Monday, 13 December 2010

I hate relying on my heart.

And not knowing whether or not what you're feeling is right. I hate overestimating emotions. I hate believing that everything is okay, just to fall flat on your face and realize it isn't. I will never know how real things are from your perspective, I only know my side of the glass, and I hate it. I wish I was all knowing, I hate the risk that comes with trusting. I hate the crack that never goes away when someone loses your trust.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

In the safety of her light, I am set free;

He drove carefully down the twisting lanes, and his excitement was growing rapidly as the distance between them shrunk. He had plans on catching the sunset for her; throwing a lasso around it and locking it in a bottle, but he forgot that November time ticks to a different beat, that days were shorter and ultimately, that meant less time with her. The sunset would've been beautiful, but he had forgotten to plan, as men often do.

She trotted out of her house playfully kidding around with her mom, bidding her goodbye, and assuring her she would be home early, that no alcohol was involved in the evening plans, and yes, he would drive safely. After her routine of sliding onto the passenger seat, a quick kiss, and a deep sigh of comfort, she felt at home once again. Here, beside him, in the car that held all those long conversations they shared on the way home, all the secrets and life memories that slipped off their tongues, all the goodbyes that reminded them the night was over, and they had separate homes to retire to.

He soaked up her efflorescence, it had been a while since they were both so happy in each others company, and she felt like she had fallen in love all over again, that the difficult times were over, and this was where she was supposed to be.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

An excerpt from a title-less story I wrote just now

In their tribe, it was customary for every boy to venture off into the wild with his father as soon as he was of the right age, and Konu and Kele's mother, Natasha, had decided that it was time. Nobody ever spoke of what to expect during the journey, Kele only knew that all the boys that left always came back looking different: rough around the edges, and all traces of childlike-innocence and dreaming had vanished from their eyes. They would leave as boys, and come back as men.

"We're here," Konu announced
Kele looked up and saw the same tapestry of stars he saw every night; a mess of undecipherable constellations overhead.
"Which constellation is it?"
"Look with your mind, Kele."
Kele looked up, and saw nothing different from the first night, and every night he looked at the stars. There were too many to spot any constellations at all.
"Father, I really can't see it."
His father smiled, as if he was expecting this, and nodded his head. He fumbled with his bag and the few pieces of wood he brought along, striking them together until a small fire lit up on the end of one. He handed it to Kele, "Help me look for wood, we need to build a fire if we wish to stay alive."
"How will I come back to find you? It's pitch black out here, father,"
"The stars will guide you,"
Kele bit his lip, he didn't trust himself to be out in the wild, let alone in the middle of the night, but he didn't want to disappoint his father. He took the burning tree branch and started walking into the darkness, he knew the fire would only last around an hour. He turned around to look back at his father, but he couldn't see past the almost-solid black of the night.
"Keep going, Kele! Standing there won't get you anything," Konu called.

It was a while until Kele finally walked into what must have been an oasis once upon a time, there was a dry cracked indent in the earth where a lake would've fit perfectly, and dead trees were scattered around. He made it a point that he walked in a straight line, so he could just turn around go back the way he came without the hassle of getting lost. He wondered if he looked mature yet, like the rest of the boys that had already gone through this custom, but his inner voice told him the journey was nowhere near over. He broke branches off the trees, piled them under his arm and lit a new torch with the dying flame of his old one.
"Time to go back," he muttered to himself. He looked up at the splatter of stars again, wondering which constellation his father was talking about, it was a mystery to him.

Kele walked for eternity in the darkness of the desert, with only his small ring of light surrounding him. He knew there was no way he'd find his father, and he was starting to wonder if that was the plan. He recalled the words of his friend Hat'o,

"It was both terrible and magnificent, that is all I can say. You will learn soon, Kele, your time will come. All I can tell you is, trust your instincts and listen to the voice inside you, it is almost always right."

Kele tried to listen to his instinct, but it was doubtful, what if his father had left him and gone back to the camp himself? No, not in this darkness. What if he sent Kele away to fend for himself in the wild?
The wind was getting stronger; Kele assumed he had entered the bracket of time that was most dangerous, the dark hours where everything seemed more sinister. His father's words crept into his mind, "Look with your mind, the stars will guide you," 

He looked up at the stars again, and hope fell short. It still looked like a messy universe to him. He fell back into the cold sand and lay there, watching the stars torment him.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Youre the only light I ever saw.

They sat on her bed, albums spread around them, technicolour photos scattered across the cloth continents of blue. He was there often, the only company she had to keep, and she was thankful for it for his presence saved her from creating personalities in her head. She knew she would be okay as long as she had him. She always showed him something she kept close to her heart whenever he visited her: sometimes a playlist of her favourite songs, or a box of old letters, recently she had been showing him photographs: still images of ghosts from her past captured onto glossy paper. 

She had spent weeks contemplating when she should show him her most personal item, a box that was entirely hers and nobody else’s; a box containing her very own memories. She decided tonight would be the night.

She watched him under the glow of the orange table lamp, intently looking through the photographs, running his fingers over the people’s faces, as if asking them to tell him their stories. He looked up, and met her eyes.

She looked at the box on the uppermost shelf, and jerked her head toward it, then looked back at him.
“Are you sure?” he asked, a slight sense of surprise on his face
She nodded, a second too late; he could sense the hesitancy,
“No, you don’t have to”
“I want to,”
“Are you sure?”
“I think so,”
“I don’t want to see into your past unless you want me to. I don’t have to.”
“I want you to, I’m just scared.”
“Of what?”
“Of what you might find,”
“I don’t want to look unless you want to show me,”
“I want to show you; as long as you promise things won’t change afterwards,”
“Of course they won’t”
“Promise. But I don’t want you to show me if you’re going to regret it after. It should be something that’ll make you happy. I don’t want you to feel like you shouldn’t have taken the risk with me,”
“I won’t regret it; I want you to know this part of me.”
“What part is that?”
“The part that no one else knows”

He pulled the box over onto his lap and she smiled a wide grin as he opened the lid, and out pour every wonder. Memories, fluid as a midnight vapour in the icy months of the arctic, wispily slipped through his fingers and coiled up his arms, they climbed up his neck and sleeves and down his socks and ran through his hair, they latched onto her clothes and spiraled around her torso, like gazelles in the African bush. Every birthday, every heart break, every second of pride and accomplishment, every mundane weekday that had long forgotten poured out of the capsule and burst through the room, and her entire past was played before them.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

All at once, the world can overwhelm me.

It's been more than two weeks since I saw you last. You said you'd come back, but its been so long that I'm starting to question your honesty, I wouldn't be surprised if you decided to stay where you are now, away from the mundane life here.

Well, whatever you're doing, I hope it makes you happy. I hope it keeps you busy. I hope it gives you a sense of accomplishment, because that's exactly what you deserve. That's what I've been searching for, for the longest time. And it comes, but it goes just as fast. I guess that's how I learned that everything is temporary; materials, feelings, even people.

The only thing making my heart tinge just a little bit is my own curiosity. Are you running away from me? That question haunts my conscience, and I guess there's no point in minding it, because the only person I am asking is myself, and as much as I wish I did, I surely don't have any answers.

I lie alone in bed all day, listening to the same song and wasting the fading daylight, but you know what? It's okay. I'm not sad, I don't feel lonely. I know you're doing what you want, and even though you're all the way over there, and I'm here, you won't ever be gone because we are family.
And people made from each others flesh and blood can never run away from one another.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Look around

"Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play? Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day..."

He hums a soft tune on the tip of his tongue, the smooth melody melts into waves down his throat. He's always been able to carry a tune, no, he's always been able to practically create symphonies with his own mouth, something he's actually proud of. It was hard to find a sliver of self-respect after the accident. He hated himself for months, still does from time to time. That's the problem with grief; it's different for everyone. You think you're okay, then all of a sudden, it hurts just like it did the first day.

He looks out the barred windows, into a stretch of dusty fields. Apparently freedom lies just beyond that, something he hasn't tasted in 17 years, something waiting just around the corner. Four more days, and he'll be out. Maybe he'd visit some old friends, some relatives. His mother, if she wanted to see him. Maybe he'd get a new job, something he'd really enjoy, like singing during the late hours at a bar, or maybe even start a band and make it big one day.  He'll be free as a... hell, who was he trying to kid? He'll be a part of the world again, but forever tainted with the scar of prison. Forever looked down upon, and forever the face of a criminal.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Time is running out.

“I’m not crazy,” I say; my arms crossed over, feet flat on the ground.
“I never said you were,” she replies, her grey hair slicked back, her shiny glasses reflecting her eyes like two giant moons. She always has to be right, always has to be that voice of reason, which always makes sense. I hate it.
“Yeah, but you make me feel like I am. Look at you, you’re sitting there with your notebook on your lap, and I bet that everything I’m telling you is going through some kinda process in your head, and all those terms you learn in your weird psychiatrist dictionaries are speeding through your brain and you’re just looking for the one that matches me the best.”
My eyes tear up and my leg hairs stand on their ends, I’m suddenly cold and afraid. I clutch the thick black fleece of my hoodie.
“You always wear that jacket to our meetings.”
I bite my lip, should I even bring it up? Oh, what the hell.
“It was my boyfriends,”
Her eyes shine a little, and her ears perk up, like a vicious dog who has heard the distant cry of a cat.
“Was?” she asks, always listening so intently.
 “Yeah, we’re not...” I fight the lump in my throat, forcing myself to believe that it’s not so bad, “We’re not.”
“I see,” she inhales, readjusting her robotic posture, “so then why do you still have that jacket?”
I think of a smart comeback but my mind is blank, it’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the past four months.
“I- I don’t know.”
“You clutched at it, just now, when you were defending yourself. Do you feel safe in that jacket?” She asks. I remain silent.
“It’s very basic human nature to hold onto something that makes us feel safe, just as infants do with their mothers, as you do with that jacket. I have a question, who left who?”
“He left me.” Three syllables tap against my teeth, I’ve grown so used to saying it to myself through the days but every time I do, the pain is re-awakened.
“Ah, I’m sorry. So he left you, he broke your heart. You still hold onto that jacket, wear it every meeting, and hold onto it when you’re scared.”
I bite my lip and look at my lap; the tears are surging up to the rim of my eyes. Please. Don’t. Fall. Please, don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
“Do you still feel a sense of longing, or need for him?”
I nod. My parents are burning holes into their pocket for this lady to “fix” me. I may as well cooperate.
The clock behind her reads 3 minutes to two, our session is coming to a close.
“I’d like you to think about it. Write all your thoughts down into a notebook and bring it next session, we’ll discuss it then.
“You have to allow yourself to let go. You may experience symptoms of withdrawal, but that is entirely normal. Here, take this to the pharmacy, they’re sleeping and eating aids. I noticed you looked a little thin.” She hands me a yellow piece of paper with the names of different medicines. I hold it loosely between two fingers.
“Why are you so cold?” I ask, bluntly.
She doesn’t flinch; she’s probably used to it.
“I am a psychiatrist, not a shrink. If you have a problem with that, maybe you would like to discuss it with your parents. We’ve reached the end of our session; I’ll be looking forward to seeing you.”
“Like you even care,” I snap, my temper rising. I can feel one of my infamous tantrums coming on.
She gets up from her leather armchair and walks me to the door, a hand on my shoulder. That’s the most affection I’ve ever received in the past 8 sessions I’ve had with her.
“I do care. You are a very interesting girl. And believe it or not, you’re making a lot of progress. Goodbye.”
She closes the door as soon as I step out into the hallway. I give a polite smile to the boy in the waiting room; kids like us are always nice to each other because we know we’re just the same. I think about her words, ‘very interesting girl’ and ‘progress’. She always finds a way to leave me hanging at the end of every meeting. I guess that’s how she always has me coming back.

Photo source:

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Who has been living here?


I awake to a misty grey morning, tangled in bedsheets. My eyes slightly bruised as I slowly open them to greet the unfamiliar household. A tattered leather couch in the corner, a stack of magazines that have obviously been thumbed through several times, and a few pairs of dirty socks lying on the floor. Definitely not my house. But if not mine, then who's? I shut my eyes to recall last night's events. Clips of introductions, of one glass too many brimming with alcohol, of ice sloshing like little boats in an ocean storm, all definitions of last night, flashing like neon warnings in the back of my mind. Ah, yes. One of those nights. I'd better execute my traditional morning-after escape route.

I collect my clothes off the floor as I tiptoe to the bathroom, I push the door open silently and slip in. It's small, but thankfully, it's clean. The familiar ache along the back of my head is last nights remains catching up with me. I lean over the sink and examine my face. I look like shit. My eyebags practically reach my chin, and there's still makeup on my skin. I rinse my face quietly and feel around for some kind of cleanser, there's a pink bottle of women's facial wash on the shelf, and I raise my eyebrow at the thought of a man using this.

Wait a second.

A pink bottle of women's facial wash in my hand. A lilac bathrobe hanging on the back of the door. Two toothbrushes in the mug. Oh my god. I shoot through all the products on the shelves: perfume, hairspray, moisturizer, among the hair wax and aftershave. There's a green leather pouch, and I grab it and rip it open in the length of a breath. It contains everything I wish it did not, lipsticks, mascara, eyeshadow, every single item of make-up. I sit on the toilet feeling sick, wanting to throw up. How could I have done this?

I realize that I should get out as fast as possible. I pick my dress off the pile on the floor, yank it on, and creep out the room barefoot. I didn't even get to wash my face. I pick my shoes up off the floor and  throw a horrible glare at the man passed out in his bed, I don't even want to see what he looks like. I rush out his room, turn the locks on the front door, and escape into the refuge of the hallway. The down-arrow by the elevator lights up as it reaches the floor, and a woman with luggage is revealed as the metal doors slide open. She's about to smile but she looks as if she's been caught halfway; like a movie on pause. She eyes me from head to toe, taking in my messy hair, my crumpled dress and my bare feet. I raise my eyebrows,
"Oh, I'm so sorry I'm staring. It's just, I have a dress just like that," she laughs, "Anyway, have a good morning!"
She steps out of the elevator as I step into it, and she disappears behind the corner of the hallway.

I look down at my dress. I've never seen it before in my life.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I need you so much closer.

We blankly stare at each other from different sides of the glass, this is how every meeting starts. I take a step closer, and so does he. The sadness in the pools of his eyes is an old friend, but one whose company I have never enjoyed.
I'm right up against the transparent wall, hands pressed against it, the tip of my nose brushing the cold surface. He raises his hands to meet mine, he holds them flat against his side of the glass. It's painful to realise that this is the closest we'll ever get: our palms spread open on opposite sides of an invisible boundary. It hurts to  know that our fingers will never interlace, our hands will never hold.
I see him mouth out a few words, the same ones I am always deaf to. I assume he's telling me that he loves me, it's the best thing I can come up with; an imaginary confirmation that he feels the same as I do, although I will never be able to tell him. I nod as if I understand him, and a smile breaks open on his face; luminous.
We stand still until days stretch into weeks and years; hands pressed against the glass, sharing sweet nothing's that cannot even be heard.
Slowly, my hands peel of the glass. The palms, gradually followed by each finger. I take a step backwards and say goodbye with a wave. The sadness in his eyes rises to the surface once again.
This is heartbreak on repeat, this is how every meeting ends. 
Our love; eternally barricaded by an infinite glass wall.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

I'm a creep and you're so special.

Her dressing table is an orderly army of beauty cosmetics I've never seen before. I used to think that there was just lipstick and blush. Who knew there was a way to paint almost every feature of your face? What even made her think that she needed any of that stuff anyway? Her hairbrush lies neatly beside her perfumes, a few strands of copper hair stuck between the bristles. I wrap my hands around the brass drawer-handles and slowly pull the drawers open, revealing the small stack of notebooks and jewelry that is always in the same place each night.

I pick up the red Moleskine and open at a random page. It's her diary,

"I hate this. This long, grey drizzle of blunt rain, clouding my mind of any feeling whatsoever. I wish it would end. I wish it would go away and never come back, leaving only streaks of sunshine to light up my mind."

I put the notebook back, feeling slightly like an intruder in her mind as I always do when I read a new entry. I have been taking away with me pieces of her that aren't rightfully mine, but at the same time, I'm glad that I have discovered more of her. The pretty ones are always the most misunderstood. It's ironic; the most perfect girl in the world is actually a mess on the inside. I feel somewhat sorry for her, but also a sense of responsibility. I'm the only one who knows her secrets, and therefore, she needs me.
I move over to the side of her bed, a tall but narrow structure of black iron and fluffy, cloud-like pillows.

Her eyeballs move around beneath their lids, she must be dreaming. Her hands are half open and facing the ceiling, like she has fallen off a building but has never hit the ground. Her stillness amazes me, how can one be so statuesque even while asleep? She's a beauty. Her brown hair twists into messy tangles under her. Tied into buns each night to gain those perfect curls she carries so well every day. I should know.

She inhales a little deeper than before, I stiffen, worried that she might wake to find me standing over her, watching her angelic beauty while she is lost in slumber. That wouldn't be good. That would cause trouble. I wouldn't be allowed to visit her anymore if that happened. She mutters a few words, but I don't understand them. That annoys me, that does. When I lose the chance to grasp onto any single thread of her dreams. If only I knew what she said. Then I'd somehow taste a sliver of her dream, too, and we'd be closer together.

I decide to play my favourite game: I reach out towards her and flatly hover my hands over her body and see how close I can get to her skin without actually touching her. I lay my hands over her kneecaps, a few centimeters distance. I drag them up her thighs, and lower them slightly as I reach her hips. I want to hold her waist, but I cannot risk waking her up. I lower them even more so as my fingers reach her face, I have to control my urge to trace the bridge of her nose, the outline of her lips, stroke the lashes that line her eyes. I like this game. It helps me practice self-control.

She turns her head over to the other side, still asleep, but obviously more awake than she was since I first creeped into the room. She could be waking. I check the time; 2:37am. I'd better get out of here.

Tonight's visit was a little shorter than most nights, but I don't mind as long as I get to come back tomorrow night, and the night after. She sees me in school but she doesn't say hi, she doesn't even know my name. 
She doesn't know how close we really are, but that's okay.
Because I do.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Saving these last words for one last miracle

She could pull a hundred expressions in a single minute’s worth of talking, her many faces were interesting to watch, almost always the best part of the conversation. It was strange though; no matter how expressive her face was, her eyes were always nonchalant. It was like her eyebrows and cheeks and lips were extravagant clothing on a bleak girl: dressing her up, but not changing anything beneath the surface.
It was a while before he realised that she wasn’t talking any longer, and her eyebrow was arched over her tree-bark eyes which were so beautifully lined with lashes that fell like leaves in an autumn wind. Oh, he was staring again.
“You weren’t listening to me.” Disappointment laced her sighs.
“I was!” he protested, but her pursed lips and raised eyebrow only meant one thing: she wasn’t convinced.
“You never listen to me,” it was her same complaint all over again, and it rolled off her tongue with the roll of her eyes. He put his hand onto her shoulder, attempting to relax her before she got even more irritated. She always wanted everyone’s full attention when she spoke to them; she always wanted to be heard. She constantly built up her frustrations, and one little thing could set her off for hours. It was best to pick her back up before she fell deeper.
She shrugged his arm off her shoulder and turned around with a flip of her hair, head held high, and started walking away with direction in her march. She always liked feeling as if she was more in control than he was, but he was more familiar to this situation than anyone, and he knew how to handle it.
“You never consider what I’m saying; you just instantly jump to what you have to say,”
He felt his nerves twitch in irritation; couldn’t she see how much effort he put into every little thing he did? The words were already climbing up his throat and out of his mouth,
“Don’t be difficult,” it slipped out before he could stop himself. Her eyes widened in disbelief and annoyance, warning him that he shouldn’t have said that.
"Fuck off," she hissed. The words escaping like December sleet; cold and sharp. He kept on walking after her and occasionally reached out to hold her, he knew that giving up would only infuriate her further. She was never afraid to say mean things or throw harsh comments; she wanted to see how long he’d hold onto her joyride, how much of his ego he’d give up to win her over. And the funny part was, no matter what nasty things she’d throw at him, he’d always be the one at fault. In her mind, the things she’d say would be justified by her anger, and once she calmed down, he wouldn’t hold anything against her, because all that mattered to him was that smile on her face.
When it comes to girls like her, things are complex. You can never seem to stay mad, or give up, or worst of all: forget.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Your Favourite Dream.

The first time I ever felt love was in a dream. He was faceless, just a shapely body moulded out of a mass of human flesh, and a constant darkness glowed around him; perhaps to show that he had no identity. The dream began where it always begins: In the middle, and we were walking hand-in-hand down a long stretch of road lined with pine trees, guided by the orange glow of street lamps. Stars shone, scattered overhead, like a paintbrush had been dipped in thick white paint and flung across a midnight canvas.

We stopped at the end of the road, before a line that separated the city from the woods, a backdrop of fluorescent lights glittered behind us as he turned towards me. His face was a black hole of nothingness, but I wasn’t afraid, because the love we shared showed me that the physical world was so small in comparison to that of which we cannot touch. He moved closer and we hugged; I was enveloped in a blanket of every wonder I have ever known. And when we pulled apart, I awoke, still feeling his arms around me. The projection of that faceless lover felt so real, the love I had for him still lingered when I lay in bed, recalling. I was longing for him to come back, so I could feel love, even if it was just in a dream.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Your Beliefs

Most of my beliefs are based upon personal opinion. I spent years struggling with the concept of religion and I finally decided that it just didn’t work for me, because to me, religion is just an official way to seek reassurance that you aren’t in total control of your actions, that things will be okay, that there is more to life. I believe in a higher being, call it “God”, “A way of life”, “The Force”, or whatever you want, I believe that it is just a simple flow of how things fall into place, and the rest is up to you. I guess you could say that I agree with the statement “Life is 5% fate, 95% reaction”.
I think that everything that happens to you is based on how you dealt with previous situations, and every situation is a lesson we have to learn, and those lessons will repeat themselves in different ways until we finally get it.
I believe that life after death is based on your state of mind, a person who dies in his guilt will be condemned to suffer until he learns to forgive himself. Because once you die, there’s no way you can make up for what you’ve done wrong, and that, to me, is hell.
I believe in peace and love and forgiveness. I believe in both art and science, imagination and knowledge.
But most importantly, above anything else, I believe in being a good person.

A Moment.

It was late into the night, probably two or three in the morning, and I was exhausted. We had gone through so much in the past few hours, and we all knew, with a quiet understanding, that the end would be soon. I sat on a hard plastic chair, giving my back a rest from the weight of my body. I took a look around the hospital ward, nurses were everywhere, the flourescent lights were blinding, and the machines beeped constantly. That’s what I hated the most, and that’s the specific sound that always brings me back to that very night: the constant beeping of a life-support machine, it’s haunting when you realise that when a person is in a coma, those machines are all you have to decipher life from death.

I kept my eye on the machine, taking note of every drop in number, believing that zero would mean goodbye. I kept staring at that machine, the red and green digits indicating oxygen levels and heartbeat. I kept staring until they turned into swirls and stopped making sense.

The numbers fell from the seventies.. to the fifties.. to the twenties, and lingered around nineteen for a while. I kept watching the machine and listening to its evil rhythm, when out of nowhere the numbers hit zero. Every sound in the room was muted, all I could hear was the pounding of my heart against my ribcage. My brain stopped working, I just couldn’t function. I felt paralyzed.

And then the numbers jumped back up, still dangerously low, but at least they weren’t zero.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Your Definition of Love

Love changes over time, from a burning passion to a warm comfort, to a tried and tested bond that has kept strong through the years. It manifests itself in countless ways, like words and kisses and gifts and time, but underneath it all, love is always a mystery.
Love is letting down all your fences, allowing someone or something to break into you and crush your very soul, but trusting them not to. Love is taking care of that special piece of someone’s heart as if it were your own, putting your needs after theirs. Love is risky, it means being vulnerable and possibly making a fool of yourself but taking the chance so that your restless heart will (hopefully) be at peace.
I don’t believe that all love is unconditional, because people can fall in love anywhere: With a face you pass on the street, with a new song, with a place that evokes old memories. These things can stir up the sweetest of all emotions, but disappear as quickly as it came.
Unconditional love is special; it is formed when two souls are bound to one another, and nothing, not even death, can part them. Unconditional love is often tested in the harshest ways, from the ultimate sacrifice to the decision of your utmost priorities in life. People who share unconditional love always find their way back to one another, no matter how many times they are forced apart.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

My Parents.

Both my parents’ lives are somewhat of a reflection to the other. Both of them ran away from home at 16 to escape the constraints of their abusive and narrow-minded households. My father moved into the cheapest hotel he could find and went straight to work for a firm. My mother moved in with her aunt and it wasn’t long until her cousin offered her a simple job in Hong Kong, my mother pounced at the opportunity to take it, dropping out of college to do so.
My father spent his youth traveling and enjoying it with a group of friends, from living in Jamaica for a few months, to road trips across Europe that lasted weeks. It was after a trip to Cebu, when he went back to Hong Kong and met my mother. She probably evoked fond memories of his holiday, her Filipina charm and beauty had him at first sight. She moved into his apartment after a few months and became the talk of the town, but she didn’t care; they were in love.
It was two years later when my dad was being shifted to work in Washington, my mother didn’t have the right papers to go with him, and she was ready to go back to her home in the Philippines. They were forced to separate, and my mother thought that was the end, but she was wrong.
My father, after a few lonely weeks in Washington, must have realised what was important to him. He booked the first flight to Manila, rented a broken down car when he got there, and ventured off onto a quest to find her, with only a map as his guide. Along the way, he stopped for directions and asked a man if he knew who “Maria Luisa Santos” was, and by some strike of fate, that man turned out to be my mother’s cousin, who showed my dad the way to her

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sometimes the hardest thing and right thing are the same.

I looked through her handbag carelessly, flipping through the bunches of paper and the frosted bottle of split-end serum, brushing my fingertips with lipstick cases and powder presses, curiously peeking into pouches and bags. I pulled open the side-zipper, hoping that my passport would be waiting for me inside, and it was, but when I caught a glimpse of the contents of that side pocket, I no longer cared about my passport.

It was a small bag, red and silky, but probably some polyester blend, and inside it was a handful of golden jewelry. The thick bracelet I always saw her wear when I was a child, an Amethyst ring, earrings with Emerald stones, all shining brightly at me as my realizations came crashing down.
She was going to pawn them.
I didn't realise how bad things had gotten until I held that heavy bag in one hand, and my passport in the other. She was going to pawn her jewelry in order to pay for my plane ticket.
It's always a choice of happiness versus reason, for me. Decide between what you want and what you think is right. I always choose reason, and ended up regretting it. I've often heard the saying that life hands us the same lessons over and over again until we learn them properly, I could easily be selfish and assume that life wants me to choose happiness, but I'll never know until it's done.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

People are allowed to be angry if they want. They shouldn't have to wear a facade to protect the feelings of people who care about them. If I want to be nonchalant, let me fucking be nonchalant. You don't have to tell me how you try your best to keep that smile on your face so that I don't get dragged into your sadness, but guess what? I'm not you and I will never be you, I handle things the way I want to and it's up to you to find a way to deal with it if you care enough. Nothing is fucking wrong, I don't need your "help"

Sunday, 27 June 2010

crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit

He pulls out a ziplock and burrows his nose in it, "One of the best smells on earth," he says, eyes closed with content. He pulls out a little bit and starts breaking it into shreds, sprinkling the dirty green into a foil wrap. He demonstrates quickly on what to do, but I am still not certain. He clicks the lighter on and tilts it into the foil, suddenly the clear glass pipe is filled with smoke climbing upwards and out, he places his lips onto the top and sucks the air in, I listen to the bubbling water and watch the white fog disappear into his mouth. He blows out the window, and coughs a bit, traces of smoke escaping each choke. He hands the glass pipe to me, and I clumsily place my hands where they're supposed to go. He lights it up for me, and I hold on for a bit too long and breathe in just one wisp too much of smoke, my lungs are full of it, and I splutter it out into the cold dawn air. The taste of bitter grass is lodged in the back of my throat, but a glass of water washes it away. I take another hit, too much, I am gasping for air and practically choking on the smoke, I feel like vomiting and my head is spinning, but I go against my reason, instead of fighting the smoke, I dwell in it, I relax and I hug the discomfort, "its all part of it," I tell myself.
Fifteen minutes later and my eyes are bloodshot, the room is spinning and I am laughing at things that are not funny. I am lazy and I am paranoid, wondering if I am being annoying by laughing at stupid comments, I don't want to irritate anyone, are they irritated? I hope not. I try to explain how I feel, but I find myself saying the word "weird" three times in one sentence. Her eyes are melting in shape, like she has undergone strange camera effects. I laugh at this. Every moment is disconnected from the next, all I can comprehend is my current thought, and then I physically feel it melting and slipping away into some black hole where every previous thought has gone. I try to close my eyes and sleep but I am too curious, what is happening to me? I feel slight jerks and it takes me a while to realize that I occassionally twitch, it feels like a shot of cold ice. I lie still, wondering if I will still remember this later.

You and I were made for this, I was made to taste your kiss.

It's like I'm falling down a luminous, floral, vine-draped well, deeper and deeper into aromatic air that massages all ends of my delight. My guards are down and this is me, raw and at my most vulnerable, placing my beating and bloody heart straight into your palms.
I know it will be safe with you.
I have been falling for months, with increased velocity as time dashes by, it felt like just yesterday when I hesitantly peeked into ground, trying to figure how far the jump would be. Now, I am plunging headfirst into the depths of the unknown, thankfully still no end in sight, but even more surprisingly, I still feel the adrenaline rush I had during the first stumble.
This fall, it's nothing I ever expected and everything I could ever want, it's the best thing that has happened to me in long time. And I know that it could go on forever if nothing gets in the way.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Wait, they don't love you like I love you.

I woke up to a new message in my inbox, a long letter from an old friend I haven't seen or spoken to in three years. I was surprised, of course, to see his name staring at me from the computer screen, and I wondered what he might want or what the message might regard.

As soon as I opened it, I wasn't surprised to see that it was about my father. In fact, I was quite glad that it was, since he was one of the few people I could actually relate to. His words defined every feeling I couldn't name; every thought that seemed like an enigma suddenly underwent a moment of realization, and I finally felt like I wasn't alone, like I was normal.

I didn't really want to tell anyone about it, because I wanted it to be between the two of us, a silent understanding of fatherless teens. But I found his words too beautiful and inspiring to be locked away from others, so I wanted to share it with you. Beauty that is shared only multiplies, so here is a part of the letter:

A last word of encouragement: sometimes it feels like things are going to be okay, and other times you'll feel like things will never be okay.

No one can truthfully tell you that things are going to be ok in the end, because nobody knows how it'll turn out in the end. That being said, what you choose to believe doesn't always have to be based on proof. Call it optimism or call it faith, but I think that if you start believing things will work out in the end, they just might.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Blue Elephants in Plastic Cases.

What the fuck is wrong with me. I hate it when you think you're doing okay, then one small thing can make all your progress count for nothing. I seriously thought I was perfectly fine, or that I should be by now. But then I came across this photo and all old scars ripped open once again like eternal wounds. I keep asking myself if I'm over it, if I'm better, but I guess this proves that some things never heal. With people, I can bring up the topic easily, and I will not waver as long as I do not linger on the idea. I am blunt, I am light about it to avoid letting the heavy feeling sink in. But these sudden outbursts of sadness and the severe mood swings are obviously a manifestation of what I am too much of a coward to face. I will never be 100% better, I don't think. But maybe one day I will be able to fully accept it, and then I will stop running.

Monday, 14 June 2010

To kingdom come, you're the one I want.

They were a tangled heap, sharing body heat under the blankets. She lay her head on the chambers of his heart and heard it call out her name passionately. Her hair was messy and she wore no make-up, but he didn't care; To him, this was her at her finest. He kissed her forehead, her eyelids, her cheeks. Every meeting of lips against skin was a burst of heaven on fire.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Seven Diamonds

It's quiet days such as this one, where rain gently drips from a grey sky, that make me truly appreciate solitude. Alone at home with only my sleeping puppy, I wrap myself in my thickest blankets to ward off the whirl of cold air that has swallowed my room. The occasional chiming of my phone, announcing heartfelt messages from familiar people; Good books lay unread on my side tables, and slow music drips from all around. Time has stopped for me to catch up on what I have missed, sweet moments for myself. Where painting, reading, writing is ideal. I have missed these days, although I have spent two months away from school, I guess all I really needed was to first feel frazzled and hassled with work before I could truly appreciate a day such as this one.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Schools are filled with the ghost of every student who was there before you.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

All of a sudden I am five years old again, sitting on a carpeted floor with other five year olds who are just like me. Five year olds whose mums braid their hair in the morning, five year olds who don't eat their vegetables, five year olds who have scabby knees and fat fingers.
We are all five years old.

In front of us, sitting on a big chair to show that she is in charge, even though she is quite small, is the teacher we have come to love. Her red hair flares out, away from her face, and her nose is dusted with freckles. She is the one we go to for cuddles and pats on the back, when our friend has stolen our favourite crayon. She is the one who sits beside us, slowly teaching us to count the coloured bears in front of us so we can go home and enthusiastically show our parents that we know our numbers up to one hundred.

Every so often, she would show us something new. Last week she introduced a puppet that was exactly the same as the one I had inherited from my grandfather, one I never really appreciated because it was wooden and old-fashioned. Today, she has graced us with a book. She pulls it out and begins to turn the pages as a story unfolds and plays before our eyes.

It's about a caterpillar who doesn't stop eating, and such a simple story brings such delight to our little minds. Enough delight to last 12 years to today. Enough delight to be called my favourite childhood story.

Enough delight to look for it in every bookstore I walk into and be five years old again.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

No one has to know.

No one has to know. In fact, I'd prefer it if no one did know. This, the both of us, here, this is our little secret. Just one bottle of wine too many, just one lonely night too many, just one asshole, ex-boyfriend too many. There has always been something about girls that interest me, the curve of their waist, the smooth skin, the long lashes and crafted lips. Everything I already possess, but have never held in my arms at night. Try everything once, I say. And it's not like one night will make much of a difference. Tonight, I can be the one running my hands over long locks for a change, I can drape my fingertips on powdery skin, I can breathe in the scent of a woman. And tomorrow, I can wake to find my bed empty, but the trace of your perfume still lingering on my pillowcase, possibly a silver bracelet you forgot on my coffee table and a few strands of golden hair that have fallen to my floor.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It's like I'm in a glass room. In the center of a busy metropolis, watching the people pass. One by one they go, frantic in their daily routines. A few stop by to peer at me, but they never stay long.
I am here. Ever watching, ever waiting. I am here, looking for a way to break out, but no matter how long I search for an exit, no matter how many times I throw my frail body against the glass in hopes of breaking it, I always find myself still suck in the same four walls.

Why do I feel like this? I often ask myself.

I rarely find an answer. Maybe I am just one those people who needs to be around noise and other people to be happy. The quiet, still household I live in is toxic for me. The constraints that barricade me in, they break me. Maybe I am just one of those many teenagers who wants to be free, but is imprisoned by lonely and paranoid parents.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Woven like a Spiderweb.

She sits beneath an amber, midday sun with no canvas stretched overhead. The sun has been on her side for as long as her people can remember, ever since they were still wolves catching prey in their menacing fangs, running wild in packs of grey and white. She spends her days by the roadside, attempting to catch a few silver coins in her outstretched palms in exchange for one of the many fruits displayed on her makeshift stand, one of the many fruits picked from nature.
Nature. Always her best friend, her mother, her protector. It is in the sunlight where she is safe, it is in the coursing rivers where she is cleaned, it is in the lush greens of the forest where she is happy. Her copper face holds a beauty that is exquisite and raw: Thin lips, a straight nose, high cheekbones, almond eyes, and a jet of raven hair running like ink down her back.
Her stride is all-knowing although she has not been anywhere but here. She is wise beyond her years, beyond the limited realms of science and history.
She knows the anatomy of Earth, where every vein runs into the flowers and how every heartbeat pulses into the birds, setting them into flight. She understands the language of the winds and the stars and the waters that are older than history itself. She reads the footprints in the ground and the rings in treebarks.
She is all-knowing, and is bursting with stories to tell.
But she is trapped in a western world she does not want to belong to.
A prisoner, on the roadside, attempting to catch a few silver coins in her outstretched palms.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

I got Lucifer himself eating out of my hand.

People often say to go with your instinct. But I have trouble doing so because my instinct consists of two voices fighting inside my head. "Don't do it!" says one, "Do it!" says the other. I guess the slight feeling of guilt should be enough to point me in the proper direction, but it isn't because I'm far too stubborn for my own good. The fact that I'm admitting to all of this while trying to decide what to do should be enough too, but one again, my stubbornness gets the best of me. I guess all I want to do is justify that going in the wrong direction won't be too bad after all. My sisters revealed a number of their secret escapades, I listened in awe to the things I had no idea that they had done, things like sneak out in the middle of the night and climb water towers with their friends. It made me realise that I have been so good. And even though I have been made to feel like I have done something wrong, I really haven't. All I'm doing wrong is sitting in the same place waiting for something to happen, releasing my frustration on the same person who doesn't deserve it, when what I ought to be doing, even if it is a little risky, is making what I want to happen, happen. As long as I don't get caught, nobody will have to know.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Gossamer bridges

There's something about the air here. It's like a late night in a New Orleans jazz club. The orange lights and soulful music cater to my good moods, they make me want to smile and tap my toes and get up and hug strangers. You sit across me happily talking away, not realizing that I'm watching you and hardly hearing a word you say. The way your eyes crinkle and your dimple comes out when you smile, the way you look off into space when you recall something funny, splitsecondly re-living that moment n your mind. The redolence wafts in from all around, enveloping me in a cocoon of comfort. I am safely tucked away from all the poison in the world, all the shadows that seem to stretch just a bit longer than they should. It's moments like these where I love the simple things in life like good music, good company and good food. It's moments like these I wish could last forever.

Photo Source:

Wasted Youth

I am a witness to the degradation of today's youth.
What was once poolside celebrations with balloons and marshmallows, stuffing faces with pizza and filling cups to the brim with soda, has turned into sneaking into smoke-filled parties, taking drugs and as many shots as the pre-pubescent body can handle.
Bribing bouncers with their bodies, getting down on their skinny knees in exchange for a night's worth of mistakes.I see these girls, so proud of their exotic features and their foreign blood, flaunting their nonexistant curves to any guy that will throw two seconds to look. Talking down on girls weaker than them, picking on every flaw and tormenting their paranoia with endless insults directed at their insecurities, just because they can.

It's these girls who make me sick. They're blessed with beauty but they abuse it.
It's these girls who carry the proper title of "Bitch".
It's these girls who try to grow up too fast.
It's these girls who try to live it up while they're young, but regret it when they age.
It's these girls I pity.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Finally decided to post the letter.

Dear dad,

It's me, Joanna. I don't really know how to start this off. For a self-acclaimed "Awesome-letter-writer", I never know how to start. Can I just say that I miss you? That it's been 16 hours and your absence has cut us all open like the sharpest knife. I think I am coping the best, out of the four ladies in the Kennedy family. I accpeted this moment a while back. I knew, from the moment you were admitted into the ICU, that I had to brace myself for the worst. And I did, and my face is not as tear-streaked as those of my sisters. It's really hard seeing them so devastated,dad. I know that you do not want them to hurt so badly, but they do. We all do. We love you so much, that the thought of never seeing you again is too much to bear.

I was doing fine sniffling away at the memories we shared. Things like looking through your astrophotography and promising to make it my desktop background (which I swear I will do now), or watching Chelsea on the telly. But then Jayne mentioned that it's not yesterday that's making her sad, it's what will never happen tomorrow. Then the imaginary scenarios started playing out in my head.

I will never get to introduce a boy to you as my boyfriend. No guy I will ever date will have the pleasure of being intimidated by my scary dad.

You will not be there at my graduation. In the sea of faces, I will search endlessly but never come across yours.

I won't be able to phone you when I get my first job, to listen to your complaints about the crappy salary and the ridiculous hours.

You won't be there to give me away at my wedding, or Steph's, or Jaynes. That's what really hits home. The fact that you won't see any of your daughters get married.

But it's okay dad, because I had the pleasure of knowing you for 17 years, and in those 17 years you taught me so much. We shared a love for football, and I know how proud you were of me when I told you that I scored the winning penalty at one of my games. I remember how you supported me when I decided to run for the senior council, and how you consoled me when I didn't get in. Most of all, I remember one of my early birthdays when you walked into my bedroom and spoke to me about the importance of identity. "Find out who you are, before it's too late" are the exact words you said, forever etched into my memory.

I want to apologize for all the times I never managed to meet your expectations. Like when I got an 80 in Math and a 93 in CLE and you were really pissed off, you scolded me. I'm sorry that I stopped playing and watching football, and Im sorry that I never told you that I love you enough. I still remember the last time I hugged you. I think it was because you allowed me to go to a friend's party, last November. November, dad. November. And over such a stupid reason.

I'm sorry for last Saturday, dad. I'm truly, truly sorry. I know I kept you up worrying, because I came home later than I said I would. I promised you that I'd call if I ever had any complications ever again. And I will keep that promise. I know now, to be careful for what you wish for, because life does a lot of crazy, unexpected things. I'm sorry that I had to see you how you were, that Monday morning. I often think about how you were on the floor, bloody and naked and how you said "Help me" in a such a slurred, pityful way. I'm sorry if it's because of me that you fell sick, if perhaps I didn't phone mom fast enough, or if you could have been saved if I called an ambulance instead. I wish I hugged you on Sunday when you weren't pissed at me anymore, dad. But I didn't. I'm just thankful that we made amends before Monday came around.

I'm currently looking at the lyrics I painted onto my wall, you didn't notice them but they say "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you" and nothing could be more true. I will wake up to each day being reminded of you by those lyrics. You are where your heart is, dad. I know you're in the stars. I know you're forever with me.

I will see you again one day.