“Things I probably shouldn’t say” – Nayana Nair

I realized that I was too young to fall in love. That my heart was too broken to know how to run away from an embrace. And your embrace was hurtful and genuine – almost beautiful. I didn’t know then that one could be gentle and genuine. Or that there were words other than authenticity and truth and love that are worth living for.

I attributed my doubts, my sad feelings, my loneliness to my paranoia, to my wounds hidden under my beautiful lakes, to all the dark days before you. Even when I saw your lips suffocating mine, I could breathe in just fine if I kissed you back.

If I took your hands and kissed them, it would all be my choice, it would all be a sacrifice for my dearest love. Rather than humiliation, rather than helplessness, rather than the feelings of being locked in with you in this life.

Even as I write, I feel the sting of these words, I feel my fakeness, I feel how it must have wronged you – my gentle, my virtuous, my forgiving image. All the things I wanted to be for you and for me. All the things I never really was.

I foolishly believed that for being worthy of love I would have to first give up myself. I never wondered how you could love the me that left my body when I came to you. I never wondered who you were actually seeing in me, who you held in your arms. I wonder if you had seen my real feelings, my fear of you, the efforts I put to like you – the ugly feelings that I can only see now.

I dreamt of you few days back. I saw you casually slipping back into my life by giving me a paper mache keychain and me being happy, me holding your hand in the glitter of unknown lights. The lights were yellow, you were a bit taller than I last saw you, I was a bit more happier than I last knew myself to be. I woke up hating myself a bit more.

And after my words of confusion, blame, and hurt, here are my kind words. They are few, they are frail, they are nothing in comparison to the wrong that we are but they are there in me just like the occasional dream I hate to be in:

You were sometimes beautiful. You were sometimes kind. On some days you almost meant your love. On those days you meant the most to me in this world. On those days I felt I was good enough to be loved. On those days I told myself that sometimes love is more than comfort, warmth, and understanding. On those days I found it worth it to swim to you through anything. On those days I planned and prepared myself for all the things I should leave for a life with you. I thought I could do it. I knew I could do it for you. There are days I don’t want to separate myself from. Even if I separate from you.

Also, leaving me was the most selfish and loveliest thing you have ever done.

And I hate you even when I say that. Even when I say that, I know that what you did is something people in love never do. Something you can never be forgiven for.

Now, I can only give your words of gratitude or blame. It won’t be words of love ever again.

“See Things” – Nayana Nair

If I could see farther
than my will, my half-blindness allows,
would I have wanted to see things for what they are?
Probably not.

Or maybe just wondering rather than wanting
is a truer start.

“creation” – Nayana Nair

strangely
even there,
even on the canvas of my imagination
where I get to act the god,
even in that world
where you are nothing but my creation,
even there I can’t imagine
a happier end for us.

-o-

because i can edit our photos
on the cities we never got to visit
and i can write you some words, give you some hints
on how to make me want you want you back.
but even when your puppet hugs mine back
i know it’s only me, my hands,
my heart, my body, my hopes hanging onto something
that would never be you.

-o-

so let it go“, i tell myself.
let’s stop calling every ache by the name of love.
let’s put our ego to rest.

“For Now” – Nayana Nair

There is no “my type of person”,
“my one and only friend”, or “my only hope”.
There is too much of you
that is not for me,
that I won’t take
even if you gave it away for free.
Because for every word of yours
that I find beautiful,
there are thousand other words
that I have not heard yet
that would hurt my ears,
hurt my notion of what you are
if I knew the complete truth.

-x-

That’s why I hate complete truth.
I detest it, in fact.
I do not want any part of it.
The lies – they hurt ultimately, I know.
But till that suffering arrives
at least there is a brief moment where
we are no longer preoccupied
with this hopeless business of finding a place to belong.
Sometimes a brief moment is all we need
to make sense of this life.

-x-

This life where
there is no complete understanding,
there is no complete love,
only this nameless feeling
that this is all we have got
and nothing will get much better.
That it will be easier,
maybe painful down the road,
but surely easier for now
to find our happiness
in everything that we don’t want.
To pretend that we are not lost
and pretend the best we can.

“One Despair” – Nayana Nair

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Even though I fed myself so many lies and called them dreams,
but I guess I still cannot call them lies.
Because though stupid,
the innocence that once made me believe
in all kinds of kind future
and made me think that I won’t have to choose just one
or get the one I choose-
that innocence will always remain the most beautiful thing I had.
But I also cannot hold me blameless
since all the space that my imagined future had taken,
the void I created by my own hands
by feeding myself hope made of smoke,
soon became another me, always asking me questions,
questions I am too scared and ashamed to answer.
I betray myself one second
and next second I am my own savior.
I get fooled and disenchanted too easily.
If it was only one despair that ate me from within
it would still have been more tolerable.
I would still have been able to fool myself
for a bit more longer,
and feel this pain a little less.

“Resemblance” – Nayana Nair

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Have you heard about the lady that sits two seats away.
They have an awful lot to say about her.
I have never heard her speak,
but what I hear about her
is so much more interesting
than what she could possibly tell me.
No, I do not participate is spreading lies
or statements that that are as likely to be true
as they can be false.

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Some days I end up feeling more than I should.
I think of all the days I was her.
Now I am not, nor will I ever be again.
But once I was
and that makes me feel sad and then angry at her
for showing me something that I do not want to see.
If her story and her life
could have existed somewhere out of my sight,
I could have afforded some sympathy.
If I didn’t expect her to do all that I should have
and all that I couldn’t,
maybe I could have taken into consideration
that weakness that all of want get rid of.

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Rest of the days
I keep my eyes open and try to see her
apart from what I know of her,
apart from what I see of me in her.
And what little resemblance to my sorrow she had
vanishes as quickly as it appeared,
telling me to look for another mirror,
preferably not a person,
to see and regret all that I can’t blame myself for.

“Distort You” – Nayana Nair

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This one.
This is the photograph I was telling you about the other day.
You see those kids around me,
having broader smile than me
those are the friends I never had.
They will tell you otherwise.
What they tell maybe more hopeful than my lies
or maybe more sadder than my truth.
But I tried my best to magnify my everyday happiness
make fun of how I reacted to all that once hurt,
and leave my sentences hanging
when I couldn’t decide
how to distort another unwanted memory.
I tried my best neutralize my story
so that I won’t look like a lost cause,
like a cause that needs your attention,
that demands your love in the name of humanity.
I never tried to soften your heart
by selling my story
But looking at you,
I think I have ended up doing all the things
I didn’t mean to.

Tailoring Myself

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I was running from myself, trying to be someone different for each person of importance in my life, tailoring myself to their needs, choosing personas to inhabit and abandon, wearing masks that only obscured my own desires and the gravity of my choices. I was code-switching for the hell of it, without much purpose but with plenty of precision.

-Brandon Harris, “The lies we tell ourselves about gentrification