The last stranger at the funeral home brought in the worst rain of the season, the coldest wind of the night along with your last letter. He leaned against the window and called up everyone he won’t be able to meet today looking at me all the while. As if he knew every word that I was reading. Probably waiting to see whether I cry at the same lines that he did. His eyes look like the ones who have got used to crying for things that cannot be undone, for a life that cannot be. I wondered if he loved you. Maybe he did. Maybe you knew. I hope you did. He sat beside me trying not to grieve more than a mother, trying not mourn like a lover, making himself invisible with every word i read under my tearful breath
“…even when I sat at the dinner table with my brightest smile and deepest hunger, i couldn’t convince me that i needed to exist here. even the warmest embrace of this world could do nothing but break me. i knew opening my heart could only bring floods and all ends of all kind. i knew all along of this end. forgive me for pretending otherwise….”
I woke up in tears and I couldn’t go back to sleep.
As I slept I felt things move around me, someone climbing down my window, someone flying out with unfamiliar and awkward wings. In my sleep I heard the unbearable wailing of my words that should have otherwise lying dead on my table.
I couldn’t go back to sleep. Because something was wrong. Someone was again changing me without my knowledge. Someone was again waiting for my gratitude to fill the words of my lifeless words of thanks.
The moon was no longer a moon but an eraser waiting for me to sleep so it can go on and erase everything that was left in this life. In the 3 hours I had slept away I had already lost memories worth 3 years so easily without even putting up a fight. Even if I didn’t know what should be here but no longer is, I somehow I knew that I would always know that something is missing. I knew what that feeling will do to me. I knew how it would make me do everything that I regret having done. I knew all that Because I have found myself so often at this point.
The point of forgeting – the forceful hands of God trying to pry open my hands, the painful flying away of my pain, the painful end of my love, the hideous and disgusting sight of my hands wanting something, anything to hold again at any cost.
I knew not to fall for this scheme again. So I walked upto the window, looked at all the sleeping rooms scattered in front of me, rooms where no one really slept. I looked at the concrete street below, felt its dangerous height in me, felt the distance between me and the true oblivion. I played with the dangerous power of choice before it frightened me with its truth. I heard someone laugh, before I turned back. I heard them back at their work as I found myself sleeping in the familiar bed of choices that never feel right. The only choice I want to believe I have.
He was somewhere upstairs running barefoot on the dusty floors of the broken house. I could hear him even when I stood waiting in the backyard staring at all the rusty memories, feeling the stare of people who will never leave this place, who may never leave me again now that I fear them for never actually dying. I tried not to love him as I stood alone waiting for him to get bored of all this.
I was too afraid to be with him when he was like that. when he read aloud poems about death out of the blue, and read them as if they were the only true declaration he could make to the world, the only true word that he could say to his life. I would only later find out that they were written by someone else – someone who lived in a difficult to pronounce country. He loved things like that – taking up the clothes of emotions of others and wrapping himself up in them as he walked into all the unknown lives that oddly had a room reserved just for him.
And always, I would be outside waiting for the sun to set, for his heart to ease, to be there when he decides to come back to reality for good. I didn’t realize that footsteps had ceased long ago, and so had his breath. So I stood there letting my heart run barefoot on the floor of delusion, in the world where he exists. I waited for my love to give up on him. I was afraid of being me when my love stop, won’t look back at me.
Some deaths are not only slow but also beautiful. And the eyes that are once covered with this lie of beauty never want to see the the pain beneath. We can accept the pain as fact, or even as a myth, as long as it is beautiful, as long as the center of ruin is not our lives.
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 have spent 10 years of my life decorating my wooden coffin, giving food, giving faces, and adding height to my imaginary friends and painting forgiving smiles on my imaginary gods.
I won’t mind if someone out there decides to call me “coward” or “delusional” or “hopeless” or “sorta weird” I won’t mind if this qualifies to be called “running away from reality and life”.
Even if I ignore the words like these, even when I have found a way to survive alone I am still left with these corrosive, acidic feelings. Feelings don’t help – when all they do is speak, wail louder each day.
They remind me again and again that even a beautiful death is a death, that loneliness is still loneliness, that in spite of the ribbons and flowers and posters the smile on my face is still not as bright as the one love used to give me, even if I have now less reasons to cry.
It is not easy – this peace, this staying away from the want to be seen, to be loved, this wanting to cry over something again. It is not easy – to keep myself awake and alive when feeding myself, seeing the light only makes my fears stronger.
On the broken lines of bold white, on the burning roads far away from home I knelt down in the heap of my skirt made of fairy dust and disappointments of all kinds.
I found a pretty crack with space enough to be something of its own and with a style that you’d agree with. With my fingertips already crying red I wrote you name in the best writing I could.
Your name that couldn’t fit beside mine, or the scorecards with better marks, or a business card that was not a part of scam, or with a number that could for once be reached, or the nameplate that you kept losing in the sleepy playgrounds of our eyes.
We missed you.
We missed you. in the conversations where we thought only of you and yet couldn’t speak of you. We thought of you always with an ache, always with a heart that wanted more of you while wanting to forget the little that we had.
I wrote your name and ran my fingers over them again. A kid knelt down beside me offering me a smile as he took in a pain he couldn’t understand. Today, of all days, I was not allowed to smile.
I walked away wondering if he knew you, if he now lives in your name, if he knows someone who wrote like me, who wrote words that will fit nowhere but here. Your name could be anybody else’s. You could have lived like everyone else and yet…
Are they finally drowning? The sails, the flags, the songs the party, and the expensive backless silks. The rings and guns and blood shining. Always shining. They are finally coming for us. We will again have someone’s face in front of us at least for a while and we will sing songs that they have no choice but to listen to. The cries and shrieks and the stories that we had saved in us will not go waste.
They have not yet seen us rotting feets and feets below them but somethings take time. The water will fill them but they will never grasp the slow violence and its finality. They will look above at the lost sky, they will not know what they are looking for as the concepts of hope and god and saving becomes grayer in their head. They will keep struggling feeling all promises becoming breathless in them and they will miss the point of saying goodbye. We always do.
Darling, they are coming our children, our neighbors, our dear strangers, our ministers, our wood, our sky, our eyes, our new memories. Now we can die together and actually die and not be haunting blue in this green ocean. I missed living dear but I missed them more – everyone, everything taken away from us. We have waited patiently, wishing them life. We have prayed for them to stay away from wherever we are. But now they are coming and I cannot help but selfishly smile at seeing everything coming back to us.
In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks, in the nest of sleeping explosives, again it is you. Again you are here to prove something by doing something unasked for.
You build a place for warm tea, for all our shivering ghosts to haunt. You place the chairs that are not chairs but buckets that cannot hold anything now. There are chairs that are lying around just fine but you want don’t them. You don’t want the old purposes eating away the beauty of all that is left behind.
You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there but you don’t want the ones who want way back to what it was. You ask us questions with your bleeding lips you want us to answer with something real, not just words. “You are cruel”, you laugh when we say that. You make us leave everything we are just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets thinking about the hands we cannot hold, thinking about hands that are no longer hands.
“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us as you place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now. “Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed, the lost and the dead that still have your heart. Take your time.”
As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief, as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep, you stand beside the fire that keeps us alive. You stand beside the fire that is not actually fire but your heart that burns like sun.
We wanted to tell you, “You are kind. You are too beautiful for this world. Have our heart and burn it instead.” But we couldn’t . We knew these things were easy only in words, that these were things we couldn’t do, yet. That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips, helping while being hated. That we were too selfish to be you.