It’s 4 am and my body is weighed down with your arms wrapping me in what seems to be your expression of love. In my head I smoke out all the reasons that hold me into these walls of expectations. I stare at the ceiling drawing with my free hand the constellation of our past and what I thought would be our horizon. The fan keeps whispering to me. Humming alibis to set me free. And with every turn my heart sinks into mind-numbing settlement.
I love you in ways my body didn’t know could oblige. With melting fingertips lingering on your wrists, consumed by the anticipation of hearing your cracked morning voice crawling into my ears. I love you with your open mouth leaning towards my shivering spine that just turns into waterfalls each time you undress me. I love you with bits of my soul forever lost in your ribcage, happily immersed in your embrace. I love you with famine for the thoughts fluttering in your head on how to surrender in absolute love. I love you with the patience it takes you to hold my arms and breathe serenity into my turbulent mind. I love you with the haste that takes over me when you come out of the shower breeding fields of lillies with each step you take towards me. I love you with the molecules that intertwine to make me whole and the gaps that are filled by the energy that emanates from your heartbeats.
So when you ask me at dawn with your sleepy wonderment about why I love you, it’s because everything that you are, is essential to my existence.
She said to me, with her fingers stretched out between the infinities that lie between us “I wish you would make love to me the way you do to your demons”. So I curled up my knuckles and let out a breath of utter vulnerability and chaos.
My words jumbled up to form sentences that lacked vocabulary and my mind drew pictures for you to understand. So I painted with my nails, on the soft skin of your back, the story of how I ruined you. And with my lashes I latched on to the tip of your body, gasping for your love. I told you that my heart has seen things that my mind doesn’t want to remember. And then, the echo of my hollow lungs sang you a lullaby of how I wish I could feel what I remember instead of remembering what I felt.
Your eyes were wide shut listening to me use my words for the first time. Your eyes were glowing, knowing that I was finally here, with you, trying. And I kept telling you about songs that mean more to me than people, and how letting go is something I have mastered with finesse. Though that scared you, you stretched out your fingers towards me some more, wanting to cradle me.
You said to me, knowing I am broken “I wish you would make love to me the way you do to your demons.”
I whispered “I trust my demons” and I walked away.
I’ve been thinking lately about coincidence and signs… How things happen in the most utter absurd way and yet, they turn out to be the very things you needed.
I have to admit, I’ve been going through a rough patch lately. Nothing grand or devastating, but still revealing. Through that period of time, I’ve been dissecting everything I’ve been doing and saying.
To be completely honest, I was so scared of spiraling. I had been holding on for such a long time, thinking that the moment I let go I would be lost in a labyrinth trying to untangle all the feelings that I didn’t want to deal with. So I held on. And on. And on…
Until my fingers became sweaty, and my arms were numb, and my heart grew, oh so very weary.
So I let go. I let go expecting to fall flat on my face.
And I did.
I had never felt such pain in my life. And I don’t say this lightly because I am someone who is very proud of her feelings. Unfortunately, and for the first time, I understood that a heartache is something that could be very physical. It’s as if my heart was pumping too much blood into veins that were restricted with fear. I couldn’t breath, my lungs just collapsed. I remember my friend being there staring at me, feeling so helpless. And I kept yelling, asking him to make it stop. All I could say was “I don’t understand” over and over again until words made no sense at all… I’ve never felt this heavy before… I thought that these sort of ridiculous descriptions were only in books that used too many adjectives… Oh If I could wish anything, I would wish for you to never feel the way that I had felt that night…
So I fell and crashed and broke every single atom in me. But I didn’t spiral because you see, you can’t spiral when you’ve already crashed. And the good news about hitting rock bottom is that the only way is up. It takes a while to lick your wounds and patch up your ego. But you do it; eventually.
She’s sunken in the ottoman in her friend’s living room, staring up in a daze. She has a lot to say. Of course she does, she always does. She has opinions about everything from fire ants to putting chipotle in green salads.
“What’s wrong with her?
- Nothing! Don’t be an idiot!”
When Nadia was younger, she tried to tell her mom that she thought buildings shouldn’t be over 5 stories high because neighbors would be strangers, and what’s the point of having a neighbor?! But her mom was late for work? She tried to run after her… but her mom was always late for something…
“What do you mean?! Look at her! She’s so…
- Don’t say it.”
All was fine with the world. Because Nadia read and drew and wrote. And she thought that that if she did all of that, then she would be able to hold her tongue… but boy was she mistaken. If anything her case grew worse! With all of the imagination she’s cultivated in her brain, words started spilling out like a serious case of chronic vomiting.
By the time she was 11, she went to a new school. She met new people. And she thought, oh so foolishly, that she could find someone who would understand her. Once she told this girl in class, that she thought about what would happen if firecrackers were put in a microwave. I mean obviously she knew it was a bad idea, but doesn’t it make you wonder nonetheless!?
Well, rumors travel fast in a small catholic school. And wouldn’t you know it, soon enough, Nadia started a continuous monologue for the remainder of her school experience.
“Maybe she had bad spicy food last night….
- Does she eat spicy food?”
When she was 13, Nadia got bored with writing and painting. She got bored with school and mothers. So she thought about music… what if musical notes can deliver your thoughts from their self-inflicted prison?! So she learnt how to play the violin. And the violin started to feel like a nice familiar friend who didn’t care if she thought about whether the sea was reflecting the colors in the sky or was it the sky reflecting the colors of the galaxies.
But the violin came with its own friend. A man. A man that made her believe that the only way she could stay friends with the violin, was if she would be friends with him.
She really wanted to stay friends with the violin.
“Diana, I really think we should take her to the hospital.”
When she was 15, she realized that she started to hate the violin. And she couldn’t understand why. And then she told her parents that she didn’t want to be friends with the violin and the man anymore. And her parents did nothing. Her parents didn’t ask. And the violin and the man were gone. But her thoughts festered.
“For what?! A bad case of the bafflement?!”
You stood facing me, holding out your trembling hands, palms against the infinite sky that’s wrapping our existence and you said to me with that harboring voice of yours “here, I’m giving you the world”
I smiled and closed your palms, giving you a head start to the punch that will shatter my ribcage and go through my lungs and I told you that the world is made of atoms and cells and energy and galaxies and birds and stars and clouds. It holds eight Earths and twelve thousand oceans, a trillion molecule of oxygen and quadruples that for ants.
I slid my fingers inside your chocked up hand and whispered that the world you’re giving me is not the world I want. This here is what I want.
I want sunlight on the bed sheets that cover our cold feet.
I want the arm hair that rises every time I touch your face to trace your freckles.
I want coffee breaks in the locker rooms of your company.
I want yellow curtains with flower patterns in our kitchen.
I want nights with our fingers always intertwined even when our bodies are apart.
I want time that never stops but lasts forever.
I want subtle looks and still moments in the midst of the crowd.
I want my heart to expand with the overwhelming joy I feel to just be in your presence.
I took your hand and placed it on my heart so you could feel the pulsing veins bursting with the rush of the long wait and I heard myself utter: “I want you. And only you.”
She held on to the chair as if to feel she was still in this reality, searching for stability while her world was tumbling to the ground. Her eyes grew narrow and her lips parted as if words were coming out but silence settled between her and the walls. Like a trembling leaf falling exquisitely from the tree, surrendering herself to the cycle of what must be, she gasped and lost all relation to the world.
Lights were flickering by and people were moving fast, like in those photographs where everything is hazy leaving a string of light, surrounding that one person standing still, lost in the only familiar place they could find. The crowd kept on brushing her sides, violating her body with their elbows and fingers, almost as if to whisk her back in, but she couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. Everything that was held by her flesh and bones was hollow.
Try and imagine, close your eyes and feel it, a big bushy garden torn apart by dead roses and oozing thorns, cradling a old house with cracks nibbling on its edges. Now imagine yourself opening the door, slowly as it squeaks, and squint your eyes to feel the dark. Can you see yourself in that vast empty hallway? Can you detect the magnitude of the ghosts lashing against the walls not being able to get through? Can you see the light under the crumbling doors not being able to reach the doorknob? Can you feel their eyes watching you as you just turn around yourself confused, mildly scared but mostly lost?
She tried to hold on to her pen again, write away the words festering in her taste buds, rotting ever since she could remember, turning her breathe sour with rage.
Her words didn’t make sense; they didn’t collide into an orbit of metaphors and feelings. They just floated on a piece of wet paper and dried ink, bewildered not knowing if they had a purpose, not knowing if they meant well or were evoked to wound. But she kept on writing and writing, hoping that they would build up into a paragraph, a phrase, any similarity of an explanation.