He stepped down from his ‘cloud nine of the day’ as I stepped out from my house made of last drops of rain and at the intersection of fleeting memories we fell in love. That is what I tell my friends when they ask me about the moment I was tempted to end the sadness of my life.
I tell them about the words I borrowed from his lips, his borrowed tongue that helped me eat a bit more. How I taped his adjectives on my mirror so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself.
They sit with me on the table I can’t bear to share with my love. They stare at me, as I ask them what to wear, how to hide my poison, how to hide the crack at the elbow, the bruised collarbone, the split lip, the ache in my heels, my frayed wings, my broken voice and all other reminders of what love has done to me, and what more love can do, if i just let it in again.
They tell me it is all healed. They tell me it is all past. They hold their skin against mine to make me see that the cracks are all in my mind, how everyone looks just like me, how everything wrong with me is now the norm. And they laughed when I looked at them with concern.
They dropped me at the restaurant and vanished at the farthest bend of the road. As I dragged my feet towards another story that I will never get to complete, another tragedy that suited only me, I looked back and tried to think of all the things that these kind friends of mine suffered as they hoped and wished and lied to themselves. The exceptions they now considered normal, the wounds they cannot even see, the pain they cannot call pain, the love they cannot bear to leave- I tasted these facts in every spoon of artificial sweetness I fed to my mouth that evening.
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.
I find myself amidst the flowers that continue to bloom even without her. I find myself smiling, blooming, even dreaming, . trying to hold a bit more life in my hands in spite of the holes that are now three-fourth of my identity, that won’t let me keep anything. As I continue to pass through everything everything I run towards I think maybe this is the only correct for me to live, this is probably the only fate I could accept anyway.
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.
It snowed all night. All night I created stars for your eyes. I bore the weight of the roof as you slept, cried, ate, smiled, memorized dial tones, stared at me like you stare at screens with static, paused expectantly as you told me the story about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar and seems bit odd when he tries to smile a little bit more always, filled me with a momentary fear of whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.
I felt again the illusion of love breaking, its crack trying to find my spine. Again you ran to me, trying to hold me, trying to look over all the parts of me that you don’t understand.
I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me. I felt your wings fluttering around in my head. I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile, “make me a flower, if you can” “make me something that is beautiful in her eyes” “give me another sorrow, something simple, something that can be understood and loved by her” “let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.
There are no dances waiting for us, no innocent moments of sunlight, no darkness or headlights striking our windows, nothing worth the wait. We are stranded here in this life. We are stranded on a planet far away from our home- a home that becomes more and more beautiful, the more we are convinced there is no way back.
Here the days are longer than our lifespan combined. Here we record 50 goodbyes to ourselves a day. The air, the hurricanes, the rain, the smile, this peace of mind are all just luminescent chemicals that delivers more than its promise of a near death exhilaration.
The rainbow of lies is our constant sky the friend we cannot live without. It is the only thing that helps us live with the dust of betrayal that settles on the clothes left out to dry- another thing we much dust away and forget, another thing we must do to be called a “good sport”.
I sit here knitting another version of my beautiful glorious past, another tribute to the world filled with rare ordinary and you sit across me complaining about what the world has come to as you paint my brain to match the new you- one less insecurity in this perfect world.
I drowned the flowers one by one. The poison of beauty now runs through the rivers on this land, they fill his backyard in every season of rain. A child with his smile drowns another boat of dreams, the flood is a field of paper, the flood is all that is left of me. She stares into me, waiting for a reflection to surface. She walks into me to see where I end.
She tells me about the boy she can’t love and the boy she can’t blame as I dissolve and submerge the red gates of her house, the garden of forgiveness, her school shoes, all roads to her friend who doesn’t smile back anymore, the spoons that remind her of hunger for farthest worlds and people.
She asks me how deep will be this pain of losing herself, how long she would have to smile through this hate. I flow into her heart, wondering, if there I could turn back to the flower I was, if the end of my hate could be the end of her pain. If I could be her answer of hope.
a blue cloudy sky over a banana plantation. the only word to be heard – rebellion. someone is crying far away. another round of bullets leave the shaking hands of the one who can’t seem to stop crying. now he must die just like me. he rests his bloody head and its murky thoughts on me. in this last afternoon of my life i drift into bouts of darkness, without fear for first time, with the company of only his confused memories. will this be my last dream – his life? even in his head my homeland and its afternoons are beautiful. he has a face that he doesn’t want to forget, he has childhood home he can always return to but he didn’t, he regrets it now. he remembers the red color that his sister stopped wearing on her lips once her heart was broken badly. how he kept it with himself, as a symbol of happiness that he can’t have only for himself. there are ports on rainy days and buildings that became sadder at night. he once painted the window that would never open to him or anyone else for that matter. he cried when another nameless woman was found lifeless on the last page corner of newspaper and the window never lighted anymore. there is a cafe filled with few bombs that didn’t go off where the only one spared was him. he doesn’t want to be spared anymore. i wonder if he thinks that he can have happiness when he ends. i wonder if i will be able to smile on a rainy day, even if i am born again.
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart. they see through you. even when they say hello they almost get your name wrong, you can tell it from the look in their eyes. they drink and fill every room with songs that were not so hard to bear when they were just noises that radio made. they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.
they say no one cares even when you call the cab, drag them home, hurt your hand in the struggle, scrape more than skin, lose more than patience, leave them on a bed not made for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know. so you close the door, climb down the stairs shut down the part of mind reserved for them, but remember how they have been liking and sharing too many dark poems, how those poems speak in their voice in your mind. so you climb back, remove every blade and knife and realize it is just the beginning. you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things that can help end a life, that can serve as a full stop.
so you sleep on the couch or pretend to, till your head hurts from pretending. now that you want something true you call your love and tell him that you don’t know how to handle this, how to sleep and yet keep an eye on the one whom you suspect is waiting, waiting for you to close your eyes for a second to make an exit that doesn’t exist. he tells you that they are beyond hope at the same time he forwards articles that could give you hope. he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.
when you wake up at the sound of tears being microwaved for breakfast, you see another day that won’t be right. you see them trying not to break yet breaking and abandoning everything around them so that their hurt can be felt by the world. they look at you and smile while they pour another glass toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care, another drink for the loveless me.”
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart.