Today I am a bit out of luck. Today the sun shines bright on the stairs to your home. Today I am forced to see. But it’s only for today though. On days ruled by fog, I will again get to hope that you might be sitting there, till I reach the first cold step.
I can smile for the few minutes – the time it takes before I realize everything else in this world, that is not you, can make more beautiful shadows of you. Just like how, sometimes, even i don’t need you. I don’t need you to cling to you, to beg you, to feel your love, to be in love, to waste away like this.
Even when I wait though, I hope to quit on you soon. Even in waiting I actually do not need you. I imagine the days when I will not need this routine. As people change and leave, I start hoping that maybe I will also change and maybe I will also leave, maybe one day I will forget the way to this place, and these stairs will be just stairs and not a place you couldn’t be, and maybe life could be just life not a story you are missing from.
And maybe when I also leave there would be two shadows, not one on these stairs. Everything that makes me ache now will be just what they should be- things that will never give anyone any grief.
When I have gathered enough courage the only piece of metal in me that can still cause harm are only the frustrations I have at my own cowardice. What do I have to lose today, that I couldn’t lose yesterday when I was busy resenting you. After seeing and accepting the wrong that you are, after uncovering every wound, every decaying part of me that I didn’t want to face, after deciding on an end that would still be fair and gentle to your heart, why do I only hold you tighter? Why do I make up lies that only make it easier to make up more lies, make up a world where my hate is just a delusion, where you are the only one worth saving, worth love, worth my misery. And even in that world, why does our love won’t feel like love? Why don’t you feel like mine? Why does my heart feel abandoned when I have chosen to walk into your hands even after knowing my fate.
In the pool of lights, the green and yellow glitter swam in the air and you said – “This is what our life would be like. This is what our happiness would look like. This is the forever, this is the everyday love that I can offer you my love, in return for your heart. This grace is ours to keep, if you choose to revolve around me, just as I have chosen to see only you.”
As you held my hand and waited I realized all I needed was a word of affection, a promise of love, of any love I was capable of. That was all I needed to make you mine. But the easy lies, the half-meant overused words were nowhere to be found in me. I wanted only you and yet I couldn’t utter a ‘yes’. Of all the things I could do, I stupidly chose to cry. I knew my place in this world too well to admit wanting anything as lovely as you.
As you smiled and wiped my tears and picked the another happy song, I wished you would have said “If you cannot love me, better get ready for a lifetime of hating yourself” instead of saying “It is fine.”
For sunsets you missed are not even there in the hearts of those who saw it everyday.
They walked past it, shut their windows tight, and sat in their darkest caves trying to run away from what you want so deeply.”
I almost said to him that even though it hurts, it is a hurt I would like to have- to yearn for the things that never happened.
That unlike him I yearned for things that I walked over and killed. Things that I can still see and hear in my dreams, telling me, showing me all the marks of my hatred on their skin, on their hearts. I cry for them, look for them, seek forgiveness from them when I am awake. I dread them when they find me in sleep.
I almost confessed to him that being the maker of caves, a lover of sunsets, being the one who filled half the world and half the hearts with a blindness even I can’t cure, maybe I shouldn’t be his savior, maybe I shouldn’t be relied upon for answers.
Some deaths are not only slow but also beautiful. And the eyes that are once covered with this lie of beauty never want to see the the pain beneath. We can accept the pain as fact, or even as a myth, as long as it is beautiful, as long as the center of ruin is not our lives.
I have spent 10 years of my life decorating my wooden coffin, giving food, giving faces, and adding height to my imaginary friends and painting forgiving smiles on my imaginary gods.
I won’t mind if someone out there decides to call me “coward” or “delusional” or “hopeless” or “sorta weird” I won’t mind if this qualifies to be called “running away from reality and life”.
Even if I ignore the words like these, even when I have found a way to survive alone I am still left with these corrosive, acidic feelings. Feelings don’t help – when all they do is speak, wail louder each day.
They remind me again and again that even a beautiful death is a death, that loneliness is still loneliness, that in spite of the ribbons and flowers and posters the smile on my face is still not as bright as the one love used to give me, even if I have now less reasons to cry.
It is not easy – this peace, this staying away from the want to be seen, to be loved, this wanting to cry over something again. It is not easy – to keep myself awake and alive when feeding myself, seeing the light only makes my fears stronger.
“Long time ago” is a dangerous neighborhood. All its season are holograms of perfect world, the illusions of rain and snow and sun, the illusion of hearts still beating under the non-existent skin. The technician of this a weary magic lives beside the empty park in the middle of my heart. He knows the perfect days to make me cry, to make me see. He invents new people, new details. Sometime these are fake stand-ins for the what he has lost in his war against me, all that I intend to forget. Sometime they are what I failed to realize, people I didn’t get to love. Most days I can’t tell the difference between the words I have forgotten and the ones I will never hear again. This town has post offices with stamps of words I no longer mean stuck on its wall. There cars and houses and roads and rivers owned by people who will never die. They all gather on my birthday in the cemetery of one grave. They sit on the endless green grass with their picnic baskets, with the kids I will never have, with the pets I will never keep and look into the eyes that will never look at me. They smile knowing something I will never know.
On my closed hopeless eyes you placed your lips and something in me broke open. And I burst from within, from all my prisons. From all my pseudo homes I heard myself crying.
I heard the the noises of television in the heavy air of my living room die out, I heard myself breathe. I heard the knocks on my door and found all my lost selves staring at me one second, embracing me the next.
They told me it could be the blue moon, it could be the cyclone that is running wild, it could be the end of earth predicted too many times, it could be flowers-that-no-one-loves blooming in our land, it could my restlessness and fear of being left behind, it could be you.
As you sink into the couch, forgetting the nail you painted seconds before, as you look around frantically for remote, as you leave the evidence of beautiful color on my skin, I realized, that I found in myself the honesty to say out aloud, to tell you, to accept that it is probably you.
i will read you another story so that you may know that faults and lacks of humans are common and in abundance, how ordinary are expectations-not-met. i will read till my eyes close till you can see all there is to see, till you see everyone around you who are disappearing into silence, till you see all the kind words you could have said to them, till you see that these words, that make you cringe, how important they are how easy they are to say, how difficult to mean till you learn to mean these words that save lives, till you learn to listen to others, till you grow the eyes that can see the world before it is lost.
though there is another story for another day about how to save yourself from all that you have saved.
She makes circles on the back of my hand. She writes “love” again and again on my skin so that I don’t forget her. She writes “love” again and again with her fingers so that she may not forget I am still not lost to her. That I can be different as long as she sees me for me and she lets me see an unaltered part of her once in a while. Few more alphabets follow of my name and hers and all the names we wish we could forget just the way we are forgetting to love even when that is the only thing we want to remember. I tap my fingers on the steering wheel to a song that plays only in the past, wondering why I learned these words that only give me pain, give her pain, give us only half of each other while we are missing more pieces than we were made of, why my losses are more than my being, why we have to stop here, by this cliff, every evening waiting for our ghosts to take a step back, to look back at us and see the happy ending waiting for them, why we are invisible to our ghosts who only speak of names and futures that we have grown to hate?