“Does rust affect plastic dreams?” I ask my teacher in my sleep. She takes out an axe and starts cutting down the first mouth filled with wrong answers. Two rows away she wipes her brows and folds her sleeves, she takes another deep breath before she checks the attendance sheet and finds the next dream to kill.
She tells me I should think more and ask more and ask the questions that help me live. She looks at the metal that grows out of my pores and gives me another chance. She says only if I would try to be better than the people I am clinging to, I could grow up to be her. I look away from the blood that flowing down her neck, the parts of her that she intends to kill by holding other’s breath.
“What about my mother’s arms, weak weak exhausted arms? Are those my telling signs? Does that mean I don’t have to worry, that I am just someone next in line? What about you? Do you rust like me? Would the color of my rust, would my weakened heart make me worth protecting, make me deserving of kinder words?
She told me “It will not get you respect or equality, if that’s what you are looking for. It can sure get you love, of some kind, for some time but it is just a matter of time before you see the end that only you can write. And you would end up writing it cause that painful end would be more truer and more yours than any love that you find by compromise.”
As she walks past me, smiling lovingly, as she spares my life, that now she owns. As she dissolves my only way back, I realize too late, that my chaos and my doubts were more hopeful than an answer like this that promises pain to everyone else but me.
As I climb, my steps remembered the shoes I once had the ones that didn’t hurt so much and how hands of mine that hacked through them just to become my own person, some sort of grown-up. I climbed over the yellow soft dress and the light that it caught just to get this, this body that looks held together but is not (this body knows only how to fall apart), just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist with their persistent passion. They claw through me, to see how I am made, how I look and speak once I break. A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond and called it love just so that I won’t cry and in return I called him my love just for few breaths, just for my life. I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine. I breathe as if I have sinned yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh. I cling to all the bitter bits of this world as if they would ultimately save me. I climb over, get over, and forget so easily, so bitterly that each feeling of mine is just a shade of resentment.
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.
the truth is i have loved you more than what my heart could take.
for years the only moment i loved myself, felt proud of myself were the ones where i put my better judgement in the drain, were the ones where i clinged onto you even as you made me cry, were the ones where i suffocated and killed my brain with only your thoughts.
so as you put an end to all that we were and as i learn to hate you with honesty, somewhere in me, i know that this end is what i desperately needed. this was the peace that i would have never granted myself. thank you.
why is it so that i can only choose love if i let myself look weak. it should have been easy to look weak and crumbling, when that is what i feel all the time. but it isn’t easy. maybe because the weakness of my heart has never made me look incompetent, it just made me look cold and aloof. being good for nothing is more tragic than being broken or being hated.
how hard i have tried all my life to be good at something. so that i am not useless, so that people don’t leave me behind on purpose, so that i can at least look like someone capable and not be embarrassed of myself.
after all the years of running around and making myself believe that soon, soon i will become someone i can be proud of; instead of finding myself, i find you. i find the in myself the want to let go of this control, that hurts my hands, but letting go hurts my pride.
somehow i can’t stop blaming you for asking me to live as me, for asking me to stop hurting myself. what do you know about the life i have lived? what do you know about the things i have sacrificed for living like this? how can you ask me to break what i have built for years?
i cry, i push you away, i cling to the what i am supposed to be, asking you why you can’t just be what i supposed you would be. again i am asked to choose between me and this world. again i know i will choose myself. (by choosing to please the world rather than choosing myself?) but you have some nerve to declare that i won’t. i hate you for your stupid confidence and your disregard for all that i will lose.
Once the shade of the shutters are rolled down, once I am left on my own, reason and explanation rush in, try to cling and climb up the cracks of my heart, and the folds of my brain, trying desperately to stop me to reach out, to find me in the fog of fear.
But I am already far ahead, my hands reach for everything it could hold, everything it could break and hurl them at the window till it broke, till I could cry for the things that were robbed from me. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop hurting myself even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains, even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back. If I stopped, I would again hear the steps that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.
We sit here all day, in our own corners. The only corner that we could save from the world that we left. The only piece of happiness we decided to carry on ourselves because we didn’t wanted to be considered pitiful for clinging to something. Because once we thought that feelings such as these are only hindrance. Because we saw love as lint on our fine clothing, something that should be removed like weeds from the garden of our ambition. Believed that if we are enough, if we have enough we can always find new friends and new love.
In the wind, there always used to be a rumor of someone drunk on past, the one who used to shout and sing at midnight songs about how nothing new he bought, no one new he gave his heart to could make him forget about all those he had turned his back on. My friend, I am afraid we have become that same person. And we are pathetic not because we loved too much but because we couldn’t love anyone, not even ourselves.
How long will my broken heart
cling to your skin
knowing that the boundaries of reality and happiness
are drawn where we meet.
How long can we stand on either side of this fate
that we are afraid of,
that we are drawn to in spite of our fear.
The street is lined with houses
that have forgotten how to breathe anything
There are broken windows
through which I see hopeful eyes staring and crying
trapped in homes that
reek of wait that yields more wait.
The street is lined with trees that never grew.
The roads cling to the snow that never melts.
We all have learned how to go deaf to cries of help
(that’s what growing up means?)
and walk home to our own tragedies-
some we suffer, some we create
and some we never stop.