At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to) I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments without making a big deal of it.
In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be. “this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied. I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted (“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).
I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying. I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin. I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did. I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.
Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty. I became more aware of the boundaries of my body I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me, who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.
We all stood there, pretending to be the only human in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom, who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment. I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything that could drown the presence of everyone who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.
At a bus stand, that could protect no one, we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road, a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days, children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see
of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.
DRAWING THE STARS WRONG all my hopes, now in your hands, feel like signs of trouble. i liked it on paper, the broken star in red ink, but not on my sky. can i undo my steps to you? will my heart break even if you leave my skin?
STRIPPING YOU OF FLESH before i turn away from you there are things that must be done. (only painful things are remaining no matter what i choose) everyday for a hour i must imagine being alone in this world. everyday i must imagine the relief you would feel at my absence. everyday i must imagine you with someone and being capable of caring. i must imagine in detail and color. i must put you on a window in clothes i don’t recognize. i must strip you of my love and hope you feel the warmth, even when my heart tells that you won’t. i must stand outside the shop i plan to leave you at and practice standing there without tears in my eyes. i must take your feelings out of picture to take even one step away from you. before i turn away from you i have to turn into the person who won’t be able to walk towards any happiness after leaving you broken.
MESSED UP SEARCH HISTORY in my room, on my phone, with another love, in the crowd that will never be mine, i feel my heart drunk on you again. and everywhere you are with me i need someone else to keep me from making another mess in your name, for my sake. in return, i love them the only way i can, the way only i can, by removing you from the search history of my mind every second i live. i love them by holding them back from running to the one, who like you, can only love in dark dripping red and swelling universe of purple.
THE EASY WAY TO LIVE speaking without fear, loving without abandon, sitting in sunshine, somehow loving the world, wanting to stay alive, getting comfortable with the concept of wanting, knowing the feeling of being considered and seen, (all this with you at the back of my mind). i told you, all this is my life now- the easiest life i have ever had. i hope you believe. it would be the happiest end, if you would accept this as the last scene of me in your life. i want to live so better, just so that you can forget the me who could do nothing but get hurt only because i didn’t want to live without love. i want to be better than that, even if it makes me sad.
In her loudest, happiest voice she told me about one of her near-death loves, how she wished her skin would stop keeping her alive. She laughed at how we both always find something awfully painful or ugly in common, how we should probably never call each other just to remind each other of the spite that lives in our blood.
I moved her lackluster glass of fake green mojito by an inch towards her and looked past her at the couple who sat closest to the sky. The wind that touched them called out to me again, reminded me about my trembling legs and my heart that didn’t want to give up yesterday.
I told her about the fall – my bad decision, my backing out again at the last minute- another really bad decision. I told her someone needs to lock me up before I take any more decision as I showed her my new skinned knee and told her in detail about all parts of me that were filled with pain even now only because of that one moment in which I wanted to live more than anything.
She walked towards the the railing decorated with hearts that won’t light and found herself a seat, placing her elbow carefully away from the mess that the ones in love left behind. She waited for me to follow her as I always do.
I stood behind her and felt a fear very similar to mine swimming in her mind. I wanted to tell her, it will get better. but I couldn’t. I wanted to believe in this, in this hope for better; if not for me, at least for her. And I knew she had nothing to say now because her throat was also crowded by the words she doesn’t believe. We are painfully alike even in our search for hope, even when we are searching it for each other.
the most beautiful bitter bits of this world belong to me now. a car rushes by far away and i wonder about the girl crying her eyes out on the table not far from mine, or the middle-aged man looking lost in front of his home in my window, or the woman who left her phone and purse on her table on purpose and turned back at the door to look at something i couldn’t see. i wonder if they feel the same as me, if i would ever feel anything brand new, if i would ever have a feeling not felt by anyone in this world. even when i know how ordinary my extra-ordinary pain is, why does it feel so deep, why do i struggle to walk on these crowded roads why can’t i wear my sadness, my tears on my eyes and let this world be the audience for once.
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)
Now that we are an year apart. Now that everyone has been talking about new beginnings and second chances, I let myself be myself, let myself be swayed at the hope, at the thought of the ONE.
But being myself also means to be keep my heart broken. It means to leave every crowded room to find the corridors where I can be finally alone with the mistakes I am about to make.
I hold someone who could have been you but is not. I cry the same tears that once made you pity me. I jot down a name and a number and a weakness, a need where I could fit myself into.
And as I lay in bed I feel something sad and beautiful in my heart- an end that I am creating for myself. This is how love has always been for me, so I let it be and smile as I kiss another stranger who won’t be able to save me from anything.
I board the train that I could thinking, only thinking about the one I couldn’t. There are only tunnels, only darkness, no network, only cold metal that I rest my head hoping for my fever to come down, only windows that turn into mirror.
In those momentary mirrors I always look like someone on life support. In the crowd that no longer suffocates me I cling to the wires that fill my ears with the sound of past, with love that will never come back, with the love that I will never be, with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.
Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds, I force myself to withstand my stare. For if I take my eyes away from me I end up looking into eyes of strangers who twist and distort their faces asking for a reason they can understand or they end up looking away, their heart as fragile as mine.
We all act as if we can know each other by a glance, as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper than to find eyes that can actually see us, than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving the brittleness of our species. I understand their heart, their fear all too well. My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten. Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.
as i get inside the crowded bus, a phone rings. a ringtone just like yours.
has the world shrunk to the size of the tragedy we created, that i find you like this?
i know it is not you, but it could be. so i do not turn back. it could be you, so i try not to cry.
this is not where walking away or breaking clean should lead to. at least not back to you. at least not like this. not on the day i finally felt that i could move toward a new happiness.
why did you come back? to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good? to tell me no one can love something like me? to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours? to check if my skin remembers your anger? to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?
why did you come back, when you don’t even want me?
I came here knowing that you would be here as well, knowing that you won’t like to see me here or anywhere. But I have been always good at not seeing the truth. So as I put on the dress I wore when I first met you I told myself – if you hate me, resent me for showing up, it is because you have not forgotten me yet; if you avoid me it is because you know you would love me again.
The distance has dulled all the pain that I felt with you and I prepare myself to dive again into the turmoil, the feelings that result from seeking you out again.
But as I enter this room this crowd that knows our history can’t decide whether to get us closer or to keep us apart. No one says your name around me, even though you are in front of me and I wonder, how long it has been since you have heard my name as well.
I have taken a step and now I have to wait for you to take the next. Would it have been easier for me if you could just utter the word ‘end’, instead of avoiding me like this. As the hour I have allowed myself to be shameless ends, as I wonder how will I ever make my way out of this world of yours, I feel the air beside me shift I feel the old me waking up in myself again. But it is not you. You have already left. I realize the end I could never imagined exists, that a ‘you’ without me exists. That I must find a new way to exist now.
There is only this life, that is made by imitation of stories. Stories that told me how to feel and what to say, told me to cry and ruin myself if you turn away, told me to leave my everything for your sake, never told me how tedious all this could become and how much frustrating it would be to have a love that doesn’t give me back all that I was guaranteed to get. What to do if I am no gentle virtuous princess or even a woman of strong heart and character but a person not even worth a mention, let alone a heart. What to do when I am indistinguishable from the gray crowd, when I am not so special and not so deserving of all that I want. What to do when my clocks have stopped in that one moment that I let myself down and every kind lover is separated from me by this distance in time.