And across this street is my old home, the one I won’t ever visit. This year they have painted it yellow. How sad is that, isn’t it? My mother hated that color. She said that yellow kills happiness. She said such colors convinced even a happy person, that their smile is not enough. Her smile, as a rule, was mostly not enough for anyone and it made sense to me that she would hate to compete with her wallpapers, her furniture, her mirror, her curtains – for the sake of validating her existence and importance.
The woman who stole our lives years later – I heard her telling my mother that “she was an insecure woman, that she was bound to lose”. As if she, who paints this house now with horrible colors every year, knew what loss is. My mother – she liked browns and greys and greens. She grew life out of her blood. She loved dearly and irrationally- whenever she sat still and saw at us smiling and playing, she would break into tears. We loved her more dearly for that.
She loved that house and the man that owns it. She hated herself a bit too much. She tried not to but saving her was a work she had to do by herself -a tiring chore, no one wanted to be part of. She brought us the most beautiful yellow frocks one day and looked at us, trying to love something impossible through us. She looked at us hoping that her love for one thing could make her bear her hate for another. Like a fool, she believed that her trying would mean something to this world.
She sings. An echo, a heartbreak maybe, something piercing, something invisible, something not ours- this is all that we are allowed feel (as long as we want to feel).
She is everywhere. She sleeps, buried under the heavy weight of water and floating globes of life and drowning boats and oil. She is everywhere.
Yet her voice outlines every step we take. Every dying step is a step lost to her name. Running away is beautiful in this city. The traces of our writhing, crawling, changing bodies, painted on every stone, every wall, doesn’t let us forget the dust of the world we crushed by our hands, doesn’t let us forget the word “home”.
All our journeys branch from her heart. We sit huddled with out feet in water, with our hands over fires dying out and talk of her. Always her.
I have to sing and keep singing, have to keep begging people to dance within my heart, within the confines of these bricks, with the parts of me that can’t die and parts of me that I wish I still was. I have to keep inventing reasons and occasions I have to paint every meaning within me in the boldest loudest colors.
Because the moment it all stops I will hear the shouts again. There is no silence in this world. Outside, everyday the fearful children of a fearless god shout his name again and again. Asking for reason, for rain, for roses carrying their name.
I also once stood there, in the dark corridors, on burning roads asking god to love only me, to hold my hand, to save me alone. It is a very dark road, the one we take to find the light that will only belong to us.
And there is only this home of blindness far away from all the crying and ceaseless hoping where I can use these eyes of mine for something more than holding and spilling tears, where I get to sing for the god within the song. I worship these walls that hold me in my place. I worship all of your laughs, all the steps the never stop.
But I am still afraid because tears still come easy to me, because even this borrowed light whispers the name of one who I still hope to reach. The one who should exist somewhere outside these walls. But I can only be here in this world of his if I don’t run to him all the time. I can be his, without falling short or falling apart, only if I substitute what he has made for what he is.
As my teacher with broken voice dictated another question on radius and heights and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks; I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor who died even though he believed he won’t. I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said, when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it. At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window, the one with fresh coat of blue paint, and told me a joke which she memorized only to remember it wrong. I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular. But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this- as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent sombre heart, as if she is wining over me all my resistance. But I was nothing like that. I was nothing like she thought me to be. My heart was already open. She was already inside me- writing melodies with her soft steps beside me, painting summer sun over every window I looked out of. But these are things that need no telling, there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back, these are the answer she will never realize. I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right. I walk back to my seat wondering if my shirt is tainted red with my love like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.
The answer to your question- the truth you always ask and wonder about is there somewhere inside me. But inside me are many other things that I have not been able to find till now. And I would have probably invited you in and asked you to help me a bit if you were not better than me in every sense. Just saying this makes me feel so cheap. It makes me the person I am always trying to hide and inside me things are a bigger mess. There is a river of hatred and an ocean of guilt, the walls of past that I paint over and over but things just keep looking worse. And though you hope to find a sky of love there, though you hope to find a true love or a true end, I would rather not be loved for the possibility of who I can be, I would rather not be looked at closely, or loved a bit more than I deserve. And what I deserve is a piece of cake that keeps getting smaller and smaller every day; a cake I dare not eat, or even want . I am afraid in my shrinking world, there is no place for you or anything called truth.
I come in the dark hours of my mood and switch on the lights of empty cubicles. 49 switches and yet nothing works on me.
I walk past the empty seats seats that belong to people I see everyday, I smile to everyday, who have never seen my smile in reality.
For few hours I can be happy again. I am free to be alone, to be miserable, to be able to curse myself but not being confused by the presence of these people, who are there for me but not only for me, but for everyone. And not always, but only when it suits them.
It is better that I am alone because I don’t know how to be thankful to them without being bitter, how to voice out the emptiness that flows into me every moment I spend with them and not feel hatred for the kind of person my words paint me to be, how to wait for them with eager heart when their kind words only remind me of monsters that force their way into my life.
It is better that I am alone It would have been better if I could wear these feelings with ease, without waiting for something to change.
I find myself trapped between forgiveness and frustration.
How often have I said that I want to be your strength. How easy it was to say it when I didn’t really know you or me.
But now when your breaking and my sadness is of your making I am fumbling for better words-
words that can show my heart that aches for you and because of you,
words that don’t forget or diminish your own hurt while talking about the parts of me that are finally dying after loving you for so long,
words that show my hatred for my brittle self, for my heart that is not big enough for real pain or real forgiveness.
Now I don’t know to talk about saving you, about loving you in spite of the demon you warned me about, the part of you that is stronger than me and you, together or apart.
As I kiss you I hear the other part of you digging playgrounds in rain, erasing you furiously from your skin, coloring each bruise with paint of happiness, clawing me, scaring me, making me scared for you.
As I kiss you I want to stand with you in your nightmare I want you to have someone beside you for once. As I kiss you I want to run far away from your world and forget this love.
There are no dances waiting for us, no innocent moments of sunlight, no darkness or headlights striking our windows, nothing worth the wait. We are stranded here in this life. We are stranded on a planet far away from our home- a home that becomes more and more beautiful, the more we are convinced there is no way back.
Here the days are longer than our lifespan combined. Here we record 50 goodbyes to ourselves a day. The air, the hurricanes, the rain, the smile, this peace of mind are all just luminescent chemicals that delivers more than its promise of a near death exhilaration.
The rainbow of lies is our constant sky the friend we cannot live without. It is the only thing that helps us live with the dust of betrayal that settles on the clothes left out to dry- another thing we much dust away and forget, another thing we must do to be called a “good sport”.
I sit here knitting another version of my beautiful glorious past, another tribute to the world filled with rare ordinary and you sit across me complaining about what the world has come to as you paint my brain to match the new you- one less insecurity in this perfect world.
his name doesn’t feel like a dying world now. once, maybe once blue was his favorite word, i was his favorite personthingmedicinegame hope but now that he is burning all his notebooks i believe life is getting better for him. he paints skies for me, paints me flowers that have never known cold. once, maybe once i could let myself rest in him but now that he has found himself i can’t bear to be lost in front of him.
a blue cloudy sky over a banana plantation. the only word to be heard – rebellion. someone is crying far away. another round of bullets leave the shaking hands of the one who can’t seem to stop crying. now he must die just like me. he rests his bloody head and its murky thoughts on me. in this last afternoon of my life i drift into bouts of darkness, without fear for first time, with the company of only his confused memories. will this be my last dream – his life? even in his head my homeland and its afternoons are beautiful. he has a face that he doesn’t want to forget, he has childhood home he can always return to but he didn’t, he regrets it now. he remembers the red color that his sister stopped wearing on her lips once her heart was broken badly. how he kept it with himself, as a symbol of happiness that he can’t have only for himself. there are ports on rainy days and buildings that became sadder at night. he once painted the window that would never open to him or anyone else for that matter. he cried when another nameless woman was found lifeless on the last page corner of newspaper and the window never lighted anymore. there is a cafe filled with few bombs that didn’t go off where the only one spared was him. he doesn’t want to be spared anymore. i wonder if he thinks that he can have happiness when he ends. i wonder if i will be able to smile on a rainy day, even if i am born again.