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.
In the shade of a fruitless spring-less tree as I tried to recall and write down all the phone numbers I once knew by heart, I looked at the sky and laughed for thinking too highly of myself and thinking too little about my heart. That is the last thing I remember before I was possessed.
Oddly I always remember this point of contrast marked by the last tear I actually cried. Whatever now had made home in me convinced me that I could be complete even if I stay as who I am, that I could stand in this world witnessing beauty, love, companionship, faith, life and be happy even if it could do nothing for me, even if they were not mine.
Someone, who couldn’t possibly have been me, lived my life in my place from that moment, and I never had to wonder again if I am allowed to live like this. I never picked up another paper I threw in the trash. I now never tried to play the role of the one with bigger heart. I was finally free of hope, of love, of being myself. Now it was the work of whoever wanted this body, whoever wanted my life.
I sat among friends and smiled when they took your name and placed it carefully beside mine.
I laughed, had another drink, looked away, hiding in myself holding dearly the part of you beating in me.
As I negated every joke made at our expense, knowing how silly it all was. I realized, this – our ridiculously sweet love, our hearts filling and overflowing with a happiness so unreal, how I feared losing it all.
the trees sway behind me they tower and droop and die above the cold parked cars. i hear the sounds that i couldn’t till last night it is music to my ears and “warnings of ruin” to my mind. the green monster, the metal carriage, and their lonely helpless master face the direction of ocean. if we were bigger, if everything before us could melt, if i could understand distances, if i could drive we could have met a love by that ocean, we could have called ourselves friends in that molten world, i could have told them about the human dread of dying, we could have laughed over it, and the tree would have held me and my broken and beaten car in its motherly gaze and we wouldn’t worry whether this happiness could heal us or not.
She just laughed and said “you are not really intelligent, you know that right?” as she packed her bag, making space for her only notebook, with difficulty. I wonder if she really needs all those the things. She is not a careful person, I know that because her list of priorities is horizontal- everything is important, everything is equally dispensable. I hear a song breaking at the bottom of her lungs, when she talks of the new thing that she will love forever when I know she won’t.
She lets me know for my own good “geniuses are not made by effort, love doesn’t happen by hard work, quit swimming and struggling when you are on land.” She takes me by hand, teaching me how to walk, teaching me her pace. Her pace unsettles me. She gives cruel names to my innocent actions as she smiles. She smiles at me while I wait for my forever to end. And only because I hate myself for not wanting to love her sometimes I smile back.
I wonder how far my determination can take us. As she finally boards the train home, after missing out on a few, she says “stop struggling, when i am with you, i know your heart, even when you don’t. it hurts to see you like this, things will eventually fall in their place.” I wonder if she is pushing herself, within the limits of who she is, to save something of us, to save something of me. I wonder how she can love me, if she knows how petty my heart is. And because I do not know the answers to her, I wait for us to fall into the places. I think of her and find it easier, this wait.
I covered up myself up- hiding the pieces, hiding the glue, hiding the knife close to my heart. There is too little time and so much to be disposed, so much has to be kept at the bottom of the stairs, under the sheets, under the hand that cupped my face so that no one could say with certainty whether I am laughing or crying or thinking about the hands that will never touch my face again or wondering why I can’t move away or keep away from mines and alligators and magma and my fearful heart and dark wells and palaces that never sink or get ruined completely and green roads of past and red destinations in my hands and love for colors that will not love me back and following the one with tearful eyes and the thoughts of some end, any end. All this extravagance, so that no one could see my see through my real feelings being eaten up by imaginary words and scenarios.
“warm” this word has become cold sitting at the base of my throat my throat burns and my everything else? my everything else -my pretty flesh and my ugly insides- who want me to be there and at the same want me gone. i guess they want me to change. this is my new low where my organs are my imaginary friends the only ones Ican talk to, the only ones who need me, the only ones I can disappoint, my new friends who are learning the weariness of living for me. I ask around for a lover who has a love for knives and tolerance for madness of all kinds. I hear a hundred thousand sighs in me when the new replacement of romance appears, asks me my name and digs his sharp canine teeth on the last bits of my happiness as a hello. The hundred folded cranes look more like ravens and the one who promises me an end is now my only hope. Now things are easy now that I can’t hear myself breaking now that I have this strange loud laugh to hide behind, this person stranger than me, taking up the blame of everything I have done, helping me hide from everything that I have killed in my life.
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.
I close your heart. I stitch you back in a same haphazard way I do almost everything in life. The same way I knocked down every clumsy fragile landmark that could have actually helped me at the end.
From your mouth I have come to know that my hopes are tied to the throats of my saviors. That you are disgusted as you see me sitting on top of sleepless nights as I help myself with another serving of self-pity that I won’t be able to digest. That I laugh a little too long at the every joke that the world plays on repeat, all the while the cruel thread that I am I cut the skin, I cut the voice, I cut the air.
“this what i am, change me in an easy way, see this is how i am hurting, why won’t you look at me when you said you wanted was the real me”
I say as I try to crawl back into the hide of your love.
“i will stitch you back, if i have hurt you. if you want to hear goodbye, i will say it a thousand times. please, please stop crying. please for once hesitate before you ask for the door out. ask for once if it was easy to take in your sorrows, your demons, your cold shoulder. ask for once how i have fared, how i have come this far, how am i letting you go, letting you be, after loving you so badly. “