The answer to your question- the truth you always ask and wonder about is there somewhere inside me. But inside me are many other things that I have not been able to find till now. And I would have probably invited you in and asked you to help me a bit if you were not better than me in every sense. Just saying this makes me feel so cheap. It makes me the person I am always trying to hide and inside me things are a bigger mess. There is a river of hatred and an ocean of guilt, the walls of past that I paint over and over but things just keep looking worse. And though you hope to find a sky of love there, though you hope to find a true love or a true end, I would rather not be loved for the possibility of who I can be, I would rather not be looked at closely, or loved a bit more than I deserve. And what I deserve is a piece of cake that keeps getting smaller and smaller every day; a cake I dare not eat, or even want . I am afraid in my shrinking world, there is no place for you or anything called truth.
From the lowest branch of the falling tree I looked up and heard someone laugh.
I have been reborn thousand times after that but still as I walk on the charcoal roads lined with white tulips that never light up, as my foot slips I hear that laugh again.
I hear it when I cook food and end up staring a bit too long at the flame, when the smoke that kills, coats everything that fills my stomach.
It is stuck in my heart, the violence of the end. The bluest sky, the sweetest wind, the flying songs, and my muffled cries- crystallized as one. One tiny map, that tells no directions, forever stuck in the corner of my eye.
It plays like a record, plays hide and seek. It is a play that ends with the stories breaking into me.
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.
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.
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.
i cried again today – a silent sob hidden behind the highest volume of television. yesterday i found my grief for a second in the fading of another song. it lasted for a second- my glace, my hopeless glance at your retreating figure and my fruitless love left in its wake. a shallow love clenching my heart.