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.
The red birds and blue flowers are back in our world, it seems. Again I have become part cloud and part smile and grief. I wonder if you woke up as the light that only knows to cry, as the indifferent sun again. A day like this wasn’t supposed to happen, not now, when we are almost complete by ourselves. A day on which small impossible love like ours sings out from nameless graves buried in meters of snow.
I go back to sleep wanting to forget things that must be done today, dreading to walk into you, hoping to walk into you, knowing that I would love you again, especially on a day like this where I am too broken, when I am too much myself.
Days like this make me belief that I would end up with you no matter what. That even when I run away, even when I cry because of love, even then maybe I want only one thing- to be with you.
The last stranger at the funeral home brought in the worst rain of the season, the coldest wind of the night along with your last letter. He leaned against the window and called up everyone he won’t be able to meet today looking at me all the while. As if he knew every word that I was reading. Probably waiting to see whether I cry at the same lines that he did. His eyes look like the ones who have got used to crying for things that cannot be undone, for a life that cannot be. I wondered if he loved you. Maybe he did. Maybe you knew. I hope you did. He sat beside me trying not to grieve more than a mother, trying not mourn like a lover, making himself invisible with every word i read under my tearful breath
“…even when I sat at the dinner table with my brightest smile and deepest hunger, i couldn’t convince me that i needed to exist here. even the warmest embrace of this world could do nothing but break me. i knew opening my heart could only bring floods and all ends of all kind. i knew all along of this end. forgive me for pretending otherwise….”
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.
My mother used the same knife for over twenty-five years. That’s roughly as old as I am. Through the slicing, chopping, and mincing, the knife grew paper-thin. As I chewed, swallowed, and slurped, my intestines and my liver, heart, and kidneys grew. Along with the food my mother made for me, I swallowed the knife marks that were left on the ingredients. Countless knife marks are engraved in the dark insides of my body. They travel along my veins and play on my nerves. That’s why a mother is a painful thing to me. It’s something the organs all know. I understand the word heartache physically.
In the age of breaking, all my classmates swarmed to the dead pools in summer. They ironed their skin with the heat I couldn’t bear. With a smudged color on their lips, their never resting pupils, the pamphlets of their anxious laughter that they passed to each other, the crumpled remains they walked upon they looked like imitations of greek statues and love stories gone wrong. They looked like people who joke about drowning and dying and the love that killed them in their sleep. “They are too young to know about love and pain” someone said on TV, even as we built an ugliest everlasting fire out of the promises the world couldn’t keep.
He lived in the cracks of the window I could never close. The sun and the wind, the winter on my cheeks were all him. It was a reminder of the mornings when he held the hands of his softer feelings, when he silently took the path to brokenness and named that day after me. It was the reminder of his kiss that would make me look away, make me look awkward, make me do everything almost wrong but with innocence- everything that made him smile. I would step on his shadow and before I apologized, he would step on mine. He would call it dancing cause there was no better word for that. I would smile back forgetting myself
It was a beautiful word. It was a moment that answered the question that I never knew how to ask.
I woke up in tears and I couldn’t go back to sleep.
As I slept I felt things move around me, someone climbing down my window, someone flying out with unfamiliar and awkward wings. In my sleep I heard the unbearable wailing of my words that should have otherwise lying dead on my table.
I couldn’t go back to sleep. Because something was wrong. Someone was again changing me without my knowledge. Someone was again waiting for my gratitude to fill the words of my lifeless words of thanks.
The moon was no longer a moon but an eraser waiting for me to sleep so it can go on and erase everything that was left in this life. In the 3 hours I had slept away I had already lost memories worth 3 years so easily without even putting up a fight. Even if I didn’t know what should be here but no longer is, I somehow I knew that I would always know that something is missing. I knew what that feeling will do to me. I knew how it would make me do everything that I regret having done. I knew all that Because I have found myself so often at this point.
The point of forgeting – the forceful hands of God trying to pry open my hands, the painful flying away of my pain, the painful end of my love, the hideous and disgusting sight of my hands wanting something, anything to hold again at any cost.
I knew not to fall for this scheme again. So I walked upto the window, looked at all the sleeping rooms scattered in front of me, rooms where no one really slept. I looked at the concrete street below, felt its dangerous height in me, felt the distance between me and the true oblivion. I played with the dangerous power of choice before it frightened me with its truth. I heard someone laugh, before I turned back. I heard them back at their work as I found myself sleeping in the familiar bed of choices that never feel right. The only choice I want to believe I have.
I tried many times to write about you, to tell the world why I loved you once even when it makes no sense now.
Now, when the days in the sun seem like a dream, seem like a ruse, seem like a bait to everything that just gets worse. Now, when all that we once were glad to believe in and that we were has caused us to write this end.
This end where I have my own sky but end up looking at the fields below the harvest, the drought, the spring, the festivals that you live. This end, where your day always ends with looking for that bird who foolishly broke her wings for you, among the birds who only dream of flying.
Amidst the clutter of her living room, I sat down with the last drink in her refrigerator- an extremely sour and almost suspicious orange juice.
I could look up the expiry date but it was already too late. I was almost down to my third sip. A thought that arrives a bit too late is probably a thought best forgotten. If I end up in ER for this, this might be my last orange drink. Sort of sad that the last orange drink in my life tasted like calculated foolishness rather than a bright sun and its shameless almost applaudable want of attention.
I walk around her apartment, looking at all the stuff she has accumulated over the years, things that I am rather too conscious to look at when she is awake. I do not know the face that I should make at the face of all that she can’t get rid of – the things she wants to throw away, the things that make her believe that she is an actual person with a life that was actually lived.
When I see her bleeding fingers, her grip, her intent to never fall from this precipice, her intent not to ever pull her self out of it; I end up finding all thing that I could have done, all that I could have been. I end up finding ways to have broken beautifully, to break in a way that wouldn’t endanger my will to live so much.
Which is weird because she is sadder than me. Which is weird cause I do not think the type of breaking matters that much.
They are just thoughts that have arrived a bit too late because now I have time to think, because now I have the heart to forgive, because I am that ideal age where I might opt to forget for the sake of my own heart.
If I end up in another heartache because of the things we can’t change anyway, if this turns out to by last love, then it is sort of sad that I can do only so little, that I can love this much.