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"I let him drive" – Nayana Nair

I roll down my window
hoping for the first time
that I knew how to drive
so that I wouldn’t have a confused witness
to my impulse of moving forward by a mile
and falling down by a heartbeat.

“Is everything alright?”,
he asks me too often.
I don’t bother to calm him down by saying ‘yes’
as I was doing an hour ago.
Nothing I say can now convince him of my normality.
So I let him drive and let myself collapse.
I bury my face in my lap
and breathe better by suffocating myself a little bit more.

He hums a song that reminds me of the love
that now lives in a country I have not seen
in a life that I will always guess inaccurately
with a girl who has a serious case of klemptomania.
Last time I called the stolen one,
I was given a sorry and an address of a better therapist.

I let my ring burn my heart.
I ask the driver to leave me somewhere no one can find me
knowing he will not, he will take me home
just like he doesn’t everyday,
and he will make sure to greet me
with a kind forgetfulness the next morning.

I wish I had kept more strangers like him in my life,
someone who would worry about me.

"hope is a bird with nine lives and slow deaths" – Nayana Nair

Now that we are an year apart.
Now that everyone has been talking about
new beginnings and second chances,
I let myself be myself,
let myself be swayed
at the hope, at the thought of the ONE.

But being myself
also means to be keep my heart broken.
It means to leave every crowded room
to find the corridors where I can be finally alone
with the mistakes I am about to make.

I hold someone who could have been you but is not.
I cry the same tears that once made you pity me.
I jot down a name and a number
and a weakness, a need
where I could fit myself into.

And as I lay in bed
I feel something sad and beautiful in my heart-
an end that I am creating for myself.
This is how love has always been for me,
so I let it be and smile
as I kiss another stranger
who won’t be able to save me from anything.

"What I Remember (22)" – Nayana Nair

Was it 5 years ago, or 6
that we all sat together
looking at the bright beginning
of another series of setbacks
that we were becoming.
The coldness of the wood,
the ruffle of papers, the moment before
we learned to truly hate ourselves.

I miss that.

As we stood waiting in line
for something to take away
everything we were just beginning to see,
I remember thinking,
“I wish I could spend my youth here.
In this moment, with these people.
I am nothing to them, they are nothing to me.
But we are good for each other.
This can never be made again.”
At that moment I knew
they will make my heart ache
for a long time.

In the years that followed
I saw them,
the people who carried the faces
of the ones
I liked enough not to love.
“What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask them
but all I could do was smile
and let my smile tell them
“I will see you for what you were.
At least that I can do for you.
The beauty of your innocence and hope
I will remember it forever.”

"Now playing: the ominous names you are yet to know, yet to resent" – Nayana Nair

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 last brick is in my heart” – Nayana Nair

In every country, in every city,
on every street
stands a home that could have been ours.
I am a daydreamer like that
As I passed the house with an always crying child,
as I passed the house with the overwhelming smell of incense,
as I passed the house with singing reality shows played on repeat
I only thought of the life we could have there.
In my mind, we fit every house, we fit every role.
Even if our body was stripped of every muscles and every bone
even if we put back together the wrong way,
even if we our heart were to be rearranged,
in my mind we would still fall in love.
That is how we had molded the spirit of our love-
to be stubborn (if not right or just).
But now there are years when I don’t remember you,
and yet there is no sadness in me that is capable of ruining me.
You are gone
and I am trying to grieve for something I don’t particularly miss.
As I pass the houses where our stories used to be staged
I realize they are again the buildings of strangers
that I am supposed to keep my mind away from.
My sadness selfishly keeps uttering,
“I need to love someone, someone who won’t do this to me.
I need to love someone, to believe in love again.”
I reach home with bloody nails and bruised fingers
leaving behind bricks with our names scratched out.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 3)” – Nayana Nair

#the right time to answer the door

The doorbell has been ringing for hours.
I wish I could say it was annoying. But it is not.
A part of me is happy to know that you are out there. That you know that sooner or later I would answer this door.
It has been long since anyone has deemed me good enough to take trouble for, to wait for.
Is that good enough reason to say yes. Does that mean that I love you back?

    "Each and every one of your actions
     Puts me up and down
     I’m not someone who smiles this much
     Looking back
     I suffered a lot because of you too
     But each and every one of those things
     I don’t hate it"
     - "I love You", Akdong Musician

On days like these, I put on the music at the highest volume. To get rid of this awareness of another heart counting on mine.
But today I am afraid to do something like that. I am afraid to disappoint you. I don’t want you to think I am avoiding you. Even though I probably am.
I want to hear your every knock, I want to see how my heart beats as I sit here afraid of the moment you give up and stop.
I feel guilty of what they call “playing games”? But you know that is not who I am.

    "I hate to make it obvious to you
     I am more accustomed to endure this alone
     please understand me"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Oh they say love is for the loving
     Without love maybe nothing is real
     So am I loveless or do I just love less"
     -"Home", Passenger
    "Even when I stare at something
     Even as I blink like the windscreen wipers
     I wanted to continue holding on"
     -"Rain Bird", Code Kunst

You want answers that I do not have.
And I have never let you leave empty-handed. Even when you came to me on rainy days with only sorrow, I have held onto you, I have tried my best to keep you together.
But this, this love, this is something too difficult for me.
It is a question that I cannot answer honestly. No matter how hard I try.

    "Stories of ours of our closeness,
     aren't any less.
     So many times I have turned
     my mornings into evenings sitting in your presence."
     -"Channa Mereya", Arjit Singh
    "If I told you with a crying face that I am having a difficult time
     would it be better?
     So who's going to have a harder time? If I whine about being in pain
     will everything be okay?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Right now the time is wrong
     I've been writing these songs 'bout how I can't be with you"
     -"Monster", Henry

I want to hang on to a future, any future with you. But should I say things I do not mean to keep you here with me.
Should I keep bringing you flowers that I cannot keep alive?
I may have helped you live for a while.
But I am not the one who heals. I am not the one who understands. I am the one who eventually fails at being the person I am loved for.

    "I don't believe in shootin' stars
     But made a wish and here we are
     But what if we're not meant to be?
     What if dreams aren't meant for dreams?"
     -"be", Gnash
    "You’ll hate me, you’ll go crazy
     You’ll regret, saying you shouldn’t have met me"
     -"Be Well", Sechskies
    "At times I'm disappointed with myself
     Honestly, I trample myself (trample myself)
     "Do you only amount to this?""
     -"uhgood", RM

I am at loss for words, not because I don’t need your love. But because I never expected it.
I am hiding not because I am afraid of opening my heart. I am hiding, because my love is and has always been about thinking for you. To think what is best for you.
Love sometimes becomes a synonym for giving up. I am not stupid enough to think that we are a better than that fate.
I am afraid as I am not sure what you’d have to give up for choosing me.

    "Yesterday, I was awkward
     Today, I’m lost
     It wasn’t an easy day
     The world I used to live in
     And the temperature of today are so different"
     -"I Pray", Motte
    "There’s no such thing as beautiful goodbyes"
     -"Outro:Tear", BTS

My past has become my brokenness. Your past lives on as your vulnerability. I want an answer that doesn’t break us anymore.
But I am reluctant to ask around for the answers I don’t know.
I am reluctant to learn the causes of the ship that sank down in the best promising weather. I do not want to find your reasons or my answers in the words of friends or strangers who only talk of giving up or settle down.
I do want the answer that our fear of loneliness dictates.

    "In this love abandoned Autumn
     We'll go raking up the leaves, yeah
     The leaves that leaves that have fallen
     From these cold and dying trees
     In our hearts"
     -"Bloodstains", Passenger
    "You’re like a flower petal, waiting to fall
     You’re like a numb person
     Walking towards the edge of a cliff
     The longing image of you
     Smears over me"
     -"Almost there", VIXX
    "I don't know what I should do.
     My heart is crashing down."
     -"Wa-r-r", Colde

I am waiting for the right time and right heart to answer your feelings with the sincerity it deserves.
I am sorry that my sincerity comes with wait, hurt, and misunderstandings.

    "When I see you so tired, 
     to you
     am I a burden perhaps? Am I too much for you?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "My eyes were shimmering with tears, 
     however, in my heart, I remained warm
     Firmly you told me, again and again you told me,
     how much you loved me."
     -"The moment", Aaron Yan

“Digestible” – Nayana Nair

to be human is to float like a single cell life
devouring pieces of digestible meaning,
splitting and cutting oneself without blood loss
into something more manageable.
to be human is to lose your legs
to the ideas of nation, families, and lovers.
to be a human like me is to look at
herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers…
and wonder what hunger feels like.
it is to order love at every other restaurant
waiting for the taste of pain to grow on me,
while i mimic strangers stranded on far away tables
and hope what i am learning is not another dead language.

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