Things I now remember are mostly absurdly simple and painful. Like the last time we met like this, you had a white suitcase that seemed like your new pet. It looked at peace with the snow that was getting on your nerves. When you smiled all I could think was now you cannot bear the weight of your old green bag pack, now you cannot bear the winters I am part of. All I could think was that you are growing old somewhere far without me. I didn’t know that the next thing I would have to do, after facing such sad realization, would be to smile for my sake more than your.
Things I now recognize are are only those that I don’t know how to fix anymore. Like today as I helped you out of your heavy white coat, as I made the coffee of your liking I kept staring at your small form and your frightening transparency. I looked at the scribbles of black marker at the corner of suitcase. I wondered where were you when you drew that. At what point of your journey you could no longer pretend this was a life of your choosing? Is your loneliness so overwhelming that you are not afraid of buying and ruining whites? Is your loneliness of my making? Is that why you wear it so dearly?
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.
Another chance to get our high from the powdered dust of dreams, from digging desperately, getting closer to the voice of the demons we buried just yesterday, breaking nails and curfews to save the skins we can’t live without.
Another chance at making a home, choosing colors for our ceilings, choosing the sides we will sleep on, choosing not to be the ones we have always been. Another chance, another precious child to be broken, another angel dress to be painted red waiting for our hands, for our tasteless kiss. Choosing everything that leads us to lives that couldn’t possibly have been ours, couldn’t have been so wrong.
I know we are the only ones who can give each other chances. Chances – that we are so fond of. But do we need to call it love?
Though we have tried and tried and have run out of things that can be fixed. Do we have to call this happiness just because we have been told we must?
Do we have to ruin every word, every feeling that we have not felt yet, just because we fear we may never feel them otherwise.
I sit on the cold boulder and film everything, just like I am told. I am told, only for today, I should stop sewing myself up haphazardly, messing up the live-stream, and talking about things that will never happen. I have been told to put a hold on the wonderful manipulation that does no good to any effort my mind puts in fixing things back.
My mind doesn’t like me much, understandably. And I don’t like the idea of fixing anything- a harder concept. Maybe that’s why I burn as my mind looks around me. Maybe I should actually stop, when I am told to but I don’t want a way out, I don’t want to look.
“i promise not to hurt anyone but me” “i am fine like this. don’t take my tears seriously.” “please don’t mind the doctor’s note.” “please don’t mind the smoke in this room, it is a temporary solution to my emptiness, till something worse comes along.”
There is an exit sign that flies far away from me. There appears a road that it eats itself up . There are bridges that I have cried over and the fires that no longer burn. Everything of beauty that I had in me I have lost it here. I have burnt my body, nerve by nerve, for the sake of peace and love. Let me live here near the ashes of my past selves near the life that cannot be, around things that can’t be helped.
a broken end with a light (a lighter duller than me) touches me. someone says the magic words, the loathsome words that make me the old alice. i am made to leave the seat, the home, the dream, the rights that are too big for me. they leave me a tiny suitcases filled with fancy dresses made of used socks and handkerchiefs. they are cute, they are kind, they have read their fairy tales right. i have never read the right books, so i find myself unable to thank them or kiss their hands. thumblina says my new belongings in glitter i do not know what this name means or the fate that the owner of this name is meant to find but i have heard it is better than being an alice. (i liked being alice more i liked a story written for my sake.) as i walk into the new forest, towards hopefully my last story or at least a story i can make my own for once, i can’t help but think of all the laughing men, now laughing giants fixing my home to their liking. i can’t help but be a bit bitter looking at my hands that can only build for people like them.
Every time I held your hand, I felt it. Your blood, your voice, your mind taking a step back, a silent declaration, “I can only love you this much”.
I stood on the lines I am not meant to cross. I shifted uncomfortably from one leg to another, afraid what my next step could do to your heart. Wondering how much of this distance is due to my insignificance? How much of its reason roots in your fears?
I hope I knew how to fix things that are not broken. I wish I knew how to erase and redraw our painfully distant orbits.
*i do not like saying last night because once i only used to speak of it as ‘yesterday night’ until someone told me that it’s wrong, even if it means the same
so last night i thought how it is something you’d say “it means the same, but you are wrong”
sample conversation (based on reality, read too much into lines, sounds more neutral that it was, maybe not much of reality then)
my heart feels so empty can’t you love me bit more while i try to fix myself i promise you one day you won’t have to try but i need you today i need you to try a bit for me can you wait a bit for me
you will remain empty till you hold onto yourself only contrary to your belief you cannot fill yourself with you you can only be full of yourself which might be the case that you fall under thought i am not professionally trained to point out the wrong in people’s heart but there is so much wrong with you that i can’t swallow the judgement i have passed on you i cannot help you grow up i have a life, i have a dream i have a need for someone who can be there for me without asking such things from me…
and so went our conversation and obviously you were right you were right to such an extent that i would be just making a fool of myself if i tried to negate the facts
so being the emotional being that i am i hated you for being correct, for being so cruel, for speaking coldly about me, for letting me know more about- self-indulgence, self-pity, victim mentality, and emotional manipulation. and if i cried now, you’d be proving your point. if i complained, you’d be writing it down as a case study to support your claims.
and because of my stupid unrealistic love and my distorted sense of reality i sat there in front of you saying “i am sorry”.
you are right i need to get rid of what i am to get anywhere in life, to get over you.
Even a harmless silence on your part brings me down to tears. I act in pathetic way trying to get you back, trying to buy your love sometime using sympathy, sometimes throwing tantrums, sometimes by changing myself, by changing you, at times pretending that I am done with you hoping that you try to stop me, and in my weakness even thinking of hurting myself if that is what it takes to keep you with me. But won’t there be a limit to the trials and errors that a heart can withstand. What after that? How shall I hold you here when that happens?
I tell myself everyday I must work hard to keep you in love with me till you can see in my tiring eyes how much you mean to me. But often you look at me as if you can see what I know I have become- a human who grows new appendages of greed everyday becoming a monster knowingly calling it love. I play this game by myself wondering meantime, why my love has turned out like this. Why can’t we be simply in love forever like were were made to believe that we could be? Tell me how to end this, this end that I want more that anything (even you) that end is the only thing that is not in my hands. I don’t know how to stop all that we have started, how to fix all that I have disfigured with my desperation.
I am stacked with all that belongs to you
and nothing that you have feels yours.
It is as if you were busy finding things
that didn’t look like you
and hoped that if you surrounded yourself
with all kinds of right
then your fault that people talk about
could find a mirror to fix its face.
you just wanted to welcome everyone in this mess,
like you welcomed me,
and leave us in this ocean of objects and words
of overwhelming meaning and beauty.
So that after an absence of million years
that ticking clock forgot to register,
when you come back to find us
and ask us how we take our tea,
we could see your meaningless broken smile
as the only hand that can save us from
losing our sense of self,
losing the idea of what we are
that we had barely put together a downfall ago.
They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.
How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.
I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.