything alright?”, he asks me too often. I don’t bother to calm him down by saying ‘yes’ as I was doing an hour ago. Nothing I say can now convince him of my normality. So I let him drive and let myself collapse. I bury my face in my lap and breathe better by suffocating myself a little bit more.
He hums a song that reminds me of the love that now lives in a country I have not seen in a life that I will always guess inaccurately with a girl who has a serious case of klemptomania. Last time I called the stolen one, I was given a sorry and an address of a better therapist.
I let my ring burn my heart. I ask the driver to leave me somewhere no one can find me knowing he will not, he will take me home just like he doesn’t everyday, and he will make sure to greet me with a kind forgetfulness the next morning.
I wish I had kept more strangers like him in my life, someone who would worry about me.
The air fills my lungs, and drowns me and now I remembering things that I shouldn’t I am remembering every moment of my incomplete death. Someone cuts a window in my chest, rips into pieces the words that shouldn’t get out. A rough skin holds me a bit too long with a bit too much force, a bit too much neglect. “ohhh…it was not love after all“, I remember thinking this as I closed my eyes wanting to forget this person who has taken half of my life, so easily. “For a brief moment I was loved“, I wanted to say this at least. I held on so long only for that sake. But now I must breathe in the air that I once thought I didn’t need as long as I had love.
The memories I burnt away have turned into spirits, into thoughts that hold me back from naming and keeping this happiness that sits at my doorstep, waiting for my love. And though the shadows of my past are tied to my legs, though they rattle on empty roads and never let the the dust of my life settle. But ‘it is not so bad’ is also a sentence that I have learnt to say with ease and I sometimes even mean those words as they leave my mouth. For there is a doorstep where a heart like yours waits for me to heal, your wait makes the plant of trust grow in my heart again. Every morning I find myself, my lips a bit closer to the the words that only you deserve to hear.
matter, substance, meaning… as my vocabulary expanded with such words, i knew, i had an inkling that this is how i would be disillusioned, with such small words i would be driven to despair.
i would find there is another face behind every smile, and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins. a smile so sad, a wordless lie so easily becomes the most normal thing.
but do i even want to know who lives behind such elaborate masks? do i care to know how they breathe? do i want to know who breathes in me? or whether anyone really care about me?
i knew that now, given that i have learnt to ask all the questions whose answers can’t be verified, living and trusting was bound to become harder. now that i knew that i am not capable of knowing myself, seeing my reflection was bound to get painful and confusing. confusion is such a small word for what life does to us. all the small words that are easily said than meant- i hope i forget them before i forget myself.
From my broken heart comes out another bird. Ignoring me, abandoning me it flies beautifully, cruelly into another world away from me and something feels a little less in me. I am not complaining. I always wanted to feel a little less. I was glad that in some way a part of me is finally free from me, that some part of me could finally breathe.