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“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“but the waves run away from me” – Nayana Nair

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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.

“harmless” – Nayana Nair

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i slipped, fell, and cut my skin.
i didn’t want to care, but i did.
i couldn’t help but feel sorry for all the harmless things
that ended up being cursed at, blamed for
only because i ran towards them
with all that i had in me.
i recalled the formula of impact,
that never meant so much to me
till i realized that I also have a body
that follows every law ordained by nature.
that just because i can imagine and dream an eternity,
doesn’t make me or my feelings eternal.
i didn’t want to care about such things, but i did.
i cared so much that it hurt, even when it should’t.

“The city that won’t decompose” – Nayana Nair

Some days I am thankful to the walls
that never broke down when I did,
that looms up to the heights
that seem more beautiful than sad
(on certain days at least).

The tiny tiles,
the cemented words in me-
they were supposed to be who I am,
they were meant to decompose
when I chose to change my ways,
when I chose to change my heart.
But this ‘me that I have made’
is more magnificent,
more important than me now.

My mask is more than a mask.
It is my life, it is my M.O.,
it is the replies and answers
planned out for every worst case.
It is a solution that works somehow.
It is a city where I live helplessly
not because I am helpless.
It is just difficult
to throw away something I thought I was me.
As my nature melts and takes new forms everyday
this artificial me remains as my only point of reference.
My pretense is the best I can ever be.

“The wind is picking up” – Nayana Nair

The wind is picking up.
The white sand unlike water
sinks everything too slowly.
And so the shade less trees of eucalyptus
become shadows that I learn to love.
They become compass that knows no direction,
but just piece this world to hold,
the silent assurance
that I am not yet lost, though my eyes can’t tell.

***

The wind is picking up.
In the middle of this small storm,
my careful hands writing the date on black board
suddenly realize the need to be held.
And so I fold and create a crease
on another part of my face-
the part that shows my heart too easily.
Someone yells out my name
and unknowingly they moor me to another violence,
another need that I don’t want to carry in me.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 1)” – Nayana Nair

#the feelings that I can’t own

The nature of regrets that I have in my heart, the flowers that grow at the end of this knife, the watches that have run out of battery but pretend to have stopped time. I have so much space in me for things like these. I have so many curiosities that I can put up a shop with no intention to sell.

     I don't like my mind right now
     Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
     Wish that I could slow things down
     I wanna let go but there's comfort in the panic
     - "Heavy", Linkin Park
     Distant lies - shallow dreams, confused ideas 
     Once our hopes - now they anchor all our fears 
     -"Lie", Arco
     Just by being next to you
     I was happy
     Don’t take even that truth
     And make it into a bad memory
     -"Last Goodbye", Akdong Musician

I have sketches of you, a face for every day that you have shared with me. I wonder if you would walk into this shop with another beloved of yours. Would she buy them all? Would you let me sell it to her?

     I loved you a lot
     Even if you say otherwise
     I didn’t want things to end this easily
     -"Go Away", Yong Jun Hyung
     But the thing that we all learned at some point was how
     To step on someone, to catch them, to erase them, to hate them
     -"Life", RM

This is not a post-you fear and post-abandonment feelings. I think I have felt that with you all along. Something about us, the way everything about us was a secret of sorts – you only told stories that I could never repeat.

     And I cried for you
     Like a widow cries at her lover’s grave
     You haunted me through my stinging nights
     And aching days
     - "Divers & Submarines", Passenger

I knew this all along.
I knew all your lacks, and I knew how you would give up on me rather than give up on all parts of you that stand between us.
I knew it, but I wanted to be wrong, just this once.

     Well I clung to you
     Like cat hair clings to a woollen shirt
     You needed me, like a wedding dress needs dirt
     -"Divers & Submarines", Passenger
     I bet you know just what you're doing
     You're not the type that's used to losing
     First, you build me up, then with just a touch
     Leave me here in ruins
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel

I hid from you all the parts of me, that could suffocate you – my love, my possessiveness, my confusion, my fear, my irrational suspicions created by most rational observations, my objections, my complaints, my hurt.

     We wanna be right
     But always wrong
     Were we born to be wrong?
     Is life something like that?
     …
     We tryna be bright
     But always dark
     We still don’t know if we’ve lived to the extent that we can
     -"Life", RM

But now, when I no longer have the obligation to hide anymore.
I end up lying, trying to protect you from the harsh words of this world, making everyone believe that you were lovable even when you were not. It would break my remaining heart for you to be hated, even when you deserve to be hated.

     What happens if I open my eyes, my eyes?
     Will I ever get my head right, head right?
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel
     I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
     If I just let go, I'd be set free
     -"Heavy", Linkin Park 
     Until the time that we die perfectly we can’t protect everything
     -"Life", RM
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“the giants continue to live in my dreams” – Nayana Nair

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Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.

Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.

So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept.
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.

I slept
to dream,
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.

“Greater Good” – Nayana Nair

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The trees are alive today.
They ask me to sing them to sleep for the last time.
I sing for hours
but they refuse to close their eyes.

They ask me how I have been,
not waiting for my answer,
in one breath they ask
about the words they don’t understand,
ask me about the days I do not remember anything about
(there are so many days I have no memory of
while I can’t forget the days I really want to forget),
about the rain that has left us long ago.

Their love for this world that they do not understand-
makes me jealous,
makes me wonder,
if I could love also this world as much as I want to
if I knew a little less,
if I gave up this human heart
that knows nothing but to steal and plead,
to take away and bleed.
But if I knew how to give up myself
for my greater good,
I would have done so long ago.

I can only stay selfish,
act better than what I am,
sing songs to the trees
that will soon be killed for my sake.

“What I Remember (10)” – Nayana Nair

I want to write about the boring,
about all that is insignificant,
about the trust that lasts,
about the promises that are kept,
about the things we don’t have to beg from god.

I belive there must be some things in life that goes as we wanted to,
that didn’t take our effort, our prayers to go right,
that fell into place so naturally
that we didn’t even notice the ease they gave us.
The boring that is neglected, that is mocked
must be a dream for a person I don’t know of.
The days of charity and donation,
the realization of the lack that we don’t experience
hits us only briefly,
gives us only short lived sadness or gratitude
and a bit of pride (that has a little longer life)
in ourselves for venturing out of our boredom
to witness the lacking of others,
to distribute a bit of what we have in abundance.

But I am not that changed,
I am not that affected.
Tomorrow when I wake up
I will forget
about the stomachs that are never filled,
about the dry glass and throats,
about the darkness that night brings,
about little curious eyes that will never see a book.
Tomorrow, again I will shamelessly
write about my need for love and acceptance.

But that is how I am
and with time I have learned
not to feel guilty for being like this,
for that is the kind of human I was made to be.
I will only be bothered
by the small bruise on my face,
the small cuts on my hand,
even if I know the existence of greater pain,
for that knowledge is not an anesthetic .
I am a petty creature like that
and I can only really feel my own loss.

“Smile and Call it Love” – Nayana Nair

From the day that I resolved
to create a door in my life
for you to move out me,
to forget you,
to even hate you, if it becomes necessary.
I thought resolve was all I needed
to get rid of the poison that you had become,
to create space for myself to grow into,
if I had to grow without love or understanding anyway.

I sorted myself and my memories
keeping only the ones that would help me
convince myself that you were bad for me,
that your love could blossom only
in the season of your selfishness,
the season where I was expected to wilt for your sake
and smile when you called it love.

I tried to remember
everything that I read in your mannerisms everyday,
everything I had overlooked as visions caused by my paranoia,
everything that came true,
everything that would have been true, only if I had let you.

I know,
I know that you were not evil,
but only human.
I know that I may have made you bleed
more that I can admit.
But I am also only a human.
Maybe I could have accepted your human nature
if my weakness, my complexes, my cruel words
could have been understood by you as well.

At some point
there was nothing you could do for me
than to remind me of my monstrosity everyday,
than to wait for me to breakdown.
At some point
there was nothing that I could do
than to walk away
and try to hate you.

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