Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The luxury of having you by my side.

This moment felt like it was never coming, even though we both knew it was. It was just a faraway dream once upon a time, when I asked you why a nomadic soul like you was so cruel to make me fall in love, knowing that one day you’d just end up leaving.

But here we are, and it’s realer than ever. What do we have? A month? Two? Three, tops? You don’t even really know yet. All we know is that soon you’ll be gone.
You always said you wanted me with you, no matter where you went. You’d play it as cool as possible, throw in some “maybes” and some “if you wants” but we both know that your smile after I played along with your fantasies was often bigger than usual.

Life without you is hard to imagine, and we both know I don’t want things that way. But who am I to stand in the way of your dreams, to say "please, don't leave me"? I’d be blocking the road I helped pave. If there’s anyone who deserves his dreams to come true, it’s you. But life without you? I couldn’t even paint life without you. I’d stand before the canvas for hours, wondering where to begin. I don’t want you thousands of miles away, twelve hours in the past, feeling like an entire lifetime ago. I don’t want to lose you to music, to New York, or to distance.

I imagine life will be like a TV screen split down the middle- me on one end, curled up and lonely in bed, and you on the other, walking through city streets, euphoric. Every joy, every disappointment, every moment of pride will be looking for you. But you won’t be there to find in the crowd, or to hug at the end of the day. You’ll be a person I once knew on the other side of the screen. You’ll be a message that shows up a few times a day. You’ll be an occasional photo that fills me with ache.

And though I know you want me to follow you when I’m ready, the fear cripples me. It tells me that it wont work, that I’ll lose, that nothing good can come from choosing love over my own ambition. And it calls any flicker of hope foolish. I’m paralyzed, lost, trapped in a dark box at the back of a closet, suffocating beneath “what ifs” and “who knows”- the cotton filling up my mouth, impossible to scream.

But what if following your dreams means choosing to be with the one you love? Being lost and confused in New York can’t be worse than being lost and confused right here. I’m twenty-one, with a foggy future, and I know that’s OK. Your presence is the only certainty I want for my future. But I know even that, I can’t have. I want to share every joy, every disappointment, every moment of pride. I want you to be in every crowd, and at the end of every day, but I won’t know until the last sun has set and you’re standing there beside me.

I love you here, I will love you in New York, and I will love you across time and distance and space.

And I will still love you when you are an entire lifetime away.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Maybe I’ve been watching too much Breaking Bad but all I can think of is that our relationship is like terminal cancer. We can try to buy as much time as we can, do what it takes to make it worthwhile in the meantime, but inevitably, it’s going to end. You’re going to go do your thing, and I’m going to do mine.

You can tell me as much as you’d like that I’m a factor in your decision. But it gets clearer each day that the more you learn about your opportunities elsewhere, the less of a factor I become. It hurts me terribly to think of the more realistic outcome should you be faced with a real opportunity that could launch your music career. The time, money, and passion you invested in music, the fact that it’s your biggest dream, and the pressure you feel to get the ball rolling … it makes no sense to lose that to a girl you’ve dated for a year or two. And I know that the only way I’d stay in the picture is if you could have both. But if you had to choose one, I know it wouldn’t be me. And I guess I make it easier by telling you that I wouldn’t want it to be me. Because I couldn’t be the thing standing in between you and your dream. And who knows, maybe we’ll break up before you even reach that crossroad. Maybe you wont have to choose at all. 
(Thoughts at 2AM)

Friday, 11 April 2014


If someone had told me that by the age of 21, I'd be in an apartment in Vienna, drinking and talking until sunrise with people I had just met the day before, I would never have believed them. I would've said, "I can only dream of such a thing" and dream, I would.

But there I was, 21 years old, buried in a jacket and thick leggings and socks, crouched by an open window and moving onto my 7th beer, laughing at the crazy life stories being shared in my new little circle of friends. We were drinking every last drop of alcohol we could find in the house, chain-smoking cigarettes as if they didn't cost a fortune, and raiding the refrigerator for midnight snacks. The apartment was a den for us hedonistic lions.

We had only known each other for 24 hours, but we talked without inhibition. We poured out stories of love, mistakes, dreams, and fears, holding nothing against one another and raising our beers to the sky every 15 minutes, praising how lucky we were to be young and alive; drunk on life and love and the thrill of meeting people we never would have expected to encounter. 

The clock moved from 12 to 2 to 4 to 6, and slowly, the sun was rising. I shivered on the windowsill and watched the town wake up and thought of how it was one of the best nights of my life. It almost didn't feel real, but a lucid dream that I didn't want to leave. It was extraordinary, but so bittersweet not only because I knew that would I never get it back, but also that I would probably never see those people again. I would never meet them for coffee and laugh over the fading memory of a perfect night, or walk by as strangers and smile politely; I would never even be given the chance to be reminded. 
Inevitably, I would forget. 

Forget how it felt to share painful details of my life because my company didn't know anything about me. Forget how it felt to answer a million questions about my country, feeling my heart soar with pride. Forget how it felt to shiver by the windowsill as the sun rose over baroque architecture. Forget how it felt to wake up in Vienna, to an apartment littered with evidence of well-spent youth. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Tu me manques

I walked the streets at twilight, a small map in my hands, glancing at the signs but so sure I was lost. I was convinced that the city was most beautiful at this time- a soft blue glow that melted into purple washed the walls and people with a fairtytale romance. Couples were kissing on the park benches, birds were flocking to the fountains, women were walking their playful dogs. Everyone had somewhere to be but me. I walked onwards, hands in my pocket, wondering why I was alone in such a beautiful city.

This was the time I thought most of Zach- What he was doing, what he was thinking of. My being was physically aching to have him with me. I missed him terribly. I dreamt of the day we'd reunite, with the world in black and white, the romantic stone streets skinny and empty, I'd be choking back tears, inhaling every scent and sight of him to fill the spaces behind my eyes. I counted down the days until we could hold hands and stare at each other and do anything that annoying lovesick couples do. I wanted the slap of his feet against the stone to echo mine, and his laugh to be the only language I could understand among the buzz of strangers. I thought it was beautiful that the city reminded me of the person I love, that I could feel my longing strongest when I admired its architecture, street musicians, and bright red strawberries being sold on the sidewalks. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Look Both Ways

Everything I've ever written about longing to escape and explore has come crashing down on me in the form of an airplane ticket three months apart from its return. In a different bed, in a different city, in a different country, in a different part of the world. The voices speaking different tongues, and me understanding nothing. Finally away from everything I've ever known, but instead of feeling found, I felt more alone than ever.

Homesickness came in waves in the morning, when I awoke to the sound of a bell tower reminding me that I was not home. Homesickness came in waves in the day, when I looked around and had no idea where to go. Homesickness came in waves at night, as I clung to the blanket wishing for someone who felt like a shelter in the abyss of unfamiliarity.

I would cry my eyes out, questioning if I had made the right choice. Why was I so desperate to get away? And what was it I was running from? I seeked support from friends from around the world who were as scattered and alone as I was, and they held my hand through words and told me that the four walls were my enemy. The secret to enjoying the drastic change is to go out and embrace it. Explore the city, taste the food, meet the people, and find that although they are different, they are just as amazed by you as you are by them.

Like a newborn baby, I collapsed into a fourteen-hour sleep and decided that the next day I would wake up different. No more crying, no more fear of this strange land of cobblestone streets, bell towers, and beer. This will be home for the next thirty days, and I will speak their tongue and love their people, and by the end of it, I will be found.