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.
It is not that I love the cold doors of strangers nor do I want answers to the obvious, uncomfortable questions. I am restless because everyone else is calm. If only they would fret a bit, look puzzled, cry for unknown reasons once in a while, if only they also had the same questions that I do or at least admitted feeling the same way just to keep my heart, then probably I wouldn’t feel so shabby and so incompetent when I stood cluelessly in my life, trying to act as if I know what I am doing. When all I am doing is watching things crumble and break. When all I am doing is holding in my tears waiting for someone to cry first.
She climbed the stairs never pausing for a second. I knew what a second of thought could do. How it could pull back her steps and let out her screams. I knew this is something she didn’t need.
She climbed the stairs and walked towards me. Beside me, not exactly near, steps away perhaps she stood. And that was enough for me.
Enough for me to not know of loneliness. Enough for me to not feel fear what all I could never be. She stood where I could grow if I chose to, where I could happily fall apart and she would never leave.
But I also knew that meaning of this distance which she hoped I didn’t see. Being her mirror, as I looked at her from this distance, I realized this carefully measured out space- how beautiful and perfect and safe it was. She always stood far enough so her heart wouldn’t rely on me to beat.
I board the train that I could thinking, only thinking about the one I couldn’t. There are only tunnels, only darkness, no network, only cold metal that I rest my head hoping for my fever to come down, only windows that turn into mirror.
In those momentary mirrors I always look like someone on life support. In the crowd that no longer suffocates me I cling to the wires that fill my ears with the sound of past, with love that will never come back, with the love that I will never be, with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.
Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds, I force myself to withstand my stare. For if I take my eyes away from me I end up looking into eyes of strangers who twist and distort their faces asking for a reason they can understand or they end up looking away, their heart as fragile as mine.
We all act as if we can know each other by a glance, as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper than to find eyes that can actually see us, than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving the brittleness of our species. I understand their heart, their fear all too well. My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten. Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.
The sandstorm is just another setting for this story to continue. There are no trees in our desert that could be broken. There are only lights that learn to flicker, there is only skin that knows what this wind carries, there are only roads that will drown.
With half closed eyes you walk out to search for what you have left behind. With half closed door I wait for you to return. I find another quote in another book foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth. Another book, another friend I must burn for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.
I am destined to die on the night of a full moon without a reason, without a witness, with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body- another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.
Three fairies sleep in our bed, who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart. I hope you get what you cry for, I hope you forget our names, I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky. I hope this storm saves us from you.
When I stand near you, I want to believe that we are standing together. That our hearts being mirror images means something more. Mirror images… ‘Lateral inversion’ they called it, I recall. We feel similar only when facing each other. But when we talk of this world, when we eat from our own broken plates, when we tell each others directions, when we see each other from afar we are nothing but strangers. We are nothing but proofs against each other’s belief. But still I want to believe that there is something I cannot see, some argument in favor of “us”. I want to believe you are my medicine even as my skin cuts and bleeds in your embrace.
My guarantees and my assurances do not come from my own voice, do not reflect even a iota of my feelings. They are not my words and won’t ever be mine even if voice them a million times. But you have to make do with these promises, the same way I am settling for yours. I cannot say “love me, i’ll make you happy“. I am the wrong answer, I have to lie, I have to cheat to be chosen.
If I was honest, if I loved you for real, I would have told you this:
“my words, these empty castle hallways, the mountains that never answer back, a mirror lost and flooded with darkness, the habit of taking up, stealing beautiful names the thrill of forgetting, every kind of messed up love, a sweeter hate to forget reasons they are all yours, but you are better without them”
I must hate you a lot, to hold your hand like this.
I think of the clothes that are too tight or too loose for me, of my skin that doesn’t like me the way it used to. How the mirrors in my home are hidden by the growing towers of books. I wonder what this says about me? I think of the fear that I feel when I am alone, the fear that I feel when I walk into happiness. I think of the kinds of fear that fill my heart. I count them for a long time but nothing happens when I finish counting. I wonder if knowing myself is really the first step to solving my life. Do I want anything to be solved? I count the people that who no longer speak to me and half way through I remember that it was me who had thrown them away first. Silence is my weapon, not theirs. I realize I need to always hold a grudge against someone to live with strength. I wonder when this strength became so important to me. I wonder when this love that felt like a lemonade in summer actually became a commercialized product with an expiry date stamped on it before it even reaches our hands. I think of my skin by which I am stuck to a world like this. I wonder why I pretend to be better than this world by saying such stuff? Why am I so into acting all deep and philosophical? I wonder why I love to call myself broken even though I hate to be seen so? Don’t misunderstand me. I do not want answers. Answers are painful and pointless, answers are a tasteless end to the struggle that otherwise makes my heart bleed colors.
In a dull handheld mirror that had yet to be broken, I looked at myself and realized that someone is dying inside me.
I didn’t know how to accept this, so I solved every question in my math textbook. I learned to eat more and sleep late. Stared at my wrist for hours. Pretended to sleep fearing questions. Tried a bit of every sin and waited around to be damned.
I felt a constant urge to break someone so this world could be little less happier. But death claimed my heart before I could do that. So now I write “love” on your tongue without knowing what it means.
The lines that you drew to my heart all of them are dissolving, so easily. Is forgetting, is leaving that easy? I look at you and try to find somewhere in you some feelings for me, an attachment that could mirror the state of my heart.
I am sorry that I am disappointed when I told you I won’t be. I am sorry that I cannot rise above this weakness that love brings back in me. But what is the alternative? -the lonely days -the days spent hating the world -days spent hating the one I love -days spent in regret -days spent breaking those whom I can touch but never love -days spent waiting for you to come back and meanwhile converting every hour of my suffering into an life of anger that you must bear even if you return I hate them. I hate all these alternative.
I have no option but to hold you
and hope that after all this time
maybe a little part of you would stay,
if only for the sake of stopping my tears.