I know I know I know I haven’t been blogging. In my defence, I’ve been coughing and busy wearing away my trachea. I also have an inexplicable back ache which makes sitting uncomfortable- curling up in a fetal position on my bed is the best choice. It makes me think that I’m getting a sneak peek of what old age feels like, after my muscles have retired, deciding finally to attack me with their remaining strength out of contempt for slaving away for years.
I’ve also been sleeping a lot. I don’t know if it’s the pills I’ve been poppin’ or if I’m just drowsy all the time and physically weak (using the pills as an excuse to sleep). It makes me think about being more health conscious. I set myself up on a crusade to do more exercise, eat healthy and de-stress. Mind, body, spirit, the whole deal. But obviously, it’s not happening or working the wayI had hoped. There are moments when I seriously understand the implications of not taking care of myself properly and I am determined to do something about it. Everybody’s complained about being un-fit, huffing up the stairs, possibly refusing a cookie in fear of becoming fat. Everybody wants to look their best and feel confident in themselves physically. But looking good with abs and toned legs are only superficial benefits of eating well. I’ve heard all the gabble before and I’ve simply shrugged my shoulders. I know yadayadayada but my brother hit home when he talked about eating for his body and brain. He said he felt sluggish and slow after eating heavily fried, carb-loaded, sugary foods. We were grocery shopping when he frowned at the packaged chips and processed food in boxes and cans and said there was nothing healthy to buy. He said that he feels bad whenever he eats junk food, and I asked him “why, do you feel guilty?” He replied with “no, it’s just that once you start to eat right you never want to go back.” Basically, he talked about how certain foods left him feeling like shit. He described feeling heavy and lethargic. Sleepy. And that’s how I feel a lot of the time- not that I feed myself fries every day. It just made me realize how much of an impact food can have on how you feel. How much brighter and sharper would I feel if I ate brain food? Clean food. Fresh food. How much more positive and productive would I be if I took the time to respect my body? Also, I’m still developing and my brain structures are still forming and maturing- now is the time to look after myself. I’ll thank myself later.
I think fundamentally, I struggle with long term goals and future orientation. I like to see results now and I am encouraged by rewards that I don’t have to wait for. This is something I definitely have to work on. Most things worth having/ achieving require effort and sacrifice. To be able to delay present rewards and instant gratification will serve me well in the long run. I must keep this in mind.
I admire people who are able to persevere and work really hard for an extended period of time. They reap what they sow and it’s all worth it. Work too hard and you miss out on life. Don’t work at all and the same applies. Balance is key but so hard to achieve.
I want to melt into the sidewalk,
a mark on the concrete that cannot feel
the weight of shoes and wheels and tires.
Or better yet, a particle of dust,
swimming in the open air,
spiraling through immeasurable distances,
suspended in sunlight and
caressed by warmth.
It is eternity in a moment.
I want to settle into the soil
and be compressed into crystal
or travel through legs
of weeds and greedy roots.
Then become lavender, magenta, tulip-
with no purpose but to wave,
look pretty and
be fragile on stalks lifted to the sky.
I want to be a tireless wave,
rolling on a routinely schedule,
rocking to a universal lullaby.
My storms carry no anger
and I am blameless in destruction.
I want to be the ocean.
But I also want to flirt with the moon,
feel fingers run through my hair,
and bask in tender affection.
If only I could be something else
and both at the same time.
It’s hard to describe. It’s that expression that catches you off guard- where they become doe-eyed and soft. Their eyebrows lift ever so slightly and they look at you, really look at you, as if trying to take you all in. It’s like they’re refocusing and constructing a macro image of you, like you’re far too close and they’re stepping back with their mind’s eye. They don’t smile as they do this, nor do they frown. It looks as if you could break their concentration at any moment but you don’t want to. I imagine that it has the same effect as squinting at a dark splotch on a piece of printed paper but on a bigger scale. Or, I’d liken it to what happens when you’re confronted with a landscape of green and sky and open space and it’s just too much for your eyes to swallow. You doubt that they’re really listening to the words you’re saying even though they’re nodding and at least looking into your eyes. At your nose. Your lips. You in your entirety (or at least it seems that way). And then that look melts away, gone as quickly as it had appeared. You dismiss it and carry on the conversation. But you’ll remember it.
Perhaps I read too much into people’s expressions or perhaps I know that look because I’ve done it myself. It doesn’t happen often but when it does (and it has- three times, I recall), it’s one of the loveliest, most flattering things in life. Not simply because they like your face, but because they’re kind of awe-struck (for want of a better word), absorbing the moment and appreciating you as the being that you are in front of them. You’re here! You’re this weird, talking, living, breathing mass with all these little quirks and cells and things that are different from me yet you’re great and this is great wowow… ramble ramble.
At least, that’s how I’d describe that look on my face.
Let’s be spontaneous today. Let’s take a walk and see where we end up. It’s dark, we want a drink, so let’s waltz into a bar. We possess an energy that radiates from within and a desire to spread ourselves thin- to stretch and feel the world extend beneath us as we flit through possibilities of the night. We’re like chafed wires, charged, wound, and everything we touch will erupt. We’ll walk through smoky places and restaurants and crowded escalators until we find one best suited to our liking. There are too many middle-aged men in there, too many expensive bottles of Pinot and intimidating people with pink cheeks in groups, clutching beers in their hands. They won’t be moving any time soon so we’ll go elsewhere.
We’ll hear a sliver of reverberating music as the glass door swings open to our right and we’ll decide this is the place. Because why not. We’ll slide onto the stools and look through the menu; we’ll cripple ourselves with indecision. We’ll complain about how we don’t have enough room and roll our eyes at how nobody seems to have heard of personal space (we’ll secretly enjoy being annoyed). We’ll pretend we’re 19 and students from California with a preference for white wine and margaritas. The bartender will flirt with some English man and tell him she’s from London. We’ll giggle and watch her crush frozen juice cubes, make frothy bubbles and strain pink jelly bits. We’ll stir our straws and talk and talk and talk until it’s time for food. We’ll be young and silly, happy to add onto our string of adventures. Because we choose to make the most of this place, right here, right now.
You’re on a leash,
throttled and obedient.
You’re free to roam
but you scamper
when you’re called…
as if you’ve even moved.
It’s a mild case of
you psychotic wreck.
You need each other
yet you need to get
Did you choose
or did it choose you?
Everything was just easy with you. No pretence, no need to impress. I could roll out of bed and I’d let you stare at me full in the face, for example, and that to me would indicate the platonic nature of our friendship. How much of what we were essentially a friendship? Was it all fuelled by the feelings you had for me? I could blame myself for acting a certain way but doing so would be foolish. Juvenile even. I’m mature enough to know that what matters is that I behaved in a way that was natural to me- untainted, uninhibited and out of love (the friendly, familial kind). It’s not my fault. I never wanted your feelings. But if my girl friends were guys, I’d probably be in love with them… So maybe it’s impossible for a guy and a girl to be as close as we were without something going wrong. If we both kept a little more distance perhaps things would’ve been different. But then again, I’d have missed out on so many great things and beautiful memories. You were the guy I called when I didn’t have my girl besties, and I remember saying and realizing in that one moment: I wouldn’t have known what to do without you.
I wore your massive hoodie today. I spent the whole day just wrapped in your grey jumper with the sleeves bunched at my wrists. I was surprised I still had it and almost forgot it was yours. Almost. But I still don’t want to give it back. I hope you don’t mind. It makes me smile with the memory of how you lent it to me. It was raining, I was wet and cold, and you made me take it. You used to do that a lot. Look after me, I mean.
Your cologne has long since disappeared and that’s okay (you used to go overboard with the spraying anyway). I didn’t love you that way- I don’t need that scent as a reminder to sustain me. You were my best friend and thinking about the state of our friendship used to bring me a wave of sadness. A deep, crushing regret, a tug at the heart. I missed you so much it hurt. I remember thinking that it was so difficult to describe it- that nothing was synonymous with the pain of missing you. Sounds melodramatic, seeing as I barely ever think about you now. We’ve grown up, you’ve changed, and I’ve accepted the distance between us. I was doing very well with not giving the past much acknowledgement up until I saw your hoodie hanging in my closet today.
I remember how I used to call you whenever I was bored or upset about anything. You’d listen, say funny things, tell me lame jokes, and call me ‘nub’ amongst other rude things. You always knew when I was about to cry and you’d panic and tell me not to, which would make me cry harder. But you were so sincere I could never be upset for long (when I was with you, at least). We’d be on the phone late at night rehashing details of our primary school lives and offering advice on each other’s crushes. You’d ask me to meet you and you’d always have a packet of 5 gum (passion fruit flavoured because it was my favourite) and a bottle of green tea waiting for me. When you found out about your grandmother I hugged you and bought you a mango smoothie and I wanted to cry as well. We walked a lot (which I loved) and I trusted in your so-called A* geography skills which you prided yourself on. We talked about parallel universes by the fish pond and you showed me how you viewed the world. We’d go to the park and I’d sit on the floor as you sat on the swings. I still remember how you got your bum stuck in a baby swing and how you carted me around Toys-R-Us, laughing as you drove me into the displays. We watched tonnes of movies and threw pop-corn at the audiences. You’d always offer to switch places with me if the guy in front of me had a big head that blocked the screen. I endured going to Japanese restaurants all the time and you constantly ridiculed my height. You always insisted on bringing me home before leaving yourself. We rarely ever fought and when we did, we’d joke about it immediately and say that it was impossible to stay mad at each other. You’d offer me your hands (which were always ridiculously warm) when I was cold and you always said I was a better friend to you than you were to me. But I was lucky to have someone like you in my life. I was fully myself around you- a guy, and I loved you wholly as a person. At one point, when we were by the harbour, you said “here’s the plan. When I’m 25 or 30 we’re going to visit each other. No matter where I am or what’s happening in my life, okay?” I said “okay” and we shook on it. I genuinely believed you’d stick around. But I don’t blame you. I understand. I just wish you knew how much you meant to me, though no post will be able to express how many memories I adore and how much I cherish the very fact that I ever knew you. You’re different now (aren’t we all?) but I’m still sorry we are the way we are. And I guess I’m sorry for keeping your hoodie. You never had a problem with my sentimentality so excuse me but I’m not quite ready to give it back.
It’s a bottle of champagne that just couldn’t wait for the big occasion. It’s a spur-of-the-moment thing, a temporary thirst-quencher. A pop, a splutter, then gone. It’s an apology without reason, like talking for the sake of hearing your own voice, like skimming a paragraph without really reading it, forgetting the last word once you’re onto the next. It’s a chapter, not a narrative. It’s a page at random, with a rushed beginning and an abrupt end. It’s punctuated; short-lived.
Afterwards, you’re spent out, returning with just yourself to a lonely home. You may not see it but either the space around you grows or you become smaller each time, as if worn from misuse. Fingers traced and left no marks though you could’ve sworn they burnt your skin. Pupils darkened and saw nothing but pulsing red. It’s a red that can’t stay fresh, like blood. You’ll be forgotten soon but you’ll do the same because it’s standard procedure. No one complains (it’s not like you’ve lost a friend). You witness hurricanes that leave no impression and are enslaved by fast-fading novelty. Sooner or later you’ll want to know what it’s like to be damaged well and truly, for substitutes can’t satiate.
Will I or won’t I?
You slipped easily into the crowd. How will I find you over the intricacies of time?
I guess I won’t. Good timing is not about mastery… And that’s another missed opportunity.
I dreamt that I pierced my hand all the way through and had shards of glass stuck in my throat. The pain is something that I cannot describe in words- because I’ve never felt anything like it. My dreams leave me with the impression that I have a high tolerance of pain. I’ve never broken a bone or gotten seriously injured so I have yet to find out whether or not this is true. My confidence is unfounded.
Dreams of being trapped and pursued absolutely terrify me. And I’ve had so many of these kinds of nightmares.
Construction workers knock on my door, calling out for my sister, the ‘little girl’. I recognize a particular man through the gate from some street we’ve once passed. It’s a memory from a dream within a dream. We lock the doors and run into my parents’ room where there is a random secret door covered by a chair backed into a corner with a coat hanging off of it. We have to crawl through the chair legs in order to reach the small cramped space and wait. We know not to breathe. Not yet.
People are looking for me and I hear them as they crash through my house. Adrenaline courses through me as I make an impulsive decision to open the window in my room and step out. I feel my way down the pipes. I don’t quite remember but I think I managed to escape.
But by far the worst nightmare (it gives me an uncomfortable feeling just thinking about it) is the recurring dream of the figure up the stairs. The wooden door is open and the only thing separating myself from the stairs that lead to my house is a metal gate, which is slightly ajar. The green tiles of the stairs are dimly illuminated by white lights and a figure makes its way towards me. The nightmare is a prolonged moment. It’s the perpetual moment of utter fear. I know Its coming and I need to get to the door. I need to shut the gate before It reaches me. I never see Its face and I’m always just about to pull the gate. I feel like the gate is never going to shut and It’s close. It’s so close. And I never know what happens after.
I once was able to stop the dream because I recognized the fact that I’d lived through the dream before. My friend in my dream nodded with understanding: “oh, so this is the part where you have to close the door”, because I’d once told her about it (in real life). I shouted “this is a dream”, prayed and woke up. So strange how memories of reality and of the imaginary world fuse together. So strange how we can distinguish between them. I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me over and over again.