Monday, August 7, 2017

From the Beaches



There will be many mornings like this.
Him asleep enveloped in the arms of your little angels. 
You, awake, lonely, still able to pack and prep and think.
You'll make a list in your head, allowing him to sleep that much longer.
You'll put in some cash inside your phone cover and grab the keys before pursuing the quiet that you crave, yet fear.

You'll walk out wondering if he noticed, hoping that he would wake up and run after you, while at the same time you feel worried that he'd lose the sleep that he so needs. 
He's been the hero under the sun, while you were too weak to lift your head from the wastebasket. 
He stayed up with the kids while they rambled on and on about their day. 
He laughed with them while you wished you had the energy to be there, to be included.
He kept you company and yet, yet he kept silent. 
Kept to himself.

Is it you? Now, you're staring at the sky. 

The sun rises slowly.
Who would've thought that the sun would rise before your eyes, allowing you to bask in the cliched beauty of sunrise, a beauty that you've overlooked for most of your life.
You have a sudden narcissistic appreciation.
Finally someone is happy to see you.
The silence blankets you. 
Reminding you that it is always there for you. 


Loneliness watches from afar, it's eyes weeping with, well... loneliness. 

You call it over and take it's hand before hugging it tight, much like you wish he would do.
You understand Loneliness and somehow it understands you.
Looking deep into L's eyes, you could see the little girl you used to be, the girl who contently played by herself, oblivious of what loneliness meant. 
Sometimes you wish you could remain in that bubble.

You wish you hadn't known what friendship, companionship and laugher with him meant.

And you come back to the same question: how would his life play out had you not stumbled in? 
Would it be better?
You have a sense that it would be.
Your little angels flash on your phone.
Half the time you wish you hadn't changed your wallpaper, but in moments like this you're glad that you did.
They remind you that at least you've created something good, something that would wake you up on weekend mornings if you allow them to. 
And yet, as you're sitting alone you wonder if you're doing more good than bad. 
If perhaps, they'd be better off without you.
You wish you would not be at this crossroads, faced with the thought of leaving them or staying.

What would make you stay? 
The assurance that they would be better if you're around, that he won't leave and that you'd be allowed to grow old with him, sincerely.
That would make you stay. Would definitely make you stay. Make you stay longer at least. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Honestly



His messages appear on my phone, reminding me that yes, someone out there still cares. 
Yet, I can't bring myself to pick up the phone. 
And when I manage to do it, I ignore the box where his words are kept and instead, focus on other chat rooms. 

I do this despite constantly wanting to reach out. 
I do this despite missing him badly. 
I do this despite wanting to hear how his day went. 

I do this because I can't be honest with him. 
Honesty is the best policy, I know. 
But is it really the best approach if it would lead you to make one-sided decisions? 

Honesty is the best policy if we're both ready to be brutal. 
And I'm not. 
I'm much too comfortable sitting in the dark seeing your message illuminate this existence of mine. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Complicated Critters

It was the first day of college. Lots of new faces passed me by. Out of nowhere, I began introducing myself. Perhaps, I was mimicking those around me. Perhaps, I was suppressing my fear of being stranded in this school. Or perhaps, I was compelled to do so for fear of missing out.



Sure, I felt a jolt of uncertainty, but somehow making the first attempt, which of course proved to be easy, diluted all the fear away. It was the first day of college and I was rather excited to make new friends.

The last time I made friends was in kindergarten. 14 years before the first day of college, I was headed to my first day of kindergarten. I didn't know anyone and if I remember correctly, I had no intention of knowing anyone. As an only child, I did not see the joy of speaking with people my own age, when I could converse about current events with adults.

Friendship, especially making new friends, does not come naturally to me. And without much interest, I never truly learned the necessary social skills to make friends effectively.

But then, suddenly, five years after the first day of college, I found myself making friends quickly and easily. Ironically, when I was most myself (read: weird) I was able to attract new friends. Sure, one of them looks like an adorable critter and the other proves to be as complicated as me, but that only compels me to anticipate hanging out with them even more.

For a very, very long time I found myself looking for these newfound friends. I can't wait to talk to them, make them laugh, and sing-a-long with them in the car. For once, I wanted to see my friends all the time.

In retrospect, most days making friends happens as easily as it did on the first day of college. Oddly enough, much like the first day of college, we are still alone on most days of our lives. All I had to learn was to say "Hi!"

Monday, November 28, 2016

He Gave Me What You Could Never Provide

This is for the person that I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving! 



"Why can't you let yourself be happy?" I met him eight years ago, or was it nine? We were introduced by a boy, who later became a man who could not fill the big shoes of men who preceded him. "Why can't you just allow yourself to be happy despite his behavior and choices?" If only it were that easy.

Well, actually it would be that easy. It only takes one decision to let the past dissolve into nothing but memories. But what if I were to tell you that letting go of him and our story would make me the robot that he had fell in love with years ago? What if it means that I would regress to a twenty year old version of me that could not feel the world. My writing would be bland and my smile would merely be a pre-programmed facial expression. I would not be a human being.

"Would you be alright if my happiness meant that I would not be the person you've known for the past eight years?"

He looked at me. Silent. His eyes widened before narrowing. I try to recount the last time he was silenced. I wonder what took a man who nursed me after I crashed to the ground to be silenced. I study the face who's turned up at every book signing and who's popped up in front of my doorstep with a bag full of booze. He's like the partner I never had, replacing the hole that his friend had left years ago.

"What you're saying is I won't even recognize you if you were happy?" He finally asks.
"Think about it. You've never seen me happy." I pointed out the obvious.
"I've seen you happy." he says after a while, "You were happy when he was here, when you caught him smiling at you."

We stared at each other and smiled, fully aware that this is the last time he'd see me show any glimpse of happiness in this state of mind.

"Just remember that people care, that I care, about you." He says, "And if that's what it takes for you to be happy, if losing you is what it takes then, there's no other choice but to set you free."

With that he let go of the girl who did not have the strength to let go her own demons. And once again, he gave me something that you could never provide.

*The above image was hand drawn by the writer

Friday, September 30, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Till' the Bitter End

From the hills she scans the valley below, peering down on a man with a predetermined fate. He sits unaware, busy, distracted, just as she remembered.

All reliable battle plans must be scrapped. How can she conquer a war that she doesn't want to win? How can she erase the very figure that resurrected her faith in a happy ending? How can she forget all the things that kept her from her demons?

She peers down at her map. Her eyes follow an invisible line that would bring them on a pilgrimage through the past 10 months. Suddenly, her eyes stop.

A map that once illustrated a pilgrimage through their story


Reliable battle plans are altered as she looks on the battle ground.

Midway through the charge, I look down at my sword and wonder why I'm even holding a sword to begin with. A voice flourishes from my chest, traveling up my throat at increased rate, before filling up my head like perfume. The scent reminds me of survival, "It's either me or him".

With no doubts to address I push my horse even harder. It charges towards the battle ground, accelerating with assurance. The wind blows away the memory, burns the images and shatters any hopes that consisted of him.

I am all that is left.


*Picture was taken by the author

Sunday, July 31, 2016

When Can I Scream At You?

When is it alright to scream at your friends?

I mean, when is it alright to scream at all?

As I write this, I am listening to soothing music trying to well, sooth myself. And yet, I still can't brush the question off of my shoulders. I champion communication and yet, I can't even bring myself to tell you what is wrong because I have learned not to scream, not to throw a fit.



I am an adult struggling to articulate, not a child at a toy store. Ugh!

When were we taught not to scream at our friends?
Is it better to not scream at you or not to communicate the issue at all?

Talking about it like adults
One thing that I despise about adulting is the need to always be civilized. Sometimes, sending a message in a civilized manner discounts its contents and its weight, not to mention its urgency. Talking it out may help the receiver receive and digest the content better, hence increasing their understanding. And yet, it may also dilute the emotion that the message carries.

Also, wouldn't it be so boring if all our conversations are nice and polite and civilized?

The right to scream
To answer the first question posed, in some cultures it isn't alright to scream at your friends. Varying degrees of friendship warrants varying degrees of shock. Screaming is reserved to childhood friends or your best friends, people who've seen you through thick and thin. They have seen you done worst things than screaming. And hence, in some ways, it is fine to scream at these people. But the majority of your friends should never, ever see you turn into a primal creature and scream your lungs out. God forbid they leave you or gossip about it to your other non-close friends!

The right to scream is also reserved to your loved ones. Highlight the word love(d) here. Your parents may not be your close friends, but again, they have seen you done worse things than scream and most likely, you have screamed at them before you questioned its appropriateness in the first place.

Another group of unfortunate souls are your significant others. I've seen many of my friends start fighting and screaming at their beloved once the relationship becomes official. Somehow, a status or a label allows people to act uncivilized: to vomit the truth and serve it in the most indelicate of ways. Suddenly, complaining about how dirty their car is or how often they fail to listen is kosher. And based on my observation, this behavior only increases over time and with more milestones.

Now, why do I need scream?
Well, let's just say when you haven't had the chance to communicate for quite some time, words that were properly written with a civilized accent, have now turned into a pot of sounds that can only be delivered in screams.

Even after screaming, I can't see myself articulating any of my feelings or requests so I shall opt for questions instead. Perhaps, questions will help illustrate how you have made me so frustrated with you, us, even myself!


And after all this contemplation, I am no longer concerned about the appropriateness of a scream. Instead, I fear that we can only move on once I've screamed, once you've seen the monster that you have helped create.


*The photo was taken by the author