In the pool of lights, the green and yellow glitter swam in the air and you said – “This is what our life would be like. This is what our happiness would look like. This is the forever, this is the everyday love that I can offer you my love, in return for your heart. This grace is ours to keep, if you choose to revolve around me, just as I have chosen to see only you.”
As you held my hand and waited I realized all I needed was a word of affection, a promise of love, of any love I was capable of. That was all I needed to make you mine. But the easy lies, the half-meant overused words were nowhere to be found in me. I wanted only you and yet I couldn’t utter a ‘yes’. Of all the things I could do, I stupidly chose to cry. I knew my place in this world too well to admit wanting anything as lovely as you.
As you smiled and wiped my tears and picked the another happy song, I wished you would have said “If you cannot love me, better get ready for a lifetime of hating yourself” instead of saying “It is fine.”
And when we had run out of pleasant things to talk about I asked him things he didn’t ask me, things he didn’t want to be asked. But I was bored of the all this peace, all the ants that crawled into him, into me maintaining separate lines, to reach the places in us we both didn’t want the other to see. I guess I wanted him to be different, I had more than enough people who wanted to love me without knowing me. I guess I wanted to be difficult. For once I didn’t want to be the easy conversation, the easy way out of pain.
I asked him when the waves of life try to reach his foot, what does he do? Who does he think of? Whom does he drown in his mind every time, every moment to avoid knowing what he really feels? Does he almost hold that hand, does he almost save the one who will kill him first, who has always killed him without hesitating?
He seems to be the type who would do stupid tings on repeat at least thirty times before giving up on the one whose love didn’t surface even after the thirty wounds, or bloody hands, or hundred considerations. He looks so breakable and so happy I wonder if in the hollows of his heart where his anger and disappointments hides, are there flower beds of daisies, and a heart that can never be broken?
Is this how I look- like him, plagued and haunted by beautiful dead thing? Is that why he smiles at me without saying a word? Is that why I can’t smile back?
the green pastures the white fences the perfect fake loving gaze the debts of kindness the half that never completes itself for once the ornamental lackings of my being the personal sun, the privilege to look away and never know the heart of one who can’t the greed such that I can’t stop receiving the ideals that I can live without, ideals that are already falling short to accommodate my monstrous growth, my falls from grace,
All these, everything that I say I don’t need is also all that I cannot give back.
It is easier for me to live, to be kind, to understand, to love with a life of hypocrisy, with a guilt weighing down my heart, with the smile that I can get only because the world is unfair.
It is easier for me to smile at the knife stuck in my back. It is easier to forgive when I cannot forget my own blood stained hands, my own reckless selfish heart.
The glass window creaks under the weight of my head. I wonder if I should sleep. Not that it is in my hands. I wish it was . But then I am afraid of wishing for anything that I might not be able to bear-
like her face alive in my dreams,
like seeing myself with a smile that I can never wear again,
like wanting to smile again even when I do not want to want such things.
Even when I stay awake, stay alert to the turning and tossing of my heart even when I stay glued to the place I had in her heart, I feel that time is dragging me away from everything that is painfully comfortable and familiar and lost.
I feel the world trying to rush back into me. I feel I might lose her too soon, too easily. I fear there is only so much that my heart can take. I fear that I will find the peace that I do not want to feel at the other end of this suffering.
Outside my body, outside myself I feel I can be the the girl who walks to a stranger, smiles and asks his name, who keeps her name in her mouth, and doesn’t throw it away along with the chewing gum in the nearest trash can.
Would she hold his hand? I think she would. But even then would she be reminded of the the poem she wrote in seventh grade “the ugliness of people dripping from their hands at nights, holding my breath, crushing my 27 teeth under an unwanted kiss, promising to kill me next time“. Probably not. That poem doesn’t exist in this world, let’s keep reminding ourselves that.
So yes, she holds this stranger a bit more closer than she would have deemed wise if she saw it how I would and she would make promises- the kind lovers makes before they know what love is. He will ask about her life and she will have no sad story to tell. So she would talk about the recent window shopping- the things she can’t have and things she can’t get and she will not be talking in metaphors for once.
For once the one she wants to love wouldn’t be obsessed with the wounds on her skin to love, to treasure, to poke, to mock, to dig down further, to own and to burn. He will probably say something sweet about her smile or maybe something boring about his work and she would smile a bit more in either case. Because she can smile here, in this world, in front of him, without having to think about what his each word might hide, what she is over-looking, what will be the tiny details that will come back to hurt her, what will be the undoing of her heart. She will smile cause she won’t have learned to be hate people beforehand, she wouldn’t have learned to love a bit too late.
She would tell him that he is lovely, and the blush in his cheeks will make her heart skip and she would love him for loving him and not because she is looking for an easy fix to her faltering mind.
After all this, all this that I am supposed to lose again, again with a smile I don’t mean. I am confused what it means to let go. I am confused why only I am not able to do it? Why letting go comes so easy to everyone I love? Why do only I look selfish if i don’t?
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.
i remember your hands and their warmth like i remember the versions of me that were easier to live with (or so i think). the colors, their unnatural brightness, the scent of acetone always lingering on the tips of your fingertips, always hiding a sad rainbow (just my type). always a star that you forgot to rub and break, shined on your skin. under my lips, they shined brighter than my world. i swam to them as they stood in a world of darkness in the shapes of you and me. it is so odd that in my constantly breaking and building and growing brain and its images and meaning- everything about you meant love. i loved your flower hairpins and fake bullets and the magazines of the the people you would rather be and the window you glanced out of when didn’t want to look at me and your back against mine. it is odd that i could love you so even when i didn’t know why?
the one thing i can’t be is honest. though there are many other adjectives that stare at me from their balconies at midnight as i walk and crawl through the dirt road, through the pool of lights, crying and shouting and breaking dreams in every home that i pass by. i hear them shaking their heads with disapproval and hopelessness. i look at their hazy shadows and try to hate them in equal measures but i don’t because they are so easy to forget. but this honesty, this honesty that people expect vexes me. this expectation makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts all because it is so simple. all because the ones who ask me of this through their tears are not mere observers but are the ones struggling to stay close to me fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday. they are the ones who deserve honesty. they are the ones i don’t deserve. but my dishonesty is not only for this world. it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well. so again, i wake up in their arms with another lie ready on my lips. i hug them with with my true love and my false heart. i don’t try to make it right when they are in shambles again because there is no fancy way to put it, there is no beauty in what i do, there is no promise i would keep. there are only people who i leave. even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.
As I grew up, whom I hate changed constantly, it changed more frequently than my dream for future roles.
Maybe that’s why I was so particular about what I hate and I did it with fervor for the first few years.
But as time went on that hatred turned into just another silence – my refusal to speak with anyone who I wanted to hate.
And now it has transformed to hating people while I pretend to get along with them. Curling inside with anger at the same jokes that I feel compelled to laugh on.
It is not an easy thing to do but it is still easier than all the alternatives. (The alternatives are my nightmare.)
Because even though my hatred has grown over time, I also find it in me that space to accept people at their ugliest, not loving them, just accepting that they too can live here, be here and do what I hate, and telling myself that I have to be fine with that.
I have come to hate this side of me the most – this cowardice dressed as generosity and understanding, where I do nothing but smile as my blood, my ideals burn and collapse.
Maybe that’s why I have hated myself most, with constant determination, without doubt. This hatred is my only light – my anger at myself, for not doing enough, for taking up fearing my uncertain volatile feelings and views, my own voice, more than I fear this world.